Best Electric Smokers for BBQ Parties in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 11, 2020
The art of cooking is so diverse that there is always something new to experience. If you haven't discovered electric smokers yet, we are ready to represent them. Check out the 5 best electric smokers and choose the one to treat your dear people with perfectly smoked meat, poultry, fish or vegetables. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
POWER
COOKING SURFACE
COOKING RACKS
MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION
CONTROLS AND USABILITY
DIMENSIONS
WARRANTY
 
PROS

The machine comes with two colour-coded temperature probes, which makes it possible to monitor the temperature inside the chamber at various levels. The provided probes are famous for their high accuracy.

CONS

For the size, the power could be higher.

OUR VERDICT

The Bradley Smart Smoker with iSmoke Technology is surely one of the highest-end machines that are a pleasure to use. You can download the Bradley iSmoke app to your phone and control the smoking process, sitting in your house. The perfect ‘set and forget’ smoker.

detailed parameters
POWER

625 W

COOKING SURFACE

~5100 sq. cm.

COOKING RACKS

6 racks

MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION

Exterior: Powder Epoxy Steel

Interior: Polished Stainless Steel

CONTROLS AND USABILITY

Touchscreen LCD-display, Can be controlled via Bluetooth from a smartphone (the Bradley iSmoke app is available for iPhone and Android smartphones)

DIMENSIONS

51 x 46 x 107 cm

~30 kg

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

Both the interior and exterior of this smoker are made of high-quality polished stainless steel. This material is not only sleek-looking and hygienic but is also highly resistant to corrosion. Also, it's very easy to maintain.

CONS

It's rather hefty and difficult to transport. 

OUR VERDICT

The Royal Catering RCRO-1300 Food Smoker is ideal not only for home use but also for small cafes, restaurants, and catering companies. It has a large capacity and very powerful heating element to smoke large batches of different food per one go.

detailed parameters
POWER

1000 W

COOKING SURFACE

~9600 sq. cm.

COOKING RACKS

8 racks

MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION

Interior: Polished Stainless Steel

Exterior: Polished Stainless Steel

CONTROLS AND USABILITY

Mechanical: Time and temperature, Adjustable chimney, Mechanical thermometer

DIMENSIONS

59 x 44 x 130 cm

39.5 kg

WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

Thanks to the automatic Smoking Bisquette system, you won't need to add wood chips manually during the cooking process. The smoker automatically detects when it's running low on chips and drops the correct amount inside.

CONS

You can use only Bradley bisquettes.

OUR VERDICT

It's a premium-quality fully-automated smoker that can take the guesswork out of cooking process. It will help you produce the best tasting BBQ no matter whether you're a novice user or a seasoned BBQ master. It's also suitable for cold smoking.

detailed parameters
POWER

625 W

COOKING SURFACE

~3400 sq. cm.

COOKING RACKS

4 racks

MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION

Exterior: Powder Epoxy Steel

Interior: Polished Stainless Steel

CONTROLS AND USABILITY

Digital control with LCD-display: Temperature, smoking, and oven time

DIMENSIONS

61 x 37 x 80 cm

19 kg

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

The set includes a water bowl allowing you to add fruit juice or water with herbs, onions or lemons and place it inside the chamber. This way, you'll be able to add moisture and unique favouring to the smoked foods.

CONS

The included racks are lacking in quality.

OUR VERDICT

Produced by the top manufacturer of smoking appliances, the Masterbuilt MES140B is really built to last. Owing to the control panel with a handy display, it's also very straightforward to use and maintain. Good choice for both beginners and pros.

detailed parameters
POWER

1200 W

COOKING SURFACE

~6300 sq. cm.

COOKING RACKS

4 racks

MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION

Exterior: Powder Epoxy Steel

Interior: Polished Stainless Steel

CONTROLS AND USABILITY

Digital control with LCD-display: Temperature, smoking and oven time

DIMENSIONS

65 x 50.5 x 105 cm

26.5 kg

WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The chimney tube at the top of the unit allows you to precisely adjust the amount of smoke inside the chamber. Also, you can set the temperature and cooking time. All these features are especially useful for seasoned smokers.

