If you want to add tremendous amounts of flavor to your meats, and overall improve your meals at home, an electric cooker may be the tool for you. Let’s find you the best electric smoker under 300 dollars.
This list includes all the best and budget friend cookers so you can be the star of the show at your next BBQ. Whether you are looking for something with a compact size or with double-wall construction there is a smoker for you!
Here is the scoop on the 15 best electric smokers for under $300!
What is an Electric Smoker?
Electric smokers are different from other types of smokers in that they use electricity to heat up and cook through a large capacity of meat. Other smokers use materials such as wood pellets, propane, or charcoal.
The great thing is that smokers tend to have a thermostat that controls temperatures. It works by a coil heating up that lights a bowl of wood chips. This is usually placed on the bottom of the cooker.
However, these top electric smokers hold power in many different ways. They are usually easier for beginners to learn, easier to afford, economically sound, and are an overall safer cooking tool for your home compared to gas smokers.
The only price you will routinely have to invest is in the wood chips. Overall, the cost to run a charcoal smoker is significantly higher with more upkeep. If you are just embarking on your meat-smoking journey, carefully look into the differences between each type of smoker out there.
There are many cookers offered on the market, varying in sizes and technology such as pellet smokers and charcoal smokers.
Your cooker needs will vary depending on what meats you plan on smoking, and how much space you will need. Some smokers come with a taller design including more racks, others are more compact.
How does it work?
The electric smoker produces heat from steam conducted throughout the cooker. The robust combination of smoke, and steam creates a moistened texture and boost of flavor to your meat.
Cooking is done convection style. The cooking chamber inside the cooker is where the air circulates, allowing steam and smoke to evenly coat the meat. If you are ever unsure about using your smoker you can always check the instruction manual too.
Make sure you don’t leave your smoker unattended for extended periods of time. Since you will be cooking for multiple hours, or even overnight, you need to take precautions in preventing hazards.
You will need to do overnight smoking when you plan on smoking a meat that needs extended cooking times and with a lower temperature.
Meats such as brisket need almost 8 hours of cooking. This is typical for tougher types of meats, so they can develop their full flavor and texture.
What Does an Electric Smoker Include?
A cooking unit comes with multiple parts. A cooking chamber, a water pan, smoking racks, an electric heating element, and an area for burning wood in combination with electric heaters.
This technique is essentially what gives your meet that savory smokey flavor. Pretty neat, right? You will have no problem finding the best electric smoker under 300 dollars.
Usually, near the bottom of the smoker there is one or more electric heating rods. These are what slowly cooks through the meats, heating up the whole space inside of the cooker.
Wood Chip Tray
The wood chip tray allows you (the chef) to be able to add certain smoke flavorings to your wood. Woods such as hickory, oak, maple, cherry, alder, and mesquite will all give your smoked meats that unique flavoring. The electric heater is normally surrounded by the wood chip tray.
What goes on in here? Basically, blocks or chunks of the wood of your choice are thrown in. This is done about a quarter way into the smoking process.
The electric smoker will then slowly burn this wood and produce smoke carrying maximum amounts of flavor.
You will find the water pan right above the wood chip tray. The pan is filled up with cold water, this way the internal temperature in the cooker can’t rise too quickly.
While the water in the smoker is heating up, steam is being developed to help in the convection cooking process.
On most electric smokers, you are given steel grilling racks. You have a couple of options. You could either place your meat right on those racks or use a cast iron skillet where your food can roast in.
Dampers and Vents
Temperature settings are for the most part controlled directly by airflow, since the flames are fed by oxygen. Oxygen is how the flames grow and also how the temperature increases inside the cooker.
There are heavy-duty dampers that are found at the bottom of your smoker. These can be opened to promote better airflow throughout the device for great results.
Vents located at the top of the smoker can be opened, allowing heat to escape out. Heat also rushes out when the front door of the unit is opened, so to prevent heat loss keep these closed as much as you can.
1. Masterbuilt 30” Digital
This is one of the most recommended brand in the smoker category and best electric smoker for under 300 dollars.
