If you want the most beautifully smoked meat and vegetables, then you are definitely going to need a smoker at home. If you want to cut down on the mess while ramping up on the flavor, then an electric smoker is the only way to go.
If you don’t want to spend too much money on your smoker, you should be able to get some really great options for less than $200. Of course, you must be willing to compromise on a few elements such as space and modern features.
Apart from this, however, you will very little to worry about. Here is a list of the best electric smokers under $200:
|1||Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller||4099 Reviews||Check Price|
|2||Smoke Hollow 30162E 30-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control||134 Reviews||Check Price|
|3||Masterbuilt 20070210 30-Inch Black Electric Analog Smoker||244 Reviews||Check Price|
|4||Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker||271 Reviews||Check Price|
|5||Smoke Hollow 30162EW 30-Inch Electric Smoker with Window, Black||51 Reviews||Check Price|
5 Best Electric Smokers Under $200 – 2018
When it comes to electric smokers, Masterbuilt is the manufacturer is leading the way. This is why it doesn’t really come as any surprise why we decided to put it at the very top of our list. So, what makes this the king of the budget electric smokers? Well, to start off with, there is the size. Overall, you have got 730 square inches to work with and four racks to store your meat. So, if you are planning on smoking food for a large family or party, this is the smoker that will help you.
Then there is the fact that it relies on digital temperature and timer controls. This allows for greater precision and makes sure that your food is cooked to absolute perfection. The temperature options vary from 100 to 275 °F. This means that the meats are evenly cooked throughout. Then there is also the side loading wood chip feature. Since you can include wood in the smoker, hassle-free, you can experience the same great, barbecue taste.
While this Masterbuilt model works great, it lacks in terms of longevity. This means that it isn’t really much of an investment. After a couple of years, you are going to notice that various parts start giving out on you.
- Digital controls for temperature and timer
- Thermostat control for even cooking
- Lots of space
- Easy to load wood chips in
- Doesn’t last long
If you have only just started trying your hand at smoking, then you can’t go wrong with this Smoke Hollow model. This is great for beginners because it is simple to use and there are only three, set temperature levels to choose from. However, it does have a 1500 watt heating element which makes it powerful enough to smoke and roast any meat that you place inside.
What really sets the Smoke Hollow apart from others, though, is its ability to remain unaffected by the outside temperatures. This means that it doesn’t matter if you smoking meat in the dead of winter. The smoker interior will be able to maintain its temperature and cook the meat with no time lost.
Now, this isn’t the biggest smoker around but if you have a small or medium sized family, it will serve you well. You can expect to smoke a few chickens, perhaps even a large turkey in this. This is also a rather durable smoker so if you are going to splurge, know that it is money well spent. It is quite easy to transport as well since it has two handles on either side.
Of course, this smoker is not perfect. The most annoying thing about this smoker is its tendency to go through the wood chips quite quickly. If you are planning on smoking meats for a couple of hours or more, you will have to monitor the situation and keep replenishing the wood chip supply.
- Good quality and durable
- Works equally well in any temperature
- Good option for beginners
- Wood chips are burned up quickly
If you want to save a few dollars or simply prefer a more old school approach, then the analog Masterbuilt may be better suited to you. This is perhaps not the best option for those who are just getting started with smoking. With a 1500 heating element that is able to produce between 100 and 400°F and only an analog reading to help you, this can be a bit of a struggle.
If you are an experienced smoker, however, this is going to be a very useful smoker indeed. This is largely because of its well-insulated interior. It doesn’t matter what is happening outside of the smoker because the interior will maintain an even and proper temperature. Not to mention, this is a very sturdy smoker. So, if you want something that will withstand the elements, this smoker is the one for you.
This smoker doesn’t have an incredible amount of space with just 548 square inches and three racks. Still, you will find that is more than suitable for several people. You will certainly have no problem smoking larger cuts of meat.
So, where does the Masterbuilt analog smoker fail? Well, its main problem is at lower temperatures. Here, there isn’t enough smoke produced to get that delicious smoky flavor. So, if you are trying to smoke fish, for instance, you are going to find it difficult.
- Well insulated
- Can reach high temperatures
- Smoking doesn’t happen at lower temperatures
This Char-Broil model has the lowest price point on our list. So, if you are looking to spend the least amount of money that you possibly can and have a serviceable smoker, this is the one for you. For the most part, the Char-Broil smoker does a pretty good job.
It has a heating element that boasts 1500 watts of power. This is more than enough to smoke most large cuts of meat at a decent rate. The smoker also has variable temperature panel which gives you a little bit more control over the cooking speed. Of course, for a proper smoking, you are going to need to turn the temperature up.
While the Char-Broil smoker is overly large, you can fit in larger cuts of meat, if needed. At the most, you should be able to fit several chickens in there. There are three adjustable cooking grates so you can smoke several types of meat at once.
At this price point, though, it is difficult to expect perfection and there are a couple of places where the Char-Broil smoker falls short. One of the main complaints is the door that is held together by magnets. At higher temperatures, these get warped and it is difficult to keep the door open. Your control over the temperature is restricted so it can be difficult to get the ideal level of heat.
- High power
- Enough of space
- Door won’t stay closed
- Temperature control can be improved
This Smoke Hollow electric smoker is a great option if you don’t want to spend a lot of money but still want a window. Let’s face it, nobody really wants to keep opening the door of their smoker to check on their meats. It lets all the smoke out and it messes with the internal temperature as well. This is why the window feature on the 30162EW is so important. You can see how well your food is cooked just by looking at it.
Then there is the fact that the heating element on this smoker is pretty impressive. It can produce up to 1500 watts of power, just enough for those larger cuts. Speaking of size, the smoker is quite roomy. There are three shelves which should be able to manage a couple of birds and legs of meat. While it isn’t the largest, it should serve a mid-sized family well.
With this price, though, there is bound to be some problems with it. The first is that the temperature needs to be cranked up for the smoking to take place and then the wood chips get burned too quickly as a result. Also, after a while, you may notice smoke escaping from the door.
- Good amount of heat produced
- Enough of space
- Window feature
- Wood chips get burnt too quickly
- Door doesn’t have a long lifespan
Tips for Buying an Electric Smoker With a $200 Budget
These are some of the tips that you can use to help you make the right choice with electric smokers under $200:
First and foremost, the electric smoker that you choose should have temperature control. Different meats cook better at varying temperatures. Depending on whether you are a novice or expert smoker, you may find that fewer or a greater number of settings are better. Overall, though meat should be smoked at between 145 and 165 °F at least.
Durability, too, is quite important when deciding on a smoker. Since you are aiming for a lower price range, it can be difficult to find a smoker that will stand the test of time. However, you should look for ones that are made from strong, non-rusting exterior and interior components. This is particularly important for smokers that will be kept outside, all year long.
Then, there is the matter of insulation. The internal portion of the component should be double walled or have similar insulation properties. This is what is responsible for making sure that the smoker maintains a proper temperature, regardless of the exterior conditions or temperature.
Since you are dealing with electricity and heat, you should check that any smoker that you do choose meets the necessary safety standards. This is why it is a good idea to stick with established brands that are required to go through various protocols.
This is what you need to know about the best models on the market as well as how to choose between them. Happy hunting!