Most people who own smokers will agree that finding the best one is not an easy task. Therefore, if you want to buy a smoker for the first time, you need to check out the best beginner smokers under 500. Not only are they pocket-friendly but also most of them are compact and portable for the ease of use and to travel with. In this compilation, we have included some of the best performing smokers under 500, giving you an insight into their pros and cons.
while each smoker is unique in its merit; all of them are easy to use since they come with built-in timers and controls. Thus, you can cook delicious, juicy meats perfectly every single time. Take a read through the following top 10 best reviews in 2020 to discover the appropriate tool to start your food smoking journey.
Check out the Best Beginner Smokers under 500 Reviews
1. Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Digital Smoker
Whether you are a beginner or competition-ready pro, the Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Digital Smoker is the ideal tool you need to craft your backyard masterpiece. It is equipped with easy to use digital temperature and timer controls to ensure precise and accurate cooking with no guesswork.
The temperature control has a thermostat which you can adjust from 100 to 275 degrees F for uniform cooking results every time. Thus, this electric smoker is easy to use by smokers of all experience levels. It comes with a 730-square inch of cooking space to allow you to smoke large meals in every round.
This smoker is complete with 4 chrome-coated racks to ensure you can smoke various foods on their own racks. It uses an 800w heating element to ensure a powerful, safe, and quick smoking experience. Moreover, this unit is available in various styles and colors to suit people with various needs and budgets.
2. Masterbuilt 20071117 Digital Electric Smoker, 30″
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Featuring a fully-insulated smoker body, the Masterbuilt 20071117 Digital Electric Smoker, 30″ offers 100% insulation for energy-efficient cooking. It has a digital control panel with a push button that allows you to turn it on, off, set the temperature as well as the timer.
This smoker boasts an integrated thermostat temperature control to ensure uniform and consistent cooking. It is designed with 4 chrome-coated smoking racks to allow you to separate your foods while they are smoking. There is an adjustable air damper included to enable you to control the smoke to suit your preferences.
This electric smoker boasts side wood chip loading system to ensure you can add wood chips without having to open the entire unit. What’s more, it is very simple to operate as all you need to do is plug in the smoker, set the digital controller and you are ready to go.
3. Bradley Smoker BTDS76P Digital Smoker, Silver
With a powder epoxy steel craftsmanship, the Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 6 Rack Digital Smoker does not only look good but also is durable. The stainless steel interior makes this unit very easy to clean too. This smoker is equipped with complete digital control for time, temperature, and smoke.
It is quick and easy to assemble to give you utmost convenience. This unit is equipped with 4 racks to ensure you can smoke pork, fish, meat, and even chicken separately. Thus, it is suitable for entertaining and creating gourmet foods in your home.
The digital smoker is controllable up to 320 degrees F to provide up to 8 hours of controlled cool smoke. Besides, it has a total dimension of 17 by 14 by 31 inches with a 24-inch wide generator, making it a compact smoker for convenient portability.
4. Masterbuilt 20072115 Bluetooth Electric Smoker, 30-Inch
For a smart smoker that lets you control everything through your smart device, the Masterbuilt 20072115 Bluetooth Electric Smoker, 30-Inch is an ideal choice. It is Bluetooth-enabled to allow for simple and convenient controls either through your smartphone or tablet.
This smoker has an 800w heating element which is powerful enough to provide consistent smoking up to 275 degrees. It is equipped with a 721sq. inch cooking space to ensure you can smoke enough food for the entire family. This smoker uses chrome-coated smoking racks which are safe and durable for long-lasting performance.
It has a total of 4 racks to give you the versatility to smoke various foods simultaneously. This unit comes with a blue LED digital control panel with a removable sunshade to allow for easy setting of the temperature and timer. Further, it has a built-in meat probe thermometer to ensure perfect cooking results every single time.
5. Smokehouse Products Smoker- Little Chief
The Smokehouse Products Smoker- Little Chief has embossed aluminum construction to ensure optimum strength and durability for outdoor use. It is UL, CUL, and CSA certified to reassure you that you are buying a top-quality product.
This smoker has a dimension of 24.5″ H x 11.5″ W x 11.5″ D, meaning it is large enough to allow you to smoke up to 25lbs of fish or meat. It has a front-loading system that allows for convenient and effortless refilling of wood chips. This smoker comes with a recipe and instructions to get you started on use.
Also, there is a 1.75lbs bag of wood fuel from Chips n’ Chunks hickory flavor to allow you to use the smoker right out of the box. This model uses easy-slide chrome-plated grills with a dishwasher-safe drip pan to allow for effortless cleanup. Better yet, it is backed by a 2-year limited warranty to boost your confidence in buying.
6. Smoke Hollow ES230B Digital Electric Smoker
Make delicious BBQ in your own backyard when you have the Smoke Hollow ES230B Digital Electric Smoker. It has a fully-insulated body that keeps heat inside for 100% energy efficiency and consistent cooking results. This smoker is designed with 3 chrome-plated smoking racks to give you the versatility to smoke all your meats simultaneously.
It is equipped with an easy-to-use control panel to allow you to switch it on/off or set the timer and temperature. This smoker has an integrated thermostat temperature control to provide consistent and uniform cooking each time. It uses an 800w heating element to provide enough power for quick and even cooking of food.
