There is no denying that electric smokers provide you with the most convenient way to smoke meat. Charcoal smokers and gas smokers have their own perks too, but if you are an amateur, or just want a simple way of doing things, then choosing an electric smoker is the best route for you.
Given the kind of benefits it provides, it is only natural for people to seek an electric smoker. You will have seen all the wonderful food it can create. Best of all, there is no need to nurse your food throughout the process, as the electricity does the work for you.
Perhaps, the only downside is the cost of buying one of these devices. In fact, some of the units out there have jaw-dropping price tags. Does that mean ordinary folks like us have no chance of acquiring these wonderful machines? Fortunately, the answer to that question is no, as a varied range of different smokers have been manufactured to cater for different demographic strata.
Once you have discovered the best electric smokers for under $200, you will realize these excellent devices are well worth your hard-earned money. Moreover, your luck has just been doubled as I am about to show you some of the best entry-level smokers out there!
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Let us cut the chase and start with the best of the best within this price range. The Landmann USA 26″ Electric Smoker is a significant piece of technology. This electric smoker offers the convenience and performance that you can only see on high-end models. Therefore, many were surprised when this digital electric smoker was released on the market. The precision and efficiency that it provides do not really match its measly price tag.
The Landmann USA Electric Smoker can eliminate any guessing work. It simply does. You can easily tell the exact internal temperature through a digital smoker that is installed on the door of the device. It also have a vent port of its rear panel to ensure the proper circulation of heat and air. Even after cooking, the smoker can still serve you. It will continue to operate to ensure that the smoked items will always be warm, juicy, and tasty!
You can also guarantee that the smoking mechanism of this smoker is foolproof. The device comes with a properly insulated door to trap the heat inside. This particular feature improves the overall efficiency and practicality of the product. Meanwhile, the Landmann USA Electric Smoker features four adjustable feet. With this feature, you can adjust the mounting of the device so that it can be placed on uneven terrains.
Also, all of the necessary smoking amenities are also provided by this smoker, such as the water pan, wood chip box, and grease tray.
- Large cooking surface.
- Adjustable feet for uneven surfaces.
- Comes with a warming feature.
- Practical and cost-efficient operation.
- Well-built insulation.
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If there is another entry-level electric smoker that can match the quality of the Char-Broil Deluxe, it is this device. The Masterbuilt 20071117 provides a wicked performance, ensuring that your meat products will be evenly and properly smoked. If you are familiar with this brand, you will already have expected these perks because Masterbuilt is a trusted brand for smokers and grills.
The Masterbuilt 20071117 features an digital panel that controls the temperature and sits on top of the device. It provides all of the necessary configurations you need to ensure precise, regulated smoking. It also offers a large cooking space with four chrome-plated racks. Each of them have an adjustable height, so you can fit in whole chicken and turkeys.
It is also notable that the Masterbuilt 20071117 has a side wood chip cartridge. This is a patented design from Masterbuilt that allows you to add more wood chips without opening the door. As a result, the smoking can continue without any disruptions. You will also love the fact that it comes with a thermostat for proper temperature control and consistency.
- The body is fully insulated.
- The digital panel interface is ergonomic.
- It has an easy-to-access woodchip tray.
- There is a spacious cooking surface.
- Efficient heat control and retention.
- It is quite difficult to clean.
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The finesse of Smoke Hollow 3016DEWS always makes wonder why this unit has been in the entry-level category. It has a great construction with a fully consistent smoking performance. It can generate up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit of heat, which is essential for keeping your smoked food safe. Of course, it is still a flexible smoker, since you can crank the temperature down to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, its interiors are spacious, too. It can cater large servings and bulky meat, thanks to its adjustable chrome-coated cooking grates.
Despite its moderate price, I can say that this electric smoker can offer restaurant-quality output. After all, it comes with an intuitive heat control and indicator. It also has water pans, wood chips, and air dampers that contribute to the overall efficiency of the entire smoking process. The entire construction of the Smoke Hollow 3016DEWS also enables a foolproof smoking. All of the parts are properly weld to ensure that are no leaks!
