A pit master is only as good as his tools. If you want to impress your family and friends with your jerky-making skills, you simply must have a good smoker for the job. In this blog post, we will be reviewing the best smokers for jerky. To come up with this list, we conducted intensive research on numerous beef jerky smokers.
The products on this list are tested and tried and have proven to be the best for the task. In fact, we chose our smokers from those on the list, and we are delighted with our choice.
Let’s dive right into the reviews.
Top Smokers for Jerky Reviews
1. Smokehouse Products Big Chief Electric SmokerView at Amazon
Big Chief products are manufactured by Smokehouse, one of the oldest smoker-manufacturing companies in the US. The company is also known for producing Little Chief smokers which are primarily used to smoke fish.
The manufacturer has been in existence since the late ’60s and has built a reputation for creating top-notch products over the years. Here are some of the outstanding features of this Big Chief smoker.
For most buyers, this smoker has proved to be a worthwhile investment. Many love its sturdy aluminum construction and ample cooking space.
- Smokers are built to cook meat at low temperatures. The lower the temperature, the more the smoky flavor will be infused in the jerky. This Big Chief smoker comes with a heating element that heats up only to 165F.
- You cannot change the temperatures on this cooker, which makes it rather inflexible. Nevertheless, 165F is an optimal temperature for smoking beef jerky. It is low enough to allow the meat to cook slowly and absorb flavor, but high enough to ensure that you get evenly cooked jerky.
- When it comes to smoking meat, the type of wood you use matters a great deal. If you choose the right wood, you will get a delicious flavor in your meat. This smoker comes with a bag of hickory flavor wood fuel, which imparts savory flavor to your jerky.
- The grills on this smoker are easy to remove and replace, and they are chrome-coated to enhance durability. Cleaning them is also an easy task. The smoker comes with a dishwasher-safe grease pan, which is quite convenient. You will also get a recipe booklet with the smoker. If you like trying new ways of smoking meat, this is undoubtedly a perk you will enjoy.
- The body of this smoker is made of aluminum, which is a sturdy material that does not get damaged easily. The smoker can fit up to 50 pounds of meat, which is quite a respectable amount of meat.
- The smoker does not need any assembly; it is shipped ready for use
- It has a lot of cooking space so you can prepare your beef jerky in large batches
- Engineered to allow maximum smoke circulation, which ensures that the flavor reaches every bit of your meat
- It comes with a bag of hickory flavor wood chips
- It has a non-adjustable heating element, which means that you cannot use it for grilling or barbeque
2. Masterbuilt 20070910 Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top ControllerView at Amazon
Masterbuilt is yet another big name in the smoker-making industry. Its products are lauded as some of the best in quality and durability. Here is a detailed review of this particular Masterbuilt smoker.
A vast majority of buyers are highly content with this product. Many like its precise temperature control features, while others are more impressed with its sturdy, powder-coated body.
- This smoker boasts a lot of cooking space: a whopping 730 square inches of rack space to be precise. It has a majestic and classy appearance with a black powder-coated exterior. What’s more, it is made of heavy metal to ensure that it lasts a long time without getting damaged.
- This best electric smoker for jerky also has excellent heat insulation capabilities, which ensure maximum energy efficiency. This can save you a lot of electricity costs over the long haul.
- The tool comes with a removable drip pan and side-loading wood chips. This makes it easy to pile the chips onto the smoker.
- The product offers you great convenience thanks to its thermostatically-controlled heating element. With this smoker, all you have to do is plug it in and let it do its job. Additionally, the smoker has digital temperature control, which allows you to set the temperature accurately.
- It also offers a wide temperature range of 100F and 275F, which makes it ideal for a variety of cooking functions ranging from smoking to boiling and even frying your meat.
- The smoker has excellent construction and is powder-coated to prevent rusting and corrosion
- It comes with a digital temperature control feature that allows you to set the temperature accurately
- A wide temperature range makes it ideal for more than just smoking
- The smoker is quite expensive
- Enforcing the warranty can be quite difficult which is frustrating
3. Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24″View at Amazon
This Camp Chef Smoke Vault is one of the best electric beef jerky smokers. Here are some of its exceptional features.