This unit comes with an adjustable air damper that allows you to control the smoke for perfectly smoked foods. Also, there is a removable drip pan that collects juices and greases for quick and effortless cleanup.
7. Masterbuilt 20073716 Electric Smoker
Compact and portable, the Masterbuilt 20073716 Electric Smoker is ideal for smoking at home or on-the-go. As a result, it is a perfect choice for tailgating, camping, and road trips. This electric smoker has simple controls including high, medium, and low settings to enable you to choose from.
It has an easy-to-read temperature gauge on the door to enable you to control the ideal temperature for every food. This smoker uses 1400w heating element to provide adequate power for consistent cooking. It is equipped with two chrome-coated smoking racks to enable you to cook different foods simultaneously.
This unit is built with collapsible legs that you can fold down for simple storage and portability when not in use. It is complete with handles on both sides to allow for simple carrying. In addition, this smoker is accompanied by a water bowl to help add moisture to your foods and a wood chip tray for utmost convenience.
8. Masterbuilt 20078616 Electric Bullet Smoker
Achieve completion-ready smoking results without the hassle of propane or charcoal when you have the Masterbuilt 20078616 Electric Bullet Smoker. It is easy to set up and to use as all you have to do is plug it in, set the controls, and you are ready to go.
This smoker has an easy-to-read temperature gauge on the lid for peerless convenience. It comes with a removable porcelain-coated wood chip tray and drip pan for simple cleaning. There is a water bowl included to enable you to add water to moisturize your meats while they are smoking.
This smoker uses a 1650w heating element which provides consistent smoking for up to 400 degrees F. It has a 395sq.ft cooking space to allow you to cook large meals for the entire family. Moreover, this unit has 2 porcelain-coated smoking racks to enable you to smoke different foods separately.
9. LANDMANN MCO Smoky Mountain Electric Smoker, 26″
Smoke meat, fish, and other foods in the comfort of your backyard with the LANDMANN MCO Smoky Mountain Electric Smoker, 26″. It has a non-insulated chamber for cooking with a dual-walled door that keeps in the heat for excellent cooking results.
This smoker uses a heating element and 3-in-1 combination tray to make usage hassle-free and easy. It is crafted with a removable variable temperature controller to eliminate guesswork from cooking. Measuring in at 26 inches, this smoker is compact yet spacious enough for you to cook large meals.
It has a small viewing window to ensure you can monitor the cooking process without having to open the entire door. This smoker has chrome-plated cooking racks to ensure you cook healthy foods. Also, it boasts a sleek black finish with wrought iron side handles that makes it aesthetically appealing.
10. Char-Broil Electric Smoker
If you are in search of a smoker that makes preparing juicy smoked food an easy task, consider the Char-Broil Electric Smoker. It has a 1000w heating element with a large capacity wood chip box that maintains a uniform smoking temperature while infusing Smokey flavors into the food.
This smoker is built from sturdy materials to deliver durable performance even when it is used outdoors every day. It has an integrated water pan that will help you add moisture to your meats so they don’t dry out. This smoker contains 3 chrome-plated cooking grates to give you the versatility to cook enough food for your entire family.
It has a large cooking capacity of 544 square inches that is a bargain at this price point. Better yet, this unit boasts a door-mounted temperature gauge to allow you to set and monitor the cooking temperature very easily.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Beginner Smokers under 500
The following are some of the features you need to check out whenever you are shopping for the best smoker for beginners.
When shopping for a smoker for the first time, you don’t need to spend a lot on it so you can have room for upgrading. If you buy an expensive tool you might regret it once you become a pro in smoking food and your demands change. The smoker should be pocket-friendly so that if your demands change you can easily purchase a new smoker.
Smokers are available in large and small varieties for you to choose from based on your needs. This will largely depend on the size of your family. Hence, if your family is large you need a smoker that can accommodate enough food for the entire family at once. However, if the family is small the reverse is true.
Ease of Use and Cleaning
As a beginner who is just getting started in food smoking, you need a tool that is simple and easy to use, a complicated tool that is difficult to operate and to clean may discourage and kill your enthusiasm. Therefore, you need to check if the smoker you are going for has an easy-to-use control panel as well as removable parts for simple cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best smoker for a beginner between manual and electric?
This depends on your available source of fuel. If you can easily access electricity, then consider an electric smoker. However, if you can access other sources of fuel, then consider a manual smoker.
Do you require any special skills to use a smoker?
No. As a beginner, all you need is the enthusiasm and the food to smoke. The rest you will learn from the included user’ manual that comes with most smokers.
When should you replace your smoker?
Most smokers are made from durable materials so they can last long enough. However, if your smoker begins to shows signs of tear and wear, then it is time to upgrade. Similarly, once you have gained the needed skills, you can upgrade to a more advanced smoker.
Smokers are must-haves for people who love the smoky flavors in their foods. And if you love to prepare your own meals, the best beginner smoker under 500 is a good investment. Most of them are very easy to use so you won’t even need any training. Therefore, read through the above reviews to identify the right smoker that will help you make restaurant-grade meals.