The Masterbuilt digital electric smoker is one of the best smokers for any skill level of meat smoking. If you are a beginner with this skill, you won’t have a problem adapting to using this product.
The Masterbuilt 30″ Digital Electric Smoker is a top pick since it allows you to multitask while you cook. You will find you don’t have to constantly watch over the cooker. If you find yourself cooking meats on a regular basis, this may be the cooker for you!
Masterbuilts digital smoker provides a consistent level of cooking temperatures, that get up to 275°F. It stays at this temperature for as long as your thick, lean cuts of meat require.
You get a more precise reading because of the digital thermostat control. It gives you more control and ease of use when talking cooking temperature and time.
This electric smoker comes with a patented woo-chip loading system located on the side. This makes it extra easy to add your wood of choice.
This allows the true flavor of the meat to come through, and you won’t lose a ton of heat when you open the smoker.
There is plenty of room for you to put any volume of meat, with 711 square inches of cooking space, and 4 chrome-plated racks.
The design of this electric smoker makes this one of the smooth cooking experiences.It includes a fully-insulated chamber for smoking, an air damper giving you smoke control, a water pan for added flavor and moisture for thicker cuts, removable rear greasy trays, and a removable drip tray.
Your masterbuilt smoker will be your new best friend. Whether it is a previous model, or newer one.
2. Little Chief Electric Smoker
This smokehouse electric smoker is one of the most durable, constructed out of strong aluminum. On this smoker, there is a setting to keep your low temperature consistent while cooking.
You get a helping hand with easy-slide chrome grills, a flavor fuel pan, and a dishwasher safe drip pan.
This is the best electric smoker under 300 dollars. The capacity of this bad boy is up to 25 pounds of meat, fish or vegetables.
3. Char-Broil Analog
This analog smoker is one of the best smokers because of its usability and great features. It is a smoker (like the char-broil deluxe) that delivers the best results for a low price. Since it is a small size and has handles, this is a more portable electric smoker.
With double Insulation, this is a great budget pick that will bring the best out of your meats.
You get an advanced technology control panel with a blue LED display making it very accessible to all users.
It has a very sleek and modern design. Encompassing a nice glass door and a stainless steel, and a dual-tone finish, this is one of the best electric smokers under 300 dollars.
4. PIT BOSS PBV3D1 3 Series
The PIT BOSS has a ton of great features for all your smoking adventures.
Removable cooking grids make for easy cleaning and care. You get five porcelain cooking racks, and a porcelain coated water pan to start things off. Also, there is a glass window so you can monitor cooking time.
The double-wall construction and blanket insulation technology make for premium smoking efficiency. This is a great option if you are hosting a large gathering.
With the large viewing window incorporated into the design, the PIT BOSS is practically the best electric smoker under 300 dollars. It lets you easily check on your meat and control your cooking with the push-button digital control panel.
5. Char-Broil Digital Smoker
This version is only the base model, but still the best electric smoker under 300 dollars. On the market, you can find bundles that include cookbooks, smoker covers, a stand, and even wood chips in an affordable price range.
One of the first things you will notice about this smoker is the incredibly spacey interior in which you can cook greater volumes of meat for those family outings where everyone brings a friend.
You also get a crazy 725 square inches of space, making this one the top of the line for its capacity.
This cooker is one that is well worth looking into. If you want the basic meat-smoking components, then this will be the tool for your next cookout.
This model is pretty easy to operate overall. Even if you are just starting out, you will be able to master smoking. The control panel on this device is easy to operate, and all the important information is located on the LED screen.
This smoker is built to perform. The glass door gleams against the stainless steel base, making it a stylish addition to your backyard hangout spot.
6. Bradley Smoker
Compared to the higher end Bradley smoker bs611, this is the best value for the right price.
Don’t worry! The drip pan is removable to help your clean-up run smoothly as ever. Make you that you check the right place for any dirt or grime leftover.
Cleaning your Bradley smoker after every use will be more sanitary in the long run, and make the performance of the device better overall.
The best electric smoker for under 300 dollars is right here!
