Are you a beginner looking to dive into the world of smoking delicious meats? Look no further! Electric smokers are easy-to-use, affordable, and perfect for those just starting out. But with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to choose the right one. So, we’ve done all the research for you and rounded up our top picks for the best electric smoker for beginners. Let's get started!
Here are the best electric smokers for beginners you can buy in 2023:
- Budget Option (Analog Electric Smoker): Masterbuilt MB20070210
- Best For Brisket (Analog Electric Smoker): Cuisinart COS-330
- Best With Viewing Window (Analog Electric Smoker): PIT BOSS 77220
- Best For Pork Ribs (Digital Electric Smoker): Masterbuilt MB20071117
- Large Smoking Area (Digital Electric Smoker): Masterbuilt MB20070122
- Best For Chicken (Digital Electric Smoker): Char-Broil 17202004
|6 Best Electric Smokers For Beginners|
Best For Brisket
Best With Viewing Window
|PIT BOSS 77220|
Best For Pork Ribs
Large Smoking Area
Best For Chicken
Budget Option: Masterbuilt MB20070210
- Affordable price point
- Easy to move around and store when not in use - Compact size and lightweight design
- Able to smoke a variety of meats - chrome-coated smoking racks & Variable temperature control
- May not be suitable for larger cuts of meat
- No window to monitor the food without opening the door
The Masterbuilt MES 35B Electric Smoker is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a budget-friendly yet quality electric smoker.
One of the standout features of this smoker is its simplicity and ease of use, making it perfect for beginners.
Three chrome-coated smoking racks provide ample space for food to smoke evenly.
The built-in temperature gauge and analog dial make temperature control straightforward, while the slide-able wood chip tray makes it easy to remove ash.
Another noteworthy feature is that this smoker is compact and lightweight, making it perfect for those with limited outdoor space.
Additionally, it has a durable construction that promises to withstand frequent use and the elements.
|Masterbuilt MB20070210 Specifications|
20 x 21.69 x 40.15 inches
536 square inches
up to 3 pork butts, 3 racks of ribs, 2 turkeys, or 3 chickens,
100 - 375°
Compact size and lightweight design
Chrome-coated smoking racks & Variable temperature control
Its high-quality build and affordable price point make the Masterbuilt MES 35B a great budget option.
Best For Brisket: Cuisinart COS-330
- Highly customizable to accommodate different sizes of meat - three removable smoking shelves
- Even heat distribution - vertical design
- Easy to clean and assemble
- No window
This is our favorite pick for brisket lovers!
The Cuisinart COS-330 boasts a vertical footprint, making it a perfect size for patios and barbecue kitchens with limited space.
It has three removable smoking shelves made of chrome-plated steel that can be easily adjusted to accommodate larger cuts of meat like brisket. The vertical setup ensures that heat and smoke are distributed evenly throughout the smoker, ensuring the brisket is cooked to perfection.
Another great feature of this electric smoker is that it is easy to clean up after use.
The smoker creates little residue, and all that's left behind is a small bit of ash from the wood chips. Because electric smokers burn so cleanly, you won't get nearly the same degree of soot build-up inside the smoker as you would with other smoker types. With very little mess to clean up, you can enjoy your perfectly smoked brisket without worrying about cleaning up afterward.
|Cuisinart COS-330 Specifications|
22 x 20 x 40 inches
548 sq. inches
100°F to 400°F
Three removable smoking shelves
Easy to clean and assemble
The Cuisinart COS-330 is a great selection for those who enjoy cooking brisket.
Best With Viewing Window: PIT BOSS 77220
- Easily monitor food without opening the door - large viewing window
- Prevent fluctuations in temperature - double-walled construction
- No built-in thermometer
For those who enjoy smoking their favorite meats and pizzas, try this option.
The Pit Boss Grills 77220 features a large viewing window, which eliminates the need for peek-a-boo cooking.
With this window, you can easily monitor your food without having to open the door, which reduces heat loss and ensures that your food cooks evenly. Not just so, it allows you to see the condition of the meat and check if it needs any more seasoning or flipping.
Additionally, this smoker's elevated frame makes transferring your meal from the smoker to the table a breeze.
|PIT BOSS 77220 Specifications|
21.5 x 23 x 41 inches
514 sq inches
150F - 325F.
Large viewing window
The large viewing window of the Pit Boss Grills 77220 is an exceptional feature that sets it apart from other smokers in the market.
Best For Pork Ribs: Masterbuilt MB20071117
- Aesthetically pleasing - a sleek black finish
- Smoke pork ribs perfectly - temperature range of up to 275 degrees
- Easy to move around - compact size and lightweight design
- It may not produce a smoke ring
The Masterbuilt 130B features a digital control panel, which allows you to set the perfect temperature and cooking time with ease. This smoker's temperature range is up to 275 degrees, which is perfect for cooking pork ribs to perfection.
Besides, its four chrome-coated racks provide ample space for multiple racks of pork ribs. The smoker's design ensures that heat is distributed evenly throughout the smoker, ensuring that your ribs are cooked to perfection.
As a plus, this electric smoker is easy to set up and use, making it perfect for beginner smokers. The smoker's compact size and lightweight design make it easy to move around, and it is effortless to clean, eliminating any hassle after cooking your ribs.
|Masterbuilt MB20071117 Specifications|
19.88 x 20.47 x 33.26 inches
6 Chickens, 4 Racks of Ribs, 4 Pork Butts, 2 Turkeys
A sleek black finish
Temperature range of up to 275 degrees
Compact size and lightweight design
The Masterbuilt 130B is a top choice for pork rib lovers.