Most buyers are happy with their decision to purchase this product. For many, the fact that the smoker produces a lot of smoke makes it perfect for the job, while others are more taken with its ample cooking space.
- This product comes with two cooking grids and a rack for smoking your beef jerky. The 24” smoker has ample space for baking, cooking, and smoking.
- You won’t have to struggle with matches to switch this smoker on thanks to its snap-ignition feature. The heating element on this product operates at a range of 160F to 400F, which means that you can use it for a wide variety of cooking functions. It also has a door thermometer that allows you to monitor the temperature conveniently.
- The smoker comes with a durable steel wood chip tray that allows you to feed wood chips, pellets, or chunks into the fire. It also has a water pan, which helps create a moist atmosphere within the smoker. This enhances the production of flavor-rich smoke, which then penetrates your meat, leaving it delicious and savory.
- The smoker also comes with a recipe book that contains some useful smoking tips. If you are new to smoking meat, you will undoubtedly learn a lot from this handbook.
- The smoker comes with numerous convenience features like the side wood chip tray, door thermometer, and a heat control dais
- You can use wood chips, pellets, or chunks with this smoker
- It has a lot of space for cooking
- A wide temperature range makes it possible to fry, bake and smoke using this cooker
- The smoker has poor insulation which means you will use a lot of fuel to keep it running
- You will have to deal with plenty of smoke escaping through the door
4. Char-Broil Analog Electric SmokerView at Amazon
Char-Broil is an American company that has been producing smokers since 1948. Over the long course of its existence, it has become known for creating top-notch products at affordable prices.
This smoker is no exception. Here are a few great features of this particular Char-Broil product.
The smoker gets glowing reviews from most buyers. Many love that every part of the cooker is made with durable and quality materials, while others love the ease of using the product.
- This smoker offers you 544 square inches of cooking space, which is quite large. You can fit in quite a lot of beef jerky at once. It also comes with three sizeable chrome-coated cooking plates that slide easily in and out of place. This makes it easy to clean them.
- The entire cooker has double-wall insulation to ensure that no heat is lost as you cook. This is also a safety feature because you won’t get burnt if you touch the surface of the cooker accidentally. The door has two latches that seal it shut, thus preventing any heat or smoke from escaping.
- The smoker also comes with a front access water pan. The water is essential in preventing your meat from drying up so that you get juicy and savory beef jerky.
- The smoker has a fully insulated cooking chamber to prevent heat loss and burns
- There’s a door thermometer for quick monitoring of the internal cooking temperature
- It comes with a one-year warranty
- The analog temperature control system may make it hard to smoke your jerky at the right temperature
- The smoker can comfortably fit four racks, but the manufacturers only provide three; you have to purchase the extra one separately
5. Bradley Smoker BTDS108P 990223 SmokerView at Amazon
This 33-inch-tall smoker is easily one of the most elegantly designed smokers on the market. It has a lot to offer the discerning backyard chef thanks to its numerous handy features.
Most buyers love the ample cooking space that this cooker provides while others like its sturdy steel body. Some, however, are less than impressed with its 500-watt heating element since it does a poor job of cooking the meat thoroughly.
- This smoker comes with enough space to fit six large racks. The 858-square-inch cooking area is large enough to smoke loads of beef jerky at once. The interior of the cooker is made of polished stainless steel, which is remarkably easy to clean. The cooker’s exterior, on the other hand, is made of hardy epoxy steel that is resistant to wear and tear. This smoker is built to last a long while.
- The cooker also has numerous digital control features. You can control the temperature, smoke levels, and cooking time by pressing a button. The smoker has a maximum cooking temperature of 280F. You can smoke your jerky at a lower temperature if you wish; all you have to do is set the cooker to your desired temperature using the digital control buttons.
