Pellet Smoker vs Electric smoker : 7 things you must compare

Pellet smokers and electric smokers both rule over the hearts of barbecue lovers. Both of these take power to work. But the question here is which one buy? To answer this query, we presented a fair comparison of pellet smoker vs electric smoker. You can shop the best smoker keeping in mind their basic features according to your conditions. So, lets dive deep to have the best smoker.

Pellet Smoker vs Electric smoker

The Comparison: Pellet Smokers vs Electric Smoker

To narrate the healthy comparison, it is necessary to know about the essentials of both best electric smokers and best pellet smokers before going into details of the features.

1: Pellet Smoker

Grills ZPG- 7002E

Pellet smokers known as pellet grills occupy an important place in the market today due to their particular features. The manufacturing, exceptional working capacity and many other similar characteristics have widened their demand.

Moreover, pellet smokers are available in different sizes, number of racks and digital control panels. To add this, the market has a huge variety of the product and the customer finds itself in hot water as whether to select from stainless steel or from custom build cast iron pellet smokers.

These smokers take wood pellets as fuel. The smoker has a hopper on one side which can contain a sufficientnumber of pellets. The user adds the pellets in hopper. As soon as you plug in and set the temperature on digital controller, the pellets through the internal mechanism start creating smoke and heat.

The difference between a Pellet Smoker and A Pellet Grill

The temperature level of the unit exactly maintains the difference, whether is it a smoker or grill. The smoker takes less heat to cook food. It requires low and slow cook to do the job. While smoking the unit needs 180-degree F to get start which is ideal temperature.

Whereas, cooking over grill demands high heat level. You need to cook over high and fast heat while grilling. For grilling your unit must be able to reach up to 450–650-degree F, which is ideal temperature for the grilling.

So, to judge whether it is a pellet smoker or grill the user must check whether the model is capable of reaching up to high temperature essential for grilling.

The Reason of Popularity of Pellet Smokers

The important thing that sets the Pellet Smokers apart from the rest is the authentic smokey taste. You can enjoy the true smokey flavor of the food without doing much hassle.

 In addition to this, one can think that the offset smoker takes pride of stuffing originalsmokey taste in the meat. But the reality is offset smoker does not provide hassle free experience of smoking food, which is special to pellet smoker.

Using Pellet Smoker, you can enjoy not only the natural flavor of food but can remain free worrying about adding fuel in the hopper.

How Does A Pellet Smoker Work?

The hopper is the part of the Pellet smoker in which you can add wood pellets as best wood for smoking to start the burning process. The rotating auger in the fire pot takes the pellet from hopper to fire pot and then rotates them to start work. The auger takes electricity to run and thermostat maintains the pellets’ speed of delivery of auger. A hot rod in the fire pot makes the pellets to burn to create heat and smoke through ignition.

Moreover, the pellet burning process gets higher due to convection fan. These convection fan supply oxygen from air to the fire to enhance the burning process. The heat baffle over the fire pot serves to disperse the even heat in the smoker and saves the food from burning due to high heat.

Furthermore, the drip tray collects all the greases and moisture that food separates during smoking process and serves to excel the fair heat distribution.

Finally, from the fire pot the smoke and heat are circulated to the entire cooking chamber through the induction fan. A smokestack on the top of smoker helps to release the smoke and air. Anyhow opening the lid also, you can make the unnecessary heat and smoke to release.

2: Electric Smoker

Char Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker

Electric smoker, like the pellet smoker is another type of smoker. It is the type of smoker that takes electricity to run. Electric smoker makes the phrase true as” simply set it and forget it”. To cook food, it takes heat from the electricity instead of taking fuel as a power source.

Moreover, in electric smokers, the heating element is at the bottom of the smoker. At the above of electric element there is water pan to add moisture in the food. The wood chip box adds smokey flavor in the food.

The electric smoker automatically sets the temperature. You only need to set the required temperature through automatic system the unit will work to maintain the heat level.

Furthermore, the market is flooded with smokers of multiple brands. Some of them are made from stainless steel and others are made from cast iron. They do vary from one another on the bases of shape, size, cooking chamber area and digital control thermometer.

The Reason of Popularity of Electric Smoker

The main reason of popularity of electric smoker is it provides the user totally hassle-free experience of cooking. Using it you do not need to work hard to maintain heat level. The temperature is balanced automatically.

