6 Electric Smoker Accessories [That Will Make Life Easier]
Once you get into the electric smoker lifestyle, you’ll find that there are a number of tools you’d never heard of, but could really make life easier.
This post will tell you what some of the most common and popular electric smoker accessories are; which ones are worth it; which ones are just blowing smoke; and which brands are known for producing the goods.
For more information on the best electric smokers check out my guidance articles here.
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Smoker accessories: Do you really need them?
No. At the end of the day, most of the accessories on this list are things that you can still smoke without.
However, many can add real value to the smoking process--either by making the smoking process more efficient, helping to maintain your smoker, allowing you to cook a wider variety of foods and in a variety of methods, and by giving you confidence that the food you’ve prepared is just right to eat (and safe to serve to guests).
Some accessories also give you a real safety advantage. When dealing with high temperatures, there’s no better way to ruin a meal than burning your hand while taking it out. For that reason, I haven’t just included fancy gadgets to make your smoking experience more high-tech and modern: you’ll see some old familiar tools on their, too, each of which can be just as important for improving your overall smoking experience.
Let’s take a look at some of the best smoker grill accessories.
#1 Electric smoker cover
This may not sound like the kind of cool ‘smoker accessory’ you were envisioning: but it can be an essential addition to any electric smoker setup. While electric smokers are innovative in their efficiency, producing 400+ degree temperatures just with access to a ready power outlet; their strength also makes them susceptible to the elements.
We all know the dangers of combining water and electricity, and when your electric smoker is exposed to the elements (rain, hail, wind and snow), important internal components can become damaged. Even moisture produced with the morning fog can seep into the mechanism and cause issues that can easily be avoided. Electric smokers also need to be outside while you operate them--it makes sense to have an easy way of storing them outside, too, so that you don’t need to drag them in and out of the house after each use.
Electric smoker covers can come by brand and model, but most manufacturers offer a broad enough product to cover any electric smoker. Make sure that it runs all the way to the base of the smoker, covering all vents and preferably stored away from high winds or extreme weather conditions--even the best smoker covers can be blown away in the wind or covered in two feet of snow.
For the best electric smoker covers, you can usually find a cover to go with your specific smoker. That will save you sizing, while also usually displaying the brand name on the face of the cover (to remind you of that beauty lying beneath!). Masterbuilt smoker accessories are an example of a leading brand that provide a cover for their smokers (here's a link).
#2 Grid-mat for fish and vegetables
This is an underrated accessory that will help you get the most out of your fish and vegetable smoking ventures. More delicate foods can break apart during the smoking process. For big slabs of meat like ribs and steaks, this is no issue--the standard metal cooking racks will hold them just fine. But for finely sliced vegetables that soak up the most smoke by surface area, you’ll need a little more support so you don’t lose any tasty bits.
Vegetable and fish cooking mats also protect against some of the issues caused by dripping grease. In my best smokers reviews, I mention that some vertical charcoal models are held back by the fact that the grease can easily drip down onto the coals. This causes unwanted grease fires, and it makes clean-up an unnecessary hassle. When you use a vegetable mat at the base of your cooking line-up, some of this excess grease can be captured and soak into your vegetables or fish. Of course, you can always just use the vegetable mat without any veggies (if you don’t want the vegetables to be soaked in fat!) and let it serve as a makeshift grease catcher.
#3 Sausage hooks
These remind me of old-school smoke-houses. Where you’d see lines of sausages hanging from hooks, large cuts of meat and ribs suspended in mid-air. Hooks aren’t just a nostalgic return to days yonder though, they are a specialist accessory for producing the most refined form of smoked sausage.
Sausage hooks can be attached to regular cooking racks, and many leading brands will offer some variety of hooks that can be used for this purpose. They’re very simple to use, but you want to make sure that you have enough space to let the meat hang freely from the rack. For some smokers, this might mean leaving the bottom rack empty, or if space permits moving the rack to a lower level to clear out some room.Best Grid-mat for fish and vegetables
#4 Meat thermometer probes
One of the latest trends in meat thermometers is the wireless Bluetooth variety. These have a bunch of handy features like specific cooking alerts, remote timers, internal temperature monitoring and all controlled through an app on your smartphone. They’ll let you check in on your meal from the living room, kitchen or bedroom, all while its smoking away outside.
Meat thermometer probes weren’t always wireless though. The idea behind them is simple: measure more than just the external cooking temperature, but also the temperature of the meat that’s being cooked. For some poultry dishes, this is an obvious advantage. Undercooking chicken is a dangerous and unwise game, but who among us hasn’t overcooked their bird for the sake of staying on the safe side? Meat probes thermometers let you know exactly how well-cooked the inside of those BBQ chicken breasts are, saving your from your own safety and letting you serve a variety of meats to specific finishes and taste preferences.
We know what temperature align with well cooked meats, too. Based on this chart (see below), wireless meat probes can alert you when your red meat is rare, medium or well done. It’ll tell you what makes a well-cooked bird or fish, too. In this way, you’ll always know when a meal is ready to be served, and when it needs a minute or two longer.
Please check out our choice for the best smoker thermometer probes and buyers guide.
#5 Smoker insulation blanket
Smoker insulation blankets ensure that the heat produced by your smoker is used more efficiently. In winter months, doing your smoking outside can cause a dramatic decrease in temperature. Heat energy escapes through interaction with the atmosphere--an insulating blanket keeps the heat energy in, allowing you to maintain high temperatures through all seasons of the year.
Insulation blankets are to be used only in specific temperature ranges. In warmer months, smoking with the insulating blanket on can cause overheating and damage both the blanket and smoker device. Be sure to use it just when it’s cold outside; when you need a blanket not only for yourself, but for your smoker too.Best smoker insulation blanket
#6 Smoker grilling tongs
For such a simple mechanism, there are few better tools for handling hot foods than the ‘long grilling tongs’. For smoking, you don’t really want to be opening the door during the smoking process--this will let out all the good heat and smoke that’s been layering your meal.
But once you’re finished, there’s no better accessory for serving up your delicious food than a long pair of grilling tongs. They’ll let you handle hot foil and meats without your hands getting too close to the hot metal, and they’ll also train your master grilling grip strength in the process.Best smoker grilling tongs
Once you start using your electric smoker, you’ll begin to understand that it can quickly turn into a lifestyle.
You’ll wonder why you hadn’t been doing it for longer, and suddenly there will be a whole range of tools and accessories that you wish you had. Once you’ve tasted the results of a well-smoked meal, you’ll enjoy not just the end-product but the smoking itself.
Any hobby deserves a little spending on tools and gadgets for yourself, and this post will help you to plan for some of the best electric smoker accessories available.