Best Smoker for Jerky Reviews of 2020 – Latest Picks with Buyer’s Guide
Do you love eating jerky? Jerky is a favorite food for most people because it is yummy. One of the best ways to get a tasty jerky is to have a jerky smoker. Do you know – which is the best smoker for jerky? There are numerous types of these items available on the market.
What you need is just pick the best one depending on the size of your kitchen and the quantity of your jerky you want to cook. A jerky is actually that long thin piece of meat freshly cut and dried. It is probably the best piece of food especially for those who want to carry their food.
If you want to make jerky, you need to have a freshly cut piece of meat. Trim the fat from the meat. The fat will quickly become rancid and this will make it dry fast. As soon as everything is well set and ready, you can use the best jerky smoker. Of course, it is important to choose the best and most effective jerky smoker.
Our Top 10 Picks
Why do you need a smoker for jerky?
A jerky smoker is the best kitchen appliance you can ever purchase. If you love smoked beef, you need to buy a jerky smoker. Other than that, if you love to carry your own meat, you need to have a jerky smoker as well. A jerky smoker is actually used to add flavor to your jerky by exposing them to the smoke.
Meat, especially beef is the most commonly smoked type of food. If you need to smoke your meat quickly, you need to purchase an electric smoker.
Most of these electric smokers smoke the meat without any fire for safety purposes. Some of them have time control functions to avoid over-smoking the meat. Smoking allows you to cook the meat slowly using steam.
It is actually a healthy way of cooking food. If you have never eaten smoked meat, you need to eat. It is the best type of meat. Beef is among the best and commonly smoked meat. For you to get the best results, you need to have the best jerky smoker.
Top 10 Smoker for Jerky Reviews
1. Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Jerky Smoker
This is a front controller smoker. The Masterbuilt 20075315 is one of the best and most effective. And it earned its popularity due to quality, performance, and ease of control. This smoker has a viewing window to check the progress of the smoking process. It is a 40-inch smoker and has an RF remote control.
This smoker is decently priced and has 95 square inch cooking space. It is big enough for a big family. According to the latest reviews by customers, there is no doubt about the effectiveness and efficiency of this smoker.
Unlike most jerky smokers, this smoker has a smooth operating wood chip loading system and front access drip pan. This smoker has a drip catching system, making the cleaning much easier. It has four cooking racks and also features an internal light. You’ll also get heating elements of 1200watts.
This is a digital electric smoker that has a window and a remote. It is a well-built smoker that has benefited most customers. It is an easy-to-use smoker as it has digital control settings.
2. Smoke Hollow 44241G2 Vertical Popane Gas Smoker
This is not an electric smoker, but a propane gas smoker. It is 44 inches vertically and highly effective. You would probably be happy seeing its reasonable price tag. So, it is a popular pick for those looking for a budget-friendly smoker.
This smoker is well-built and has all the necessary features. The cooking area is 6.5 cubic feet that is capable of handling enough food for a big gathering. If you want to smoke meat, you can use this smoker. It is highly effective.
Unlike most smokers, this jerky smoker has five cooking grids. This means that the smoker features two standard cooking grids, two-jerky cooking grids, one rib rack, and one sausage hanger. You can call it a multipurpose smoker.
This model has a dual door design that has a tempered glass window allowing you to view the progress. It features dual stainless steel burners that operate independently to ensure optimum performance and temperature control. Besides, you’ll get a big porcelain coated water pan and a temp gauge.
3. Smoke Hollow 44241GW 2-Door Propane Gas Smoker
This propane gas smoker is highly effective, efficient and economical. It is an easy-to-use smoker, thanks to its easy controls. The Smoke Hollow smoker has a window that allows you to monitor the progress when your jerky/food is being smoked. This is an affordable item and favors most people looking for a budget-friendly smoker.
Seven cooking grids! How cool is that! Four of the grids are standard cooking grids, one rib rack, two jerky grids, and one sausage hanger. Just like the previous propane smoker, this machine also features a dual design window with tempered glass for easy viewing.