CONS

Some users note that the thermometer is a bit inaccurate. 

OUR VERDICT
This smoker was carefully designed by Royal Catering to help aromatise various food to perfection. Packed with a 1000-Watt heating element and 70 litres of volume, it's undoubtedly one of the most powerful models out there.
detailed parameters
POWER

1000 W

COOKING SURFACE

4800 sq. cm.

COOKING RACKS

4 racks

MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION

Interior: Polished Stainless Steel

Exterior: Polished Stainless Steel

CONTROLS AND USABILITY

Mechanical: Time and temperature, Adjustable chimney, Mechanical thermometer

DIMENSIONS

60 x 43 x 102 cm

33 kg

WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

Bradley BS916EU

Upgraded to Be the Best

The BBS916EU is surely one of the most sophisticated smokers you can currently find on the market. It's the latest release from the Bradley Smoker company that is now more advanced and convenient to use.

The smoker arrives neatly packaged with all the components placed inside the smoker cabinet. Putting up all the parts together won't take more than 30 minutes. Depending on your needs, you can either attach four small legs or two wheels along with two legs for extra mobility. Once assembled, you'll notice that the smoker has a stainless steel door with the clamps and strong silicone seal, which is a nice upgrade from the previous model. Another handy change is the new drip tray that now just covers the bisquette smoking plate.

Yet, the biggest upgrade is that the smoker comes with two probes that can continuously monitor the temperature of the meat inside the chamber. And the high-tech display on the smoker will show not only the set temperature and the actual one but also the temperature of the two probes. The screen is touch-sensitive and very responsive, allowing you to easily choose the temperature and time you want the machine to smoke for. After that, the smoker will do the rest with no effort required from you. Thanks to smart sensors, the inner computer will automatically detect when the machine is running low on bisquettes and add the needed amount.

Review of Bradley BS916EU Smart Smoker with iSmoke Technology

Wireless Smoking

What surely sets the Bradley Smart Smoker above the competition is the Bluetooth connectivity that really makes lots of sense. The machine can be synced with your phone to let you wirelessly monitor and control the smoker from a handy app. The Bradley iSmoke app shows pretty much everything including the temperature of two meat probes. It also offers an informative graph that shows the temperature changes during the whole smoking process (the temperature of probes and the actual oven temp).

Even better, you'll be able to change the temperature and smoking time right from the app, sitting on your comfy sofa inside the house. All this surely makes the Bradley Smart Smoker BS916EU one of the easiest and smartest appliances to use. No matter whether you'd like to impress your guests or enjoy the process of food smoking from the comfort of your own home, the Bradley Smoker will fit the bill.

Bradley BS916EU Smart Smoker with iSmoke Technology in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Royal Catering RCRO-1300

Extra Large

If you're looking for a premium smoker to treat big companies to freshly smoked fish and meat, you may really like this one. The Royal Catering RCRO-1300 Food Smoker is an extra-large electric appliance with incredible 147-litre capacity and powerful 1000-Watt heating element.

At 40 x 34 x 108 cm, the chamber of this smoker offers ample room for a whole fish and large cuts meats. The food can be hung by several hooks or placed on one of 8 shelves (included in the package). If you decide to put in all the provided shelves, you'll get the 7-cm distance between them, which should be more than enough to accommodate chicken breasts, sausages, jerky, pork tenderloins, and other delicacies that are not very tall.

What is great, the RCRO-1300 is equally suitable for cold, warm and hot smoking. It does a great job providing lots of smoke and holding the optimal temperature inside. The desired heat level can be adjusted via the temperature controller on the left side (from 0 - 110 °C), while the duration of the smoking process can be customised via a handy timer (up to 120 minutes). Once the pre-set time has elapsed, you'll hear a loud alarm. That said, the timer can be reset at any time in case you're not satisfied with the results.

