Pros and cons

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by drunkenskull, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. What are the benefits of the propane smoker as to the old fasioned wood fire? I would love to hear some of the advantages as well as the dis advantages? Would it be wise to purchase one and what brands do you guys recomend?
  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This should be interesting. :)
    I can't contribute since I've never used propane, but I'm guessing this will produce a healthy debate.
  3. krivera1

    krivera1 Newbie

    I've never smoked with wood, only with propane...  I guess for a newbie coming into this hobby I can say the propane is fairly simple to do...  Temperature holds stable - very little manipulation.  Just use good quality chips/chunks and you're all set.

    I've heard some folks who've moved into propane from wood-fire say that it was just too much effort to smoke with wood - hard to maintain temp and unable to just set-and-forget.  Others who are hardcore wood-fire smokers say it really isn't hard at all - they say they can let it run overnight and enjoy some sleep.  It makes me think that maybe the equipment for wood-fire smokers might make a big difference in how easy/hard it is to smoke.

    Propane equipment are all fairly similar, and so the effort for all of them seem fairly low.
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I just bought a Smoke Vault & love it to death. I have a WSM that I use a lot as well, but for a quick trouble free smoke You can't beat gas. The recovery time is 1 or 2 minutes & it's easy to keep the temp constant. Using wood chunks you get a smoked wood flavor that's as good as my WSM. I did change the factory chip box for a veggie wok that has holes in it. Other than that it's just the way I bought it.
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Wood--definately- WOOD[​IMG].[​IMG]

    Propane is bad. Wood is Good[​IMG].


    and ......
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When you are gainfully employed, and periodically need to lift up the top of your head, grab your brain and lift it up and out, dunk it in a cleansing solution to wash out all the crap so you can get back to livin'........................

    sittin' around a wood fired anything, enjoying a brew and friends, cookin' parts of one of G-d's creatures, seems to do more, to return one to sanity and reality than all of the other alternatives one could imagine, combined.
    garyt likes this.
  7. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Propane is awesome.I have both a stick and a lp burner  love them both .But when it is hot out it's nice to turn 3 knobs fill 2 pan put on some meat and come back in the air.Tempature control is instant on lp and takes time and work to get a stick burner to adjust sometimes you can just adjust the intake but not always.Look at gosm wide body at smoker for the price and their   are alot of users here.The other thing is you can cold smoke on a lp easier.The only way i've seen stick burners cold smoke is if it's piped in  from afar.[​IMG]  and good smokeing.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  8. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I guess it all depends on what you want your smoking "experience" to be, some people enjoy tending the fire and others, myself included, like the set it and let the smoker do it's own thing.  I own a WSM that is, from experience, just set and let it smoke, a propane GOSM that has been modified so that it is set and let it do it's thing and I have added a PID controlled 1250W heating element to it that is the ultimate of set and let the smoker do it's thang, to answer you question, I have only "pros" for my smokers, charcoal, propane and electricity, ...I've modified the "cons" out of them.    [​IMG]

    Welcome to SMF by the way, and how 'bout posting some Q-view of them delicious New Jersey deer.......,

  9. I love my stick burner and probally wont buy a propane smoker at all. Its nice to hear all the different opinions and aspects of things.
  10. carpetride

    carpetride Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Get you a mini stick burner...pellet grill.  Stable temps, not a lot of babysitting, steady consistent smoke. 

    Had to take it off topic since no one else did!
  11. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've never used propane, so can't comment on that experience. I have a Traeger and MES which are both electric. They are okay for certain things. I love me cheapo Brinkman stick burner. It's a challenge for sure, but when all is said and done, and I still smell like smoke after two showers, wow. That's what I'm talking about. It's that primitive side of me that loves working for my supper. Since I got the Primo XL, it's like the best of both worlds. Fill it with lump coal and wood chunks, get it up to temp and it will hold there for 9 hours. Makes me feel a little guilty, at least until I remember how much it cost.
  12. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have been strictly charcoal cooking for 30 years now.  As I get older, the long charcoal smokes seem to wear on me more.  I am considering adding gas or electric to my arsenal for the long smokes.  Besides the "set and forget", another advantage I am contemplating is the more precise temp control for sausage, bacon, etc.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  13. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use "propane" (GOSM BB) and "wood" a stick burner.(Frank)

    I have primarily been using Frank.

    My thought is this:

    I try for what I believe is a more traditional type of barbecue when using Frank and do not really consider it smoking, but rather traditional barbecuing. I will try for as little smoke as possible.

    When I use my GOSM my goal here is to infuse smoke flavor while cooking
  14. Still dont know if I can get into the propane. I have a small "emergency" gas grill but I prefer as well as my family to smoke or cook on the fire pit. I cant wrap my head arround the concept of how the propane works. A co-worker of mine has an electric smoker and he likes the "set and fo-get" aspect of it. But I like the "work" of the stick burner. I also enjoy smelling like a campfire for a day or so. Is that lost with the propane?
  15. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I think a wood burner makes a smoke an all day experience.  Don't get me wrong I love good food but with all the set and forget things we have in life sometimes like Dave Omak said, you just gotta stop and tend the fire.  Have a couple of friends over, sit around the smoker, complain about how the smoke follows you no matter where you sit.

    Ever notice how when you build a campfire every man there needs to mess with it.  Just something about the male of the species, building fire and cooking food.  No offense intended ladies.

    Sometimes I just like doing things the "hard way"
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    By golly Al, you sound like you have told a few stories, kicked an ember or two and enjoyed good friends while dodging smoke too.

    Some fond memories are filled with smoke.......
  17. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  18. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Some of the best memories are filled with smoke and shooting stars and the creepy sounds in the woods
  19. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    this kinda sums it up for me. i have both and enjoy using both but for ribs, butts and chuckies i gotta light a fire, while for birds and other foods like beans stuffed peppers and such i like the ease of my propane. but to confess i use a charcoal box with chunks of wood in my gasser. i will say for bacon and such you can't beat a gasser shut off with the amaze - n - smoker in it for a cold smoke set up.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  20. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

      Yeah,Dave[​IMG]  Sitting around the fire with the Comradery of a Friend(or more),drinking what you want and out of Momma's way[​IMG].[​IMG]

    Have fun and....

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