This piece will compare a pelleted smoker vs an electric smoker to try and figure out what the pros and cons of each are. I’ll give you a rundown of options, accessories, prices, as well as the basic differences between the two types. Then you can decide what is best for your needs from there!
Intro Paragraph: When it comes to smoking meats, several different types of smokers are available on the market. However, not every smoker is suited for everyone’s needs and preferences. If you’re thinking about buying a smoker for the first time, but don’t know which type to choose, then this blog post is just for you.
A smoker is one of the most important pieces of equipment for any backyard BBQ enthusiast. Whether you’re just getting into smoking or are a seasoned pro, there are many options to choose from when it comes to smokers. Two major types include pellet smokers and electric smokers. While both are great, they have different advantages and disadvantages that may make one more suitable for your needs than the other. Pellet Smoker vs Electric Smoker? Let’s compare them side-by-side to find out which one might be best for you!
Table of Contents
What Is Pellet Smoker
A pellet smoker is an automatic wood-pellet based barbeque machine that controls the heat of cooking process. The product is premised on science and engineering principles; it has modern electronic equipment used in controlling heat, time, and smoke to produce good food with great consistency. It is only necessary for you to learn how to operate the machine correctly and what ingredients or spices do you want to use in the cooking process.
Henceforth, this article shall focus on how to get started with your first experience of using a pellet smoker. This will include learning about types of pellet smokers available (wood-fired or electric), how they work (heating mechanism) and what are the best brands around as well as tips for buying one.
Types of Pellet Smokers:
There are two basic types of pellet smokers available in the market, wood-fired and electric smokers. It is however good to know that manufacturers have come up with hybrid versions which include both technologies or more specifically, it uses coal/wood burning firebox along with oven like features for cooking food. Therefore, depending upon your cook preference either you can go for an electric smoker or a traditional wood-fired smoker. Here are the following pros and cons associated with each type:
If you want authenticity in barbecue you should try this type since the flavor produced is purely based on real woods rather than something artificial i.e pellets made out of sawdust; there is no chemical or any kind of additive flavors. Moreover, since this is a smoker it doesn’t produce as much smoke as the electric one and for this reason; it does not affect flavor.
If you want convenience then an electric smoker is good choice for you. You don’t need to do constant refilling of wood chips or dry fuels- rather just plug the machine in and forget about it; moreover, they use pellet made from sawdust with preservatives that enhances food flavor without having to rely on real woods. On average, electric smokers are more economical than their counterparts and can be used indoors.
– Hybrids: As mentioned earlier, there are hybrids available in market which come with both technologies i.e. wood-fired and electric smokers, but it is very important to know that the majority of them are not true hybrids since they have just taken features from each technology. If you are considering a hybrid smoker then there are many innovative brands available in market right now such as Camp Chef, REC TEC Grills, Pit Boss etc.
Pros And Cons Of Pellet Smoker
A pellet smoker is a type of smoker that works by cooking the meat with hardwood pellets.
The fact is, some people are satisfied with their gas grill or electric smoker, but there are others who desire to have good smoked foods on their menu. If you are one of those people, then this article would be useful for you. We will give you some reviews on pellet smokers and talk about the pros and cons of owning one.
Pros Of Pellet Smoker
For the price of a cheap charcoal grill, you can buy a smoker that will last for years and perform better. The most expensive pellet smokers are still less expensive than if you bought them separately in addition to a regular grill: they don’t require stoking or refueling in between uses like gas and charcoal barbeque grills do.
– Versatile with many optional add-ons
You can smoke fish, jerky, pork, beef roast… it’s not just one-trick pony. This is especially important because the lack of versatility was one of my biggest disappointments with my previous meat smoker which had too high minimum smokes possible and no way to lower the temperature for food that doesn’t take hours. Pellet smokers may not be able to sear meat like a charcoal grill, but they do so much more than barbecue and their results are still delicious.
– Easy to maintain
The grease catcher is removable and dishwasher safe. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to clean my smoker for storage after using it! The only thing I found myself wishing for is an indicator light on the pit sensor itself rather than just on the controller which could frequently lead me to think my food was fully cooked before it actually finished cooking (I can’t be sure if this is because of user error or whether the sensor placement led the smoker too often believing there were no hot coals in the pit).
