Smoked meat definitely tastes special. However, many people associate smoked meat with a tedious preparation process involving charcoal, temperature balancing and whatnot. This doesn’t have to be the case though. Electric smokers are a reliable option that’s easy to use and allows you to smoke meat, fish, fruits, veggies, or whatever else you might want. Another great good thing is that electric smokers actually don’t necessarily cost a lot at all. Today, we’ve prepared a list

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Best Cheap Electric Smoker – Comparison Table

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Our Pick

 

Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker
Our rating:

The first product Smokehouse Products company ever made was the Little Chief smoker. It was back in 1968 and it was an instant success. This smoker was initially introduced to the sports fishing scene and anglers found it perfect for smoking fish, resulting in the rising popularity of this smoker. 

Over time, many happy customers also found this smoker works great for smoking all kinds of meat too. One thing to keep in mind is that this smoker was made for small pieces of meat (or any other food) exclusively. The peculiar thing about it is that it only has one temperature setting – 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This is actually the perfect temperature for smoking and slowly drying things like fish, sausages and jerky. However, it wouldn’t be enough for a pork butt or a whole turkey. That being said, these big cuts of meat wouldn’t even fit in this smoker. The Little Chief still offers plenty of space on multiple levels, though, allowing you to smoke up to 25 pounds of food at a time. 

The temperature the Little Chief produces is not adjustable, but it is very stable. You just need to turn on your smoker and forget about it. Another benefit that comes with this is that the energy consumption of this smoker is exceptionally low. With a single 250W heating element, this smoker will make your electricity bill lower while also being good for the environment. 

Sale
Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker
  • Front loading electric smoker comes with recipe/instruction booklet and 1.75-pound bag of Chips n' Chunks hickory flavor wood fuel
  • Consistent low temperature setting using a 120V, 250W heating element for approximately 165 F.
  • Easy-slide chrome-plated grills; maximum capacity flavor fuel pan; dishwasher safe drip pan
  • Durable, embossed aluminum construction; for outdoors use only
  • UL, CUL, and CSA listed; no-assembly required; 2-year limited warranty

Last update on 2020-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


 

Pros
  • Great for small cuts of meat and fish
  • Lightweight and sturdy construction
  • Easy to use
  • Made in USA
  • Eco-friendly due to low energy consumption
Cons
  • Not for large cuts like briskets and pork butts
  • Only one temperature setting
 

Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker, 30'
Our rating:

and pans to small kitchen appliances. But outdoor equipment? Not really what we are used to seeing from them. This is why we were a bit suspicious about the Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker. What we found out after testing it, though, is that his smoker is amazing. 

This is a medium-sized smoker, but we found it can handle almost anything you want to smoke. Even a whole turkey or a full rack of ribs. The smoker includes 3 chrome-coated cooking grates that allow you to smoke meat on 3 levels. In total, you get 548 square inches of space on these 3 grates which is not too bad. In addition, you can rearrange to cooking racks however you like, so you can make space for large pieces if you need to. 

The Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker is also incredibly versatile. If you want, you can slowly smoke jerky and let it dry out at a low temperature, but you can also smoke a huge pork butt with no issues. This is possible thanks to the powerful 1500-watt heating element that maintains a stable temperature without issues. You can also precisely adjust the temperature anywhere between 100 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you crank this smoker up to the maximum, your meat will be more grilled than smoked really (which is great for finishing a brisket, for example).

Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker, 30"
  • 548 SQUARE INCHES OF INTERIOR: The spacious 548 square inch interior means there is plenty of room to smoke a variety of meats and vegetables. The vertical footprint makes it a perfect size for patios and barbecue kitchens.
  • Product Dimensions: 19.88" L x 17.32" W x 33.3" H | Weight: 59 lb
  • THREE REMOVABLE STAINLESS-STEEL SHELVES: Three stainless steel racks can be easily removed for smoking large cuts of meat. Racks are dishwasher safe, making cleanup easy.
  • BUILT-IN THERMOMETER: Features easy-to-read thermometer on the front door for accessible monitoring of the internal temperature.
  • 1500-WATT HEATING ELEMENT: Featuring a heating coil that provides the 1500-watt heating element able to produce a temperature from 100°F to 400°F easily controlled with a dial.

