How Does an Electric Smoker Work?


It’s time for an awesome family cookout on your brand new appliance. But just how does an electric smoker work? We’ll give you the rundown in this article!

electric smoker

An electric smoker works by turning on its heating elements inside the chamber. The wood chip tray is in turn also heated, resulting in the buildup of smoke in the chamber that cooks your food. The water tray stops the food from drying out as it cooks.

Let’s discuss every part of electric smoker and their function.

Heating the Chamber

If there isn’t any heat in your electric smoker’s chamber, you won’t have any tasty smoked meat to tuck into.

But how does the chamber heat up?

When you plug the smoker in and turn the temperature up, it activates the electric heating elements inside the smoker. These gradually get hotter and hotter, making the perfect environment for your meat.

The heating chamber is completely sealed on the inside so it can reach soaring temperatures. No heat will escape from it unless you prompt it to.

This makes an electric smoker the perfect appliance to cook the most tender meat. It can even be used to smoke poultry, fish, and vegetables such as potatoes.

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Convection Cooking

Electric smokers cook with a convection heat method.

So, how does convection cooking work?

Instead of having one hot iron that will heat your food on one side more than the other, the convection method will heat your food all around. It cooks your meat evenly from all angles. This is because a fan blows the heat evenly around the cooking chamber so there are no cool spots in the smoker.

The convection cooking method makes cooking a whole lot easier. Why? Well, with this method, there is no need for you to open the smoker and turn your food partway through the cooking time.

This makes for hassle-free smoking. It also ensures that the temperature in the smoker remains stable as you will not need to keep opening the door to rotate your food.

Also Read >> How Do You Use an Electric Smoker

The Wood Chip Tray

The wood chip tray is also essential for smoking your food. Without it, your food won’t have that incorporated smokey flavor that we all love on our meat.

So how does it do it?

When switched on, the various heating elements in the smoker are activated. These, in turn, heat the wood chip tray, making the wood inside of it smolder.

The breakdown of the wood chips creates smoke that infuses into your food and helps to cook it. The smoke gives your food that authentic cooked-on-an-open-fire flavor.

One of the most remarkable things about wood chips is how versatile they are. There are so many different flavors of wood chips out there for you to try. Each one gives your food a unique burst of flavor.


Make sure you load your smoker with the best quality chips!

The Water Tray

The water tray is an excellent addition to an electric smoker that helps to keep your food moist. Without it, smoked food often tends to be dry and tough. This is because the smokey environment inside the chamber dries out your food.

So, how does the water tray work?

The water tray is usually placed at the base of the smoker under the cooking racks. This handy location allows for the water to evaporate up into your meat as it cooks. When the smoker is on, it begins to heat the water inside the tray. When the water turns into vapor, it condenses onto the meat keeping it moist and tender.


Make sure your water tray is full during the entire cooking process.

Are Electric Smokers Worth the Money?

Let’s start off by confirming that, yes, electric smokers are worth the money! Here are just a couple of reasons why so many homeowners fall head over heels for them.

  • Electric smokers make delicious food. With some good quality wood chips in your wood chip tray, you can create a mouth-watering masterpiece in your smoker.
  • Electric smokers are great for those that live in an apartment or a condo. Sometimes apartment and condo regulations will not allow you to cook with gas, pellets, or charcoal. So an electric smoker provides you with the very best solution. This solution will still allow you to produce a fantastic taste sensation.
  • They are easy to use. Electric smokers are super simple for you to get your head around, making them the ideal choice for first-time buyers. They are easier to use than gas smokers.
  • They are an affordable option. Electric smokers are cheaper than pellet smokers, but they are more expensive than gas smokers.

Read: How to Season a New Electric Smoker


Firing up your electric smoker for the first time can seem a little daunting. This is especially true if you have converted to an electric smoker from a different smoker types or if you are using a smoker for the first time!

I’m sure this article has shared with you everything you need to know about how an electric smoker works. The tips included in it will no doubt help you to get the most out of your smoker!

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Tyler Lachance is a cookout professional. His expertise on cooking grilled food, creating marinades, formulating sauces and matching his food with the perfect drink is unrivaled.

Born and raised in a family that has a long history of cookout, he has treated this activity as a part of his culture and who he is.