To conclude this smoker is great for all levels of chef because it takes the guesswork out of your smoking process. Your end product will be great no matter how skilled you are which really is a win-win!
The 800W Masterbuilt MES130B Digital Electric Smoker suits everyone, from novice to expert smokers. The digital controller allows you to turn the smoker on and off as well as control both the cooking temperature and the length of time, while an adjustable air damper regulates how much smoke is in the cabinet. The body of the cabinet is fully insulated for heat retention and a thermostat controls temperature. You can add flavoured wood chips to this smoker without opening the door, which helps maintain the internal temperature.
The main cabinet is made from steel and coated with plastic trim. The interior is made from aluminium to keep the heat in. The internal temperature can be set anywhere between 100 - 275°F, and cooking time is also controlled.
There is also no built-in meat probe in this smoker, and the 90-day warranty leaves something to be desired. The 30″ model will be perfect for most people with 730 square inches of cooking space.
We love the amount of smoker you get for the price, you certainly can't go wrong with a Masterbuilt.
Size and Capacity - Of course one of the main points when looking at the capacity of a smoker is the number of racks it has but you also need to think about the size. The number of racks you have won’t matter if you can’t fit what you want to cook onto one of the racks.
This is the kind of thing we often see when using 30-inch smokers. If you are looking to cook larger foods such as a full rack of ribs then you would be better off going for a 40-inch model.
Features - One of the main features that you might want to look at for two reasons is whether is has Bluetooth. Obviously Bluetooth is a nice addition to have as you will be able to control your smoker remotely however recently smokers have suffered from poor range and connectivity. Meaning if you are looking at a Bluetooth smoker then make sure that the Bluetooth is good quality.
Another important feature is the probes. Checking the internal temperature of the smoker s well as of the meat is important to make sure that the end product is perfect. Therefore you should check what type and how many probes are included with your smoker.
Finally, two other features to look out for are access to the wood chip tray without opening the main door so that you don’t let heat escape. Also finding out what options are available on the control panel such as setting internal temperature and cooking time.
Budget - From personal experience, you will be looking to spend $200 to $300 in order to get better quality electric smokers. We do understand that you will be able to find electric smokers available for under $100 however we do not recommend these as they will not be as effective.
If you are more in the market for a Bluetooth smoker then you will be looking in the region of $500.
Portability - You won’t find many electric smokers out there that are designed with mobility in mind. If you want something portable then you would be better off looking at pellet grills.
Pellet grills don’t technically come under a different category of smoker rather than an electric smoker which is why we didn’t recommend any in this guide.
They are, however, very similar in that they also use electricity and are designed for smoking rather than grilling.
We are sure that if you have had any experience in the smoking world then someone will have told you that food cooked in electric smokers tastes worse than food cooked in charcoal smokers.
While there is some truth in this as we do agree that the best food cooked in a charcoal smoker is better than the best food cooked in an electric smoker. However the only time you will really taste the difference is if the charcoal-grilled food is cooked by a very experienced pitmaster, and even then the majority of people won’t be able to tell the difference.
Another fact is that it’s much easier and less stressful to use an electric smoker meaning you will be more willing to use an electric smoker every weekend.
Here are some positives and negatives to help you decide whether electric smokers are for you:
The main question when considering an electric smoker is whether you want to sacrifice a tiny bit more flavor for a much easier, more relaxing experience.
If your answer is you want the ease of use then we would recommend purchasing an electric smoker. And hey, you could always try charcoal smoking in the future!
Electric smokers involve a lot more technology than your traditional smoker. Traditional smokers consist of lighting some charcoal and adding wood. They control the temperature by altering the flow of oxygen depending if you want a larger or smaller fire. Whereas, electric smokers work by changing the flow of electricity.
The cheaper electric smokers will offer less control, for example you will have the options of low, medium, and high. These will be controlled by a rheostat, the rheostat’s job is to control the flow of electricity. When you look at more expensive smokers, they will have temperature probes that connect to the thermostat enabling you to have greater control over the internal temperature rather than just high, medium, and low.
It goes without saying, the more control you have the better your food will come out at the end.
When considering why electric smokers don’t produce a smoke ring first we have to understand what a smoke ring is. In charcoal smokers, you get heat through the process of combustion, mix this with wood, and gases are produced that give your meat an added flavor.
On the other hand, an electric smoker produces heat through a metal rod that has wood above it to produce smoke. The difference is in this method the gases aren’t produced through combustion. This means that you don’t get that added flavor and you don’t get a smoke ring, which is the pink layer on the outside of the meat that gives it the authentic barbeque look.
We have already outlined the differences between charcoal and electric smokers, but you may also be wondering where electric smokers deviate from gas smokers.
First of all, what are their similarities, they both use wood chips in a tray to create smoke, and with both, you can just set them and leave them to do their job.
One of the major differences is that gas smokers, just like charcoal, produce heat through combustion and therefore give gases that give the food that smokey flavor. Again this is not an issue for the vast majority of people.
A positive of electric smokers compared to gas smokers is that they are much cheaper to run and there is much more chance of you running out of propane than there is of you running out of electricity.
If at this point you have opted for an electric smoker, first of all congratulations! We will now give you all the information you need to have the perfect first cook with your smoker.
The key thing to remember is that practice makes perfect and experimenting with different cuts of meat will help you to master your smoker.
If this guide has convinced you to invest in an electric smoker, we hope it has! Then your best option is the Bradley Four Rack Digital Smoker as has an amazing value for the cost.
Last update on 2022-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API