Electric Smoker Vs Charcoal Smoker-Which is Best, or Better, FOR YOU?

“Electric Smoker Vs Charcoal Smoker,” a step-by-step comparison between electric smokers and charcoal smokers, will enable you to buy that suits your needs the best as the market is overcrowded with various types of smokers like charcoal, propane, and electric smokers. Having skimmed through the comparison, you can decide in a better way which one to choose and what suits your needs the best? Comparing electric smokers vs. charcoal smokers makes you distinguish one from the other based on your convenience. So, let’s move forward with what the details say.

Electric Smoker Vs. Charcoal Smoker

Step by Step Comparison: Electric Smoker Vs. Charcoal Smoker

If you are new to the world of smoking and intend to purchase, that could be the right choice for you. Then stay here, because our comparison will leave you with the best decision.

What is Electric Smoker?

Masterbuilt MB20073519 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker

An electric smoker is a food smoking device that makes you enjoy the delicious smoky taste of food.  Using it instead of natural fire, you smoke meat on electric rods. In cooking, it resembles very much like an oven. It works taking electricity and makes your cooking experience set and forgets.

To add this, the setting of the electric component is at the bottom of the unit. Above that essential element, there is a water pan and wood chips tray. In a water pan, water is added so that it may save the food from getting dried during food smoking. While smoking meat, there is no natural fire. So, to add natural smoky Flavor to the food, wood chips are added to the wood chip tray.

Moreover, using an electric smoker, you don’t need to worry about maintaining the heat level as it runs on electricity. So, the unit automatically regulates to maintain the temperature. You only have to set the food and put it inside the unit. Close the door and set the temperature. Rest is the job of the smoker itself.  Sitting over the couch or gossiping with your friend, you can enjoy yourself a lot despite the tension of balancing heat level.

Natural smoky Flavor

Natural smoky taste is the real taste to which the barbecue lover loves. The smoky taste of food is the real essence of barbecue. As for as the electric smoker is concerned, it remains to fail to produce the true smoky Flavor. It is because the electric smoker runs over electricity and doesn’t take natural wood to smoke food. It only has wood chips in the wood chip box. The aroma during the smoking session gets mixed in food, but surely you can’t expect the original smoky Flavor.

Besides, the taste of meat is delicious. It is your perfect choice if you live in an apartment and have no wood, propane, or charcoal. The electric smoker will also be your perfect choice; if you are a beginner and don’t know how to operate the unit, buying an electric smoker is your best decision.

Recommended Reading: Best Electric Smokers

Grilling on Electric Smoker

Grilling is an essential part of the barbecue. It works on the grounds of just like an oven. But using an electric smoker, you can’t grill. As the grilling needs high temperature and electric smoker is not meant to produce high heat level. While using an electric smoker, you can’t enjoy grilling. But Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler is exceptional to this rule. Using it, you can get high heat on the top rack. So, don’t worry, using an electric smoker, you have a chance to enjoy grilling.

What is Charcoal Smoker?

PK Grills PK360 Outdoor Charcoal Grill and Smoker

Charcoal smokers provide you the traditional experience of smoking food over low and slow heat. The charcoal smoker takes several hours to smoke food. It takes charcoal, wood, or logs as fuel. The real smoky taste of food is the special essence of the charcoal smoker. As a fuel, it takes natural wood, and during the smoking food process, the natural wood smoke gets added to the food providing it the real taste.

Moreover, charcoal smokers have a separate firebox that sends hot air and smoke to the food chamber attached to it. It has 15 pounds’ charcoal which can burn for fifteen hours (one pound of charcoal for one hour). Above the fire chamber, there is a water pan. Water is added to the pan, which during the smoking session, releases the moistures. After that, the moistures add to food, making it soft worthy of chewing.

Furthermore, the smoking food chamber contains the food that the user intends to cook. Over the top of the chamber, the smokestack controls the temperature during the smoking process. The smokestack has vents that balance the flow of smoke and air, providing the required heat level to the food.

How Does a Charcoal Smoker Works?

The working of the charcoal smoker is simple for an expert person, but for a beginner, it is full of hassle. Because balancing the temperature is a tiresome process. As a beginner, if you try your hand with a charcoal smoker, there are rare chances that you can smoke delicious food. And if you got succeeded, you will know how to produce the mouthwatering taste which will collect a lot of praise for you.


charcoal smoke natural wood

The charcoal smoker takes natural wood to smoke food. For this, ordinary briquettes should be used because they are best at producing a balanced temperature. To get the best food flavor, you can use various types of wood chips like hickory, apple, cherries according to your choice. For getting better results, you need to make the wood chips burn slowly. So, soak the wood chips in water for thirty minutes before using them.

Fill the Water Pan

To add this, fill the water pan with water. During smoking meat, water gets added to the food as the moisture keeping it soft to chew. The moistures keep the food soft and easy to chew.

