Sometimes the most basic machines provide us with the most consistent and reliable results. For one on the hunt for a smoker that delivers results with straightforward functionality, the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker seems to be the ticket. Based on my research, this smoker provides versatility for small or large projects to achieve killer smoked food!
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Features of the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
This is an analog smoker with old school analog thermometer, insulated cooking area, big wood chip box, and a water pan that is built into the base of the smoker. It comes with 3 chrome-plated cooking grates so you can either go big or small with your quantities. They even give you the option of ordering a 4th grate to go even bigger on your smoking projects.
This smoker is a no fancy frills alternative to smoking. No worries on having mechanical or digital breakdowns and errors because this guy is 100% analog- meaning, straightforward readings and consistent results. Another excellent feature is the 1 year Char-Broil warranty that comes with the unit. You know you can trust a product when the producer is willing to guarantee it.
Build Quality and Design
What I like about this smoker is the clean, industrial build. It’s made for durability and appears as if it would last for decades. It features a large cook area of about 544 square inches. It includes 3 grates with the option of purchasing a third. The wood chip box is big, which translates to less filling and more hours of interruption free smoking. The internal temperature gauge is analog and mounted into the front door of the smoker for quick and easy reads without having to touch any part of the smoker.
A water pan is included and has a slot for it built right in to the base of the smoker. The material is aluminized steel which means durability and longevity. Also included is an aluminized steel drip tray for simple no mess cleanups.
The electric heating element is 1200-watt. You are able to disconnect the electrical cord when not using. I like this because you wouldn’t have to worry about the smoker sitting out in the elements. The cooking chamber is heavily insulated to provide even and stable cooking temperature. The door provides 2 latches which gives it that old school smoker look and appeal. It also has 2 side carrying handles for safe and practical moving of the unit.
What We Like
- Beginner friendly. Easy to use. Analog thermometer means durability, simplicity, and trustworthiness. If you are new to smoking, there’s really no way to mess up a project with this straightforward machine.
- Large or small smoking capacity. Bring on the party, or bring on the dinner for two. Add in up to 4 racks, or reduce down to just one- your call.
- Portable- side handles for moving, lightweight, and breaks down easily. Could move from place to place if need be without too much hassle.
- Large wood chip tray. No need to keep checking and reloading wood chips. Takes any and all types of wood chips.
What We Don’t Like
- You have to put it together when it arrives. Does not come already assembled. The assembly can be slightly tricky as its 16 different screws that have to be mounted.
- Simple- it’s just that. No bells and whistles. Complex projects such as cold smoking wouldn’t be possible if you wanted to experiment.
- Char-Broils claims that it does well in cold temperatures but I’ve read that it is hard to maintain a temperature in below zero conditions.
What I Wish I Knew
When selecting an electric smoker, I felt a great conundrum with all the options on the market. Here are a few pieces of advice, I encourage you to take into consideration before making your final selection:
- Price does not always correlate to quality.
My initial expectation was the more expensive electric smokers were of higher quality. This is certainly not the case, especially with the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker. Though it is not the most expensive (or least expensive) available, it is one of the most consistent in terms of function and taste.
- Size matters.
Only you know how frequently and with how much cuisine you will be utilizing your new tool. While it sounds great to have more than 4 trays or a larger interior cooking space, if you’re not planning on cooking for large groups of people, it’s just not necessary.
- Reviews are a must.
Though the company’s themselves and the online stores give great descriptions of the product line, it’s important to understand how the actual users feel once the product is at their front door.
If you are a novice or experienced smoker, with a thing for traditionalism, this smoker fits the bill. I love the simple industrial look and functionality and it appears to deliver real results. It has that classic appeal that so many seek out, while giving delicious smoker delights at the same time. I would definitely give this one a try.