Your Guide to the Best Electric Smoker under 200 Dollars

by The Smoke Expert on June 9, 2014

While my last post focused on the top 3 electric smokers that cost less than 300 dollars, some of you wrote in asking me to review electric smokehouses that cost even lesser than that, preferably in the $100-$200 range.

So I went ahead and after a lot of research coupled with my years of experience handling different types of smokers, I finally managed to do a detailed review of the 3 best electric smokers under 200 dollars.

Now one thing that you need to remember is that most of these smokers are entry level smokers and will not have a lot of features and high-tech functionality. Obviously, to get a reliable but cheap electric smoker, you’ll need to leave out the bells and whistles. That said, the 3 smokers featured below will do a fairly good job and you’ll be able to smoke a variety of meat in them – be it beef, jerky or pork!

1. Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Smokehouse – Digital/No-Window

This is my #1 choice when it comes to picking the best electric smoker under 200 dollars! This digital smoker has no window, and it has dimensions of 20 × 17 × 33.5 inches. The exterior with steel that has been power coated makes this product durable, and the 2 and ½ cubic foot design features four racks. Utilizing push buttons, this user-friendly model with wide-smoking capability can be considered to be great for beginners as well as experts.

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Smokehouse

Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon.com

What makes it great:

User-friendly control panel

The control panel is very easy to use, and with temperatures going all the way from 100 degrees to 275 degrees, this product can be regarded as a truly versatile smoker. There is also a timer function for added usability. Moreover, the manufacturer has blessed it with the auto shut-down capability that makes it simple to use when you are not around.

Spacious cooking area

Coming packed with 4 different racks for smoking, the product makes a great purchase for even those people who want an enormous amount of space. Almost 730 square-inches can be used as cooking area, and that is the reason why you can almost put any quantity of fish, chicken, sausage or jerky you desire! Whether it is your birthday, or you are simply hosting a party that is going to be fun, the spacious cooking area will take care of your needs very well in every occasion. Simply put, the ample space is one of the primary reasons why this product has become so popular over time.

Easy cleaning process

No appliance can be great unless you can clean it with little effort, and when it comes to cleaning, this Masterbuilt is a winner. The product actually features rear-mounted type of grease pan, and also a drip pan that is removable. Therefore, whenever you need to clean it, just go ahead and remove the pans. Having done that, you can wash the pans nicely to get rid of all the unnecessary leftovers.

What is not so great about it:

Faulty heating element

A few users of the product are of the opinion that the heating element is not really great. In fact, it is reported that the element gets broken after long time use in certain cases. However, note that if you carefully follow all the instructions given by the manufacturer, then the chance of broken heating element lessens significantly. Moreover, following the right strategies can aid you in avoiding certain other problems too. Although the product has this problem in few cases, still it is one of the most popular in the industry.

2. Char-Broil Vertical 30-Inch Smoker

This particular product is one of the lower models of the series, and therefore, do not expect to have loads of features and specifications in it. That said, this electric smoker can be a huge hit if you are looking for simplicity. Although design faults like improper wood chip access and unregulated air exist, the product is overall a good choice for a number of reasons.

Char-Broil Vertical 30-Inch Smoker

Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon.com

What makes it great:

Lightweight and easy installation procedure

This portable 1500-watt smoker is very easy to install, and features variable temperature. The weight of the model is nothing you will not be able to handle, and as a matter of fact, compared to most other similarly priced models, the weight is actually quite low. Note that even though the weight has been kept low, quality has not been compromised in any way, and so it produces clean smoke.

Simplicity of cleanliness and use

The food set-up placement is quite good in it, and the thermostat provides good accuracy as well as visibility. Like other Char Broil models, this product too impresses with its simplicity of use. Features like wood chip, water chip, grease cup and ash pan make this product one of the easiest to like. Being quite uncomplicated, it is easy to clean and maintain too.

What is not so great about it:

Flaws in design

The unit has a few design flaws that may prevent buyers from appreciating it fully. For instance, the water bowl has a very low capacity, and as a result, requires refilling almost after every 45 minutes when the smoker is operating. In addition to that, the accessibility to the wood chip holder is not that great, which compromises user-friendliness by making it hard topping up the chips.

Flaws in operation

The model is also associated with certain flaws regarding operation. First of all, the product does not produce sufficient smoke, as a result of which the thrill of smoke in food is not evident. So the lack of smoked flavor in food may put some owners off. Moreover, the air is not regulated in this product, and therefore, it cannot be expected to provide great results at all times. It is possible that the lack of sufficient smoke is actually a result of the unregulated air issue.

3. Smoke Hollow 30162E Smoker

This particular smoker is mostly great for outdoor use. Featuring different temperature levels, this product is quite easy to transport or handle because of the presence of detachable controller. Note that the detachable controller features a cord of 5-inch length. Rusting as well as corrosion gets prevented by porcelain coating when it comes to the water pan. As far as the material of the wood box is concerned, painted steel serves the job well. The manufacturer also provides a efficient temperature gauge that enables users to monitor things easily, and the temperatures shown are quite accurate. Moreover, the latching system of magnetic variety resists leaks.

Smoke Hollow 30162E Smoker

Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon.com

What makes it great:

Design efficiency

The packaging of the product at the time of arrival is truly admirable, and this product does not compromise on internal correct temperature even when the outside temperature is totally opposite. That happens primarily because of the presence of double steel insulation. Also, as once mentioned already, the temperature gauge provides accuracy of reading.

Fantastic performance level

One of the best aspects of this smoker is that it can provide foods with quality smoking. That is, when you eat food prepared by it, you get the flavor of smoke in every bite you take. The foods come out tender too, and since the product is quite durable and strong, you can expect it to last many years to come. The water pan coatings and the wood box coatings are totally rust fee as well, in order to make things easier.

What is not so great about it:

Leaking of smoke

When the product is in operation, at certain times, quite a considerable amount of smoke can be seen leaving the unit, resulting in reduced amount of smoke on the inside. That issue basically ends up making food that does not have the flavor of smoke much, or not at all. During those times, the smoker needs to be kept on for longer duration in order to get the desired result. Moreover, the temperature control may sometimes not work sufficiently well. That is, even when you increase the temperature, the actual temperature tends to remain the same as before, which can be quite frustrating.

More Electric Smokers Under $200?

Well, there you have it – 3 of the best electric smokers that cost less than 200 dollars. If you’re confused between the three of them, then simply go with the Masterbuilt one and you won’t be disappointed.

In case you come across any other good smokehouse that I might have missed, do give me a shout out via the comments box below and I’ll update this list to reflect the best electric smoker under 200 dollars!

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