I’m writing this article because I was recently asked by a friend if you can use pellets in an electric smoker. As someone who has used both types of smokers, I am happy to answer that question for you!
There are pros and cons to each type of smoker. Pellet smokers are more convenient because they don’t require the extra step of adding wood chips or chunks during cooking time like traditional models do – but some find that flavor is lacking with pellet smokers.
Electric models on the other hand, have excellent temperature control and produce great tasting food without all the fussing around with maintaining constant temperatures throughout cooking time…
But there’s one caveat: electric models ultimately require electricity so if your power goes out, your dinner will be postponed until it’s restored!
In the end, it really comes down to what you value most in a smoker – convenience or flavor. And both types of smokers have their place in the smoking world!
Pellets vs Wood Chips: What’s the Difference?
Pellets are made of compressed sawdust – a by-product of the lumber industry. The sawdust is heated until it forms pellets, which are then cooled and packaged for sale.
What’s wood chips?
Wood chips are made of small pieces of wood that have been cut from larger logs. The advantage to using wood chips is that you can use a variety of different types of wood to create unique flavors. The disadvantage is that you have to add them to the smoker every hour or so, depending on the model.
What’s the Difference?
While both wood chips and pellets are a great way to add smoke flavor to food, they’re very different in how they’re made.
Wood chips come from pieces of wood that have been broken down using a milling process or sawdust left over from cutting boards or pallets.
Pellets on the other hand are made from compressed sawdust from hardwood so they burn evenly and produce consistent heat.
The key difference is in how you use them. If you’ve ever tried to light a bag of wood chips with one match, then you know that it doesn’t work too well – kind of like trying to set fire to a piece of paper towel!
Wood chips need a long time to soak up enough liquid to burn – usually a minimum of thirty minutes. Pellets, on the other hand, are dry and ready to use right out of the bag.
While pellets offer more convenience than chips, you need some way to ignite them (and this usually means buying an expensive smoker that has some kind of electric ignition system).
Some electric models come with small metal pans where you can put some wood chips or chunks in order to get smoke rolling while some pellet smokers may have special compartments where you place the pellets for lighting.
Can You Use Pellets In An Electric Smoker?
Of course! You can use pellets in an electric smoker. In fact, you can even buy a pellet smoker that is made specifically for this purpose (I’ll provide a link at the bottom of this article).
Right now, I’m using natural wood pellets to smoke salmon. I’ve been smoking salmon in my MES 30 for about 4 hours and it’s coming out great so far (I think).
So back to the question at hand: Can you use pellets in an electric smoker? Yes! It’s not only possible but easy too.
You will need to know how much one pound of pellets will produce in order to accurately gauge how much fuel you will need for your electric smoker.
If you’re looking for a pellet smoker specifically designed for use with an electric smoker, I’ve found the best one on the market is the Camp Chef SmokePro SE.
This smoker is made with your convenience in mind. It has a built-in auger system that continuously feeds pellets into the fire box, so you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel half way through your smoking session.
The Camp Chef SmokePro SE also features an automatic shut-off system that keeps your food from overcooking if you forget to turn off the smoker.
Camp Chef SmokePro SE features:
- An automatic auger system that constantly feeds pellets into the fire box, so you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel
- An automatic shut-off system that keeps your food from overcooking if you forget to turn off the smoker
- A temperature gauge on the front that allows you to easily monitor the temperature inside the smoker
- Removable porcelain grilling grate and ash catcher for easy cleanup
I highly recommend the Camp Chef SmokePro SE if you’re looking for an electric smoker that can handle both pellets and wood chips. This smoker has a ton of features that make it easy to use, including an automatic auger system and an automatic shut-off system.
The Camp Chef SmokePro SE is also very affordable, making it a great option for someone who is just starting out in the smoking world.
So there you have it “Can You Use Pellets In An Electric Smoker?” Now that you know, you can make the best decision for your needs. Whether you choose to use pellets or wood chips, both will add great smoke flavor to your food!
10 TIPS FOR USING WOOD PELLETS IN AN ELECTRIC SMOKER:
1. One pound of wood pellets will produce about two cups of smoke, so you can use that estimate to determine how much fuel you need for your electric smoker.
2. If you’re using a pellet smoker designed for use with an electric smoker, remember that it’s not just a regular pellet grill – the auger system and automatic shut-off features make this a completely different beast from standard pellet grills. This is especially true if you’ve been using a propane grill up until now.
Don’t expect to be able to remove the lid as many times as you would on a normal pellet grill. The amount of time it takes for your food to cook will also vary greatly from what you’re used to.
