Love the taste of smoked meat but have no way to make it yourself? Want to be the talk of the town during the next neighborhood barbecue?
We’ve got a solution for you! With the right smoker, you’ll be able to make high-quality smoked meats in no time. Both fortunately and unfortunately, there are tons of smoker models out there. If this is your first time buying one, you may be a little overwhelmed.
But don’t worry—that’s where we come in. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about meat smokers, including what they are, different types, important cooking information, and some of the best models out there right now so that you can get a head start on your next purchase.
Specifically, we’ll also go over one of the best brands in the business, Masterbuilt, and examine eight of the company’s top models. Keep reading to find out more!
What Is a Smoker?
Let’s start with the basics: what is a smoker? Generally speaking, the term refers to any machine designed to cook meat over low temperatures for several hours in a contained, smoky environment. These devices are what allow people to create those delicious smoked meat dishes that are the life of any gathering.
Smokers come in a variety of sizes and shapes for a range of different users. As we’ll see coming up, these machines also come in a variety of models and take different types of fuel. As such, it’s important that you determine which type of smoker is best for your specific purposes before you make your purchase.
Different Types of Smokers
While smokers range in size and shape to feed everyone from a single household to even large-grade military models, the more important distinction is the type of fuel that smokers take. For this reason, let’s go over the four major types of smokers commonly sold on the market (and by Masterbuilt): electric, propane, pellet, and charcoal.
As the name implies, electric smokers use the power of electricity to heat the device to the desired temperature. These smokers should be plugged into a secure outlet to maintain safety and temperature consistency. For many customers, electric smokers are the most convenient option, as they don’t require the use of gas knobs, charcoal, or actual fire.
Though electric smokers use electric elements and can heat up in a jiffy, they still allow you to add in wood chips for that extra flavor.
Other smokers use propane tanks to heat meat and create that perfect barbecue. These require more maintenance than electric options over the long term (and potentially accrue higher costs), as propane tanks must be changed when they run out.
Like pellet stoves, pellet woods smokers make use of wood pellets to maintain an even heat, as needed. Unlike pellet stoves, however, pellet smokers use food-safe pellets that come in a variety of flavors for added taste to your barbecue.
Pellet smokers also use electronically-controlled thermostats so that you can keep your heating steady, which is done by consistent feeding of wood pellets into the feed system that heats the smoker.
Charcoal smokers use charcoal instead to heat meat. These devices can maintain an even heat for hours and come at price points generally cheaper than more high-powered options.
Why Get a Masterbuilt Smoker
With all this being said, why should you get a Masterbuilt smoker? As you’ll see, there are a number of benefits to choosing this world-class brand. In this section, we’ll see how a Masterbuilt smoker can help you make the best-quality meat no matter the circumstance.
Since 1973, Masterbuilt has produced high-quality smoker options for every type of consumer. One of the most trusted names in backyard cooking supplies, Masterbuilt is known for their spacious and up-to-date smoker products, which come with modern amenities that make the cooking experience even more convenient.
Part of this quality comes from the extensive variety of options offered by the company. Masterbuilt is the perfect brand for any electric, propane, pellet, or charcoal smoker. In addition to these options, the company even produces modern Bluetooth options that will help you throw down during the next neighborhood block party!
Of course, none of this would matter if it didn’t come at prices you could afford. Masterbuilt prides themselves on offering top-of-the-line products at prices that won’t break the bank. Coming up in this guide, we’ll go over some low-priced options that you’ll want to consider for your own cooking needs!
Masterbuilt Smokers Reviews
With all this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the Masterbuilt smokers you should know about!
Let’s look at some of the most popular electric smokers on the market!
Lauded as a perfect starter smoker, the Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker offers a nice, sturdy build and great functionality.
The MB20071117 from Masterbuilt offers a number of must-have features great for smoking at all levels, including:
- Generous surface area great for cooking and smoking. The product has four chrome-coated racks that are specifically designed to resist corrosion. This also makes each rack easier to clean—saving you time and hassle. This durable, innovative build quality is a must if you’re looking for the ultimate in convenient smoking.
