Preheating an Electric Smoker Good or Bad?

Have you purchased one of the best electric smokers and are confusing about its use on several steps? Most of the time, it does happen that you have come across multiple myths regarding the taste of the food through applying various procedures but do not find any regarding instructions in the manuals. The same is the case with the issue “preheating an electric smoker-Good or Bad.” Different people have different opinions over the question. Some do prefer preheating the electric smoker, while others do not recommend it. But today, we intended to present the step- step guide of “preheating an electric smoker -good or bad.”

What is an Electric Smoker?

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Like Pellet Smokers and Offset Smokers, Electric Smokers are also used for smoking meat and many other food items. Electric smokers are the type of smokers that take electricity to work. They do not run over the natural fire and don’t take wood as fuel. They need wood chips to add a smokey flavor to the food, to infuse natural barbecue taste in your food.

Taking electricity brings the concept of the oven to your mind, which runs taking electric elements. The electric smoker is the totally ‘set and forgets” appliance. It is a user-friendly item as compared to those pellet smokers and offset smokers. It makes the user experience so easy that even novice user can try their hands quite easily.

How does an electric smoker work?

Working with an electric smoker is a pretty easy process.

 You need to put the food inside the smoker.

Close the door of the smoker.

Plugin the unit.

Set the temperature with a digital controller. Wait until the time your food is ready.

Step- step guide of preheating an electric smoker


If you desire to preheat the electric smoker, it will take around 35- 40 minutes. For healthy preheating, it is excellent time management. In the first step, you need:

1: To set the timing of your smoker 35-40 minutes.

2: Set the temperature between 200-225 degrees F. As most of the meats take the 200-225degrees F for smoking. You need to set the temperature according to the type of meat.

3: After 30-40 minutes, the smoker reaches your desired temperature level. For instance, if you planned to smoke a brisket, the ideal temperature that a brisket requires to smoke is almost 190 degrees F. Within 40 minutes, the smoker maintains 190 degrees F internal temperature. As soon as the unit maintains the required temperature leve

4: You need to plug off the unit.
Open the door of the smoker again and stuff your dish inside whatever you want to smoke.

Pros of Preheating the Unit:

1: If you want to preheat the electric smoker, it will bestow you with good results. Our experts’ opinion is that when you put the food inside before preheating it, the food can stick to the racks. As weather is cold outside and the temperature outside and the inside temperature of your smoker is cold. It may take time to reach the required temperature. So, the time difference can affect your food’s taste.

2: Another reason for preheating the unit is the water in the water pan due to the colder climate requires more time to get hot. Unless it is hot, it cannot turn to moisture to add in food for soft taste purposes. So the water in the water pan needs some extra heat level to show the maximum best results.

Moreover, the water pan is made of steel, and it will also need extra heat to get hot.

Cons of Preheating the Unit:

1: Most people believe that electric smokers do not need to preheat. If you, do it mean you are wasting energies because it takes electricity to run. As it consumes electricity to smoke food, it has automatic stamina to access the desired heat level within the time set once the temperature is set. So, there is no need to set preheat an electric smoker.

2: Keeping in view the cool water, experts believe that you need to put hot water in the bowl. Doing so, the water will need the minimum heat to turn to moisture.In this way, you can get the best results without preheating the unit.

3: Moreover, the experts believe that instead of preheating the unit put all the things inside and use dry wood for flavor purposes. The dry wood will start burning fatly, and you can do your job nicely in this way.

Now the question arises whether to use soaked wood or dry wood?

Advantages of Using Soaked Wood

One of the best advantages of using soaked wood is that it does not burn quickly. The smoker does not consume excessive wood chips, and there are pretty chances that your meat can’t achieve the strong smoky flavor.

Moreover, your smoker consumes fewer wood chips when it is used as soaked. There may not be a need to add wood chips time and again.

How to Soak the Wood?

The process of soaking the wood is pretty easy. All you need to do is:

1: Put the wood chips in a wide pan.

2: Add water to it to the extent that all the wood chips may dip perfectly in it.

3: For better results, keep the water pan with wood chips in it for two three hours.

Disadvantages of using Soaked Wood

If you do not preheat your smoker, the soaked wood will take time to burn and add flavor to the food. So, it can remain to fail to add as much strong natural taste as needed by the BBQ lovers.

Advantages of using Dry Wood

The dry wood burns speedily. In this, it adds a strong smoky flavor to the food. If you love the strong natural flavor of meat, then you can add dry wood.

But here, you need to handle the task smartly because some types of meat can become bitter due to excessive smoky flavor. So, adding extra wood will not be beneficial.

Disadvantages of Dry Wood

The main disadvantage of using dry wood is it tends to burn hastily. In this, you need to add more wood, and the need to add wood chips gets extend, and the process does not remain economical.

In a Nut -Shell

If we ponder the issue whether “preheating an electric smoker -good or bad,” most people assume that it is a good option. It matters a lot in presenting the incredible performance of the unit.

According to our expert’s opinion, practice smoking trying both methods. If you find the difference in the taste, you must preheat the smoker. Moreover, if you do not find the difference in taste in the opposite scenario, you can continue without preheating the unit. There is not any hard and fast rule about preheating, in this respect you can do what do you intend.

Furthermore, it requires your little bit of extra effort, and making an effort once will not create a problem at all.

As for as I am concerned, I use to preheat the unit in case of intense cold, and in summer, when it is hot outside, I do not preheat the electric smoker.

Leave a comment below and let us know about your style. Furthermore, if you have a more good suggestion than this we warmly welcome your suggestion.

Happy Grilling!

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