Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.
Can You Use Electric Smoker Indoors? (Find Out Now!)
Smoking food is a popular activity, particularly in the summertime. Throughout the years, most smoking would be done in an outdoor smoker using wood of some flavor profile. But in recent years, electric smokers have become more and more popular.
So, that begs the question of whether or not one could use their electric smoker indoors? There are two main reasons why you should not use an electric smoker indoors. For one, the smoke produces carbon monoxide, which is dangerous for your health. Secondly, it presents a fire hazard as well, which presents the hazard of not only damaging your house but hurting your family as well.
Table of Contents
- Why Shouldn’t Electric Smokers Be Used Inside?
- Is There Any Hope for Indoor Smoking?
- What is the Difference Between a Regular Smoker and One That is Rated for Indoor Use
- The Advantages of Using an Electric Smoker
Why Shouldn’t Electric Smokers Be Used Inside?
To make it clear, you can use an electric smoker inside but there are serious consequences to doing so. Just think about it like this: how does a smoker work? It uses smoke to flavor the meat. The smoke needs to filter out of the smoker at some point, which ultimately ends up being your house (or garage or wherever).
For safety reasons, you should never ever use an electric smoker inside. There is just too much that can go wrong by doing so. Here are the most prominent reasons.
It is true that using an electric smoker produces less harmful pollutants than using a charcoal or wood smoker. Electric smokers still do use a small amount of wood chips in order to produce the smokey flavor that so many enjoy.
Burning wood of any kind means that there will be smoke, which means carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is both odorless and flavorless. Furthermore, it kills thousands of people each and every year. It is called “the invisible killer” for a reason.
In order to keep your family safe, you need to take measures to keep carbon monoxide out of your home. That includes not using an electric smoker indoors even if you really want to.
If it weren’t bad enough that using an electric smoker indoors was dangerous due to carbon monoxide, that’s not even factoring in the fire hazard. Using it in a house is extremely dangerous as it is. But if you live in an apartment complex, they may have specific rules banning grills and smokers even on the balconies.
No matter where indoors you use the electric smoker, you run the same risk of fire. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen over an extended period of time. But fire is very real and very dangerous in the here and now.
Getting delicious, smoky meat is definitely something worth trying. But it is not worth trying at the expense of your home and potentially your family. Do not use an electric smoker indoors.
Maybe you already know that using an electric smoker inside is a hazard for various reasons. Maybe that is not enough to scare you away. Consider the fact that the smokey smells created by the electric smoker might be great for food, but not so much when it is embedded in furniture or carpeting.
When you use a smoker indoors, those smoke particles can escape the smoker and get into all of your fabrics. That means carpet, curtains, furniture, clothing, and more. Your house will smell of smoke from start to finish.
So, while you might enjoy that smoky smell on your food, you will quickly realize that you don’t want it anywhere else. When you use a smoker indoors, the aroma is definitely going to become more than you bargained for.
Is There Any Hope for Indoor Smoking?
Smokers as you are familiar with them are not meant for outdoor use. But is there any hope of achieving smoky flavor if you don’t have the outdoor space to accommodate? The good news is that there are some stovetop and kettle smokers that will work just fine.
There is a stovetop option, which is an aluminum pan, that goes directly on your stovetop burner. All you do is put a few wood chips into the bottom, then place the food directly over top on a tray. The smoker’s cover stays closed, smoking the food over the burner.
The aluminum pan is fairly large, large enough to hold more than enough food for two people. The stainless steel designs of these stovetop burners means easier cleanup, too. So you won’t have to deal with that smoky smell lingering any longer than necessary.
Another stovetop option that is a little more on the premium side is the kettle smoker. A kettle smoker looks a lot like a kettle grill. It even works in the same fashion and has enough of a capacity that it could fit a small turkey breast or even a whole chicken.
It might not be the same visions that you had dancing in your head as far as a smoker goes, but it can keep you and your family safe while enjoying the smokey food that you love. Because when push comes to shove, you should prioritize those things over getting a smokey flavoring on your food.
What is the Difference Between a Regular Smoker and One That is Rated for Indoor Use
The one important distinction to consider when looking at a smoker is to ensure that it is rated for indoor use. Do not use a regular smoker that would normally be used outside for any indoor purposes whatsoever.
The reason that there are indoor-rated smokers is that they use a lot less wood; almost none at all. With less wood being burnt, there is little chance of carbon monoxide poisoning. Furthermore, you limit the possibility of a fire breaking out.
If you are insistent on using a smoker indoors, make sure that you find one that has been rated for indoor use. You can then safely and confidently use your smoker whenever you want.
The Advantages of Using an Electric Smoker
Getting to use your electric smoker can have a lot of advantages, which is how people end up trying them indoors to begin with. The good news is that, if you are safe, there are a ton of advantages to using an electric smoker.
You Can Choose What You Use for Smoking
One of the coolest things about using an electric smoker is that you can customize the experience. You are able to use different varieties of wood chips that create the kind of specific smokey flavor that you have been looking for.
You can also use wood pellets that are able to be used in pellet grills, pellet smokers, charcoal smokers, and gas smokers. The best part about an electric smoker is that you can easily try out different combinations to create the ultimate smoking experience.
Little Energy Consumption
Creating a great, smoky experience on a full-sized smoker can get a little expensive. The cost of the chips or pellets, the cost of fuel, all to heat that huge grill or smoker. It can really start to escalate the costs quickly.
The great thing about using an electric smoker is that it only uses about 800 watts of energy an hour. To put it into context, you could run your smoker all day, every day for less than $25 per month. So, you can get all the smoky flavor on your food that you want without having to worry about running up your energy bills along the way.
Electric Smokers Don’t Need to Be Constantly Watched
While it might be great to impart smoky flavor into your food, using a full-sized smoker means having to constantly supervise it. You want to monitor it mostly to make sure that it doesn’t run out of fuel, disrupting the smoking process.
But since your smoker is being powered by electricity, you don’t have to worry about it running out of energy. All you do is set it and then you can take part in whatever you might have planned for the day. It really is the best hands-off smoking experience that you could ask for.
It’s Healthier For You
Believe it or not, electric smokers are actually better for your health. Burning charcoal and wood have been shown to produce certain carcinogens, most of which are thought to result in cancer. An electric smoker, meanwhile, uses smoke and heat created from a very small pan of wood chips.
That means using a more healthy cooking method than using a traditional smoker. Using an electric smoker is even better than frying or sauteing because you don’t have to use butter or oils during the cooking process.
Easier to Hold Temperature
One of the main challenges of a traditional smoker is that it can be difficult to regulate the temperature. Maybe you have to add in wood or pellets. Perhaps you have used too many. It really is a masterful dance that experienced smokers do best with.
With an electric smoker, you can more easily regulate the temperature of your food. You set the control on the smoker and it maintains those temperatures as long as you need. That means a more consistent, even cook than ever before.
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