A smoker can be a great investment for those who love to cook, but the price of an electric smoker vs charcoal smoker is going to differ depending on your needs. If you’re looking for something that’s low-maintenance and easy to use, then an electric model may suit you best. However, if you prefer smoking food as it was done traditionally with wood chips or other materials, then a charcoal smoker might be more appropriate.

Choosing the right type of smoker will depend heavily on what type of cooking process you want to do and how much money you’re willing to spend. Either way, there are plenty of options out there so don’t hesitate before taking a look at some products!

Some electric smokers are very advanced and will do most of the cooking work for you. The main benefit, though, is that all you need to do is fill up the appliance with your favorite food or meat and wait for it to be done.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time watching over your food as it cooks, this can be an excellent choice. It’s also ideal if you’re trying to start smoking on a budget because these models tend to be much cheaper than their charcoal counterparts!

The other option that some people prefer is using traditional smoking techniques by slowly adding wood chips directly into the smoker itself.

This way, if something goes wrong with your initial equipment setup , then you aren’t left with a faulty appliance full of food that you won’t be able to enjoy for long. Of course, there’s also the great taste associated with using charcoal vs wood!

There are even smokers out there that can help you control both of these features . Going this route allows you to get the best of both worlds without having to spend too much money on an appliance.

Often times, it may make more sense to go with something like this because electric models tend to cost quite a bit more than their charcoal counterparts. Since prices vary so much between these products, then your only real option is to look around for models that will fit your needs and preferences!

To learn more about electric smoker vs charcoal , just keep reading below! Here’s everything you need to know about these types of cooking appliances so that you can make an informed decision before making a purchase.

What Is An Electric Smoker?

An electric smoker is an appliance that can be used to cook meat or other foods at a much slower rate than your standard oven or grill . Most models will require electricity in order to work, but there are some exceptions because the term “electric” refers more to how food is cooked rather than what powers the equipment.

Using this method typically involves adding wood chips and turning on the machine for long periods of time until your favorite meals are fully prepared.

One thing that many people enjoy about electric smokers is how easy they are to use , especially if you’re just starting out as a backyard chef.

Since most models do all of the work for you, all you have to do is fill up the appliance with healthy food and let it cook until your dish is finished! But it does take some time to get used to using this equipment, so don’t expect your first few meals to come out perfectly if you’ve never cooked before.

How Much Do Electric Smokers Cost?

Electric smokers are generally much cheaper than their charcoal counterparts because they’re powered by electricity rather than fuel such as wood or propane.

This means that the machine isn’t at risk of malfunctioning when exposed to extreme conditions such as very high or low temperatures. However, since these appliances do not use standard methods for consuming fuel, then there will be a higher upfront cost in order to acquire one.

For the average family, an electric smoker is a great way to start cooking meats. However, if you’re looking for something more advanced or are serious about smoking food , then you might find that it’s better to get started with a larger charcoal model.

Electric models are ideal for beginners because they don’t require any special knowledge of how these appliances work in order to get delicious results. It simply requires you to turn on the knob and wait until your meal is done!

How Do I Use An Electric Smoker?

Since most electric smokers are designed for beginners, then they tend to be pretty easy to use without many complications . To get started, simply plug in your model and wait for it to preheat. After that, you can put your food over the electric heating element and shut the door.

After a few hours, you’ll be able to come back and check on the progress of your dish! If you’re cooking larger cuts of meat such as a whole chicken , then you might have to leave it in for several more hours before being done. In all cases, set a timer so that way you know how long you need to wait until everything is properly cooked.

What Is A Charcoal Smoker?

A charcoal smoker is very similar to an electric model in terms of basic functionality . Unlike electric smokers, though, charcoal smokers rely upon using small chunks of wood instead of electricity in order to cook meat slowly over time.

Most charcoal smokers will be fueled by charcoal and wood pellets, but there are some propane models available as well.

A big benefit of using a charcoal smoker is that many companies make them to last much longer than their electric counterparts ( which can often expire after only one year ).

Because these appliances rely on several different parts in order to function, it’s important for manufacturers to create high-quality products. While you will pay more for this type of model, the long lifespan means that you won’t have to spend money on replacements nearly as frequently.