It has two burners that are stainless-steel and operate independently. With the big porcelain water pan coated perfectly, it is one of the best. And you won’t miss the temperature gauge as well.
4. Camp Chef Smoke Vault 18" Smoker
This smoker is an 18-inche smoker. With a stainless steel door and adjustable shelves, this smoker is decently priced that most people can afford. It is a good quality and well-built smoker built using high quality material.
The Camp Chef Smoker features 2 adjustable smoking racks, and 3 damper valves that can easily be adjusted. You’ll also get a door thermometer to get the actual reading. It is an easy to read thermometer that makes smoking easy and convenient. It helps you read from 50-550 degrees.
This amazing product features a highly convenient matchless snap ignition. If you really want to buy a smoker, this is one of the top rated smokers. It is heavily built that smokes your jerky in a short period of time. On top of that, it offers a decent value for your money.
Your quest for the best jerky smoker should end here if you love the simplest product with high rating. Just look at the highlighted feature to understand why.
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5. Camp Chef PG24 Deluxe Pellet Grill and Smoker
Now, this is a highly advanced Pellet smoker. It is a pellet grill and also a smoker, featuring stainless temp probe and digital controls. You might find it to be a bit expensive than most smokers, but you get what you pay for.
The service it offers, you might even find it to be more than what you pay for. This smoker produces optimal amount of smoke. Unlike most smokers, this smoker has endless versatility. It can grill, smoke, bake, braise, roast, and much more.
As it has a big cooking area, you can now cook a large amount of food. The 570sq inches surface area has a removable warming rack at the top. I would say it has sufficient room to cook for your family and friends.
The patented ash clean out it features will make it easy to clean the item between two cooking sessions. It is as easy as just pulling a lever and very easy to assemble, and operate. You should consider it to be a top product sold by a reputable brand.
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6. Smoke Hollow 38202G 2-Door Propane Gas Smoker
This propane gas smoker is a 38-inch smoker that has two doors. Alongside a decent price tag, this smoker has a reputable brand name. You can prepare food for the family in the 3.4 cubic feet cabinet that is undoubtedly a great cooking space. The control settings allows you to monitor the smoking progress without any hassle.
This smoker has four chrome plated cooking grids that have multiple adjustment levels. Not only that, you’ll also get a sausage hanger and a push button ignition system. Besides, the lower and upper vents will allow you to enjoy maximum temp control.
Most customers are comfortable with this gas smoker. It has been made using high quality material. Being durable and energy efficient, this should be a pretty good choice if you are planning to purchase a jerky smoker.
The quality of the smoker is a very important factor to consider while buying. This smoker is of good quality and enjoys a lot of positive reviews from customers. It is one of the best you can buy for smoking and much more.
7. Masterbuilt 20077116 4-Rack Digital Electric Smoker
Masterbuilt is a reputable brand. This beef jerky electric smoker is a four-rack smoker. It features legs, kit cover, and gloves.
You’ll find it to be reasonably priced and easy to use. This electric smoker has a tempered glass for easy viewing of the cooking progress. It has 4 chrome coated rack and smokes 80 lbs of food. The 800 heat process ensures consistent smoking up to 275 degrees F.
Controlling and monitoring the temperature is also quite easy, thanks to the RF remote control. Besides, the legs make it tall enough for easy access. This product comes with smoker cover, 25-recipe book, and carving gloves. So, you won’t be disappointed purchasing this smoker.
It has earned its place on the list of top rated smokers due to its quality and performance. If you want a high performing digital smoker, this is the best choice. Because, it offers an excellent value for your money.
The Masterbuilt 20071117 is yet another amazing product by Masterbuilt. As the name suggests, they are masters in what they do. It is a 30-inch digital electric smoker. Alongside being beautiful and very attractive, this smoker features digital panel controls.
