The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (2023)

Is it possible to cook and eat smoked chicken leg at tailgate party?

You can bet all you need is a portable smoker.

These are the smallest smokers you can get and they come with all the same features and options as the full size garden models.

But just because they're portable doesn't always mean they can go anywhere. Choosing the right smoker for your getaway means carefully evaluating the sizes and capacities that will work, as well as the available fuel source.

Our recommendations for the best portable smoker:

Satisfied show

The 5 best portable smokers in the test

We've selected the best laptop option for each type of smoker to review here.

Choose the one that best suits your needs and enjoy a delicious barbecue while camping or traveling. Or why not take the smoker over to a friend's house and cook a great dinner for everyone!

Best Portable Charcoal Smoker: Weber Smokey Mountain 14-Inch Charcoal Stove

The Weber Smokey Mountain is a small bullet style charcoal smoker. It's 32 inches tall and weighs just over 20 pounds, so it's not too big to toss in the back of your truck.

Still, a whole chicken or even a small turkey will fit in this smoker.

The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (1)


  • type of smoker:Vertical charcoal smoker
  • kitchen area:286 m2 on two levels
  • Weight:24 pounds
  • Construction Materials:Painted steel and porcelain enameled steel
  • Dimensions:14.7" x 14.7" x 31.4" (width x depth x height)
  • Guarantee:10, 5 or 2 years depending on the part (click link above for more details on BBQGuys)

This range has two 13 1/2 inch diameter cooking grates for a total cooking area of ​​286 square inches.

There isn't enough space to fit a large piece of meat, as everything must be about a foot long. Of course, you can cut the ribs in half and cut the breast.

One thing we love about this smoker is its simple yet effective design. It is built with quality materials and workmanship.

Its body is made from powder-coated steel to withstand the elements, and the chrome grills are durable and easy to clean.

The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (2)

Smokey Mountain doesn't take long to get hot enough to cook and can reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks to well-thought-out dampers, it is very easy to control the temperature and keep it within a range of 20 degrees.

The beauty of this smoker is that it's totally simple. No fancy electronics, no electricity, nothing. A smoker's version of Weber's world-famous black grill, it's just as reliable and hassle-free.

what we love

  • light and compact
  • Made from durable materials
  • Accessible
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Adjustable vents for temperature control.
  • Includes protective cover
  • good guarantee

what we don't do

  • It cannot accommodate large pieces of meat.
(Video) The BEST Smoker for camping | Smoking Pork Shoulder | MasterBuilt Portable Smoker.

Best Portable Pellet Smoker: Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Trek WiFi Controlled Pellet Grill

Green Mountain's Davy Crockett Trek is probably one of the smallest pellet grills on the market, but that doesn't mean it's all that small. What contributes to its "portable" brand is its light weight and short legs, meaning it can be stored in a relatively small space.

The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (3)


  • type of smoker:wood pellet grill
  • kitchen area:219 m2 on two levels
  • Weight:63 pounds
  • Construction Materials:Painted steel and stainless steel
  • Dimensions:24" x 16" x 32" (width x depth x height)
  • Guarantee:3 years

The Green Mountain Trek's grill holds 219 square inches of food, and the systems are powered by a 12-volt car battery, car accessory outlet, or 110-volt household outlet. This is great for hatchbacks or RVs as you can draw power directly from your vehicle. On average, the system consumes only 60 watts of power.

The overall dimensions of this smoker are 24 x 16 x 32 inches and it weighs 63 pounds.

Pellet grills have the extreme advantage of foolproof temperature control. This can heat your food between 150 and 550 degrees.

The Green Mountain Trek is also complete with Wi-Fi app control from your phone. In addition, it includes a probe thermometer that communicates directly with the app.

what we love

  • Wide temperature range: Ideal for smoking and burning
  • Easy to use with WiFi control
  • Holds the set temperature well
  • Dual voltage control for multiple power options
  • Includes meat probe

what we don't do

  • relatively small cooking area

Read our article with a comparison withGreen Mountain x Traeger Pelletgrillsto find more interesting options.