3. Different types of wood pellets will produce different flavors, so it’s a good idea to experiment with a few different types to see what you like best.
4. Try not to overfill your smoker – leave enough room for air to circulate around the pellets. This will help ensure that the smoker reaches the desired temperature and doesn’t overheat.
5. Keep an eye on the temperature inside the smoker and make adjustments as needed. You may find that you need to adjust the heat up or down depending on what you’re smoking.
6. Start with a small amount of pellets and add more as needed. You don’t want to use too much fuel at once, or you’ll end up with an overly smoky flavor.
7. Don’t fill up the entire water pan with hot water – this will cause the smoker to take too long to come up to temperature and may also flood your pellets, causing them to smolder and give off an overly smoky taste.
8. Clean your smoker after each use and store the pellets in a cool, dry place.
9. Be sure not to overuse your wood chips or you’ll end up with bitter food! Two or three handfuls is usually enough for most recipes with larger cuts of meat requiring longer smoking times (more than three hours).
If you’re smoking something like ribs which requires less time, two handfuls might be plenty for that as well, but it’s always best to start with less and add more if needed.
10. Happy smoking! And above all, remember to have fun with it! Experiment with different recipes, woods, and techniques to find what works best for you. There’s no right or wrong way to do things – just enjoy the process!
FAQ on Can You Use Pellets In An Electric Smoker?
How do I get more smoke from my electric smoker?
If you want to add more smoke flavor, try adding a handful of wood chips directly over the heating element.
How do I get my electric smoker to reach higher temperatures?
In most cases, increasing the temperature of your electric smoker is as simple as adding more pellets. However, if this doesn’t work, it’s likely that your food is taking too long to cook and needs additional time.
Try leaving it in longer or checking with a meat thermometer to make sure it has reached the desired internal temperature before stopping the grill or removing any items from inside.
Can I use different types of wood chips in my electric smoker?
All smoking woods will add their own unique flavor profile depending on what type are. Experiment with different flavors. If you’re using chunks, make sure to soak them in water before putting them into the smoker (either by setting them in a container of water or spraying them with a mister).
How do I keep my electric smoker clean?
You’ll want to clean your electric smoker after each use. Make sure to unplug it first and allow any remaining heat inside to dissipate before cleaning it. Be sure not to submerge the heating element or any electrical components.
You may also want to remove the wood tray and drip pan once they’ve cooled down so that you don’t accidentally damage them while trying to clean anything. Use soap, warm water, and elbow grease!
Can I smoke cheese in an smoker?
Yes – just make sure that the cheese is wrapped in wax paper or butcher paper to keep it from sticking to the smoker grate.
Can I cook delicate foods in an electric smoker?
Yes – you can smoke all sorts of different types of food in your electric smoker, including delicate items like fish and seafood. Just make sure to use a lower temperature and shorter cooking time for these items.
Can you use wood chunks in an electric smoker?
Yes – you can use wood chunks in an electric smoker, but you’ll need to soak them in water first. You can either place them in a container of water or spray them with a mister. Be sure not to add too many or they will smolder and give your food an overly smoky taste. Two or three handfuls is usually enough for most recipes.
How open should vent be on electric smoker?
There is no one “right” answer to this question – it will depend on the recipe you’re using, the type of wood chips you’re using, and the temperature you’ve set your smoker to. Start by opening the vent all the way and then adjust as needed.
Can I use my electric smoker to cold smoke?
No – an electric smoker is not designed for cold smoking. You’ll need a separate cold smoker for that.
Is it safe to leave my electric smoker plugged in when not in use?
Yes – it’s perfectly safe to leave your electric smoker plugged in when not in use. Just be sure to unplug it when you’re done cooking so that you don’t accidentally start a fire.
Can I use wood pellets in a Masterbuilt electric smoker?
Yes – you can use wood pellets in a Masterbuilt electric smoker. However, you will need to purchase a special pellet tray to do so. Not all models come with this tray included.
The bottom line for Can You Use Pellets In An Electric Smoker? is that you can use pellets in an electric smoker, but it’s important to know how much fuel you will need and to have a smoker that is designed for this purpose.
If you’re not sure which smoker to buy, I highly recommend the Camp Chef SmokePro SE. It’s the best pellet smoker for electric smokers on the market today.
What pellet flavors do you use in your electric smoker? Tell us in the comments section!
Thank you so much for stopping by – I hope this article was helpful! If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email using my contact form. And don’t forget to share this page with anyone who might benefit from it. Thanks again and happy smoking!