Portable electric smokers give you the freedom to go wherever you please with a reliable heat source. Plenty of outdoor cooking enthusiasts are attracted to electric smokers because of convenience. There is no fuel source to keep tabs on, no residue or ash to clean up. Just plug it in, and start working. What if you wanted to take this convenience on the go or you have a smaller cooking area in your backyard/patio? That’s why a lot of folks are going with small electric smokers.
Portable electric smokers are useful because they can provide a consistent heat source when connected to a power outlet. Though some will say that they don’t get the “true” or “authentic” smoked flavor, many buyers are extremely happy with the results. Everything is a tradeoff. Who wants to babysit a real smoker for 48 hours? Temperature control is a nightmare!
It isn’t as easy as you would think to find the perfect portable electric smoker. There are plenty of brands out there offering similar products, so instead of confusing yourself with random research, check out my top recommendations.
Top 5 Portable Electric Smokers
- Masterbuilt 20073716 Portable Electric Smoker
- Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
- Meco Americana Double-Grid Electric Water Smoker
- Southern Country Smokers 2-in-1 Electric Water Smoker
- Masterbuilt 20078616 Electric Bullet Smoker
1. Masterbuilt 20073716 Portable Electric Smoker
The Masterbuilt 20073716 is the ideal portable electric smoker. It can be used for the backyard, camping trips, tailgating, and road trips. It has two chrome racks that will come in contact with the 1,400 watt heating element. This heating element will start up the smoker and ensure that your food is cooked to the fullest. The control settings are very simple. All you have to choose from is low, medium, and high. No need to engage with complex heating controls, just estimate how hot you want your food to cook and go for it. Once you set up the temperature, there will be a gauge on the door that can help you keep track of how hot the smoker is getting.
Another reason why the Masterbuilt 20073716 is the model portable electric smoker is because of the legs used on this unit. This Masterbuilt smoker has smoker legs that can fold effortlessly so you can transport it to the next destination, or just store it somewhere convenient. All you need to do is fold up the legs, grab the smoker by the side handles, and take it with you. Easy as that!
- Has a 1,400 watt heating element
- Temperature controls are simple
- Smoker legs can easily fold
- Temperature gauge is easy to read
- Fair price
- Temperature is difficult to maintain
2. Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
This digitally controlled electric smoker will allow users to sit back and watch their food smoke. Using advanced technology, the Char-Broil Deluxe digital electric smoker has the ability to cook large cuts of meat to perfection. The double wall construction will provide the perfect amount of insulation needed to cook your food. The glass door in the front will allow you to watch the meat slowly transform from raw to cooked. The glass window will display the 6 grates places vertically; more than enough space to cook for a handful of people. In addition to display, the lightweight frame of this electric smoker will make it easy to take back and forth.
The blue LED display will be able to show you the exact temperature of the smoker, as well as elaborate on the controls available to you. Besides a power button, there are two arrows to increase or decrease the temperature, as well as additional options to enhance the smoker experience. One feature that helps this electric smoker stand out from the rest is the latch on the door. This Char-Broil smoker has a stainless steel locking latch which provides a smoke-tight seal so that no heat leaks from the unit. With this latch, you can be certain that your meat will be obtain the maximum amount of heat possible.
- Easy to carry
- Removable food thermometer
- LED display control panel
- Controls aren’t easy to use
- Temperature is inconsistent at times
3. Meco Americana Double-Grid Electric Water Smoker
The Meco Americana electric water smoker has an old school smoker look to it. This smoker contains a stainless steel hood and body that will help it stand out from other smokers, while eliminating the possibility of rust. You will have about 351 square inches of cooking surface; a good amount for a small family. The two nickel plated cooking grids will give you plenty of room to cook with, and now they’re easier to use than ever with integrated handles. The temperature gauge in the front of the unit is straightforward; displaying three heat levels of “warm, ideal, hot”, as well as numerical temperatures above these sections.
Portability is evident with the Meco Americana Double-Grid electric smoker. This smoker is equipped with three handles in total: two on the sides, and one on top of the lid. These handles will let you pick the smoker up and move it when you have to. In addition, there are durable steel legs which offer extra strength and stability. Regardless of how uneasy the ground underneath you is, these legs will have your back. In regards to price, you will likely find it to be reasonable after finding out all the Americana Double-Grid electric smoker has to offer.
- Made with durable material
- Sturdy handles make it easy to carry
- Convenient temperature gauge
- Takes a while to heat up
4. Southern Country Smokers 2-in-1 Electric Water Smoker
The very versatile Southern Country Smokers 2-in-1 electric water smoker will serve as another inexpensive portable electric smoker. You won’t have a problem finding this portable electric smoker, which will be available for way under $100; a steal to most people. There is 351 square inches of available to you; consisting of 2 chrome-plated cooking grids. This smoker also has an above average water pan that can hold up to 5.5 quarts of water so that the cooking process will produce tender and juicy meat. For experienced grillers, checking to make sure the food is cooking fully becomes a habit, and we all know that old habits die hard.
This electric water smoker combo grill from Southern Country Smokers will be safe to carry at any time during the cooking process thanks to the heat-resistant wooden side and hood handles. Now you won’t need to wear gloves or wait for the smoker to cool down in order to move it where it needs to go. With that being said, this electric smoker is very mobile. You’ll be in luck with the extra strength steel legs. These legs will hold up against some pretty rough terrain, which speaks to its toughness and durability. If you’re the type of cooker who enjoys variety, you’ll definitely embrace the fact that the Southern Country Smokers 2-in-1 electric water smoker can also transform into a Lock N Go portable electric grill; giving you options when you finally sit down and get ready to cook.