When Is It Better To Choose An Electric Model?

As was mentioned earlier, an electric model tends to cost more up front since it doesn’t use fuel like other types of smoker. However, they can be great for people who are just starting out as backyard chefs because the entire cooking process is automated.

As someone who has never used a smoker before, it might be hard to figure out how long each meal needs to cook in order for it to taste perfect!

A lot of experts recommend that users start off with an electric model if this is their first time using one of these appliances , but there are some other situations where you might want to consider using the machine instead.

Electric Smoker vs Charcoal Smoker


You should consider an electric smoker if you want something easy to use and don’t care about spending much money upfront . Charcoal models tend to cost more while their electric counterparts give some serious value for your money .

Of course, this will depend on which individual model that you choose since there are different price points for smokers.

Electric smokers are made for beginners and tend to be pretty cheap . They’re easier to use but also have a shorter lifespan compared to other types of smoker. On the other hand, charcoal models tend to be more expensive but they last longer as well.

In general, you should only choose an electric model if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your first smoker or you aren’t interested in having an appliance that will last for several years!


As mentioned earlier, most electric smokers do not require much during the smoking process except for making sure that food stays inside the chamber.

Some models include digital timers with various presets since this is one of the most crucial features in order to ensure that everything comes out properly ( especially if you’re a beginner ).

Temperature Gauge:

Since electricity is being used to cook, some models will have a gauge that shows how hot it is inside of the smoker. This can be very useful because it saves you from opening up the door all of the time in order to check on your meal.

Although this comes standard on most electric smokers, there are some products with less expensive builds that might not include such a feature!


Some electric smokers tend to be smaller than charcoal varieties , but they still come in different sizes and shapes. If you want something compact and don’t care about using fuel, then an electric model could fit perfectly into your backyard.

On the other hand, charcoal units often take up more space but they also produce excellent quality meals! If you have a large family or cook for special events, then consider purchasing the larger size smoker. It’s one of the important thing to consider among electric smoker vs charcoal smoker.

Food Quality:

If you’re looking for something that will cook food for several hours, then you might want to go with an electric model since they tend to be slower than charcoal. The same thing goes if you like having full control over the cooking process by checking on your dish every hour or so!

Space Saving:

Since electric smokers are smaller in size , they can fit inside of tight spaces which make them perfect for small backyards . They won’t take up as much space as other types of smoker and there’s also no fuel required .

Ease Of Use:

One of the main difference between an electric smoker vs charcoal smoker is how easy to use are they.

Electric models are aimed towards beginners but even experienced chefs will have a hard time finding issues to complain about ! As long as the machine is plugged in and turned on, then you can set food inside and not worry about anything else.

The main issue with electric smokers is that they often have shorter life spans compared to charcoal models .

Some models might be difficult for first-time users to use since they require you to monitor the temperature and other settings continuously. You also need to make sure that the machine has enough electricity in order for it to run properly which can be a hassle if your power goes out during cooking!

Electric smokers are considered as “easy” products but only if you know what you’re doing or follow an instruction manual step by step (like this one). Unlike charcoal units, there’s no way of knowing whether the machine is working properly unless it displays temperature information on its display.

This means that you have to keep checking on your dish which is not ideal if you’re planning to leave the smoker alone for several hours!


All smokers are known to generate grease, smoke and other byproducts during the cooking process. Electric models are messier since they use electricity rather than charcoal or wood chips . You will also need to clean up ash from time to time but this won’t be an issue if you follow proper instructions.

On the other hand, it can be challenging to remove food residue from most electric smokers because their chambers tend to be smaller compared to charcoal varieties.

It’s easy to keep an electric smoker in great condition as long as you follow proper steps such as cleaning the machine at least once per month. If this becomes a hassle after using your product for several years, then consider buying a new model instead!


A huge benefit of using an electric smoker is that you don’t need fuel ! However, this also reduce its lifespan due to the heat and other factors. If it’s not taken care of properly (cleaning and maintenance), then you might experience some issues .