Best Portable Propane Smoker: Masterbuilt MPS 20B Patio-2 Portable Smoker

For closeted smokers, there's nothing special about the Masterbuilt MPS 20B other than its small size. It weighs just 22 pounds and measures 16 x 24 x 23 inches.

The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (4)


  • kitchen on two levels
  • Weight:22 pounds
  • Construction Materials:Painted steel, stainless steel and chromed steel
  • Dimensions:23.4″ x15.9″ x 23.2″ (Wide x Bottom x Tall)
  • Guarantee:1 again

This portable smoker features a 5,000 BTU burner that is rated to work with 1 pound camping propane canisters, but you can use an adapter to use larger standard bottles.

(Video) The Best Portable Pellet Grill & Smoker for Tailgating | Gear Breakdowns with Mark Graham

According to the company, the two shelves have enough space to accommodate a turkey, two ribs, four chickens or two pork loins. Notably, the shelf has a surface area of ​​272 square inches across two wire shelves. Side handles help with transportation.

what we love

  • compact and light
  • Ideal para camping e tailgating.
  • good price point
  • Enough space for cooking

what we don't do

  • Use one-pound gas bottles that don't last long
  • You may need to tweak it a bit to get great results.

Best Portable Electric Smoker: The Model #1 Smokin-It Electric Smoker

This 120-volt electric smoker draws about three amps with its 400-watt heating element.

According to the company, this is enough to cook up to 22 kilos of meat. It can get between 100 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (5)


  • kitchen on three levels
  • Weight:60 pounds
  • Construction Materials:stainless steel
  • Dimensions:15" x 19" x 20,4" (L x P x A)
  • Guarantee:3 years

This is a relatively small smoker with a stainless steel body that sits on 3-inch wheels. The three wire shelves measure 12 x 13 inches.

The complete unit is 21 inches tall and weighs 60 pounds. While it doesn't consume a lot of power, you still need to have a standard electrical outlet nearby to operate the Smokin-It #1.

what we love

  • very easy to use
  • Convenient temperature control with thermostat
  • High quality materials and workmanship.
  • double wall insulation
  • Easy to move with wheels.

what we don't do

  • Requires 120 volt outlet

Best Portable Kamado Smoker: Char-Griller Akorn Jr. Charcoal Grill and Smoker

MajorityKamado Style Smokersthey are too big and heavy to be remotely portable. However, there are exceptions, and the Akorn Jr. it's great.

The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (6)


  • kitchen area: 153 square meters
  • Weight:37 pounds
  • Construction Materials:Powder coated steel, porcelain coated steel and cast iron
  • Dimensions:20,5" x 21,5" x 25" (L x P x A)
  • Guarantee:1 again

Akorn Jr. it is constructed of triple wall powder coated steel with a porcelain coated interior. The rack is 14 inches in diameter, giving you a 153 square inch cooking surface.

With the large, easy-to-use ventilation openings, you can easily regulate the temperature between 200 and 700 degrees. This smoker only weighs 37 pounds and is just 25 inches tall, making it one of the smallest and most versatile gadgets on our list.

To facilitate transportation, Akorn Jr. it has side handles, but could be a little more sturdy. The lid has a strong seal to keep smoke in and the body comes in a variety of colors.

All in all, this is an attractive, reasonably priced kamado that will stand the test of time as a smoker and grill.

what we love

  • compact and light
  • Accessible
  • Great thermal insulation
  • fuel efficiency
  • easy to assemble

what we don't do

  • The side handles could be stronger.
  • small kitchen area

Main features of a portable smoker

Finding a smoker that strikes the right balance between ease of use and portability is a challenge. Smokers are naturally large and bulky items. They are usually designed for large amounts of meat.

Low and slow is the smoking pit master's motto. Once you understand the limitations of a portable smoker, you must also carefully consider how you intend to use it and how portable you need it to be.

A portable grill that only fits a few hamburgers can be very compact and lightweight, but you'll still need a smoker to cook a prime rib or a whole chicken.

Some of the most important things to consider when buying a portable smoker are:

Weight:Smokehouses are generally quite bulky and heavy, requiring a suitable enclosed area for the food and an airtight door or lid. Think about how much you need to transport the smoker and choose accordingly.

