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f you have never smoked your own meats before, you really have no idea what you’re missing out on. The taste, the tenderness, the mouth-watering juiciness — it’s all there. That said, you do need to have the right smoker for the best results.

That’s what we’re here for today — to help you find the best  electric smoker for beginners, models that are easy to use, affordable, and give you the results you want. Let’s get to it and smoke some meat!

Why Get an Electric Smoker?

You might be wondering why you would want to get an electric smoker instead of a propane or charcoal smoker, or what you need a smoker for at all. Well, the fact of the matter is that electric smokers come with quite a few advantages, and they certainly produce fantastic results as well. Why use an electric smoker?

The Flavor

Something that might entice you to get an electric smoker is due to the amazing flavor these cooking devices can provide. You can smoke fish, pork, beef, chicken, veggies, cheese, and everything in between, and the neat part is that every type of wood chip can produce a different smoky flavor.

There’s just no denying the fact that smoked foods taste amazing. Get the right wood chips for the type of food you want to smoke, and you can create something truly amazing that will tantalize the taste buds of anyone.

The Juiciness and Tenderness

Something that is also undeniably true is that smoked meats tend to be much juicier and tenderer when compared to any other cooking method.

Grilling, baking, and roasting all work just fine, and sure, all those methods get the job done, but they often end up drying the meat out, and more often than not, when meat is cooked too fast, it ends up being tough.

The fact of the matter is that the low and slow cooking process which smoking is known for helps to tenderize meat and really break down tough components, thus resulting in a rack of ribs that melts in your mouth.

It’s Simple

Something else that stands out about using a smoker to cook your meats is the fact that it’s really easy to do. All you need to do is look up the type and cut of meat you’re looking to smoke, see how hot and for how long it needs to smoke, set the smoker, insert the meat, and you are good to go.

Having to add water and wood chips may seem like a pain, but it’s really quite easy and straightforward. Simply put, if you have the right electric smoker, creating tasty and tender meals is about as easy as it gets.

Preservation

What you might also be interested to know is that smoking meat is a great method of preservation.

Before electricity and fridges were around, the two main methods of preserving meat were either to smoke it or to salt it, and no, salted meat doesn’t taste all that nice. When all has been said and done, smoked meat will last much longer than if it is cooked virtually any other way, and that’s a big benefit.

Eco Benefits

Speaking about electric smokers specifically, a reason you may want to go for one, as opposed to a gas-powered smoker is because they’re eco-friendlier.

Due to the fact that there are no fossil fuels being burned (like with a propane model), it means that there are much less emissions being produced. An electric model is much better for the environment.

Choosing the Right Electric Smoker

So you don’t want to buy just any electric smoker. There are some important factors to consider. You don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars just to end up with what amounts to an old-fashioned mailbox.

Size and Power

The first thing to consider is how large the smoker is. A smaller 500-square-inch smoker might be fine for small chickens, bacon, sausages, small racks of ribs, and other similar items.

However, for turkey, whole racks of ribs, and other large items, you might want to look for something that has 700 or even closer to 1,000 square inches of space.

Don’t forget the power of the heating element either, because the larger the smoker, the more powerful that element needs to be. With a more powerful heating element, the smoker will heat faster and maintain temperature better.

Insulation and Heat Retention

The next thing to look for is an electric smoker that has double insulation in the walls and double gasket-sealed doors.

Simply put, if the unit you get is not well insulated, it won’t be able to get to high temperatures easily, especially if it is cold and windy outside, not to mention that heat retention will be a big issue too.

Access to Chip and Water Trays

Something else to look for is how the smoker in question allows you to access the water and the wood chip trays. Lower quality and less-expensive smokers usually have only a single door. This means the adding chips or water forces you to open the chamber, thus reducing the heat and smoke every time the door is opened.

It’s always best to look for a model which has separate doors or drawers for the water and wood chip trays. It means not having to open the actual smoking chamber when you need to add more water or wood chips.

The Grease Trap and Cleaning

A model where you can take out a grease tray, take out the racks, and easily wipe the interior down is always a bonus. Smokers get dirty and they need to be cleaned often, so getting one that is easy to clean is quite essential.

Type of Control

Moreover, take a look at the control methods, which in this case are going to be either analog or digital. Analog smokers are easy to use as there’s no control panel to master. High-quality analog smokers can still be very accurate, although they can take some trial and error.

On the other hand, digital models tend to be much more precise, and they work well if you enjoy electronics. That said, digital smokers can suffer from electrical- and programming-related issues, not to mention that they tend to be pricier.

The Best Electric Smoker

Now you should know virtually everything there is to know about electric smokers, both in terms of what their benefits are and what to look for when buying one.

