Devon Ferguson
Published by Devon Ferguson
Last Updated On: January 25, 2023

Being a passionate carnivore means doing a lot of grilling and smoking. And by a lot, I mean at least once or twice a week. But, a traditional smoker is time-consuming and expensive. I wanted to find a smoker that won’t break the bank, so I turned to electric smokers.

Electric smokers are user-friendly, fast, and most importantly, there are numerous options that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

I tested different smokers based on their performance, build, and capacity to find the best one out there.

Here’s the ultimate list of the best electric smokers under $200 so you can choose the one for you.

Top 5 Electric Smokers Under $200

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1 - Char‑Broil Analog Electric Smoker

Char‑Broil Analog Electric Smoker

Char-Broil electric smoker is a great option if you want consistent smoking results. This smoker has ample cooking space — three cooking racks give you 544 square inches of cooking area, so you can cook for a large group of people.

The cooking grates have a weight rating of 25 lbs, and I could easily fit a whole turkey. The grates are chrome-plated, which makes them durable and rust-proof.

The bottom rack is meant for trays and drip features. There are spots for water, grease, and wood chips, so maintenance is extremely easy.

As the name says, this is an analog smoker, which means you can control the temperature using an adjustment dial.

I had no trouble maintaining a consistent and accurate temperature in all weather conditions due to the door-mounted temperature gauge and insulated walls.

Pros
  • Large cooking area
  • Good weight support system for cooking whole chicken or turkey
  • Stable cooking temperature
  • Carry handles for easy mobility
Cons
  • The coil is on the smaller side
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Quick Facts:

  • Dimensions : 20.7 x 14.9 x 33.4 in
  • Weight : 49.5 lbs
  • Cooking space : 544 square inches
  • Temperature range : 100 to 350 degrees
  • Wattage : 1200
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2 - Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt is the best electric smoker for many users, and I can see why. It cooks your food without any supervision. This smoker has four cooking racks and a temperature control meter so that you can cook different kinds of food.

This Masterbuilt electric smoker effectively traps the smoke and cooks the food slowly, so you have a nice smoky flavor. I also experimented with adding beverages to the removable water pan for more flavorful food, and the result was a success.

This smoker has a massive cooking space — 730 square inches spread out on four chrome-coated racks, which distribute the heat evenly.

You control the temperature via a thermostat, and you can cook between 100 to 275 degrees. The heating element isn’t as powerful as some other electric smokers under $200.

Pros
  • Digital control panel
  • Can smoke four types of dishes at the same time
  • Slow smoker attachment can automatically add wood chips for up to six hours
Cons
  • Water seeps through the racks, which makes the smoker rust
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Quick Facts:

  • Dimensions : 20.4 x 19.8 x 33.2
  • Weight : 46 lbs
  • Cooking space : 711 square inches
  • Temperature range : Up to 275 degrees
  • Wattage : 800
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3 - Cuisinart COS-330 Vertical Electric Smoker

Cuisinart COS-330 Vertical Electric Smoker

Cuisinart COS-330 has 548 square inches of cooking space over three racks. You can load up all the racks or adjust them to fit a whole turkey.

This smoker has a powerful heating element (1,500 watts), so it heats the entire cooking chamber evenly, even though there’s no side-wall insulation.

Cuisinart smoker has plenty of accessories for easy smoking — a built-in thermometer, water pan, drip pan, wood chip tray, and a chrome spring door handle.

The vertical design lets you store it on your deck or kitchen. You can also move it from place to place thanks to the spring door handle.

It reaches an internal temperature of 400 degrees, which is significantly high for a vertical smoker. The built-in thermometer is large and easy to read and helps monitor the temperature at all times.

Pros
  • Easy temperature control
  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • The high power rating for ample heating
Cons
  • Unreliable build
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Quick Facts:

  • Dimensions : 22 x 20 x 40
  • Weight : 59 lbs
  • Cooking space : 548 square inches
  • Temperature range : 100 to 400 degrees
  • Wattage : 1500
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4 - Dyna-Glo DGU505BAE-D

Dyna-Glo DGU505BAE-D

Dyna-Glo electric smoker has 505 square inches of cooking capacity on adjustable racks. I was able to adjust them and fit a rack of ribs or several pork butts.

