After picking up a Brinkman Electric Smoker for $10, I noticed it used a oven heater element at the bottom. My next thought was how to regulate the temperature? FinkBuilt suggests using a “bulb and capillary type thermostat”. (I found one under the name “New Thermtrol TS-320S-F Bulb and Capillary Thermostat TS320SF”. Supposedly, most oven thermostats will cover the temperature range that you need for smoking.
The other option would be a PID Controller, as mentioned on the Susan Minor forum’s PID Controller thread. The problem with using a PID is you normally have to mount it in an extra box.