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Electric Vs Propane Smokers: Which is Best for Your Culinary Adventures in the Yard? (2022)

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Tired with all the preparation, maintenance, cleaning, as well as recurring expenses involved in utilizing a traditional, charcoal-burning cigarette smoker? If so, don’t go believing the only option is to do your food preparation in the kitchen area as well as bypass that awesomely smoky taste profile and those afternoons spent cooking in the yard that most of us like. 2 really easy alternatives to typical charcoal cigarette smokers exist in the form of propane and electric cigarette smokers, both of which are much more problem-free, tidy, and convenient options. However which of the 2 kinds of cigarette smoker is best your culinary adventures in your yards– propane or electric Below, we provide a straight-talking overview to electric or propane cigarette smokers, damaging down the pros and also cons of each kind of smoker and running with their efficiency in each of the metrics that will certainly let you assess which is the best choice for you.

What are the Main Differences Between Electric as well as Propane?

Cigarette smokers come in numerous forms, varying from typical charcoal smokers and also stick or pellet heaters to pot grills and water smokers. Of all these different sorts of smoker, gas as well as electric are probably one of the most efficient, the simplest to use, and offer the best value for money.

As you might have presumed, both of these types of smoke supply a different technique of food preparation your grub: with propane gas or with power.

Normally speaking, electric smokers are very convenient tools, using easy temperature level control as well as set-it-and-forget-it simplicity of usage. These smokers are likewise very simple to keep and also clean.

The only disadvantage to electric smokers is that they are much less portable than gas models owing to their dependence on a power cable, consequently making them less suitable for any person preparation on doing their smoking on camping trips or in a bigger lawn.

Electric cigarette smokers likewise operate at lower temperature levels than gas versions, implying they can be slightly restrictive as relates to the type of cooking/barbecuing you plan on doing.

Propane smokers have 2 main advantages over electric cigarette smokers: first, they’re much more portable since they do not call for a source of power; second of all, they can food preparation at much higher temperature levels.

On the drawback, gas smokers’ temperatures often tend to vary throughout your chef (definitions you might not be able to obtain the best temperatures needed for your particular culinary productions), have recurring fuel prices, and, naturally, utilize a fuel type than can be harmful otherwise utilized properly– something that might be a deal-breaker if the gadget does not have an integrated sensing unit that closes off the flow of gas if it discovers that the fire has been extinguished.

At-a-Glance Pros as well as Cons

Electric Smokers Pros as well as Cons

Just like electric cookers made use of in your home, electric smokers do their cooking using keys power. Similar to your electric cookers in your home, they take a little while to warm up, have a dial that allows you to easily select your cooking temperature levels, as well as our extremely low-maintenance. Some models also have a tray for timber chips to aid you provide your food that extremely longed for great smoky flavoring.


  • Very user friendly, set-and-forget device– simply established your temperature level as well as your timer, kick back, crack open up a beer, and await your food to prepare
  • Much safer than propane versions– propane is a flammable gas as well as, because of this, needs mindful dealing with
  • Very very easy to control cooking temperature level– while some less expensive designs just have three temperature level settings (“reduced”, “medium”, as well as “high”) most versions utilize a temperature level dial like those on kitchen stoves that permit you to be much more accurate
  • Timber chips can be included in offer your food a smoky preference
  • If you reside in a home block as well as intend on food preparation on your terrace or veranda, an electric smoker will possibly be enabled (gas or charcoal smokers possibly not)
  • Capability to prepare at low temperatures suggests they can be used as cool smokers, allowing you to treat meats and also smoke more fragile foods


  • Do not offer the same high-heat capacity of propane smokers
  • A power outlet is called for, implying you may have to spend additional on an expansion cable and also will not be able to take the cigarette smoker on outdoor camping journeys unless you have a generator or visit a well established camping area with power connections
  • Even if you add wood to your electric smoker to get that very desired great smoky flavor, electric cigarette smokers do not burn warm adequate to create a smoke ring
  • Repairing electric units can be tricky as well as in many cases calls for taking the home appliance to a professional
  • Can not be made use of in poor weather