You can easily turn on and off the temp and time. It has 4 chrome coated smoking racks. On the other hand, its patented side wood chip load system allows you to add wood chips without necessarily opening the door.
Unlike most other smokers, this smoker has integrated the thermostat temp control. It is a fully insulated smoker body. This smoker is well built and capable of smoking your jerky within a short time. Besides, it has a large cooking space that can smoke enough food/meat for your family.
According to the latest customer reviews, there is no doubt about the effectiveness and efficiency of this model. It comes with a decent price tag and offers you the desired services.
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9. Bradley Smokers Original Smoker
This is a pure classy smoker from Bradley Company. You will find it to be very beautiful and perfect for home decor. It is an important kitchen appliance that makes it possible for you to easily smoke your jerky.
The Bradley original smoker is affordable and favors those looking for a budget-friendly smoker. You’ll definitely get better than what you pay. It comes with four removable racks, and simple controls and settings. This smoker can be used as a slow roasting oven or a slow cooker as well.
And, it has a max temp of 250 degrees and min temp ambient. This model makes your smoking easy and convenient. It has an auto wood feeder, accurate temp control, and consistent smoking system. With this easy-to-clean smoker you can work more than 8 hours without refueling. It is a high-quality smoker that is durable.
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10. Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker
This is another CLASS from Bradley. You’ll find the price tag of this digital smoker to be pretty decent. It has been made using durable and top quality materials. With four rack smoker, outdoor barbecue, and digital control system and controls, it is a top performing smoker that offers excellent service to customers.
The excellent features of this smoker allow it to work effectively. If you have been wondering which smoker to purchase, this is one of the best from reputable brands.
The Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker has fully supported and removable racks that promote the smoking process. It is very easy to use and clean this smoker. I would say this smoker is a great kitchen appliance and perfect for home decor.
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Buying Guide: Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Jerky Smoker
If you’re buying a jerky smoker, you need to consider some important factors. The quality, effectiveness, and efficiency are definitely among the main factors. We’ll look at the crucial factors you must consider before buying a jerky smoker. The type of smoker you buy determines the results of your cooking/smoking.
1. Quality and size
The quality and size are the first things to consider if you’re planning to buy a jerky smoker. Especially, if you want to buy the best and most appropriate one. This will depend on the size of the meat that you will be smoking.
There are different smokers from different brands. And it is good to buy a product from a reputable brand. While buying a smoker, you should buy a high quality and proven electric smoker.
This is because electric smokers are the best and most convenient. You’ll find electric smokers that are computer-controlled. These smokers allow you to set up the smoker and run until your smoker is fully smoked.
The features of the smoker are pretty important to consider as well. They determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the smoker. If you’re planning to purchase an electric smoker, you need to ensure that the smoker has the best features for efficiency and convenience.
You can buy a computer-controlled smoker if you want an auto-smoker that can smoke without you having to monitor the progress. The size is also among the most important features.
3. Size of the jerky smoker
When you’re buying a smoker for meat, don’t forget to consider the size. If you’re buying a smoker for domestic use, you won’t need a big jerky smoker.
However, if you’re buying a smoker for commercial purpose, you need to buy a big one. You must ensure that the smoker meets your expectation in terms of size, performance, and effectiveness. If you have a large family, you need to buy the smoker that can comfortably smoke the preferred amount of meat.
And, it is very important to consider the size of the barbecue you’d like to make before you purchase. Because, the number of people that you will be serving will help you determine the size of your jerky smoker.
There are numerous smokers available on the market that can smoke and grill as well. If you’d like to buy a dual purpose smoker, you can choose from a variety of them.
Hence, versatility is very important thing to consider before purchasing a jerky smoker.
Trust me when I say always make a purchasing decision after thoroughly considering the brand name. Buy an item from a renowned brand and you will not be disappointed. You can also check on customer reviews to know the quality of the smoker.
Among tons of smokers available on the market, most of them have pretty outlook, but not all of them are of good quality. You need to do a lot of research on the quality and performance from users and experts. This article will definitely help you out with that.