In the following section, we will be reviewing the 5 best electric smokers for beginners on the market at this time.

We’ve chosen these particular models based on various factors including overall durability, results, performance, size, price and more. Let’s get to it.

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker

Masterbuilt is a major competitor in the smoker market, and they appear to have done a fantastic job producing this particular model. This smoker features a full 730 square inches of cooking space, complete with a total of 4 racks for big-time smoking needs. It has more than enough interior space to smoke a large amount of food at once.

The racks are all chrome plated, and the rest of the smoker is made of powder-coated steel, making it an extremely durable smoker. It also features a good shape and center of gravity to allow for balance and stability at all times. It’s certainly a durable and sturdy unit, not to mention that it features a top-quality heat seal to ensure insulation and heat retention.

This is a digitally controlled smoker with an easy-to-access top-located control panel. It can be used to set the heat in the Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker between 100°-275°F for slow, even, and reliable smoking. It also allows you to set a digital timer anywhere from 0 to 24 hours. The 800-watt heating element gets up to heat fairly quickly as well.

This unit features a side-loading style for woodchips, making it very easy to keep adding new woodchips whenever needed, plus the top air damper is easy to work as well. The Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker comes with a removable drip tray to help make cleanup time a little easier.

What Consumers are Saying About This Electric Smoker

  • Very accurate temperature regulation
  • Extremely simple to operate
  • High quality construction with good heat seal
  • Keeps heat well
  • Good smoker for anybody with limited experience
  • Does way more than expected for the low price

Pros

  • Sturdy and well balanced
  • 4 racks with lots of room
  • Retains heat well
  • Heats up fast
  • Simple digital control and timer
  • Easy to clean
  • Removable drip pan
  • Easy side loading for wood chips

Cons

    • Cannot fit a rack of ribs side to side
    • May suffer from electrical/wiring issues

Pit Boss Grills 77221 2.2 Digital Smoker

This is quite a unique option from the highly trusted Pit Boss Grills brand. Now, the Pit Boss Grills 77221 2.2 Digital Smoker is a bit smaller than the one just reviewed, as this one comes in at just under 600 square inches of interior space.

That said, it’s a small smoker designed for home use. It’s ideal for smoking smaller items like jerky, bacon, sausages, half racks, and other similar items. It does come with 3 chrome racks for the inside, just to help divide it up a bit, although they can be removed if necessary. The fact that this unit provides external access to the porcelain coated woodchip pan is another bonus.

The Pit Boss Grills 77221 2.2 Digital Smoker features a double-coated construction with blanket insulation and a well-sealing door to ensure fast heating time and maximum heat retention, as well as heating accuracy too. The heating element is powerful enough to get this unit up to temperature pretty quickly.

The Pit Boss Grills 77221 2.2 Digital Smoker allows for simple control using the digital control panel located on the front, and yes, it does come with a timer, and temperature can be set to between 100°-400°F. Moreover, the special wraparound heating element allows for more smoke and lower temperatures. What’s really cool is how the door is transparent, so you can see what is going on inside of the smoker at all times.

What Consumers Have to Say About This Electric Smoker

  • Reaches temperatures easily in cool weather
  • Nice quality and look
  • Viewing window is super cool
  • Convenient thanks to the rolling/locking wheels
  • Super simple to use
  • Makes a ton of flavorful smoke
  • Really easy to operate
  • Great little smokers for starters

Pros

  • Heats up fast
  • Can handle cold ambient temperatures
  • Lots of smoke with low temperature
  • Simple digital control, thermostat, and timer
  • Transparent viewing window
  • Fairly durable construction
  • Lightweight and portable – locking wheels
  • Low price
  • Space friendly

Cons

  • Difficult to assemble
  • Issues with the heating element

Dyna-Glo DGU951SDE-D Two Door Digital Bluetooth Smoker

It is the age of technology, so we really could not resist adding at least one smoker to the list that is Bluetooth capable. This smoker lets you sync your phone or tablet to it, and then control it from anywhere with your device. Turn it on and off, set the temperature, the timer, and more. It also features an onboard digital control panel, just in case you’re a little more hands on. Actually, a really cool feature is the integrated meat thermometer, which can track the internal temperature of the meat without requiring the door to be opened.

This is so far the largest smoker on the list, coming in at 40 inches with nearly 1,000 square inches of interior space for smoking. It comes with 4 levels of removable racks, plus a removable rib rack and sausage hooks too. It’s large enough to smoke anything that needs smoking. What’s also neat is the transparent door or viewing window, so you can keep an eye on things at all times, plus there’s a light on the inside for illumination.