- The smoker provides comprehensive and integrated temperature control, making it incredibly easy to use.
- What’s more, the smoker boasts a fully-insulated body, giving it the superior ability to maintain consistent temperatures and allowing for more even cooking.
- The MB20071117 boasts innovative safety features, such as its patented woodchip loading system. This all-new system allows users to add woodchips without opening the device, making it incredibly convenient and safe to use.
As expected from all Masterbuilt products, the MB20071117 has superior build quality. As noted, what really sets this great model apart is its fully-insulated makeup. This gives it a distinct advantage over other products.
What’s more, it offers a durable build that can last the test of time. This, coupled with its patented loading system and insulation, make it one of the more sturdily-built products on the market.
- Dimensions – 33.27 x 20.47 x 19.88 inches
- Weight – 39.34 pounds
- Heating Capacity – Up to 275°F
- Model: 200711117
The MB200711117 from Masterbuilt offers a number of distinct advantages for both the new and the expert smoker. Regardless of your skill level, you’re sure to love its convenient loading system, sturdy insolation, and smooth, even cooking.
This particular model may be best suited for those who are just starting out smoking or those who are smoking from home. That’s not to say, however, that it’s convenient cooking would be out of place in a restaurant kitchen!
- Incredible insulation that allows for smooth, even cooking every time!
- Patented woodchip loading system that increases safety.
- Great for users of all levels.
- Spacious cooking size!
- Four chrome-coated racks that allow for easier cleaning!
- More expensive compared to other products.
- Not designed to be used in a mobile setting.
- Masterbuilt MB20070210 MES 35B Electric Smoker
Another quality product from Masterbuilt, the MB20070210 MES 35B Electric Smoker is a great option for many smokers’ toolkits.
But is it right for you? Consider the following!
This product from Masterbuilt offers a number of features that you may be looking for!
- Removable trays make both using and cleaning this product quick and convenient. From the wood chip tray, to the water tray, and even the drip tray, each tray can be quickly removed for next-level cleaning.
- Temperature control is easier than ever before with a convenient knob. This allows users to switch to the perfect temperature with little-to-no hassle!
- This Masterbuilt product comes equipped with a 1500-watt heating element to make achieving the desired temperature easier than you ever thought possible!
- Three large racks that make cooking for groups of three-to-four people an absolute breeze!
This Masterbuilt product relies on superior build and design quality. Designed with safety in mind, this product is wired and built for outside use. Though safe wiring reduces the risk of fires and sparks, it’s not recommended to use this product in or near your home, including your garage.
That being said, this quality smoker from Masterbuilt boasts a sturdy design made from quality, industrial-grade components. This means that you get the most bang for your buck!
- Dimensions – 20 x 21.69 x 40.15 inches
- Weight – 57.1 pounds
- Model – MB20070210 MES 35B
This product is great for more experienced users. Because this smoker from Masterbuilt requires one to open the wood chip tray in order to load it, it’s best used by those with more experience.
Still, it’s perfect to use both at home and at the restaurant. With enough space to cook for three to four people, this electric smoker provides smooth, even heating no matter what you’re cooking!
- Three trays are removable, allowing for easy cleaning.
- Professional-grade wiring and design create a safer product
- Its grease drip tray means less mess for you!
- Its water bowl is removable, meaning you control the amount of moisture.
- It features a built-in temperature gauge and dial, meaning controlling your temperature is easier than ever before.
- The product must be opened in order to reload wood chips.
- The water bowl is small, meaning that you’ll have to refill it.
- Masterbuilt MES 430S Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker
This compact smoker from Masterbuilt is a fan favorite—but is it right for you? Consider the following.
- Innovative Bluetooth technology allows you to control your device—and its temperature—remotely.
- Comes equipped with wheels, making it great for mobile chefs!
- Patent-pending smoking technology that will allow you to control your meat’s smoking time—and cooking time.
- Includes one meat-probe thermometer for added safety!
- Can be customized with additional shelves/racks.
