Electric Vs Charcoal Smoker – Which Is Better To Smoke?

Which type of smoker is suitable for you between an electric vs charcoal smoker?

It is not easy to choose a smoker between electric and charcoal smokers because they are excellent in cooking and they are made of high-quality materials.

Though the performance of them is praiseworthy, they have some dissimilarities and we will make you clear why these two are different from each other so that you can make your own choice.

Let’s learn the differences between electric vs charcoal smoker.

Electric Smoker

The electric smoker is one of the great inventions in the world. The electric smoker comes in various shapes, sizes, and settings. It is reliable and portable from one place to another.

Instead of using an open flame, an electric smoker relies on wood chips. Wood chips are great for an electric smoker. If you want to cook meals, you do not take a lot of time to cook with this.

Electric smokers are suitable for steaks, fish, or chicken and these types of foods do not take a lot of time to cook in an electric smoker. 

Most people like to have a smoky flavor that comes from a compound called phenol. To get the wood to emit this compound and other phenolic compounds, the wood that you would like to use to cook your meals needs to reach a temperature of at least 1100 degrees F. 

The combo of heat and smoke generated cooks and adds flavor to the foods that you have set to cook. 

Charcoal Smoker

A charcoal smoker smokes food over a long period with low and indirect heat that is generated by burning charcoal. A charcoal smoker and a charcoal grill are not the same things that do not mix up.

Charcoal burns at the bottom of the smoker or the side of the smoker to generate heat, and flavored wood chips or chunks burn. Burning the wood chips right on top of it creates smoke and this smoke added flavor to your meal.

Altogether, your meal gradually cooks while gaining a smoky flavor. 

It is a basic set of making smoky food but you need to do a lot more. You have to give more attention to the charcoal smoker than other smokers do. You have to monitor the temperature constantly, adjust the dampers, and replenish the wood chips during longer smokes.

After doing all the tasks successfully, it will give you an excellent result. 

Electric Vs Charcoal Smoker: The Key Difference Between

Difference Between Electric Vs Charcoal Smoker?

Electric vs charcoal smokers have some similarities and dissimilarities. Now we will describe the basic differences between these two smokers.

Food Quality

Electric smokers provide you with good quality food but the flavor is not as deep or smoky. On the other hand, charcoal smoker provides excellent food and you will get depth flavor and intense smokiness.

Easy To Use

The electric smoker is not that difficult to use and extremely simple to operate. In a charcoal smoker, you need to monitor the temperature continuously, Steeper learning curve, learning to adjust vents and baffles.


The electric smoker is used for smoking only and charcoal is used for smoking, roasting, possibly grilling in the firebox.

Temperature Range

The temperature range of an electric smoker is approximately 100F to 275 F and charcoal has approximately 125F to 350F.

Cooking Capacity

An electric smoker can cook on average about the same, but with fewer large options, and the charcoal smoker can cook more options for larger capacity smokers.


Complex electronic components can be a concern to prepare food in electric smokes and charcoal smoker is very simple and reliable and does not have many complicated parts.


When you are using an electric smoker you do not need to worry to cook in windy weather, but you cannot use it in wet weather. On the contrary, a charcoal smoker can be used in all conditions, but cold old temperatures and high winds can be problematic.


The electric smoker is easy to maintain and a charcoal smoker is also easy to maintain but it needs more cleaning.


An electric smoker is more expensive than a charcoal smoker is. 


When you are confused about two things at a time, then you need to find out the differences in the product so that you can decide the right choice. To make your confusion clear, we have identified the differences between electric vs charcoal smoker in this article.

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Carolina Arey

A passionate writer and chicken fry lover... :D