Temperature Range:

Most models have temperature settings between 100˚F up to 275˚F and the best part is that you can’t burn food by forgetting about it! For example, if you’re cooking a roast overnight, then you can simply set the smoker to 275˚F and let it do its job.

Smoke Flavor of electric smoker vs charcoal:

Charcoal models produce more smoke compared to electric ones since they use solid fuel instead of electricity. Of course, some electric smokers are designed to create more smoke than others (like the Bullet Vertical Propane Smoker) which is why you always need to check on their official website or reviews before buying!

Cooking Special Meals:

Smoking your meal for several hours allows the flavors and juices to build. You can use this process to prepare delicious meals such as smoked chicken, beef brisket and much more! Electric smokers work great if you’re planning a large special event since you’ll be able to cook several dishes at once.

For example, T-bone steaks or ribs can be prepared inside during the day and then removed once they reach the desired temperature . They will finish cooking on their own which saves time compared to having everything finished in one go!

Tools Needed:

Just like all other types of smoker, electric units require charcoal , wood chips and other components in order to cook food properly. Check your instruction manual for more details.

What Are The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Each Model?

It’s important to remember that there is no one perfect style of smoker since every model has its own unique features and uses . For example, electric smokers are ideal for beginners since they don’t require a lot during cooking .

At the same time, charcoal varieties often cost more but also last longer. After reading this article , hopefully you’ll be able to make a decision about which type of smoker will work best for your family!

For most people, an electric smoker is better suited if they’re interested in learning how to smoke meat with minimal effort. They provide less stress and worry because you won’t need fuel or spend hours babysitting the unit . Just plug it in and it will run!

To decide between an electric smoker vs charcoal? Although this article was mainly focused on electric smokers, there are still some people who might prefer charcoal models over their counterparts.

As with anything in life, all appliances and products will come with benefits and drawbacks so it’s crucial to weigh out which is better for your specific situation.


Although they tend to be more expensive with less features than charcoal versions , electric smokers can often be easier for beginners since they don’t require any sort of fuel source .

They’re also very convenient since you won’t need to deal with smoldering ashes or any other type of flammable material that could pose a risk. Just plug it in wait!


Charcoal models are often cheaper than electric options, but they require more effort to use properly . At the same time, you’ll have to keep an eye on the temperature meter because if it gets too hot then food could burn or be undercooked.

You also need to know how long each process will take before being done so consider checking on things every hour .

The main difference between charcoal and electric smokers is that one uses fuel while the other utilizes electricity as its main source of heat. Depending on your budget, this should help you decide which appliance works best for your specific situation.

In the end of electric smoker vs charcoal smoker, it depends on your needs and preferences! A charcoal smoker is a great way to start smoking meat since most people tend to find that they’re able to produce longer-lasting results compared to electric smokers.

However, if you want something that requires little work from you and will reduce chances of needing human babysitting , then an electric model might be perfect . It all comes down to what type of food you’ll be cooking as well as how much time you have available for this activity!

Electric Smoker Buying Guide

As you can see, there are several things to think about before deciding whether or not to buy an electric model for your home. If you love the idea of using this appliance but don’t have any experience with one before, then I recommend reading these tips below!

The Size Of Your Family

The number of people that you eat dinner with on a regular basis will help determine which type of smoker is best for you! Let’s say that there are two adults living at home who like smoked dishes now and then .

In this case , it would be easiest to choose an electric model because they usually aren’t too big (although you should always check the dimensions before buying) .

If you have more people around during meal time, then you might want to choose a larger machine that can hold several racks of food. A good rule of thumb is that one rack of ribs or two chickens can comfortably fit inside for families with three or four members .

If you have a bigger number of mouths to feed, an electric smoker might not be sufficient!

How Much Time You Have For Smoking Food

Do you work full-time outside the home? If so, then having an electric smoker at home makes sense since it won’t require much effort on your end . All you need to do is prepare the meat and the machine will take care of everything else in terms of smoking and cooking.

If you like to go on vacation, then an electric smoker is a good choice if you want something simple and easy-to-use for this activity . Just plug it in before leaving and return home to some delicious meat!

