An indoor meat smoker, also known as an electric meat smoker, is an appliance that is used to cook and smoke a variety of meats in an indoor setting. The best indoor meat smoker will be easy to use, smoke food quickly, and will feature intuitive temperature controls (Source).
Indoor meat smokers work by heating wet wood chips until they begin to smoke. The smoke then penetrates the meat. This gives the meat that classic smoky flavor. Heat is then applied to cook the meat until it’s tender and juicy.
With an indoor meat smoker, you can smoke and barbecue a wide variety of meats, such as pork, beed, chicken, and hotdogs. There are several benefits to using an indoor meat smoker. You can use them all year round, they don’t require large outdoor spaces, they use less wood than a traditional smoker, and they give you far more control over the meat cooking process (Source).
With so many types of indoor meat smokers available across such a wide price range, it can be somewhat difficult to decide which one to get. Before buying an indoor meat smoker, one should consider its cooking speed, price, warranty, and ease of operation. It is also important to consider whether the smoker is vented or not.
In this run-down, we will give you the scoop on all the top rated indoor meat smokers. All of the smokers in this review will deliver an excellent indoor smoking experience, whether you are cooking for a restaurant, or you are just wanting to be able to smoke meats at home all year round.
What Is an Indoor Smoker and What Is It Used for?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is an Indoor Smoker and What Is It Used for?
- 2 Comparing The Best Indoor Smokers
- 3 1. Oster Smoker Roaster Oven – Best Overall
- 4 2. Nordic Ware 36550 Indoor/Outdoor – Best Stovetop Smoker
- 5 3. Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker – Best Electric Smoker
- 6 4. Camerons Products Indoor – Outdoor Stovetop Smoker – Best Budget Smoker
- 7 5. Budweiser Stovetop Smoker – Best Multipurpose Smoker
- 8 How Do Indoor Smokers Work?
- 9 What’s the Difference Between Cold and Hot Smoking?
- 10 Pros and Cons of Inside Smoking and Indoor Smokers
- 11 What to Consider Before Purchasing an Indoor Smoker
- 12 Ready To Buy The Best Indoor Smoker?
An indoor smoker is an electric appliance that can be used for smoking and cooking a wide variety of meals in different indoor foodservice settings. For example, you can use it to barbecue or smoke different types of meats, such as poultry, beef, pork chops, and chicken.
Moreover, they are used for salmon, steaks, vegetables, and so on. Whatever you cook, an indoor smoker will give your food the unique “smokey” flavor everybody loves.
Indoor smokers are usually smaller than their outdoor counterparts, so they won’t take up too much space in your kitchen. Yet keep in mind that smoking inside is more dangerous than cooking in your backyard or patio. For that reason, you need to choose a smoker that meets safety requirements.
First, let’s take a quick look at them and their main features.
Comparing The Best Indoor Smokers
|Oster Smoker Roaster Oven|
|Nordic Ware 36550 Indoor/Outdoor|
|Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker|
|Camerons Products Indoor – Outdoor Stovetop Smoker|
|Budweiser Stovetop Smoker|
1. Oster Smoker Roaster Oven – Best Overall
Smoking takes very little time with this roaster. Thick chicken can be done in less than two hours, and it leaves the meat feeling very tender. Smoking food with this product really emphasizes the taste of each ingredient. It’s one of the most effective food smokers that you can find online.
As a huge plus, it also comes with removable pockets that can be used to hold wood chips. This also makes the product a very viable option if you want to use it in the outdoors. It’s a high-quality smoker and roaster oven capable of making food taste like a proper BBQ meal.
Cleaning the product is a very straightforward process. It shouldn’t take a lot of time, as each part is easily removable for the user’s convenience.
2. Nordic Ware 36550 Indoor/Outdoor – Best Stovetop Smoker
It can be used to smoke many different types of food without any problems, and it’ll help you cook for that rivals anything that you can get in restaurants and bistros near your home.
All you need to do is be aware of how to use it (it’s not even difficult to operate anyway), and you should be more than ready to smoke any meat in your kitchen. The product is well designed, and its huge lid allows you to smoke large food such as whole chickens without any problem at all.
It does have some issues, but most can be easily overcome. For example, cooking ribs could be troublesome and a whole rack might not entirely fit, but you could cook half a rack at a time to solve the problem.
3. Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker – Best Electric Smoker
One of its most important features is its ease of use. It’s a great option for any beginner who intends to start smoking food in their own home. The build itself is also very solid and the product isn’t one to wear down quickly. You can get it for a very cheap price as well, which is a huge bonus if you’re on a budget.
It is well-designed to manage temperature easily, so your food never undercooks or overcooks. Also, since the smoker isn’t charcoal-based, it produces almost no smoke. This is what makes it such a great option for indoor cooking – you won’t have to worry about filling up your house with a ton of annoying smoke.
4. Camerons Products Indoor – Outdoor Stovetop Smoker – Best Budget Smoker
The product is made with stainless steel, an ideal material for cooking appliances. It can be cleaned easily as well, as it doesn’t have any inconvenient areas which could potentially get greasy.
You can use it easily on your kitchen and it smokes food at a very reasonable rate, although it isn’t as quick as other products that we’ve reviewed today.
The best way to use this product is to use it on medium heat sources, allowing everything to cook at a decent rate without burning your food. It will release some smoke inside your house, but not enough to trigger most house fire alarms.