7. Cuisinart Cos-330
If you have a bunch of different veggies and meats you want to smoke, the spacious 548 square inch interior on the Cuisinart cos-330 gives you enough space to smoke just about anything your heart desires, making it the best electric smoker under 300 dollars.
The vertical design makes it one of the top electric smokers, and a great addition in spaces such as your patio or outdoor kitchen.
There are three removable racks made of stainless steel, ideal for smoking larger cuts of meat. The good news is, you have an easy clean-up since the racks are dishwasher safe.
The heating coil made with this cooker provides a 1500-watt heating element. This produces temperatures from 100°F to 400°F that can be easily controlled from using the dial to find the right temperature. This high quality will be a great choice!
8. Masterbuilt MB20071117
Clearly, the Masterbuilt brand is always the best choice when starting to take smoking seriously. This Masterbuilt mb20071117 model is a sleek, plain black design and the best electric smoker under 300 dollars.
This is a 30-inch smoker with a spacious interior. You get to enjoy 730 square inches of cooking space. 4 chrome-plated racks give you ample breathing room when smoking all your favorite meats and vegetables.
The Masterbuilt smoker comes equipped with a glass door for easy check-ins. You also have the luxury of digital controls.
With digital temperature controls, you get a solid temperature range from 100F to 275F. If you want to smoke larger and more intense grade meats, this one falls a little short with temperature. However, this still gets the job done for most of your smoking needs!
What is nice about this device is the temperature is controlled by a thermostat, giving you peace of mind. There is a timer that can be set so you won’t be able to forget about your meat after 8 or 9 hours.
The drip pan is removable to promote quick and easy clean-up. As with all smokers, you should clean the Masterbuilt after every use and then you’ll never need to spend too long scouring.
9. Dyna-glo Digital
A perfect choice for your backyard hangout. You get a whopping total of 784-square inches of cooking space for smoked flavored foods. With 4 adjustable steel wire smoking racks, possibilities are endless!
The 15,000 BTU cast iron burner makes this the best electric smoker for under 300 dollars. It gives you a good temperature range. It also comes with an electronic push button ignition and a large control dial, which is very convenient.
The double-door design can be put to use for control while cooking, and for greater heating opportunity. With sliding air dampers located on top and sides giving you options while smoking your meals.
10. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Smoker
The Big Easy Smoker Roaster & Grill is the jack of all trades. It lets you smoke, roast and grill. With TRU-Infrared technology, you can evenly cook through meats, with no sparks or flare-ups in the cooker.
You can evenly cook turkey, ribs, roast, or other cuts of meat with no sweat. The best thing is that the internal temperature control from 9,000 to 18,000 BTU’s makes cooking a meal for your small family easy.
This electric smoker can hold up to 25 lbs for roasting and encompasses about 180 square inches of cooking area for grilling.
This is the best electric smoker for under 300 dollars because of the plethora of features.
11. Dyna-glo DGU732bde-d
The Dyna–Glo dgu732bde-d is a sleek and modern design for an electric cooker. It encompasses great features such as control panels located on the top.
There is a removable drip pan and venting system to promote clean smoking for your next cookout. Try to branch out and experiment with different hardwoods while using this smoker. Depending on the smoker you choose, you may or may not have a wood-burning option. On the other hand, the best smokers such as this model will usually have this feature.
Read the instruction manual for easy setup and more information.
12. Old Smokey
Assembly of the old smokey electric smoker 1,250-watt electric vertical smoker is a task that won’t be a hassle.
You get a lot of control with this budget friendly smoker. Adjustable Electric element with adjustable heat control allows you to cook at a variety of temperatures.
You get handles on the chrome plated racks that make this smoker very versatile and easy to work with.
Enjoy smoking your meats with Old Smokey in the cold weather and summer cookout weather.
13. Royal Gourmet
One of the most versatile on the market, but for a price you will love!
You get a generous 457 square inches of the cooking surface to work with. This sits over 3 chrome-coating smoking racks for easy clean ups. You will get the most out of your meats with the 1500-watt heating power. This smoker is really good at retaining its heat with the double-wall firebox.
