Why get a smoker? One word….RIBS!
If you want that fall-off-the-bone-melt-in-your-mouth-delicious-meat-candy you need a smoker.
You just can’t get the same thing on a grill. It takes forever and it is not purpose-built for smoking. Infusing that smoky flavor takes your rib game to the next level. Those smoke rings…Mmmmm.
Do yourself a “flavor” and get a dedicated smoker. For under $200 you can grab yourself a nice smoker to get the job done.
This list is a compilation of our favorites with a complete spec breakdown to help narrow the field so you can snag the smoker that’s best for you.
The beauty of an electric smoker is that it’s hands-off. The heavy lifting is done for you, and your job is pretty much to set it and forget it.
We love the Masterbuilt 30’’ because it seamlessly takes over the process and is a consistent top-level performer that works for the beginner or the experienced pro.
So what can you expect in terms of specs? It comes equipped with a digital control panel for power, temperature and time, 4 chrome-coated racks, an adjustable air damper for smoke control and a water bowl for adding extra moisture and flavor (apple cider is a fun one to try!).
The smoker body itself is fully and effectively insulated and the integrated thermostat is great for fine-tuning your cooking. It offers an 800 watt heating element for an even and consistent smoke.
My favorite feature is a side-load wood chip system that is accessible without opening the smoker door, a really smart way to prevent unnecessary heat loss.
Overall size is also key here, especially if your smoker is going to see regular use. This unit has a 30’’ interior and overall dimensions are 19.88 x 20.47 x 33.25’’.
This is one of the bigger smokers on our list and a solid pick for the enthusiast who will be using it for multiple cuts of meat simultaneously.
Coming in slightly smaller than the Masterbuilt, the Smoke Hollow is another top performer we recommend if your smoking ambitions don’t require as much space.
A digital panel controls power, temp and time and three chrome-coated racks allow room for multiple cuts smoking at once.
The overall size is 13.8 x 12.6 x 11.9’’ for the interior space, which can handle 9 chickens, 2 turkeys, 3 racks of ribs or 3 pork butts at once.
Other noteworthy features include an integrated thermostat for temperature control, a fully insulated body, 800 watt heating element, adjustable air damper for smoke control, and removable water and drop pans.
Unlike the Masterbuilt 30”, the chips do load through the main door which accounts for some heat loss if a reload is needed during the cook process.
The price point on this smoker is also less of a hit to the wallet, which is why it snags our second top spot – the value is tough to beat.
Old Smokey here is a favorite addition to our top 3 and offers a different shape and style to the first two box-style electric smokers.
This is a fairly roomy option at 15.5 x 15.5 x 29’’ with a flat top design so juices drip right back onto the food for maximum flavor and moisture retention.
The circular style means access is only available from the lidded top, like a really tall cook pot, so wood chips are best loaded in advance with a little planning.
The dual inner racks have handles that allow them to be easily lifted out of the container.
The heating element is highly effective and heat retention is strong and consistent, even in cold weather. The shape also promotes retention so meat cooks and smokes much more quickly than in other style smokers.
The Old Smokey is also easy to clean and more portable than the other two options in our top 3.
The versatility of the Americana 2 in 1 is a novelty in this group and sets it apart from some of the other options we share.
This is also a larger smoker, with 351 square inches of cooking space, and 2 stacking chrome cook racks.
The circular design, like the Old Smokey, is designed to infuse the meat with maximized smoky flavor and moisture drippings. The 1500 watt heating element is powerful and temperatures heat to desired levels quickly.
Mini side doors make it easy to access the interior while cooking to check the meat or add additional wood chips without releasing all the heat.
The Americana also converts to a grill and can be used to grill up a few burgers or dogs when not in use as a smoker. This is a fun add on feature if you don’t already have a dedicated gas grill.
The Landmann is a solid smoker for the beginner who isn’t looking for a lot of frills or extra features.
Unlike the smokers in our top 3 spots, the temperature gauge is a little more old school and doesn’t have a digital readout for temp and time.
Sizing is generous on this one, coming in close to the Masterbuilt at 26’’ with 3 inner chrome cook trays. It also has a window inset into the main door, which is a nice addition so you can more easily monitor the progress of the meat you’re cooking.
The interior is not insulated, so keep in mind, this is not your best bet for smoking in colder temps.
A popular option from Cuisinart, this is a powerful and generously sized smoker (think 548 square inches) for the under $250 category.
Like the Masterbuilt, the 330 offers a 30’’ inner chamber with three chrome interior racks. It doesn’t have a digital read out, but it does feature an internal thermometer front and center.
Other features offered on the 330 include a 1500 watt heating element, a light weight frame, front accessed wood chip container and water pan, easy temperature control and a compact profile so it seamlessly integrates into your space.
The build quality is top notch and the unit feels sturdy and well-made.
Like the other options toward the end of our list, the Char-Broil is a solid basic model with a very accessible price tag.
While you won’t find frills like a digital temperature gauge, this is a sturdy, reliable electric smoker that is a favorite for roominess and ease of use.
Overall cooking space is among the largest of the group at 544 square inches, with the standard 3 chrome-plated cooking racks and 1200 watt heating element.
The Char-Broil is insulated with double-wall construction and dual exhaust ports. The water, grease and wood chip trays are all front-access.
Of all the electric smokers on our list, this little powerhouse has the most interesting build and is a favorite for high-impact capsule smokers.
The overall cooking space is 395 square inches with two porcelain-coated racks that lift out from the top.
The heating element is especially powerful at 1650 watts for consistent heating up to 400 degrees. The smoke achieved with this design is no joke and this is a user favorite for top-level flavor infusion.
The thermometer is known for being inaccurate so we recommend using your own probe if you end up purchasing this model.
Smoke Hollow snagged our third spot with the Digital Electric version of their smoker but this more affordable option is still a great analog smoker with the same quality build.
On this model, you’ll find a 1500 watt heating element, two chrome-plated cooking racks, fully adjustable temperature control, and a cool-touch handle with latching system.
The total cooking capacity is 1.3 cubic feet, standing 36.5’’ tall.
Masterbuilt is the company behind our favorite smoker on this list and we couldn’t resist sharing this smaller version designed to be portable for smoking on the go.
While it is on the smaller side, this smoker is still mighty! It can handle 20lbs of pork butt or about 5 salmon filets. With the racks removed, a whole turkey or a couple chickens can fit inside.
It packs a 1400 watt heating element with two chrome-coated racks, door-mounted temperature gauge, and folding legs for easy transport or storage. This is an ideal smoker for road trips and tail gates.
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I am a grill freak! It's hard to pick my favorite thing to grill, but if I had to choose... it is still a tie between pork ribs and a juicy beef burger. I am currently grilling on a Weber S210(I live in a small space) but my dream grill is definitely a summit. Those things are bad ass. Anyways I would love to hear from you, leave a comment or question below!