Your Guide to the Best Electric Smoker under 300 Dollars

by The Smoke Expert on June 4, 2014

Tired of searching for the best electric smoker under 300 dollars? Trust me, I’ve been in the same position as well and that’s why I know how frustrating it can be to decide which smoker to go for from the multitude of options available in the market. That’s why I’ve created this handpicked list of the top 3 electric smokers under $300!

Each of these smokehouses is a worthy contender for the top spot and has been thoroughly tested by me and other meat smoking experts in order to make it to this elite list. I’ve done all the hard work for you and cherry picked 3 of the best electric smokers/grills/smokehouses that cost less than 300 dollars. In fact, thanks to some great promotions and discounts at Amazon, they might even be available for a far lesser amount!

However, if you’re short of time and don’t have time to read a detailed review of all 3 smokers, then simply go with my choice for the #1 electric smoker in the $100-$300 price range.

1. Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker

Whether you are new to the smoking scene, or you just want something that will allow you to smoke a wide range of foods, the Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker is a great option.  This unit is ready to use straight out of the box, and reaches temperatures of around 165 degrees F.  If you are trying to decide on the Little Chief, keep reading to find out what this smoker has to offer and why I find this to be the best electric smoker under $300

Benefits and Features

The Little Chief is, well, on the small side at only 25 inches tall.  However, there is plenty of room inside to cook up to 24 pounds of food.  The unit also has 4 grills that slide, allowing for easy placement of the foods.   One of the best features on this little smoker is that it is a front loader.  This means that it is much easier to deal with, no matter what you are smoking.

Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker

The Little Chief is made of durable aluminum, which means you do not have to worry about rust and other issues as long as you take care of it properly.  The water pan and grills are easy to remove and clean, which helps cut down on your chore time so you can move on to other things.

This smoker is electric, which means you will not have to deal with the hassles of traditional charcoal smoking.  The unit is designed to hold a temperature of around 165 degrees, but it does struggle with this in cold temperatures.  The flip side of this is, you can use this smoker in the colder months to tackle some cold smoking.  If you do notice temperature drops when smoking, you should try to move the Little Chief to a less drafty area, or consider placing a larger, clean metal can over it to protect it from the effects of the wind.

This unit is considerably smaller than some of the other giants out there, and it does reach lower temperatures.  With that being said, you should expect to only smoke thinly sliced meats, cheeses, almonds, and other smaller food items.  If you are looking for a smoker than can handle an entire turkey, you will be disappointed with this smoker.  However, if you are looking forward to smoked fish and jerkies, you will love the results that you get with this little workhorse.

2. Masterbuilt 20070213 GEN II Electric Digital Smokehouse, 30-Inch

The Masterbuilt 20070213 GEN II is a smoker that provides a enjoyable user experience.  The unit is solidly built, and digital features make it possible for you to smoke your favorite meats, without the hassle of constant hands on adjustments.

Features & Benefits

The Masterbuilt GEN II provides 30 inches, which is approximately 730 square inches, of smoking space.  This provides ample room for cooking a wide variety of foods, and the 4 cooking racks allow you to adjust the interior for your needs.

Masterbuilt 20070213 GEN II Electric Digital Smokehouse

This smoker also has an integrated LED display that allows you to quickly and easily select the desired smoking temperature.  The display is clear, and is bright enough to read even in bright sunlight.  The temperature selection on the unit is thermostat controlled, and allows for consistent temperatures between 100 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Masterbuilt GEN II also has a convenient water tray that is secured with a catching mechanism.  This mechanism is a safety feature that protects from accidental burns if the unit is bumped or tilted. This second generation Masterbuilt smoker has a side loading wood box that is designed to use considerably less chips than other comparable smokers.  The unit begins smoking with only ½ a cup of chips, and generally only requires adding of additional chips every 90 minutes or so.  This allows you to essentially set it and forget it, unlike the charcoal smokers that require nearly constant attention to maintain temperature and smoke production.

This smoker is also on wheels, which makes it much more convenient to maneuver.  The wheels are positioned so that all you need to do to relocate the smoker is tilted it slightly.

For those who are undecided on whether you want to let go of your traditional charcoal smoker, there are some things that may help you change your mind.  The Masterbuilt electric smoker is designed to retain heat, which means you are no longer tied to your smoker.  You can choose the temperature settings you want, set the time, and walk away.

If you are looking for a smoker that has plenty of room inside to cook a meal, and allows you plenty of freedom while doing so, the second generation Masterbuilt electric smoker is a great option that is reasonably priced when compared to other options.

3. Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker and Grill

If you are interested in jumping into the land of smoked foods, the Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker and Grill is a great option for newbies.  The unit is reasonably priced, which makes it a great option for those who are unsure of just how often they will take the time to use the unit.  The fact that this smoker also doubles as a grill makes it perfect for those who love both cooking styles, but do not really have the room to accommodate two different appliances.

Features and Benefits

The Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker and Grill is a bit light on the features side, especially when you compare it with some of the other options available.  However, all you need to do is check the prices – the Brinkmann is considerably cheaper, and still provides great results.

Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker and Grill

The unit comes with 2 cooking grills, which together can hold up to 50 pounds of meats and other foods.  This is actually an enormous amount of smoked foods, so you are sure to be able to cook a complete meal in the smoker if you so desire.

This smoker also has a 1500 watt heating element, which means that it will maintain its temperature settings without the constant fuss seen with charcoal smokers.  Unlike some of the pricier versions, this smoker does not allow you to choose specific temperature settings.  Instead, the unit generally holds temperatures between 250 and 270 degrees Fahrenheit.  However, it should be noted that this smoker does have a difficult time holding those temperatures in colder weather.  When using this unit in colder temperatures, you should plan on longer cooking times as the smoker generally stays around 200-225 in cold weather.

This smoker uses wood chips, but performs even better with wood chunks that have been soaked properly.  You should also take the time to figure out which type of extension will work best for your environment.  Some cords provide perfect temperatures, while others tend to produce lower temperatures.  Just make sure to read the manual, as this provides the recommended cord for best results.

Overall, if you are looking for a smoker to get you started and one that costs less than 300 dollars, the Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker and Grill is a great option.  It is reasonably priced, easy to use, and has the features that you actually need in a smoker – even without all the bells and whistles, this smoker does a great job!

More Electric Smokers Under $300?

By now, I’m pretty sure that you would have made up your mind to pick a good electric smoker that fits your budget after reading my detailed reviews above. However, in case you feel that I’ve missed out on a particularly good smokehouse, then do let me know via the comment form below. Also, because newer models keep coming out every year, I’ll try my best to update this list from time to time in order to feature the best electric smokers below $300!

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