Ribs cooking on the best electric smoker under $300

Best Electric Smokers Under $300

If you love a good cookout, electric smokers are great - once you’ve prepared your meat (and/or veggies) you can literally set it and forget it.  So if you are looking to produce delicious smoked ribs, sausages, burgers, chicken, fish or even a whole smoked turkey and home made smoked salt then check out our top of the range best electric smokers under $300. Buy one and sit back and relax chatting to your friends with a cold one in your hand.

The smoker will take care of the rest. 

And electric smokers are so much less expensive than your pellet smokers!  Here we concentrate solely on electric smokers which are under $300.

Low price does not mean inferiority - we can guarantee you there are some really good electric smokers out there for your budget.

Electric smokers are a time saver too, you don’t have to worry about all that time and effort that's needed in traditional charcoal smoking.  

The best electric smokers are also good for smoking a variety of foods such as fish and sausage.  You can sometimes even convert your electric smoker to cold smoker for doing bacon and cheese but we will cover that later in the buyers guide.

Our winner after 35+ hours of research

Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Smoking Racks, 30 inch, Black

Masterbuilt MB20070210 MES 35B Electric Smoker

Our Rating

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Best electric smokers under $300 - Comparison Table

Best electric smokers under $300 - Our Reviews

Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Smoking Racks, 30 inch, Black

#1. Our Overall Top Pick

Masterbuilt MB20070210 MES 35B Electric Smoker

Our Rating

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Masterbuilt are hands down the most popular brand and produce some of the best electric smokers on the market. Their reputation is second to none - and with good reason!  Firstly performance, this product features a 1500 watt heating element for consistent, even heat - just what you need to get that perfect tenderness and flavor in your meat.

It has a built-in temperature gauge and variable temperature control - just adjust the dial to set different temperatures for your different foods.

It features a removable water bowl, so you can add that extra moisture and flavor as and when you choose.

You can load wood chips, for that all important wood-chip smoky flavor.  The wood chip tray just slides right open so you can remove the ash as necessary.

It has three smoking racks in total, all of which are chrome coated, which is great for cleaning.

It also sports an adjustable air damper because who wants to sit around in smoke.

There’s even a tray to catch all your excess food drippings - great for the health conscious amongst us (or if you want to make some homemade sauce like me).

You can also buy a matching electric smoker cover specifically made for this size machine.

Pros

  • Powerful heating element
  • Consistent temperature for even heating
  • Easy temperature control
  • Allows wood chip loading
  • Special features such as grease catcher and an air damper

Cons

  • It might be too small for some gatherings
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Masterbuilt MB20076718 Bluetooth Electric Smoker 240G Digital, Black with SS Door

#2. Runner Up

Masterbuilt MB20076718 Bluetooth Electric Smoker 240G Digital

Our Rating

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Our number 2 is a really good one to go for if your budget allows - as it comes with all the trendy gadgets like a handheld Bluetooth linked remote control, which you can sync with your iPad should you so wish!

Customers absolutely love this feature, but don’t worry if you’re nervous about new tech, you don’t have to use this feature.

You can control the cooking time, the cooking temperature, and it even goes so far as monitoring the internal meat temperature with special probes that go right into the meat.

It’s a good size too - with 4 large chrome coated smoking racks you’re going to fit so much food into it!

It has a large window, allowing you to keep track of all four of its smoking racks, without losing heat and smoke from constantly opening the door to check in the meat browning.

You don’t need to open the door to add the wood chips either - there’s a patented side wood chip loading system instead.

Pros

  • Bluetooth smart technology for ultimate control of time and temperature
  • Monitors the internal meat temperature
  • Large capacity for large, mouth watering meals
  • Very large viewing window
  • Allows wood chip loading
  • Removable sun shade
  • Easy to set up, use and clean

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price
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Royal Gourmet SE2801 Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control, Black

#3. Runner Up

Royal Gourmet SE2801 Electric Smoker

Our Rating

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Another great electric smoker.  Again we have powerful wattage at 1500 watts, and thanks to its’ double wall construction the smoker body really retains the heat - great for ensuring heat consistency for smoking your meats.  The heat retention is also helped by its latch system for great seal performance.

With its built-in thermometer with removable digital controls you can adjust the temperature as you wish, depending on what it is you’re cooking and how long you want to cook it for -  from 240 degrees Fahrenheit through to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are 3 cooking racks, whereby you can adjust the height to accommodate different size foods.  Altogether, there’s 457.86 square inches of cooking surface, so you can fit in ribs, pies and even turkeys!