I like that this smoker has a side wood chip entry, so I didn’t lose heat or smoke mid-cook when adding wood chips.

The smoker has good temperature control thanks to the manual temperature dial and a heating element of 1,500 watts.

You’ll have consistent temperature even when cooking in freezing weather. However, it struggles at lower temperatures and often cooks hotter than the target temperature.

There’s also a stainless steel temperature gauge that accurately reads the temperature. However, it’s not detachable, so you can’t take it to the sink to clean it; instead, you need a water bucket and soap.

Finally, it has two wheels in the back, so it’s easy to relocate even during use because the outside of the smoker gets barely hot.

Pros
  • Digital thermostat with push-control buttons
  • Large cooking surface
  • Side wood chip entry
Cons
  • Complicated assembly
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Quick Facts:

  • Dimensions : 23.5 x 18.4 x 35.9 in
  • Weight : 46.3 lbs
  • Cooking space : 505 square inches
  • Temperature range : 150 to 400 degrees
  • Wattage : 1500
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5 - Smokehouse Products Big Chief Electric Smoker

Smokehouse Products Big Chief Electric Smoker

The final best electric smoker is Smokehouse Products. It has only one temperature setting of 165 degrees, so this is a low and slow electric smoker. It’s best for smoking jerky, fish, and sausages.

I also cooked heavier cuts, such as brisket and pork butt, and had good results with rich flavors. Just make sure to finish them in the oven so the meat reaches a safe internal temperature.

Big Chief is one of the best smokers under $200 if you want a compact and lightweight unit you can take with you when camping or fishing. Don’t let the compact size fool you — it fits 50 lbs of meat at a time.

Finally, this best electric smoker under $200 has a ventilation system that improves smoke circulation and doesn’t allow extreme dehydration for the best smoking results.

Pros
  • Low power consumption means a lower electric bill
  • A compact build makes it portable
  • Great for low and slow smoking
Cons
  • Only one temperature setting
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Quick Facts:

  • Dimensions : 12 x 18 x 24.5 in
  • Weight : 17.5 lbs
  • Cooking space : 576 square inches
  • Temperature range : 165 degrees
  • Wattage : 450

Best Electric Smoker Under $200 Buyer’s Guide

Even though these electric smokers come at a reasonable price, you need to know what to look for in terms of other equally important traits.

1. Cooking Surface

An image of the inside of an electric smoker with good cooking surface

Most electric smoking models have a box design and several cooking racks (usually three or four). The trick is checking the width of electric smoking devices. For example, four racks sound great, but there’s no point in having that many racks if you can’t fit a full rack of ribs.

Luckily, these smokers don’t need huge charcoal and wood chips reservoirs, so they can dedicate more space to the cooking surface. The larger the cooking area, the more options you have for food smoking.

Also, think about how many people you cook for. If you have a small family, you’ll be fine with a smaller cooking capacity.

2. Build Quality

A low price doesn’t mean your new electric smoker has to be made with cheap materials.

Look for an inexpensive electric smoker made from steel, especially heavy-duty or stainless steel. Stainless steel is durable, won't rust, and can withstand high temperatures for a long time.

Porcelain and cast aluminum are also good options. Cast aluminum can withstand most weather conditions and not rust, so it’s a good option if you live in a place with a lot of rain.

Another important thing to check is the grate material. Best cooking grates are porcelain-coated or chrome-plated cooking racks. These are easy to maintain and heat evenly and can last for years.

Char-Broil and Masterbuilt have chrome-plated cooking grates.

3. Power

A close up image of a smoker grill that uses electricity

Electric smokers use electricity to run, but you should know your smoker’s power and temperature capabilities.

The wattage tells how powerful an electric smoker is, how much electricity the smoker will use, and how fast it can heat up.

The power rating of home electric smokers goes from 200 to 1500 watts per hour. The higher the power rating, the higher the heat the smoker can produce. The higher the power also means the faster the smoker will heat and cook.

Cuisinart and Dyna-Glo have a high wattage of 1500 watts, so you can cook thick cuts of meat. On the other hand, Big Chief Electric Smoker only has 450 watts, so it’s used for cold smoking.

Think about what cuts of meat you want to smoke, and check if the electric smoker you’re interested in is powerful enough.