– Better temperature control than most other smokers
It’s not perfect, but it was able to stay within +/- 10 degrees of my target for the entire smoke. I’ve found with most other smokers I’ve used that they often fluctuate wildly after starting and therefore require several hours of fiddling with vents to get into a good cooking zone. Pellet smokers are significantly more forgiving in this regard.
– Easy clean-up compared to charcoal grills
The ash catcher is removable and easy to dump out the ashes once you’re finished cooking. Compared to having to deal with an ash can full of hot embers all over your deck, pellet smokers are significantly easier clean-up.
– Able to cook overnight while you sleep if desired
It’s easy to set up your smoker before bed and leave it running while you sleep until your food is ready. This is great for overnight cooks when you want to make sure breakfast is ready in the morning without having to wake up at 4am (though I imagine most people would be getting up earlier than that, but I like my sleep!).
– Warm Up/Standby Mode
I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of smoke produced by my smoker even on standby mode! It didn’t produce anywhere near the volume of smoke that some reviewers claimed, but I didn’t expect it to based on my previous experiences with smokers and hope this is an issue everyone can get resolved.
– Temperature probe included!
It’s always been a pain to use the provided temperature probes with other smokers – you either have to hold them in place yourself or prop them up somewhere where they’ll stay (which never works out). The Pitmaster 7 comes with a high quality stainless steel probe that attaches magnetically to your smoker and slides neatly into a pocket on the side of the controller unit. It’s great for not having to worry about losing track of your probe, and makes checking internal temperatures during smoking much easier than trying to measure them through the door like most other smokers require.
Cons Of Pellet Smoker
– Excessive Heat Output – The heat output in pellet smokers cannot be adjusted so it can result to overcooked food if not monitored properly.
– Difficulty In Using – You have to get used to cooking over an open flame because it requires more attention compared to cooking over electric or gas smoker.
– Expensive – Pellet smokers are expensive because it is made with high quality materials which results to pricey product.
What Is An Electric Smoker And How It Works
An electric smoker is a device that converts raw food into cooked food. The cooking process takes place in an enclosed space and involves the flow of heat and smoke through a tube. Electric smokers can be used for smoking, roasting and baking. They are widely available and offer convenience and ease-of-use benefits to users.
Electric smokers work on the same principle as conventional ovens: they produce smoke from combustion or hot oil, which then passes through tubes to heat up the interior compartment where the food is being cooked. In most cases, this heating element lies just underneath a metal grate, allowing enough space between it and your meal for them to cook evenly without basting continuously with juices from the food.
You can use electric smokers to cook a variety of meals, including fish, meats, vegetables and other dishes. People who love barbecue joints with their alluring smoky flavor might not be able to recreate that experience at home unless they own an electric smoker. Electric smokers are the best way to replicate the distinctive flavors of smoked foods without having to tend to traditional smokers throughout the day or night.
Pros And Cons Of Electric Smoker
An electric smoker is a great alternative to other types of smokers, due to the features they offer to its users. Electric smokers cook the food automatically without you having to tend it over a period of time. By following a simple recipe, cooking your favorite foods in an electric smoker will be a breeze.
– Temperature control: One of the most important features that comes with owning an electric smoker is its ability to maintain a specific temperature at all times during smoking . It can do this because it does not use coals or burn wood for cooking: instead it uses electric heating elements to produce heat and smoke.
– Convenience: Using an electric smoker is very convenient since you do not need to tend the food constantly . You can go out or take a break while it cooks; then simply come back and get your food ready without any issues whatsoever.
– Safe: While other types of smokers use open flames, which can sometimes get out of control, electric smokers work with electricity only and no flammable materials such as gas or propane are ever used in them. The heating sources receive power from an external source so there is no risk in using one at all.
– Versatility: Electric smokers offer a wide range of features that allow users to cook a variety of dishes. Additionally, they come with different sizes and can be either vertical or horizontal depending on your needs . This versatility is what makes them a great choice when compared to other types of smokers.
– Easy cleanup: Cleaning up after using an electric smoker is very similar to cleaning a stovetop or glass oven; the drip pan in which the grease collects from cooking meat can simply be washed in a dishwasher while the racks are removable and easy to clean with running water. Items such as side trays can also be removed, making cleanup simple and painless.