Benefits of Using a Smoker for Jerky
If you are anything like me, you probably love snacking. A few snacks here and there never killed anyone. The challenge, however, lies in the fact that it is sometimes impossible to carry your snacks along when you go camping. And, there’re people who do camping most of the time.
After a lot of online research, I came across jerky as a healthy meaty alternate snack that lasts quite long.
What Is Jerky?
Jerky is a lean meat that has been sliced and dried with preservatives. In this dry, salted state, it is so delicious. On top of that, you can preserve the meat in this state for around a month. I love meat so much that I wish I could preserve enough jerkies to devour them all month long.
Jerky has for a long time been a snack of choice for people looking to plan ahead. Considering the fact that it does not need to be re-cooked, it can be eaten as a snack as well as re-cooked and repurposed into something else.
Making jerky requires you to understand a few things about its nature:
The original method of making jerky required that the meat be stripped and placed out in the open sunlight for a couple of days to ensure it is dry enough to be stored. And, modern methods involve the use of smokers and driers. There are a variety of smokers depending on what powers them.
Why you should use a smoker:
Smoked meat has a very distinctive taste to it. For some people, once they try smoked meat, there is no going back. This is one big advantage of using the smoker for your jerky. It provides the meat with a very distinctive smoky taste, and smells that you will totally enjoy.
The challenge of effectively smoking jerky lies in being able to control all the parameters mentioned above. With a smoker, you are able to efficiently control the heat level is at a certain point. This will work to reduce the overall time taken for the smoking.
You will also be able to control the amount of smoke and at the same time regulate the concentration of smoke. All these features make a smoker superior to the older forms of making jerky.
While an electric drier sounds way cooler, it is more often than not heavier and less portable. It also additionally requires electric plug-ins that may not be available at a campsite. Not only is a smoker portable, but it is also easy to use and does not require electricity.
If you are looking to jerk plenty of meat at once, a smoker is what you need. With plenty of racks for the different strips of meat, you can make all your jerky at once and with the same quality. But if you don’t know how long to smoke jerky, no feature is gonna save you from embarrassment.
Using a smoker does not require any professional training whatsoever. In the same way, maintenance of the smoker is simple with regular cleaning.
The missing equation in the making of your top-notch jerky therefore lies in choosing the right smoker for you. You have to be able to compare different features before settling on one that will be worth your money.
How to Clean and Take Care of a Jerky Smoker
Smokers are becoming a necessity appliance in every home. The world is slowly developing a “slow-cooked” taste bud where slow cooked ribs and steak are the order of the day. Whatever your reason, a smoker is still an important must have, especially for Sunday brunch.
Even with that, smokers are not necessarily cheap. Therefore, it is important that you get it right the first time you buy one. A common question people ask is how to get the best jerky smoker.
The type of smoker you select will ultimately aid in knowing how to maintain it. And don’t worry, your smoker should come with a manual that will give you step by step instructions for easy cleaning.
Multipurpose or not?
The first thought should be whether you want one purely for jerky or one that can do more than smoking jerkies.
Electric or Charcoal smoker?
These are two distinct types of smokers albeit with the same role. If you plan on moving it around then you should go for the wood-powered one. Electric smokers are great, but require plugin making them less portable.
Personal preference is also very important, especially if you have to choose between two jerky smokers that are very similar. Features like closing flaps, rotating grills, or movable bases will help you out with the decision making.
How do you avoid destroying it?
Contrary to popular belief, there is no amount of dirt or soot that will make your jerky taste better. Cleaning after each session is the best way to keep your smoker in great shape. Regular cleaning will also keep your jerky smoker efficient and in working condition while ensuring you get clean tasty jerky.
2. Use the right kind of fuel for your smoker
If your jerky smoker is propane powered, make it your aim to ensure that you’re using clean pure propane. Charcoal and wood smokers cannot be interchanged with electric smokers. Ensure the fuel used is not wet as in the case of wood or containing soot in the case of gas.