Moreover, you do not need to stuff fuel inside for fire to produce as in offset smoker. Simply plugging in and setting the temperature level you are ready to do your job.

Furthermore, electric smoker is pretty easy to operate. Even the beginner can operate it with great ease.

Grilling Through Electric Smoker

Instantly reckoning it the “set and forget” device the user wants to know, whether grilling is possible through electric smoker. The simple answer is “no”. The electric smoker is designed on the same ground as the kitchen oven is made. As using oven grilling is not possible, same is the case with electric smoker.

Moreover, the temperature needs to set on slow level, vice versa grilling needs high heat level. Besides, some of the smokers go against the formula. The Master built Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler lets you gain high heat in the top rack.

Step- by – Step Characteristics: Pellet Smokers vs Electric Smokers

The comparison of the features of pellet smoker and electric smoker will enable the user which one to select, keeping the focus over the plus points of the unit.

Cooking Chamber Area

Though the size of the cooking chamber needs to pay full focus on before making purchase. If the smoker’s cooking zone is of good capacity, it saves you from cooking in several shifts. Besides the amount to food that you need to cook occasionally also maintains the size of your smoker.

Moreover, with respect to pellet smoker, it can hold less amount food for smoking comparing it with vertical style of electric smoker. Above all, the size of the cooking chamber depends on the price of the unit.


The next best feature of both of these units is price. The customer can shop smartly comparing the price of both unit with other features like cooking zone area, portability and durability.

In terms of price, most of the electric smokers are inexpensive containing many comforts in them. Within the reasonable price range, you can purchase the best electric smoker.

On the other hand, Pellet Smokers are somehow expensive than electric smoker. Having the same features within the pellet smokers the organizations demand a little bit high price.

So, in terms of price the electric smoker takes the credit over pellet smokers.

Natural Flavor

The natural smokey flavor of meat really sweetens the world of BBQ lovers. It is the point that attracts most of the people. The food becomes more delicious and mouthwatering when it is full of natural wood smokey flavor.

With respect to sweet and authentic flavor, pellet smoker beats the electric smoker. The strong flavor that pellet wood adds in the food is difficult to find in the food smoked in electric smoker. The pellet smokers take pellet wood as fuel and these pellets infuse the real barbecue taste in the meat, which is amazing. Isn’t it?

On the opposite side, it is difficult rather impossible for electric smoker to reach to natural wood flavor. The reason is electric smoker runs over electricity. In spite of wood chip pan in inside it, it is impossible for electric smoker to gain that original strong flavor.

So, in terms of flavor pellet smoker beats the electric smoker.

Hassel free experience

For a novice user, especially beginner, it is tough to do hassle. In this respect, electric smoker is pretty easy to use. Simply plugging in and setting the required temperature your smoker is ready to start work. Rest of the job is up to the smoker. Now you only have to wait for food and you are free to do your routine task.

Quite contrary to that using pellet smoker the user needs to do some hassle regarding stuffing the wood pellets inside to balance the temperature. As compared to electric smoker it demands a little effort on the side of the user.

So, pellet smoker needs some hassle than electric smoker but not as much that you ignore it.

Fuel Consumption

Both of these smoker stake power to run, but the difference is one may consume much power than the other. You are likely to purchase the one that takes less fuel.

In this respect, electric smoker works on electricity. It consumes 6-8 ounces of pellets per cook, which is much less as compared to that of pellet smoker. But electricity consumption is another issue that must be paid attention. If single smoking session consists of several hours, then assume the electricity charges as well.

On the other hand, pellet smoker consumes 1-2 pounds of pellets per hour which is definitely, high. 10 hours of cooking means you are consuming 15-20 pounds’ pellets.

So, in terms of expensive with a little or less difference both seem almost the same.


Considering portability of the unit, it must be portable so that you easily can put in your car to take it away to beach, camping or at any other place.

Moreover, electric smoker has small size and they are light weight. Their size is equal to that of room refrigerator and they are thin also. You can make them stand in a small space even. Due to their small size it is pretty easy to handle them.

Furthermore, on the opposite side, the pellet smokers are weighty units, but we are lucky enough that company has introduced best portable pellet smokers. It is difficult to divert their place. But it is not impossible to take them in outdoor parties. With much little effort you can take them to beach, forest and for camping etc.