Lighting the Fire

Now you need to start the smoking meat process by lighting the fire. If you have a charcoal chimney, you can start the fire by putting the coals inside. But if you don’t have a charcoal chimney, you can start by stacking coals in a pyramid inside the smoker.

Put Your Meat

As soon as the fire gets started, you can add meat to your cooking grates. Some charcoal smokers have a single grate, but many have an upper cooking grate and a lower cooking grate for smoking multiple food items.

Balancing The Temperature

Balancing The Temperature

To balance the temperature using a charcoal smoker is the first and foremost thing. It requires some tricks and tips to balance the heat level on the part of the user. To enjoy the real smoky taste, it hassles the part of the user. The ideal temperature for smoking meat is between 220- 260-degree F. Using charcoal smoker vents enables the user to control the heat level perfectly.

To add this, the bottom vents let the oxygen enhance the burning process providing oxygen to the coals. Similarly, the top vents let the smoke exit from the unit. The required quantity of smoke gets mixed in the food, and the remaining leaves the limitations of the smoker.

Moreover, you can balance the temperature level. When the temperature is low, you can stop escaping the air closing the upper vents. Contrary to that, when the heat level is high, you can stop the oxygen supply by closing the bottom vent and open the upper vent to release excessive smoke.

Adding Wood Chips

Adding Wood Chips in smoker

In case if you intend to add wood chips during the smoking process. You need to add the soaked wood in the firebox among the coals. If the wood is soaked for almost half an hour in the water, then it will burn slowly, which is good essentially.

Your food type determines the timing of cooking. Using a charcoal smoker provides you low and slow cooking. It takes several hours to cook food. At regular intervals of time, you need to check the internal temperature of the food. Through a meticulous process, you need to examine whether your food is ready.

Natural Flavor

Charcoal Smoker provides you the real natural taste of barbecue. It takes natural wood as fuel which essentially adds natural Flavor of wood to the food that barbecue lovers like. Neither the Pellet nor Propane or Electric smokers can compete with the charcoal smoker regarding the Taste and Flavor. The food that you will cook will be full of delicious and mouthwatering tastes.

Pros of Electric Smoker

Pros of Charcoal Smoker

  • Electric smoker makes your smoking food experience hassle-free.
  • Using an electric smoker, you do not need to struggle to balance the heat level.
  • It provides you set and forget the experience.
  • You have good space for cooking food.
  • Easy to keep clean.
  • Even a single person can move the unit from one place to another place.
  • User-friendly unit.
  • Installing the unit is also easy.
  • Provides real smoky Flavor in the food.
  • Best choice of an expert user.
  • Takes charcoal or wood chips as fuel.
  • It is pretty simple to manage components.

Electric smoker Cons

Pellet Smoker Cons

  • Using an electric smoker, you can’t get high temperatures.
  • You can’t take it outside for parties. If you want to take it, then you need to manage electricity for it.
  • Remains fail to produce the real smoky Flavor as compared to a charcoal smoker.
  • Grilling is not possible.
  • Balancing the temperature is a difficult process.
  • To cook food, you must have a long time because it cooks over low and slow heat.
  • Difficult for the beginner to use.
  • You need to be active throughout the smoking process.

The Best Budget Electric Smoker vs Charcoal Smoker

Char-Broil Analog Electric

Charcoal smoker Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical

Char-Broil Analog Electric
Charcoal smokerCuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18
ConstructionPowder Coated SteelMade of steel
GratesChrome PlatedStainless steel cooking racks
Temperature range100- 350-degree FGood control overheat and smoke
Cooking Area544 square inches510 square inches of cooking space
Portableyes, but it needs electricity as well.Highly Portable.
Warranty1 yearthree years

Mid-Range Electric Smoker Vs. Charcoal smoker

Masterbuilt MB20073519 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker

Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20073519 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker
Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker
ConstructionPowder Coated steelEnameled steel
Cooking GratesChrome Plated gratesNickle –plated grates
Temperature Range100- 275-degree Fefficient
Cooking Area711 square inches smoking18-1/2- inch –wide cooking grates

High-End Electric Smoker Vs. Charcoal Smoker

Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker

PK Grills PK360 Outdoor Charcoal Smoker

Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker
PK Grills PK360 Outdoor Charcoal Grill and Smoker
ConstructionStainless steelCast Aluminum construction
Temperature100- 250 Degree FEfficient at heat control
Cooking Area1,274 square inches300 square inches of cooking surface
Watts800 watts
Warranty3 Years10 years

To Wrap Up

Concluding the comparison, the electric smoker vs. charcoal smoker it will be best to say that both have their advantages and disadvantages. But certainly we need to pick one, we will select charcoal smoker due to the mouthwatering original BBQ flavor. But if you are a beginner, you must try hand with an electric smoker, as it is easy to use and provides the user set and forget experience.

Moreover, after having the details, you will select the one according to your preferences. If you find the information helpful, please share it with your loved ones. If you have anything to share please let us know through the comments below. We will be waiting for your valuable comments.