Can you use an electric smoker indoors?

Last Updated on: 20th April 2023, 10:36 pm

Electric smokers are the most convenient type of smoker that provides the taste of traditional smokers with the least amount of effort.

They are usually used outdoors, but sometimes due to weather conditions like rain which may complicate using electric smoker.

so you might wonder whether you can use them indoors or not.

There is no black and white answer to whether electric smokers should be used indoors or not.

Although electric smokers produce little smoke, they are still dangerous when used indoors.

The answer to this question can be both yes and no.

Although using electric smokers indoors can be a huge relief and can save a few bucks, we personally prefer using smoker canopies rather than smoking indoors.

Canopies can hide your smoker from weather conditions without using the electric smoker indoors.

Using an electric smoker indoors is like staying in a grey area.

You can do it if you follow guidelines and take precautions to avoid any accidents.

On the other hand , you should generally avoid it and use it as the last option.

You should compare the two techniques and decide which one is suitable for you.

Why should we avoid using electric smokers indoors?

Like traditional smokers, electric smokers are also risky if they are used indoors.

Although they don’t use charcoal, they can still result in fires and other accidents that might ruin your mood for smoking and can also lead to severe injuries.

There are a few risks that are associated with using electric smokers indoors.

Co accumulation

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is produced along with the smoke while burning charcoal or wood chips.

Although charcoal is not used in electric smokers, they still use soaked wood chips to impart flavor to the meat.

The burning of wood chips leads to the consumption of oxygen and the production of carbon monoxide as a result.

CO can accumulate indoors if it’s not ventilated properly, which can lead to dangerous outcomes like suffocation and unconsciousness.

Carbon monoxide is harmless in small quantities and is present in our atmosphere, but it becomes dangerous if its level in the air increases.

It doesn’t have any odor or color, so you can’t feel it until you feel suffocation.

If you are using electric smokers inside the house where you are living with your family, then it can be dangerous because smoking is a long-lasting process and CO levels might increase at any time.

So it’s better to avoid using them indoors.

Fire hazard

Electric smokers don’t use charcoal, but they can still result in fire .

It’s a huge risk if you are using your smoker inside your house .

There are many reasons that can lead to a fire in an electric smoker.

The most common of them are discussed below.

  1. First of all , the most common cause of fire in electric smokers is using temperature at a higher temperature.
    If you are using an electric smoker at a higher temperature in a place that is not properly ventilated, then it can cause a fire.
  2. Secondly, an electric spark inside the smoker can also lead to a fire.
    As you know, electric smokers use electricity as a main fuel, and like all other electronic equipment, they can also result in a spark due to low quality wires, which can lead to fire.
  3. In addition to the above, wood burning inside the electric smokers can also lead to fire in the smoker.
    Although it occurs occasionally, there is still a risk.
    If the wood chips pan falls off onto the heating rod, then it can result in a sudden fire and an increase in temperature.
  4. Lastly, using electric smokers near flammable objects can also lead to an indoor fire.
    Houses, garages, and other buildings can contain different flammable objects that can result in fires if electric smokers are used in garage.

So , by now, you might have understood that there is a huge risk of fire while using an electric smoker inside a building.

Many people tend to ignore this due to not using charcoal, but there are several other factors that can lead to fire within a smoker.

health hazard

Electric smokers pose a huge risk while used indoors, but even if you still manage to avoid any accidents , the meat smoked indoors can still be dangerous for your health due to temperature fluctuations and inadequate airflow.

Airflow inside the smoker is maintained to avoid creosote building on the surface of the meat.

Creosote is a black deposit on the surface of meat .

It can be dangerous for your health and cause stomach pain if eaten in large amounts.

If you use an electric smoker indoors, then there is a huge risk that you may fail to maintain airflow inside the smoker.

If the airflow is not maintained inside the smoker, then it can lead to oversmoked meat due to smoke being trapped inside the smoker for a longer time.

In addition to the complications of smoke being trapped inside the smoker, smoke being trapped inside the building can also be dangerous.