As can be expected from Masterbuilt, this smoker features an excellent build quality. Its superior design and top-quality components mean that it comes with the added safety and durability you need.
What sets apart this Masterbuilt smoker from others on our list is that it’s designed to be mobile. Equipped with rear wheels and handle, this product can be easily transported—making it the perfect option for those of you on the go!
What’s more, its front-glass design allows you to look in at your meat while it’s smoking—giving you more control over how your meat turns out!
Additional side ports make it easy for you to accessorize and customize, but do be aware that these additional upgrades are sold separately.
- Dimensions – 17.96 x 19.32 x 34.26 inches (without add-ons)
- Weight – 75.6 pounds (without add-ons)
- Heating – 800 Watt Element
- Model Number – MB20076419
This quality smoker may be best suited for those with a bit of experience. Many users have found that installation can take some time when compared to other Masterbuilt products.
That being said, its advanced temperature and smoking controls, as well as its customizability, make it perfectly suited for those who are looking to adapt a smoker to their needs. What’s more, its mobile nature makes it perfect for those who plan to be on the road, including traveling chefs. Do keep in mind, however, that the unit does weight approximately 76 pounds, so be careful when transporting.
- Cooking time and smoking time can be controlled separately.
- This unit includes ports so that you can customize your smoker.
- You can control the temperature and other aspects remotely via Bluetooth.
- Its rear wheels make it perfect for transporting.
- Glass front allows you to look in at your meat while cooking.
- Installation can be difficult for beginners.
- It’s a little pricier than other Masterbuilt products.
- Masterbuilt MB20073519 MES 130P Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker
The Masterbuilt MB20073519 is no joke of a smoker, but is it right for you? Perhaps, if you enjoy the following:
- Includes a built-in meat-probe thermometer for added safety.
- Includes a grill and finish element for added crisp.
- Can be controlled remotely via Bluetooth.
- Comes equipped with a handle and wheels, making it highly portable.
- Boasts Masterbuilt’s patented wood chip loading system—no need to open the front door.
- Comes with four chrome-coated smoking racks for plenty of smoking room.
This impressive smoker from Masterbuilt boasts a superior build that makes use of generous spacing and the company’s famed patented technology. With its one-of-a-kind wood chip loading system, you don’t need to open the front door and lose precious heat.
What’s more, it’s top-grade insulation and design mean that you won’t lose unnecessary heat while smoking—giving you that perfect, even finish every time.
But that’s not all. Included with this unit are a handle and wheels—meaning that you can take this with you on the go. This makes it one of the most convenient of all Masterbuilt smokers—and one that you can rely on.
With its durable and dependable build, this smoker is designed to stand the test of time and become a favorite tool in your smoking arsenal.
- Dimensions – 19.88 x 20.66 x 33.46 inches
- Weight – 61.8 pounds
- Model Number – MB20073519
This powerful smoker from Masterbuilt proves perfect for beginners and experts alike. No matter your skill level, there will be something to love about this quality product. From its spacious design—it can fit up to six chickens or two turkeys—to its convenient, remote-controlled temperature and heating system, this smoker from Masterbuilt offers everything you need to smoke just right.
What’s more, it’s more portable than other smokers—just look at its handle, wheels, and comparatively low weight! And let’s not forget its patent-pending grill and finish rack that adds the perfect crisp to your food.
With this in mind, it’s hard to think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from this great smoker.
- Can be easily controlled remotely via Bluetooth.
- Comes equipped with patented grill and finish technology to add the perfect crisp.
- Its spacious design means you can smoke more meat at once!
- Wheels make it perfect for transporting!
- Patented woodchip loading system means you don’t have to sacrifice heat!
- A little pricier than other brands
- Masterbuilt 20073716 Portable Electric Smoker
Need an electric smoker that you can take on the go? This powerful option from Masterbuilt may be just right for you!
- Easy-to-use controls with simple low-high settings make using it a breeze!
- Removable woodchip tray and water pan make for easier cleanup.
- Foldable smoker legs for easier transport.