4. Temperature

Electric smokers usually reach 275 degrees, which is enough to cook most meat cuts. However, several smokers have a temperature range of 100 or 150 degrees to 400 degrees. This means you can do both hot and cold smoking [1].

On the other hand, some devices are intended to be used as cold smokers, such as Big Chief. It only reaches 165 degrees, so it’s a good choice if you want to smoke fish and jerky.

Overall, think about what food you want to smoke and check the maximum temperature when choosing an electric smoker.

5. Temperature Control

An image of a person adjusting the temperature of a budget electric smoker

Electric smokers give you a lot of control over the temperature. Most have onboard electric temperature controls you set the same way when preheating an oven.

You don’t have to do the manual work of adjusting the temperature for most electric smokers. They usually have analog dials you use to set the desired temperature. For example, Char-Broil has analog temperature control.

Some models don’t have analog but digital temperature control. You set the temperature and the cooking time, and the smoker does all the work. This means you can set it and forget about the cooking process.

There’s no need to hover over the smoker and watch the food for hours because the temperature control unit adjusts everything to your preferences.

6. Features

Look for smokers with features such as removable components. For example, removable water tray, grease tray, and cooking grates make cleanup and maintenance easy.

You can take it out of the smoker and clean it in your sink instead of bringing water and soap to the smoker.

Another useful feature is the wood chip tray accessible without opening the main door. This means you can add wood chips without letting out any heat and smoke.

Other important features are the temperature and meat probes. These are useful for checking the temperature and the meat’s doneness.

The digital control panel is another nice feature. It lets you set the internal temperature, and some models even let you choose the cooking time.

7. Portability

Generally, electric smokers rely on electricity, so they aren’t very portable.

However, most of them are lightweight, and some have wheels, so you can move them around as needed. This is handy when you have to move the smoker from the kitchen to the backyard.

Some smokers, such as the Char-Broil, have carry handles, so you can move them on your own.

8. Price and Warranty

An image of a man holding dollar bills

There are many high-end smoker models you can go for, but my advice is to stick to $200 if you’re a beginner. You can choose a smoker for under $100 but stay in the $200 range, as these have a better heating element and more durable construction.

You can gain smoking experience and knowledge on an inexpensive smoker before upgrading. Also, this way, you won’t lose much money if you end up damaging the smoker.

In terms of warranty, choose an electric smoker under $200 with at least several months of warranty from the manufacturer.

This means you can get help from the manufacturer or have parts replaced if something goes wrong.

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FAQs

Is It Worth Buying an Electric Smoker?

Yes, it’s worth buying an electric smoker. They are easy to control and use and produce reliable cooking results. Electric devices are more reliable than gas smokers, especially stainless steel ones, as they have good heat retention.

Should I Soak Wood Chips for an Electric Smoker?

No, you shouldn’t necessarily soak wood chips for an electric smoker. The wood chips are designed to provide distinct flavor without being soaked previously.

How Do I Choose an Electric Smoker?

You choose an electric smoker by picking those that have steady temperature control, double wall insulation, good airflow, and quality burners and coating.

How Long Do Electric Smokers Last?

Electric smokers can easily last for 10 years and more, but it all depends on the warranty and the smoker’s build. Make sure to check your electric smoker is made of sturdy materials, like stainless steel.

How Far Should an Electric Smoker Be from the House?

An electric smoker should be at least 10 feet away from your house.

What’s the Best Electric Smoker Under $200 for You?

Electric smokers are powerful BBQ machines that are versatile and hassle-free but still won’t break your budget.

After trying some of the industry’s leading brands, my vote goes to the Char-Broil analog smoker. It has a powerful heating element that lets the smoker reach 350 degrees.

544 square inches of cooking space are enough for cooking for a medium number of people. Moreover, the cooking grates are chrome plated, which is the best material for them. It ensures they are durable and have even heat distribution.

Finally, it’s easy to use. Adjust the temperature using the dial located at the front, and check it via the door-mounted gauge. This smoker will give you delicious and consistent smoking results at an affordable price.

Char‑Broil Analog Electric Smoker

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Large cooking area
  • Good weight support system for cooking whole chicken or turkey
  • Stable cooking temperature
  • Carry handles for easy mobility
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of January
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