How to Use an Electric Smoker


If you like smoking your meats at your own home, you might want to get an electric smoker. It’ll allow you to cook your meats the way you want them without the need to travel all the way to your favorite restaurant.

However, there’s a catch.

To get the best possible results, you need to know exactly how to use an electric smoker. We’ll get to that later but first, let’s talk about the basics of this equipment.

Important Facts about Electric Smokers

  • Always check for the minimum and maximum smoking temperatures, so that you know how you are going to set the temperature for the different foods you will be cooking.
  • It is not advisable to move an electric smoker on an uneven surface and you should use the side handles for lifting and not the rear handle.
  • To reduce the chances of wood flare-ups, you should always ensure that the wood chip loader, as well as the wood chip holder, is in place.
  • It is not recommended to open an electric smoker door unless it is totally necessary. Normally, opening the smoker door leads to heat loss, and may lead to flare up of the wood.
  • Always remember to clean up the ashes in the wood tray after and before using an electric smoker; failure to do so may lead to ash buildup.

Assembling and Preseason of an Electric Smoker

The very first thing that you need to do is assemble your new electric smoker. Well, assembling is usually easy. All you need to do is follow the instructions in the user manual on how to assemble the smoker.

It is rare for you to run into a problem with the assembling process since every part of the device should fit accordingly. If some parts do not fit, you can always return the smoker to the manufacturer for replacement.

Once you are done assembling the unit, you will need to preseason your electric smoker before you can conduct actual smoking for the first time.

The preseason process is quite simple.

All you need to do is make sure that the water pan is well positioned without water if the unit is an electric water smoker. Then, set the temperature to 275°F and keep the smoker running for about three hours. Add a single cup of wood chips in the wood chip chamber in the last forty-five minutes. After the three hours, shut down your electric smoker and allow it to cool down.

Getting Started with Your New Electric Smoker

Once you are done with assembling and the preseason process, fill the water pan half full of water, fill the wood chip chamber with wood flavors, plug in the smoker into a wall socket, and turn it on. Have your food placed into the cooking racks and load them into the smoker.

Have the damper set at the appropriate opening. Always be cautious not to close the damper while the unit is operational. If more heat is required, feel free to adjust the temperature conveniently. Do not forget to set the timer.

Always remember that during hot smoking, the temperature control switch and the smoke generator will be on. During cold smoke, only the smoke generator should be on.

Do’s and Don’ts


  • Always read the instruction manual carefully.
  • Only use well-grounded volt outlet.
  • Remember to unplug the unit when not in use.
  • Vary the cooking temperature and time conveniently.


  • Do not leave your electric smoker on when not cooking.
  • Do not operate an electric smoker with a damaged cord or plug.
  • Don’t touch hot surfaces of your electric smoker to avoid unnecessary burns.
  • Do not use an outdoor smoker indoors.

Electric Smoker Maintenance

Despite the type of the electric smoker you use, the much-needed maintenance is to ensure that the smoker is clean. Take out and clean the racks and drip pan after each use.

Remove the sticky deposits from the inside of your electric smoker and make sure to clean any other area that food may touch. It is normally advisable not to use cleaning agents unless it is unquestionably necessary. This will prevent any harsh cleaning chemical agents from affecting the flavor of your smoked food.


Most electric smokers are outdoor smokers. Therefore, they should not, under any circumstances, be used indoors. Food smoking using an electric smoker is quite easy, as long as you have all the instruction well-followed.

To experience maximum smoking, you are not to ignore any smoking detail, no matter how insignificant it might appear to you. You are strongly advised to follow all safety precautions when dealing with an electric smoker. You can effectively find the most detailed guidelines of a specific electric smoker from its user manual apart from the ones discussed in this guide.

Further Reading on Best Electric Smokers