Can you use an electric smoker in the rain? The answer might surprise you.
Find out not only when it is possible to use your electric smoker in the rain, but what measures you should take to ensure it is safe and does not cause any damage.
Electric smokers are one of the easiest kinds of smokers for beginners to learn how to BBQ and start making delicious smoked food at home.
They offer set it once technology where after you season it, all you have to do is fill the chip loader with wood chips, plug it in, set the temperature and let the smoker do all the rest of the work!
All that electric powered, smoke filled automation sounds great right?
However, what happens when you’re excited to entertain guests with your new electric smoker when the heavens open up and a downpour begins to immediately "dampen" your plans?
After all, electric smokers are made to be used outdoors, and the weather can change in an instant during a long cooking session.
Everything we've ever been taught tells us that water and electricity don't mix, so what is the answer?
How safe and ok is it to use an electric smoker in the rain?
What kind of damage can rain really do to an electric smoker?
Is it made to withstand a sprinkle? A downpour? A deluge?
What are the risks to yourself and your electric smoker and can the party still go on?
We’re here to find out so that you can know once and for all.
Can You Use an Electric Smoker While it’s Raining?
Ok, let's get right to it...
The short answer is YES!
Plenty of electric smoker users have successfully used their smoker while it’s raining without any issues at all.
So... is that it? I can use an Electric Smoker in the Rain?
Unfortunately, not everything is as simple as the short answer.
In fact, there are still quite a few issues you need to be aware of that can pose a threat to your dreams of using your electric smoker in the rain, which we will look at below.
Potential Problems with Using your Electric Smoker in the Rain
If any exposed metal on the electric smoker is not the best quality, you may develop some resut on your smoker.
Particularly around the hinges, latches, vents, rear panel, and any other areas that might hold moisture after a rain and don;t have protective coating.
Rusting is not only unflattering, but it can also quickly damage the smoker and therefore make it less effective and usable.
Ideally, you should always consider keeping your smoker in a well ventilated, but shaded, covered area like under a gazebo or some other outdoor roof or awning.
This will definitely help prolong the life of your electric smoker, and also keep YOU dry while are trying to cook!
In a pinch, try moving a golf or patio umbrella over the smoker to keep it out of a hard direct rain.
Lastly, don't throw the cover back on while the grill is still wet.
Once the rain stops, give it a wipedown with a good clean cloth to prevent too much moisture from sitting on it and droplet spots from forming.
Then let it continue to air dry with the door and vents open for another hour or two.
Once it is thoroughly dry, go ahead and close the door and vets and put the cover back on to store.
Water in the Grease Catcher
The grease catcher on an electric smoker is the little metal bucket responsible for catching all of the grease that runs down the drip pan and comes out of the the back while you’re cooking.
The whole point of the grease catcher is to make your cleanup process much easier so that you don’t have to clean out accumulated grease from the bottom of the smoker after cooking a fatty piece of meat.
Also, by funneling that excess grease OUT of the smoker during the cook you have less chance of a grease fire starting inside your smoker.
Unfortunately, If rainwater gets into the grease trap it can cause the container to fill up quickly. If you’re not paying attention to the grease catcher filling up , you may have a big cleanup on your hands shortly.
Even if you do notice the volume of liquid in the grease trap, you’re still going to need to empty it during the cooking process when normally you would not need to.
Although you might have avoided a messy situation, this still is inconvenient and somewhat annoying.
Water in the Top Vent
You need to keep the top vent open while cooking in an electric smoker.
If it is raining, that means you are now also getting water into the cooking chamber and possibly onto your food.
You can quickly and loosely tent the vent with some aluminum foil to keep the direct rain water out of the vent opening if needed.
Electric smokers run on, you guessed it, electricity, which does not mix well with water.
Electric smokers are weather-resistant; however, you still might be at risk if you’re mixing the electronics with water.
You should always ensure that you are using a grounded GFCI outlet and that any extension cords you are using are rated for outdoor use, protected from the rain, and NEVER sitting in standing water.
Some people choose to put their electric smoker up on a stand to keep it away from any water or snow that accumulates on the ground around it.
Also make sure that you yourself are never standing in any water when interacting with your electric smoker.
Using an Electric Smoker in the Rain - The Verdict
So can you use an electric smoker in the rain?
Well, the answer is both yes and no in different respects.
Yes, plenty of electric smoker users have used their smokers during rainy weather without any issues whatsoever.
No, the risks of mixing rain and electric smokers can sometimes be detrimental for your smoker, or your safety.
So, how do you rectify this issue? If you’re prepared to use your electric smoker outside during a rainy day, you should make sure that your smoker is as protected from direct rain as much as possible
During the cooking process, make sure to keep an eye on the grease catcher to avoid it overflowing.
Watch your electrical cords and use good outdoor electrical safety practices like with anything else.
Finally, once you’re finished cooking, dry the metal thoroughly before covering the smoker to prevent rust from infesting your smoker.
We’d also suggest that you consider purchasing an awning or gazebo to cover the grill from the rain and make grilling in different weather conditions less of a hassle.
Finally, a good smoker stand to keep your electric smoker up off the ground will do wonders as well.
What Food Can I Smoke on my Electric Smoker?
Looking for some smokey inspiration?
Check out some of our other great recipes of smoked and grilled food that can easily be done in a Electric smoker!
- Smoked Fresh Ham with Dark Rum Citrus Glaze
- Smoked Leg of Lamb with Guinness Marinade
- Smoked Lamb Chops with a Balsamic Butter Sauce
- Smoked Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary or Smoker
- Smoked and Pulled Lamb Shoulder with a Turkish Spice Rub
- Smoked Lamb Shanks
- Smoked Oysters in a Garlic White Wine Sauce
- Smoked Scallops with Lemon Garlic Drizzle
- Smoked Lobster Tails with Garlic Butter
- Smoked Bratwurst with Beer Braised Onions
- Smoked Gouda Cheese
- Smoked and Reverse Seared Ribeye Steaks
- Smoked Asparagus
Trash Can Turkey - OK, technically not made in an electric smoker but one of the most fun ways there is to cook a Turkey...at over 700 degrees in only 2 hours! You've got to check it out!