Electric smokers are often criticized for not being true smokers or being able to produce great barbecue. This isn't entirely true. True, a bit of authenticity is lost when the fire is replaced by an electric heating element. But electric smokers offer convenience and precision that other types of smokers simply can't. Most electric smokers can be programmed and set to run either for a specific time or to a specific food temperature. This makes it possible to load it up, set the controls, and walk away. A good electric smoker will do this with attention, monitoring, and consistently.
For those who don't want to deal with charcoal, these are the best electric smokers to consider. I've picked a wide range of electric smokers, some with network or Bluetooth functionality, but the truth is, simpler is typically better and much of the technology that has come in recent years reduces the durability and function of these smokers in the long term.
The Cookshack Amerique isn't loaded with the most advanced technology. But it can be load with food, programmed to smoke it to the desired temperature, and then hold it there until you are ready for it. Cookshack has been making electric smokers longer than anyone and this is their best residential unit. The construction quality is excellent and with a 50-pound capacity, it is more than enough for most anyone. While more expensive than most units, this is truly the best electric smoker on the market. One thing to love about this unit is its amazing efficiency.
The Old Smokey has also been around for a long time. This is the simplest, smallest, and least expensive electric smoker on this list. It can find this unit for under $150USD. Basically, this is a smoker in a can. Food is loaded through the top of this cooker. The lid seals the chamber. You simply turn it on and let to run. You will have to open the lid to check on food, though. Also, the smoke production can be a little light, but for the price, it is hard to beat.
Smokin Tex Pro 1500
Smokin Tex is the main competitor of Cookshack. In fact, this is a great alternative to the Amerique above. Isn't an improvement, but it is comparable. The capacity is similar, as is the operation. This electric smoker generally sells for about a hundred less. This unit is made in China. The Cookshack unit above is made in Ponca City, Oklahoma. I will let you decide if that is important.
Bradley 6-Rack Smart Smoker
Bradley has been in the electric smoker business for a long time. They use an innovative smoke production system. Their proprietary wood 'bisquettes' are loaded in the side and can be replenished without opening the unit. This model features all the latest technology and its Bluetooth connection allows for monitoring of foods remotely. So, you can cook without ever opening the door. The biggest drawback is that the wood disks have to be bought from the manufacturer. This making its operating cost a little higher. However, smoke production is excellent.
Masterbuilt Digital Smart Smoker
Like the Bradley above, this smoker has Bluetooth connectivity and all the latest technology. Masterbuilt has been making electric smokers for years. They are one of the largest manufacturers. While quality control has been a problem, this unit is pretty well built and virtually foolproof when it comes to smoking foods. It also has a large window so you can see what you are smoking.