5. Budweiser Stovetop Smoker – Best Multipurpose Smoker
Its straightforwardness is what makes this multipurpose smoker one of the most viable options for every home cook out there. Cleaning this appliance is also very easy if you use a product based on vegetable oil. Aluminum foil also helps facilitate the cleaning process.
It works very quickly, and you can smoke a bunch of food in little to no time, even when comparing this product’s efficiency to that of other more expensive appliances.
Your food should come out well smoked and well flavored, if you make sure you don’t overcook anything. In any case, make sure you experiment a bit with this product to find out the perfect cooking time for your meals.
How Do Indoor Smokers Work?
The working principle can be different from smoker to smoker. However, most indoor smokers are meant to heat wood chips till they begin to smoke. This smoke will then surround and penetrate the meal.
That process can give the food a sweet and smoky flavor. The meat is soft and juicy thanks to the heat that is applied throughout the cooking process.
What’s the Difference Between Cold and Hot Smoking?
Generally speaking, there are two types of smoking:
- Cold smoking: The food is surrounded by smoke so that the temperature doesn’t get above 90°F (about 32°C). That lets the food remain raw and keep the delicate translucence. Cold smoking is ideal for foods, such as butter or cheese, that is prone to melting when heated.
- Hot smoking: The food is cooked at about 300°F (150°C). This method is most commonly used for pulled pork, pastrami, brisket, and ribs. As for quicker foods, hot indoor smokers are great for duck aiguillettes, mackerel, and salmon. These only take half an hour to hot smoke.
Pros and Cons of Inside Smoking and Indoor Smokers
Before buying an indoor smoker, it is a good idea to know all the benefits and drawbacks of using one. Read on to find out.
Pros of Using Indoor Smokers
- Indoor smokers fit inside any kitchen space. So they are suitable for food service establishments and urban restaurants without outdoor space.
- Indoor smokers can be used throughout the year. You will not have to worry about bad weather. They can be used in any climate all year round.
- Indoor smokers will save you money over time. They can help you cut down your household bills by using fewer utilities or wood.
- Indoor smokers allow you to have better control over how the meals cook. As high-tech devices, indoor smokers let you have precise control of the smoke level, heat, and moisture.
Cons of Using Indoor Smokers
- Indoor smokers are expensive compared to the outdoor varieties: They are a bit costly due to the added functionality. However, an indoor cooker can pay for itself in utility bill savings in a matter of months.
- Indoor smoking changes the smell of home: This is a process that produces different kinds of aromas and flavors. While the smells quickly disperse when you’re smoking outside, your home will get a smokey flavor when you’re cooking inside. This means you’ll have “smokey” carpets and furniture.
- Indoor smoking can be dangerous if you are not careful: Keep an eye on your smoker to prevent things from going wrong. As you know, smoking can last more than two hours sometimes, meaning you will have to be in the kitchen all the time. So, do not leave it alone while cooking.
What to Consider Before Purchasing an Indoor Smoker
Indoor smokers are often smaller than their outdoor counterparts, as outdoor smokers are made to cook large amounts of food without worrying about the amount of smoke generated.
These indoor smokers are made to cook less food, but they also produce less smoke than a full-sized smoker.
These products are made to give food a different taste and color, making it different than what it would look (and taste) like if you grilled it. Keep in mind that the taste of smoked meat tends to be sweeter, as their properties often tenderize and become sugary after the smoking process.
An indoor smoker is also made to be used all year round. You don’t need good weather to make them work, all you need is a heat source and, in some cases, electricity.
Be keen on the following list of features and you should be able to find your dream indoor smoker in no time.
Look at other people’s opinions before purchasing an indoor smoker. Reading the opinions of other buyers might be the best way to know if you’ll be pleased or displeased with the smoker’s food quality before purchasing it.
If you feel like you’re happy with what other people have to say, the product might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Easy To Clean
An indoor smoker must be smartly designed to be able to be cleaned without going through much hassle. In some instances, you’ll need to clean the smoker after each use – especially if you intend to cook different types of meats on it. The process of cleaning shouldn’t take too long or it could become troublesome in the long run.
If you want an easy cleaning, consider buying the best downdraft cooktops as they are made of stainless steel.
Since indoor smokers are smaller than their outdoor-specialized counterparts, they often tend to cook food at a slower rate. Although this is understandable, you still need to find an indoor cooker capable of smoking food at a relatively decent rate. Having to wait several days for your food to be ready is far from ideal!
Amount of Smoke Generated
It is very important for an indoor smoker to generate low amounts of smoke when used. Most of these devices are bought mainly to be used in a kitchen, so being able to cook without having to worry about the device triggering a smoke detector is a crucial feature for them.
Rest assured though: most of the products we’ve shown you today excel at cooking while generating little smoke in the process.
Ready To Buy The Best Indoor Smoker?
Indoor smokers are essential tools for anyone who lacks enough space to cook outdoors in the comfort of their own home.
An indoor smoker will provide you with a very efficient appliance which will make your food taste like a BBQ meal without having to rely on any space apart from that of your own kitchen. In case, if are looking for outdoors, you can go for affordable gas grills.
If you want to create homemade, flavorful meals, consider purchasing one of the products that we’ve shown you today. You’ll have absolute control over the amount of food you cook – so be careful not to overdo it!
When using an indoor smoker, lots of smoke may rise. Consider also installing a ductless range hood in your kitchen to control the smoke.
Which of these indoor smokers are you going to buy? Will you use it solely at home or do you plan to give it a try outside? Let us know in the comments below!