Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker Review for The Classic, Rich Flavor of Smoked Foods

Ever wish you could get that amazing smoky flavor and appetizing texture that comes from a low and slow cook? No need to be so slow and even don’t have to dedicate your whole day to a rack of ribs to make it so delicious. It’s 2021. Now you can make your dream come true with the Char Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker and of course without the hassle every amateur cook fears.

If you visit Amazon and read customer reviews or simply surf online to have a look at the Char Broil deluxe digital electric smoker reviews, you’ll come to know how its automatic temperature control, LED display, insulated construction and other surprising cooking features will make you confident to wow your friends and family.

Every product is independently reviewed and selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

  • High-quality electric smoker without the hassle of charcoal or gas.
  • Construction is double-walled and insulated.
  • An easy-to-read advanced control panel with blue LED display. 
  • A water pan to keep the meat moist. 
  • Large locking latch made of stainless steel. 
  • Integrated handle and wheels for easy mobility. 
  • Four adjustable racks with 725 square inches capacity.

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Detailed Review of My Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker

As you know, Char-Broil is a sparkling star in manufacturing electric smokers and has already designed a lot of exclusive smokers. But, today I’m gonna show you my favorite one. It’s Char-Broil 17202004 Deluxe. Constructionally, it is an insulated and double-walled smoker with an advanced control panel with a blue LED display which anyone can read easily.

The door of this smoker is made of glass and the rest of the body is made of stainless steel with a dual-tone finish. It also comes with a stainless steel locking latch which ensures smoke-tight sealing. In addition, it has a removable food thermometer.

You will find no air leaks, also, the touchpad is super comfortable and water-resistant. The temperature can stay consistent throughout the whole process. The temp. can decrease up to 100°F which is needed for cold smoking.

The smoke produced by this amazing smoking genie is moderate. It has a large cooking surface of 725 square inches that is perfect for good smoker trout and other meat. Also, if you cook a wide variety of meat, it won’t mix up the flavors. But, it occupies only a small portion of your balcony as it is a small footprint that offers a great smoking area.

A small electric coil that is more like the electric element of an oven controls the heat. Also, an optional smoker box comes with it, so you can fill it with pellets or wood chips to get extra smoke (if you need). But it is not necessary to generate heat. So, this model is more reliable and stable than other electric smokers.

The smoker comes with four components that are removable and thus easy to clean or use— water pan, sliding grease tray, smoker box, meat probe with wire. Each of the racks can hold ten pounds of meat.

So, what are you waiting for? Oh ho, you like to see a bit more about this smoker. Well, feel free to watch this video on YouTube-

I’m Surprised of This Versatile Electric Smoker

When it comes to a smoker machine, it is expected to have some common features, but the Char-Broil Electric Smoker has some unique features along with the regular ones that truly surprised me! I am pretty much sure that you will love the uniqueness, too.

It is super easy to use and also works well with larger barbecues. It does not ask you to devote the whole time to smoke your foods, it does the job for you.

The design of this smoker is modern looking and industry leading. The touchpad is really comfortable to use and is water resistant and no air leaks from the smoker.

It keeps the temperature consistent through the whole process of cooking. You will definitely be satisfied with cold smoking as it can decrease the temperature till 100°F.

The interior of the chamber will darken with the use and won’t return to shiny appearance by scrubbing. It improves the performance of the infrared system and prevents rust formation.

These little unique features you may not even notice, but these help you to maintain and use the smoker easily and conveniently and give you much support. That’s why I’ve mentioned these features as they really impressed me.

What to Look for Before You Bring Home

Although you can’t find all the advantages in one smoker machine, It’s wise to have a piece of good knowledge about the ideal characteristics of an electric smoker. It will help you to choose the best smoker for your preferable environment and needs. The things you need to consider before buying a smoker are—

  • Quick & Easy Start: Electric smoker should be heated up within 5 minutes after hitting the switch. 
  • Temperature Control: A smoker with an actual thermostat usually costs more, but it’s an essential part for cooking. 
  • Timer: Some smokers have a timer, and obviously, It’s important if you don’t have a kitchen timer.
  • Size: It will vary from person to person depending on the available space.
  • Non-Sticky: Non-stick griddle surface is desirable for most of the customers as they are easy to clean. 
  • Price: It also varies from person to person, but the price of a smoker should not be expensive.

