When two things look similar, are highly convenient to use, and serve you the perfect meal, it might get challenging to notice the differences between them for purchase. You do not want to bring a product in your home that does not suit your preference and does not produce the desired result.
One can encounter a similar difficulty while choosing between a pellet smoker and an electric one. Both require electricity and give a woody flavor. So, where to spend money?
When you go through the details of these smokers, you will realize that they have multiple distinguishing factors that you should not ignore if you do not want to get disappointed later on. To facilitate you in this aspect and free you from this brainstorming query, I have provided a detailed comparison and contrast with examples of some of the best smokers in the market. Let us see which one you choose. Bon appetit!
Comparison and Contrast
Fuel and Electricity
For using pellet smokers, you need to connect the device with an electric socket. For the first time, you may need to take help from an electrician. To heat the food in this smoker, a person will place food-grade pellets in a firebox. These wooden pellets are cylindrical in shape and are derived from hardwood.
After this, a motor, termed as an auger, will transfer the fuel to the chamber. Then ignition begins as convection fans facilitate the combustion process. These steps allow cooking as pellets are being fed to fire. In addition, the maintenance of temperature is automatic.
A digital controller connected with the product monitors the heat levels continuously. Also, the feeding of the required pellets is carried out by the smoker itself. These features allow people to multitask while the smoker is cooking the food items efficiently.
As the name suggests, electric smokers also use electricity to start functioning. However, here you do not require to feed any fuel such as wood or charcoal into the smoker. Instead, the source of heat is electric, just as in the case of a microwave oven. The source element is present below the grills in a vertical body.
A water pan and a pan containing wood chips are placed above the heat source. The water pan works to retain adequate moisture in the meat so that people can enjoy juicy recipes and items that do not completely dry up. The latter brings a unique woody flavor to your food.
This smoker, like pellet smokers, regulates the temperature itself. You have to place the meat on the grills, set the time via a dial and wait for some time until the lunch or dinner gets ready. I am not sure about you, but I am already imagining a meat steak melting in my mouth.
Smoking requires slow and gradual cooking at low or medium temperatures. In this regard, pellet smokers exhibit high efficiency in smoking multiple food items. They need a minimum temperature of approximately 180 degrees Fahrenheit. You should consider the fact that not all models available in the market serve grilled food too. So, if you are into grilling that requires sufficiently high temperatures, you should select from the products that have this ability too.
Electric smokers also prepare food at low heat levels. The ability to cook perfect food depends upon the source and the product from a specific brand. These smokers are also not preferable for grilling since they are not designed for this purpose. However, there are some exceptions, and manufacturers are now adding this feature to smokers.
Both the pellet smokers and electric ones will satisfy you by offering delicious food. However, a light difference arises due to the fuel that these products utilize. Since electric smokers utilize electricity for heating the food, the meals that these products prepare are less smoky. A pan filled with wood pieces adds a slightly woody flavor from soft bark.
On the other hand, pellet smokers use all the fuel for the combustion process. This factor results in a higher smoke profile with a prominent woody taste. Therefore, if you prefer a prominent flavor of wood with smoke rings, you should select pellet smokers for purchase. For the opposite case, adding an electric smoker to your cooking collection might be the most suitable option.
Range of Food
Electric smokers are ideal for preparing a large variety of meat recipes, including barbeque, steaks, sausages, ribs, and fish. You can also enjoy smoked nuts and cheese and add them to other food items for enhanced taste. Pellet smokers are great for preparing steaks, fish, barbeque, nuts, and burgers. In addition, you can also use them for baking purposes and serve cookies and pastries. Some allow grilling and roasting too, which gives the customers a big advantage of experiencing a variety of flavors.
The area of the cooking chamber in a pellet smoker allows you to prepare small, medium, and even large quantities of food. This aspect makes this equipment suitable for family meetups, camping, parties, and outdoor gatherings. On the contrary, electric smokers offer an extraordinary large capacity for preparing items simultaneously. Thus, you can choose them for parties as well as large gatherings, including ceremonies. You will undoubtedly be able to present various things to your guests without having to worry about running out of time.
Generally, pellet smokers have a considerable weight. Some of them are portable and have small wheels attached to them. On the other hand, most electric smokers are easy to carry due to their moderate weight and also have wheels for convenient movement. Thus, it is somewhat challenging to bring a pellet smoker with you if you have to travel.