Review of Royal Catering RCRO-1300 Food Smoker

Durable Construction

The smoker casing is made entirely of high-quality stainless steel, so it's quite durable and looks ultimately sleek. Owing to this material, it's also very easy to clean and retains its shiny surface for a long while. Speaking about the firebox, it's fairly robust and can be installed without a need to open the cabinet. Under the firebox, there is a large tray for catching the ashes during the smoking process.

Grease, in its turn, will be trapped in a collecting tray that is deep enough to hold lots of fat, which will protect both the firebox and the bottom of the smoking cabinet from contamination. Still, if you decide to make large batches of food and there will be too much grease, it'll flow over the spout into an additional bowl under the collecting tray.

All things considered, you'll be able to make a lot of smoke delicacies per one go and give your guests a very special taste experience with the RCRO-1300 food smoker. It's much larger and more powerful than its counterparts, so it's surely a winning choice for those who often host large parties or family dinners.

Royal Catering RCRO-1300 Food Smoker in the use

 

Bradley BTD576CE

Premium Digitally-controlled Smoker

The Bradley 4 Rack Digital is probably one of the most advanced smokers you can find on the market. It's a fully automated smoker, which you can ‘set and forget’, that will allow you to always get perfectly smoked meat, poultry, fish, and more. The ability to smoke food automatically is what sets this model apart from the competition. The trick is that it uses a digital controller that sets the smoking time and keeps the optimal temperature in the cooking chamber. Then it analyses this data and automatically adds new bisquettes when a time comes. Of course, you'll need to pay a premium price for this digitally-controlled smoker, but we can assure you that it won't be a waste given all the top features the Bradley 4 Rack Digital smoker offers.

As it's easy to decipher from the name, the smoker includes 4 racks that can accommodate quite a big amount of food. The racks can be rearranged so that you can smoke even larger food items. You will soon be able to fit just about anything inside its chamber. What we like the most, however, is that these racks, as well as the interior and exterior of the smoker, are made of high-quality stainless steel, which makes it extremely durable and easy to clean from sauce, smoke, and grease. The interior is well-insulated which allows it to maintain a stable temperature without drops and spikes no matter the weather. Besides high-quality insulation, the smoker boasts a great sealing system which allows it to prevent the smoke from escaping. But the advantages of the Bradley 4 Rack Digital smoking oven do not end here.

In order to justify its rather dear price tag, the manufacturer built it so that it would be suitable both for hot and cold smoking. This way, you can add a smokey taste to any store-brought meat, be it poultry, pork, beef, or even fish, by smoking it in the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker for about 8 hours. So while the unit is quite expensive (and we won't deny that), it's more than worth its lofty price tag given its functionality and the fact that it's able to produce some of best tasting BBQs.

Review of Bradley BTD576CE 4 Rack Digital Smoker

Magic Box

The smoker comes with an attached box that has a nice digital display panel and a holder for wood chips. The touchscreen digital panel is intuitive and easy to use. It features large buttons that let you turn the unit on/off and adjust the temperature. The information about the remaining cooking time and the inner temperature is displayed on this screen too, which is very convenient. The display is good size and clearly visible in both bright and low light conditions.

Thanks to special sensors, the smoker can automatically detect when it's running low on chips and "drop" the needed amount of wood inside to maintain the optimal heat and smoke. The feeder tube is large enough, so you can fill it right up and do not worry that bisquettes might run low in the middle of the cooking process. One thing that might be upsetting for some people is that this smoker can be used only with genuine Bradley bisquettes, which adds up extra maintenance costs. However, if these extra costs do not put you off and you're looking for one of the best smokers the market can offer you, the Bradley BTD576CE should be right up your alley.

Bradley BTD576CE 4 Rack Digital Smoker in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Masterbuilt MES140B

By a Trustworthy Manufacturer

Masterbuilt is one of the world-leading manufacturers that never cut corners when producing electric appliances for grilling and smoking. So, if you want to start your smoking experience with something ultra-durable, you should seriously consider the MasterBuilt MES140B.