- This cooker comes with an ash catcher that makes clean-up quite easy
- You can control every aspect of smoking using digital control features
- It comes with a one-year warranty
- The heating element on this cooker performs dismally; since this is a vertical smoker, the meat cooks unevenly at times
6. Cuisinart COS-330 Electric SmokerView at Amazon
This Cuisinart smoker is among the most versatile cookers on the market. You can use it to smoke meat, vegetables, and starchy foods. Some of its other outstanding features include:
Many buyers love the ease of smoking meat using this smoker. Others appreciate its ample cooking space, which allows them to smoke a lot of meat at once. A few, however, are disappointed by the company’s poor customer service policy.
- This cooker offers you 548 square inches of cooking space, which is quite a decent size. It is also a vertical smoker, which means that it does not occupy much storage space. This makes it ideal for barbeque kitchens and patios.
- The smoker comes with three large stainless steel trays that are easily removable and easy to clean. You can pop them in the dishwasher and let the machine do all the cleaning for you. Their big sizes also allow you to smoke large meat cuts with ease.
- The cooker has a temperature range of 100F to 400F, which is ideal for smoking. You can set the temperature using the convenient digital controls on the smoker, then wait while it cooks your meat to your preferred standards. It also features a door thermometer, which allows you to monitor the temperature quickly and conveniently.
- The product comes with a dedicated water pan, which creates a moist environment in the cooker. This prevents your meat from drying out and instead ensures that you get juicy and savory beef jerky.
- The smoker has a handle on each side which makes transportation easy
- It has a three-year warranty which is outstanding by industry standards
- You can use a variety of wood chips to infuse flavor into your meat
- The grilling racks are dishwasher safe which makes clean up rather easy
- Poor customer service from the company can be infuriating
- The heat controller is prone to malfunctioning
7. Landmann MCO 32954 Smoky Mountain Electric SmokerView at Amazon
Landmann is a German manufacturing company that specializes in creating smoking and grilling equipment. The company has been in existence for over fifty years and has built a name for itself by producing highly functional and elegant cookers. Here is all you need to know about this 32954 Smoky Mountain beef jerky smoker.
Many consumers love the compact design of this smoker, which allows them to save on storage space. For others, however, the uninsulated cooking chamber is a drawback as it leads to a waste of fuel and makes it risky to use the smoker near kids.
- This Landmann smoker measures 26” and has adequate space for smoking a lot of beef jerky. It is a vertical smoker which makes it ideal for those with limited storage space. It comes with three chrome-plated racks for smoking the meat.
- The smoker also has a 3-in-1 combo tray that has a greased pan, wood chip box, and water pan. The grease pan is critical in catching the grease that drips from your meat as it is getting smoked. This makes cleaning up easier.
- The water prevents the meat from drying out, thus ensuring that your final product is juicy and tasty. The wood chip box holds the wood chips that are used to infuse flavor into the meat.
- The smoker has side handles, which make it easy for you to move it around. It also comes with adjustable feet, which are great for leveling when you are cooking on an uneven surface.
- Moreover, this cooker has a door thermometer that allows you to read the temperature at a glance. It also has a clear window through which you can monitor your sizzling meat as it cooks.
- Unfortunately, the cooking chamber of this smoker is uninsulated. This means that you will lose a lot of heat as you cook. It also means that you may get burnt if you touch the surface of the cooker accidentally.
- The smoker is compactly designed which makes it perfect for patios
- It has a lot of cooking space which means you can smoke your meat in large batches at once
- The company has excellent customer care services
- The cooking chamber of this smoker is uninsulated which leads to the wastage of fuel
- The smoker does not come with a recipe book
8. Masterbuilt 44241G2 Gas SmokerView at Amazon
The final item on this list is yet another product by Masterbuilt. This smoker uses gas for fuel instead of electricity. Other than this, it is a quality product that has quite a few perky features.
The two separate burners on this smoker make it incredibly popular among buyers. Others love its huge cooking space and all the racks it has. For others yet, it is the sturdy metallic construction of the product that makes it a choice smoker.
