Electric vs. Charcoal

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by dschaef, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. dschaef

    dschaef Newbie

    I've been smoking on a Weber water smoker for around twenty years with more success then failure, thanks to the forgiving nature of a water smoker. It's been ideal for what we like often (pulled pork, chicken, ribs, turkey, etc.) but occasionally I'd try salmon, trout and sausage. For me, the latter three were always a gamble and a lot of time and effort for questionable results.
    I've been looking at all the electric options out there just to use for fish and sausage but hesitant because of numerous comments regarding loss of smokey flavor compared to charcoal.
    Are there any recommendations from more knowledgable forum members on smoker equipment better suited to fish and sausage?
    Much appreciation in advance!
  2. [​IMG]   Good evening and welcome to the forum, from another sunny and hot day in East Texas and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

  3. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome to the board! My experience with Webers has been somewhere between grilling and smoking. For fish I expect it to cook like I have it in an oven, and time it accordingly. However, unlike oven-baked it's nicely toasted around the edges and smoky.
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First off, welcome aboard!
    Secondly, what exactly is the issue with your fish? Let us know the results you're going for vs the results you get and somebody might be able to help.
    The 18.5" WSM is widely regarded as one of the most versatile smokers out there, so perhaps you're just not using it to it's full potential. Do a little reading on here about what folks do to get varying results and maybe you'll discover you can have a lot more fun with your Weber than you thought.
  5. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I have both electric and charcoal and have never had anything off my electrics that I thought lacked smoke flavor. It all comes down to knowing your equipment and using it correctly. 
  6. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It's funny, I have a lot of smoking experience but some things are a complete blank - I have never even seen a pellet rig, never watched anyone run any kind of electric or propane rig, never tried any food from them. All of my experience is in Weber kettles and an offset stick burner, plus a lot of time with campfires and shoebox portable grills. Also some gas grill experience, but that's a different world.
  7. dschaef

    dschaef Newbie

    Thanks for your input as well as the others who responded; I can see this forum is a goldmine in information to avoid learning from the "school of hard knocks". Regarding the issue with fish and sausage on the WSM; Having recently started my eighth decade on this planet, the close monitoring the WSM requires on shorter smoke times seems too demanding for my deteriorating faculties (both mental and physical). Hence, the quest for making fish and sausage easier. I don't mind the 23 hour sessions for pulled pork at all, in fact, being retired, more time to anticipate the almost guaranteed delicious outcome! I'm hoping an electric would enable me to smoke either fresh fish or sausage without the extra cost but with the satisfaction of doing it myself, "before Grandpa had electricity"!

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