First off, we would like to point out that this smoker has a reasonable cooking surface of 6,271 square cm, which makes it a great choice for smoking meals for large families. By strategically separating the interior space with 4 chrome-plated racks (included in the box), you'll be able to grill a whole turkey, chicken, and hearty cuts of meat in it.

Next, we would like to pivot to the ease of use. The MES140B smoker is really straightforward to start and control. It's fitted with a digital panel on the top with simple controls and a 24-hour timer. Also, the unit has a precise built-in thermostat, allowing it to maintain the desired cooking temperature within the 30-135°C range. The low heat is perfect for making jerky, while the highest setting works better for smoking large cuts of meat or fish. The fully insulated body ensures great heat retention.

During the smoking process, you'll be able to always add wood chips without opening the inner chamber and losing smoke/heat accordingly, since the patented wood-chip loading system is wisely situated on the side.

Review of Masterbuilt MES140B Large Digital Electric Smoker

Easy Assembly and Maintenance

Upon arrival, just a little assembly is required. All the steps are described in the detailed instruction manual along with a wood chip guide, smoking times and temperatures. Once put together, the smoker looks a stunner. It has thick insulated walls that leave no chance for the smoke to escape. On the outside, the machine has a handle and two wheels at the rear for easy transportation. Also, you’ll like how easy the includes grates slide in and out.

Besides the four grates, the smoker comes with a removable base drip pan, rear grease collection tray, wood chip tray, and a water bowl. By pouring water, fruit juice, herbs, onions or lemons to the latter, you'll be able to add juicy moisture and subtle flavouring to the foods.

After your delicacies are ready, the chamber will be fairly easy to clean. Just take racks out to scrub them with a sponge, and then wipe clean the interior with some mild detergent or vinegar/water mix. As you see, this smoker is easy to use and maintain. It'll suit both novice users and professionals who seek a reliable mid-sized smoker produced by a trustworthy manufacturer.

Masterbuilt MES140B Large Digital Electric Smoker in the use

 

Royal Catering RCRO-870

Extremely Powerful

Industrial requirements, as well as customers' demands, have increased vastly in the recent years. The Royal Catering company, however, keeps up with the trends and comes up with unique, innovative solutions that set new standards for other brands. Whatever they do, the folk at Royal Catering do not skimp quality and the smoker we're going to review next shows to prove that. Made of stainless steel, this smoker is robust, durable, and highly resistant to high temperatures, humidity, and acids. Thanks to the anti-slip feet, this smoker is also very stable so you can use it anywhere. For convenient transportation, the manufacturer designed it with two handles.

What sets the Royal Catering RCRO-870 apart from some counterparts, however, is its high power. Fitted with a 1000-Watt heating element and 70 litres of volume, it's arguably one of the most powerful electric smokers out there. You can select heat setting in the range of 0 - 110 ° C for cold, warm or hot smoking depending on what you want to cook - meat, fish, cheese or vegetables. Plus, you can choose smoking duration with a timer that is adjustable up to 120 minutes. When cooking is over, the timer produces an alarm signal.

We would like to point out that it's not only smoking time that affects the taste of food. The wood plays an important role, too. With that in mind, manufacturer highly recommends you use juniper as "fuel", which should give your smoked delicacies an outstanding taste.

Summing up, if you're looking for a smoker with a robust and durable design that would serve you for many years to come, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better option than the RCRO-870 electric smoker. Designed by the company with such a promising name, this smoker stands to cater to all customers' needs.

Review of Royal Catering RCRO-870 Electric Smoking Oven with 4 Racks

What's in the Box

Besides the food smoker itself, the delivery package includes a chimney tube, 4 storage boxes, 10 smoking hooks, a collecting tray, a collecting plate for grease, an embers box, and a container for ash.