The real USP though its versatility - you can set it up, not only for smoked barbeque, but also for firewood grilling, steaming and drying.

Another thing we love about it is its flavoring system.  You can heat wood chips from a lidded box, and along with steam rising from the water pan collocation you get that rich smoky flavor, but also moisture and juicy meat.

For the vain amongst us, the beautiful black smoker features a detailed tattoo-like picture of a bird in flight and looks absolutely stunning.

There’s a cool tough spring door handle to prevent scalding when opening, and there are 2 side handles for ease of transport.

It's easy to clean too, with a replaceable aluminium oil pan underneath the smoker to collect all the grease from your meats.

Pros

  • Great power and insulation for consistent heating and smoking
  • Built in thermometer with adjustable control
  • Double whammy flavoring system
  • Allows wood chip loading

Cons

  • Can’t be used indoors
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Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow SH19079518 Digital Electric Smoker, Black

#4. Runner Up

Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow SH19079518 Digital Electric Smoker

Our Rating

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Ok, so this one hasn’t got as powerful a heating element as others we have shown you, but we believe its other plus points more than make up for it.

This electric smoker is completely digital - not just for your generic on and off, you can control both the temperature and the cooking time independently.

It features a built-in thermostat, and a fully insulated smoker body.  Together this makes for wonderfully consistent and even cooking and smoking.

Although it's pretty small to look at its food capacity is pretty good.  At any one time you can be cooking 9 chickens, 2 turkeys, 3 racks of ribs, 3 pork butts, 36 sausages, or 24 burgers.

It has other nifty features too, such as a removable drip pan for grease, a removable water bowl to use or not use as you wish, and even an adjustable air damper for your smoke control.

Pros

  • Digital temperature and timing control panel
  • Allows wood chip loading
  • Removable drip pan
  • Removable water bowl
  • Adjustable air damper

Cons

  • You have to open the door to reach the wood chip tray
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LANDMANN MCO 32954 Landmann Smoky Mountain 26' Electric Smoker-Black-OPP w/Viewing W

#5. Runner Up

Landmann Smoky Mountain 26" Electric Smoker

Our Rating

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Now here’s an electric smoker that you can use indoors.  It features a lightweight design and comes with handles to move to your room or area of choice.  It's a real space saver too, but don’t be fooled, with its 1500 watt heating element, it really packs a punch!

What we love about it is its viewing window - you can just sit back and watch your foods brown before your eyes.  This is great because it means you don’t lose heat by opening the door to check on the food. And you won’t lose all that lovely smoke!

We also like its three in one tray which you can use for whatever you like, use as a wood chip box, a water pan, or simply use it as a grease pan.

It features an easy to use dial, to control the temperature by setting it to warm, low, medium or high.

Pros

  • Can be used indoors
  • Has a viewing window, keep track of your smoking without losing heat and smoke
  • Can control and adjust the temperature
  • 3 in 1 combo tray for wood chips, steam, or collecting grease

Cons

  • Relatively small
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Masterbuilt MB20073716 Patio-2-Portable Electric Smoker, Black

#6. Runner Up

Masterbuilt MB20073716 Patio-2-Portable Electric Smoker

Our Rating

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If portability is more your thing in your electric smoker choice, boy have we got the product for you!  The compact design and folding legs make transport and storage easy.

It has all the features you’d expect from such a top, well trusted brand.  A powerful 1400 watt heating element for consistent and even heating, and a built in temperature gauge with easy dial control to adjust the temperature by hand.

Despite being designed to be portable it can take care of some decently sized meals - up to 4 chickens, 1 turkey, 2 racks of ribs, or 2 pork butts.

Maintenance of this smoker is really easy too.  Just mix 50/50 hot water and vinegar in a spray bottle, shake, and spritz and clean with a soft sponge.

Pros

  • Light and portable
  • Good brand
  • Powerful heating element for even heating 
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Too small for large cookouts 
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Best electric smokers under $300 - Buyers Guide

Here we go through all the things you need to consider when looking to purchase an electric smoker: performance, temperature control, size, wood chip loading, and general maintenance.

Performance

The key to properly smoking meat is maintaining a good, consistent temperature.  If this is ignored it’s difficult to get the meat cooked at the right tenderness and flavor.  That’s why it’s important for your electric smoker to be well insulated.

