If you’re looking for a great digital electric smoker, the best place to start is with reliable smart smoker reviews. They’ll tell you everything that you need to know about the finest products and the features that you need.
In this review I take a look at the Char-Broil Smart Digital Electric Smoker and see if it delivers on all that the brand promises.
Now, electric smokers aren’t a novel or new idea.
They have been around for quite some time and many homeowners consider them to be an invaluable cooking asset. However, generally smart devices are still in their infancy.
They are relatively new to the market and have garnered a lot of attention from curious cooks and culinary experts. As ‘smart’ signifies the presence of digital connectivity (in other words, your smoker is hooked up to the web), this is a slightly more expensive option. Whether the extra investment is a good idea will depend on what you want to get out of your purchase.
The question is, are they worth the price hike?
The Main Features of the Char-Broil Smart Digital Electric Smoker
Intelligent, intuitive app design
Balanced, even heat dispersal
Safe, efficient slow smoking (over 8 hrs)
Compact and lightweight
Fairly small internal capacity/volume
Sparse online controls
Patchy internet connection
Why Buy a ‘Smart’ Appliance?
Smart kitchen appliances have been growing in popularity because they make it easy to maintain control over food, even when you’re not in the room. For instance, a smart smoker can be influenced and controlled via a smartphone or computer. Users can increase or reduce temperatures, shut the machine down, and start it up from a distance.
The only real issue with the Char-Broil Smart Digital Electric Smoker – because it is a high-quality device – is this question of whether or not it is more valuable than a regular smoker. To find out, we spent a couple of very smoky days cooking all kinds of meat and carrying out some enthusiastic taste tests.
Electric Smokers Enable Year Round Cooking
The main reason why anybody buys an internal electric smoker is because they want to enjoy smoked meat all year round. Traditionally, this is a cooking process that is reserved for the summer and good weather conditions. However, meat enthusiasts often fancy a beefy brisket during the winter and the autumn too. With an indoor smoker, it is easy to cook one up.
It is also a lot less messy and involves a smaller amount of manual input. With a digital smoker, all of the settings and conditions are carefully controlled. Once you’ve picked the right temperature and hit the start button, you don’t have to worry. The meat will emerge perfectly cooked because it has been treated with absolute precision.
The Tricky Case of the Smart Smoker
The main drawback to the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker is probably going to come as no surprise. The internet connection is often patchy and, while it works great when the signal is strong, moving outside to the garden or deck will cause problems so you might consider the Weber Smokey Mountain Barbeque Smoker as well.
Ultimately, when the ‘smart’ part of this device isn’t working smoothly, it is no different to your average digital smoker. So, it is worth considering this if you’re thinking about purchasing one for your kitchen. On the other hand, even without connectivity, it is easy to use and very reliable. There are three pre-settings that can be used for times when the smoker is having trouble getting connected.
They allow a user to cook meat for a predefined amount of time, at a controlled temperature. If the signal is patchy, this is the best option. Crucially, if the signal does get lose while cooking is still incomplete, the issue won’t affect your meat. As long as the directions have been given over Wi-Fi before the signal is lost, the smoker will just continue to operate as you told it.
An Intuitive, User-friendly Interface
One thing that we did love about the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker is that it has an extremely easy to use app. This is rarely the case with smart appliances. Users get them home, expect things to be simple and are railroaded by a fussy, overly complex interface.
This is not the case here and it is probably because the manufacturer didn’t design it. It passed the job over to an actual app developer. All you have to do to get your meat cooking is pick either a preprogrammed setting or a manual cooking option. The manual option is ‘guided,’ so it won’t set any conditions for you, but it will make suggestions based on the type of meat and how you want to eat it.
Char-Broil Smart Digital Electric Smoker
This digital electric smoker is highly efficient. After a few tries, you’ll notice that the wood chips are used up a lot more slowly than you might expect. After six hours, for example, you’ll likely have enough left to push on for another 2-3 hours without a replacement. Depending on what you’re cooking and how it is not unrealistic to plan for a ten-hour cooking session.
It should be pointed out that very heavy smoke flavors might not satisfy true connoisseurs. The taste was delicious, but there wasn’t a huge difference between the light and heavier settings, particularly when large cuts of meat were cooked. However, it doesn’t appear to have cool spots or patches where the meat cooks less efficiently. The flavor is consistent across the settings.