3. Controlling the heat is key
For electric smokers, you will be able to take temperature readings and regulate it. However, on charcoal smokers, the challenge lies in keeping the heat stable as well as knowing when you have achieved the desired heat level.
Charcoal bricks are great ways to keep the heat moderate. They absorb excess heat while at the same time keeping the heat from dissipating. You can also employ an external smoker thermometer in this regard.
The key to getting superb tasting jerkies is having the right smoker as well as smoking the meat well. You cannot have one without the other. It is for this reason, maintaining your smoker is very important whether you use it regularly or not.
FAQ: Frequently asked questions
Q-1: Which smokers are the best?
Ans: Depending on your preferred smoking method, you can pick the smoker for jerky. There is a wide range of smokers for those who love smoked flavored jerky. Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Jerky Smoker is very popular among the users. You can also use a smoker dehydrator combo.
Q-2: How long does it take to cook jerky in a smoker? What temperature to smoke jerky?
Ans: Usually, it takes about 4 to 6 hours to cook jerky in a smoker. The ideal temperature to smoke the jerky is at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a thermometer to control the temperature and maintain the consistency of the meat.
Q-3: Can you use a smoker to make jerky?
Ans: Of course, you can. However, when you use a smoker to make jerky, you need a low temperature and a little bit of smoke. The ideal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. An electric smoker will produce less smoke.
Q-4: What is the best meat to make jerky with?
Ans: Beef is always the best choice to make jerky. A fat-less lean cut of meat makes the best beef jerky. Also in order to make exceptional beef jerky, you will have to use high-quality beef.
Q-5: Can you make jerky in a pellet smoker?
Ans: Yes, you can. All you have to do is heat your smoker or pellet grill to 225° F, and smoke the jerky for a few hours. It is an easy way to make jerky.
Q-6: How long does smoked jerky last?
Ans: Smoked jerky lasts a long time, depending on your preservation method. If you store the jerky in ziplock type bags in your pantry, it will last about a week while in a refrigerator, jerky will last for 1-2 weeks.
Q-7: Does smoked jerky need to be refrigerated?
Ans: Generally properly dried jerky stays well at room temperature for about two weeks in a sealed container. However, if you store it in refrigerating the jerky will last longer, and its flavor and quality will remain intact.
Q-8: How can you tell if beef jerky is bad?
Ans: If the beef jerky gets spoiled, its color and texture will change. Most importantly, it will smell different as well. The jerky will become darker in color and get harder to eat.
Q-9: Is jerky safe to eat?
Ans: Jerky is safe to eat if it is made or dried in the right manners. You have to dehydrate at 160-degree °F (71°C) to kill the bacteria. The temperature varies based on the type of meat.
Q-10: What temperature do you dehydrate deer jerky at?
Ans: By USDA recommendation ideal temperature to make any meat bacteria free is 160-degree °F (71°C). For deer jerky you have to dry meat at 145° - 155°F for at least 4 hours.
Q-11: How do you know when ground beef jerky is done dehydrating?
Ans: It might take four to twelve hours for beef jerky to dry thoroughly, depending on the dehydrator and the depth of the jerky. It is better to check the jerky every 30 minutes until it is fully dehydrated.
Unlike the traditional method of smoking meat, modern smokers have countless benefits and features including temp control, safety, and extra capacity. Just like an oven, most of these electric smokers have temp control settings.
Of course, they come in various sizes and from different brands. You can buy the best and most appropriate one for you depending on the sizes of meat you will be smoking.
Most people use these smokers at home and for commercial use. They define the taste of jerky. You also get the opportunity to enjoy the best smoked meat using a beef jerky electric smoker. Of course, they vary in prices, quality, and brand, but you need to purchase the best and affordable one.
You can buy the best smoker for jerky form the list above. We have reviewed the best smokers including those that use propane, electricity, and wood. Our reviews are honest and many customers have benefited from our genuine and honest reviews.