After much experimentation and research, I have chosen the Camerons stovetop smoker as the best indoor smoker. It is the closest to a traditional smoker, is great for indoor use, and produces a delicious smoky flavor.
The Homia smoke machine is the best electric indoor smoker on the market, ideal for cold smoking.
Despite using traditional smokers for most of my life, I did spend a brief stint in an apartment, requiring me to use an indoor smoker. By using friend's indoor smokers and doing my own homework, I was able to get a clearer picture of the top options.
Of course, everyone is looking for something different in terms of function, price, and more. This is why I have compiled a list of indoor smokers that is sure to help you find what you are looking for.
Here are my top picks for the best indoor smokers:
The reason that this is one of my favorite indoor smokers is because it gives you a smoking experience that is close to the real deal as possible, just on a smaller scale. This indoor stovetop smoker even functions in a similar way to that of an outdoor smoker.
Therefore, if you are looking for a reliable alternative to a traditional smoker, this is the one to go for.
The only fault that I can find with it is that it can be tricky to keep it looking good for long. Despite being made of stainless steel, this smoker - the drip pan, in particular, is readily discolored.
What I like about this Camerons stovetop smoker is that it produces a good amount of smoke - great for tackling all kinds of meat. At the same time, the smoke is sealed inside the smoker at all times. Even if any does escape, only a small quantity of smoke is released.
This makes it one of the top kitchen indoor smokers - you don't have to worry about smoke overwhelming your home and the smell of smoke fades away after a short period of time, too.
I was pleasantly surprised at the level of smoke produced by this indoor smoker. What's more, I liked that it was powerful enough to infuse even meats with a gorgeous smoke flavor. It really is as close to an outdoor smoker as you can get.
Even if you have never worked an indoor smoker before, this model is incredibly intuitive. Simply place the wood chips at the bottom of the tray, the drip pan and the roasting pan on top - this is where the food goes - and then cover the smoker.
Best Electric Smoker
The Homia smoker was one of the first indoor electric smokers that I tested and I liked the fact that I got a full kit right off the bat. In addition to the smoker gun, I also got the smoking disk for drinks and the smoking lid for cheese and meat. I got seven flavors of wood chips too, saving me the hassle of finding my own.
If you want to cold smoke cheese, cooked meats, and similar foods, then this is the best indoor electric smoker for the job. It produces enough of smoke to tackle these foods. I also like that it functions as a cocktail smoker.
However, you should be warned that you aren't going to get a similar experience to hot smoking machines. This means that if you wish to smoke uncooked meats or larger cuts, you aren't going to get that desired smokey flavor. Even with cooked foods, you can expect the process to take much longer than indicated.
It is nice that you get to choose how much smoke the machine produces. With just a flip of a button, you can choose either a moderate amount or significant amount of smoke. I found this helpful when smoking different types and sizes of food.
Best Budget Indoor Smoker
Let's face it - you probably aren't going to be using your kitchen indoor smokers as much as you like to. As such, it doesn't make much sense to spend a great deal of money on a smoking gun. If this is your line of logic, then this is the ideal smoker model for you.
It has the most affordable price in the line up and is great for when you want to smoke drink or food on occasion.
The only hiccup is that the motor on this indoor smoker tends to get jammed fairly often. To prevent this, you need to pull it apart and give it a thorough cleaning each time that you use it.
Like many others, I own far too many kitchen appliances. So, it is nice to find something that is so small and lightweight. It can easily fit in any corner of your kitchen cupboards. And, in case you want to carry it along to a party, it weighs nothing at all!
I would say that this indoor smoker has a pretty good smoking performance, although it is best suited to cheese and cocktails. It can also work wonders for meats that have already been cooked but need a bump in flavor.
One of the things that I like most about this indoor stovetop smoker is the dome lid. This increases the internal cooking space of the smoker. Thus, you can easily smoke a whole chicken or another large cut without any issue.
I would recommend this for indoor smoking for larger crowds.
This smoker uses wood chips in a more traditional manner. Due to this, the smoking performance is far better and you are able to infuse a variety of foods with smoke more easily. This smoker can be used for wet or dry smoking, catering to your needs perfectly.
All you have to do is to pour the wood chips at the bottom, put the water pan in place, place the smoker rack with food on top and you are good to go. Even if this is your first round with an indoor smoker, you will get the hang of it in no time at all.
The only downside is that even though it is made of stainless steel, this indoor smoker is prone to staining. Thus, you will never feel like it is completely clean.
As far as electric indoor smokers go, this one is on the pricier side. However, once I was able to examine it carefully, I realized that it was fully worth the price tag. From the stainless steel burn chamber to the silicone hose, every inch of this smoker is made with high quality materials.
What's more, it is made incredibly well. It has a user-friendly and stable base design that makes it a breeze for anyone, including first-timers to use.
The only thing that I don't like about this indoor smoker is that it doesn't come equipped with other tools and features like domes or lids. As such, you have to supply these on your own.
I was surprised at the flavorful taste produced by this indoor smoker. I would argue that it is the same smokey flavor as some of the stovetop versions. Despite using cold smoke, the smoker is able to infuse even tougher foods like meat with a relatively strong flavor of smoke.
Don't worry as there are two settings for you to choose from. Thus, if you prefer a milder flavor, it can be arranged.
Another interesting feature is that the burn chamber allows you to smoke everything from wood chips to dried flowers and herbs if you like. As such, you are able to infuse food and drinks with all types of smoke flavors.
If you do live in an apartment or have a small kitchen, then finding storage space can be tricky. This is why I like that this smoker is so compact. It can be stored nearly anywhere and will not take up much space.
Equipped with both a smoking dome and a drink lid, this indoor electric smoker can be used in a number of ways. The dome is great for smoking food like cheeses and even smaller cuts of meat. The lid on the other hand serves to produce smoked cocktails.
