Electric Or Propane

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by crazydazz, Jan 9, 2010.



  2. Propane because you gotta have SOME fire involved. [​IMG]
  3. YEAH FIRE!!!!![​IMG]
  4. mr mac

    mr mac Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I have a charcoal, electric and gas. I use the gasser so much more than the others because it's so much easier to use and provides a better flavor over the electric. That said, my electric is a Royal Oak unit that is pretty easy to use but it has it's own unique set of issues in that it does spike on me when all seems to be going fine.

    I love to use the charcoal unit but it needs more attention that a two year old and is (in my hands) more prone to failure than the other two which is why I use it almost exclusively for briskets which are far more tolerant of heat fluctuations than any other cut.

    In the end, I like the gasser the best for all around use and will employ the electric only when I need more room than the MB can handle.

    The World According To Mac
  5. Personally, I would choose gas. Reason being, if you have a power outage, you can't cook. But with propane, you're always cooking (providing you filled your tank).

    Around here, we can be out of power for days whenever a hurricane rolls through. I don't want to use my generator to power a heating element.
  6. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Whatever your choice, it's still a free world so far. [​IMG]
  7. I GOT GAS![​IMG]
  8. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have always had propane burners in my smokers but after cooking on a big green egg I wanted to add a charcoal/lump wood burner to my inventory. I love the propane but I hope love the charcoal/lump burner just as well. I have not been a fan of electric because of where I live up north in the Butttttt cold. I don't think the electric will keep up.
  9. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    So do I! And I like it.

    Seriously, kinda. More control and consistant temps with gas.
  10. Gas by all means......just think about it.....recovery, recovery and recovery. Why do you think most electric smokers are insulated....? Most also have anywhere from 1000 watt -1200 watt heaters in them......try opening and closing the door on them a few times right in a row and see how long it takes for one of them to get back up to temp. As I remember on the one I have, they want you to preheat it before adding food.....you can load you gas smoker up from the start even before you light the flame and can get it up to temp. in a very, very short time....

    Just my input for what it's worth....I always have gas or at least that's what my wife and kids say!!!

    Good Luck.....Rick
  11. Boy did someone pass gas????? Not hear everyone seem's to have it LOL......[​IMG]
  12. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have never used a gas smoker, so I really can't compare, except I have used my weber gas grill and have done 11 -12 hour smokes of pork shoulder and ribs, but that doesn't really qualify although my gas grill attempts were always successful.
    Electric for me was a life style choice. When I bought my MES I put a lot of hours in at work, and either on Friday night or Saturday would start smoking something. I didn't want to worry about temp, wood, I just wanted it smoke and cook the meat properly in the recommended time frames. No worry of fuel, of course had to have chips, just prep the meat, preheat the smoker, throw it in and put wood chips on once or twice per hour. I haven't had a bad cook yet. The MES just set your desired cooking temp, insert a remote probe in the meat to monitor meat temp, keep wood chips going TBS and pull the meat when done. It is so easy.

    I would like a WSM, and maybe someday a real stick burner. The convenience of a well made electric smoker like a MES is hard to beat. I would recommend my 40" MES to anyone who really wants to keep it simple and enjoy great Q.

    Those propane bottles need to be refilled, what does that cost $18-20+. To operate my MES is about 11 cents per hour. So about 20+ smokes to spend $18. The money I save on fuel I can buy a lot more MEAT!
  13. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm a gasser with two units but I do have a charcoal thrown in too.
  14. waysideranch

    waysideranch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We go electric 95% of the time. Some of us don't have the time or in our case we are lazy.
  15. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have both gas and electric, I like the gas but have not had much luck with the Bradley. Looking to buy a New MES 40 when Sam's gets them...
  16. For the times I smoke sausage, usually 100 lbs at a time, I use propane. I also like propane for pepper sticks and deer bacon. Like the man said it's all about recovery time.
    When it comes to ribs, brisket, butts charcoal, to me, is the only way to go.
  17. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have an OK Joe, a MES, and a Masterbuilt Gas. I started of with a Brinkman electric... got me into this mess. Went to the Masterbuilt Gas and loved it. Started checkin out the MES and ended up with one. Now after smoking for over a year weekly and sometimes daily.... I find that the gas unit hasn't been fired up in a long long time. I've installed a hood unit in the garage and I smoke inside with the MES during the winter and it works great. When time and weather co-operate, I love using the OK Joe. I think it's a matter of lifestyle and time and how much your gonna smoke. Smoking 3 days or more out of the week is no problem with the MES and I'm turning out some great food. The recovery time is much longer with the electric and I've learned to not open the door and have logged my times so I know when something is gettin to where I want it. I think you get a different taste from each method and there's nothin like wood fired Q but as much as I smoke.. along with my busy schedule... the electric is by far my choice.
  18. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    For smoking what and at what temps and for how long?

    Me? Charcoal UDS for smoking meats (butts, ribs, brisket, etc). A load of charcoal will burn 12 hours at 225* temps. That is set it and forget it simple and the outcome is always good.

    Propane drum for all manner of smoked sausage. Low, consistent temps for hour after hour after hour.

    Never tried electric, but for small batches, the commercial units should work the same way. If it has a thermostat that gives reliable temperature control, this is probably the best option.

    For most of us, fuel cost is not a consideration, but for grins, it would be nice for someone to calculate the energy/fuel cost of electric vs propane for a typical smoke.
  19. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I got my MES Carol was complaining about the electric bill. I told her it wasn't from the MES but didn't have any proof so I called the utility company.

    Based on the wattage I could smoke 6 hours a day for 30 days for about 10.00 a month.

    I then told her to quit watching the tv so much. [​IMG]

    I'll take the MES anyday.
  20. elde

    elde Smoke Blower

    Gas (my 24" Smoke Vault) for big cooks, charcoal on my BGE for small cooks.

    So my vote is "it depends".

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