Smokers are a great outdoor grill that was built to cook flavorful food slowly and carefully. For smoking food, you should always cook at low temperatures (220 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Traditional smokers burn wood or charcoal to smoke as well as cook food, but today, there are many variations and even hybrids.
What if you want your smoker to get hotter so that you also have the option to grill food such as hamburgers, hot dots or traditional cuts of beef? These models are worth looking into:
The best electric grill and smoker in 2020
- This is a solidly built model that is also easy to store, although it can take up a decent amount of space. It’s a great gift to yourself as a foodie or a barbecue lover. You can definitely smoke many different types of meat on the grill, from pork chops and chicken to salmon and steak. The adjustable temperature gauge is pretty intuitive, and you’ll find that cooking meat slowly works very well with this smoker. You can also turn the settings up to “high” to cook your meat more quickly, which is perfect for regular grilling with a smoky flavor, too. This is a flexible smoker that has a lot of possibilities if you have the time to get to know it better.
- This electric smoker can hold a LOT of food, giving you space to put 2-4 servings of different main dishes on 4 separate racks. This is what I call a “plug and play” smoker – take it outside, plug it in, fill it up with meat and set the timer/temperature. You’ll be impressed by the quality details that this smoker has that others don’t: the door offers a locking seal, the unit doesn’t get hot on the outside, and you can even add additional wood chips through a slot on the side. You may want to initially make sure that the chips are evenly distributed, because sometimes they catch on the side of the warming unit. Otherwise, this is a great appliance to grill as well as smoke, and it has a lot of room. Although the unit is heavy, it’s small enough to be portable.
- This 725 Square Inch mammoth has a removable food thermometer for accuracy, and like the others, you can watch things smoke through the glass door (although this will frequently need cleaning). This smoker feels very sturdy and high quality. A handsome design stainless steel, dual-tone finish and an airtight stainless steel locking latch help this smoker do its job, and do it well. There are 4 adjustable smoking racks and a digital control panel to help with accuracy. Typically, you can get about 5 hours of smoke before you need to refill the chips. Otherwise, choose your meat and veggies, and wait for your delicious meal to be ready. It’s got some great insulation to lock in the smoky taste and keep your meat juicy. This particular smoker only works if you use the timer functions – see the manual for accurate temperatures and smoke times.
- This electric smoker loads in the front and also has the added bonus of a recipe booklet and bonus 1.75-pound bag of Chips n’ Chunks hickory flavor wood fuel. You can use it to cook for a long period time at a pretty consistent low temperature according to the settings. It also comes with an easy-to-clean, dishwasher safe drip pan. Although there aren’t a lot of bells and whistles, this little smoker is a great smoker for beginners and can cook anything from steak to salmon. If you’re looking for something basic and easy to use out of the box, try this one. You won’t be disappointed. The front-loading glass will need to be cleaned regularly or it will fog up.
- This smoker comes with chrome-plated cooking grids are included that can be adjusted to variable cooking heights, allowing you enough space to smoke a whole chicken or turkey. It has a solid, thick steel cabinet with side handles and insulation that keeps the handles cool. Temperature control is easy and intuitive. It’s about 36 inches tall and 19 inches wide, which makes it easy to store and put away when you need to. It’s also one of the more portable models from the ones we’ve seen here.
- This is a mammoth electric grill with smoker, with a 700 inch cooking area, this electric grill smoker combo lets you smoke, bake, roast, braise, and barbecue. The digital timers ensure accuracy and the model itself can maintain a temperature from 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 450 degrees. The unit uses 100% hardwood pellets to generate heat and smoke as fuel as well as flavor, creating amazing smoker flavor. This model also comes with a money-back guarantee. It’s way too large to be portable, but if you’re looking to have an amazing party, or join a BBQ competition, this is the electric grill with smoker for you. It’s built to give you traditional, Southern barbecue.
Best Foods for Smoking
So what types of foods are best to cook in a smoker? Pulled pork, whole chickens, and various kinds of meat come to mind. Smoking fish all day long isn’t the best use of your resources, but there are a few recipes (particularly on skewers) that can actually be pretty tasty.
Have you ever tried to cook kabobs on a smoker? Try this smoked sirloin kebabs recipe if it’s your first time. Smokers are also a brilliant way to cook seafood – try a change of pace by smoking shrimp for your next get-together. Finally, try to indulge in some excellence with a pork chop recipe complete with the taste of apple wood. Once you’ve completed this task, you’ve become a master.
Smokers 101: A Beginner’s Guide
Beginners need to hear the basics, and in many cases, we ignore the instructions in a new gadget’s manual. Smoking is about slow cooking at a low temperature, usually for a long period of time, the most rigid is usually 5 -7 hours for several racks of ribs.
- The first thing you need to know to perfect your smoker technique is that you always need to choose the best cut of meat possible. Choose chunky and thick for ham or turkey, if you can. If you’re doing ribs, choose the ones that are freshest with the most meat.
- Make sure that you choose the right wood for your smoker. If you’re smoking bacon, you should decide if you want apple or hickory wood chips. The same goes for all the foods you love to smoke – you can choose between apple, hickory, cherry, and oak for most recipes.
- Speaking of recipes, you’ll need a few. Rubs are appropriate to prep the food you’re getting ready to barbecue in the fire. A rub, plus the smoke and the grilling, make for great barbecue and other smoked foods like salmon. Variety is the spice of life, or maybe it’s the other way around? Either way, try this dry rub spice recipe for chicken if you’re looking for a basic rub for chicken, or this barbecue spice rub that can be put on just about anything before you smoke it.
- Use quality briquettes to start your smoker, and don’t use anything dangerous like lighter fluid oil to enhance it. Remember, smokers heat up quickly, and you only need a little bit of a flame to light it. Use high-quality briquettes or lump charcoal as the bottom layer in your smoker box. Quality is much better than quantity. You want your chips to burn all day, right?
Electric grills and smokers are fine tools for making some of the juiciest, tastiest meat you’ve ever had from scratch, but don’t blow it! Improvising does nothing to help with the taste of the meat or how slow you cook it. If you’re using a smoker to actually smoke, then take care to make sure you have the patience. If you’re using it to grill something for a shorter time period, make sure the temperature gauges are accurate. Otherwise, you’re in for some great meals and you’re sure to enjoy dinner!
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