How to Use an Electric Smoker on Your Next Outdoor Adventure

Author: Chester P. Rector
October 29, 2022

Smoking is an old method of cooking that preserves and also gives a unique flavor and delicious taste to food.  However, times have changed from the cave man’s lifestyle, bringing along new and exciting twists from the old methods.

An electric smoker is a cooking device that makes use of hot electric rods as its heating source rather than charcoal. This outdoor device is a cleaner method to use and has a wide range of designs to choose from. The models vary in its features, such as temperature options, smoking racks, control buttons, to mention but a few.

From here on, tips on how to use electric smoker will be shared. In addition to this, are the things needed to know about the product before purchasing one from the different existing types.

Table of Contents

Know how your Electric Smoker Works

Know How Your Electric Smoker Works
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It is important to learn how your electric smoker works to avoid glitches and how to smoke chicken wings. It works by heating a cooking space through which air is circulated, therefore heating food through convection. An electric smoker can smoke meat with surprisingly few components. The device is vertically attached to a cooking space at the top and a heating source at the bottom.

Preseason your Electric Smoker before the first use

Prior to the use of your electric smoker for the first time, you should season it. This is because doing this burns off any existing substance that remains on the components of the smoker during the manufacturing process. By substance remains, we mean solvent, dust, or petroleum-based products.

Furthermore, the black coating the smoke helps restore and seal the interior of the smoker in addition to giving a smokey flavor to whatever is cooked in it.

Preseason Your Electric Smoker Before The First Use
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Therefore to achieve this, light coat the interior part of your electric smoker with cooking oil. Set the device at precisely 275°F for at least three hours, then add some wood chips to the chip tray. This last process produces smoke, which will help ground the device for future purposes.

How to control Smoker Temperatures and Vents

It is essential to learn how to control your smoker’s temperature and vents as it makes or breaks the meat. Owning a well-insulated smoker matters, therefore this is one of the reasons proper findings should be done before purchase.

Always open your vent while smoking and only close it when you are done or raising the smoker’s internal temperature.

How To Control Smoker Temperatures And Vents
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It is also important to note that electric smokers are known for swinging. By swinging, we mean the increase or decrease of the set temperature up to 20°F. It is necessary to understand how to keep the swings in check and what causes them.

Set the temperature a little below what you want so that when it rises, it rises to the exact temperature or close to it. Then reset to the desired temperature. This helps to reduce the temperature swing and also prevent your smoker from compensating between the actual and set temperature. Also, once you’ve gotten used to the smoker, you tend to have more control over the swings.

Furthermore, leaving the vent open when smoking your meat helps prevent creosote from building upon it. Creosote is a compound found in smoke, which gives the smokey flavor desired. However, while a little amount of creosote in the smoke helps, a coating of it on your meat makes it taste pretty bad.

Vents control airflows, so use the vent to adjust and control temperatures while cooking as altering it affects food doneness.

Use the Right Wood Chips in the Right Way

Use The Right Wood Chips In The Right Way
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When you purchase a new smoker, it is best to check the manual attached to it. This is necessary to know whether there are specific wood chips required to use or not. Alder, plum, cedar, and so on are types of flavor wood chips that can be purchased. All of which can be gotten online, from grocery stores or hardware shops.

Averagely, it takes three to five hours of smoking in a standard electric smoker to exhaust 946 ml or 4 cups of wood chips.

Soaking wood chips for electric smokers is not necessary because it exudes white smoke, which is not smoke but steam. This makes temperature control challenging as moisture evaporates out of the chip. The thin blue smoke, which is created by dry wood chips is what really the desired smokey flavor.

How to Use Electric Smoker

How To Use Electric Smoker
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Step 1: Deciding the type of Smoker You need

You need to consider your needs and purpose before purchasing a smoker. Research thoroughly to find what best suits your needs, which might be food size, finance, electrical source, and so on. Then fix it to an electric source with good plug connection and safe.

Step 2: Thoroughly Read and Understand the Manufacturer Instruction

Before use, ensure that you have gone through the manual guide it came with to become familiar with the smoker. Ensure that you follow all instructions so as to be able to enjoy the product, and it can function for a long time.

Step 3: Season or Cure a New Electric Smoker as Per the Provided Instruction

As we have mentioned earlier, always preseason a new electric smoker to remove residue left during production. This can also determine the productivity and longevity of the product.

Step 4: Preparing the Meat

This absolutely depends on the meat you want to cook. You might marinate or do whatever is required before going ahead to smoke it.

Step 5: Seasoning the Meat

This also depends on your preference. That is, you can dry rub it with spices, herbs, salt, sugar, or soak it in an acidic marinade before smoking.

Step 6: Letting the Meat Season Overnight

After dry rubbing it with whatever spice, flavor, or dipping it, then you can let it season overnight. This is to ensure that the meat absorbs the flavor and tastes delicious after smoking.

Step 7: Turning on the Smoker and Adding Water

Add water to the smoker if it has a water pan or uses a disposable tin container for this purpose. Also, keep an eye on the water content as you might need to add water in the electric smoker after some time.