Luckily, the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker provides most of the advantages that people are usually looking for.  

Why Do You Choose

Besides the advantages and disadvantages, you should also consider some uniqueness of this smoker that make it different from the other smokers. Take a look why you should choose this one—

  • Easy To Assemble

It comes almost as pre-assembled with an excellent app that provides a lot of operation tips and recipes. Also, it has a simple interface, lightweight, compact and portable structure. 

  • Does Not Consume Much Electricity:

Though it is an electric smoker, it doesn’t consume that much electricity. Surely, your electricity bill will increase a little bit, but it is really convenient. The annual electricity cost is much less compared to the annual propane cost. 

  • Easy To Handle:

Because of its compatible design and handy structure, it is comparatively easier to handle. Also, you can store this smoker in a tiny place when it is not in use.

Durability and Construction Materials

This Char-Broil electric smoker comes with a lightweight structure of only 50.2 pounds. However, the sleek design does not compromise grilling capacity, in fact, it has a large area for smoking. 

The body of the smoker is made of stainless steel that prevents rust as well as gives a glossy and stylish appearance. And the inner walls are made of aluminized steel. 

The front door has a large glass that is the area of heat radiation. So, be careful, cause the glass can become damn hot during cooking. 

The cooking racks are made of chrome plated wire, so you must be thinking that it is harder to clean than cast iron, but you will be surprised to know that it is very easy to clean. I’ve described the cleaning process below, so keep reading! 

Char-Broil Deluxe is one of the best and oldest smokers, which comes with a 1 year of warranty.

If you take care of the smoker and store it properly, it should last four to five years. So, it is clear that the durability of this smoker is great.  

What I Love

  • Price Is Just At The Point, So Worth The Budget 

The Char-Broil Deluxe is the best choice if your budget is in the mid-range. If you look at the other affordable smokers, they meet extra amenities. Also, it is a great smoker machine which is very easy to assemble. Moreover, you can sear the meat almost like any professional electric smoker. 

If you buy this one, you don’t need to blow money over the expensive charcoal briquette or any propane, so hundreds of dollars can easily be saved in a year. 

All you need to do is, just plug the smoker in and cook. It will take a little bit of electricity bill, but the annual cost is much less than an annual propane cost. 

  • The Design Is Compact, So Easily Fittable On Any Place

One of the most significant characteristics of an electric grill is, it can be used in any place where open flame is not allowed. If you live in an apartment or in a place where smoking is a hassle, this machine can save you.

The design of Char-Broil is compact as it can fit effortlessly onto anywhere as well as any corner of your house. Also, you can move the smoker machine around whenever you want as it has built-in wheels.  

  • Appears With A Unique Structure

The aesthetics set of this smoker is unique from most smoker machines. It does not look like a traditional smoker, it feels more like an appliance. 

Though the exterior is mainly plastic, it does not feel inexpensive. The metal inside the grill and the glass door make it classy, and thick enough for retaining the heat when looking inside. 

Also, you can see how the food is progressing through the glass without opening the door and losing heat and smoke.

  • It Is Beginner Friendly As It Cooks Meat Without Any Hassle

If you are a beginner, you probably have problems operating a charcoal smoker as many people face bad experiences with the charcoal briquette. Also, the propane smoker requires high maintenance. 

The best option is to choose an electric smoker that is easy to begin with smoking. The Char-Broil Deluxe can be the first pick for its easy-to-operate system. You will just need to turn a knob, track the cooking time and temperature. 

That’s it! Within an hour, you will get the smell of well seared meats without any major scrap.

