Electric Smokers: 24 Facts You Should Know (Explained)


Whether you are a novice or an expert griller, having an electric smoker is a perfect choice for smoking meat.

Electric smokers give you ease of use and ample space without the hassle.

1. Why Is My Electric Smoker Not Getting Hot?

An electric smoker might not heat up if its installation was not done correctly. In this case, you will need to unplug and reconnect your heating element, which entails removing the cover plate at the smoker’s back.

Ensure that you follow the recommended installation steps to reinstall it. However, if this fails, you will have to replace the electric smoker. That is because it could be a sign of damage.

2. Do You Leave The Vent Open on an Electric Smoker?

Most experts suggest that you leave your vent fully open when applying smoke to your meat. Leaving your vent open helps avoid the risk of creosote building up.

Besides, an open vent comes in handy in drawing enough smoke from below, swirling it over the top appropriately. Its role in providing clean smoke ensures that your meat cooks better.

Take the time to adjust the vents from time to time, ensuring that you get the best results.

3. Why Is My Smoker Not Producing Smoke?

The absence of smoke from your smoker could be troublesome. However, it is a relatively straightforward issue to address. All you have to do is clean your tray. A whole tray of pellets is likely to provide you with incredible smoke results.

You will also need to touch the heating element and keep the vent open. Preferably, ensure that the heating element gets to a minimum of 600° Fahrenheit.

Related: Best Electric Smokers

4. Do You Put the Meat Directly On the Rack in Electric Smokers?

No. The design of electric smokers does not allow you to cook on its racks. That is because direct cooking could readily damage the electric smoker.

Its cookware pieces will warp or get permanently discolored, exposing you to various unexpected expenses.

5. How Often Should I Add Wood Chips to My Electric Smoker?

There is no one-dimensional rule to this. However, most people suggest that you do it every five to six hours. Besides, you will have to decide the number of chips to use, with most people using between one and two cups of chips.

As long as you get quality smoke, you will have no reason to worry.

6. Which Rack is Hotter in an Electric Smoker?

Undoubtedly, smokers are different. However, they are all hotter at the back than at the front. They also seem to provide more heat at the bottom than at the top.

For that reason, it would be best to place your meat or food at the back part of the bottom of the electric smoker. It ensures that you get well-cooked food within a relatively shorter period.

7. Can You Have Too Much Smoke in a Smoker?

Yes, you could have too much smoke in the smoker. This occurrence will arise mainly after adding too much wood. Its most common sign would be a cloud of white smoke. Typically, dense smoke readily affects the flavor of your meat.

In such instances, it would be best to improve air circulation. This move ensures that the smoldering wood maintains a relatively steady temperature level. You could also consider cleaning the smoker once everything settles down.

8. Is Food Cooked in a Smoker Healthy?

There is no straight answer to this concern. Most experts suggest that the answer lies in how you smoke your meat. Various health bodies suggest that cooking meat over a flame could expose you to cancer, thanks to the chemicals released by combusting wood and gas.

The healthiest approach would be to consider indirect grilling. This approach ensures that your meat does not absorb carcinogens from the smoke. You could also rely on marinades and rubs to add moisture and flavor to your food.

9. Do Electric Smokers Use a Lot of Electricity?

Electric smokers do not use a lot of electricity. Often, these electric smokers consume about 800 watts per hour, which translates to 5.6 kilowatt-hours if you smoke for seven hours a day.

Suppose you smoke your food daily. Your monthly usage will be 168 kWh, which is relatively affordable. If your region charges about 12 cents per kWh, you will pay approximately $20.2 monthly.

10. How Do I Get More Smoke From My Smoker?

Getting extra smoke in your smoker is a relatively straightforward process. Enough smoke ensures that you get adequately flavored food.

However, that should not mean that you generate way too much smoke. The best way to get more smoke would be to add more wood chips without necessarily opening the air vent. Preferably, add between 0.25 and 0.5 cups of chips every 45 minutes.

11. Do You Preheat Electric Smokers With Wood Chips?

Wood chips are inevitable when preheating your smoker.

Typically, electric smokers take between 25 and 45 minutes to preheat. This process requires enough wood chips.

Ensure that you add sufficient wood chips into your chip tray before you turn your electric smoker on. Once you are set, you can turn the smoker on and preheat it.

Related: Best Wood for Smoking Brisket

12. How much Wood Should I Use in My Electric Smoker?

The amount of wood chips you use is determined by the number of hours you want to smoke. Typically, you will require 4 cups (or 600g) of wood chips every four to five hours.

You need to keep monitoring your smoker, ensuring that you know when to add more wood. While at it, ensure that you do not open its door. You must rely on hardwood chips, including apple, birch, hickory, and mesquite.

13. Can You Use A Smoker In The Rain?

You do not want to use your electric smoker in the rain. However, these devices are not as sensitive, and you are free to use them in whatever weather condition.

However, rain can affect the temperature levels of your smoker, losing a little heat. If the rain is too much, you might have to move your smoker to a patio. It ensures that you do not waste too much wood heating it.

Your electric smoker will still perform optimally even after getting rained on. Its design makes it less sensitive to this rain. However, ensure that you do not leave it outside for way too long. That is because rain tends to affect these smokers in the long term.

14. How do You Get Mold Out of Electric Smokers?

Cleaning your electric smoker is a sure way of getting rid of mold. Then again, it would be best if you were more cautious when handling mold.

Mold thrives in grease and oil, and unless you clean it carefully, you will no longer enjoy healthy food. In case your electric smoker gets mold, ensure that you follow these steps.