Size and Capacity:There should be enough room for the fuel source to burn, room for the food, and room for the smoke to circulate around it. All this makes smokers generally quite large, which broadens the definition of "portable". Choose a model that will allow you to cook enough food but still fit in your trunk or trailer.

Portability:Some smokers come with folding handles and legs, making it easy to carry and fit in your car.

Easy to use:When you're traveling or camping, you want your grill to be fuss-free and without additional fuss. This means that the smoker must be reliable and easy to set up and use.

Versatility and temperature range:Smoking usually takes place at temperatures around 250 degrees, well below average oven cooking temperatures. This means that even small pieces of chicken or fish will take an hour or two to smoke. You can make things cook a little faster on the fly by turning the heat up to 300 or 350 degrees. This is probably tastier for an outdoor party or a day at the beach. If that's your goal, then versatility is what you want: you're looking for a small smoker/grill that has a good temperature range and control.

fuel source:The final thing to consider is which fuel source you intend to use. Each has its own list of pros and cons. But again, it all comes down to how and where you use your portable smoker.

Types of portable smokers

Smokers are lit with charcoal, pellets, propane or electricity.

In this section, we take a closer look at the different types of smokers and how they meet the requirement of being portable.

charcoal smoker

Charcoal is the traditional option for smoking meat, but it is also the most difficult to handle. Getting the coals to burn slowly at a lower temperature is a challenge.

You need to master ventilation and have a technique for making the embers ignite one at a time instead of all at once.

While charcoal adds a little smoky flavor, it's not nearly enough to "smoke" your food.

To get the flavorful results you want, you still need to mix the charcoal fuel with soaked wood chips or pieces. They produce smoke as they burn, but they also make controlling the temperature of the coals even more complicated.

The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (7)

Demand tracking:Regardless of how good it is, charcoal smokers require a lot of supervision when cooking. You'll need to keep an eye on the coals to make sure they burn slowly, and refill or rearrange the charcoal grate as needed. A charcoal smoker requires more handling and handling than any other type.

(Video) Portable Pellet Grill: ✅ Best Portable Pellet Grills 2022 (Buying Guide)

Awesome for backyards and camping:The best thing about charcoal smokers is that they are usually compact and lightweight and you don't have to worry about electricity or gas tanks.


Pellet smokers are fired with wood pellets, which are available in many types of wood. The advantage here is that the fuel source and smoke source are the same.

An electrically controlled auger feeds the pellets into the burner box and automatically regulates temperature and combustion rate.

The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (8)

Easy temperature control:Pellet smokers are suitable for beginners as they have electronic controls to maintain the temperature. Aside from refilling the pellet tank, you don't have much work to do. Since heat regulation is largely automatic, it can also be packaged smaller in size than many other types of incense.

Versatile:Electronic control also means you can set these devices to smoke or grill with pinpoint precision, making them highly versatile.

Requires electricity:For mobility reasons, it is important to know that pellet barbecues require an electrical connection. Some may have built-in batteries to power them, but most devices need to be plugged into an electrical outlet of some sort.

steaming propane

steaming propanethey are usually installed in a cabinet that looks a bit like a small refrigerator.

Below, a standard propane burner heats a wooden skillet. You put soaked wood chips or pieces in the pan, and as the burner heats up, smoke is released.

The food is placed on wire racks mounted above, and of course the cupboard is sealed to trap much of the smoke and heat.

The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (9)

Good temperature control but limited range:Adjusting the temperature in the cabinet is relatively easy with the propane regulator. Most have built-in port thermometers. But gas smokers are generally not designed to get food very hot, so many will have trouble heating beyond standard smoking temperatures of around 275 degrees.

Gas bottle powered:Smaller portable smokers are powered by one-pound camping propane bottles. They are available at many large retailers or hardware stores, but they are expensive. They're also disposable, which can be daunting if you use the smoker frequently. You can purchase adapters to operate your smoker with standard 20 pound interchangeable cylinders.

electric smokers

Electric smokers work like propane smokers, but instead of using a propane canister, they plug into an electrical outlet. An electrical resistance heats the wooden pot and releases the smoke.

there are also manyeconomical electric smokersavailable in the market, which makes them an excellent economical option.

