How does an Electric Smoker Work
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How does an Electric Smoker Work

With the world advancing at such a fast pace, it gets a little overwhelming to keep up. But, if you are a half glass full kind of person, you will know how much ease these technologies have brought in your life.

Smoking your food surely makes it irresistible, however, it has always been a tough task to do so. And for your convenience, this is where an electric smoker comes as a savior! Unlike Gas Smoker, Charcoal Smoker or any other type of smoker that requires you to maintain the heat and manage the fire, Electric Smoker is comparatively much easier to use.

In this article we will be tackling all the important things one should know in order to understand how an Electric Smoker works. So keep on reading and find out all the answers to frequently asked questions about Electric Smoker.

What is an Electric Smoker?

Like any other smoker, Electric Smoker comes with the same purpose. To smoke your food well. An Electric Smoker is specifically built to save you from the hassle of smoking and give the result just like any traditional smoker!

What is an Electric Smoker

All the Smokers come with racks, water pan, air damper, wood chip loader, but what exactly makes an Electric Smoker stand out? Well, the only main difference is its heating source. Electric Smoker requires no fuel to startup, all it needs is a power source to get it smoking.

How Does an Electric Smoker Work?

Once your Smoker is plugged in to a power source, switch it on through the control panel and preheat it at your desired temperature. The Electric Smokers are known for low temperature reach (not more than 275° F). This makes it suitable for low and slow smoking method.

How Does an Electric Smoker Work

Electric Rods as Heating Element

Now how does it really heat up the cooking chamber? Well, the heating element found at the very bottom of a smoker starts to heat up once connected to a power source. Working as a heating element, electric rods get so hot that the air inside starts to warm up as well and thus creating the perfectly maintained temperature.

Water Pan and Cooking Meat

After preheating your smoker, add your favorite meat and vegetable along with a water pan. And if you can’t decide which meat to cook, then let our article about best meat to smoke guide you to the right meat!

The purpose of inserting a water pan in your electric smoker is to help you in maintaining the temperature and to keep your meat soft and moist throughout the cooking process.

Wood Chips Tray

At the side of an Electric Smoker, there is a removable wood chip tray/loader that allows you to add your wood chips to create the smoke and give your meat the irresistibly smoky flavor.

Wood chips tray in man's hand

The best thing about its location in an Electric Smoker is that you can add new batch of wood chips without having to worry about losing the heat and smoke. The wood loader has a separate compartment and is not directly linked to the heating source.

Digital Control Panel

The most tempting thing about an Electric Smoker is that it comes with a digital control panel that literally brings the command over your smoker at the palm of your hand.

Through this control panel, you can switch your smoker on/off, set a timer whenever you are cooking and most importantly it tells you the temperature of the chamber inside!

Electric smoker control panel

The Electric Smoker itself might not be portable (as it needs a power source to operate), however, its small sized control panel is! So, put your food inside, set the time at your desired cooking temperature, and keep that control panel in your pocket to track your smoker’s activity while you mow or do chores.

Can You Use an Electric Smoker Indoors?

We wouldn’t recommend using an electric smoker indoors. The electric smoker may resemble a toaster oven and the idea of using it indoors may sound harmless, however, do keep in your mind that an electric smoker is ideally built to be used outdoors.

Although an electric smoker uses no fuel to heat up and produces less harmful gases comparatively, the addition of woods, however, produces gases like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide which are considered to be one of the most lethal gases for our health. In fact, carbon monoxide is known as an invisible killer as it is both colorless and odorless.

So using smoker outdoors diminishes the effect of harmful gases and makes your smoking experience much better! However, an Electric Smoker can be used indoors on one important condition, and that is to use it in a well-ventilated area.

Is an Electric Smoker Worth It?

With the thought of getting that deliciously smoked food at the end, I believe every smoker is worth it. Focusing on Electric Smoker, there are many things about it that makes it the talk of the town, such as it is easy to use, sets you free from all the stress that comes along with a typical smoker and, most importantly, it gives you the control over time and temperature unlike other smokers.  

Perfect For Beginners

If you are a newbie to a smoking process, then electric smoker here won’t give you a tough time. It is super easy to use, and once you have mastered the art of smoking through an electric smoker, you can move on to those authentic traditional ones to get even better at smoking!

Relieves You From Stress

Charcoal or Gas Smokers obviously work on fuels, and you constantly have to keep an eye on the fire to manage the temperature. An Electric Smoker here requires no fuel to get working. All you have to do is give it the desired power, set the time and temperature, and leave the rest on your Electric Smoker!

Best Substitute

If you are living in an apartment or any other place that lacks a backyard or a porch, Electric Smoker is the best substitute to satisfy your cravings for smoked food!

An Electric Smoker works like a typical oven used for baking, however, the addition of wood chips makes it unique. Speaking of hardwood, make sure the area you are smoking in is well-ventilated and neutralizes all the harmful gases released while smoking.

If you are still having your doubts about buying an Electric Smoker, check out our article Propane Smoker vs Electric Smoker, and let it convince you which one is better with reasons!

electric smoker worth ?

Will an Electric Smoker Work in Cold Weather?

Yes, absolutely! Don’t let the winters take away the only thing you love (smoked food). These smokers can be used in cold weather too but only with few modifications and the right techniques.

  • Add Hot Water Pan

Firstly, to get rid of the freezing temperature of your smoker, place a pan of boiling water into your smoker before getting started on the meat. This will make it easier for you to reach the cooking temperature and saves a lot of time as well!

  • Insulate Your Smoker

Secondly, once your smoker has reached the optimum temperature, make sure the cooking chamber of your smoker is fully insulated. If its poorly insulated, your smoker will lose all the heat it has worked on and of course your meat will suffer the consequences. You can insulate your Electric Smoker by using an Insulation Blanket.

  • Resist The Peeking Temptation

Lastly, no mater what, do not let the temptation of opening the smoker’s door take over you. While the idea of constantly opening the door and checking your food may sound harmless, it drastically decreases the temperature of the internal chamber and basically resets the whole cooking process.

So, if you want your food cooked and smoked on time then no peeking!

Can You Use Foil in an Electric Smoker?

There is no risk in using an aluminum foil in your Electric Smoker. In fact, wrapping your meat has been deemed beneficial as it speeds up the cooking time and helps in tenderizing your meat as well.

However, the foil acts as a barrier between your meat and the smoke – making your food less smoky. But there’s a solution for that as well! Divide your cooking process in batches and make sure your first and last batch is smoked without the foil so that all the smoky flavor can penetrate into your meat.

Just make sure all the drippings from your foil-wrapped food directly reaches the drip pan instead of the sides of the chamber.

How Many Amps Does an Electric Smoker Use?

An Electric Smoker usually consumes around 12 Amperes of current and requires 1400 to 1800 W of power to keep running smoothly. In easy words, Electric Smoker is a heavy device so make sure your socket is only connected to your Smoker while using it.

How Many Amps Does an Electric Smoker Use

Final Thoughts

An Electric Smoker is super easy to use. If you are already a pro in one of those traditional smokers then what’s stopping you from picking up the easiest task?

Now that you know everything about an Electric Smoker, it’s time to get one for yourself and start showing those smoking skills of yours.  And if you still have some unanswered queries, don’t hesitate to comment down below!

Rita Williams

Rita Williams

Hey, it’s me Rita! My love for BBQ began at an early age, learning the art of smoking meats from my dad in their small town in Texas. Weekends were filled with smoky aroma of brisket or ribs as family and friends gathered for backyard cookouts.

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