  • It Has An Enormous Smoke Box To Give You Perfect Smoke:

This is one of the best things I’ve noticed. The huge smoke box helps to smoke everything easily inside the smoker. You will get the perfect smoke quantity that is needed for any type of BBQ dishes. 

  • Gives The Real Smoking Flavor With Wood Chips:

You won’t normally get the same smoky flavor from a charcoal smoker that an electric smoker machine can provide. However, you can follow some tricks to get rid of this problem. 

You can put pre soaked wood chips on the top of an aluminum foil sheet. Now fold the foil tightly and nicely. Poke and create some airhole into the aluminum foil. Now throw the ball of foil paper on the preheated smoker and keep it there for the rest of cooking time. That’s all. You can get smoky meats coming through the electric grill and say bye to charcoal or gas. 

What I Don’t Love

  • Does Not Have High-Heat Option

This is one of the biggest drawbacks in my opinion. Its lack of any high-heating options that makes it a low & slow grill. Even sometimes it has to struggle to reach the advertised temperature of 285, which is the maximum temperature. 

That’s the reason for the prolonged cooking time. In the colder areas, it will take more time to complete the work.

  • The Remote Range Is Limited:

The range of the remote is limited, so you can not use the remote from a long distance. If you are far away from the smoker and try to control the temperature through the remote, it may won’t work. Also, the remote will not work if there is a wall between the remote and the machine. 

  • Does Not Distribute The Heat Evenly:

The smoker does not have any convection fan, so it may not distribute the heat properly and evenly. 

  • The Height Is Not Suitable For Use:

The Char-Broil Deluxe doesn’t have the ideal height for an average sized BBQ chef which is less than one foot from the ground. So it is really annoying to load food, insert temp. probes or just to take a peek. You can set the smoker on a picnic table or stand to make things comfortable. 

  • The Display Is Not Clearly Visible In The Sun:

It is really hard to read the display in the sunny environment. But it is not a big issue as it is ignorable and most of the digital displays have this problem. 

Essential Accessories With A Short Description

When you buy a smoker machine, you will definitely need some extra equipment to make your work easier. Some of the smokers come without these accessories or sometimes we need extra ones, so we need to purchase them separately. They are— 

Covers: To protect your smoker from environmental elements, you will need a nice cover before storing the smoker.

Brushes: Brushes are required for two reasons— to spread vegetable oil on the tray before putting meat and to clean the smoker after each use.

Cleaning Agent: There are some mild cleansers in the market which you can use for cleaning your smoker machine.

Cookware: Cookwares like rib racks, smoker boxes or pizza stones can expand your cooking options.

BBQ Aprons And Gloves: These accessories can give you a ‘MasterChef’ feeling, and can protect your clothes and hands from burning.

How to Assemble

The Char-Broil smoker is almost ready to use when it comes out of the box. All you need to do is to keep some patience and follow the guidelines properly. 

At first, you will need to remove all the stickers, plastic packaging from the outside and inside of the smoker. Now, one of the most irritating and frustrating tasks is removing the stickers, specially I am speaking about the giant sticker of the front glass. 

It is not that easy to peel off the stickers as it takes some work. Also, the glue of the sticker is so stubborn that stays on the glass. Even nail polish remover, rags or paper towel did not serve the purpose. 

You will need a special gunk removal solvent, a razor or blade to get things done. You will have to spend at least one hour to get rid of the sticker. 

But luckily, the assembly process does not take that much time. You will only need to follow the simple instructions and place some items like fire box, trays, water pan into the unit.

Keep in mind that the Char-Broil Deluxe needs a burn off seasoning before it becomes food-safe. So, do not forget to remove all the plastic packaging and stickers before firing it up for seasoning. 

You will get the instructions with drawing and text in the user manual for some trickier steps. 

Setting up the smoker for cooking is almost effortless. All you need to do is to plug in, turn the dial on and set the temperature, preheat the grill machine, then add food. 