The steel cabinet of this smoker has been fully insulated for enhanced heat retention. Meanwhile, its cool-touch handles enable you to operate the device without wearing any gloves. Since it has a sure-lock locking system on its door, heat won’t be able to escape. As a result, the smoking process can be finished without consuming too much electricity. It is among the most energy-efficient electric smokers that you can get today.
- Full-range heat indicator.
- Comes with an ergonomic heat control.
- Fully welded steel body.
- Comes with a 2 cubic feet of cooking space.
- Energy-efficient smoker.
- The chip tray is quite small.
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Taking a look at this electric smoker is a must. If you don’t, you might miss out on a great option that won’t trouble your bank account. The price, features and capabilities of this device are all similar to that of the Smoke Hollow. The Smokehouse Products Little Chief can smoke up to 50 pounds of meat at a time without wasting too much power, and will always provide you with tasty results!
The heating element, which can be maintained for extensive periods, has impressive heat retention capabilities, thanks to its solid insulation and leak-free construction. It can hold a constant heat of as low as 165 degrees Fahrenheit if you want to do some slow cooking. Moreover, this device has a flavor fuel pan that allows you to choose the smoked flavor you desire. This flavor is then vented to ensure the meat is thoroughly dehydrated.
Operating the Smokehouse Products Little Chief is pretty easy, so any amateur will be able to master the skill of smoking food with it. All of the configurations and components are accessible and ergonomic. For example, the chrome-plated grills can be removed easily, just like they can with your standard oven. Cleaning is easy too, and the drip pan is dishwasher safe. In fact, there is nothing difficult or troublesome about this machine.
- Durable and fully insulated construction.
- Quick-slide chrome coated grills.
- Comes with a flavor fuel pan.
- Features multiple ventilation ports.
- Comes with recipe and instruction booklets.
- It cannot cater for large or whole meats.
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The Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker is the last but not least device on my simple shopping list. It is a great electric smoker that offers generous cooking space and high-quality smoking results. It can accommodate various meat products thanks to its three cast iron cooking grates, which can be removed or adjusted to create a sufficient space for smoking large food items.
This particular smoker features a robust and rugged construction, which can be easily mounted on the ground without fear of it toppling over. Meanwhile, the double-wall design of the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker ensures that the heat won’t escape from this device. Therefore, it is capable of maintaining different levels of temperatures for an extended period, and generates heat even when the weather is cold.
Of course, the ergonomics of the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker are excellent. It comes with a front-positioned temperature gauge, grease cup, and porcelain-coated ash pan, as well as a water pan and wood chip pan to complete the package. With all of these amenities to hand, you can be confident that your smoked food will be of high enough quality to satisfy your insatiable appetite!
- Stable and durable construction.
- Heat-retention capabilities.
- Cooking surface is large.
- Comes with a door-mounted temperature gauge.
- Adjustable cooking grates.
- There is an issue with the door, which is difficult to shut completely.
The whole process of smoking food is a delight for many households as we all love the juicy, flavorful taste of smoked meat. In the past, this was a rigorous task due to the lack of proper smoking devices and ideal settings. But with the advent of technology, this cooking method has now been revamped and it is a much more convenient process.
You can now smoke food without being a trained and experienced gourmet or griller. As long as you have an excellent food smoker at your disposal, you can make any smoked recipes you want.
Nowadays, we have many different options for smokers. Gas smokers and charcoal smokers, which I have featured separately, are great devices but quite tricky to use, especially if you are still an amateur. That is why an electric smoker is the best choice for those who want to learn the fundamentals of smoking without being burdened by all the complexities of operating gas and charcoal smokers.
Electric smokers are very convenient to use as they are basically a “press-and-play” version of conventional smokers. Pretty cool, right? They operate extremely smoothly and can produce an authentic smokehouse flavor if you pick the right recipe and wood chips.
Electric smokers are stable, ergonomic and intuitive cooking machines that allow you to create tasty smoked recipes (just like smoked chicken quarters) any time you want. As I mentioned earlier, the only downside is the price. Their use of digital interfaces and electronic mechanisms means their manufacturing costs are higher. Therefore, if you have a limited budget, you may well be thinking that it’s unlikely you will be able to afford the ideal electric smoker for you.
