Smokehouse barbecue is a god given joy. Well, that might be a stretch, but it sure is tasty. Once you get a bite of that authentic smoked meat, you can’t stop thinking about it. So once the craving starts, you find yourself making your way to the nearest smokehouse barbecue joint. But what if you keep craving for that juicy, smoky meat? You can’t just keep going to the local smokehouse barbecue joint. The most practical way to succumb to that craving is to make your own smoked meat. For that, you will need a smoker. If you haven’t tried using one, you can go for an electric smoker because it provides the same benefits of gas or charcoal smokers, with less hassle. So what is the best electric smoker for beginners? To get straight to the point, the answer is the Char-Broil 725 Digital Electric Smoker. You want to know why? Read on to find out.
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Char-Broil – The Maker
Before we take a closer look at the best electric smoker for beginners, let’s first check out the maker of this grill, Char-Broil. Since 1948, Char-Broil has been manufacturing innovative grills for anyone wanting to do their own grilling. They are known for their high-quality and durable grills. For years and years, they have been continuing to innovate and produce grills that are more affordable and easier for any person to use (now you see the point why we recommended this grill). They started with charcoal grills and have worked their way through all the advancements. To them, performance means everything. It doesn’t matter if you only grill occasionally or you’re firing up those burners every other day, your grill needs to cook the way you expect it to. That is the driving force behind all the grills that they make. Now that you know more about Char-Broil, let’s take a closer look at the best electric smoker for beginners.
- 725 sq. inches of cooking space
- 800-watt electric heating element
- 4 adjustable steel wire cooking racks
- Has a digital temperature and time control with remote control
- Will operate at a temperature range of 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
- Has an internal meat probe for temperature monitoring
- Can run up to seven hours unattended
- Four cup wood chip tray
- Weighs only 50 pounds
Char-Broil Standard Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch
- Box for wood chips is good for 4-7 smoking hours without refilling
- Door locking system keeps smoke sealed within the unit.
- Comes with a remote control for distant monitoring
- Keep warm feature prevents overcooking and keeps food warm until it is ready to be served.
- Large cooking space with upgrade option.
- Removable temperature gauge
- Aesthetically beautiful stainless steel-finish with glass door.
- Easy to clean because grease is sure to flow to the large grease tray.
- Limited temperature range
- Glass front easily gets slimy
- Temperature sometimes tends to be higher than what is displayed.
About Char-Broil 725 Standard Digital Electric Smoker
The Char-Broil 725 Digital Electric Smoker is the best electric smoker for beginners. Why? Because it has an insulated, double-walled, steel cabinet smoker with a couple of great features. It has a programmable digital controller that includes an integrated meat probe that will show the cook temperature and internal meat temperature. For a beginner, that is valuable information. This advanced piece of machinery will even alert you when the food is cooked to your desired doneness. If you’ve finished cooking but it’s not time to eat yet, you can drop the cooking temperature to hold it and let it stay warm until you’re ready to serve it. The best electric smoker for beginners will allow users to choose to cook for a set time, or to a designated internal meat temperature. (Pro-tip, always cook by internal temperature measured with an accurate digital thermometer because no two hunks of meat are exactly the same.) The great thing about this electric smoker is it eliminates the poking and guessing to see if the meat is cooked. For those who don’t know yet, that is the leading cause of under and overcooked meat. This model has a window so you can look while you cook (hey, that rhymes!). The best electric smoker for beginners will make your life easy with a remote with LED display. This remote will let you control and monitor the smoker up to 100 feet away (how cool is that?).
The best thing is, the door clamps shut, so you can be sure that the heat will not escape. The Char-Broil 725 Digital Electric Smoker has four removable racks that can slide into several slots for adjustable height. As mentioned above, it provides a total cooking surface of 725 square inches. It also comes with a large BBQ smoke box that can hold four cups of wood chips. That is enough to generate smoke for up to 6.5 hours at 225°. Plus, it has a water pan included and a convenient slide-out grease tray at the bottom. This model will run on a standard 120v outlet.
If you take a look at Char-Broil’s website, you will see that there are several models of smokers in the electric line. Some of them have windows (see window version on amazon), some have bluetooth capability and all are basic, insulated electric smokers. But since this model has 725 square inches of smoking space divided between four racks, it is a bit more practical for people who want to cook enough food for a small party. Although these racks have a little more than a foot square and while they are deeper than long, they are a little small if you want to grill a whole racks of ribs or full briskets. That being said, it has plenty of space for the average backyard cook (which is all you really want if you are starting to learn the ropes).
At first glance, the Char-Broil 725 digital electric smoker is a common design for electric smokers. But make no mistake, this baby is doozy. That’s why we recommend this as the best electric smoker for beginners. It has an 800 watt heating element that heats a pan full of wood chips to create smoke and to control the temperature of the smoker, allowing you to get that full, authentic smoked meat flavour. The heating element and the wood chip pan sit inside an insulated box that holds in that smoke and heat. The best electric smoker for beginners has a temperature probe inside the box that regulates the output of the heating element, so you can keep the box at the desired temperature. As mentioned in the features section, this electric grill also has a meat probe that monitors the temperature of the food being cooked. You can see why we consider this the best electric smoker for beginners, because it has a computer control system and can be programmed to hold a specific temperature until the meat reaches its target and then go into a warming mode. Purists would say that that takes the fun out of the experience, but hey, anything to make the perfect smoked meal, right? Plus, those features are invaluable for a beginner.
The only downside is, the controls are not quite as intuitive as they look. But with enough time, this smoker is still easy to use. Under ideal conditions and if everything is working correctly, it can be set and left to do its job for long periods of unsupervised time (up to seven hours, can you believe that?). That leaves you enough time to finish watching the game. Even though the design of this smoker is simple, it does what it is advertised and is easy to use. It is also very reliable as long as it has been built correctly. If you really think about it, the standard electric smoker is little more than a small heating oven that never has to reach temperatures above 300 degrees Fahrenheit. So, you really don’t need anything fancy for that. If you have been perusing online and reading barbecue forums, you will find that this is not generally the case. A lot of other electric smokers have trouble reaching and maintaining temperatures. Plus, the most of them are not very user friendly. The controls are usually more complicated than necessary. So imagine our surprise when we tried out the best electric smoker for beginners? Char-Broil 725 digital electric smoker is the exact opposite of what is usually described in the forums.
For a beginner though, you can’t expect to make a perfect smoked meat after your first try. There is a bit of a learning curve to any smoker (this included). But the beauty with this electric smoker is, the learning curve isn’t steep.
The best electric smoker for beginners should be easy to use and should have a large smoker box. The Char-Broil 725 Digital Electric Smoker checks both of those boxes. Although it has a relatively low smoke production, it does its job well. For a novice at smoking, that is what you should be looking for. It does take a fair amount of practice to get the temperature calibration right, but that is part of the learning process. You will eventually have to do that on all smokers. All in all, the high-tech features like leaving it unattended for as long as seven hours, paired with a built-in meat probe, is what makes this the best electric smoker for beginners. It simply makes the grilling a whole lot easier for you, and as a beginner, that experience is priceless. Just don’t mind the oversized sticker on the front. Char-Broil does that and it’s the only flaw we can think of. Overall, it is a must have for any beginner.