electric smoker tips and tricks

Getting all the electric smoker tips and tricks

Do you love smoked meat but hate spending time monitoring the smoker? If that’s the case, then you should definitely try an electric smoker! Smoking gives the food a distinct taste and smoky flavor. Here is a guide with electric smoker tips and tricks for your perusal.

It should not go unsaid that it also helps lengthen the period of preservation.

Although there are various types of smokers in the market, the electric units are most popular.

Compared to other units, they are able to smoke several food items in no time.

However, in order to get the best out of your electric smoker, you need to learn how to use it efficiently.

Type of electric smoker

One of the most important electric smoker tips and tricks is identifying the best electric smoker for your needs.

You should consider things like price, construction, ease of use, and cleaning provisions in order to make an informed choice. 

There are two types of units to choose between: vertical water electric units and electric cabinet units.

The former works well in warm weather like summer but does not maintain their temperature in cold weather. 

Electric cabinet smokers come with a temperature gauge to enable you control over the core temperature while smoking.

Although they are more expensive than the vertical units, you will have full control over the process.

Preseason or cure the unit

For the best performance and a successful smoking experience, you need to season the appliance before use.

Seasoning will help to prevent rusting and eliminate any odors that may interfere with the flavor of the meat.

This is especially true for new units. 

The process involves coating the top, sides, and racks with vegetable oil.

Then switch on the unit and set it to 275 degrees F and let it work for about 3 to 4 hours.

Doing this will burn any dust, solvents, and residues inside.

During the last hour of operation, you can add some wood chips to the tray so you can examine how it works and maintains its temperature.

You should then turn it off and allow it to cool before you smoke your food. 

Prep the Food

Before you switch on the unit, it is important to first prepare your meat or vegetables.

They can be prepared according to your taste and preference.

When smoking meat, it is best to season it with spices and dry herbs or marinate it in a brine solution.

Then, place it in the refrigerator and let it rest overnight in order to absorb the flavor.

Along with adding delicious flavor to your meat, it will also help tenderize it.

However, do not toss frozen food directly into an electric smoker.

This will interfere with the taste of the food and you are unlikely to get a smoky flavor.

The best way is to defrost frozen food before placing in the unit for smoking.

Add the right wood chips

Using the right kind of wood chips in your unit is one of the essential electric smoker tips and tricks.

Good wood chips will help achieve a great smoky flavor for your food.

There are various types of wood chips to choose from. Hardwoods like hickory and mesquite are perfect for smoking.

There are also people who prefer wood chunks to wood chips, but it all boils down to personal preference.

Once the wood chips run out, you will be required to add more to your tray.

Another important tip is to soak the chips in water before placing them in the smoker.

Wet wood will definitely last longer, maintain the temperature at the desired level and produce more smoke.

This is also the right time to add some water to the pan to produce steam that will tenderize your meat.

It also prevents grease drippings from starting fires and keeps the temperature in the unit stable. 

Preheating the appliance

It is recommended to preheat your electric smoker for at least 45 minutes before placing your food.

You should also set the temperature and allow the heat to rise to the desired level.

An internal or external thermometer will let you know the temperature inside the smoker.

Once the unit has reached the desired temperature, wait a little while and take the time to observe the smoke being emitted.

It would be in your best interest to ensure that the smoke is clean and free from chemicals.

You can tell a good smoke by its thin, blue appearance.
White, puffy smoke might signal that something is wrong.

Lastly, before you place your meat, see to it that the wood chips have started to ash and the coals have started to form.

Add more wood chips

Once the appliance is preheated, you can add your food to the electric smoker.

It is, however, important to keep checking the wood chip levels while smoking.

When you have the right level of wood chips on your tray, you can be assured of an exceptional smoking experience.

This is a fairly easy process that involves pulling out the loader or tray and adding the wood chips.

Besides, there are smokers that come with slide doors that enable you to add fuel without having to open the unit’s door.

Bear in mind that the temperature may rise when adding the wood. It should return to normal after some time. 

Cleaning the smoker

One of the crucial electric smoker tips and tricks is doing regular cleaning of the unit.

After getting nicely smoked food, turn off the appliance, and allow it to cool down.

Then use the right smoker cleaning agents or a water and vinegar solution to get rid of grease and residue on the racks and shelves.

Use a soft brush to remove ash and wood chips from the appliance.

Regular cleaning will protect the racks from rusting and give your brilliant smoking results.

Failure to do so will make the stains permanent and it will be difficult to discard.

It will be much easier to clean if the unit has removable parts. 


Knowing these electric smoker tips and tricks will enable you to make tender and nice-tasting meals for you and your family.

With this appliance, you can make a variety of smoked foods regardless of whether you are a novice or not.

Rest assured, the above tips and tricks will help you enjoy a perfect and effortless smoking experience.

Also make sure you take a look at our buying guides for more at thecookingsmokers.