Usually, the pellet smokers cost more than the other smokers. The price of pellet smokers can go up to two thousand dollars. In addition, these products utilize wooden pieces that you have to get separately. This fuel is costly as compared to other materials. It leads to overall an expensive setup. In the case of electric smokers, you only need a small amount of wood which contributes to the flavor. You do not need to buy packets of wood. It results in an affordable cooking setup.
Since electric smokers are not very broad and mostly have a vertical construction, they do not cover much space. So, you can easily adjust the product in your backyard without disturbing the arrangement in that area. It is not the case with pellet smokers. They have more area coverage. It is necessary first to select a proper space in which this equipment can fit easily.
Advantages of Electric Smokers
Advantages of Pellet Smokers
1. Green Mountain Davy Crockett WiFi Control Foldable Pellet Grill
This smoker includes a Sense-Mate system that continuously monitors the temperature of grills while the food is getting prepared. A meat probe, a specific lid for cooking ribs, and a large tray for placing food are one of the crucial features.
Moreover, it gives you the ease to observe and adjust the whole procedure through WiFi connection with mobile devices. People can bring it to either picnic spots or camping areas with no worry as it is foldable and fits inside the car quickly.
2. Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Smoker and Grill
Pellet Grill and Smoker by Traeger allows a range of cooking options, including smoking, grilling, braising, baking and roasting. It can reach a temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit and has a capacity of 884 square inches. With this much area, a person can serve forty burgers in one go.
Moreover, the Digital Controller works to provide high precision in smoking and grilling. Thus, there are minimal chances that your meat gets overcooked and wasted.
3. PIT BOSS Vertical Pellet Smoker
PIT BOSS is among the popular and famous brands for manufacturing good quality cooking equipment. Chefs can monitor the rise and fall in heating by an easy-to-read Light Emitting Device (LED) screen. A considerably large space of 901 square inches allows you to prepare great quality food items in one round.
The temperature range of this vertical smoker is 150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Since it has more length as compared to width, it will not require a large space for placement.
1. Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker offers an area of 544 square inches for cooking. There are three grates that are plated with chrome. Double walls ensure great insulation, and the two exhaust ports allow an ideal cooking environment inside the body. Moreover, the temperature monitor is installed at the door for easy control.
2. Masterbuilt 40-inch Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker
For the construction of a metal body, manufacturers have used high-quality stainless steel, which provides resistance to damage. This electric smoker allows customers to connect this product with mobile devices via Bluetooth technology. The probe thermometer allows convenient and high-precision temperature measurement.
In addition, there is a side system through which you can load wooden pieces. This feature prevents the need to place wood by opening the door.
3. Realcook Vertical Steel Charcoal Smoker
This electric smoker is perfect for smoking as well as grilling meat outdoors. You can even roast and smear food items in this product. It has a great cooking area of 453 square inches and includes four hangers that increase the space.
In addition, both the charcoal and water pan have porcelain enamel that protects this equipment from heat damage.
Are pellet smokers worth it?
Pellet smokers allow convenient cooking, and you do not need to keep sitting near the equipment to observe and monitor the whole process. In addition, they impart a strong flavor of wood bark, keeping the food moist and nutritious. They offer versatility since they give people an option to prepare a large variety of items. They are ideal for indoors in cooler regions since they require an electric connection. With so many benefits, these smokers are worth the purchase.
Is it safe to use an electric smoker overnight?
It is only safe to use an electric smoker overnight if there is someone to monitor the entire process. It is highly unsuitable to leave the smoking process unattended for long hours since any mishap can either render the product unfunctional or pose a serious fire hazard.
Can you have an electric smoker in an apartment?
Unlike traditional smokers, electric smokers do not cover much space and can be adjusted easily inside apartments. In addition, they do not produce high levels of smoke. To fit this smoker in your house, make sure to select an area that is well-ventilated and be extremely careful to avoid any hazards while cooking.
You must have noticed that both pellet smokers and electric smokers are perfect if you consider the basic function. However, there are some major factors that differentiate them from each other and can influence your decision to purchase them. Thus if you love a high smoke profile, desire prominent woody taste in multiple food items, and do not have a limited budget, you should add a pellet smoker to your collection. But if you do not have much space, are into traveling, and have a set range for spending, electric smokers are the best choice for you.