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Personal Comparison of Charcoal vs Electric Smokers

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Starting smoking meat (mainly steelhead and salmon) about 20 years ago with a Char-Broil H20.  Loved the smoker, but a little work to get going in winter.   Recently I purchased an electric smoker (Smokin-it model #2), mainly because of ease of operation.  I still have both.  A friend recently asked me which one smokes better...I favored the charcoal smoker, but wanted to run a side-by-side comparison to see/taste the difference under the same conditions.  So here it is -

 

Seasoned Charcoal smoker - Char-broil H20.

Seasoned Electric smoker - Smokin-it, model #2.

 

Wood - applewood.

 

Cooking time - 3 hours.

 

Temperature - 200 oF

 

Meats - (salmon steaks and boneless, skinless, chicken thighs).

Marinade (overnight) - brown sugar base, salt, honey, garlic, yellow onion, black pepper, apple vinegar. 

 

 

Charcoal on left with electric on right.  Both taste about the same - although I'll give the charcoal a slight edge.  Visual award goes to the charcoal.  The electric does maintain better moisture in the food though (sometimes a problem when you load the smoker up with a lot of meat).  Overall, I will continue to use them both - depending on how I feel and how much time I have to prepare.    

post #2 of 3

Interesting comparison.  Great visuals.  Thanks for the experiment!

post #3 of 3

I have been wanting either an electric or LP smoker, like you, for ease of use and convenience for lack of time, after i finish my UDS. I am leaning towards getting a Smoke Hollow 44 but the new MES 40 is looking better and better

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