Say that you’ve developed an interest in smoking enough to start doing it yourself. The only problem is that when you look online, it seems that everything is quite expensive, and that’s a financial commitment that you’re not sure you want to get into.
If you’re a beginner and you’ve decided to get an electric smoker with price less than 200 dollars, then this article will help you make a decision. The question of which electric smoker to buy is essential because this is where you will first dip your toes into the smoking world.
Don’t settle for less when you know that there’s a better option out there that will fit your budget. Let’s dig more!
5 Recommended Electric Smokers Under $200
To save you from having to do your research, we have compiled this buying guide and list the top models for you. So without further ado, here are the best electric smokers under $200 in the market:
|Product Name||Cooking Area||Dimensions||Wattage||Warranty|
|Masterbuilt MES 35B Electric Smoker||550 square inches||20 x 21.69 x 40.15 in.||1,500||1-year|
|Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker||548 square inches||22 x 19 x 37.5 in.||1,500||3-year|
|Char-Boil Standard Digital Electric Smoker||725 square inches||16.5 x 18.1 x 32.5 in.||800||1-year|
|Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-inch Electric Smoker||1.3 cubic feet||17.36 x 19.17 x 35.09 in.||1,500||1-year|
|Meso Americana 2-in-1 Electric Water Smoker||351 square inches||27 x 21.5 x 37 in.||1,500||90 days|
1. Masterbuilt MES 35B – Best Option for Beginner & Pro
The Masterbuilt MES 35B Electric Smoker is the first affordable electric smoker on the list. This unit features chrome-plated smoking racks, built-in temperature gauge and control, 1,500-watt heating element, and an air damper for smoke control. It also includes a recipe cookbook to help you out if you don’t know where to start.
This electric smoker means for both the beginner and the pro. It is the top choice for anyone who’s looking for a unit that is not only easy to assemble but also easy to clean.
Masterbuilt includes a wood chip tray and a drip pan in the package, which makes it exceptionally simple for users to clean out any grease or ashes found after the smoking process.
While being easy to clean sets Masterbuilt’s electric smoker apart from the others in this list, it should be noted that there are a few caveats to consider.
First, it isn’t as insulated as its competitors. If your cooking area is vulnerable to cold weather, then you might have a difficult time getting the heat up.
Second, because it is a budget option, the temperature gauge and temperature control are not top-of-the-line. It is capable of fulfilling its basic functions, but you will need to check if it is reading the right temperature regularly.
At this price range, Masterbuilt MES 35B Electric Smoker is still a solid option, especially considering the commendable customer service.
2. Cuisinart COS-330 – with Longest Warranty Option
Cuisinart’s contribution to the list is a 30-inch electric smoker that has been known for the durable materials it uses for its overall build. This electric smoker features chrome-coated smoking racks, removable water pan and wood chips tray, a 1,500-watt heating element, and a thermometer.
The design of this electric smoker makes it clear that it is meant for casual and first-time smokers. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it type of machine, and it will only require you to input the temperature you want. Afterward, all that’s left to do is wait for it to do its magic on your meat.
Cuisinart claims that the heating element can reach temperatures of 100 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the build of the water pan and wood chips tray can sometimes hinder it from achieving such temperatures.
The water pan and wood chips tray are problematic to use because the material used for it is quite thick. This means that if it were placed in the bottom rack where it should be, it could prevent the heat from reaching the cooking racks and your meat.
Furthermore, the thermometer leaves a lot to be desired. As such, if you have the time and the budget for it, you might want to look at getting mods for this electric smoker.
3. Char-Broil Standard Digital Electric Smoker
Char-Broil’s contribution to the list is an electric digital smoker that requires no assembly. This electric smoker is one that made a considerable effort in terms of insulation and portability.
Beyond chrome-plated wires, four adjustable smoking racks, and an advanced control panel, Char-Broil’s electric smoker features an insulated double-wall construction.
This build allows it to maintain your desired cooking temperature, thereby enabling you to achieve consistent smoking.
Because this electric vertical smoker doesn’t need to be assembled, it is also easy to install. It is lightweight and can easily be moved from one place to another.
The steel latch system also helps in keeping the smoke where you want it to be.
Char-Broil’s electric smoker also offers the biggest cooking space compared to the others on our list. At 725 square inches of cooking space, this smoker can easily feed a large crowd.
As perfect as this system sounds, it is not without its weaknesses. For one, the advanced controls mean that it requires you to set the time and target meat temperature.
The control display, for that matter, is also hard to see if you want to smoke during daylight hours.
Meat juices may also leak into the wiring, which would trigger the deterioration of the machine. The included water pan is also small considering the cooking space it offers.
4. Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-inch
Despite being the electric smoker with the smallest cooking space on the list, Smoke Hollow’s product packs a lot of features that exhibit its ability to smoke meat on a $200 budget.
