For anyone who has any experience smoking meat, you already know that it’s just a different treat altogether. Check out our no-nonsense guide if you’re still on the fence about it. The confusion comes up when you have to choose from a whole variety of products and options.
Why get an Electric Smoker?
Among the wide range of smokers available, electric smokers have come to serve a unique role. They’re way more convenient than traditional smokers that rely on charcoal. And you don’t have to worry about all the wood choices when you depend primarily on electricity.
Electric smokers give you the ultimate set-and-forget approach to smoking meat. And you don’t want to miss out on getting a reliable model if you’re going down this route. To ensure you get a smoker that suits your needs, you need an awareness of the products plus the right information on each model. Today, you’re in luck because we intend to briefly but accurately breakdown some of the best electric smokers under $500.
This list is carefully curated and updated to reflect what we feel are the best electric smokers that are budget-friendly.
Best Electric Smokers under $500
1. Masterbuilt MB20074719 Bluetooth
The Masterbuilt MB20074719 Bluetooth is bound to be on this list simply because of its built, features, and delivery. If we had to choose one product based on overall quality and features, it would be the Masterbuilt MB20074719. The standout feature is the wireless Bluetooth control you get over the device. You can easily set and regulate the temperature from a personal device and relax, knowing that your food is in safe, smoky hands.
- Efficient Bluetooth technology for easy and wireless control.
- You get a whopping 975 square inches of the cooking area over four racks.
- The roller wheels make shifting and moving easier.
- Each grate is chrome-plated and delivers an easy food assortment.
- The wood chip side comes with patented tech that’s secure and provides easy loading.
- The Bluetooth range gets some flak because it’s not as comprehensive as expected.
- Their app is due for some minor fixes and bug issues.
2. Dyna-Glo DGU732SDE-D 30″ Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker
The Dyna-Glo DGU732SDE-D is another electric smoker that offers quality and versatility. It comes with the standard Bluetooth connectivity and temperature gauge you’d expect in an electric smoker. But it adds features that make the whole smoking experience more convenient.
- It offers 732 square inches of cooking area with chrome grates for easy handling.
- Integrated meat thermometer gives you an accurate reading of internal temperature.
- The bottom access drawer lets you adjust wood chips or water without affecting the cooking.
- The 1000-watt burner makes it great for colder climates where you need more heating capacity.
- The bottom drawer can cause grease spills if not handled carefully.
- Some users have complained of inefficient thermometer readings.
3. Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker
The Masterbuilt MB20071117 is the ideal alternative if you feel that the MB20074719 goes beyond your budget. The MB20071117 still offers some of the best features that Masterbuilt offers and comes at a more reasonable price. The wood chip tray makes it easier for you to clean and remove the ash.
- More affordable price tag with regular Masterbuilt features.
- You can control on/off, time, and temperature with the digital panel.
- The body comes fully insulated for added heat retention.
- Air dampers give you more comfortable control of smoke.
- Size is the only apparent issue with this model. The cooking area is not as wide as the others, and the wood chip tray is also smaller than expected.
4. Cuisinart COS – 330
The Cuisinart COS – 330 is the ideal choice for an electric smoker that occupies less footprint. It’s handy for barbeque kitchens and patios where you want the additional space. It comes under the standard 30’ category, but the dimensions are more space-saving than other models. So, if you want a reliable smoker that’s still small enough to move around, the Cuisinart COS – 330 is a great alternative.
- The three racks are made of stainless steel, removable, and safe for dishwashers.
- The 1500-watt heating element is way more than you’ll need for any smoking recipe.
- The steel trays can hold both water and wood chips so that cleaning and maintenance are more manageable.
- The 543 square inches aren’t as much as the other models on this list. However, given the portability and space-efficiency, it’s not a dealbreaker.
5. Char-broil 17202004 Electric Smoker
The Char-broil 17202004 Electric Smoker is an alternative that gives you most of everything you’d want in an electric cooker. The price isn’t the cheapest, but it’s still easy to cover with a $500 budget. The Char-broil 17202004 doesn’t seem like it has any standout features, which is valid to an extent. The advantage lies in a well-rounded set of standard features that delivers what it promises.
- It has a cooking area of 735 square inches and comes with four removable and adjustable racks.
- The double-wall construction serves as an added layer of insulation.
- The control panel is user-friendly with light indicators and an easy-to-read display.
- You can remove the food thermometer when cleaning or not in use.
- The extra-large latch is made of stainless steel and provides a smoke-tight seal.
- This unit can sometimes develop internal leaks if not handled correctly.
These are some of the most reliable electric smokers that work well and don’t cost a lot. If you have a more flexible budget, you can check out this top electric smoker list for a more detailed view and broader alternatives. You’ll also find a brief buying guide and FAQ section for making more informed purchases.
These are all relevant and useful information that should help you decide on the ideal electric smoker. Remember that these things take some trial and error before you get it right. Feel free to check back here for updated content on electric smokers and much more!