Zeroing in on the Best Electric Smoker under 500 Dollars

by The Smoke Expert on July 7, 2014

Searched high and low for the best electric smoker under 500 dollars but still no luck? Don’t fret because after publishing my top choices for the best electric smokehouses under $200 and $300, a lot of readers wrote in asking me to feature something in the range of about $500.

So I went ahead and did a lot of testing and consulting with other barbecue and meat smoking lovers and came up with the top 3 electric smokers that cost less than 500 dollars. Each of these smokers has been personally used by me at some point in the past and have received excellent reviews and ratings by other customers as well on various online forums.

So without further ado, let’s get this meat party started with my list of the 3 best electric smokers under $500. 

1. Masterbuilt 20070512 40-Inch Smoker: A Great Feature-Packed Model

Masterbuilt 20070512 40-Inch Electric Smoker can be regarded as a mid-budget smokehouse capable of producing great smoke even with just 1,200 watt element for heating. Packed with a window which makes it possible to see food without having to open cabinet, this model features sharp style, and controller of wireless variety.

This particular model is actually an improved version of the well-known Masterbuilt 30-inch smoker. The improvements which have been made are quite significant, and so, the company’s claim that it is the 2nd gen of the 30-inch model is something to be respected. With a blend of modern engineering and creative styling, this smoker is a truly attractive appliance.

Masterbuilt 20070512 40-Inch Smoker

The level of smoke it is capable of producing is very remarkable, and with a maximum temperature of around 300 degrees Fahrenheit, this product is capable of showing its wonders using its 1,200 watt element. The high thermal mass only makes things sweeter. Perhaps the most thoughtful feature regarding this model is the addition of the window panel. Not only the panel makes the unit look absolutely eye-catching, but also allows a user to see at what level the food that has been cooking is at any given moment, without the hassle of opening the smoker cabinet, leading to heat loss.

One aspect about this smoker deserves applause, and that is its wireless control feature. It allows users to control monitor aspects and temperature of food from a certain distance. The feature can be regarded as a kind of remote control meant for a smoker, which is pretty unique. Hopefully, this helpful feature will be added in many other models to come in future too.

The great thing is, this smokehouse allows users to add chips to wood from outside, without having to actually go too near. This is an extremely thoughtful feature, and something that other companies should pick up on quickly. Not only the feature works smartly when it comes to preserving interior heat, but also lets users have firmer control over smoke amount.

This 40-inch model has a weight of nearly 72 pounds. That is why the thing is quite easy in terms of portability. All a user needs to do is tilt the thing back using its wheels. However, removing grease trap is important before proceeding to do that. Further, the smoker features an attractive LED. The addition of interior light is another very creative and useful touch on the manufacturer’s part.

Even though this Masterbuilt 40-inch smoker is a truly versatile appliance capable of producing great food with sufficient smoke, yet it has certain drawbacks that need to be addressed. The good news, however, is that none of the problems actually relates directly to the smoker’s quality. The first issue is that many customers find that the customer support is not really all that great. The second drawback is that the heating element of the product may not always work right with certain models but that’s been reported in very few cases.

In case you prefer the 30 inch version, do read my detailed review of the same.

2. Bradley 4-Rack Digital Smoker: An Appliance Designed for Convenient Cooking

Keeping the temperature maintained at the right level is pretty hard for most barbecue makers who are just beginners. No matter what the food in question is, whether ribs, briskets, pulled pork or something else, coal smokers almost always require a good level of practice for expert temperature regulation. With ceramic varieties, temperature tends to be easy to maintain, yet overshooting is a huge concern. That is why, for all those BBQ lovers who are afraid of the idea of burning coal, Bradley Smoker has a good option and why it’s my #2 choice for the best electric smoker under 500 dollars.


The 4-Rack Bradley Digital Smokehouse is a smoker that almost looks like wine fridge. Due to its sleek appearance, it suits outdoor kitchens pretty well in terms of looks. However, if used outside the house, this unit will most probably require cover in order to be at its best shape, as protection from external harmful elements is crucial. In order to allow a user to control temperature in an easy manner, the unit features a thermostat.

In order for the smoker to generate smoke, wood bisquettes is a necessity. The market offers Bradley bisquettes that come in a number of different wood types. While hickory is quite popular, pecan does not lag behind either. Even whiskey oak bisquettes are available. As amusing as it sounds, most Bradley bisquettes look like compressed hockey puck! In order to choose the right type, consider what you are going to smoke. Since this model allows controlling of smoke level and cooking duration using its digital display, operating it is quite an easy task.

Except for the wood bisquettes, the package has everything required included inside. The manual suggests seasoning of the appliance for about an hour, before starting to smoke food. Having 4 different racks, this model offers a good amount of space to deal with small families. Each of the racks is capable of holding about 2 full rib racks, and in case you are creative with these things, you will be able to make the racks hold even more food!

The great thing about this Bradley smoker is that is does not require you to have a headache when it’s cleaning time. Just remember to use drip pan during smoking of Boston butt, and you will never have a though cleaning session. Almost everything turns out great in it, starting from jalapenos to pulled pork. Ribs are cooked amazingly well too. Overall, this user-friendly smoker is a great choice.

You can read my detailed review of the Bradley Digital smoker here.

3. Landmann USA  Electric Smoker 32910 with Mountain Vertical Design

Few other delights in the world come as close to the satisfaction of being able to get a professional-quality BBQ smoker for an affordable price. Having a smoke-box that deserves to be called powerful, the Landmann 32910 Smoker, with its vertical electric design, has been able to impress many with its top-notch quality. Even though the model is quite on the affordable side, its performance can be compared to professional level smokers.

Best Electric Smoker under 500 Dollars - Landmann USA  Electric Smoker 32910

It has the ability to smoke an amount of 15 pounds of meat at a time. Due to the presence of four cooking grates made of steel, it can deal with so much food in a single session. So basically, with this product marketed by Landmann USA, you do not have to think about how many people you have to deal with at any point; because it can serve large group events as well as it can serve small family gatherings.

The presence of four racks is certainly another advantage of this appliance, which is something that makes this smoker capable of dealing with huge amounts of food at any given instance. Almost from any angle, the capacity of cooking of this model seems huge. Even when you host beer nights for all your friends, chances are it will be able to keep up with the demand without any problem whatsoever.

If you do not like to mess with complex electronic aspects, and just want convenience at its best, this Landmann can serve you pretty well. That is because it comes equipped with a convenient LCD display. For those who do not like to think about how different things work, and only care about getting the end result, this model is the perfect thing there is, as far as electric smokers are concerned. Its built-in monitor has an uncomplicated design, making everything hassle-free. Moreover, the controls this model has are intuitive and user-friendly.

However, there is a little disadvantage that accompanies all the great aspects. The inconvenience is its water pan, which has a small size. The issue is that the pan cannot be used for long durations of time for smoking. You can always use another pan that has a large size which fits with the unit well though. Other than this particular problem, the Landmann 32910 Vertical Mountain Smoker, with its 32-inch body, offers greatness. It is a fantastic product for the price, not only because of its unapologetic design, but also because of its brilliant performance.

More Electric Smoker that cost less than 500 Dollars?

Since the above 3 smokers are my personal choices, I do understand that some of you might have your own personal preferences that you would have liked to see on this list. If that’s the case and you know of a great electric smoker that doesn’t break the bank, do let me know via the comments section below.

I’ll then test it out myself and if deemed worthy, it’ll find its way on this list of the best electric smoker under 500 dollars.

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