Controlling temperature

Most electric smokers allow you to tweak the temperature manually with a digital or analog control, so you can set it between 100 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit, while others only smoke at the one set temperature.

Some of the more advanced electric smokers allow you to place a thermometer right into the meat - allowing you to control the temperature right where it counts. 

In some of the newer electric smokers, you can even regulate the temperature using Bluetooth!

Size and number of shelves

Electrical smokers come in a variety of sizes and dimensions.  If you intend to keep your electric smoker in your garage, you will likely want it to be small and not take up too much room.

But on the other hand if you intend to cook for many people at any one time, and have several elements of the meal that you want to cook, you may prefer something bigger.

You also need to weigh up the number of shelves against shelf space.  You may decide there’s no value in having 5 cooking racks if you can’t fit a full rack of ribs on them, which can be a common problem in smaller electric smokers.

An average large electric smoker has a capacity of around 1500 square inches of cooking space, which is double the size of an average small electric smoker.  If you do intend to smoke larger items such as whole briskets, you may be better suited a larger model.

If you intend on smoking your own jerky you will want the option of additional jerky racks. You can find out more about smoking your own jerky here.

Ability to add wood chips

Ok, so we’ll level with you here.  If you use a smoker that doesn’t use wood chips or charcoal, you could be missing out on that all important real smoke flavour in your meat.  But that’s not going to be an issue for you - you can buy electric smokers that allow you to add wood chips or charcoal into it, for that all important taste.

Electric Smoker Maintenance

The best electric smokers that have easy to remove shelves and grates, to ensure easy cleaning.  In our reviews we specify if the electric smoker has dishwasher safe parts.

Electric smoker FAQs

Are electric smokers safe?

Electric smokers are indeed safe and healthy and can even be used around children.  They do not emit the same harmful pollutants into the air that other smokers do.

Are electric smokers as good as others?

Electric smokers beat other smokers hands down in terms of how easy they are to use.  We would argue that the food produced by an electric smoker is just as good as that from your other smokers, especially if you use a smoker that allows wood chip loading.  They’re cheaper too.

Can you use electric smokers indoors?  

Some electric smokers can be used indoors and we specify in our featured products which of these can be used indoors.  Importantly, you cannot use an electric smoker indoors if you’re loading it with wood chips.

Do electric smokers cook faster?

An electric smoker takes a long time to pre-heat, but once the food is in it cooks faster because there’s no combustion, and therefore less airflow through the smoker body.  You’ll need to smoke your meat for approximately 20 minutes per pound of weight.

Do electric smokers use a lot of electricity?

The best electric smokers are energy efficient and very little energy is lost during their smoking process.  The majority of electric smokers use about 800 watts per hour. 

Do you need to put water in an electric smoker?

People often like to put water in their electric smoker because it adds a little humidity to the smoker body which can help prevent the surface of the meat from drying out.  You can also add herbs and spices to the water pan.

How often do you need to put wood chips in an electric smoker?

If you are using wood chips in your electric smoker, you need to replenish wood chips when they stop smoking.  The time this takes very much depends on the smoker, it can vary from as often as once every 15 minutes or can go up to once an hour.

Do you have to season an electric smoker?

Yes, you should season a smoker before using it for the first time.  This prepares it for cooking by burning off any residues left over from the manufacturing process.  Not to worry though - you won’t have to do it again. We recommend checking the manufacturer instructions as to how to season your electric smoker.

How to look after your electric smoker?

Looking after your electric smoker is easy, simply remove all the cooking racks to wash them individually (they are usually dishwasher safe).  And for the interior surfaces, gently scrub with warm soapy water using a sponge. Do not use wire wool.

Where can I find an electric smoker cooking guide?

We found a good smoking times and temperature chart which can be found on the following link:

https://www.smoking-meat.com/image-files/smoking-times-temperatures-chart-2018.pdf

Or check out this magnetic quick reference chart you can attach direct to your electric smoker:

Bear Paws Meat Smoking Guide Magnet

Do different wood chips cause different flavors?

They certainly do!  The most popular wood chips include oak, hickory, mesquite and maple.  Here’s a link to a handy wood chip flavor pairing guide:

https://www.academy.com/explore/wood-chip-flavor-pairing-guide-grills-and-smokers

Accessories

Why not continue upgrading your cookout kitchen range with an outdoor pizza oven or a cool block knife set.