Last update on 2020-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


 

Pros
  • Cooking racks on 3 levels provide plenty of space
  • Solid but lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Adjustable temperature from 100 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Powerful heating element
Cons
  • The door lets small amounts of smoke out
  • The built-in thermometer is not very reliable
 

Old Smokey Electric Smoker
Our rating:

The Old Smokey Electric Smoker has been around for more than 50 years. During this time, this classic electric smoker hasn’t changed one bit, but the number of people who love it hasn’t dropped either. The sheer fact that it’s been around for so long suggests that the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is worth considering. 

Now, this smoker is quite simple and looks rugged compared to many last generation electric smokers. The old smokey looks like a barrel, and that’s basically what its body is. A barrel made of aluminum. And it tends to work great for smoking meat. Aluminum is actually a great choice of material, since it’s really lightweight but durable at the same time. 

The top of this smoker is flat and has a handle that remains cool to the touch. This is important since this is a top-load smoker, meaning that you need to remove the lid if you want to check on your food. The lid fits pretty tight, so the smoker doesn’t release any smoke while operating. Thanks to this, it’s also usually not necessary to use a water tray with this smoker. With all the steam locked inside, you’ll most likely achieve a perfect result without any extra water. 

Overall, this is a decent, reliable smoker that provides plenty of space inside. It doesn’t come with any fancy extra features, but it does it’s job well. 

Sale
Old Smokey Electric Smoker
  • Color: Grey
  • Size: 15.5"w x 15.5"d x 29"h
  • This smoker has a flat top, so juices drip right back onto the food.
  • On top of the heating element is a chip tray where you put wood chips for smoke flavor.
  • This smoker is controlled by a heat thermostat to allow a wide variety of cooking times and styles.

Last update on 2020-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


 

Pros
  • Maintains a stable temperature
  • Doesn’t let air out
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and durable
Cons
  • The exterior gets hot when smoker is in use
 

Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control
Our rating:

This smoker from Smoke Hollow is what one would call a large smoker. The fully-welded steel cabinet houses two spacious cooking racks. The height of the racks can be adjusted, but there is enough space between the two to roast a whole turkey on each. At the same time. You probably get it – this smoker really does provide a lot of space. It comes with two cooking racks, but you could also purchase a third if you want to smoke smaller cuts of meat on three levels. 

Smoking this much food at the same time requires a good heating element, otherwise the results would be uneven when using the smoker at full capacity. Luckily, the Smoke Hollow 26142E Electric Smoker comes with a powerful 1500-watt heating element that easily heats up all of this space. 

This unit also comes with a water pan and a spacious chip tray, so you really do get everything you need in order to start smoking meat right away. Both trays are covered with a porcelain enamel coating too which makes them more durable and easier to clean. 

Finally, the temperature on this smoker is completely adjustable. You can set it anywhere between 175 and 325 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a range that just about covers the required temperatures for smoking any kind of meat. A built-in thermometer in the door helps you monitor the smoking process. 

Sale
Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control
  • Includes 1500-watt heating element with fully adjustable temperature control
  • Two (2) chrome-plated cooking grids are included and can be Adjusted to variable heights
  • Full range heat indicator
  • Side handles and cool-touch spring wire door handle with latch system
  • Porcelain coated water pan

Last update on 2020-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


 

Pros
  • Sturdy steel cabinet
  • Steady and adjustable temperature
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • The seal on the door could be better
 

Royal Gourmet SE2801 Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control, Black
Our rating:

This electric smoker from Royal Gourmet is another well-made, modern smoker that also comes at a very affordable price. It includes three cooking racks that give you a total of 457 inches of cooking space to work with. The Royal Gourmet SE2801 features a double-walled construction, which ensures that the heat stays inside the smoker, thus making it much more efficient. 