How to Use Properly

Before you start cooking with the smoker, there are a w steps you need to follow to do it properly. Here is a short and quick description of the whole process to make it clear for you—

There are 7 buttons on the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric smoker for different features that make the smoker easier to control. They are:

  • Power button: on/off
  • Chamber light: on/off
  • Up button: increase time & temp.
  • Down button: decrease time & temp.
  • Time button: input time
  • Meat probe button: input probe 
  • Temperature button: input temp.

Prepare The Smoker For Cooking:

At first, you will need to season the smoker before using it so that the machine gets prepared for cooking. To do so, make sure the water pan and smoker box are in place without water and wood chips. Now, run the cleaning cycle through the app. This process will burn off residues (if any) leftover from the facturing process.

Cook Food With SmartChef:

This system uses the changing temp. of meat to get the real-time info. about your cook. Then it relays the info. via Char-Broil app. It gathers information through an integrated meat probe which remains inside the grill.

If you want to get accurate information, you will need to place the meat probe properly. 

Cook Foods In Three Different Modes:

Yeah, it’s true! There are 3 cooking modes and you can cook your food in whichever mode you want, it’s really awesome—

  • Guided Mode

In this mode, you will just need to provide the details of cooking, like the type and weight of meat, the process of preparation,etc. to the app. When the app gets all the details, it will provide instructions and estimated cooking time. Now add the ingredients into the smoker, hit the button,and get started. 

For those who are new to smoking or need a little guideline, or just have no idea exactly what to cook, this cooking mode they will love the most.

  • Manual Mode

This mode doesn’t require the app as you can set custom parameters and cook by yourself. Parameters like target meat probe temp., cooking time, chamber temp. can be set by customization. First, you need to add the parameters, and then hit the start button. 

This mode allows you to cook food the way you want. You will have all the monitoring and control capabilities of the grill machine of the SmartChef system. 

  • Preset Mode

This mode uses the preprogrammed parameters into the smoker to cook food. Using this mode you will be able to cook food using a specified internal temp. and a specified chamber temp. You can monitor the cooking progress via a light ring on the machine’s control panel.

If you want to quick start or don’t have WiFi access, this mode can help you to cook your desired food.  

Preheating Process Of The Woodchips

You will need to preheat the smoker before putting the meat into it. It will make the smoke flowing. If you run a 45 mint preheat cycle, it will create a gh temp. that will fire up the wood chips and get the smoke floating. 

First, load the smoker box with wood. When you start the cooking process, the preheat will automatically begin which you will be able to detect in the status screen and by the light ring. 

When the preheat is complete, the smoke is going, the temp. is down to the normal cooking temp., you will get a notification from the app. After that, you can put the meat into the smoker. If you don’t want to cook with wood chips, just cancel the preheat. 

Using The Water Pan

The Char-Broil Deluxe Digital comes with a water pan that can be used for keeping moisture during cooking. Fill the pan with warm water to the Max Mark, then slide it in place. Do not overfill it or do not use cold water.

A water pan is not required while smoking, but you should always use the smoker with a water pan whether you use water or not. Do not remove the water pan while cooking. 

If the water pan needs to refill during cooking, always fill it through the hole of the drip pan assembly. Be careful while refilling water, because any contact with the heating element may cause serious damage including electrical failure and flare ups.

Topcellent Tip: Use a smoker box. It helps you to add a delicious smoky flavor to the food.

Where to Use

The smoker does not spread fire while cooking, so you may think it is considered as an indoor smoker machine. But I want to mention that sometimes the heating element can cause flames in contact with grease and create a fire hazard if you use it indoors.

It is suggested to use the smoker in-doors as it is really very portable. Also, you can use it your small backyard for a small gathering if the outdoor space is limited. But in the case of indoor smokers, you must be careful and take proper precautions before using it as it is specially useful for limited spaces.  

