Thanks for checking out this Masterbuilt Electric Smokers Review. If you’re here, it’s likely you’re thinking about purchasing one of these units but just need some extra information before you buy. I’m guessing you really have one question – do Masterbuilt Electric Smokers deliver on the promise of hassle-free smoked food?
If this is your question — you’ve come to the right place, as this post expands upon what you may have already seen in my Absolute Best Guide to Buying Electric Smokers.
While not the oldest manufacturer of electric smokers, Masterbuilt Electric Smokers date back as far at 1973. As such, the company represents one of the longer-standing brands in the electric smoker product category. This counts for something in my book.
Masterbuilt Electric Smokers – Built on Faith, Family, and Hard Work
If you’re anything like me, you’re a fan of seeing hard work and American ingenuity combine with faith and family to produce quality products. This is the history of Masterbuilt Electric Smokers. Starting with Dawson McLemore, a backyard project given steady attention eventually blossomed into a thriving business.
As part of this Masterbuilt Electric Smokers review, I want to give you a little background on the company. To that end, here’s a brief history about the founding of Masterbuilt Smokers…
Take a look at the video below, and yo’ll quickly see the work ethic put to use to eventually bring Masterbuilt electric smokers to market.
Masterbuilt Electric Smokers Review – What You Need to Know Before Buying One
Masterbuilt electric smokers are manufactured to give you acceptable smoked food results at a price that won’t break the bank. When I say this, I mean that the base units average a cost of between $100 and $400. Most of the units mentioned in my pellet smoker reviews post start at around the $400 range. So, you can see where you are in terms of cost here.
A Note on the Pricing of These Smokers
Pricing for Masterbuilt Electric Smokers remains relatively low. Understand, this is because they’re made overseas. Realizing that you may be someone who prefers to buy American Made products and shy away from those made in say, China, you should consider this point.
Durability and Value
If kept covered and out of the elements, your Masterbuilt electric smoker should last a long time. The lower end units are not meant to be daily use workhorses, but the average cooking volume of these electric smokers doesn’t allow for high volume anyway. These electric smokers are meant for average sized families who enjoy smoked food.
Maintenance and Clean Up
As with any smoker, the prep work you do up front makes a ton of difference in how much work you wind up doing after the cook. Many users report that placing your meat in disposable aluminum pans or at least, placing one at the bottom of your Masterbuilt electric smoker will catch drippings and keep clean up at a minimum.
These are widely used ‘tricks’ even among seasoned BBQ pitmasters. I always cook my pork butts in aluminum pans, and it makes all the difference in the world clean up-wise. Oh, and using aluminum pans won’t impede the smoke getting into your meat.
Getting Smoke Flavor with Masterbuilt Electric Smokers
Please understand that regardless of manufacturer, electric smokers produce food that has mild to medium smoke flavor at best. You’re not cooking on a concrete block or brick pit here. It’s a small unit that’s meant to give you some smoke flavor with minimal “care and feeding.”
You can possibly amp up your smoke levels by selecting woods like hickory, oak. or pecan. Fruit woods like apple, peach, and cherry produce relatively mild smoke flavors.
Top Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Models
Below are my top 3 picks for inclusion in this Masterbuilt Electric Smokers review. I’ve ordered them by features and average cost.
Masterbuilt’s 30-inch electric analog smoker is a smokehouse style cabinet unit. It has three smoking racks – giving you a good amount of space. The variable thermostat temperature control lets you set the smoking temperature to your desired reading with ease, and the unit’s built-in thermometer keeps it running at the setting you choose.
The smoker includes an interior wood-chip tray and water pan. This Masterbuilt electric smoker represents the company’s intro model. It’s bare bones, but it does the job. On thing to note here is that you have to open the cabinet up to add smoke chips. As such, you’re going to lose a bit of heat when doing so. Other models below feature an external wood chip chute that allows the main cabinet to remain closed during refueling.
Masterbuilt Analog Electric Smoker: Features and Benefits
The Masterbuilt 20070210 30-Inch Black Electric Analog Smoker is a true cooking and smoking unit, in that the temperature setting runs from 100 – 400 degrees F. Clean up is relatively easy, especially if you smoke your meats in disposable aluminum pans.
A step up from its analog cousin, the Masterbuilt 30-inch electric digital smoker with top controller throws a few more features and benefits into the mix. You still get a cabinet style smokehouse, but Masterbuilt adds in digital controls for greater temperature accuracy and an external wood chip feeding system.
The digital temperature settings panel does offer a 24 hour timer that provides an automatic shut off so your food won’t overcook. The ability to feed wood chips into your electric smoker means that you don’t have to open up the main cabinet and lose all that heat and smoke when refueling.
This 30-inch electric digital smoker with top controller has a temperature range of 100 – 275 degrees F. This is important to note in that you won’t be able to do any hot and fast smoking at this rate. That said, these lower temperatures are perfect for BBQ as well as cooking fish or making jerky.
Smoked BBQ Wings on the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
Overall, I feel that the addition of the digital controls and the external chip feeding feature make the Masterbuilt 30-inch digital smoker a great purchase. The smoker boasts a good amount of interior space, with four racks that give you a little more than 730 square inches of cooking area. Between this and the unit referenced above, I’d probably go with this one for the chip feeding feature alone. Learn more about the Masterbuilt 30-inch digital smoker here.
Of the three Masterbuilt electric smokers I reference in this review article, the 40 inch model here with RF remote control is my top pick. In addition to the extra cooking space provided and the external fuel/wood chip feeding chute seen in the previous model, you get some great added functionality.
The 4 rack system for this smoker feature curved back ends on each rack that allow you to slide the racks out half way and are ‘caught’ so they don’t tip out. This feature functions much in the same way as the racks do in a standard kitchen oven. Trust me, when you least expect it… those racks are gonna come in handy!
The other feature I like is that there’s a nice sized internal drip tray that has an “overflow” that feeds out to a rear-mounted external drip tray. It seems like Masterbuilt has put years of testing and trials into the thought behind this model, making it not only large in capacity, but extremely function and easy to use.
Masterbuilt 40-Inch Digital Smoker with RF Remote Features Video
Here’s a video of a nearly identical unit – Masterbuilt’s Top Control 40 inch digital smoker with RF remote. The features of this smoker are the same.
I am not always a bells and whistles fan, but the remote here being RF based is a nice plus. The rack system and drip tray layout make for easy operation and cleanup, and there’s a built in thermometer that users report reads internal meat temperatures accurately. All in all, it really seems that for not that much more money, you’re getting a functional and well-thought out unit. Learn more about the Masterbuilt 40-inch digital electric smoker with RF remote here.
Masterbuilt Electric Smokers Review – Final Thoughts
In writing this Masterbuilt Electric Smokers review, it’s clear to me that the company has done a great job of crafting reliable and easy to use electric smokers that provide consistent results. The base model I reference in this review will do the job for a single person or small family. Obviously, you get more cooking space with the 40 inch models.
If bells and whistles are for you, definitely consider the Masterbuilt 40-inch Front Controller Smoker with Viewing Window and RF Remote Control. It’s got all the features you’ll need for easy smoking and clean up.
Remember, that if you go with any model of electric smoker that requires you to lift the lid or open the door to the main chamber, you’re going to experience a serious dip in smoke and thermal temperature. For that reason alone, I’d lean towards models that provide an exterior fuel feeding chute or mechanism.
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