Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by smokin-jim, Dec 15, 2009.
Is the electric ECB any better than the charcoal version?
Better is all about perspective. Some here (like me) have one heck of a time controlling the temperature on a charcoal smoke (though I am getting better as I go). There is the ease of use thing where the electric will always win in that you plug it in and that's that.
The electric unit is, without question, cheaper to operate unless you happen to have an unlimited supply of charcoal/briquettes (hardwood is best)! Let's not forget about the nice, pink smoke ring that the charcoal unit gives you that is hard to come by in an electric.
Finally is the taste difference. Now, I have had smoked meats from charcoal, gas and electric and can tell you that there is a trade-off with the electric over the others. How much depends on your tastes. Now, that isn't to say that you won't get a great tasting Q from an electric because you can! If I had to nail it down I would have to say that the charcoal offers more flavor profiles over the electric.
This is, of course, just my opinion. I have all three (charcoal, gas and electric) and I like the gas best for controllability and ease of operation.
im a electric dude---
its so easy---
you can figure out a way to burn a few charcoals in the unit for bigger smoke ring
I converted my ECB to electric years ago and have since gone back to charcoal. I like the charcoal flavor and smoke ring it produces.
Put a few charcoal briquettes in the bottom along with your wood chunks and and you'll get some pretty good smoke flavor with the electric version.
I get a nice smoke ring doing that and it's a pretty foolproof and easy way to go.
Only problem with the electric is it doesn't get very hot.
Very true, I always did struggle with keeping the temps up.
For anyone wanting the taste that charcoal brings to a smoke and want ease of operation a UDS or WSM is about as easy as it gets. I did a brisket the other day using Stubbs charcoal and once the intakes are set right you pretty much just have to wait till it's is done. It's that simple.
I started with the electric brinkmann, since the swap to coals I find not only I love the taste more but I also love to tend the fire, play with the hot coals and burning wood.
Once you get the temp regulating issues worked out you will love it.
Wood and fire, it's how the Cavemen cooked and I feel the need to do the same in my genes, or in my tiger skinned loin cloth...