Propane Smokers Pros as well as Cons

Propane cigarette smokers are sustained by propane containers (or, much less commonly, all-natural gas) as well as, contrasted to electric cigarette smokers, can reach a lot higher temperature levels far more quickly. Unlike electric cigarette smokers, gas versions usually feature a heater at the base of the device, complied with by a rack on which you can add wood chips to aid attain a great smoky taste, and deal comparable end results in terms of taste and also appearance as charcoal cigarette smokers.


  • Transportability: propane smokers can be made use of anywhere, as lengthy as you have the strength to carry them!
  • Qualified of cooking at much higher warms than electric smokers
  • Warm up promptly
  • Normally less expensive than electric smokers
  • The taste of food prepared in propane smokers is normally much closer to that cooked in standard charcoal smokers than electric smokers
  • Less complicated torepair than electric cigarette smokers
  • Less complicated to accomplish smoke rings and also bark , both finest features of grill-cooked meat


  • Temperature guideline much less accurate than in electric versions
  • It’s needed to maintain a 2nd propane cylinder convenient for when the initial goes out, which occupies much more storage room
  • Since they are not well insulated, gas cigarette smokers’ cooking temperatures are impacted much more by chilly outside temperature levels
  • Much more dangerous than electric designs owing to their use flammable gas
  • Many most likely not permitted in house buildings

Heat Range

The huge bulk of electric smokers use maximum temperature levels in the 275F-300F variety. While perfect for “reduced and also slow-moving” sluggish food preparation and also making jerkies, such reduced temps indicate long cooking times and also a failure to crank things as much as producing a bark on your food and maintain juiciness.

That stated, among the major advantages to having a electric cooker is that they provide you the capacity to prepare at really reduced temperature levels (as reduced as 150F), thereby enabling you to smoke more fragile foods like fish, make beef jerky, or smoke foods that require a lower warm like cheese as well as veggies. Doing the very same with a propane cigarette smoker, on the various other hand, is tricky because of the trouble involved in keeping the smoker at a constant low temperature.

Propane smokers are a various proposition entirely. These home appliances can be cranked approximately as high as 400F as well as reach such temps in an issue of only 5 or so mins, making them a far better option for cooking foods like crunchy hen, brisket, as well as filets or patties that call for high-heat food preparation to retain the best taste profile.

While many propane cigarette smokers can cook continuously at temperatures in the 220-280F variety, nevertheless, food preparation at reduced temperature levels is hard and also requires you to maintain an eye on the cigarette smoker and make changes to the vents and gas output throughout your chefs.

Utilizing Smokers in Bad Weather

You welcome your good friends around for dinner, head to the store as well as supply up on extra pound upon extra pound of delicious meat and also veg to prepare in your smokers, and afterwards, reduced and also behold, the skies choose to open …

In such circumstances, just one sort of smoker will certainly allow you to go via with your strategies and stay clear of unsatisfactory your visitors: a propane cigarette smoker.

Propane smokers, on the various other hand, might shed a little in the means of performance and cooking rates if food preparation in wind and also light rainfall, however don’t offer any kind of security problems.

If you occur to reside in an area where there are regular power failures, it’s additionally worth birthing in mind that a propane -powered cigarette smoker will be great to go even when the electrical power gets cut.

Ease of Use

Let’s begin with the bottom line: if ease of usage is high up on your checklist of top priorities, a electric smoker will be a much better option than a propane smoker in all but a few cases.

Although you don’t require a PhD in thermodynamics to run a propane cigarette smoker , they do require a little bit more careful handling and maintenance than electric models. Likewise, when cooking with a propane cigarette smoker, you’ll need to be prepared to do some childcare of the device to make sure the temperature variations do not lead to uncooked or charred nosh and/or you don’t accidentally start a bonfire in your lawn.

