Propane vs. Electric Smoker: An In-depth Guide To Finding Your Next Smoker
When it comes to outdoor cooking, the most common technique used is smoking. People smoke food mostly to enhance flavor and add taste. To smoke correctly you need an appliance specifically designed for that purpose, a smoker.
However, with the wide variety of smokers available in the market making a choice can prove a challenge. Here, I will outline my thoughts on the two most commonly used smokers’ electric vs. propane smoker.
Electric vs. Propane Smoker
Traditionally, smokers were fuelled with wood, charcoal and pellet. However, with modern technological advancements more and more people are making the switch to cleaner energy cooking appliances such as electric and propane smokers.
These appliances are preferred due to their convenience and flexibility. With either of this two smoking appliances you get the flexibility of taking what was traditionally an outdoors affair indoors.
An In-depth Comparison Between Electric vs. Propane Smokers
- Automated controls.
- Large capacity.
- Temperatures up to 275-degrees F.
- Compared to other smokers, they smoke large quantities of food.
- Easy to operate and clean.
- You don’t have to babysit unlike charcoal smokers; With the inbuilt functionalities and automated controls operating an electric smoker is easy, you just set-it-up and go on with your other activities.
- Electric smokers are so easy to set up.
- With all its glam and glory, electric smokers are way too off most people budget.
- Their dependence on electricity means that they are not ideal for camping especially to places where electricity is not readily available.
- Meals smoked by an electricity smoker are not as deliciously tasty compared to a propane smoker.
If you enjoy the taste of smoked meat, but totally hate spending upwards of 6 hours on Sunday afternoons tending to that charcoal smoker and end up smelling like a chimney, then this electric cooker is exactly what you need.
Especially for those who live in apartment houses with no backyard spaces of their own.
I totally love the convenience, flexibility and simplicity that electric smoker affords me.
Propane smokers are powered by the use of a detached propane tank that is bought separately from the smoker. To achieve that smoke flavor wood chunks or chips are used.
- Set-it and forget-it.
- In-built temperature gauge.
- Push button ignition.
- Adjustable racks.
- Single/dual door design.
- Stainless steel.
Depending on the make-up of different propane smoker brands, the pros and cons will change from one to the other but generally, you want to find one that has as many upsides as possible such as:
- Sufficient amount of cooking space.
- Multiple adjustable racks.
- Adequate wood chip/chunk trays you don’t want to keep going back and forth adding chunks every two seconds, I know I don’t.
- Easy to maintain, what adequate space gives you is the ability to clean your smoker well keeping it in a good shape.
- If you intend to be moving your smoker around from time to time then a propane smoker is ideal as some brands are really lightweight.
- Flexibility, you get to choose between single/dual door designs.
- Temperature regulation mechanism.
As highlighted above, there are no universal downsides when it comes to propane smokers, but as with everything else, there are downsides to some specific brands. Overall, here are some of the crosscutting ones
- Some cheap brands are made with inferior materials making them less durable.
- Others have limited cooking space.
- Small wood chips/water trays, you totally want to avoid such.
- Compared to wood/charcoal smokers propane smokers are relatively pricey.
Depending on your needs, there is a wide variety of smokers to choose from single doors and small cooking spaces to the dual door and multiple racks for large families and cooking demands. If you are on the lookout for a super lightweight propane smoker for your summer vacation then you should go for the Master Built Portable Gas Smoker.
Sportman Elite 40” Vertical Propane Smoker Video
If propane smokers are the way you choose to go, then you should consider investing in an extra gas tank, you wouldn’t want the gas to run out in the middle of a cooking session. Nevertheless, some smokers are known for their energy efficiency such as Camp Chef Smoker 18-inch valve.
Electric Smoker vs. Propane Smoker Final Verdict
For the longest time, most barbecue enthusiasts I included have fallen for the long held myth that you cannot get that smoked barbecue flavor using any other means other than wood or charcoal. As much as that believe has some truth, time and convenience is of essence and that’s why more and more people are embracing the use of either electric smoker vs. propane smokers.
However, it isn’t logical to have both when one could do the task adequately. If you feel it’s time to upgrade from that old charcoal burner that has been passed on through generations from your great grandfather then you should seriously consider getting yourself a propane smoker.
The reason being, propane smokers are a great improvement and a massive step forward from charcoal or even wood and don’t tell me the flavor is not as great or what do you think that wood chips tray is for?
Propane smokers are affordable compared to electric smokers, which are just excessively expensive. Another thing that makes propane smokers appealing, is their portability, you can easily move them around unlike an electric smoker that you’ll have to consider the electricity source before moving it.
Propane smoked barbecue taste way way much better than electric smoked barbecue, don’t believe me? Get this Camp Chef Smoker from Amazon and try for yourself.