- Two chrome-coated smoking racks offer just enough cooking space.
- Its easy-to-read temperature gauge means you get better-cooked meat!
With Masterbuilt, you can usually expect a quality build. What makes this model different is that it’s the only electric smoker on our list that is specifically designed for transport.
This is reflected in its design. Not only does it feature foldable legs that allow for easier storage and transport, it boasts a comparatively light weight (21.6 pounds!). This makes taking your smoker with you easier than ever before and means that you can bring it with you wherever you go—including camping or tailgating.
Do be aware, however, that its lighter weight does come with a few tradeoffs—mainly its smoking space. Unlike some other smokers we’ve seen, this portable option from Masterbuilt offers reduced smoking space and comes with only two chrome-coated racks. (Keep in mind, however, that these chrome-coated racks can be easily removed for convenient cleaning!)
- Dimensions – 15.9 x 23.6 x 23.4 inches
- Weight – 21.6 pounds
- Heating Capacity – 1400 Watt Element
- Model Number – 20073716
If you’re looking to take an electric smoker on the road, this may be just the right option for you. Whether you’re wanting the perfect tailgate item or something to take with you on your next road trip, this powerful device from Masterbuilt was designed with you in mind.
For serious smokers, however, this likely shouldn’t replace your current unit. While great to have in addition to traditional smokers, because of its small size, this portable smoker likely won’t be enough to satisfy all your at-home smoking needs. For this reason, consider purchasing this in addition to your traditional smoker. If you have a smoker with wheels you feel comfortable moving, you may not find an additional portable smoker necessary—though we think you can’t beat the incredible portability of this Masterbuilt product!
- Lightweight design makes it easy to transport.
- Foldable legs allow for easier storage.
- 1400-watt element allows for even heating and smoking.
- Removable woodchip tray and water pan make cleanup a breeze.
- Simple and easy-to-use controls make this smoker perfect for all levels.
- Two chrome-coated smoking racks offer less space than traditional smokers.
- Currently only shipped within the United States.
For some, propane is the way to go. If you’re looking for a propane smoker, consider the following option from Masterbuilt.
The MB20052318 smoker from Masterbuilt proves to be one of the most popular propane smokers on the market. If you’re interested in a quality propane smoker, consider the following:
- Includes four chrome-coated smoking racks for superior smoking space.
- Comes with a push-button ignition that quickly lights the burner for decreased hassle.
- Has a built-in temperature gauge to make smoking your meat both easier and safer.
- Boasts patented technology that keeps flames from hitting grease.
- Has a 15,400 BTU stainless-steel burner.
This popular product boasts superior build quality that has one main goal in mind—allowing for you to smoke your meat safely.
Designed from quality porcelain and stainless-steel parts and featuring superior insulation, this Masterbuilt product goes the extra mile with its porcelain-coated flame disk bowl technology. This game-changing innovation means that flames within the smoker can safely reach wood chips without ever coming into contact with grease. Not only does this provide for a smoother, more even cooking, but it means that you can enjoy greater peace of mind knowing that your smoker will not ignite unexpectedly.
And that’s only the beginning. Its 15,400 BTU stainless-steel burner offers the heating capacity needed to evenly smoke all four racks of meat—giving you the bang you need for your buck.
Even better, this quality product is customizable, making it the perfect adaptable product for even the most advanced smokers. Just be aware that additional enhancements will need to be purchased separately.
- Dimensions – 18 x 17 x 36 inches
- Weight – 56.04 pounds
- Heating Capacity – 15,400 BTU
- Model Number – MB20052318
If you’re looking for a propane smoker, this product from Masterbuilt is the way to go. Its enhanced safety design makes it perfect even for beginning smokers, while its added space and customizability offer something even for the experts.
Unlike some other options by Masterbuilt, however, it doesn’t offer much in the way of portability, so if you’re looking for a device to take on the road, this may not be the option for you. That being said, its propane design does make it convenient to use even when in areas without electricity.
- Patented porcelain bowl technology means flames only reach areas where they need to.
