Smoked foods can be a great gift for friends and family, but they can also be a great meal for your immediate family.
That’s why you need a great smoker that will help you get the great flavors that you’re really looking for and without having to spend a whole lot of time outside either, unless you really want to. That’s why an electric smoker is going to be your best option.
Missy Enders, Author, HESCA
#1 Masterbuilt 20075315
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This smoker is going to be great for cooking a whole lot of food at the same time. It actually has 975 square inches of cooking space over 4 different cooking racks so you can spread out all different kinds of meat and other products as well. The racks are each wire so you get plenty of smoke over the top as well as through the bottom, which is important since this is where the heating element is.
The wood chip loading system is super easy and you can load in whatever type of wood chips that you want to get your ideal flavor. Plus there’s a drip pan in the front that takes care of anything that might start to get out while you’re cooking. The drip tray is easy to remove and empty when you’re all done for a while and you’ll be able to clean it out quickly and easily as well.
With this smoker you have simple to use controls right on the top that let you set the time and the temperature that you want. There’s even simple instructions right there so you never have to dig out the instruction manual again. What’s even better is the unit comes with a remote control that lets you make all of the same choices and decisions without having to be right next to it. So if you want to change the temperature or the timer from across the room you can do it easily.
- If you decide your smoker isn’t exactly where you want it to be it’s no problem to move because there are wheels on the back so all you have to do is lean it back and roll it wherever you want. Plus you can get everything clean a whole lot easier than with other units because all of the pieces come out including racks and trays and then you can put them in the dishwasher to get ready for next time.
#2 Bradley Smokers Original
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With this smoker you’re going to have 4 racks that you can easily remove in order to add in larger items and you’ll have a whole lot of space for anything you need. You’ll even be able to use this smoker as a slow cooker or roaster in order to get a lot of great flavor in anything you want. You just put the food inside, add your favorite type of wood chips and you’re going to be ready to go.
The temperature controls on this unit are simple and you can choose between different heat levels without any problem, then you just flip the switch to on and let it go. The outside of the door has a temperature gauge so you know just what the temperature is inside at all times and it can go up to 250 degrees to make sure that the flavor really is permeating everything.
On the inside this smoker is made with stainless steel to make sure that none of the flavors get absorbed into the unit, so you don’t have to worry about getting different flavors when you want them for different foods. You also don’t have to worry about heat escaping or stains. The material is designed to keep all the heat on the inside and to make sure you can clean things easily.
- There’s a bisquette feeder on the side to make it even easier to clean and easier to load at the same time and an automatic feeder that takes just the amount of wood that it needs rather than burning everything you load up. This helps you get a little better consistency and temperature control at the same time. By filling up the briquette feeder you can even get up to 8 hours of steady smoking without having to reload.
#3 Char-Broil Vertical
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This unit is smaller with only 505 square inches of cooking surface and only 3 cooking grates, but each of those grates is fully adjustable so you still get just the right sizing that you need. You’ll also get a double-walled frame that ensures you get to keep all of the heat on the inside while you’re cooking and don’t have to worry about any of that good smoke getting out on you.
There’s a temperature gauge right on the front so you can keep track of what’s going on at all times and all you have to do is turn this unit on, fill up the wood and sit back as it’s going to get your food smoked exactly right. When you’re done you open it up and take everything out and all that’s left to do is enjoy what you’ve created. It’s definitely going to be a great experience and a quick one at the same time. This unit is simple and easy to use but a little bit heavy at the same time, so make sure you get it right where you want from the start.
- Because of the frame and design on the inside you’re going to get an even temperature for your cooking right from the start. You don’t have to worry about moving anything around or trying to get just the right spots overall. You just load up your food on each of the grates and get ready for something great to come out of it. This electric smoker is going to get you everything even with the smaller size. It’s just better designed for smaller families or those who don’t smoke quite as often.
Electric Smoker Buyer’s Guide
You want to have complete control over the temperature in the unit that you choose. That means you need to know exactly what that temperature is. With a lot of units you’ll get a thermostat that’s built right in so you get a good reading of what the temperature is and whether it’s going to get you the flavor that you really want. Make sure you have a good quality thermostat going in your unit as well. Just having any old temperature reading isn’t necessarily going to help you as much as you think.
Next, make sure you’re looking at the ventilation that’s provided. When you get a traditional smoker you’re going to trap all of the smoke and heat inside the unit. With an electric unit however, you’re going to have a little ventilation because it cooks the meat in a different way. This allows the flavor to really permeate without needing everything to be trapped directly inside. You’re going to get a better cooking process as well as a stronger smoke to your food without all that actual smoke being left in there so you want to know what the ventilation is going to look like.
Different smokers are going to heat food in a different way. Some have heat coming from the sides and the bottom. Some have just head coming from the top or just from the bottom. It’s entirely up to the manufacturer but you want to understand how it works. With an electric smoker you’re generally going to have heating coming from the bottom because of the way the unit is built, but make sure that you’re paying attention to this and getting a good amount of heat in the right way.
Finally, you want to know what the inside of the unit is going to look like. Most smokers have removable and movable shelves or racks that you can adjust to put in more smaller items or a few larger items. You’ll want to know what your options are before you buy something and what you’re most likely to be cooking as that’s going to help you get the best quality in a shorter amount of time. Knowing where the racks go and where they can go (as well as what you might be able to add on later) is going to provide you with better flavor and results.
Overall, a great electric smoker is going to give you some really good flavor in a short amount of time. It should also make sure that you can cook just about anything that you want and do so without having to put a lot of your own effort into it. An electric smoker is going to be a whole lot simpler to use and more effective than a traditional smoker and that’s definitely one reason you’re going to want to get one for yourself.
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