The art of smoking meat, both as a means to preserve meat and to enjoy the flavor, has been a fixture around the world. This tradition continues to this day, albeit for the flavor and not as a preservative. From charcoal smokers to electric smokers, they cooking vessels can be found in almost every neighborhood and on every block.
Making quality smoked meat is a simple process that requires wood chips and a quality smoker. For people who don’t have time to monitor a fire or propane tank, there is the electric smoker. As capable as standard smokers, electric smokers are versatile and produce the same quality flavor as charcoal or propane smokers.
Where There Is Smoke, There is Flavor.
How smoking works is a heat source and a pan or hopper with wood chips or pellets and water are combined to produce a large amount of smoke that moves into the smoke box and infuses with the meat to produce a robust, smoked flavor that enhances the flavor of the food.
Essentially, what happens is the smoke is generated and the phenols and other chemicals in the smoke deposit into the tissues of the meat. The heat helps expand the tissues to allow the smoker to permeate and this is the flavor that you taste when you chow down on the results.
Go All Natural
Because the chemicals in the wood become the smoke, it is important to use all natural wood chips or pellets. Also, these need to be hardwood and not softwood like pine as the softer woods can have dangerous organic chemicals that can enter your food. Therefore, use only all natural, hardwood chips or pellets that have no chemical binders or fillers. With that, you can enjoy your delicious smoked foods without having to worry about any chemical invasion of your meal.
Five Great Electric Smokers
Best Digital Electric Smoker under $350
The Char-Broil Digital Deluxe Series Smoker is a digital, vertical style smoker that is both affordable and capable. It has a digital control interface for easy setting and cooking and it will quickly display the current internal temperature. This unit also has internal probes so you can monitor specific cuts for exacting performance.
The walls are double insulated to retain the modest heat and generous smoke. The large glass window means you can check the progress at a glance. People who purchased this model love the high quality results for the value and the ease of use with the digital features.
Top Rated Electric Smoker with Window
With a top temperature of 275 degrees, this slow smoker will fully enhance the flavor of your meat cuts. The Masterbuilt Model #20070311 Smoker has over 975 cubic inches of space and it is a fully digitized system that includes a RF remote. The remote allows for operation of the smoker as well as displaying the current temperature.
Additionally, there are individual temperature probes to monitor the internal meat temp as well. There is a large, glass window for checking at a glance and the unit has an auto off feature. People who purchased this unit love the remote and digital control features and of course, the tasty results.
Top Pellet Smoker/Grill Combo
Not specifically a smoker, as it can be used as a grill or for baking, this unit – Traeger Model #TFB29LZA Smoker is a pellet grill/smoker that offers a generous amount of versatility in cooking and smoking.
Traeger was the first one to market with a pellet grill and it has remained the number one pellet smoker/grill combination ever since.
This specific model has over 200 cubic inches of cooking space and the smoke production is regulated by the digital timer. While it will produce the same results as a traditional smoker, it gives you the versatility to do more than just smoke. People who purchased this smoker/grill combination love the wide variety of options for their cooking.
Best Digital 6-Rack Smoker
Unique among smokers and grills is the Bradley series smokers. This smoker – Bradley Digital Six Rack Smoker uses a wood wafer system, similar to a pellet system, to deliver high quality smoke. It can bake, slow cook and smoke, giving it plenty of versatility as well.
This specific model is the larger six rack system that has a cavernous interior that will easily accommodate large poultry and large cuts of meat, as well as sausage and other meat types. It has a digital timer system and the unit retains heat well. People who have this model enjoy the large space for smoking, enabling them to make several months worth as once.
Best All Stainless Steel Smoker to Buy
This electric smoker – Smokin-It Brand Model #02 Electric Smoker can be used at home or in a commercial setting as it is certified for restaurant use.
The all stainless steel smoker has insulated walls to retain heat and the 800 Watt element can be easily replaced and produces plenty of smoking heat.
This unit is compact but still offers a generous amount of room and most people use it at home. Easy to use control system and four heavy duty casters round out the features on this smoker. People who use this smoker love the solid construction and high quality and of course, how well their smoked food taste from this smoker.
Smokers produce a generous amount of external heat and therefore should be used with caution near potentially flammable material. Only use a smoker outdoors, as the smoke can accumulate and become hazardous to your health. Be sure, for quality results, to read and follow all operating and cleaning instructions in the manual.