If you’re in a hurry here’s a quick comparison of my 3 best models under $200
|Royal Gourmet SE2801 Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control, Black
|Cuisinart COS-330 Vertical Electric Smoker, Three Removable Smoking Shelves, 30", 548 sq. inches Cooking Space
|Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker, One Size (9900-000-0000)
Still here, good, then let’s delve into each model in more detail…
1. Masterbuilt MB20070210 MES 35B Electric Smoker
The Masterbuilt MB20070210 Digital Electric Smoker is one of the most affordable yet reliable smokers from Masterbuilt. This smoker is selling like hot cakes on Amazon, and no wonder! Its thermostat-controlled electric temperature technology will completely free you from the chore of babysitting your smoker, and the digital control panel is state-of-the-art and user-friendly.
Unlike other old-fashioned smokers out there that are difficult to use, this smoker is designed to suit to needs of smokers of all levels. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a complete newbie or a seasoned professional, operating this smoker won’t be an issue for you. This smoker can handle up to 730 square inches of food and that’s enough cooking space to feed an extra-large crowd during special gatherings.
With the automatic shutoff feature that is built into the 24-hour timer (accessible from the push-button digital control panel located at the top of the smoker), you can rest assured your food will never be overcooked or dry. Also, you won’t have to bother opening the door again when you need to add more wood chips; the smoker comes with a side wood chip loader that makes refilling wood chips quick and easy.
One minor issue (which is really negligible) is the length of the power cable which is really too short for me. The only way you can connect this smoker to a power outlet is through the direct plug. Nevertheless, I was able to connect it with an industrial extension cord.
Apart from those minor inconveniences, it is a solid smoker which can be used for smoking just about anything, chickens, shoulders, ribs, briskets, etc.
With the quality, durability, and automation features of this smoker, one would expect it to cost over 200 dollars (by the way, the normal price is $299.95…) but Amazon is offering it for less than $200 right now!
2. Royal Gourmet SE2801 Electric Smoker
If you’re looking for a smoker that costs less than $200, this is a great choice. Although this smoker doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Masterbuilt MES, it is still a very capable smoker, especially if you are smoking a small amount of food. I got this as a gift from a close friend of mine, and after using it a few times, I find that the temperature remains pretty constant and it really gets the job done.
This unit is very solid looking but, actually, I thought that the metal is a bit thin and the door fits loosely), so, looks can be a bit deceptive. It is, however, very lightweight and, more importantly, very simple to use. All you have to do is put in the wood, pour in the liquid, put in the food, plug in, and done. I particularly like the stylish and functional metal spring handle, which, remarkably, even though it’s metal, stayed cool to the touch even after 4 hours of use.
The only con for me is the cooking space as it can only hold up to 50 pounds of food. If this is an issue for you too, I’d recommend that you choose the previous smoker (Masterbuilt MES130B) which has a smoking capacity of 1.7 cubic feet.
Overall, this is a good smoker for the price. You can also read what other users have to say about this smoker at Amazon.
At under $200, this is a solid performer!
3. Old Smokey Electric Smoker
You may think that this smoker looks nothing more than a huge pot with a lid but looks can be deceiving… The workmanship is good and the quality of the food that came out of it was simply amazing; the flavor was spectacular and the tenderness was just right. The main highlight of this smoker is its flat top; you don’t need to add water as the juices will drip right back onto the food.
This smoker is also very portable and convenient. It uses relatively little wood, thus reducing your overall smoking expenses. I didn’t face any problems while assembling the unit. It was very easy to use too–just plug and start.
I didn’t have to worry about maintaining the temperature either; the smoker pretty much take care of everything; it was a true set and forget it.
Although this smoker comes with a heat thermostat, it is not a thermometer–it only has three temperature settings to choose from: low, medium, and high. Personally, I prefer to have more control over the temperature so I added a thermometer to the lid to help me monitor and maintain the appropriate temperature.
Apart from that, this smoker has everything you need to produce delicious smoked food.
With an attractive price point, you will get a quality electric smoker that works as advertised and one that is built to last for years!
Before making a final decision on the best electric smoker for you, I highly recommend that you spend some time reading the reviews and compare the features between them so that you can pick one that offer you the best value for your money.