Does too much of a good thing exist? Not many would worry having too much space, too much money, too many friends, or too much travel, but what about using too much energy? Electric smokers are fantastic machines, but one may wonder about their energy use.
Do electric smokers use a lot of energy? No. For the bulk of electric smokers on the market, most tend to use an average of 800 watts of energy per hour. If you smoke meat for 6 hours, multiply that by 800 to equal 4,800. This translates into 4.8 kilowatt hours and you can then multiply that by your area’s electric rates to see the cost.
Although electric smokers may take up space within your home, they certainly are not energy hoarders. With the advantage of being speedy smoking machines, electric smokers are able to get the job done without sucking all the energy from your home. If you are worried about your electric bill shooting up because of your repetitive use of your smoker, have no fear, this smoker is a conservative team player.
General Information and Average Electricity Used
Electric smokers have paved the way for technological advancements in the smoking world. Smoking is a craft that goes back to the times of the caveman and has since become a cherished tradition for meat and vegetable lovers all the same. However, some want a more efficient system that does not produce the copious amount of smoke that pellet or wood burning smokers typically do: in steps the electric smoker.
How Electric Smokers Work
Electric smokers are able to harness all the flavors of smoked meat while also cutting the amount of time you smoke your items while also keeping your guests from inhaling smokestacks. Similar to wood and pellet smokers, electric smokers use smaller amounts of wood or pellets to flavor food.
What makes the electric smoker different from the rest is that the smoker itself is heated through much like an electric stove. The internal temperature is set and never again fooled with. This helps to keep the temperature of the smoker at a more stable rate than traditional smokers and helps to accelerate the cooking time for different food items.
Once the smoker is heated through, the wood is then able to smolder and infuse itself into your food to achieve a smoky flavor. Throughout the smoking process, you typically do not have to restock the wood as you would with other smokers. This allows for a more hands-off approach when smoking as you are able to leave it and forget it until your items are completely cooked – a desirable feature for many consumers.
How Electric Smokers Vary in Smoking Outcomes
You would think that if something qualifies as a smoker, the outcomes for different food items would be closely related whether it comes from a charcoal, pellet, wood, or electric smoker. This assumption would be wrong though.
Electric smokers offer a fantastic set of appeals from faster smoking time to more reliable temperature controls, to smaller sizes that do not take up too much room, to less smoke production. Outcomes, however, may not be the same.
With pellet and wood smokers, many cooks dote on the smoke ring that appears on meat once the cooking process has been completed. A smoke ring encompasses the entire area of the meat and is generally a different color than the middle of the meat item. This is caused by a long exposure to copious amounts of smoke, which darkens the meat and gives it an undeniable smoky flavor. These pieces of meat are ones smokers are known for – gold bits.
As you now know, electric smokers only use small amounts of wood during the cooking process. There is enough smoke present to create a smoky taste, but not enough smoke to create a smoke ring on the meat.
The degree of smokiness flavor may also be less as smoke within electric smokers is not overwhelming. Because of this, many look to find ways to create a smoke ring when using electric smokers, but it is typically very difficult to achieve.
Average Electricity Used
Electric smokers are no monster of a machine, yet they are not corner dwellers either. Looking at an electric smoker, one would likely believe that, due to its cooking capabilities, electric bills would shoot through the roof when using such a product.
For current or future users of electric smokers, however, you will be pleasantly surprised. Even with its capacity to smoke the pants off a pork roast, electric smokers are electricity sippers, not guzzlers.
Most electric smokers on the market use around the same amounts of energy when bringing your smoking dreams to life. On average, most electric smokers use around 800 watts of energy per hour when in action.
This amount of energy needs to be multiplied by how many hours you plan to smoke or have previously smoked something. With that being said, let’s do a little math to understand an electric smoker’s usage of energy.
How to Calculate Electricity Used and Cost
So you have been dying to smoke a beautiful beef loin you had freshly cut from your favorite local butcher. According to the recipe, this glorious piece of meat will take about seven hours to cook in your electric smoker.
At 800 watts per hour, you will multiply that number by the total hours of cooking time, which is seven, resulting in a total of 5,600. This then converts to 5.6 kilowatts of energy which is how your area determines how to charge you for use.
Let’s say that you are from Louisiana. At the time of this writing, in Louisiana, the electric rate per day is around 8.84 cents per day. If you used 5.6 kilowatts to smoke that beautiful beef loin, then you need to multiply the kilowatts used by the electric rate.
This then results in a total cost of 49.5 cents to turn your beef roast into a dish talked about by generations to come. As you can see, the electricity used by electric smokers is very small and costs next to nothing.
Electric Smokers to Consider When Buying
As with any market, there are a slew of different options when it comes to purchasing electric smokers. On average, electric smokers use about 800 watts of energy per hour when in use. This is a relatively standard amount of electricity absorbed, but there are different smokers that use more, and even less, than the standard amount. For this reason, let’s consider a few smokers that use the least amount of energy to those that use the most.
Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker
This smoker falls on the smaller end in the electric smoking world. It can hold around 22 pounds of meat at a time and has three small shelves for creating all your master recipes. Because of its small size, it is easily portable, but even more, only uses 400 watts of energy per hour.
This smoker would make a fantastic purchase for those who don’t intend to smoke for huge parties or simply don’t have the space for a larger machine.
Masterbuilt 20070411 30-Inch Top Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller
This smoker comes at a great price, being right under 300 dollars. It has plenty of room and can smoke up to 100 pounds of food. With a remote control for temperature, time, lighting, and even meat temperature, this smoker is able to take your smoking job over itself.
The temperature can reach heights of 275 degrees or can go as low as 100, making a slow smoke totally possible. And with all of these capabilities, it only uses 800 watts of energy per hour.
Masterbuilt 20070311 40-Inch Top Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller
Masterbuilt also has come out with a larger version of the previously mentioned 30-inch. The Masterbuilt 40-inch electric smoker hosts all of the same features of the 30-inch. The difference between the two is the larger amount of space for cooking that the 40-inch system offers.
Because of its bigger size, the 40-inch also uses more electricity. This system uses around 1200 watts of energy per hour but can get big jobs done in no time.
Old Smokey Electric Smoker
This smoker’s name has such a nice ring to it. The “Old Smokey,” just sounds inviting, doesn’t it? This smoker is a bit different than others in the design itself. It is barrel-shaped with a flat top, which allows the juices let off by your dishes to fall right back onto them.
It is 29 inches in height and has two smoking racks within it. The temperature is controlled by a thermostat and uses 1250 watts of energy per hour when in action.
Masterbuilt 20073716 Portable Electric Smoker
Masterbuilt has a slew of smokers filling its production line, but this smoker is separate from the rest as it is one that is portable. The controls for heat on this are also different as heat can either be set to high, medium, or low levels.
This smoker is relatively small which is needed for portability, but the size does not complement its larger energy use. This system uses 1400 watts per hour, making it a bit of an energy sucker for its small size.