Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker: A Comprehensive Product Review
Electric smokers are no longer just for the big time BBQ pit masters. If you're looking to take the next step in cooking, buying a smoker gives you yet another tool in preparing fresh meals for yourself, your family, and your friends. Plus, it will give you an alternative to the grill and introduce you to flavors you didn't think you could capture at home. The smoker market is filled with vast options, from the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker to the Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker. It can be challenging if you've never shopped for one.
About Smoke Hollow Electric Smokers
One of the tried-and-true brands out there is Smoke Hollow. Rick Davidson, a renowned BBQ pit master, founded Smoke Hollow in 2005 with a mission to take outdoor cooking to the next level. To simplify your buying options, Smoke Hollow produces just three models. Each of their three models is specifically designed to meet whatever needs you have, so if you're a beginner, Smoke Hollow has one for you.
The particular Smoke Hollow unit we reviewed is the 30162E 30-Inch Electric Smoker. It measures 16" x 14" x 30", so its slim design and lightweight frame make transporting it from the patio to garage easy. If you're new to using smokers, you probably want as little assembly as possible. This Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker hits that mark.
If you want durability, this is the right product for you. Smoke Hollow integrated a magnetic door latching system into this model to ensure the door remains closed. Since no smoke leaks out, the temperature remains consistent, and consistent heat is one of the hallmarks of rich smokey flavor.
Beyond the magnetic latch, even smaller details aren't overlooked. The wood chip box is made from painted steel, and the water pan is porcelain-coated, so you don't have to worry about your materials rusting or corroding. What many owners love about this Smoke Hollow electric smoker is how easy everything is to use. Its compact design cuts down on cleanup time because almost everything is removable.
This Smoke Hollow electric smoker is perfect for basic use but may also be a bit pricey. Don't let the price deter you though. It sells for around $200 on Amazon through various third-party retailers. Overall, the 30162E 30-Inch Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker does the job, but you could buy a higher quality smoker with plenty more features for roughly the same price, which is why we ultimately ranked this one as low as we did. However, if you want the simplicity this model offers, then we would absolutely recommend it.
- Electric smoker for outdoor cooking of meat, vegetables, and more
- Painted-steel wood-chip box; porcelain-coated steel water pan
Although the 30-Inch Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker does not include a digital LED display, it does include a thermometer affixed to the door, allowing you to monitor the temperature easily.
With four cooking racks, the 30-Inch Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker has room for a wide array of meats: two whole chickens, a whole turkey, or several racks of ribs. If you want to smoke a larger cut of meat, you can remove and adjust the cooking racks as needed. After making the necessary adjustments, the magnetic door seals in the heat to ensure your meats cook thoroughly and evenly so that nothing comes out dry. Cleaning up is simple thanks to a steel wood chip box and a water pan.
For all its positives, the 30-Inch Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker has its drawbacks too. Several users report trouble with temperature settings. Despite the ability to control temperature through a panel, getting the 30-Inch Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker to temperature can be time-consuming, so it's important you plan ahead. Despite the wait, once the food is in the smoker, the 30-Inch Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker maintains its internal temperature quite well. It falls short in comparison to other models that have the ability to set the temperature and walk away or even set the temperature remotely.
While this model is more of an updated version of Char-Broil's Vertical Electric Smoker, it includes some key differences. For starters, the updated model is larger with 544 square inches of cooking space, and it includes a 1200 watt heating element. Internally, the Char-Broil Analog Smoker contains three adjustable cooking racks to give you flexibility whether you're smoking a brisket, several racks of chicken wings, or a few pork loins.
We know that one of the most important aspects of properly smoking foods is maintaining the right temperature. While it doesn't have the magnetic latching system the 30-Inch Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker does, the Char-Broil Analog Smoker ensures a stable temperature thanks to its two layers of insulation. You can also monitor the temperature with the built-in thermometer on the door which is a huge plus given that this smoker does not have a glass door. This also means that if you open the door to check on your food, you will lose the stable temperature.
