Jerky is a convenient dried meat snack that can be enjoyed anywhere by almost anyone. It is ideal for taking on camping trips, hikes, adventures, and anywhere you go where you do not want to carry a load of food with you.
Using a smoker to dry and add flavor to your jerky is thought to be the best way to make this tasty treat. Electric smokers and charcoal smokers can both do the job with different advantages tied to each. It is important to follow manufacturer’s instructions when using your smoker. A little research will go a long way in helping you make the most of your jerky and the flavor you want it to have.
Top Electric Smoker under $150
This unit – Smoke Hollow 26 Inch Electric Smoker (26142E) has a fully adjustable temperature control which includes a 1500 watt heating element. You can adjust the two chrome plated cooking grids that come with the smoker to variable heights. This smoker includes a “full range heat indicator.” Built into this smoker are: two handles on the sides and a “latch system” cool touch spring wire door handle.
Also included in the purchase of this Smoke Hollow Smoker, are a porcelain coated chip tray and water pan. The unit measures 36.5 inches by 19 inches by 16.5 inches. Cooking capacity measures 1.3 cu.ft. Wood chips are used with this smoker to add flavor to your meats.
Customers who purchased this item were pleased with the flavor of the meat they smoke, and most agree that it is an easy appliance to use. One person commented that it is easy to use, easy to assemble, and easy to clean. Another customer mentioned that they think this smoker has a slight learning curve and they were surprised that you should use dry wood chips with this unit instead of wet chips.
Best Digital Electric Smoker for the Price
The Masterbuilt 40-Inch Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker (20070115 ) is another appliance that joins the growing list of devices you can control with your smart phone through its integrated Bluetooth technology. Monitoring internal meat temperature is easy with the built-in meat probe thermometer. Unit includes four smoking racks coated with chrome and has a total of 975 square inches of cooking space.
One helpful feature also included on this smoker is the “wood chip loading system” located on the side of the unit. It allows you to add more chips without losing smoke or heat while using the smoker. Even, consistent smoking (up to 275 degrees) is possible with the 1200 watt heating element. This unit also has a rear mounted handle and wheels. A built in air damper provides you with better smoke control.
One person who purchased this smoker made the comment that you can feed a lot of people with it. She was impressed that it took her husband only 45 minutes to put this unit together. They were pleased with the two briskets that they smoked on this item. Another happy customer says that they purchased this Masterbuilt item and it gets much use and smokes food better than their local barbecue joint.
Best Vertical Charcoal Smoker to Buy
According to the manufacturer, vertical charcoal smokers are the best way to capture smoke flavor with your meat. This item – Dyna-Glo 36 Inch Vertical Charcoal Smoker (DGX780BDC-D) includes four grates that are height adjustable. The total cooking space with this unit measures 784 square inches. It has a charcoal and ash management system which includes: a charcoal chamber, removable ash pan and a charcoal grate.
It has a double door design which helps minimize any heat loss when you need to add food or check the meat. The charcoal chamber is enamel coated and designed to keep the briquettes stacked for heat efficiency. The manufacturer also includes a removable steel ash pan that is able to handle large amounts of ash. This design gives you hours of cooking free of maintenance.
This unit is used commercially by one customer to make smoked jerky treats for pets. They used the smoker for three months before evaluating its worth and they commented that “this thing is excellent.” They found it smokes well, and seals meat well. They also say that you can smoke just about any type of meat in this smoker. Another person commented that this smoker is a good size for making all kinds of meat, including jerky.
The choice you have between electric smokers and charcoal smokers, depends on: what kind of meat you plan to smoke, if you want to make jerky, if you do not mind the mess of ash cleanup that comes with charcoal smoker usage, built in technology and usage. There are plenty of choices out there for you to find the perfect smoker for your needs.