The Difference Between a Pellet Grill and Electric Smoker.

The Difference Between a Pellet Grill and Electric Smoker.

By: Brisk It Culinary Team

If you're new to the world of grilling and smoking, it can be a bit overwhelming to educate yourself on all the different types of equipment and techniques. But one of the most crucial decisions to make is whether to use an electric smoker or a wood pellet smoker. These two options have some significant differences that all barbecuers should consider. So let's take a look at each style and settle the pellet smoker vs electric smoker debate once and for all!

How do Electric Smokers Work?

Electric smokers rely on an electric heating element inside a smoking cabinet, which often looks like a small refrigerator. The heat from this device causes the flavors from a tray of wood chips to release their essence into the meat. With an electric smoker, you're essentially toasting the wood chips rather than burning them directly. This hot, aromatic air is drawn upwards over the meat through convection and then vented as with a traditional smoker. Some models also include a water pan inside to keep the atmosphere moist and ensure your meat doesn't dry out.

What Are the Benefits of Using an Electric Smokers?

Among the biggest benefits of electric smokers is easy cleanup. Since there's no actual fire or combustion, there's far less residue from the smoking process left inside after you're done. This can save you time cleaning your smoker after cooking. Electric smokers are also excellent at low-temperature smoking for things like fish and cheese, as well as dishes that benefit from just a light smokey flavor.

How Do Pellet Grills Work?

Pellet smokers or pellet grills offer an alternative method to smoking for those looking for more precise temperature regulation and traditional smokey flavor. The food is placed in a cooking chamber, into which wood pellets are automatically fed via a motorized auger. These pellets are lit by the grill in a contained fire pot, which creates the smoke that circulates your food and imbue it with flavor. Before the cooking begins, you'll set your desired temperature. A thermostat inside the cooking chamber will read the temperature throughout the entire smoking process and automatically add pellets faster or slower to keep it steady. It's important to point out that pellet grills or smokers do require electricity to operate the wood pellet feeding system and temperature monitoring.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Pellet Grill?

If you're looking for that authentic wood-smoke flavor that barbecue enthusiasts know and love, pellet smokers are the way to achieve this. This is due to the critical fact that pellet grills utilize actual combustion to generate both the heat and the smoke, which releases a far greater variety of chemical components which result in a stronger, more desirable flavor profile. But unlike old-school smokers, you don't need to painstakingly tend to the fire all day, diligently working to make sure your temperature and smoke conditions are accurate. Pellet grills take care of all of that for you, allowing you to create classic wood-smoked barbecue with ease. 

And as an additional advantage, pellet grills still give the option of high heat grilling for the ingredients that demand it, such as steaks or burgers.

Flavor Comparison 

If you're looking for a more delicate smokey flavor, electric smokers can achieve this. However, the majority of rookie barbecuers and grill-masters alike are looking for a rich, intense flavor in their meat. If this is the case, pellet grills are the superior choice. It's still possible to obtain lightly smoked flavor from a pellet smoker in most cases, too. That being said, pellet smokers are much more versatile and produce a product with your perfect flavor every time.  

How Meat Cooks Differently In Electric Vs Pellet Grill

Do you know that trademark bark and pink smoke ring on every cut of delicious barbecue? It's a telltale sign of meat that’s been smoked using a combustion fire, like that used in a pellet smoker. Without that combustion and production of real smoke, electric smokers generally won't achieve this same visual and flavor effect. It may seem minor to some, but for those looking to produce a masterpiece with ease, every little detail matters.

Which Provides More Cooking Options?

When it comes to how to smoke your meat, pellet smokers offer the most variety. As their name suggests, pellet grills can also grill meat. Unfortunately, that's not the case with electric smokers, which are essentially single-function appliances. This versatility can be important for those with limited cooking or storage space. Still, due to their wide temperature range, electric smokers offer the potential to smoke delicate items that may be difficult or impossible to do on a traditional smoker.

When It Comes to Smoking, Pellet Grills Are Your Best Bet

By now, the choice for most barbecue newbies should be pretty clear. Electric smokers do offer some advantages, particularly for those looking for lightly smoked dishes or who aren't able to use combustion smokers in their living situation. But pellet grills and smokers are among the most popular choices thanks to their easy operation, real wood flavor, and versatility. 

For superior smoking, try your hand at the Brisk It Smart Grill, which takes pellet grilling to the next level. These grills leverage state-of-the-art wi-fi technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to ensure a perfect smoke every time. For more information about the what makes a grill truly intelligent, contact the BBQ experts at Brisk It Grills. Happy smoking!