Some reviewers say the wood chip trays are still a little small for their liking, but it is a noticeable improvement over the previous model. A great feature is the aluminum water pan. Water pans help maintain the smoker's internal temperature throughout the entire cooking process, yielding a juicy, smokey flavor, and it's always better to have one included rather than buying additional parts. The removable drip tray makes cleaning the smoker easy as well. Mobility isn't much of an issue even if the smoker lacks wheels. It does have side handles and weighs about 50 pounds when assembled.
If you're a beginner when it comes to smoking meats and vegetables, this could be a great starter model. The simplicity of its design takes away the intimidation you might otherwise feel with a more complex smoker. You can pick up this Char-Broil smoker from Amazon for around $110. Amazon offers customers the choice to add a weather-resistant cover as well for about $20 more. Char-Broil offers a one-year warranty on this product.
The Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker goes for about $170 on Amazon through various third-party retailers. Amazon does not list warranty information for this unit, but you can obtain it by contacting a customer service representative. Despite the cost, Masterbuilt's reputation as a durable brand makes it worth the investment.
At just 21 pounds, this is an extremely lightweight portable smoker, making it ideal for tailgating before the big game with friends or bringing it to your campsite. Plus, the design's simplicity allows it to weather unfavorable outdoor conditions. The 1400 watt unit has enough space and power to smoke an entire turkey and even some hamburgers and hot dogs. You can adjust and remove the racks as necessary depending on what you'll be cooking. Regardless of what you decide, the door's tight seal helps lock in the smoke and heat for delicious results.
Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker uses analog controls, meaning you have to manually set your temperature controls, so it's practical for outdoor use. Masterbuilt placed the temperature gauge in a convenient spot, making it easy to monitor the heat. This could also help protect the controls against rain and humidity. Another great feature that makes this a perfect portable smoker is the option to fold the legs, giving it unparalleled versatility. If you want a truly portable smoker, this is your best bet. However, if you want something that can accommodate more food, you may want to consider other options.
- Front loading electric smoker comes with recipe/instruction booklet and 1.75-pound bag of Chips n' Chunks hickory flavor wood fuel
- Consistent low temperature setting using a 120V, 250W heating element for approximately 165 F.
This is by far the least expensive smoker we reviewed, coming in at just over $90 on Amazon. Don't let the low price fool you though. Smokehouse developed the Little Chief Front Load Smoker for someone who's just learning how to smoke meats and vegetables, and in that respect, this delivers.
What's so impressive about this Smokehouse model is its efficiency. In fact, you can smoke up to 50 pounds of meat on its four removable cooking racks without turning to any type of burning material. That totally sets it apart from any other product on this list. The Little Chief Front Load Smoker's powerful heating element can reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit on its own and maintains that heat remarkably well.
In addition, the smoker's embossed aluminum material keeps a stable internal temperature throughout the cooking process which we know is key to a successfully smoked meal. As standard with most smokers, the Little Chief Front Load Smoker includes a removable drip pan for easy cleanup.
Here's the potential downside. The internal heating element is non-adjustable, and without the digital controls to modify the temperature, you are essentially locked into smoking your foods between 160 to 165 degrees. This could drastically lengthen your cook time. And, if you're using this unit outside, you might have trouble hitting 165 as quickly as you would in a warmer environment, so it's important to factor that into your preparation.
While the lack of control might dissuade a more experienced cook, this is still great for a beginner. Plus, the product is already assembled and includes the best warranty of the bunch. The Little Chief Front Load Smoker comes with a two-year limited warranty.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
When factoring in price, features, display, and design quality, there are many smokers suitable for beginners. The 30-Inch Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker is not the cheapest on this list, and it might take some time to reach your desired temperature, but you get tremendous value with this purchase. Its display is simple. Its design is sleek. Its assembly is virtually non-existent.
Overall, if you're in the market for a beginner's smoker that will last years and is easy to use, it would honestly be tough to beat the 30-Inch Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker. Char-Broil and Smokehouse Products have produced some incredible smokers in their own right, and we love the portability of Masterbuilt's product, but the 30-Inch Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker is just a step above its competitors. It provides you with the temperature control you want, the magnetic latching system you need to maintain temperature, and the design that makes it easy to transport.
We feel Smoke Hollow deserves four out of five stars for their effort here. They produced a smoker for beginners that doesn't cut any corners and produces top quality smoked foods.
Our verdict on the 30-Inch Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker:
4 out of 5 stars