The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (10)

Suitable for beginners:The heat level of an electric smoker is easily controlled with a thermostat, just like a stove. This allows beginners and veterans to smoke.

Needs and output:These can be useful and inexpensive options if you want to have power on hand. However, the electric heating element consumes quite a bit of energy, so you cannot run it from a car battery or outlet.

Kamado Smokers and Grills

Kamado style grills are some of the most versatile smokers/stoves you can buy. However, they are typically not portable, with thick ceramic bodies weighing in at over 100 pounds.

But there are some Kamado style grills that are made from double or triple wall steel. They have smaller form factors and are easier to transport.

The best portable smokers for camping and tailgating put to the test (11)

Excellent heat retention:Kamados use coal as a fuel source and work similarly to a charcoal grill. But its thicker walls retain heat better and its ventilation designs are far superior. The result is that controlling the temperature on a kamado grill is much easier than on any other type of charcoal stove. This makes them versatile, meaning you can easily smoke or grill them.

Frequently asked questions about portable smokers

What kind of wood chips or pellets should I use for smoking?

In general, woods with stronger, richer flavors, such as mesquite and walnut, are considered better for brisket and pork.

Pecan, maple, apple and cherry wood produce a milder, sweeter flavor and are often used for chicken and fish.

But it's really a matter of personal taste and you can also use the softer woods for brisket, ribs and pork. And why not try mixing different woods to obtain a more balanced and complex flavor?

What is the best portable smoker for camping?

The Weber Smokey Mountain is a great choice for a portable camping smoker. It's compact, lightweight and affordable. All you need to make a delicious smoked meal is your smoker, charcoal and some wood chips for a more smoky flavor.

Another excellent choice is the Davy Crocket Pellet Smoker from Green Mountain Grills. It's easy to use, but in addition to wood pellets, you need electricity to use it.

If you want a gas smoker, our recommendation is the Masterbuilt MPS 20B. This gas smoker only weighs 22 pounds and uses handy 1 pound propane bottles as fuel.

Are electric smokers suitable for camping?

Electric smokers are very easy to use and are good for beginners. The only issue with using it while camping is the power requirement. Most devices require a 120 volt outlet.

(Video) Which grill is best for tailgating and traveling? | Traeger Ranger vs. Traeger Tailgater


What is the best smoker America's Test Kitchen? ›

Our favorite smoker overall is the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 22".

Do electric smokers work well? ›

Electric smokers are not as versatile as gas owing to the lower temperature range they operate within (a feature that makes them excellent for cold smoking). Gas smokers can reach higher temperatures and are far more portable – which makes them a versatile option.

What smoker gives the most smoke flavor? ›

Charcoal Smokers

Charcoal tends to tie with wood pellets in terms of the fuel that adds the most to the flavor. The tradeoff for this extra flavor is that charcoal smokers tend to be a little more labor-intensive than electric or gas ones, requiring more set-up, babysitting, and cleaning.

What kind of smoker does Guy Fieri use? ›

As for his smoking weapon of choice? Fieri swears by the Ole Hickory Grill (which costs between $3,000 and $4,500), but for beginners he recommends a pellet smoker. Pellet grills — cylindrical-shaped smokers that combine elements of charcoal smokers, gas grills, and kitchen ovens — are sold online for under $1,000.

What smoker does meat eater use? ›

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 Pellet Grill | MeatEater.

What is the quickest meat to smoke? ›

Chicken wings are one of the easiest meats to smoke for beginners as it is also the quickest to prepare and cook. Smoked wings have all the flavor of other meats like ribs or pork butt except in a smaller package. Smoking chicken wings can add a whole new dimension to the flavor and aromas of this classic finger food.

What are the 4 types of smokers? ›

6 Types of Smokers: Wood-Burning or Otherwise
  • Stick Burners. As the name implies, these smokers (like the offsets Aaron uses) rely solely on wood as their fuel source. ...
  • Charcoal Smokers. ...
  • Pellet Smokers. ...
  • Gas Smokers. ...
  • Electric Smokers. ...
  • Kettle Grills.
Sep 7, 2021

What can you smoke in a smoker but not meat? ›

Best Foods to Smoke That Aren't From the Meat Department
  • Whole Cabbage Head. Cook this baby at around 225 degrees Fahrenheit. ...
  • Tomatoes. Why limit yourself to basic pasta sauces and salsas? ...
  • Cheese. Yes, you can smoke cheese. ...
  • Butter and Cream. These products require a cold-smoke environment. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Salt. ...
  • Ketchup.