- Four chrome-coated racks allow for generous spacing and easy cleanup.
- Built-in temperature gauge makes for safe cooking and good eating.
- Its push-button ignition makes it easier than ever to start your smoker safely.
- Incredible 15,400 BTU stainless-steel burner offers enough heat to thoroughly smoke all of your meat.
- Propane design means that it can be used even in environments without electricity.
- Relatively cheaper when compared to electric units.
- This Masterbuilt device offers little in the way of portability.
Want to purchase a quality pellet smoker? Consider this option from Masterbuilt!
This moderately-priced pellet smoker uses digital panel controls to optimize cook times and cycles and comes at an incredible 40” for convenient cooking. The model uses clean-burning pellets for a better tasting meat and overall easy cleanup experience.
- The Masterbuilt MWS 140S Pellet Smoker comes with four chrome-coated racks for a next-level smoking experience.
- Preset cooking and smoke cycles allow for automated and convenient cooking.
- The pellet hopper can be used for hours of continuous cooking and hold a total of twelve pounds.
- The model comes with meat probe thermometers that allow you to get professional-grade results every time!
- Spacious racks allow for optimized cooking. The model can hold up to 12 chickens, 4 rib racks, 3 pork butts, or 2 turkeys. That’s some heavy-duty cooking!
Like other Masterbuilt products, this pellet smoker comes equipped with top-grade products. This makes for a more dependable and safer product.
What stands out about this pellet smoker when compared to others is its spacious size and sturdy pellet hopper. With four chrome-coated racks and a pellet hopper that can hold up to twelve pounds, this Masterbuilt smoker gives a new meaning to the word ‘durability.’
Even better, it comes equipped with the meat probe thermometers you need to ensure even, safe cooking every time!
To top it all off, this great pellet smoker is customizable, making it the perfect tool for users of all skill levels.
- Dimensions—17.9 x 23.4 x 43.4 inches
- Weight—126 pounds
- Model Number – MB20251319
Overall, this unit is great for both beginning and expert smokers who are looking for a large unit. It boasts superior pellet power and smoking room, giving users the flexibility they need to smoke their way.
That being said, because of its incredible weight at 126 pounds, this is definitely a unit that you shouldn’t expect to take on the go. For this reason, it’s best used in stationary places such as the home or kitchen and should not be used by those who intend to take their smoking on the road.
- Durable pellet that can hold up to twelve pounds.
- Four chrome-coated smoking racks that provide for superior smoking space.
- Digital panel that allows for convenient temperature control.
- Can cook for hours without the need for reloading.
- Meat probe thermometers mean you get safe, cooked meat every time.
- Heavy weight makes moving this product difficult.
If charcoal is the way you roll, this smoker from Masterbuilt may just be for you!
Want a smoker option that won’t break your budget? Consider this charcoal option from Masterbuilt!
- A total of 395.4 square inches of cooking space!
- Front-access door for easy reloading of charcoal.
- Two porcelain-coated smoking racks.
- Built-in thermometer on lid to accurately judge temperature.
- Charcoal pan and water bowl both porcelain coated!
Despite its cheap price, this charcoal smoker from Masterbuilt offers a great, sturdy build with all the convenience you need. From its front-access door for easy charcoal reloading to its built-in thermometer, this quality smoker provides what you need to smoke safely on all fronts.
What’s more, its porcelain-coated racks, charcoal pan, and water pan mean that your device boasts superior heat resistance. This keeps your device—and your meat—protected.
- Dimensions – 19.1 x 21.6 x 31.5 inches
- Weight – 15.26 pounds
- Model Number – 20060416
This model from Masterbuilt proves to be the perfect starter smoker. Though not as big as some other units, it offers everything a beginner needs—all at a price that doesn’t require extra commitment.
What’s more, we’ve found that it can be used with both charcoal and woodchips, making it a highly versatile device. Even better, clocking in at under twenty pounds, it’s one of the lightest on the market, making it a great device for those looking to smoke meat while camping or at a tailgate.