While with electric smokers you can simply set the dial, include your food and after that remove to take treatment of laundry, treat preparation, or grab a fast shower prior to the guests get here and so on, with propane versions you’ll have to check the smoker’s temperature level as well as readjust gas flow every few mins.

Cooking with a propane cigarette smoker, as a result, requires a degree of understanding concerning smoking cigarettes, a component of ability, and a great deal extra patience. Electric cigarette smokers, on the various other hand, need fingers. Oh, and also a power electrical outlet. Past these two requirements, there ain’t far more to it!

Cigarette Smokers for Better Tasting Food

While this may be a really subjective topic, the usual agreement on which kind of cigarette smoker makes the tastiest food is that propane smokers are the hands-down victor.

Beyond having the ability to cook outside, one of the main factors we choose to cook our food in a smoker is for the tasty flavor account these appliances permit us to achieve. In this regard, propane cigarette smokers much beat their electric cigarette smoker relatives, producing a taste profile that is a lot closer to that supplied by wood as well as charcoal cigarette smokers.

While electric cigarette smokers no question make yummy grub, due to their reduced heat as well as inability to create the same chemicals that create a smoke ring or create bark, the end outcome is all too frequently also comparable to what we could attain in the stove in our kitchen areas.

The bottom line? In terms of taste, it’s a definite win for propane

Smokers for the Best Value

Gas cigarette smokers are usually a little more affordable to buy than electric models but the worth for money provided by any kind of cigarette smoker isn’t figured out just by the rate you pay at the check out.

Along with the price of acquisition, both propane and also electric cigarette smokers have significant running costs that can add up in the long-term.

Although the cost of propane gas as well as electrical energy can differ widely from one location to an additional, working on averages we can approximate that the running cost for a propane cigarette smoker for one hour comes in at around $ 0.50, whereas a electric smoker is most likely to be around $ 0.10

While this difference might seem minimal, if you’re a big follower of cigarette smoking as well as use your smoker frequently throughout the year, the distinction between both running may simply be adequate to sway your decisions.

Reliability and also Durability

Both propane and also electric versions of cigarette smoker are, essentially, really reliable. That stated, in the long run, propane cigarette smokers are more probable to endure the test of time with no problems.

This is mainly since of the simpleness of their style. Many propane smokers include merely a box or barrel that is attached to a regulatory authority, significance, in other words, that there isn’t a whole lot that can go incorrect.

Electric smokers, on the various other hand, count on an electronic control board to function. Any individual that has ever owned any kind of sort of digital gadgets (all of us, right?) recognizes just how responsible they are to malfunctioning and also breakage.

Sadly, electric cigarette smokers are no exemption to this rule, and the moist, greasy, and hot environment around your smokers just makes its electric elements all the extra likely to fail somewhere down the line, specifically in less costly models in which the control panel is not completely sealed as well as weather-proof.

Best Smoker Brands

A few of the best producers of electric as well as propane cigarette smokers around include the following:

Masterbuilt : This brand has been on the go for virtually fifty years as well as making a variety of reputable charcoal, propane, electric, as well as pellet cigarette smokers.

Char-Broil : This brand name has been making grills of one form or another because 1948 and today stands for the closest mass-market rival to Masterbuilt.

Smoke Hollow : Bought by Masterbuilt in 2017, this brand name makes a number of economical electric and gas cigarette smokers of all sizes.

Camp Chef : Established in 1990, this brand name manufactures a handful of high-grade gas versions along with its standard flat-top grills, pellet grills, and also camp cooktops.

Bradley Smoker : This Canadian brand’s directory includes a variety of very well-made and reliable electric smokers, every one of which can be utilized with the brand name’s flavor-enhancing bisquettes

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is a smoke ring?