Which is better electric or charcoal or propane smoker? ›

Pick the Meat Smoker That Fits you Best

If you're after convenience above all else, go with an electric smoker. If you want the best smoky flavor at all costs, then you'll want a charcoal meat smoker. If you mainly want convenience, but you'd like better flavor than the electric offers, get a propane smoker.

What is the best beef to smoke in an electric smoker? ›

Chuck roasts, shoulder roasts, and cross ribs have high-fat content that is perfect for slow cooking inside an electric smoker and you can expect a juicy and moist piece of meat after it's done.

Is a pellet or wood chip smoker better? ›

In almost all smoking scenarios, wood pellets are superior to wood chips because they burn drier and slower, which means better temperature control and greater efficiency. They also produce enhanced flavor.

What is the quickest thing to smoke on a smoker? ›

Quick options are lamb breast, lamb chops and leg of lamb can be done in just over 3 hours.
  • Smoked Pork Tenderloin. Bacon Wrapped Smoked Pork Tenderloin. ...
  • Smoked Breakfast Fatty. ...
  • Smoked Hot Dogs. ...
  • Smoked Tri Tip. ...
  • Smoked Hamburgers. ...
  • Smoked Chicken Wings. ...
  • Smoked Whole Chicken. ...
  • Smoked Chicken Tenders.
Apr 1, 2022

What are the hardest meats to smoke? ›

What is the hardest meat to smoke? Brisket is the holy grail of smoking. Everyone from competitive cooks to dedicated pit masters and barbecue enthusiasts agree that beef brisket is the hardest meat to get right.

What are 3 types of smoker? ›

There are three main types of smoker grill options: gas, electric and charcoal. This guide will help you identify the best smokers for bbq according to your unique needs. Tip: Pellet smokers are a hybrid of gas and electric varieties, offering the best of both worlds.

Is a propane smoker better than pellet smoker? ›

Propane smokers can be brought up to heat quickly, and it is easier to control the temperature with gas than it is with organic combustibles, like wood, pellets, or charcoal. One of the best things about a propane smoker is that they are reasonably compact, lightweight, and don't need a socket around to work.

What is the name of the best smoker in the world? ›

The Char-Broil Deluxe won Best Overall in our Electric Smoker Roundup for its consistency and ease of use. Combining the convenience of smoking with wood chips and the precision of digital controls, the Deluxe is versatile and easy to operate.

What do professional smokers use? ›

There are six fuel types that are used in commercial smoking: wood, charcoal, wood pellets, electricity, natural gas, and propane. Wood and charcoal are the most popular and traditional fuel types used for smoking meats.

Who is the best pitmaster in America? ›

America's most influential BBQ pitmasters and personalities
  1. Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue. ...
  2. John Markus,"BBQ Pitmasters" ...
  3. Myron Mixon, Jack's Old South BBQ. ...
  4. Louie, Bobby and Wayne Mueller, Louie Mueller BBQ. ...
  5. Frederick Louis Fountaine, Louie Mueller BBQ.
Mar 20, 2018

What is a Texas style smoker? ›

The steel offset smoker is ubiquitous in Texas barbecue. Its torpedolike cooking chamber, with a tall smokestack on one end and a low-riding firebox on the other, is the symbol of Texas-style barbecue in and outside the state.

What is a super smoker? ›

WHAT IS SUPER SMOKE? Traeger's Super Smoke mode lets you blast your food with 100% hardwood smoke. This breakthrough in grilling technology revolves around precision fan control, enabling your Traeger grill to get the maximum delivery of smoke at temperatures from 165°F up to 225°F degrees.

What brand smoker does Aaron Franklin use? ›

Aaron Franklin, master barbecue pitmaster and owner of Franklin Barbecue, has designed and released his own smoker. The pit is an offset smoker (the firebox, where the fuel burns, is attached to the hip of the grill) made of 600-plus pounds of steel.

