Please help me decide - Propane or Electric?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jayinct, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. jayinct

    jayinct Newbie

    I have finally decided to buy a smoker, and after countless hours researching the Internet, I have only been able to reach 2 conclusions:

    1) Charcoal is what the pros use, but I do not have the time, skill, or patience for charcoal

    2) Wood pellets seem like a close second, but I don't want to spend $700 for my first smoker

    Since I want easy, I am left with either propane or electric, and this is my real dilemma.  I have read in some forums, websites, etc, that electrics are fine for fish and cheese, but don't do a good job on meat.  On others, I have read that electrics are better than propane and are almost indistinguishable from charcoal, and still others that say there is no difference between propane or electric.  I am thoroughly stumped as to which one to choose.

    I understand that propane and electric each have their tradeoffs, but which would you recommend considering:

    1) I will be smoking only meats (mainly ribs, pulled pork, brisket, birds)

    2) My first priority is getting the best taste

    (I also live in CT if that factors in at all)

    Thanks for your help!
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I tell you what. Build a UDS and you won't be sorry!
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If you decide on electric, I would also get a AMNPS to go along with it. It will give you a much better flavor than wood chips & it doesn't need to be reloaded for hours. IMHO, my propane smoker gives a better flavor than my electric, but it uses wood chunks, and I have it set up so they burn completely much like a wood burner would. It also can reach higher temps., mine will go above 400 degrees easily so you can cook chicken with a crispy skin. The electric with the AMNPS is totally set & forget. The gasser needs to be looked after a little. I hope I didn't confuse you, and I'm sure you will be happy with either choice. Both will produce great Q.
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would have to agree on every point and would add, try a cheap walmart GOSM to get you started I had a $90.00 GOSM that done me fine for years.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  6. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome to the Forum,Jayinct. We are all here to help you in your new intrest[​IMG]. Any question you may have,someone will have the answer.I feel both the Elect. and the Gass units are good, I preferr wood, as it gives me the true taste I am looking for in my "QUE".[​IMG]

    Second best choice (for mee) would be a Webber 22.5",plenty of room to do most anything you want,and small enough to use in a neighborhood. We here at SMF dedicate ourselves to helping others enjoy thier experiences and lead them toward better and better methods and end products.

    As I said,I enjoy my Wood Smokers and use Propane only as a starter, using wood from then on,saves the cost of using a lot of Gas.The wood I use comes from my neighborhood and friends in the Country,it's free and I make friends by Bartering for the wood with the folks around here.

    When I have a party, I go full tilt:



    and have '4' smokers and a fire pit I'm working on(when I get out of my lazy moods),for Grilling and extra space for cooking.I keep the lids on my smokers shut and doing several different meats with different cooking times takes several units.(that's the best argument I could come up with for Trish's choosen 'superlatives' about needing more than ONE.)

    Have fun and as an oldtimer mentioned to me..."Choose what you want and go one size larger";you won't be sorry...[​IMG]

    Gooding and...
  7. jayinct

    jayinct Newbie

    Thanks for all your advice.  I decided to go propane with Camp Chef's Smoke Vault - we'll see how it goes!

    (Nice pics oldschoolbbq, next time include the google map to your house!)
  8. raymo76

    raymo76 Smoking Fanatic

    Good luck on your purchase, let us know how it works out for you.
  9. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Good luck..

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