How Much Electricity Does a Smoker Use

The amount of electricity a smoker uses depends on various factors, including the type of smoker, its size, the cooking temperature, the duration of the smoking session, and the efficiency of the unit. Electric smokers are popular for their convenience and precision in temperature control, but understanding their energy consumption can help you gauge the operational cost. Here’s how to estimate the electricity usage of your smoker:

Understanding Wattage

The key to determining electricity use is the smoker’s wattage, which is usually specified by the manufacturer. Smokers can range from small, 500-watt units to larger, 1500-watt models or more. The wattage indicates the maximum power consumption per hour.

Calculating Electricity Usage

To calculate how much electricity your smoker uses, you can use the following formula:

Electricity Usage (kWh)=Wattage×Hours of Use÷1000Electricity Usage (kWh)=Wattage×Hours of Use÷1000

For example, if you have an 800-watt smoker and you use it for 6 hours:

800 watts×6 hours÷1000=4.8 kWh800watts×6hours÷1000=4.8kWh

Estimating Cost

To estimate the cost of operating your smoker, multiply the total kWh by your local electricity rate (the cost per kWh). Electricity rates vary by region, but the average price in the U.S. is about 12 to 15 cents per kWh. Using the example above:

4.8 kWh×$0.13/kWh=$0.6244.8kWh×$0.13/kWh=$0.624

So, running an 800-watt smoker for 6 hours would cost approximately 62 cents.

Factors Affecting Electricity Use

  • Temperature Setting: Higher cooking temperatures require more energy. Smoking at lower temperatures will consume less electricity.
  • Ambient Temperature: Smoking on a cold day can increase energy use because the smoker has to work harder to maintain the set temperature.
  • Insulation: Well-insulated smokers retain heat more efficiently, reducing electricity consumption.
  • Load: A fully loaded smoker might take longer to reach the desired temperature or require more energy to maintain it, compared to smoking a small amount of food.

Tips for Reducing Electricity Use

  1. Preheat Efficiently: Only preheat the smoker as long as necessary before adding your food.
  2. Insulate: Use a smoker blanket or insulate your smoker (especially in cold weather) to reduce heat loss.
  3. Maintenance: Keep your smoker clean and in good repair. A well-maintained smoker operates more efficiently.
  4. Load Wisely: Try to smoke full loads to maximize the energy used per cooking session, without overcrowding the smoker.


While electric smokers are relatively economical to operate, knowing the specifics of your smoker’s energy consumption can help you manage its impact on your electricity bill. By optimizing your smoking practices and maintaining your equipment, you can enjoy the benefits of electric smoking without excessive energy costs.

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Bubbly Chef author