best electric meat smoker reviews

Very few things in life compare to the feeling of biting into a tender and juicy piece of smoked meat. However, not many people enjoy the tasking hours that go into smoking a cut of meat to perfection. So, have you ever thought about investing in an electric meat smoker? No adjusting the heat, no need to keep checking the fuel supply, no fussing over the smoke levels and you do not have to keep monitoring the smoking process every few minutes.

Electric meat smokers are the dream investment of every smoking enthusiast who would like to take all the work out of preparing a perfectly smoked brisket. With so many different brands and models in the market though, you need to make an informed decision when buying a meat smoker. So what are the important things you need to take into consideration?

top 5 electric meat smokers

Top 5 Electric Meat Smokers 2018 List

  Brand Cooking Space Power Cooking Racks Remote Control Weight  
 Best Pick 
730 sq. in. 800 Watt 4 Yes 49.9 lbs Check Price
Char-Broil 725 sq. in. 750 Watt 4 No 50.2 lbs Check Price
 Reasonable Price 
730 sq. in. 800 Watt 4 No 39.3 lbs Check Price
MasterBuilt N/A 1400 Watt 2 No 21.6 lbs Check Price
Old Smokey 280 sq. in. 1250 Watt 2 No 23 lbs Check Price

#1 Masterbuilt 20070411 – Best-Selling Meat smoker in the Market

This unit from MasterBuilt® is the best electric meat smoker to go for if you are looking for something that is of superior quality, affordable, has a great design, has a ton of convenient features and has a large cooking space of 730 sq. inches spread across four chrome-coated racks. First off, this durable unit has an almost indestructible, scratch-free, body so you can be sure that you are investing in a bbq smoker that will serve you for many years. Additionally, this body is also perfectly insulated complete with rubber seals around the door for very energy efficient cooking.

There is a viewing window, and the smoker also has an internal light so you can keep an eye on the food without needing to open the door. To further confirm that your food is ready, you can use the built-in meat probe which allows you to know the temperature of your meat and this can still be achieved without opening the door to the smoker. Electric bbq smokers have the advantage of allowing you to cook at the perfect temperature every single time, and this Masterbuilt model has a thermostatic control ranging from 100-275°F.

If wood chips get depleted before your meat is done, most smokers will require you to open the smoker door to load more chips, but that is not the case with this Masterbuilt smoker. This unit comes with an easy-to-use side wood chip loader, so you never have to interfere with the temperatures of your cooking meat. Another convenient feature is the removable drip pan which makes it fast and easy to clean the meat smoker, but it also makes it easier to add the perfect touch to your gravies.

One other advantageous feature on this bbq smoker is the fact that you can add juices, vinegar or any other kinds of liquids into the removable water pan. This way, besides just moisture, you can also infuse an added layer of flavor to your smoked meats. You can achieve a milder flavor by adjusting the air damper so that there is less smoke or you can close the air damper to intensify the smoke levels.



✓ It comes with RF remote control

✓ The built-in meat probe thermometer is very accurate

It uses a patented side wood-chip loading system

✓ It is very well insulated and thus highly efficient

It has a large cooking space allowing you to smoke different kinds of meats all at once

The wood chip tray does not hold a very large quantity at a time

 Interior temperatures can be affected by air coming in through the wood chip loader

  • Performance 94%
  • Design 91%
  • Price 90%

#2 Char-Broil Deluxe – Best Design BBQ Smoker

If the aesthetic appeal of a food smoker is something you are particularly concerned about, then this unit from Char-Broil® would be the best smoker to go for. The body has an attractive stainless steel dual-tone finish complete with a full-size glass door. Besides just looking good though, this highly efficient smoker also has impressive performance. To begin with, it features double-wall construction which locks in the heat and smoke for consistent temperatures and perfect smoking. Additionally, this double wall system prevents the exterior walls from becoming hot to the touch while the smoker is on. Insulation is further enhanced by the large stainless steel locking latch which gives a smoke-tight seal.

Besides good insulation, this electric smoker has a deep 4-cup capacity wood chip box which produces up to 7 hours of smoking once filled. Other competitor smokers in the market require for the wood chip tray to be refilled about 10 times to produce the same amount of smoke, which makes this Char-Broil meat smoker about 10 times more efficient. Combine this deep chip tray capacity with a cooking space of 725 sq. Inches spread out across four adjustable smoking trays, and you can easily smoke enough meat for a party of 8 or more people.

To monitor your cooking food, you can look through the glass door, or you can use the washable and reusable built-in meat probe. With the meat probe feature, you will get alerted when the meat has cooked to a predetermined temperature, but even when the food is done cooking, you do not have to take it out of the smoker. This unit comes with a food warming feature so you can keep the meat warm until it’s ready to serve. Temperature adjustments can be made using the control panel or using the remote control that comes with this smoker. The advanced control panel is very easy to use, and the blue LED display makes it easy to read as well.

The grease tray has a high 8.5-cup capacity which allows for hassle-free cleaning and grease removal, and the removable porcelain-coated water pan is also very easy to clean and refill. One final feature of convenience is that the smoker with automatically shut down if it has been running for 19 hours without interruption.