Large Smoking Area: Masterbuilt MB20070122
- Ideal for smoking larger cuts of meat - cooking space of over 970 square inches
- Easy to clean - removable grease tray
- No tipping over during use - stable legs
The Masterbuilt MB20070122 sets itself apart for its large smoking area, which measures 975 square inches, providing enough space to smoke plenty of meat at once. This makes it perfect for hosting BBQ parties or smoking large cuts of meat like brisket or whole chicken.
The smoker's adjustable racks also allow you to customize your cooking space and make room for larger cuts of meat. Additionally, the smoker has a built-in window that allows you to keep a close eye on your food without opening the door and losing heat.
|Masterbuilt MB20070122 Specifications|
22.7 x 27.2 x 50.2 inches
978 sq. in.
up to 275˚F
Cooking space of over 970 square inches
Removable grease tray
Need ample space to smoke their favorite meats? Then, the Masterbuilt MB20070122 is our recommendation.
Best For Chicken: Char-Broil 17202004
- Easy to monitor the internal temperature without opening the door - a built-in meat probe
- Maintain consistent temperatures - double-wall construction
- It might be difficult to access and use - The smoker sits quite low
The Char-Broil 17202004 stands out for its advanced control panel, which includes a meat probe thermometer that allows you to monitor the internal temperature of your chicken easily. This ensures that your chicken is cooked to perfection and eliminates the guesswork involved in smoking it.
But that's not all.
Its double-wall insulated construction helps to retain heat and prevent fluctuations in temperature. This is important when smoking chicken, as it requires consistent heat to cook evenly throughout.
Additionally, the smoker's 725-square-inch cooking area provides ample space to smoke multiple chickens at once, making it perfect for hosting backyard BBQs and family gatherings.
|Char-Broil 17202004 Specifications|
16.5 x 18.1 x 32.5 inches
725 square inch
100°F and 275°F
Built-in meat probe
Its advanced control panel, double-wall insulated construction, and large cooking area make the Char-Broil 17202004 stand out as a top contender for the title of the best digital electric smoker for chicken.
How To Choose The Best Electric Smoker For Beginners?
Size and Capacity
Electric smokers come in various sizes and cooking area ranges.
But note that these two factors don’t influence each other significantly. This means there are options that provide a spacious cooking area whereas features a compact size to fit narrow spaces.
When considering the electric smoker’s size, determine the position you plan to set it up and measure the area (including the floor space and the height).
When considering the cooking area, determine the amount of food you plan to smoke regularly.
To help you get a better idea, here are some suggestions:
l 400-600 square inches of cooking space is ideal for small gatherings or individuals.
l 600-800 square inches are suitable for small to medium-sized families or moderate gatherings.
l 800+ square inches are best for larger gatherings or frequent entertaining.
Look for an electric smoker with precise temperature control.
Beginners often find it easier to use smokers with digital controls, allowing for accurate temperature adjustments and maintaining consistent heat throughout the smoking process.
Look for detailed specifications that mention temperature range and increments. Smokers with a wider temperature range and smaller temperature increments offer more precise control over the cooking process.
Ease of Use
As a beginner, you'll want an electric smoker that is user-friendly and straightforward. Features like intuitive control panels, easy-to-read displays, and simple operation can make your smoking journey more enjoyable and less intimidating.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Consider the ease of cleaning and maintaining the smoker.
Removable racks, drip pans, and accessible interior spaces make it easier to clean up after smoking sessions.
Which Brands Make The Best Electric Smoker For Beginners?
Masterbuilt is a brand that has earned a trustworthy reputation for its exceptional electric smokers, known for consistently producing delicious and flavorful outcomes.
With a remarkable experience spanning 50 years, Masterbuilt has gained widespread recognition for its groundbreaking features, such as advanced digital controls, convenient built-in meat probes, and spacious cooking capacities.
Cuisinart brings together a remarkable blend of reliability and culinary finesse in their electric smokers.
They understand that every smoker enthusiast has different needs, which is why they offer a wide range of sizes and features. Whether you're just starting out on your smoking journey or looking for an upgrade, Cuisinart has the perfect solution to cater to your requirements.
With their reliable smoking solutions, Cuisinart empowers both novice and experienced smokers to create mouthwatering dishes that leave a lasting impression.
Can I leave my electric smoker on all night?
No, it's not recommended to leave your electric smoker on all night as it can pose a fire hazard. It's best to monitor your smoker periodically to ensure that it's functioning correctly and turn it off once the food is done cooking.
How close can electric smokers be to the house?
It's recommended to place your electric smoker at least 10 feet away from your house to prevent any potential damage to the siding due to heat.
Do you have to clean an electric smoker after every use?
Yes, it's recommended to clean your electric smoker after every use to maintain its performance and prevent the buildup of grease and other debris that can affect the taste of your food.
Do electric smokers need water?
It depends on the model of the electric smoker.
Some electric smokers come with a water pan or tray that can be used to add moisture to the cooking environment and help keep the meat moist.
However, not all electric smokers require water, so it's important to check the manufacturer's instructions before use.
Do you have to flip the meat on electric smokers?
It depends on the specific type and model of electric smoker that you are using, as well as the cooking method and recipe you are following.
Some electric smokers have built-in rotisserie or auto-flip features that automatically turn the meat during cooking, while others may require manual flipping at certain intervals.
It is best to consult your electric smoker's user manual or follow the recipe instructions for guidance on whether or not to flip your meat.
Finding the best electric smoker for beginners is an exciting journey that opens up a world of delicious possibilities.As you embark on this journey, it's crucial to take into account essential factors like user-friendliness, temperature control, and reliability. By doing so, you're laying a solid foundation for becoming a skilled artisan in the realm of smoke-infused culinary creations.
We sincerely hope that this article has provided you with valuable insights and guidance in your pursuit of the perfect electric smoker.