One of the most important decisions you’ll make when purchasing a smoker is what type to get.
There are two main types: electric and pellet and, of course, both have their pros and cons, so it’s best to weigh your options carefully before making a purchase.
So, what’s the difference between an electric smoker vs pellet smoker?
Well, in this article we will discuss the differences, and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each in order for you to decide which one is right for you!
What Do You Want To Use It For?
The first thing you want to think about when deciding between an electric smoker and a pellet smoker is what you want the smoker to be used for.
If you want to use it for quick meals, especially ones that need less preparation time and don’t require a lot of the smoker’s attention, then an electric smoker would be best.
However, if you plan on smoking larger cuts of meat or cooking low and slow all day long in your smoker (using lower temperatures than what an electric smoker can produce), then a pellet smoker is probably the better choice.
A pellet smoker will give you more control because it’s easier to regulate the temperature, but they are also more expensive than electric models.
Which is More Affordable?
This brings us to cost, or more specifically, affordability.
Electric smokers are more affordable, mainly because they enable you to accurately regulate the temperature and so typically are more energy efficient to run. In terms of purchase cost, the two are very similar with models at every price point (and level of functionality) available. So, when you look at the overall cost of ownership, electric smokers have the edge.
The issue of temperature control is not as important as you might think however because, even though you have less control over the temperature with a pellet smoker, it does produce fantastic results when cooking meats and also has the ability to cook for hours at lower temperatures for a delicious, juicy taste. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to smoke meat with an electric smoker but, in my opinion, pellet smokers have a big advantage when it comes to their ability to deliver an authentic smoked food taste.
So, ultimately, what type of smoker you buy will depend on your personal preferences and the food that you plan on smoking or cooking in it!
What Are The Other Differences?
If both of these types of smokers sound like they could work for your needs, then it’s time to look at other differences between them.
Pellet smokers are typically larger in size than electric models. This is great for people who have a lot of space or plan on smoking large cuts of meat, but if you live in an apartment then it’s not the right choice for you.
The cost of buying wood pellets to fuel your pellet smoker can also be more expensive than using electricity, but the wood will last a long time, so, in terms of raw running costs, there’s not a huge difference between the two.
Pellet smokers do have the advantage of being quieter than electric models since they are powered by wood and, generally, produce little or no noise. In comparison, electric smokers emit a low hum and the crackling of the elements/metals in the case. It’s not usually a huge issue, but there may be circumstances when being quiet is a requirement, and, in this case, I would recommend pellet smokers.
What About The Flavor?
Another big difference that some people would prefer over others is the amount of smoked flavor in the food. With an electric model, there will be no smoke flavor unless you add wood chips yourself, whereas, with a pellet model, there will always be a smoky taste throughout every bite because, well, it’s the smoke that cooks the food in a pellet smoker.
Some people find cleaning up after their meal easier when using an electric smoker because it’s more compact and doesn’t produce as much smoke. Others find that they don’t have to clean up at all since a pellet smoker needs very little maintenance, so you’ll only need to do minimal cleaning throughout the day.
Electric Smoker vs Pellet Smoker – it depends on what your priorities are!
With the significant differences between an electric smoker vs pellet smoker, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. The best way to determine what type will work best is by considering your needs (what do you want the smoker to be used for?), budget, space constraints, and how much smoke flavor you want in your food. Keep these different factors in mind when deciding whether an electric or a pellet model would suit your needs better!
My Top Electric Smoker
The Masterbuilt 20070421 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker is an innovative, electric, indoor smoker that allows you to smoke your favorite foods for hours with little to no effort. Its easy-to-use digital controls allow you to monitor the temperature of the smoker and cook food at a consistent temperature. The 711 sq. in. of smoking space gives you enough room to smoke enough food for the whole family or even a party!
This item has been rated 4.7 out of 5 stars by customers who purchased this product on Amazon, and it’s certainly one of my favorites. Highly recommended.
My Top Pellet Smoker – Z Grills ZPG-450A
When it comes to pellet smokers, for me, there’s only one real contender for the top pick – the Z Grills ZPG-450A 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill. This is the newest version of the popular Z Grills 450 model and has many upgraded features, as well as a new set of wheels for easier mobility.
This really is the original wood pellet grill that started it all. The 450A is a small, compact grill with an amazing amount of versatility. It can smoke, grill, bake, roast, sear, and barbecue to perfection. With its 8-in-1 capability and 452 sq. in cooking space, the 450A is perfect for small families who are looking for a high-quality product that will last them years of use and enjoyment.
The grill is made from heavy-duty steel, which gives it a strong structure that can withstand high temperatures. It’s also rust-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about corrosion or discoloration.
Because it uses wood pellets as fuel, it’s eco-friendly and cost-efficient compared to charcoal or propane competitors. The 15-pound large-capacity pellet hopper also gives a longer cooking time, eliminating the need to refill the hopper constantly.
It’s not the cheapest, but it’s certainly worth buying if you are serious about smoking your food.