A: In the grilling world, a “smoke ring” refers to a band of pink-colored meat outside of any kind of smoked meat and also is frequently considered the trademark of juiciness and also inflammation.

Smoke rings are triggered by nitric acid that develops up externally of the meat when the nitrogen dioxide from the smoker’s burning wood blends with water in the meat. Because of this, it is impossible to achieve a smoke ring with propane or electric smokers that do not utilize timber.

Q: How long do propane tanks last on a propane smoker?

A: A basic 20-pound propane tank must last regarding 18-20 hrs on a lot of grills.

Q: Do electric smokers utilize timber chips?

A: The split in between electric cigarette smokers that include a wood chip frying pan and those that don’t be around 60/ 40. Nevertheless, also when your electric smoker does not have a timber ship pan you can still utilize timber chips to enhance flavor by wrapping a handful of wood chips in light weight aluminum foil or positioning them in an empty tin can as well as stashing these at the bottom of your cigarette smokers.

Q: How can I far better shield my electric or propane smoker?

A: Most cigarette smoker brand names market optional insulating jackets for cigarette smokers that use a light weight aluminum cover to keep in warmth and smoke. While you can likewise pick these up in backyard shops or from various sellers online, the variations made by the maker of the your smokers are most likely to be the best bet since they are made to fit the smoker flawlessly.

Q: How do you clean the within of a smoker?

A: Remove all of the shelfs, the water pan, drip tray, as well as smoker box and clean any kind of oil or residue towards all-time low of the smoker. Brush up all of the residue and crumbs out of the cooking chamber. After that, utilizing cozy soapy water, scrub the interior surfaces of the smoker with a sponge as well as wipe down with a towel to dry.

Best Propane Smoker

1. Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

This 40-inch device wins our ballot as the best propane cigarette smoker on the market in 2022 on account of one feature that essentially negates one of the most generally cited stopping working of propane versions– specifically, a thermostatic temperature level control function that allows you to manage the circulation of gas to the burner for far even more exact food preparation at both low and high temperature levels.

This smoker isn’t the most affordable design available, granted, but it additionally flaunts four chrome-coated racks that give area for grub for all the household, can prepare anywhere between 180 to 350 ° F for included convenience, is much safer than other gas cigarette smokers thanks to a sensing unit that shuts down the gas circulation if it identifies that the fire has gone out, and also utilizes a single stainless steel burner with a 15,7500 BTU output and also a heat diffuser located over the heater that distributes the heat extra evenly throughout the cooking chamber.

All told, a really well-crafted, sturdy, as well as reputable appliance that goes one action further than a lot of gas cigarette smokers many thanks to that all-important heat-regulation feature.

What We Like

  • Thermostatic control permits you to prepare at consistent temperature levels
  • Fuel scale allows you to know when you’re concerning to lose ground
  • Great temperature level range (180-350F
  • Tires allow you move the smoker around your deck or yard easily
  • Glass door frontage lets you maintain an eye on your food while it chefs

What We Don’t Like

  • The one-year service warranty period is a little on the short side compared to rival brands

Runner-Up Propane Smoker

Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36 ″ Propane Smoker

For those of you working with a tighter budget plan, the Cuisinart 36″ Vertical Propane Smoker is an excellent choice that doesn’t make a lot of compromises contrasted to pricier versions of smoker.

Like the Masterbuilt ThermoTemp XL, this cigarette smoker utilizes four removable steel grill racks that permit you to keep different sorts of food different when food preparation as well as toss sufficient in there to feed the entire family (as well as maybe even a few of the next-door neighbors, as well!).

It also features a duo of doors that allow you to include timber chips without allowing every one of the warmth escape, an adjustable gas supply, a 40-inch hose and regulatory authority that affixes quickly to a basic propane storage tank, and an integrated thermometer to allow you to check interior temperature levels.

It could not have a few of the bells and whistles featured in the Masterbuilt model included above, yet in regards to worth for cash, this cigarette smoker’s a winner all day long!