The smoke box has a large 4-cup capacity

 The dual-wall insulation is very efficient

✓ It can operate unattended for up to 7 hours

 It comes with a food warming feature

 It comes with remote control capabilities

While the exterior walls remain cool, the tempered glass door gets pretty hot while the smoker is running

This smoker gets damaged when exposed to the elements, so either use it indoors or keep it covered if using it outdoors

  • Performance 91%
  • Design 93%
  • Price 90%

#3 Masterbuilt 20071117 – Best Cheap Electric Smoker

The Masterbuilt 20071117 perfectly combines quality, performance, and innovation all the while at a very affordable price point hence making it the best electric smoker your money can buy. With a pushbutton start and an intuitive and simple top-mounted digital display panel, this smoker is ideal for beginners and expert level smoking enthusiasts because you never have to spend much time wondering how to get the unit running. The digital panel controls the on/off functions as well as the temperature and time settings.

The fully insulated body greatly minimizes heat loss, and by maintaining constant temperatures throughout the cooking process, the smoker cooks faster and more evenly. Also for insulation, the door has a latch that provides a very tight seal. You do not have to worry about a portion of your ribs being overcooked or the meat not cooking to your desired level of doneness. Interior temperatures can be regulated using the integrated thermostat so you can set an ideal temperature for the type of meat.

This automated outdoor meat smoker comes with Masterbuilt’s patented technology for side loading wood chips. This way, you do not have to open the door and interfere with the interior cooking temperatures. Another advantage is that this unit comes with some smoking chip once you buy the unit and so even beginners are ready to go smoking their first rack of ribs or juicy brisket.

This smoker is very easy to clean once you are done smoking your meat. Cleaning the four removable chrome-coated racks is as easy as taking them out and giving them a good scrub down. Additionally, the racks are corrosion resistant, so you know that they will last a long time provided they are given the correct maintenance. You can also easily clean the interior by wiping it down with a soft sponge and an appropriate cleaning mixture. Just remember not to use any chemicals while cleaning the smoker or any of its components because the chemicals might be imparted to the flavor of the smoked meats.



✓ It is budget friendly with amazing high-end features

✓ The temperature and time controls are easy to set using the digital control panel

✓ It is easy to load more chips using the patented side wood chip-loading system

✓ It comes with a locking door seal for maximum insulation and consistent smoking temperatures

 It is pretty compact and lightweight at just 34lbs

It might not provide sufficient smoke for those who like a very intense smoky flavor

The shelf brackets might come off easily when you pull out the shelving

  • Performance 91%
  • Design 90%
  • Price 93%

#4 Masterbuilt 20073716 – Best for Mobility & Portability

Portable smokers come in handy if you ever need to take the unit with you while camping or if you want to enjoy the convenience of juicy smoked meat right from your RV while you’re on the road. It is hard to come across electric smokers that are very mobile and portable though, which makes the Masterbuilt 20073716 a pleasant exception. This unit comes with legs at the base, and this makes it easy to move the smoker from place to place like when you need to move the smoker from the kitchen to the patio for instance. It also weighs just 21.6 lbs so it can easily be carried by two people if you ever needed to lift the smoker instead of just wheeling it around.

Temperature and time can be controlled from the easy to use top-mounted control panel, or you can use the RF remote control. The remote control option is very convenient because you do not have to get up from your seat to adjust the settings on the smoker. Besides adjusting the timer and temperature, the remote control can also be used to control the internal light or to switch the smoker on or off.



It has legs for easy transportation

 The high-quality chrome-coated smoking racks are very durable

✓ It conveniently has a built-in meat temperature probe

The heating element might require replacement sooner than expected
  • Performance 90%
  • Design 89%
  • Price 90%

#5 Old Smokey – Best with Flat-Top Design

Electric bbq smokers with flat top design provide even basting at constant temperatures thus giving rise to food that is very flavorful, and this Old Smokey® smoker is the best unit you can get in this design. With a flat-top design, the juices released from the meats get to drip back right onto the food, so the authentic flavor of the meats is retained. This closed ventilation-free configuration also keeps the smoking meats very moist and tender without the need to have a water basin. Another advantage is that the tight seal guarantees against side leaks and this makes the smoker very easy to clean after use.

This drum-shaped smoker has two internal smoking racks to hold the food. The upper rack is 14.5 inches in diameter, and the lower rack is 12.5 inches, and with this generous capacity, the shelves can hold a 10-pound shoulder of pork or brisket. The 1250 Watt heating element is located at the base of the unit, and the smokebox sits above it. As far as temperature control goes, this unit has three temperature settings controlled using a knob so you can choose whether to smoke your meat, barbeque it or roast it to perfection at the ideal temperature.

Weighing a mere 24 pounds, this smoker is very lightweight and easy to carry around when moving it from one point to another. Portability is further enhanced by the carrying handles located at the side of the unit, and these handles conveniently fold down when not in use. Additionally, this electric smoker is designed for both indoor and outdoor use, and this is quite rare because most electric meat smokers are also suitable for use indoors.