What is the trick to smoking meat? ›

Go Low and Slow

The best way to smoke is slowly using a low, indirect with the addition of wood smoke. If you're using a charcoal grill, build your fire on one side of the grill, and place your meat on the opposite side. The meat should never be directly above a flame when smoking.

What is the best meat to slow smoke? ›

The best meats to smoke are fatty cuts like beef brisket, pork shoulder and ribs. Although the smoking process can dry out some types of meat, the high fat content of brisket and pork shoulder help keep them moist, tender and delicious. Get more tips for smoking below!

Are meat smokers worth it? ›

Most meat geeks agree that a smoker is a better option than a grill for cooking most types of meat. The large "smoke ring" when you get the meat apart indicates the intense flavor of the meat.

What do you soak meat in before smoking? ›

For juicy and delicious smoked meat, you should use brine. Even if you soak it for one or two hours, that's still more than enough time for your meat to absorb the saltwater. You can then add your meat to your smoker and allow it to smoke as normal.

Do you flip meat when smoking? ›

It can be even more challenging now that we've discouraged flipping the meat while smoking. But don't worry too much about this, as it is an easy task to accomplish. The best way to know if your meat is ready is by using a cooking thermometer to monitor the internal temperature.

What meat takes 5 hours to smoke? ›

Instead of over 10 hours of cooking time, a good chuck roast can be smoked in just 5 - 6 hours. This is another cut where you want to make sure you get a good quality beef grade and look for marbling throughout.

How many cigarettes do you have to smoke to be a smoker? ›

'Currently smoking' refers to someone who has smoked more than 100 cigarettes (including hand rolled cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos etc) in their lifetime and has smoked in the last 28 days.

How many cigarettes is considered a smoker? ›

Amount smoked: The average number of cigarettes smoked per day, on days when cigarettes were smoked. Current smoker: An adult who has smoked 100 cigarettes in his or her lifetime and who currently smokes cigarettes.

What do you smoke for the Super Bowl? ›

17 Best Super Bowl & Game Day BBQ Recipes [Grilling & Smoking]
  • Texas Style Smoked Pulled Pork.
  • Beer Can Chicken.
  • Smoked Mac & Cheese.
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip.
  • Applewood Smoked Chicken Wings.
  • Grilled Cheeseburger Sliders.
  • Smoked Chicken Thighs.
  • BBQ Chili Burger.
Jan 10, 2023

What can you use instead of a smoker? ›

How to Smoke Food Without a Smoker
  • Using long-handled tongs, arrange hot ash-covered coals around a foil pan that's filled with 1 inch of hot water.
  • Add wood chips or chunks to coals.
  • Place food on grill rack above water pan and cover grill.
  • Check food, temperature, and water pan every 45 to 60 minutes.
Sep 14, 2022

Is it better to smoke meat with wood or charcoal? ›

While there is still a nice smokey taste that comes from the wood pellets, when it comes to taste, most people still prefer charcoal over pellets. The rich smoke-infused flavor no matter what you're cooking with charcoal is hard to beat.

What tastes better charcoal or propane? ›

When it comes to the flavor of a gas vs charcoal grill, it is solely a matter of preference. Some people prefer the smoky taste from charcoal grills since they add a little something extra to your food. For many, the flavor profile of grilled food is all about the kind of charcoal used.

What cut of steak is best to smoke? ›

For the best-smoked steaks, choose cuts on the thicker end (around 1.5 inches). At a typical butcher counter, these options include ribeye, tenderloin, or New York strip steaks. If the steak is too thin, such as skirt steak, it'll reach doneness without retaining the flavor of the smoke.

What piece of steak is best to smoke? ›

9 Best Cuts of Beef for Smoking
  1. Beef brisket.
  2. Beef ribs (bone-in, country style, short ribs)
  3. Tri-tip.
  4. Chuck roast.
  5. Top sirloin steak.
  6. Flank steak.
  7. Top round.
  8. Coulotte.
May 13, 2022

What liquid is best for smoking meat? ›

Water Pan – Use a water pan in your smoker to maintain a humid environment so the meat doesn't cook with hot, dry air. Water works well, but you can also fill the water pan with beer, apple juice and cider vinegar for flavorful twists.