Usually, smoke stays inside the building for about 3 hours, which can lead to health problems in your family.

Unexpected power outage

Using electric smokers indoors can also lead to a sudden shut off, which can lead to a temperature drop inside the smoker.

The most common reason for shutting off a smoker is pulling off the electric cord from the outlet due to the smoker being used in doorways.

Smokers are used in doorways to maintain the airflow inside the smoker, but it can lead to temperature fluctuations.

Temperature fluctuations result in unevenly smoked meat, which can be bad for your health.

So it’s better to avoid using it indoors.

Is it possible to use electric smokers indoors?

Yes, it is possible to use electric smokers indoors if the area is properly ventilated.

If the area is ventilated, then airflow can be maintained inside the smoker and smoke produced inside the smoker can be removed .

The main fuel source for an electric smoker is electricity, so it produces less smoke.

That’s why it doesn’t require much effort like traditional smokers to remove the smoke.

If airflow is maintained indoors, then you are good to go.

To get the most out of indoor smoking and stay on the safe end , consider following the tips given below.

Tips for using an electric smoker indoors

Although it’s better to avoid using electric smokers indoors by using smoking canopies and other outdoor shelters, if you are stuck in a situation where you don’t have any other options, then you should follow these tips to avoid any accidents.

  • First of all, you should maintain airflow inside the smoker by placing it in a ventilated area like doorways or near windows.
    Decreased airflow inside the smoker can result in the building of creosote on meat, and chances of fire are also increased.
  • Furthermore, you should consider keeping yourself involved in the process and don’t leave your smoker unattended.
    If you leave them unattended, they can catch fire.
  • Electric smokers use electricity as fuel, but you should avoid heating them to higher temperatures.
    Higher temperatures can result in the start of a fire in the absence of humidity and proper airflow.
  • In addition to the above, you should consider placing flammable objects away from the smoker.
    These flammable objects can include various chemicals and oils used in automobiles and other household chores.
  • Lastly, you should consider placing your smoker away from doors.
    Although placing them near doors can help in maintaining the airflow, it can result in someone pulling off the cord unintentionally while passing nearby.

Do electric smokers need ventilation?

The answer to this question will always be a resounding yes.

Electric smokers also need to maintain airflow like all other traditional smokers to smoke meat properly.

If the airflow is not maintained, then it can lead to uneven cooking of meat.

Usually, the heating element in an electric smoker is present at the bottom of the smoker while food eaves are at the top.

If the airflow is decreased due to poor ventilation, then it can lead to uneven cooking of food due to uneven distribution of heat.

Furthermore, if the ventilation is poor , then the smoke will not be removed from the smoker, which results in the over-smoking of food with a bitter taste.

In addition, poor ventilation can also lead to an accumulation of CO, which can cause unconsciousness.

Lastly, by increasing ventilation, we actually increase airflow inside the smoker.

which prevents the buildup of creosote on the food.

Creosote is a black deposit that is usually produced during grilling but can also build up in smoking if the smoker is not ventilated.

It can cause stomach pain.

To increase the ventilation of an electric smoker, you should preferably smoke in an open area where airflow is not blocked.

You should consider opening both air vents to start smoking meat efficiently.

After that, you can decrease the smoke and close vents to cook food with heat.

Can I use my smoker in my shed?

There is no straightforward answer to this question, but you can use your smoker in a shed if the area is properly ventilated.

You should consider opening both vents of the smoker to increase the airflow.

If the airflow is not maintained, then it can result in uneven smoking.

Furthermore, you should consider placing flammable objects away from the smoker to avoid starting a fire.

Using your smoker in a shed is not risky as long as the airflow is maintained.

In addition, you should consider keeping yourself involved in the process to avoid a sudden drop in temperature.


Using an electric smoker indoors is a complex question and there is no straightforward answer to this.

You can use it if the airflow is maintained and a constant electric supply is provided.

You should preferably compare the points discussed above and decide on your own which method suits you.

If you have enjoyed this article ,then make sure to check our article on Can I use pellets in my electric smoker?

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