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Which indoor BBQ smokers are best?

Sometimes a nice rack of smoked BBQ ribs is just what you need after a long work week. The problem here is that while chomping down on a smoked rack of ribs is relaxing, heading in and out of the house multiple times to check on them can become a nuisance. 

Not so long ago, it was only a dream to be able to turn on the TV and smoke food from the comfort of your kitchen. Now, we’re presented with various indoor BBQ smoker options to choose from. 

If you’re looking for one of the best indoor BBQ smokers that give you top-quality food without having to step outside, check out the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

What to know before you buy an indoor BBQ smoker

Seasonality and temperature

Before you start drooling at the thought of tearing into some smoked meat with your brand new bear claws, consider the time of year you’re going to use your smoker. Yes, you can use your smoker any time and any day of the year, but the weather and temperature affect how long you’ll have to smoke your food before it’s done. 

For example, in cold weather, temperatures drop, thus cooling the exterior of your smoker and dropping the temperature within the chamber. The challenge with smokers is keeping an even temperature throughout the entire process. 

To make up for the drop in temperature, you’ll typically have to smoke the meat or vegetables for an additional twenty minutes for every pound. However, this consideration really only applies to those who decide to take their indoor smoker out onto a covered patio because of the smell. 


There’s no real way to get around it. Even in the finest of BBQ restaurants, you smell the scent of smoked meat permeating through the air. However, your neighbors might not appreciate it. 

Regardless if you use a high-dome kettle smoker or a high-tech electric smoker, the smell will get out, and you’re either going to receive knocks at your front door with people waiting with plates or complaints. Before you buy an indoor BBQ smoker, consider your neighbors and determine if you’re willing to give up a few pieces of your smoked meat every time you use it. 


Whoever said “size doesn’t matter” wasn’t including indoor BBQ smokers in that sentence. Using a kettle smoker is an excellent option if you have limited space, like in a small condo or apartment. 

However, sometimes it’s best to see if you have enough space to accommodate a large smoker so you can get the most out of it in the shortest amount of time. Additionally, larger indoor smokers have double doors to help fit large cuts of meat like turkey or ham. You must also consider the distance to an electrical outlet if you use an electric smoker. 

What to look for in a quality indoor BBQ smoker


You bought your smoker so you can cook delicious cuts of meat indoors, but sometimes you won’t have enough space on your kitchen countertop or the weather’s screaming at you to smoke your BBQ outside. 

In that case, look for a smoker with sturdy handles that won’t break off while you walk it outside. Better yet, ones with wheels are advantageous in helping to maneuver the smoker without throwing out your back. 


The material used to construct the smoker determines how well it can retain the correct temperature as well as its lifetime use. Typically, manufacturers use aluminum, stainless steel or powdered steel. 


Among the parts that make up an indoor BBQ smoker, the door and its seal are the most important. Always be sure to ask or look online for reviews that discuss how well it keeps cold air out and humid air in. 

Also, if there’s a window in the door, double-check by asking or reading reviews that say if it causes air leaks or affects thermal insulation. Generally, the best indoor smokers have a door or opening that’s either entirely metal or glass. 

How much you can expect to spend on an indoor BBQ smoker

Depending on the type and size, you can expect to spend $100-$400 for an indoor BBQ smoker. 

Best indoor BBQ smoker FAQ

Can I use my indoor BBQ smoker overnight? 

A. Yes, you can, and sometimes that’s the only time you have to get fall-off-the-bone tender meat. However, just like smoking meat outside, it must be periodically monitored. If you decide to smoke meat indoors overnight, set some alarms so you can maintain the water level in the pan and top off the wood chips. 

Are electric indoor smokers healthier?

A. Electric smokers are much healthier and safer to operate when compared to charcoal smokers. Electric units have less smoke that escapes compared to other models. This, in turn, reduces the harmful fumes you inhale. Also, they don’t experience any flare-ups from the fats dripping onto the flame. 

What’s the best indoor BBQ smoker to buy?

Top indoor BBQ smoker

Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

What you need to know: This Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is perfect for BBQ enthusiasts who can’t smoke food outdoors due to horrible weather conditions. 

What you’ll love: Perfect for indoor use, this electric smoker doesn’t use combustible methods like charcoal, wood or gas to get the job done right. Four racks are available to accommodate all your variety of meats and vegetables, so it is highly efficient for small spaces. 

What you should consider: It’s a small smoker, and if you attempt to smoke an entire turkey or ham leg in there, it’ll likely cause damage. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top indoor BBQ smoker for the money

Nordic Ware Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker

Nordic Ware Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker

What you need to know: Nordic Ware designed this easy-to-clean smoker that can be used to smoke virtually anything and used in multiple situations. 

What you’ll love: Whether you plan on smoking some pork at a picnic, some fish in your kitchen or oven bake some vegetables, the Nordic Ware Kettle Smoker is here for you. Because of its dome shape, it can accommodate an entire rack of ribs or even a large chicken or medium-sized turkey. 

What you should consider: It’s not recommended to use this smoker at high temperatures. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker

Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker

What you need to know: If fancy Bluetooth features and gadgets aren’t for you, check out the highly-durable Analog Electric Smoker from Char-Broil. 

What you’ll love: This analog smoker features a large space with four racks to cook enough food to feed a party of at least ten people. Its walls are double insulated to lock in steam and heat that drastically reduces the amount of smoke released into the surrounding area. 

What you should consider: It has analog temperature controls which aren’t as accurate as electric ones. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Christopher Lee writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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