But is this really the case? I don’t think so.
Let me explain what factors you will need to consider when choosing an electric smoker. I’ll do this by starting with the most crucial one of all: the price.
It is clear that electric smokers come with a heavy price tag. That’s the trade-off you have to accept if you want a decent unit. But don’t worry, the investment you make will buy something that is going to last for a long time!
Not all great electric smokers are found at the higher end of the spectrum. In fact, there are also entry-grade options if you want to test your smoking skills. Take a look at the smokers that I have featured on this list – are their prices too high for your wallet? They aren’t, right?
This is proof that the manufacturers are finding ways to cater for the needs of all individuals, regardless of their social status. Of course, you can expect the high-end models to be better than those in the entry-level price range, but that doesn’t mean the inexpensive units will be a disappointment to you. If you are careful while choosing a smoker, you can always get a good unit.
Now, how should you go about deciding whether you are going to get an expensive or practical electrical smoker? I have had the same dilemma in the past. I used to be stuck on the idea that it was the price that dictated the quality of the product.
But I soon realized I didn’t really need a sophisticated electric smoker. After all, I am just a simple housewife with a simple family, who doesn’t have any plans to make a smokehouse. Therefore, I chose the device that worked best for me.
In short, the answer lies in making a practical decision about the smoker you buy. If you believe a particular unit will serve your needs, then you should go for it. It’s that simple!
Let’s get a bit more intricate here. Unlike gas or charcoal smokers, electric smokers are technologically sophisticated with a number of features that improve their functionality and ergonomics.
Therefore, operating an electric smoker is hassle-free. You can operate most of it by just pressing buttons. Even the start-up mechanism is simple as it involves just the push of a button, so convenience is always within your reach.
However, you will need the controls to be accessible and well laid out for you. They should not be confusing for amateurs. I recommend that you get an electric smoker with a temperature gauge and thermostat that is placed either on the door or on top of the device.
It is also important that you can control the heating element. Smoking only requires indirect heating, so there is no need for you to expose the smoker to extremely high-temperature settings. The real challenge that most electric smokers have is operating at low temperature for slow cooking.
Electric smokers should also control the temperature better than their charcoal and gas counterparts. It is necessary that the smoker has a temperature gauge to ensure that you know what’s happening inside the device. Meanwhile, a thermostat is also essential for regulating the heat to your preferred level.
The temperature control of an electric smoker can also be attributed to its overall design. Make sure that the door has a foolproof locking mechanism. Otherwise, heat and smoke can escape, which lessens the efficiency of the smoking process. There should be air dampers too.
It is also great if the electric smoker has a double-wall design with insulation as this will ensure that the heat will be retained for an extended period. If the device contains heat properly, it will guarantee that the food is smoked at an optimal rate and dehydration won’t happen, so the meat will remain juicy!
The electric smoker should be rugged as well. Do not go with a flimsy model that can easily be bent. The surface should also be coated so that it can resist rust and corrosion, and the welds flawless. Check if there are any gaps or sharp edges too.
I believe it is you who should decide the size of the smoker because we all have different needs and requirements. I can go for a compact electric smoker since I don’t have many mouths to feed. But people with a large family and heavy needs should go for a unit that provides a large cooking surface.
It is a relief to know there are affordable electric smokers out there. In the past, this would have been a far-fetched idea, but it is clear that times have changed and you can now get an excellent electric smoker that will satisfy you for less than $200.
Of all the options feaured here, I deem the Masterbuilt 20071117 to be the best electric smoker under $200 as it provides the most outstanding performance. From the controls to the cooking surface, it is brimming with quality. This restaurant-grade unit is capable of producing juicy, well-cooked smoked food.
You can always choose one of the other smokers that I have listed here. For example, the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker and Smoke Hollow 3016DEWS both have excellent qualities too. Just make sure that the one you buy fits all of your needs and requirements.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section below, and don’t forget to hit both the like and share buttons!