Now, gain control over your flavor with the fully adjustable and removable digital controls. There is a thermometer integrated into the cooking system so you can easily check in.
You can have confidence that no flavor will escape with the latch system design. To prevent injury, you have a cool-touch spring door handle, and 2-side handles for your transportation needs.
14. Smoke Hollow 26″
The smoke hollow Digital Electric Smoker does most of the work for you. Set the digital controls to what you desire, and watch the magic happen!
This smoke hollow traditional smoker integrates efficiency with complexity. It is a great choice when you want that even smoke every single time. The important thing is that it also takes up less space than an offset smoker will.
The cooking process is complete with insulated construction made to keep the heat inside giving you consistent smoking.
15. Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital
With this Bluetooth Masterbuilt cooker, you have better control overall. You can control power, temperature, lighting, and also monitor your meat temp with Bluetooth technology.
You get 30 inches of spacing and four chrome-coated smoking racks as well.
This system comes with a remote control feature, a built-in probe thermometer to leave you with perfect results every time.
Get a more accurate and consistent smoking experience with the temp control thermostat. This also helps you get that even smoke. Lastly, you get the wood-chip loading system made for you to add chips without opening the smoking door.
Try out this model as well: Masterbuilt mb20071117.
Let’s talk about the important stuff.
Season Your Grill
The first thing you should always do is season your grill. Especially for first time usage, it really helps for you to season the grill for easy cleaning purposes.
The main reasoning for this is to take off any excess residue stuck on the chip tray, cooking racks, or the housing made of stainless steel. When you do this, make sure you cover as much of the interior surfaces in your electric smoker as you can. Next, take some sort of light oil, and spray a light coat on.
Then, you should run your cooking device at approximately 275°F for approximately three hours. When you reach the final hour of seasoning, you could add some wood chips to that chip tray. The chips produce enough smoke to prime your smoker for use in the future.
Have a Temperature Gauge
Make sure you use your own temperature gauge. This is important to know, because even though your electric smoker comes with one, it could be on the cheaper end and may not be accurate all the time.
If you want to master the meat smoking life, investing in these tools will save you a lot of hassle later one. A digital temperature gauge may be the most effective.
The Right Temperature
Making sure you are cooking at the right temperature is also important. Temperatures and cooking times vary depending on the type of meat and the size. For example, meats such as pork shoulder, pork butt, and ribs smoke best around the temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chicken and turkey however can handle higher temperatures. You can often cook these meats for multiple hours at a time around 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and create your own custom wood blend. Finding the best option for smokers is only part of the battle. You also have to pick the right choice of meats!
Some people get pretty serious about their meat flavors. There are so many celebrated blends to play with. You might think that you would never enjoy smoke flavors mixed together, but don’t be afraid!
Blending alder, hickory, or mesquite with a fruity wood such as cherry or apple will expand your horizons.
Clear Your Schedule
Make sure you clear your schedule for your smokin’ days. To prepare your meat correctly and get the most out of your device, you must cook for a long time. You could be smoking for multiple hours at a time to get those soft, tender textures and smoke flavors.
For meats such as ribs, you will cook for a couple of hours. You could go up to a full day for hams and turkeys. For a brisket, cooking times can average 75 minutes per pound of meat, and while being cooked at a steady temperature of 225 degreesFahrenheitt.
Your electric smoker is made to cook meat at lower temperatures rather than if you were cooking on a standard charcoal grill or gas grill.
Set a Cooking Space
Having a set cooking space helps a bunch. Make sure you find the right sized electric cooker so that meal preparation doesn’t get too hectic. Pick a more compact electric smoker for events such as tailgating and a bigger one for at home use.
Picking a vertical smoker from the list can actually double or triple your cooking area. On the other hand, invest in a wide smoker with a dual door design for smoking larger pieces of meat without worrying about cutting them up.
Keep It Clean
Last but not least, make sure you keep your smoker clean. Electric smokers are hot on the market today because of how they burn cleanly. Cooking on char and other burnt bits can ruin some of the meat flavoring. You will have peace of mind if you take some time to clean the racks and other surfaces on your cooker.