Step 8: Purchasing the Right Wood Chips

As we have mentioned earlier, be familiar with your smoker type as some are selective with respect to their wood chips, while some can use any wood chip from the cedar to the hickory flavor chips and so on.

Step 9: Checking the Smoker Temperature

Constant check on the temperature is essential as it determines the outcome of the meat. Wait for the temperature to reach your desired value before cooking the meat as any altering in temperature is bad.

Step 10: Begin & Serve

After setting the temperature, place the meat on the rack and smoke for 3 and 8 hours. Then insert the meat thermometer at the center of the meat to know if it is smoked to your preference. Serve and enjoy with family and friends.

Tips and Tricks to Follow for the Best Experience

  • Season your grill before use.
  • Cook at the appropriate temperature
  • Make sure you have plenty of time to go through all the processes before smoking.
  • Create enough cooking space so that you have free rein to explore your options.
  • Always keep your smoker clean.

How to use wood chips in an electric smoker

A lot of men and women wonder the way to use a cigarette smoker using wood chips. A good deal of them are designed for this, and they assist in achieving the fantastic smoky taste of your meals.

You can usually discover the place for the wood chips directly under the heat supply. Four cups of processors are generally great for approximately five hours of smoking.

How To Use Wood Chips In An Electric Smoker
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There are lots of fashionable options for Wood chips including cedar, alder, hickory, walnut, cherry, and plum. Just do not forget that lots of times when you put in wood into your smoker it may cool down it unless you’ve got a counter smoker.

Though an optional method since a water bowl is only appropriate if you buy an Electric water smoker, water leaves steam when it is warmed up, so it is going to help tenderize your meats.

If you would like to add taste, you can place aromatic ingredients to the skillet. Learning how can you use a cigarette smoker also includes making sure the temperature you need has been attained before putting the meat.

Many Smokers have management setting buttons which are user-friendly. Meat will correctly smoke about three to eight hours, bringing out the sour taste you love and providing your meat the ideal texture.

It’s also advisable to have a beef thermometer that you can insert in the middle of their flesh to locate its inner temperature. This manner, you’re going to learn if the meat is completed or if it needs more time.

Electric smoker wood chips wet or dry

If you like plank cooking, you will want to soak the wood to get few hours before putting them on the heat. If you neglect to dip, you might end up facing a comparatively expensive mistake and calling for takeout.

Electric Smoker Wood Chips Wet Or Dry
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In the end, you need to produce a clean-burning flame with a sweet-smelling smoke that is blue, thin, and nearly imperceptible. While the wet timber dry wood argument is very likely to rage if there is wood to burn off and meat to smoke, the truth is that soaking can be unnecessary and reveals hardly any advantage.

Wood must be dry for it to smoke instead of steam, and that means you are wasting time and H2O with bathing.

Are you really for grilling or contrary to it? Share this article and your view on the moist wood vs. dry wood discussion by clicking your favorite social sharing button today.

Electric smoker tips and tricks

Electric Smoker Tips And Tricks
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Here are 10 tips and tricks for your Masterbuilt electric smoker. These are fab if you are new to smoking. As always, leave a comment below if you have any questions or observations.

  • Place your research in sure bottled water and check for accuracy. It ought to read about 32o Ensuring probe precision every now and will guarantee that your food is heated to the appropriate temperature.
  • Consider having more than one probe to examine accuracy. You will find plenty of distant probes, such as this one on Amazon which are cheap to purchase and help to guarantee perfect results.
  • Don’t use foil on the grill trays since this can inhibit heat. Frog mats are a helpful addition, however, and maintain your sanity out of falling through the grates.
  • Do not smoke your chips! Water does not smoke. It is steam that offers the look of new smoke and is a genuinely useless exercise.
  • It may make it yummy reasonably awful. Adding chips only once is frequently a fantastic strategy for this sort of meat. Smoking chicken onto a higher placing in 275oF may do the job nicely.
  • Store your electrical smoker inside and pay with a huge plastic bag. It keeps the moisture and dust away and will prolong the lifespan of your smoker.
  • Sterile grill grates after each use. I love to soak them into some hot water with detergent and then wash using a mild scouring cloth. It requires time and saves a whole lot of hard work trying to wash baked off and on fat and meat.
  • Clean the course once the smoker remains marginally warm although not hot. The condensation on the glass makes it effortless to wash the crud off using a moist towel or cloth.
  • Always contact the organization immediately if you have any issues with your smoker. They have got fantastic customer support and will care for you.

Maintenance of the Electric Smoker

Using the electric smoker is easy, but you need to maintain it properly to get the most significant quantity of succulent meat. The smoker’s maintenance involves cleaning, particularly of the smoke box, and adding wood chips or pellets to generate smoke. It also includes caring for your wood chip box, checking the temperature regularly, and making sure it is completely clean and free of grease.