Above all, it is difficult to adjust them at a small space because of their size. They occup large place as compared them with electric smokers. They can create problem for you if you are living at sa small space like balcony or in an apartment etc.

So, electric smokers are much portable than that of pellet smokers.


The smoker that can make you able to prepare almost all types of food that take the low temperature along with taking the high level of heat. This type of unit can bring really comfort in your life. Isn’t is cool?

Using electric smoker, you can prepare multiple types of food taking slow as well as high temperature. If you are in a mood to enjoy smoky meat and nuts you can prepare both in just single shift. Moreover, you can enjoy multiple food items like fish, cheese and nuts etc. The electric smoker has the ability to set the lowest temperature as well. Quite contrary to that, in a pellet smoker you can smoke only those foods taking high heat level. They are engineered to work over high heat. They do not provide satisfactory results with the item that takes low heat.

Electric Smoker Pros

Pellet Smoker Pros

  • 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 smokers are inexpensive.
  • Very economical from power consumption point of view.
  • User friendly unit.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Pretty easy to take from one place to another place.
  • Best for smoking in cooler situations.
  • Occupies small space, fit for you if you have small apartment for living.
  • Easy to maintain the temperature.
  • Sufficient cooking area.
  • Pellet smokers provide strong smoky flavor of food.
  • Easy to use.
  • Some units provide grilling facility as well.
  • Fuel efficient un it.
  • Made of good quality promise you to serve for years.

Electric smoker Cons

Pellet Smoker Cons

  • Electric smokers do not produce natural smoky taste to the food.
  • They do not provide grilling facility.
  • A little bit tricky to use.
  • Pellet smokers are weighty units. Difficult to change their place.
  • They are of huge size does not fit best for small space.
  • More expensive than electric smokers.

A short over view of both electric smoker and pellet smoker

FeaturesPellet SmokersElectric Smokers
Cooking Areasmall to largesmall to extra large
Type of Cookingsmoking and grillingsmoking
Type of FuelWood pellets, hard woodElectricity
Fuel ConsumptionModerateModerate
Portableyes, but difficult to moveYes

The comparison of Electric Smoker and Pellet Smokers

To make the discussion clear, we discussed the electric and pellet smokers. We compared the average, mid ranged and high ranged items

Best budget average pellet smoker

Z Grills ZPG 450A

Char Broil 19202101 Deluxe

Z Grills ZPG 450A
Char Broil 19202101 Deluxe
ConstructionMade of steel, with the powder coating finishInsulated, double- wall construction
Versatilitygrilling, smoking, baking, roasting searing, braise And barbecue.Smoking
Cooking Zone Size452square inches752 square inches
Hopper Capacity15lbs4-cup wood chip capacity enough for 4 hours
Temperature Range180-degree F-450-degree FLow to medium

Mid-Range Smokers

Cuisianart CPG-4000 Wood BBQ Grill

Bradley Digital Electric Smoker

Cuisianart CPG-4000 Wood BBQ Grill
ConstructionConstructed with durablepowder epoxy steel construction.
Versatilitysmoking, roasting, braising, baking searingSmoking only
Cooking Zone450 square inches 6 rack smoker, Rack Area:858sq
Hopper Capacity15 poundsProvide 8 hours of controlled cool

High End Smokers

Memphis Wood Fire Grills Pro Cart

Smokin-It Model 2 Electric Smoker

Memphis Wood Fire Grills Pro Cart
Memphis Wood Fire Grills Pro Cart
ConstructionStainless steel, double wall design for
best Heat retention.
Stainless steel body, Sturdy unit
VersatilitySmoking, roasting, baking, grillingSmoking only
Cooking Zonetotal area 834 square inches1,247 square inches
Warranty3 years on electronic,
7 years on other components
3 years

Final Verdict

Our fair comparison ” Pellet Smokers vs Electric Smokers” reveals the fact that focusing on natural smoky flavor of food special to BBQ lovers Pellet smokers compete the electric smokers.

Above all, the whole talk ends with this truth that if you have small space for smoker then electric smoker is the perfect to select. Otherwise if you have good budget and cannot leave without smoky flavor of food then you must choose pellet smokers. Anyhow make decision and let us know through the comment below about your choice.