This smoker proves that you don’t need to go with a big brand name in order to get a spacious and versatile smoker that does the job. One thing that’s a little unreliable about this smoker is the temperature control. You set the temperature with a dial and you can monitor it using a temperature gauge on the door. The thermometer on the door is not very accurate, though. Royal Gourmet claims that this smoker achieves temperatures between 240 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit, but this is only true in ideal conditions. Most of the time, though, the maximum will be around 250 degrees Fahrenheit, which is still a good temperature for smoking. The temperature control does take a bit of tinkering, but once you get used to it, you might find it’s not an issue at all. Considering the price of this smoker, we found that it’s not too bad. 

Finally, this smoker also comes with a stainless steel water pan, a wood chip box, and a separate grease tray. With the three of these, you can really have an enjoyable experience while using your smoker.

Sale
Royal Gourmet SE2801 Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control, Black
  • Spacious cooking surface: 457. 86 sq. Inches of cooking surface over 3 chrome-coated smoking racks; 1500-watt heating power with fully adjustable and removable digital controller; integrated thermometer for a quick check of internal temperature.
  • Grease Management system: in addition to removable stainless steel water pan and Lidded chip box, This analog electric smoker has an independent grease cup that makes your life easier with quick and convenient clean-up.
  • Versatile application: featuring multi-functional uses, the smoker could satisfy different sorts of needs such as smoked barbecue, firewood grilling, steaming, drying, and etc.
  • Good seal performance: latch system ensures a good seal performance, cool-touch spring door handle prevents scalding, and 2-side handles for convenient transport.
  • Heat-retaining: double-wall construction firebox helps retain smoking temperature.

Last update on 2020-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


 

Pros
  • Very spacious inside
  • Good seal on the door thanks to a latch system
  • Durable water pan and chip box
  • Adjustable temperature control
Cons
  • The temperature gauge is not very accurate
  • The maximum temperature seems to be less than 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
 

Best Cheap Electric Smoker – Buyers Guide

Electric smokers are a great way to smoke meat. They are easy to set up, use, and clean. They are also reliable and usually don’t use too much energy. Considering all of this, one begins to wonder, why aren’t electric smokers more popular? In any case, taking the time to think about what characteristics you are looking for before settling on a smoker is always a good idea. These are the three most important things to consider: 

Capacity 

Before even thinking about anything else, it’s important to know what you want to use your smoker for. Is it fish, sausages, or large pieces of meat. It’s completely ok if you want your smoker to be able to do all of this, but then you need to choose one that is big enough. 

Temperature Range 

The ideal temperature for smoking fish, for example, is just below 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s a huge piece of meat, you want it higher, around 300 degrees or so. All of the electric smokers on our list have adjustable temperature controls, with one exception – the Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker. We found this smoker still works great even though it has only one temperature setting, but if you want to be able to choose how hot your smoker gets, make sure to check the temperature range it can produce. For most smokers this is somewhere between 100 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, although some can reach as much as 500 degrees. 

Construction 

Finally, it’s important to check what the body of the smoker is made of. A smoker can have all the fancy features in this world, but if the cabinet is flimsy and prone to rust, the unit definitely won’t last very long. Aluminum is always a good choice because it’s lightweight, but if you want your smoker to last for ages you might want to go with steel instead. 

Final Thoughts 

When we started writing this guide, we wanted to see how much of an investment you actually need in order to start smoking meat. What we’ve proven with this guide is that you really don’t need a lot. All of the 5 electric smokers we reviewed work great, while also being cheaper than $200. 

Even in this price range, there is still quite a bit to choose from. So, even though your budget is low, never settle for the first smoker you run into, but consider which one fits your needs the best. The Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker, for example, is a classic, and works perfectly for small cuts of meat. However, if smoking a whole turkey or a huge brisket is more your thing, it would be too small. If this is the case, go with Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker and you won’t regret it.