Frequently Asked Questions on Electric Smokers (FAQs)

1. Do You Soak Wood Chips For Electric Smokers?

Although this is a personal choice, however, soaking wood chips for electric smokers is not compulsory. If possible, stick to the dry ones.

2. How often do you add wood chips to an electric smoker?

It all depends on how big your chip tray is and what it can occupy. However, the manufacturer instructions that came with the product will enlighten you on the timeframe.

3. Do electric smokers use a lot of electricity?

No, it doesn’t. Most electric smokers use 800 watts per hour.

4. How do you clean an electric smoker?

Gently scrub the interior of the smoker using warm soapy water, sponge, or plastic bristle brush; metal isn’t a choice for cleaning. Wipe it dry with a clean towel, making sure there is no evidence of the things used.

5. Should I preseason my electric smoker before first use?

Yes, you should. This is because it helps to remove dust and other substances that might affect the result of your cooking.

6. How to Clean the Electric Smoker?

The best way to clean your electric smoker is with a clean cloth and some hot water. First, remove the grates, and wipe them down with a cloth. Then use the cloth to smear down the sides and bottom of the smoker. Be sure to turn the smoker off and allow it to cool before you start cleaning. Make sure you get into the cracks and crevices to get the gunk out.

7. What makes an electric smoker smoke?

An electric smoker is a smoker that uses electricity instead of wood or charcoal to generate heat for the smoking process. Electric smokers come in two main styles: hot box and cold smoker. The hot box style uses a heating element to heat the wood chips or pellets. The cold smoker uses no heating element and instead has a separate chamber that cools the smoke before contacting the food.

8. How do you set up an electric smoker?

To set up an electric smoker, make sure it is well-ventilated, and place wood chips into a smoking pipe.

It takes about 20 minutes to get your smoker started. First, set up your smoker. You should first attach the wire racks to the main cooking chamber and the wood chip tray. You should then connect your electric smoker to your household electrical outlet.

9. Why do you need to season an electric smoker?

Electric smokers are typically used to prepare meals, particularly meat. They make the electric smoker suitable for different weather and be placed outside. To do this, it is necessary to season the smoker before first use.

10. How do you season an electric smoker?

  • Seasoning an electric smoker will help to maintain its heat and smoke production for a longer period. 
  • Remove the racks and drip pan from the smoker. 
  • Clean the smoker and racks with warm, soapy water. 
  • Dry the smoker and racks. 
  • Spray the racks and smoker with cooking spray. 
  • Place the racks and drip pan back into the smoker. 
  • Place meat, poultry, or fish on the racks. 
  • Close the smoker and plug it in. 
  • Set the desired temperature. 
  • Allow the smoker to season until the desired amount of time has passed

11. Can you get a smoke ring with an electric smoker?

Yes, you can get a smoke ring in an electric smoker by getting a high-quality electric smoker. The smoke ring affects the thin smoke that gets trapped in the meat and cooked by the heat.

To grow a smoke ring with an electric smoker, fill it with wood chips and set it to the desired temperature. When you realize smoke coming out of the top vent, the coals should be ready to use.

12. Can you use an electric smoker inside?

Yes, you can use an electric smoker inside, but only if you use it in a well-ventilated area.

13. How do you get more smoke from your electric smoker?

You can get more smoke using the slow smoke method and adding wood chunks or chips to your smoking box.

14. Can an electric smoker be left outside?

You can leave an electric smoker outside. Yes. It is recommended to keep your smoker inside when not in use for weatherproofing and put it out of sunlight when not used to avoid paint fading. Leaving an electric smoker outside can cause damage.

15. Can you use electric smokers in the winter?

Of course, you can use electric smokers in the winter. The only difference is you will need to preheat it for 10-15 minutes before you smoke.

16. How do you smoke a brisket in an electric smoker?

You can smoke a brisket in an electric smoker by using a medium to low temperature and electric heat, which will cook the meat slowly and make it tender.

17. Can I use aluminum foil in my electric smoker?

Aluminum foil is not suitable for an electric smoker.

18. Do you put the meat directly on the rack in an electric smoker?

You should be able to fit 3-4 pounds of meat in an electric smoker. The best way to cook meat in a smoker is to leave it on the rack, uncovered, for the cooking process’s duration.

19. Do you need to put water in a smoker?

No. You don’t need to put water in a smoker.

You do not need to put water in a smoker because it will create steam that will keep the meat moist and juicy.

20. Why is smoked meat bad for you?

Besides being delicious, smoked meat also has a long history of being negatively connected to health and diet as it has been linked with diabetes and heart disease.

Smoking meat can add carcinogens to your diet, which can raise your risk of cancer.


An electric smoker is an outdoor device that should be used outside at all times and never indoors. To avoid a stressful cleanup, the grease-trapping tray at the bottom of the smoker should be covered with foil. The foil prevents you from wasting time cleaning it as it won’t be stained.

It deliciously cooks meat in a healthy manner at a low temperature for a very long time, making the wait worth it.  Also, you don’t have to waste too much time watching it while it cooks but can do other productive things.

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