What is the best electric smoker? This is a question that many people ask when looking to buy an electric smoker….and the answer is quite simple. It really comes down to this one thing….the best electric smoker is the one that matches your particular needs. In making this decision, there are certainly many different models to choose from.
Of the many different smokers out there, Masterbuilt 30 electric smokehouse is certainly one that has garnered a great deal of attention thanks to its many attributes. However, there are similar smokers that have been built by Bradley, Brinkmann and Smoke Hollow that have received positive reviews as well.
For most people, the type of smoker they want tends to possess certain characteristics. Most often, people look for a smoker that is not too big and bulky, yet it must hold enough food to not only cook for a small party of four people but a large party as well.
Next, people want something that has simple, easy to read displays and easy to use features, and can be nearly automatic when it comes to operating the unit.
Finally, when it comes right down to it, people are looking to find the best smoker for the money.
Here, we will briefly review what we believe to be four of the top-rated electric smokers by making comparisons of each one and then give you our #1 recommendation. You can decide if any of them really stand out to you.
Bradley Designer Series Smoker – Model #BS611B
This original smoker by Bradley is one that is certainly popular and offers a unique quality to the taste of the food that it smokes or prepares. It does offer a number of attributes that people really enjoy from their smokers.
What Stands Out Most About This Smoker?
Thanks in large part to the automatic wood-feeding system you can set the amount of smoke you want, set the temperature inside your smoker, put in your meat and walk away. Aside from adding your favorite spices along the way, all you really need to do is be there when it is ready to remove from the smoker. The temperature controller for the smoker is a knob type of control. Overall, the unit itself seems to be pretty solid in its construction.
Any Downside to This Unit?
First of all, this unit uses wood bisquettes for the wood-feeding system, and they are a bit more expensive than wood chips to smoke with. Because this system automatically feeds the bisquettes, it is a little tricky to control the amount of smoke used.
The other downside would be the price of this original electric smoker by Bradley. It is considerably above that of the competition, particularly the Masterbuilt which offers virtually the same set of advantages.
Char-Broil Electric Smoker – Model #14201677
The Char-Broil model is also a really fine unit that is considered by many to be a starter smoker for beginners. While all four models being reviewed can arguably fall into the same category of being fairly simple and intuitive to operate, this unit is certainly one that has established a great reputation for its ease of use.
What is Most Notable About This Smoker?
Of all four smokers mentioned, this smokehouse made by Char-Broil is arguably one that you can set up and cook with while hardly even reading the instructions. That is just how easy it is to use. While it has less cooking surface than the other units, the overall size of the unit is such that there is still enough room for the meats and other foods that you want to prepare for a small family or group.
Is There Anything That Might Be a Deterrent to This Unit?
The Char-Broil electric smoker is similar to the Smoke Hollow electric smoker in that it requires wood chips to be loaded by opening the front door of the smoker. This causes the inside temperature of the smoker to drop each time the door is open. Also, the temperature control only has three settings which can make it challenging to find and maintain the right temperature inside the smoker while cooking.
Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker – Model #30162E
This electric smokehouse from Smoke Hollow is certainly impressive and offers a number of excellent features. For many of the people that own one of these, this unit has become a very dependable smoker.
What Did We Like Most About This Smoker?
For starters, it is fairly easy to assemble and takes only about 30 minutes to set up which makes it one of the fastest units to get going. Next, it is a very basic smoker and is pretty straightforward to use. Finally, it has a heating element that provides plenty of capability to reach higher temperatures for smoking if needed.
What Type of Downfalls Does This Smoker Have?
To begin, the Smoke Hollow electric smoker requires that wood chips be loaded by opening the front door of the smoker which causes the temperature inside the smoker to drop each time the door is open. Another thing we noticed is that the temperature control only has three settings which can make it difficult to find and maintain the right temperature inside the smoker chamber for cooking the meat. Maintaining the right temperature inside the smoker is essential to achieving the doneness and safety of the meat.
Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smokehouse – Model #20071117
There is little doubt about the reputation that Masterbuilt has generated for its smokers over the years. This particular model is no exception in that it offers many distinctive advantages while being very competitively priced as well. It’s little wonder that this is not only the best selling electric smoker by Masterbuilt, but it receives our award as the #1 recommended smoker as well.
Why Does This Smoker Receive Our #1 Recommended Smoker Award?
Easy to Assemble: Perhaps one of the most overlooked features is the simplicity in assembling this particular model. With clear instructions, this intuitively designed smoker presented very few issues in assembly.
Constant Temperature: One of the main attributes of a good smoker is its ability to maintain a constant temperature during the smoking process. The Masterbuilt 30 electric smokehouse (model #20071117) does so with ease and it maintains a very good stream of smoke as well.
Simple to Use: As with all Masterbuilt smokers, this one is very intuitive to use. It sports a push-button digital controller, a 24-hour timer, and a straightforward manual for assembly, care, and use. As a result, it takes very little real effort to cook meals in this smoker.
Inexpensive: This unit is one of the least expensive smokers on the market and compares very favorably to the Bradley, Char-Broil and Smoke Hollow models of similar size and capacity.
Wood-Loading System: This smoker uses a side load wood tray that allows wood chips to be added without opening the door.
How Does This Masterbuilt Model Compare to the Competition?
When it comes to a direct comparison between all four units, there are a considerable number of features that they share or are comparable in terms of cooking racks, maximum temperature settings, and the lack of an internal meat probe. Because of the lack of an internal meat probe, you will need to get a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the meat smoked with any of these four units. Always remember that it is vitally important to smoke your food by cooking to the right internal temperature.
The Masterbuilt offers far more internal space at 730 square inches, it is the only one out of all four smokers that has a digital controller, and it ranks high with its many positive consumer reviews. Combine this with the very attractive price and the 30-inch electric smokehouse from Masterbuilt has a definite edge on the competition to the point where we can recommend it above the fine products produced by Bradley, Char-Broil and Smoke Hollow.
Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smokehouse
Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker
Char-Broil Electric Smoker
Bradley Designer Smoker
|730 Sq In
|500 Sq In
|504 Sq In
|520 Sq In
|Maximum Temperature Setting
|275 Degrees F
|350 Degrees F
|350 Degrees F
|250 Degrees F
|Internal Meat Probe
|Wood Loading System
|Side Load Tray
|Front Door Load
|Front Door Load
|Smoke Materials Used
|Dimensions – H X W X D
|19.88 x 20.47 x 33.27
|31 x 15 x 17
|17.5 x 20 x 37.8
|31.8 x 24.5 x 31.8
|Lowest Price Today