What We Like

  • Fairly valued
  • Durable and durable
  • 45 square feet of indoor area
  • 4 smoking/cooking racks
  • 3-year service warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • No home window in door to inspect on progress of your food
  • Difficult to readjust temperature
  • Bad for reduced and sluggish chefs owing to absence of temperature level change

Best Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt 30-Inch Digital Electric Smoker

The Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker is a splendidly simple device that is ideal for those who desire a low-maintenance, efficient, as well as versatile electronic cigarette smoker that will not cost a fortune.

While available in larger as well as smaller models, this 30″ cigarette smoker has 730 square inches of interior space and 4 cooking racks, which should be sufficient for a lot of users not bent on feeding football teams or little armies (!).

It also features a handy, user-friendly, integrated digital control board that allows you to set the smoker’s inner temperature level to anywhere in between 100 and 275F as well as control the cooking time.

What we such as most around this smoker, nonetheless, is that– not likely lots of competitors– it’s very easy to tidy thanks to its chrome-coated stainless-steel products as well as likewise reaches your chosen cooking temperatures in just a few mins after powering up. As well as unlike the vast bulk of propane cigarette smokers around, additionally, this smoker keeps a constant inner temperature and can be left to move on with food preparation while you look after the kids, respond to emails, or unwind, bum around, and/or crack open up a beer …!

What We Like

  • Reasonably priced for a 30″ cigarette smoker
  • Really very easy to use many thanks to digital control panel
  • Easy to clean
  • Strong insulation implies it carries out well even in cool temperatures
  • Ideal for chilly smoking cigarettes
  • 730 square inches of cooking area
  • Convenient wood chip tray system enables you to add chips without unlocking and losing warmth

What We Don’t Like

  • Timber chip tray is little as well as needs regular filling up during longer cooks
  • Slim cooking racks might not have the ability to suit larger cuts of meat
  • Extremely short guarantee period (90 days)

Runner-up Electric Smoker

Old Smokey Electric Smoker

The Old Smokey Electric Smoker is a frill-free workhorse of a smoker that could not win any type of rewards for fancy features however ticks practically every box that needs ticking for users who want a simple device that finishes the job with no difficulty.

This compact, vat-style cigarette smoker flaunts a respectable 280 square inches of cooking area as well as makes use of one of the simplest layouts you’re ever most likely to find across. This simpleness, we ought to include, is a function instead than a pest, essentially implying there are far fewer parts than can damage or fall short as well as making the Old Smokey more probable to keep efficiency in the lengthy run.

This isn’t the most sizable cigarette smoker available and also only has two cooking trays over its drip pan and chip tray. Nonetheless, for smaller sized households, pairs, or those that do not mind refilling every now and then, this elegant little cigarette smoker is a victor.

What We Like

  • Easy on the eye …
  • … and the budget
  • “Plug-and-play” ease
  • Reliable and sturdy
  • Easy to tidy

What We Don’t Like

  • No access door to add chips
  • Fairly tiny capability
  • No window in door to maintain an eye on your eats
  • Scanty insulation means it’s not the best entertainer in cool temperatures or high winds
  • Exterior metal surface area can get very hot
  • No temperature scale

The Verdict

Your choice on whether to go with an electric or a propane smoker will certainly inevitably come down to where your top priorities lie.

If the top products on your listing of preferable capabilities and also features in a smoker consist of preference, rapid cooking, as well as the capability to shift your cigarette smokers around the lawn or take it on the weird outdoor camping trip, then a propane cigarette smoker is certainly the way to go.

If, however, you would certainly choose a low-maintenance kinda appliance that is much safer, less complicated to make use of, can run at lower temps, as well as letting you move on with other tasks while it chefs your supper, then a electric smoker is likely to be a far better wager.

Whichever sort of cigarette smoker you pick, we’re certain you’ll be smoking up lots of a magical banquet in the years to come!

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.