Because of the portability and a little weight, it can be used as a tailgate smoker. It is travel friendly so you can easily take it to a campaign. Also, its rectangular round corner shaped body fits easily into a car or truck than a barrel shaped smoker.

How to Clean Your Smoker

Cleaning of the Char-Broil smoker does not need much effort. The system is easy, as the other smoker. To clean it properly you’ll need to follow these steps—

  • At first, let the smoker cool completely, remove the water pan, smoker box, drip tray, and racks.
  • Brush and sweep the residues out from the chamber.
  • Turn the heat on to the high point for about 10-15 minutes so that the stucked food to the grates can burn.
  • Now, dust off the residues using a brush from the machine. 
  • You can use warm, soapy water for the cleaning process.
  • Now gently scrub your smoker interior with a soft cotton cloth or sponge. 
  • You can also use a plastic bristle brush, but make sure no bristles remain in the smoker after cleaning.  
  • Wash the drip tray, water pan, cooking rack with lukewarm water at the sink as they are not heavy.  
  • Do not use any abrasive cleaner to clean any parts of the smoker.
  • Now clean the control panel that is on top of the smoker. Wipe it with a damp cloth and soapy water. 
  • Do not forget to clean the outer surface of the thermostats with a damp cloth.
  • Also, the meat probe needs cleaning, but do not place it under running water or soak it in water. Just wipe it with a damp cloth. 
  • Some people clean the grill grid using a damp cloth or paper towel, it works effectively. 
  • If you smoke steaks or fish, it may be a little difficult to clean it up. 

You need to keep it mind that the main areas for cleaning are the cooking grate and the grease tray, you should clean these parts as frequently as possible. Also, it is wise to clean the whole machine at the end of cooking season in the winter, before you store it. 

How to Take Care

There are few precautions and general guidelines you have to maintain to take care of the smoker and avoid accidents.

  • Before First Use

Do not forget to remove all the sale labels and packages from the grill, and do not use any sharp instruments to remove the stickers. You can remove stickers by using some sticker remover solvent.  

  • Before Each Use

You should always use the grill on a firm surface to avoid tipping over it. Make sure to keep the electric controller dry and don’t use other electric devices on the same circuit. It will help you to prevent the circuit breakers from tripping. 

Mount the drip tray lightly under the drain hole and make sure it is empty. Apply some vegetable oil or cooking spray to get a stick free cooking. 

  • While Turning The Smoker On

Keep the electric controller fully at the counterclockwise position. Turn the knob clockwise, and carefully use the extension cord. 

  • While Preheating The Smoker

Do not forget to keep the lid closed. To protect the smoker, unplug it when you are done with cooking. If you need to use the machine more than three hours, you will need to unplug it, and then again plug it back to continue. 

If you need to replace any damaged parts of the smoker, make sure it is Char-Broil certified replacement part, do not try to repair the damaged part.

Clean the whole machine carefully before storing and when it is not in used, store it in under grill cover or in a weather protected area.

If you take care of these things, you won’t have any big issue with the smoker. Also, it will last a very long time if you take proper care of it.

FAQ 

  • Does the product start to rust if it’s covered on an uncovered deck?

If you frequently use one side of the grill, it won’t rust. But, it you don’t use a side for a long time, it may start to rust. Don’t worry, the rust goes away if you start using that side.

  • Can pellets be used in a Char-Broil smoker? 

Woodchips are given into the smoker box, where the wood pellets may work well sometimes, but It’s wise to avoid pellets.

  • Why first time your electric smoker smoke so much?

For the first time excessive smoking is caused by the manufacturing residues, which are not toxic. However, the burner should not be turned to high heat while grilling. 

Conclusion

After going through the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker review, you must have cleared all the bewilderment associated with the cooking problem, right? No-one wants to use an inconvenient gas or charcoal smoker nowadays for the operating difficulty. 

The Char-Broil Deluxe Digital has become the product of choice as it is an easy to use, easy to clean outdoor smoker which makes juicy, evenly cooked food with amazing smoky flavor.  

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