  • The container for ash should be placed under the smoke box for collecting the burned ashes.
  • 4 grates are able to accommodate plenty of food. They have a minimum distance of 11 cm inside the chamber.
  • 10 hooks allow you to hang sausage or fish, for example.
  • The collecting tray catches grease produced during smoking. It protects the firebox and the bottom of the smoker from impurities.
Royal Catering RCRO-870 Electric Smoking Oven with 4 Racks in the use

 

What Is an Electric Smoker?

When it comes to choosing a smoker, it's easy to get lost in an array of models available. If you ask us, of all smokers produced today, the simplest and easiest to use would certainly be an electric smoker. The advantages electric smokers offer are hard to beat. For one, they provide flawless results regardless of whether you have prior experience in smoking food or not. For two, they require minimum control on your side - once you set it all up, the device will do all the work for you. And finally, they need no fuel. All you need is to connect it to a power socket and you're good to go. All this makes them a no-brainer choice for anyone looking for a hassle-free way of smoking food.

If space is not an issue for you and you don't mind setting a smoker in your backyard, we'd recommend you to pay attention to our review of gas grills. Another appliance that might come in handy in your yard is a patio heater.

What Features to Compare

Dimensions

Speaking of dimensions, it's necessary to take into account not only the size of the appliance itself but also a cooking surface you’d need for smoking. If you don’t plan to cook batches of smoked snacks for big get-togethers, then you’d be fine with a small to moderate-sized electric smoker. But for more intense use, a bigger capacity is a must. Consider whether the chosen smoker comes with the racks to adjust the space inside the appliance to fit in more foodstuff. This feature can add some usable space even to a small item.

Control and Power

The control feature is also important and will tell you how easy a smoking will be. Contemplating which one to choose - a digital or analogue electric smoker, we recommend you to give preference to the former since it’s much easier in use and there’s nothing more you need to do rather than push several buttons once. Analog electric smokers are a bit trickier in use and require your constant supervision. Consider whether the smoker you chose comes with a meat probe. It’s not a compulsory item but it can help a lot when determining the doneness degree. Speaking of the power, opt for higher numbers if you want to cook quicker. Some other things to pay attention to are a water bowl, a grease tray and a capacity of a smoke box. These features provide a fast cooking process and easy maintenance.

Materials and Features

Since electric smokers are mostly used outdoors, it’s essential that they are made of durable, rust-resistant and solid material. Besides quality material, the construction should also feature a well-insulated door (preferably windowed) and a lid to prevent a possible heat leakage. The wheels and handles would be welcomed if you’d need to change the setting of a smoker, moving it from one place to another. Pay attention to all these features and little extras and choose the most suitable electric smoker among the best presented below.

Did you know?

Water is the Key

Water is an essential thing for successful smoking. For example, a generous 270-kg load of meat puts out approximately 90 kgs of water during the smoking process. And to keep the inner chamber of the smoker moist, you can place a bowl of water, use soaked wood chips, spray ingredients with apple cider or wine, or mop the food with a special BBQ mop sauce.

Surprising Ingredients

Apart from common meat, fish, sausage, you can smoke such unique ingredients as cream, butter, ricotta cheese, maple syrup, sugar, honey, salt, mayonnaise, ketchup, hot sauce, tomato sauce, mustard, olive oil, capers, olives, garlic, lemons, bologna, and even ice. And as gourmets tell, the taste is really delicious.

The Most Popular BBQ Day

The most popular day of grilling in America is the Independence Day. In the UK, there is no one special day, however, there is a National BBQ Week that usually takes place at the beginning of June. But if you’re a true grill-lover, you know for sure that every day of the year is good for outdoor BBQ!

So Many Flavours

Smoke results the taste of your food, but not all wood chips taste the same. The most widely-used types of wood are apple, pecan, cherry, oak, guava, maple, kiawe, hickory, and mesquite. It’s considered that hardwoods produce the best flavour. The wood that contains resin or tar isn’t used for BBQ, as it gives a chemical taste.

From Generation to Generation

Smoking, as well as grilling, is more like a family tradition rather than a hobby. 60% of smokers say that they have learnt it from their father, uncle, brother or other older family member.

