Need help deciding between pellet and vertical gas smoker

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by thegoodson, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. thegoodson

    thegoodson Newbie

    I'm upgrading my ECB and I'd appreciate some advice on a vertical gas smoker vs a pellet smoker.  The two models I'm considering are the Camp Chef PG24  pellet smoker and the Smoke Hollow 44-Inch Vertical LP Gas Smoker.  My initial reaction is to be partial to the vertical gas smoker because it seems like I can fit more meat in it and the vertical stacking seems more versatile.  I also like that with a single burner on low, I might be able to smoke cheese at the top of the vertical.

    I'm concerned that the gas smoker won't provide as good of a smoke-flavored bbq, the temperature will be harder to control, and it will require more monitoring time, in general.  Most times I can be around and don't mind checking on it but I would occasionally like to be able to set it and not have to monitor the smoker for 2-3 hours at a time.  Price, access to propane and electricity, and weather are not really considerations.  I live in southern California and, while it can get windy at times, I don't have issues with harsh weather and electrical outages.  
    I'd like answers to these questions based on the community's experience (and other comments if I'm not considering something that I should be):

    1.  Which one will produce a better smoked flavor bbq taste or are they the same/difficult to distinguish?

    2.  Will the vertical gas smoker require a lot of monitoring time to make sure the temp is staying in range?

    3.  Am I correct that the gas smoker will allow me to cook more meat and is more versatile?

    4.  Is one better than the other for smoking things like sausage, turkey, and multiple pork butts at a time?

    5.  Is the 44" Smoke Hallow overkill if I mostly smoke for my family (6 of us) and occasionally for small parties?

    6.  Basically, what are the advantages of the pellet smoker over the propane smoker?

    Anything else I should consider?


    Current hardware:  Modified Brinkmann 'ECB' Smoker
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  2. callaway

    callaway Newbie

    1.  Most reviews I have read state that pellet grills do not provide as much smoke flavor as smokers that use wood, wood chips, or wood chunks.

    2.  My gas smoker (model PS4415) keeps a constant temperature as long as I keep the door closed and refrain from the peek-a-boo cooking method.

    3.  I don't know exactly how many pound of meat I can smoker at one time but if I had enough rib rack I could smoke at least 28 full racks of ribs at one time.  If I had to guess, I would say the PS4415 will hold at least 45 pounds depending on type of meat.

    4.  I believe the 44" smoker will hold more food.

    5.  The smoker will definitely do what you want and it never hurts to have more space than you need.

    6.  I don't have a pellet smoker so I can answer that question from experience.  However, from what I have read, one advantage of the pellet grill/smoker is the constant availability of electricity (you don't have to worry about running out of propane when using electricity).

    Hope this helps.
  3. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    To me, pellets provide just the right amount.  Some guys overload their chip trays in gas smokers and that can lead to oversmoked meat - which I can't stand - burping for hours.  If you want more smoke, a amazen tube can be placed in the pellet smoker to provide more.

    You will definitely have to monitor the gas smoker much more.  Not even close in this category.

    I'm not sure on amount of meat - 560 sq inches in the pellet grill is a fair amount.  I have no idea how many sq inches of cooking space the gas model has.  I would think you could fit 6 large butts in the pellet grill.  I can fit 8 in my 680 inch Rec Tec.  The gas grill is not more versatile in my opinion. You can do sausage and jerky in the pellet grill just as easily as the gas.  You will not be able to smoke cheese in either one unless you only use a smoke tube (which many people do).  Even their lowest temp settings with melt cheese in both.

    Both will be fine based on the size of your family and expected use.

    This is a personal preference, but I have used both and I am in love with my pellet grill.  I still have a homemade gas smoker made from a computer server cabinet that I use for very large batches of sausage and jerky, but the pellet grill is used for everything else.

    Good luck.
  4. thegoodson

    thegoodson Newbie

    Thanks for your response.  I really appreciate the time and thought.  I opted to go with the vertical gasser because of the greater capacity and because my concerns about having to constantly monitor it were alleviated based on the feedback I got here and at other forums.


Share This Page