Commercial smokers like the ones that the pros use for cooking competitions can easily cost $2,000 or more.
Even if you build one from scratch in your own backyard, you’ll likely spend more than you ever expected. You can get models that work like commercial smokers do and spend $1,000 or less though.
We tracked down the top models that retail for under $1,000 and found that the 5.5 Pellet Smoker from Pit Boss Grills is the best one around.
It has a meat probe that monitors its internal temperature and a digital screen that shows you all the information you need to know. We recommend taking a look at the five best models to find one for your smoking needs.
Best Electric Smokers Consumer Reports 2022
1. Pit Boss Grills 5.5 Pellet Smoker
Pit Boss Grills makes a great electric smoker that you can use with all your favorite types of wood pellets. The 5.5 Pellet Smoker has a digital screen that works with the included meat probe. When you insert this probe into a cut of meat, it will monitor the temperature and show you the temp on its bright screen.
With an impressive 1,830-square-inches of interior cooking space, this is one of the only models on the market that can accommodate any type of food.
You can actually smoke entire fish or a whole turkey and still have room left over for other cuts of meat and side dishes. All five of the included cooking grates have a porcelain coating for fast and easy cleanup.
Capable of running for up to 24 hours or longer, this model has a hopper that can hold up to 40 pounds of wood. You can set the temperature and walk away, knowing that the smoker will keep running when you’re not there.
It also has a large temperature range that allows the smoker to operate at a minimum of 150-degrees and a maximum of 450-degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Smokin-In Model #3
You might just feel like a pro as you use this Model #3 Electric Smoker from Smokin-It at home because it looks and functions just like a commercial model.
Priced at around $650, it might be the best electric smoker under $1,000 for some home chefs. Large wheels placed on the bottom corner of this model help you move it anywhere around your home or yard too.
A 1,200W heating element inside helps this larger smoker reach its maximum temperature faster, and since it needs just 120 volts to run it, you can plug this smoker into an outdoor outlet.
Made almost entirely from stainless steel, this model features fiberglass insulation inside that does a great job of retaining heat and smoke.
The Model #3 also comes with four shelves made of stainless steel that you can remove when smoking a larger cut of meat or multiple ingredients.
You get a water pan that lets you add more moisture and flavor to your foods and a simple temperature gauge. This gauge lets you pick any temperature between 100-degrees and 250-degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Bradley Smoker Jim Beam Smoker
Bradley Smoker partnered with liquor giant Jim Bean to make this electric smoker.
It has all the features that shoppers like about Bradley Smoker and bears the name of the liquor company too. The Jim Beam logo sits front and center on the door.
Designed for outdoor smoking, it has a door that locks and seals tightly to prevent leaks. The four racks inside work together or independently to provide you with all the space that you need. When smoking a larger item, you can remove one or more of those shelves.
The automatic feed tube lets you add the wood pellets to the tube that sits directly on top of the hopper. This tube will automatically feed the pellets into the hopper based on the selections you made on the firebox.
This firebox features basic buttons that allow you to set the timer, change the temperature and make other basic changes. It also features a digital screen that shows you what you selected as well as the current temperature inside the smoker.
4. Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker
Smoking enthusiasts at all skill levels like Masterbuilt models because they are so easy to use, and the company’s Digital Electric is no exception.
This 30-inch-tall smoker features a window that runs the full length of its door, which lets you watch your food as it cooks and helps you know when to make any adjustments. It also features digital temperature and timer controls on the top.
With more than 720-square-inches of space inside, this smoker gives you enough room for making a turkey for a holiday dinner or for smoking several dishes together.
Thanks to the meat thermometer, you can view the temp of the meat you cook and know when to pull it out. This model also features four coated removable cooking racks.
We recommend this set because it comes with more than just a basic smoker. You also get a cover that protects the unit from dust and other damage and a disc that gives you some delicious smoking recipes.
Masterbuilt also gives you an RF controller that lets you turn on the light inside, check the temperature and change the settings.
5. Bradley Smoker BS916 Digital
Bradley Smoker makes a second appearance on our list of the top models in the $1,000 price range with its Smart Smoker.
This model will work with any Bluetooth-enabled device and will turn that device into a remote control. No matter where you are, even if you’re in the middle of the grocery store, you can check in on the foods you smoke.
Like the Jim Bean model, the Smart Smoker features an automatic feed tube that works with the hopper to automatically add wood pellets as needed.
It also has a digital screen on the front of the firebox that allows you to check and change the smoking temperature. Touch controls on this screen give you control over how much smoke to use, the temperature and the time it smokes.
This is the only model we found that comes with two different temperature probes. Those probes allow you to check the temperature of two different foods that cook together. You also get two heating elements that control both the smoke and temp.
With this Pit Boss Grills electric smoker, you can literally set it and forget it. Thanks to the 40-pound wood hopper, it can hold enough wood to smoke any meats or other foods for up to a full 24 hours. A purge setting automatically purges those pellets later.
You won’t worry about the smoker overheating either because it has an automatic shut off feature that lets the unit turn itself off when it reaches a potentially dangerous temperature. It also features an automatic ignition button that makes it easier to turn the machine on and begin smoking.
With a temperature range of between 150-degrees and 450-degrees Fahrenheit, this model lets you choose a faster and hotter mode or a slower and cooler mode.
It comes with five porcelain-coated metal grates inside and a temperature probe. This probe monitors the internal heat and sends the temperature to the digital screen for your viewing.