Best Meats to Smoke
Remember, smoking is a slow and precious process to get those excellent results. Pork shoulder is one of the perfect meats for this reason. The pork comes out super moist and flavorful. Every second the meat is in the smoker is well worth it.
If you have been into smoking meat for quite a while, you probably know by now that pork shoulders are one of the top choices when it comes to smoking simply because of their balance of fat and meat.
When deciding between meats, choose a more boney with at least ¼ inch of fat. This will add a tremendous amount of flavor and a delectable texture.
Beef Brisket is in the running for most popular smoking meats. It comes out on top for multiple reasons.
Briskets are cut specifically from the chests of cows. The best thing about them is, they have a higher fat content, making for a robust flavoring when it is smoke. The larger layers of fat allow for a more tender piece of meat.
Pork and Beef Ribs
Let’s start with the variety of rib cuts out there that you may or may not know about. On the list we have; short ribs, spare ribs, beef back, baby back, and country-style. However, for smoking baby back and spare ribs are among the most recommended.
Bursts of flavor await you with pork and beef ribs. A classic type of meat, and one of the highest ranked in the market. This meat has been a crowd favorite when it comes to smoking and in demand in markets as well.
The ribs are always going to be a hit at your cookout! Smother them with your favorite Sweet Baby Ray’s right off the grill and enjoy.
Pork and Beef Roast
Types of roasts such as chuck, shoulder, and cross ribs are made up of higher fat content. This makes the roast a perfect choice for slower cooking, and for you to get that juicy texture you desire. Beef usually requires high temperatures and a shorter period of time.
Some people complain about the turkey is dry and hard to chew. Let’s show ’em how a real turkey should taste! If you properly prepare the turkey before smoking it, it can really be a game changer. Finally, your turkey meat will be tasteful, and moister than ever before.
You do run the risk of getting a dry turkey in the smoker. Now, to prevent your precious turkey meat from drying out, let it sit in a saltwater bath for about 1 hour per pound.
Smoking times for turkey are usually 225 degrees Fahrenheit, and running at 30 minutes per pound.
Classic sausage is one of those meats you just can’t forget about. Sausage is great paired with mashed potatoes and a vegetable of your choice. It’s a classic that will taste great every time.
Cold smoking sausage with your veggies is another awesome way to bring out all the flavors out.
What’s the easiest meat to smoke?
The best electric smoker under 300 will make handling all meats easy. However, one of the easiest meats to handle when you are first getting used to your electric smoker is going to have been the Boston Butt (otherwise known as Pulled Pork).
This meat is extremely marbled compared to other meats, making it cook more evenly and hold moisture. This meat is a great choice that everyone at your family cookout is sure to love.
Having smoked pork butts are always a good choice to bring out at parties and camping cookouts. It is usually a deal breaker because of the texture and immense amount of flavor the meat contains.
You can’t forget about how important burnt ends are! Watch out, you might have people fighting for those bits.
What is the hardest meat to smoke?
Beef brisket is one of the most popular meat choices when cooking in a smoker. A common problem is, it tends to be on the pricier side and is not the easiest meat to smoke.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give the beef brisket a try with your cooker. We just recommend that you take more time and patience to find some really good recipes, and follow them closely.
Beef smokes well with all woods except for apple. Chicken tastes great smoked with anything other than oak and maple. Fish can be a new meat to try that is especially tasty when it is smoked using mesquite, or alder. Veggies also get great flavor when they are smoked with either hickory, pecan, or maple.
In conclusion, the best electric smoker under 300 dollars is out there and ready for you.
Smoking meats does not have to be an intimidating process. Through lots of good research and patience, you will have the most flavorful meet at your next family gathering. Meat is a staple food to any meal, now you can take it to the next level with your new best electric smoker under 300 dollars.
There are a lot of great recipes you can follow, and for any type of meat you can imagine. For more scoops on cooking, check out the benefits of cooking at home and the secret to cooking perfect steak!