How Much Are You Willing To Spend

When smoking food at home, there are two options available: charcoal or electric smokers which of course , come with different price points .

If the high cost is not going to be a problem for you , then I highly recommend purchasing a large charcoal smoker with all of the accessories that you need so that way have have plenty of space for cooking several dishes at once.

But if you only plan on doing small overnight smokes from time to time , a smaller electric smoker will do just fine .

What Type Of Meat You Plan On Smoking

Different types of food have different needs when it comes to being smoked so you’ll want to consider exactly what type of meat that you plan on smoking before making a purchase! If you’re looking into cooking items like ribs , then an electric smoker might not be the best route to take .

These meats need plenty of time in order for the smoke to really penetrate them since they are tougher cuts, which is why many people choose charcoal smokers when consider electric smoker vs charcoal – because they can hold their temperature more effectively.

On the other hand , if you plan on smoking poultry or fish , an electric model will work great! The main reason behind this is because these foods are usually sliced thinner , which means that they are more delicate . With the right smoking conditions , you can end up with some delicious smoked meals!

The Electric Smoker Reviews That You’ve Read Online

Of course , I would be amiss if I didn’t mention reading up on electric smoker reviews online before making a purchase. This is another important step in determining which model will work for your budget and cooking needs so it’s something to not take lightly!

Make sure to read several different sources or posts in order to get a better idea of what other smokers think about their own purchases . If you have friends who own one , then they are also great resources for this activity!

Charcoal Smoker Buying Guide:

If you’re looking for a guide on how to choose the best charcoal smoker , then you’re definitely in the right place . I highly recommend that people who want to purchase this machine do their research because it can be a bit overwhelming at first since there are so many brands and styles available!

Size Matters (Usually)

The size of your smoker is probably going to depend on what you plan on using it for. For example, if five racks of ribs will comfortably fit inside , then go ahead and get one that takes up about as much space as necessary .

Keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better but you shouldn’t buy any models than could potentially pose a fire hazard and take up too much room your backyard!

How Much Are You Willing To Spend

Purchasing a smoker definitely requires you to spend some money , which is why I recommend doing your research on exactly what type of machine that you need before going out and purchasing one.

If the budget isn’t going to be an issue for you , then there’s nothing wrong with getting a top-of-the-line model ! But if you’re looking to save yourself some cash, get something more moderately priced . There are plenty of options available in this price range so it shouldn’t be too difficult!

What Features Come With A Smoker

Before buying a new machine , you’ll definitely want to think about all of the features that it offers. For example, if you plan on cooking large items like turkeys , perhaps one with an adjustable rack would be best since it can be raised or lowered.

If you just want something simple without too many bells and whistles, then getting an affordable smoker with only the essentials might do the trick !

The Cleanup Process

Never underestimate how important this is because there’s nothing worse than having leftover cooked food particles sticking onto your grill! A lot of the newer machines are really easy to clean which make them my personal favorite out of all different types available.

You should also consider getting a model that is easy to move around so that you can relocate it whenever necessary – like if you’re short on space in your backyard!


Electric smokers are definitely easier to use compared to other smoker types. This appliance requires no additional work except for running the machine itself which can make it ideal for beginners or individuals who don’t have much time available.

Charcoal varieties tend to be cheaper but they also need more attention during cooking since you’ll have to constantly monitor the unit . The good thing about charcoal models is that they’re often incredibly durable so you can expect them to last for many years .

Choosing between a charcoal or electric smoker comes down to your specific needs and preferences. If you plan on having an event where several types of food will be prepared, you might find it helpful if all items were done at once instead of being cooked one after another. This could mean easily preparing lots of food without worry about overcooking!

Either way, it’s important to consider what type of smoking you will be doing. For example, if you’re just preparing one or two small items then an electric smoker might be perfect since there’s no need for fuel like in charcoal models .

However, if your family requires large amounts of meat during each cooking session, you’ll want something that can produce longer lasting results .

As you can see, there are many things to think about when choosing between an electric smoker vs charcoal smoker . The best thing is that it’s not too difficult to go with an electric model since they are easy-to-use for beginners!

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