The smell and flavor of smoked meats are an ever present part of our dietary consciousness. Since the earliest times, man has used smoke as a means to preserve and store meat before the advent of refrigeration and as such it became a part of the human experience.
This experience continues today with smoking meat for you and your family being easier and faster than every before. Having a smoker doesn’t mean making a significant investment as there are many quality electric smokers available. Therefore, if you love smoked meats and would love to do it yourself, now is a great time to get an inexpensive electric smoker and make the experience yourself.
It’s The Principle That Counts
The principle concept of smoked meats is relatively simple. Wood and charcoal do not combust completely during the burning process producing smoke and particulates that come into contact with the meat.
These particulates and the smoke permeate the meat preventing microbes from taking hold and producing in significant numbers. With modern smokers, heat is also applied that further reduces the bacteria and cooks the meat. However, the side effect is that we get the smokey flavor and that is really what we are after.
Your Fuel Doesn’t Count
Purists will argue that electric smokers don’t produce the right flavor and that only wood smokers will work. The truth is, there is very little difference when using different fuels. This is because the fuel only produces the heat for cooking and smoke production and thus it is the wood chips that are used that really make the difference.
All natural, hardwood chips work the best as they have no fillers like sawdust and glue to get into the smoke chain. So, if someone tells you that unless you are wood smoking you aren’t smoking, don’t listen to them and enjoy the flavor of your very own smoked handy work.
Five Great Inexpensive Electric Smokers Under $150
Top Rated Electric Bullet Smoker
One of the smallest, electric smokers available, this little smoker – Masterbuilt Model #20078616 Bullet Smoker is perfect for apartments, bistros, and small groups. It has a powerful heating element that produces plenty of heat for smoking fine meats and it has over 300 square inches of smoking space which is enough for small to medium cuts of meat.
It has dual porcelain-coated racks and the water bowl is porcelain coated for better heat distribution. It has two side handles for easy carrying and the top lid has a built in temperature gauge so you can monitor your heat production. Those that have this model love the compact nature of this unit and they love the tasty results.
Best Front Loading Electric Smoker
Based on the success of their Big Chief vertical series smokers, Smokehouse Products added a compact vertical smoker for those who don’t need such large cases for smoking. The drip pan of the Smokehouse Products Little Chief Series Smoker is dishwasher safe and the unit is easy to operate as the heating element supplies a constant 165 degrees of heat.
Designed for outdoor use, it has a robust construction and the aluminum construction means that the heat is distributed evenly throughout the smoker. It is in the vertical style and it has multiple racks with plenty of room for small to medium cuts of meat. People who have this model enjoy the easy operation and they like the solid construction.
Best Electric Smoker under $150
This vertical smoker – Smoke Hollow Model #26142E Smoker is designed and engineered to last and last and last. Made with heavy steel and with a powder coating to resist rust, this smoke has a 1500W heating element with commercial grade indication for better heat control. The internal area offers plenty of room, even for larger cuts of meat and it has dual racks that can be adjusted in height.
It comes with the water and chip pan and the inside is also easy to clean. There are hooks on the side for holding accessories and the door has a temperature gauge so you can monitor your heat. Those that use this smoker really enjoy the well-made construction and how well this model works for them.
Best 2 in 1 Electric Water Smoker
This durable smoker – Southern Country Smokers 2 in 1 Electric Water Smoker can convert from an electric smoker to a lock and go grill with ease. For smoking, this model has a 1500W heating element and one of the unique features of this model is the flavor channels that help the smoke reach all levels.
It has over 300 square inches of cooking space and the round, chimney design allows for better heat distribution up through the grates. It has a large water and chip pan which means there is less reloading during the process so you retain more of your heat. People who use this smoke are impressed with the results and love how well this model produces the heat.
Best Electric Smoker for the Price
A popular smoker, this model – Char-Broil Vertical Series Electric Smoker has a double wall, insulated construction so you can not only better manage your heat but you don’t leak as much heat, thus saving you time and money. It has plenty of room and it can handle even larger cuts of meat.
It has three racks, each adjustable and this model also comes with the water and chip pan and a drip cup for use at the bottom. The front door has a temperature gauge and the powder coating helps to resist rust. Many people love just how well this electric smoker performs and they enjoy the larger space.
For long term results, be sure to use a quality cover to protect your smoker from the elements.