This electric smoker has a very basic design, and there aren’t any fancy features to fuss overall. This simplicity makes it an amazing smoker for beginners, but experienced meat smokers will also appreciate the hassle-free operation. You simply set the unit up and forget about it till the meat is done cooking.



✓ The flat-top design allows for even heat distribution and optimum retention of flavors

✓ It requires very minimal supervision

✓ It is simple to use

✓ This smoker can cook any type and any cut of meat

✘ This cylindrical smoker gets very hot while in use

It only has two cooking racks

  • Performance 91%
  • Design 91%
  • Price 91%

Electric Meat Smokers: Features To Compare 

electric smokers buyer's guide
Cooking Space

The cooking space provided by an electric bbq smoker should be among the first factors any buyer takes into consideration. Ideally, you need to make sure that the smoker has a good amount of space that matches up to the amount of meat you will be barbecuing. Most smokers will come with an indication of how much meat you can prepare but besides the general surface area provided, also consider the width as well as the height of the smoker. The width will dictate whether you can use the electric food smoker to prepare long rib slabs and the height should be tall enough to accommodate a large turkey. Of course, this all depends on the amount of food you intend to prepare so every buyer’s choice will vary.

Temperature Control

The convenience of temperature control is the whole reason why you should want to invest in an meat smoker as opposed to going for a charcoal smoker. Most electric smokers come with adjustable temperatures hence allowing you to cook a wide variety of foods. The average smoker will have a temperature range of between 100-275°F, and this conveniently allows for either slow, low heat cooking or faster hotter smoking. For some electric smokers, you will find that the temperature range is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) whereby the higher the BTU, the higher the heat and power of the smoker.


The heating power of electric smokers is measured in Watts, with the wattage indicating how much power the smoker will use in one hour. Ideally, we recommend opting for meat smokers that have a power range of between 1000W and 1200W. More powerful smokers are generally preferred because they not only cook faster but they can also cook a wider variety of meats. Besides the power output, also consider the power consumption of the unit you have in mind. Smokers with lesser power consumption, are a greener, cost-saving option and you will also not need to worry about upgrading the wiring in your home.

Other Types of Meat Smokers

a) Charcoal Smokers

These are the more traditional types of meat smokers, and despite being messy, they give the meat a wonderfully authentic flavor. Charcoal smokers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and quality. They comprise some of the cheapest bbq smokers in the market, but at the same time, there are some very expensive, very high-quality charcoal smokers. On the upside, charcoal smokers infuse the original BBQ taste in the meat and thee come in a simple design that is easy to maintain. On the downside, you might not be able to use these smokers during winter.

b) Pellet Smokers

Pellet smokers are very popular among food smoking hobbyists. These smokers are typically electrically powered, but they produce smoke and heat by burning wood pellets. This way, you get the convenience of an electric smoker, combined with the authentic smoky flavor of charcoal smokers. With an efficiency rate of 90%, pellet smokers are the most efficient meat smokers in the market. They are also an environmentally friendly option, easy to use, and have a fuel source that is very easy to store. Unfortunately, though, these smokers are rather noisy, and they also require regular maintenance.

c) Propane Smokers

Propane smokers function as simply as electric smokers, but they have an added advantage of heating up faster than the latter. Additionally, gas smokers are also capable of achieving higher temperatures than any other type of smoker (as high as 450C), and so you can also use them as ovens. They are also a portable option that you can take with you wherever you go including on camping trips. One disadvantage though, is that these units require parts replacement rather frequently.

Electric Smokers Benefits and Why They Are Better Than Other Meat Smokers

a) User-Friendly

Electric smokers do not require much manual effort, and you do not have to keep checking up on the meat while it’s cooking. You can if you want to, but you do not have to. Just program the unit and leave it to do the cooking while you go off to take a nap or run an errand. With an electric smoker, anyone can achieve a perfectly smoked piece of meat, even a novice.

Electricity is a much cleaner energy source when compared to gas and charcoal, so environmentally conscious meat smoking enthusiasts prefer it. At the same time, this clean energy source guarantees that your meat will be free of contaminants thus enhancing the inherent flavor of the meats you are smoking. With electric smokers also, there is little cleaning up to do after your meat is done smoking.

b) Cost-Efficient

Compared to charcoal smokers, Electric smokers might be a bit pricey to purchase, but they are way cheaper when compared to high-end grills and propane smokers. Also, for electric meat smokers, the overall costs incurred in the long run will be much lower when compared to the cost of running traditional smokers. The latter will require you to buy fuel constantly, but electric units incur little electricity costs.

c) Convenient Storage

With other smokers, you have to consider fuel storage regardless of whether you are dealing with charcoal, wood pallets or gas. For electric smokers, however, you simply need a power cord to fuel the unit. Also, these units take up little patio space because the racks are often stacked one on top of the other. This makes electric smokers particularly convenient for those living in apartments or condos. Besides, modern electric smokers are quite lightweight and are much easier to move around compared to bulky traditional charcoal smokers. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for websites to earn commissions by linking to the retailer sites. All trademarks and brands mentioned in are property of their respective owners.