- The smoker has 6.5 cubic feet of cooking space, which is rather large. It comes with five cooking grids: two for jerky smoking, two for standard cooking, one for ribs, and even a sausage hanger. If you are looking for a versatile smoker, you might consider purchasing this cooker.
- The smoker has two doors that allow you to replace your wood chips without opening the cooking chamber. This prevents the loss of heat. It also has a tempered glass window, which will enable you to check your cooking meat without having to open the door.
- Additionally, it has two independently-operated burners, which will allow you to cook your meat to your desired level. The temperature control buttons are also easy to use.
- The smoker has two independent burners which allow you more flexibility when setting cooking temperatures
- It has a glass window for quick observation of the cooked meat
- Has different racks for smoking various types of meat
- You may experience some temperature regulation issues due to the use of inferior-quality parts
9. Masterbuilt 20070311 40-Inch Top Controller Electric SmokerView at Amazon
Masterbuilt is a reputable producer of electric smokers, so it is hardly surprising that another of their products made it to the list of the 9 top electric smokers for beef jerky.
Most buyers have overwhelmingly positive things to say about this product. No doubt, its excellent quality, and numerous convenience features endear it to purchasers throughout the country.
- This is one of the biggest electric smokers measuring a whopping 975 square inches. It has four large racks that can fit a lot of meat. If you like to prepare your jerky in bulk, you might want to consider buying this smoker.
- This high-end smoker offers unparalleled convenience when it comes to setting and controlling temperature. First, the cooker’s temperatures are thermostatically controlled. This means that your meat will always be cooked at the optimal temperature.
- Secondly, you can control the temperatures remotely thanks to the Radio Frequency remote control feature of the smoker. This means that you don’t always have to monitor the smoker closely; you can attend to other chores while your meat is cooking.
- The smoker also comes with a handle and wheels for easy transportation. It also has a window that allows you to monitor the meat conveniently as it cooks. This eliminates the need to keep opening and closing the door frequently to check on your meat.
- The smoker comes with remote control features that allow you to monitor the cooking remotely
- It has proper insulation which saves energy and makes it safe to use around kids
- A digital display gives you all the info you need at a glance
- Comes pre-assembled and ready to use
- The heating element is unreliable and can stop working after a few uses
Factors to Consider
One of the things you must consider before you choose a smoker is its capacity.
Smokers vary widely when it comes to cooking space; some offer as much as 900 square inches of cooking space, while others only have 400 square inches of space.
Although it is generally better to buy bigger smokers that allow you to fit in a lot of beef jerky, there are times when a smaller smoker may be a better choice.
For instance, you may consider getting a smaller, compact, vertical smoker if you are pressed for space.
A smaller smoker is also ideal if you don’t need to smoke loads of meat at a go.
You also ought to pay attention to the temperature control apparatus on a smoker. Generally, it is best to buy smokers with digital temperature control features since they offer high precision when you are setting the temperature.
You may also consider getting a smoker whose temperatures can be controlled remotely for added convenience. Additionally, be sure to purchase a cooker that offers a wide range of cooking temperatures. Such a smoker is versatile since it may be used for other purposes like baking or roasting.
Wood and Water Trays
Smokers that come with wood chip boxes and water trays are advantageous since you won’t have to purchase these crucial tools separately.
The location of the wood box also matters a great deal.
You want to buy a smoker that has a side wood chip box so that you can access it conveniently when you need to.
A smoker with a greased pan is also great since it makes cleaning easy and prevents the circulation of grease in the chamber when you are cooking beef jerky in a smoker.
Finding the right beef jerky smoker can be a confusing task due to all the options that are available in the market. However, if you follow the tips shared in this blog, you will be able to pick the right smoker for your use.
Of all the products reviewed in this post, the Masterbuilt 20070311 Electric Smoker is easily the best. It has a lot of cooking space and comes with numerous high-end features and a glass window for quick observation of your meat as it cooks.
But the thing that makes it truly outstanding is its thermostatically controlled temperature and the fact that you can control the temperature remotely using RF technology. The sheer convenience that this smoker offers makes it the best option.