Smoke Hollow’s electric smoker features a 1,500-watt heating element, stainless steel cooking grids, a heat indicator, and an included porcelain-coated water and wood chips tray.
This smoker is also equipped with side handles and a door that remains cool to the touch.
Its small size evidently allowed the manufacturer to focus on the quality of the meat. It is capable of maintaining the temperature settings.
Because it also burns the wood chips faster than normal, it is capable of giving your meat that coveted smoked flavor.
Before using this smoker, there are a few things to remember. First, the space dedicated to the wood chips tray is close to the heating element. As such, users will need to be mindful of the placement as well as amply soak the wood chips as it burns quickly.
Second, the front door will need to be opened before the wood chips tray can be accessed because it doesn’t have a chip compartment.
Third, for those who might want to take exterior temperatures or determine the temperature of the meat, you will need to visit the BBQ accessories section to get a thermometer.
5. Americana 2 in 1 Electric Water Smoker
Among the smokers on this list, Americana’s electric smoker takes the crown when it comes to versatility and flexibility. It sports a bullet smoker design that resembles a chimney with its loose-fitting lid and tight-fitting door.
This smoker is also equipped with steel legs that achieve increased strength and durability. Furthermore, it also features sliding access doors that make adding water and wood chips simple, safe, and easy.
Perhaps the most notable feature of Americana’s electric smoker is the ability to convert it into an electric grill. The process is easy: remove the upper part of the smoker and place a smoking rack on the bottom part. Voila! Now you have an electric grill.
Americana’s smoker does well in the cold weather, which is to say that it is well-insulated and doesn’t have much space requirements.
Of course, despite the exciting and effective design, this smoker is not without its disadvantages. The included drip tray is small and flimsy, which makes the heating element and bottom part of the smoker vulnerable to leakages.
Another weakness is how it is unable to maintain the temperature once new wood chips are added. This is primarily because the smoker takes a while to heat up. Though this means that it’s the perfect smoker for slow smoking, it also means that you won’t have the chance to skimp on the wood fuel.
What to Look For Before You Buy a Budget Electric Smoker?
The Temperature Control
One of the reasons why electric smokers are so popular is because it can achieve a level of temperature control that would be difficult with smokers that use charcoal or propane gas.
Before you settle for a cheap electric smoker, you might want to check if it sacrifices temperature control. At the very least, it should come with a temperature gauge and the ability to adjust the heat. At most, it should feature advanced temperature settings and controls.
Whichever one you choose, remember that achieving and maintaining the correct temperature is the biggest challenge in smoking meat.
Throughout this article, we’ve examined various smokers with mostly the same wattage – the exception being Char-Broil’s vertical electric smoker.
When you look at the buying options we’ve presented, remember that the wattage is something that you should consider. The wattage of a smoker is indicative of its power, how fast it can heat up, and the hottest temperature it can reach.
Given the best budget smokers above, Char-Broil’s smoker lacks in this category.
A cheap electric smoker normally won’t sacrifice the wattage, like how the manufacturers could with temperature control. But to be sure, better take the time to look at the description of the smoker that you want.
Going for something that costs less than 200 bucks doesn’t mean that you have to settle for something that might breakdown in a few months.
Durability is a criterion that you shouldn’t sacrifice, especially in terms of electric smokers, because repairs could cost you a lot.
You should check if the construction of the smoker that you want involves chrome, steel, porcelain, and any other heavy-duty materials. Save yourself the headache of having to claim your warranty or hire someone to repair your flimsy smoker.
Last but not least, cooking space is another factor that should be taken into account before you get an electric smoker.
As you’ve seen in the buying guide we’ve provided, “budget” doesn’t necessarily mean not being able to smoke as much meat as you want. Think about who will eat your smoked meat. Is it your immediate family or a crowd?
Depending on your needs, the best budget electric smokers out there can offer a variety in cooking space. From our list alone, there’s a 725-square-inch smoker, and there’s one that’s less than 400 square inches.
The bottom line is that you should get an electric smoker that can give you the space you need to smoke as much meat as you need.
Smoking meat is an activity that shouldn’t cost you hundreds of dollars and an arm. Our buying guide offers you the best options there is if you’re in the market for an electric smoker.
Regardless of what you need and your preferences, there’s always an electric smoker out there that’s not only cheap but also of high quality. All you have to do is look.
I spent most of my life fascinated by food, and the outdoors. I can’t think of a more fitting combo that leads to mastering the art of BBQ one day. I ended up decent enough to grill the perfect burger and choose the best equipment after years of improvement. I create this website for outdoor cooking enthusiasts, who are fueled by interest but lacking in help, feel educated when they leave because I see my past clueless self in them.