While there are many benefits that come from owning this type of smoker, you must know some drawbacks too before deciding if this type of appliance is right for you:
-Design: If you purchase a vertical smoker , it will require some additional space on your countertop; however, horizontal smokers take up less space and fit comfortably in the available area. One of the major disadvantages of using an electric smoker is that they can be quite large and limit movement around the unit itself.
– Flavor: Since smoke is not directly added to food as seen with other types of smokers such as charcoal or gas units, some people claim that foods produced by electric smokers lack flavor and don’t produce that distinctive taste that smoke imparts into food. However, this problem can be easily fixed by simply applying more wood chips to your appliance when cooking or wrapping dry chips inside aluminum foil and placing them underneath the food during smoking.
– Initial cost: Electric smokers are a little more expensive to purchase compared to other types of smokers. However, they make up for their initial cost in the long run because there is no need to replace any parts or add additional fuel during cooking.
Pellet smoker vs electric smoker? In conclusion, while each type of smoker has its pros and cons, electric smokers offer a great alternative whose positive qualities outweigh any drawbacks that come from owning one. The benefits it can provide you with from cooking your favorite dishes go far beyond what the average person might expect from an appliance of this category, making electric smoking a worthy investment for anyone interested in cooking delicious foods.
You may like this: 5 Best Charcoal Grill Smoker Combo
Real Comparison of Real Pellet and Electric Smokers
Traeger Timberline 850
The Timberline 850 from Traeger is a wood-fired smoker that has been met with great acclaim from customers and critics alike. It is built by hand in the USA, using American steel and other materials to produce a product that would be hard to beat for its price. But what are the pros and cons of this grill? What reasons do customers have for loving it so much, and how might it not suit your needs?
Pellet smoker vs electric smoker? Once you understand both sides of the story, you’ll be able to make a better decision on whether or not this grill will suit you. Here’s a quick look at both sides:
Pros Of The Timberline 850
– Comes With A Digital Control Board To Monitor Temperature And Smoke Intensity
This board provides you with the ability to set the temperature, and control how intense or faint your smoke will be. It also allows you to preset it for a certain time, so that once you’ve finished cooking, the grill turns off by itself without having to monitor it constantly.
– Smoke Flowing Through The Grills Can Heated To A Specific Temperature
Once heated past a certain level, these smokes can seal in juices and flavor like no other system can. Instead of flaring and burning at high temperatures and creating acrid smells as they do this, they’re slowly cooked through. This means better tasting food with all its natural juices sealed inside instead of evaporated away.
– Customize Your Grill To Suit Different Cooking Needs With Attachments And Modifications
You can purchase attachments for the smoker, like a pizza oven or jerky rack, to make it even more versatile. The grill can be modified to take wood chips or water pans for different effects as well. This makes cooking multiple dishes much easier by being able to switch up flavors at a moment’s notice.
– The Wood Chips Are Biodegradable So The Ash Is Easy To Remove
Since the wood is burned down slowly instead of flaring up quickly, there are no harsh chemical smells left behind when it does this. Instead, you get the natural scent of real hardwood coming through along with your food which results in better tasting meat overall.
Drawbacks Of The Timberline 850
Pellet smoker vs electric smoker? Although there are many great things about this grill, there are some setbacks as well. These can range from minor annoyances to deal breakers depending on what you’re looking for in your smoker. Here are the most commonly voiced complaints about this grill:
– It Is Rated For A Maximum Of 50 People
While great for large families or gatherings, this is not ideal if you need to be able to feed more people at once. If money is no object, then it isn’t much of a concern but still worth mentioning.
– The Wood Chips Are More Expensive Than Normal Lump Charcoal
If you want that smoky flavor without all the other chemicals being burned away, then having to pay extra for wood chips might not sit right with you. It’s something that has been raised many times regarding this grill, but you should be aware that it’s there before making a purchase.
– It Is A Little Noisy And Can Produce A Lot Of Smoke When On High
While the noise isn’t very bad, it may annoy some people especially if you are outside. Also, when smoking up to nine hours straight at high temperature, there is a good chance you’ll have to open windows or doors to keep the house from getting too smoky. Otherwise, it could cause problems for those with breathing issues or who need complete quiet.
Despite these drawbacks, you can see that most of them are minor and might not even affect your overall enjoyment of this grill. It all comes down to what kind of smoker appeals to you more: fast and easy or slow and customizable.