  • Get rid of any charcoal, lava rocks, or ceramic briquets in the electric smoker.
  • Take the time to heat the electric smoker. This heat helps burn all the mold and grease in the electric smoker.
  • Allow your electric smoker to cool down before you scrape and scrub it. You will need a pressure washer during this stage.
  • Next, wash everything with soap and water.
  • Take the time to rinse the electric smoker.
  • Fire it up.

15. Can Electric Smokers Catch on Fire?

Electric smokers could be a fire hazard, especially if left unattended. These smokers come with wood chip trays, which could pose a problem upon falling or sliding in the smoker.

Once its wood chip tray gets stuck, the wood chips combust and cause the smoker’s door to open. The pressure exuded could readily result in a fire.

Conversely, a thermostat could help regulate the smoker’s temperature. A reliable thermostat ensures that there are minimal chances of a fire breakout. This thermostat can only function if your electric smoker has it.

16. Can You Plug an Electric Smoker Into an Extension Cord?

Yes, you can plug your electric smoker into an extension cord. Electric smokers require a regulated power supply, and using an extension cord is one way to realize this.

Its ideal power input should be about 5 to 12 volts. That means you need to get a relatively large extension cord. One of the biggest fears is that electric smokers use too much power to rely on extension cords.

It is a myth. As long as you have a reliable extension cord, you will have no reason t worry.

17. How to Clean Creosote From Smoker?

Removing creosote from your electric smoker helps minimize the chances of sudden fires breaking out. This cleaning process requires you to have apple cider vinegar, oven cleaner, bristle brush, and soapy water. You will also need a wood grill scraper.

Ensure that you remove the thermometer and thermostat in the electric smoker before you light it up. Usually, it would be best to wad up a bunch of newspapers and light it up.

Make sure the heat is enough to burn off the creosote. Repeat this process every two to three months.

18. Why Is My Electric Smoker Tripping the Beaker?

A tripping breaker often indicates an increase in the current flowing through it. It could be because of inadequate moisture in the control board or a faulty heater element.

In short, it means your electric smoker is consuming more heat than it is safe. When this happens, you could use a propane torch on the various heating elements. This move ensures that no moisture buildup suffices.

19. Can I Use an Oven Cleaner on Electric Smokers?

While you can use oven cleaners on the outer parts, using them to clean inside the electric smoker is not recommended. Oven cleaners come with caustic soda, which is harmful to your health and readily contaminates food.

Once you use it in the smoker, healthy food remains a mirage. The residue left behind by this oven cleaner can be fatal. Avoid using it on the cooking surfaces too.

If you mistakenly use it, thoroughly clean the surfaces with clean water, and ensure it is properly aerated.

20. Should You Clean the Inside of Your Electric Smoker?

Yes. Ensure that you clean the inside of your electric smoker from time to time. You will also have to re-season it and keep it oiled. Remove all the ashes and the grease on the surfaces, as this helps prevent rust.

The cleaning process is relatively straightforward. It would be best to use warm and soapy water as you gently scrub this interior surface. You could use a sponge or a plastic brush.

Most experts suggest that you clean your electric smoker after every two to three cooks. It ensures that your food is healthy.

Related: How to Clean an Electric Smoker

21. How do You Clean a Smokers Rack?

There are three common approaches to cleaning your smoker’s racks. Here are a few insights into them.

You Can Soak the Racks

This process requires you to soak your racks in warm, soapy water. This water could contain a little baking powder too.

Ensure that the racks soak for at least one hour before you can remove them. After this period, take them out and try to scrub them. Rinse the shelves and replace them.

Scrub Them

Using a scrub brush is one of the most reliable approaches to cleaning racks. These brushes help eliminate the grime on the surface of the shelves.

Ensure that you scrub your racks when they are still warm, preferably using warm soapy water. You can also use aluminum foil to clean them.

Heat Them Up

This approach is suitable for stubborn grime or grease. Ensure that your racks are heated up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows the dirt to come off. Scrub the racks and replace them.

22. Can You Pressure-Wash a Smoker?

Yes. However, it would be best if you were relatively careful. During this period, it will be vital to avoid too much pressure on the heating elements.

This aspect ensures that you do not compromise the functionality of your electric smoker in the long run.

23. Should I Paint Inside My Smoker?

No. Painting inside the smoker is likely to slow down oxidation, meaning you will hardly have adequate combustion.

However, you are free to paint the outer part, especially if you want to make your device more appealing.

24. Can You Use An Electric Smoker Indoors?

You might be wondering if you can use an electric smoker indoors. While it is possible to do so, there are some things that you need to take into consideration first.

For one, electric smokers produce a lot of smoke. This can be a problem if you don’t have proper ventilation in your home. If you do decide to use an electric smoker indoors, make sure that you open up all the windows and doors to let the smoke out.

Another thing to consider is the temperature. Electric smokers can get very hot, so you need to be careful about where you place them. If you’re going to use an electric smoker indoors, make sure that it’s in a well-ventilated area and away from any flammable materials.

Finally, you need to be aware of the smell that electric smokers can produce. If you’re not careful, the smoke from an electric smoker can linger in your home for a long time. If you’re going to use an electric smoker indoors, make sure that you have a good ventilation system in place.

Overall, you can use an electric smoker indoors, but there are some things that you need to take into consideration first. Make sure that you have proper ventilation and that the smoker is in a well-ventilated area. Also, be aware of the temperature and the smell that electric smokers can produce.

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.