Do you soak pellets before smoking? ›

Do I need to soak wood pellets? No. Wood pellets do NOT need moisture. Soaking them in water or any other liquid causes them to disintegrate because wood pellets are made from compressed sawdust.

Are pellets cheaper than propane? ›

Propane is also relatively inexpensive, but more expensive than BBQ pellets.

Do you get enough smoke in a pellet smoker? ›

Wood pellets also burn more efficiently than a wood chunk left on top of some charcoal, which means they produce less smoke while burning. This also produces a more subtle smoke flavor. Since the grill is not constantly on, it cannot produce as much smoke as wood-fired or traditional charcoal grills.

Is an electric smoker better than a pellet smoker? ›

Electric smokers rarely produce enough of the necessary gasses to create the smoke ring without a lot of help. Pellet grills consistently produce the gasses due to burning wood as both the heat source and the flavor source. Winner – Pellet Grills.

Is a wood or pellet smoker better? ›

A wood-fired smoker offers more versatility and control over your finished product than a pellet-fired one does. However, this does not mean that a pellet smoker is incapable of producing high-quality meat—it just means that it's less likely to do so consistently than a wood smoker.

Is an electric smoker better than a regular smoker? ›

An electric smoker will give you a better result if you are new to smoking. It can hold the temperature, which is crucial when it comes down to smoking. If you are familiar with temperature control, a charcoal smoker will give you the same consistency.

What is the best meat to smoke on a propane smoker? ›

The best meats to smoke are meats with a high amount of collagen and fats such as pork shoulder, beef briskets, beef cheeks and rib. The connective tissues and fats breakdown during the cooking process which will keep the meat moist and tender.

Is charcoal or wood pellets better for smoking? ›

While there is still a nice smokey taste that comes from the wood pellets, when it comes to taste, most people still prefer charcoal over pellets. The rich smoke-infused flavor no matter what you're cooking with charcoal is hard to beat.

Which smoker is better electric or charcoal or propane? ›

Pick the Meat Smoker That Fits you Best

If you're after convenience above all else, go with an electric smoker. If you want the best smoky flavor at all costs, then you'll want a charcoal meat smoker. If you mainly want convenience, but you'd like better flavor than the electric offers, get a propane smoker.

What is the easiest thing to smoke in an electric smoker? ›

The easiest and most economical meat to smoke in your electric smoker is the Boston Butt (Pulled Pork), because it is well-marbled compared to other types of meat.

Should you smoke wood chips for an electric smoker? ›

While electric smokers don't generally need wood chips, many are designed to accommodate them. Wood chips aren't just a fuel source, but they can also help enhance the aromas of the smoke, which in turn can improve the flavors of your meat.

What are the disadvantages of pellet grills? ›

Con: You can't use them everywhere.

Pellet grills, on the other hand, generally need an outlet to function, so they're not portable. Moving them a lot may cause damage to electrical parts, and they tend to be heavy. It's also worth noting that, because they use electricity, they're not meant for wet-weather use.

How long does a bag of wood pellets last in a smoker? ›

How long do wood pellets burn for? Most pellet grills will burn between one to three pounds of pellets per hour, depending on the set temperature and the grill's make and model. That means a 20-pound bag of pellets should last you anywhere from six to 20-hours, give or take.

Do you have to flip meat in an electric smoker? ›

Do I need to flip my meat when smoking on the grill? NO! Sorry for being so brash, but this is a common mistake that many novice smokers will make. When smoking, you don't have to worry about one side getting hotter than the other, because the meat cooks indirectly.

Do electric smokers cook meat? ›

The element is made up of one or more electric heating rods. Once you turn on the smoker, the rods heat up the space and ignite the Bisquettes. The Bisquettes then produce the smoke that will cook your meat.

Should I use wood chips or chunks in electric smoker? ›

Wood chips are best used for electric smokers or to impart quick smoke on your charcoal grill or smoker. Easily found online or in retail stores. 2. Wood Chunks – The most commonly used type of smoking wood for low & slow cooking.


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