Amazing Numbers

People in America consume more than 900,000 kg of jerky annually. Jerky is the result of a smoke-drying process, one of the first methods our ancestors used to preserve food.

Impact of Smoking

Actually, smoking almost doesn’t impact the nutritional value of food. Moreover, it can be a great way to add flavour without adding fat, calories, and sodium. It’s the marinades and sauces that can add a large amount of fat, sodium, and even sugar. So it’s advisable to use them moderately.

If you use hot smoking, keep in mind that the heat can destroy some vitamins in vegetables, but it can also boost the production of the antioxidants and kill the bad bacteria. A rule of thumb, it’s better to keep smoking time and temperature to the minimum. This way, you’ll get more nutrients.

FAQ:

Q: What is seasoning? How is this procedure carried out?
A: Seasoning of an electric smoker is a procedure which should be carried out before the first use of your appliance in order to get rid of the unpleasant smell that almost any new appliance has. In general, to season your new electric smoker, you need to make it work empty for approximately an hour at 150°F. Yet, since the operating principle of electric smokers might differ, it is recommended that you read a user's guide to learn how to carry out the procedure properly. The food smoked in the appliance which is regularly seasoned is much richer in flavours and tastes much better.

Q: Can I use an electric smoker indoors?
A: Electric smokers, as well as charcoal and gas-powered ones, are intended for outdoor use only. The main reason for this is that they produce smoke. Even if your kitchen is well-ventilated, you will not be able to avoid that heavy fog of smoke that trails the smoking process and remains in the air for several hours. The only case when the use of an electric smoker in the premise is allowed is when it's designed for commercial purposes and you're buying it to set in a spacious place.

Q: Do electric smokers come with bisquettes/chips and accessories like a meat probe?
A: It depends on the manufacturer and you can find different offers on the market. However, more often than not, you’ll have to buy accessories and wooden bisquettes/chips separately. On the one hand, it can be inconvenient since you won’t be able to use your smoker right out of the box if you don’t have all the necessary things at hand. On the other hand, if you buy additional stuff yourself, you can choose wood chips the flavour of which you like better, or, if you buy a meat probe, choose the one a bigger number of different functions.

Q: Do I need to control the smoking process all the time or is it enough to set the temperature and the time and leave until the food is ready?
A: 
Though we all would like the smoking process to be simple and effortless, it's not quite the case, alas. You will still need to control the cooking process and manually add chips or bisquettes when a loaded batch burns out.

Q: Can I use an electric smoker during cold seasons?
A: Using an electric smoker under bad weather conditions is possible, although it would not be as simple and comfortable as it'd be on a hot sunny day. The main problem you'd face while smoking in the cold weather is maintaining the proper temperature throughout the whole smoking process. But don’t get desperate. Here are some tips that can help you prepare the tastiest food in your smoker even in the winter:

  • Don’t open the smoker door too often. Since electric smokers are made of metal, they do not retain hot temperatures very well when the weather is cold. If you open the smoker door - you let the hot air out.
  • Create a shelter for your smoker. The smoking results will be much better if you place the smoker under some kind of a roof or surround it with something like a wall to keep it away from wind, rain, and snow.
  • Insulate the smoker with flame-resistant material to keep the heat inside the smoker.

Sources:

1. Meathead Goldwyn Electric Smokers: Buying Guide, Reviews, Ratings, And Recommendations, AmazingRibs. July 10, 2013.

2. Justin Brunner Meat Smoker Wars: Which is Best? FARM & FLEET. May 18, 2015.

3. Derrick Riches How to Buy a Smoker, About. February 12, 2016.

4. Meat Smokers Buying Guide, eBay. December 21, 2013.

5. Kristen Hicks BUYER’S GUIDE: Grills & Smokers, Compact Appliance. June 26, 2015.

6. Choosing the Best Electric Smoker for You in 2015, Medium. March 19, 2014.

7. Smoking (Cooking), Wikipedia. September 1, 2017. 

8. How to Use an Electric Smoker, wikiHow. 

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Publish Date: 2018-09-26 13:29:15