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Electric vs Charcoal Smokers: What’s the Best to Buy in 2021

Our aim with this article is to address the Electric vs Charcoal Smokers debate so that you can be fully sure what to buy in what circumstances for your need.

Slow and smoked cooking brings out the most flavourful results, and various smokers are used for cooking food at a low temperature in smoke. It’s a traditional practice; however, it’s becoming popular nowadays among people who like to hang out and party a lot.

Smoking and grilling your food brings out the best of the taste and smell and makes it much more tempting, and it’s a healthier way since it requires less oil for cooking. There are numerous smoker options available to choose from according to your need and convenience. You can go for the preferable one for you depending upon your ease of use, experience, and need. 

electric vs charcoal smokers

We will be discussing the two most common smoker types, electric and charcoal smokers here. Both have different specifications and functionalities; hence this will help you select one that suits your precedency.

Electric vs Charcoal Smokers : An In-depth Comparison on Various Parameters

I have used both the types, so I consider myself quite a knowledgeable person for this matter. Here I will be discussing Electric vs Charcoal smokers in detail, and also compare them on different factors. Let’s begin!

Flavor Out-turn:

The flavor obtained by an electric smoker is not as intense as you get from the charcoal smoker, but you can still enjoy a smoky and tender flavor using the advanced electric smoker. However, using wood chips in electric smokers can give your food the required smokey flavor to a great extent. 

Still, electric smokers can not produce much smoke like charcoal smokers; hence it lags in giving the juicy and smokey flavor as it functions digitally.

A charcoal smoker has been used for a long time now. The aroma coming out of the charcoal smoker while smoking the meat or any food is just irresistible. It adds a lot of taste and richness to your food without much oil and spices. Food cooked in charcoal smokers does wonder in bringing out the authentic smoky flavor to you.


Electric smokers are easy to operate as they are powered by electricity and have heating rods to cook and smoke the food. All it needs is to get plugged in, and the heating process starts by itself without any fuss and mess. 

It’s simple to use and manage the temperature as electric smokers maintain the heat by themselves and do their job perfectly. You don’t have to worry about regular invigilance and fuel inputs. If you are a newbie in smoking, an electric smoker is the best for you as it will do everything for you without much effort.

Setting up a charcoal smoker takes a little bit of effort as it requires prior knowledge and experience, and you need to be watchful of the temperature and food all the time so that you can get the right cooking process. 

You can enjoy delicious and tender meat with charcoal smokers if you understand how to adjust the temperatures, distributing the wood chips and charcoal. Hence, if you are a beginner, it will take some time and practice to go through a charcoal smoker’s procedure thoroughly. 

However, if you like experimenting and love the flavorful food and are ready to get untidy messing up with coal and smoke, you must go for a charcoal smoker.

Mobility and Convenience

Since an electric smoker works on electricity, you need to keep in mind that it needs a plug-in point. So, you can use it only in places that have power sources. However, unlike charcoal smokers, you don’t have so much stuff to carry with you, like charcoal, wood chips, etc. 

An electric smoker is more convenient to use than a charcoal smoker as it provides a simple functionality and doesn’t need frequent monitoring. It’s easier to clean and maintain an electric smoker as there is no mess of charcoal ashes and smoke. Be careful not to use it in rainy or snowy weather.

One important feature of a charcoal smoker is that you can use it anywhere you want as you don’t need to plug it in. you need an outdoor space to use a charcoal smoker as it needs a proper setup. You will have to carry wood chips and charcoal with you. 

However, it is quite messy and takes time to clean as well. If you are looking for outdoor fun with a perfect smoky flavored food and are ready to put in some effort and time, you must go for a charcoal smoker. You don’t need to worry about the weather conditions; it can be used in any weather, be it rain or snow.


Electric smokers are relatively high in price as compared to charcoal smokers. It comes with thermostat controls to maintain the temperature, so you don’t have to bother about managing the heat. 

So, if you want to enjoy the smokey flavor of your food with no effort and in less time, then you must consider an electric smoker. Also, you do not need any external fuel here, but electricity. So if electricity is cheap at your place, it’s good for you.

A charcoal smoker is relatively low in price, and anyone can afford to buy it. Because of its cost-effectiveness, it is most popular among smoky food lovers. However, you will need to have a good amount of charcoal and wood chips every time you are using the smoker to add up the cost for you for every use.


There are numerous varieties of smokers available for you to choose from according to your budget and preference. For someone who loves the rich smoky flavor and can enjoy getting their hands dirty with patience, the charcoal smoker would be the best for them. 

However, those who prefer quick and mess-free smoked cooking, especially beginners with no experience handling a charcoal smoker, must go for an electric smoker. Both are good in their way with little pros and cons. 

If you are looking to buy one, be mindful of the environment you will be using it and your budget. Having a charcoal smoker can be fun and adventure for some, whereas it could be tedious and boring for others; hence, it is advisable to choose one (between electric vs charcoal smokers) that suits the best of your needs and capabilities.

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