The 1,000-watt heating element does a great job at getting up to heat fast, and the thick and heavy walls of this unit keep heat in very well. Achieving a temperature fast and then maintaining a specific temperature, even if the outside temperature is cold, thanks to the sturdy construction and high quality insulation/sealing, is easily done. The wood chips and water tray can both be easily accessed using the drawer located on the bottom.

What Consumers Have to Say About This Electric Smoker

  • Very impressed with this smoker
  • Produces a good amount of smoke
  • Easy to use and moderately easy to clean
  • Came packed good and not much assembly needed
  • Cooks whole briskets, chickens, racks of ribs, and more
  • A bit pricey but well worth the money

Pros

  • Large interior
  • Easy to clean
  • Heat sealed doors
  • Light and viewing window
  • Separate door for wood chips/water
  • Sturdy and rugged construction
  • Comes with racks and hooks
  • Powerful heating element
  • Cool Bluetooth function
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • A bit pricey for what it is
  • Bluetooth, while cool, relatively useless

Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker

Here we decided to go with a more old-school option, as this is an analog electric smoker as opposed to a digital model. It does come with a power and heat control dial so you can simply increase or decrease the smoking temperature. Moreover, it also features quite an accurate analog temperature gauge. Although this unit is not digital, it is still very accurate and easy to control. The fact that there is nothing digital here means that there are fewer electronic components that can break down.

The Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker is not a huge smoker, as it comes with an interior capacity of just under 550 square inches, so it’s not tiny but not huge either. It comes with 3 chrome cooking racks that can be removed if need be. This is a convenient unit as it features a front-oriented wood chip tray, a water tray, and a drippings tray. Having a dripping tray is always convenient when it comes to cleanup time. That said, be aware that accessing any of the trays requires the door to be opened, as this unit does only have a single door.

The Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker features a double wall construction with heavy duty insulation, as well as double sealed doors. This allows the 1,000-watt heating element to get to heat very quickly, and it allows this smoker as a whole to build and maintain a temperature level with ease and accuracy. Keep in mind that a 1,000 watt heating element is very powerful for such a small unit. Just consider that the unit reviewed above is nearly twice the size, but also has a 1K-watt element.

What Consumers Have to Say About This Electric Smoker

  • Extremely fast and easy to assemble
  • Impressed by the heavy duty construction
  • High powered heating elements takes barely any time to heat
  • Very good heat retention
  • Great little smoker for small spaces
  • Analog design is exceedingly simplistic
  • Great smoker for the money

Pros

  • Space friendly
  • Simple
  • Easy access to trays
  • Powerful heating element
  • Very well insulated
  • Sturdy and stable
  • Fairly easy to clean
  • Accurate temperature control
  • Good price

Cons

  • May be too small for some
  • Single door for smoking chamber and trays

Masterbuilt MB20070210 MES 35B Electric Smoker

We started off with a Masterbuilt electric smoker and we plan to finish off with one from the same brand name as well. What really stands out about this particular unit is that it comes with a 1,500-watt heating element, more powerful than anything else we’ve looked at today. Now, do keep in mind that this is also an analog model.

It comes with a simple-to-operate temperature dial, combined with an analog front-located temperature gauge. It might not be overly fancy or anything electronic per say, but it does get the job done. Thanks to the powerful heating element, as well as the thick and well-insulated walls of this smoker, it heats up very fast and it does a great job at maintaining temperature.

The Masterbuilt MB20070210 MES 35B Electric Smoker comes in at 30 inches, so it does have plenty of interior space for ribs, chickens, sausages, and everything in between. What is also nice here is the adjustable damper so you can easily control the level of smoke. The front access to the grease tray makes cleanup time much easier, plus the wood tray and water bowl are also removable. Just keep in mind that there is only a single door.

What Consumers Have to Say About This Electric Smoker

  • Very fast and easy to assemble
  • Just plug it in, set the temp dial, and you’re good to go
  • Heats up faster than I can get ready
  • Seems to hold heat well even when it’s cold outside
  • What a great investment
  • Have used it many times and it’s still in prime condition
  • Convenient model with a good size

Pros

  • Fair price
  • Good medium size
  • Heats up superfast
  • Maintains temperature very well
  • Easy access to all trays
  • Simple assembly
  • Super easy to use
  • Easy cleanup
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Temperature dial doesn’t have numbers on it
  • Accessing trays means opening the smoke chamber

Making a Choice

Remember, a big part of the decision-making process has to do with personal preference. Do you prefer a large unit with lots of capacity or something smaller and more space-friendly? Do you need a high-power smoker or something a bit more cost effective that might not heat up quite as fast? Do you prefer digital or analog control? At the end of the day, the kind and the exact model of electric smoker you go with is totally up to you, your needs, and your preferences. Choose wisely!

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