- Heat resistant handles
- Plenty of cooking space
- Turns into an electric grill
- Not too expensive
5. Masterbuilt 20078616 Electric Bullet Smoker
The perfect portable electric smoker for the individual with a budget, the Masterbuilt electric smoker has a lot of surprises. Let’s start with the smoker’s portable features. There are two handles (one on each side) and a handle on the lid, so you can pick up the smoker at any time and move forward with your day. Since the unit is relatively small, there shouldn’t be any issues carrying it with you wherever you go. And once you look at the low price, you’ll be wondering how such an efficient electric smoker can be so cheap in price. Other buyers have been able to find the Masterbuilt electric bullet smoker for less than $50, which is the absolute lowest price for any type of smoker.
There is almost 400 square inches of cooking space available on two porcelain coated racks. With the 1,650 heating element, you’ll be certain that your food will come out even and fully cooked; with consistent smoking going to almost 400 degrees fahrenheit. How will you be able to control such temperatures? There’s a very easy to read temperature gauge on the lid that will show you the exact temperature that is being reached within the electric smoker.
- Very inexpensive
- Compact size encourages portability
- 1,600 watt heating element
- Takes a while to heat up
- Doesn’t get as hot as other fuel sources
Having an electric smoker can come in clutch when you’re stuck close to a power outlet. Let’s get down to the obvious first. You need to find the right features so you can acknowledge an electric smoker as portable. The most convenient portable grills will have handles that you can use to easily carry the unit to parks, the garage, your car, or wherever you would like it. Believe it or not, the selection process can become complex. Mobility is very important because it makes the difference between a portable smoker and a smoker that isn’t considered portable.
The Southern Country Smokers 2-in-1 electric smoker and the Masterbuilt electric bullet smoker are absolute steals for people who aren’t looking to spend a substantial amount of money in one place. They will provide you with the tools needed to cook your food perfectly. They have enough cooking room for a small family, and are small enough to be considered very “portable.”
It should go without saying, but durability should also play a role in your decision making process. Brands such as Masterbuilt have been known to produce high quality, durable smokers, and the electric smokers listed above aren’t an exception. If you can’t find a smoker that can last long, you are essentially throwing money at a temporary solution to your electric smoking needs.
Controlling the temperature is very important for any smoker, especially electric ones. The Char-Broil smoker listed at #2 probably has the best display compared to the other smokers. The LED is very clear and will let you move the temperature around. If your vision isn’t the best or you just want the temperature to be bright and in your face, this smoker will serve you well.
Portable electric smokers can come in handy if you have the right resources. As long as there is an electrical power supply, avid cookers can sit back and watch their food slow cook to perfection. Every portable electric smoker has features that fit a “type” of person, it’s just up to the person to figure out which unit compliments their needs to most.
About Portable Electric Smokers
Different types of smokers require their own designated fuel. Charcoal, propane, wood, and electric all provide different advantages and disadvantages. The electric smoker is known to produce heat using a heating element, and wood chips in some cases.
Ever wonder why smokers have that water bucket lookalike attached to it? The water pan is used to make sure that the meats smoked in the unit contain enough moisture so that they aren’t unedible. The water located in the water pan transforms into steam once it makes contact with the heating element, keeping the food as moist as possible. The water pan can be used in a variety of ways. There are different spices and seasonings that you can add to the water pan and enhance the flavor of the cuts of meat.
Portable electric smokers are a perfect match for those who are on the go often. These units are usually lightweight and small enough to fit in the trunk of a sedan or a small closet. If you don’t have many people to cook for, portable electric smokers will be just enough to satisfy yourself and those around you. A common feature of portable smokers are sturdy handles that you can use to carry them, and in some cases, foldable legs that reduce the overall size of the smoker. Starting up electric smokers are very straightforward as well. Most units have a heating element that can be powered on by the flick of a switch or a push of a button, so you won’t have to wait too long to get the party started.
Charcoal and wood smokers are sometimes unpredictable when it comes to temperature. There are times where they reach a significantly high temperature, which proceeds to drop tremendously. To summarize; these fuel sources are great with reaching high temperatures, but could do better at staying consistent. With electric smokers, these units are engineered to reach a certain temperature, and can be controlled using an LED display.
Despite having some great features, there are some disadvantages to having an electric smoker that deter a select amount of people that are interested in finding a portable smoker. Regardless of the fuel source, it will take quite a while to fully cook your meat, especially if it’s a thick cut. Compared to charcoal, propane, and wood, electric typically takes long to heat up. It also doesn’t generate nearly the same amount of heat as the other fuel sources do. For the most part, an electric smoker will maintain a temperature close to 250 degrees fahrenheit. While this isn’t necessarily a terrible temperature range, other smokers such as charcoal can potentially double that. There are a few exceptions on this list that can reach much higher temperatures, so don’t be too discouraged if you like to have your food extraordinarily hot throughout the entirety of the cooking process.
Another potential issue when using portable electric grill is the power source. Portable grills are meant to be taken to a variety of areas, yet you’ll have to limit yourself to areas that have power outlets available, otherwise you’re wasting your time. If you’re even remotely close to a power outlet when you’re outdoors, you’ll likely need an extension cable so you can reach.