Smokin-It Model #2
The Smokin-It Model #2 is an electric hot smoker that works on the principle of convection cooking. It uses electricity to power a fan that distributes heat around the inside of the drum, allowing it to cook at temperatures below what would normally be reached. This makes it ideal for smoking fish and meat, as these can easily be broken down by excessively high heat.
Pellet smoker vs electric smoker? The unit comprises of four components – base, water bowl (which doubles as a drip tray), main chamber (including steel grate) and lid. Assembly is easy with each piece simply slotting together like a jigsaw puzzle. Once assembled, this arrangement gives you enough space to fit in 2 larges racks or 3 smaller ones , which may seem cramped but there is plenty of space for airflow.
Pros Of Smokin-It Model #2
-For many, the Smokin-It #2 is a perfect sized smoker for their back yard. Capacity of this model ranges from as little as 15 pounds to as much as 40+ pounds, depending on the size you purchase and the fuel source that you choose. For those with balconies or rooftop decks, this may be too big for your space. If your kitchen stove is gas and not electric, it may be an impractical choice due to poor ventilation and difficulty controlling cooking temperatures without obstructing burners and/or oven vent. A typical 4 burner gas range puts out 30-40K BTU’s which is around 80% of what a smoker needs to operate at maximum capacity (i.e.: ~36K BTU’s).
– The Smoken-it #2 is extremely efficient in both fuel use and heat recovery. Because it uses a pellet burner to generate between 60K and 100K BTU, very little pellet energy goes wasted heating the firebox or flue. This means that you will use about one pound of pellets (i.e.: $3-$5) per hour, regardless of how cold it is outside.
– Uses less wood than other smokers because there is no smoke leakage around doors and windows due to tight seals (which also makes it more efficient in terms of pellet use).
– The Smokin-it #2 is economical to operate, low cost construction (plywood) and relatively easy to assemble.
– Due to the cylindrical design, cooks faster than other vertical water smokers (up to 2/3 faster), with very little heat loss between uses.
– Customer service is outstanding; Randy has been designed smokers for over 30 years and knows smokers backwards and forwards. He also offers numerous Pelletsmoking.com forums that cover using your smoker as well as troubleshooting any problems that may arise from improper usage or assembly errors.
See more: Best Gas Grill Smoker Combo of 2022
Cons Of Smokin-It Model #2
– This smoker burns pellets at a rate of around 1 pound per hour at most, meaning that a 20 lb. bag of pellets will last you about 3 hours, or a 40 lb. bag less than 5 hours. If smoking overnight, the next day you would have to re-stock around dawn to be ready for your 8 AM guests.
– If using an electric element, you will not achieve high temperatures because range hoods and stove tops are designed for cooking at ~500 degrees F max. They do not have the ability to push much over 1K degrees Fahrenheit because they simply do not have enough power to overcome convection from a large volume of air below them at atmospheric pressure (i.e.: Like putting a blow dryer under a soup pot).
-It’s bulkiness means that it will not fit into most car trunks and that you will need a pickup truck or van with a large cargo area.
– The smoker is built from plywood, which is cheap but prone to warping if not properly cared for. Also, it is difficult to obtain materials in this dimension without having to order online.
-In the event of pellet burnout, repairs can be expensive because replacement parts are expensive due to the specialized nature of many parts (i.e.: Pellet hopper) and require special tools.
– You cannot use natural wood or charcoal on the Smokinit #2 without investing additional money into a separate system such as an AMNS. A different firebox would also be required to use a gas or electric element.
– Your pellet burner may not provide sufficient BTU’s to run this smoker at full capacity during cold weather, which is a common issue with pellet burners in general. On the plus side, you can always switch to an electric element for colder temperatures.
>>> See more: Smoked Tomahawk Ribeye (Pellet smoker vs Electric smoker)
Pellet smoker vs electric smoker – Conclusion
Pellet Smoker vs Electric Smoker? There are many things to consider before buying a pellet smoker vs an electric one. Both have their pros and cons, but there is no clear winner in this debate. The best way to decide which of these smokers will work the best for you is by considering what your needs are – how often you want to smoke, where you plan on smoking it most often, …. but both pellet and electric smokers are inherently safer than traditional charcoal or wood-fired grills because the temperature control systems eliminate flare ups that could set your deck on fire. If you’re looking for a high quality product at an affordable price, then either of these smokers is right for you!