Jason in CA

It may be hard to believe but I'm going to ask,

Is there a good electric smoker?

The heating element went out on my mom's electric smoker. She has a masterbuilt vertical electric smoker. I told her to order another heating element and I would put it in, but. when I started to get into it I realized there were parts that were rusting to the point I could put my finger through. the wires going to the heating element or corroded so bad I'm surprised it worked as long as it did. I have the ability, and could rewire and replace all the parts that are failing. But I'm wondering if I even should? So basically I'm asking should I fix what she has or encourage her to go another route. I know there are vertical pellet smokers, and I think that could work for her if they don't cost too much.

Any thoughts opinions, or personal experience with electric smokers, or vertical pellet smokers?

Dan Leighton

TVWBB Super Fan

If it has served your mom well over the years, I would just get her the same model that she has been comfortable with. That way, she would not have to learn a new smoker from scratch. While you have the ability to repair the existing smoker, it probably is just a matter of time before something else lets go. If it has that much rust, it sounds like it is getting to the point where repair may not be possible. As with any appliance, once you start adding up parts to make the repairs, if they are even available , the price will not be cheap.


TVWBB Member
The Pit Boss vertical pellet smokers get mixed reviews. For most part I think people like cooking on them, but there’s something in their design that easily allows water to get into hopper which causes a huge mess and will jam the auger if not completely cleaned out. If she stores indoors and never uses in rain, might be good.

Jason in CA

Well after considering what else the masterbuilt smoker needs, including another heating element because we got the wrong one my Mom decided to get a new smoker.

So here's where were at. She is a fan of the easy convenient electric. It's as easy as an oven that you occasionally add wood chips to. But didn't realize pellet smokers are just as "set and forget". For space reasons a vertical smoker is a must. Does anyone here have experience with vertical pellet smokers and recommend electric vs pellet.

I had that exact conversation with her and that's why she is going to replace it. The question now is with what.

I'm looking into pit boss now.

Any other suggestions or advice is welcome and appreciated.

Lew Newby

TVWBB All-Star
The head man on did a review of the Pit Boss Copperhead and documented the many tests he ran with it. When he does reviews he is very thorough, cooks numerous things and, in my opinion, completely unbiased. He seemed pleased with that vertical smoker and noted that it held low temps very well. I think there are two sizes of that one.

Jason in CA

It seems to be some kind of Lowe's exclusive. However I don't know what's different about it compared to the non Lowe's exclusive one. I'm just beginning to research all of this.


TVWBB Super Fan
Bought the son and his family a #5 2 years ago for Christmas, it works well, he doesn't smoke very often though, I have had my MBE 40" for a long time and it has served me well, I would buy another 1 if it died and I had no other smoker.

D Livingston

TVWBB Member
I have/had a vertical electric smoker, and for starting out with no experience, I liked it. However, each year as I learned more and more about how things can be done, I became more and more disappointed in it. It may have just been my particular one, but while it cooked well low and slow, I rarely had even a decent smoke ring and forget about bark. It cooked well, it just didn't smoke well. Then I got my Master Touch, learned about the snake method, and haven't taken that thing out of the garage since. I did very much like the vertical aspect of it; small footprint but a decent capacity. Based on my experience, I'd definitely go the pellet route if I decided to get another cabinet style vertical smoker.