What's great is that you are provided with everything that you need with the exception of the wood chips. As such, you can get started right away.
With this indoor smoker, you get to choose between two smoke modes - moderate and high. Not only does this allow you to smoke a wider variety of foods, but it also makes it easier to smoke the foods to your ideal level.
There is very little set up involved with this indoor smoker. Simply place the wood chips in the desired area, light it, and power up the machine - it is as easy as that. This easy setup also means that you can start cold smoking with virtually no downtime.
What I like about this indoor stovetop smoker is that it can be used in the oven as well as on the stovetop. This is great for when you want to smoke at a higher temperature or are cooking larger cuts. In any case, it isn't a feature that you find with many other indoor smokers and is certainly a nice touch.
As it is made from high quality stainless steel, you can also use it at higher temperatures and in a variety of cooking environments without fearing that it is going to break.
If you want to smoke meat, cheeses, veggies or any other type of food, this smoker model will help you manage it without any issue at all. It is set up like a more traditional smoker and, as such, allows you to smoke food in a similar manner too.
You will also find that the food - even meat - is more likely to be infused with a stronger smoker flavor.
The only issue that I have found is that smoke does seem to escape from the lid, requiring you to wrap foil around it to prevent this from happening.
All you have to do is to place the wood chips on the bottom, place the drip pan and smoking tray over it, arrange the food here and you are good to go! Even without any instructions, you will figure out how to use this smoker in no time at all.
I was excited to try a more traditional way of smoking. Since I am used to full-sized smokers, I figured it was going to be a long and arduous process, but was pleasantly surprised! Even meats are smoked within a short period of time.
Of course, you do have to cut up the meats into smaller pieces and can't leave them as a whole cut. Still, it really does offer up a great performance.
The only downside is that this smoker is fairly expensive. And, many may not think that is worth the cost considering that it is made from clay and can only be used on the stove.
As with other indoor smokers, this claypot version uses wood chips as well. It burns the wood chips very effectively, resulting in thick smoke that infuses a wide variety of food. This allows it to smoke even thicker cuts of meat.
There is virtually no learning curve to this indoor smoker. Add the wood chips, place the smoking grate over it with the food on top, and this is all that there is too it. Simply place the lid on top and wait for a certain period of time until your food items are ready to eat.
I am aware that a lot of people are not familiar with indoor smokers. If you are a part of this group, then here are some pointers that you can use to make the right decision:
The first thing that you should know is that there are two types of indoor meat smokers - stovetop and electric.
The stovetop is placed on top of a stove. Some models are compatible with all kinds of stoves, including induction stoves. Others may not be and you will need to check on this before making your purchase.
Most electric smokers work on batteries, although some can be hooked up to outlets. They most typically take the shape of smoking guns. There is the base which acts as the control pane. This is attached to a burn chamber where the wood chips are placed and smoked. This is connected to a hose that is directed to the food or drink that you wish to smoke.
I wouldn't necessarily say that one is better than the other. After all, they both produce smoke. It all depends on what you are looking for from your indoor smoker.
I should let you know that indoor meat smokers aren't comparable to outdoor smokers. Not even the best kitchen indoor smokers can hold a torch to a more traditional design.
That being said, if your primary goal is to smoke your food, then you should choose the stovetop smoker as it produces a greater quantity of smoke and is better at infusing meats and cheeses.
The electric smoker is far better for drinks and cocktails. However, there are some models that are great for cheese and meat too. And, if you are looking for a cold smoker, then the electric model does this far better.
There are some models that produce far more smoke than others. On the surface, this can seem like a good thing but it is important to remember that you are cooking within the confines of your kitchen and home.
Too much smoke can quickly overwhelm a smaller space and can cause the smoke alarms to go off. Not to mention, everything in your home will smell rather smoky for a while.
If you do live in a space that isn't well ventilated, I would suggest that you choose a smoker that produces less smoke. Also look for one with a good seal so that the smoke can be trapped under the pan or dome.
Always consider how much food or drink the smoker can smoke at one time. With electric smokers, food is usually placed under a dome. If the smoker is equipped with this dome, then consider the measurements of it. Figure out just how much you will be able to place under it at one time.
It is much easier to do calculations with a stovetop model. However, still try to determine if you can smoke a rack of ribs or an entire bird in one go.
Most electric smokers require a minimal amount of cleaning. At most, you simply have to clean out the burn chamber.
It is the stovetop smokers that you have to place close attention to. Although most of them are made from stainless steel, this doesn't mean that they are equally as easy to clean.
If you want to make the clean up process as easy as possible, look for one that is dishwasher safe. This way, after removing the initial grime, you can have the machine do the rest of the work for you.
Keep in mind that the fewer parts that are there, the better it is for you.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:
Yes, indoor smokers - especially the ones on the list here can be used inside your home or in an enclosed area. However, these smokers do require there to be some form of ventilation in the area.
The Camerons smoker isn,t just the best indoor smoker around, it is also quite easy to use - just place the wood chips on the bottom and place the drip tray and roasting pan overhead. Then, arrange the food, close the lid, and smoke.
Yes, you can use an indoor smoker in your apartment but you should be aware that many models produce quite a bit of smoke that can set off smoke alarms.
The Camerons smoker is the best brand, with the Homia brand a close second.
It is clear that the Camerons stovetop smoker is the best indoor smoker on this list. It is simple to use use and infuses your food with a delicious smoke flavor that is very close to the real deal. What's more, you can use it indoors without any hassle at all.
Just because this is my top pick, though, doesn't mean that it has to be yours. I have included all kinds of indoors smokers in this list. Go through it and find the features that fit your requirements perfectly. Happy Shopping!