With one of the lowest prices on the market, this Masterbuilt smoker is the perfect device for anyone just beginning to smoke meat.
- Porcelain coating provides increased durability.
- Lightweight makes it perfect to take on the road.
- Built-in lid thermometer helps ensure even, safe cooking.
- Versatile nature means it can be used with woodchips and with charcoal.
- One of the best-priced meat smokers on the market!
- Smaller size may not offer enough smoking room for more experienced smokers or restaurants.
Tips and Other Useful Information
Never used a smoker before or your skills are getting a little rusty? Make sure to keep the following tips in mind:
- Don’t Thaw Meat in the Smoker
Smoking meat requires the use of low temperatures. This means that thawing meat in the smoker puts the meat at risk of dangerous levels of bacterial exposure. Instead, thaw your meat in the refrigerator for best results.
- Wash Your Hands
As with any type of cooking, you’ll want to wash your hands when handling raw meat for your meat smoker. In general, it’s best to do so for fifteen seconds using soap and warm water.
When using your smoker, keep the following information in mind.
Note: You do not want to use your smoker indoors or close to your house. Because of a risk of a fire—and because of excess smoke generated—this can prove hazardous to your health and safety.
Note: If you suspect that your smoker is malfunctioning, contact the manufacturer immediately and discontinue use. Using a defect smoker can pose serious safety risks.
Note: Don’t leave your smoker in use unsupervised for extended periods of time. Make sure that you have eyes on your smoker in the event a malfunction occurs.
Keeping all this information in mind, let’s go over some frequently asked questions that you may be asking yourself.
- How Does a Meat Smoker Work?
We all know that meat smokers produce delicious meat—but how exactly do they do it? Generally speaking, these machines draw heat and smoke through a series of pipes into a cooking chamber, where meat is slowly cooked over a period of several hours. This heat and smoke exit the smoker through an exhaust pipe on the outside of the machine, but not before flavoring the meat and giving it that distinctive smoky taste.
- What Temperature Should I Set My Smoker to?
If you’ve never smoked meat before, you may be wondering what temperature to set your machine at. The generally accepted range for a variety of meats is between 225 and 250 degrees F. Anything hotter could lead to overcooking your meat, while anything colder may not ensure that you get your meat fully cooked.
- Can You Add onto Your Smoker?
Here’s one of the best parts of choosing Masterbuilt for your next smoker brand. A quick trip to the company website shows that there are a number of add-ons that you can fix to your smoker for an even better smoking experience.
Let’s take a look at a few:
- Rib rack
- Chicken stand
- Vegetable and fish rack
- Sausage hanger
With these add-ons, you’ll be able to expand the range of smoking. The stoop also makes the process easier for those who aren’t as tall (or simply hate bending over).
- Should You Season Your Smoker?
For new smokers, especially, it’s important that you season your smoker. You can do this by running the smoker for three hours on a temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit. During the final forty-five minutes of the session, it’s recommended that you add in ½ cup of chips to get a more seasoned flavor for your meat for later uses.
- Should You Clean Your Smoker?
If you want to get the most out of your smoker, you’ll want to make sure you take good care of it. This means regular cleanings. While it’s not necessary to scrub down your cooking chamber (as you’ll remove the seasoning you worked so hard to build), you do want to remove excess food deposits and any tar buildup that could make the environment unsanitary or introduce new and not so savory flavors into your meat.
You also want to make sure that you are taking care to protect your smoker from rust. This means, obviously, that you want to keep it out of the rain and any other moist environment.
The Bottom Line
With the right meat smoker, you can take any gathering or special event to the next level.
Masterbuilt smokers allow you to cook expert-quality smoked meat of any variety. In this guide, we went over eight of the best Masterbuilt options on the market for that perfect meat cooking experience. We also examined the most important information you’ll need when considering the smoker that’s right for you. Specifically, we looked at the different types of smokers, the benefits of each, and specific smokers that make the perfect addition to any yard.
If you’re ready for that next-level grilling experience, you’ll want to use this as your ultimate guide to buying the right smoker today!