Charcoal or Electric Wood Smoker???

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Original poster
Jun 1, 2007
Hi, my name is Antonio and I'm new to this forum and smoking. I am trying to decide between an Electric Wood smoker or a Charcoal smoker for my restaurant. I checked with the board of health, it's okay with a motorized fan commercial ventilation hood, which I have. I'm trying to find out if there are any drawbacks in a charcoal smoker over a wood contest. smoker. If the charcoal smoker truly imparts the full charcoal flavor to the meats, etc., then certianly there is no

In my opinion as a cook and restaurant owner wood has never come close to comparing to charcoal flavor, all though I agree the mixture of the two are nice. I'm not looking to start out big, I already serve Pizza, hotdogs, burgers, chicking, fish, grilled foods and a host of others things. I'm just looking to add some BBQ items to the menu, like briskett, ribs, rib-tips, char-flavored Italian sausage, prime rib, etc.

I do have a grill but it's a gas grill and uses lava rocks. The charcoal smoker I'm considering is the Brinkmann Vertical Smoker. However, being new to this I am most certianly open to suggestions if this is not considered a good choice for my purpose.

What really makes me somewhat skeptical about a charcoal smoker is that there are many more wood smokers available and much more info, people and forums active and available for wood smoking than there are for charcoal smokers. Yet most people will agree that charcoal flavor truly has no compition.

So then, any an all information you might have that can shed some light on these questions would be horrendously appreciated.

Thanks all... so very much
First, hop on over to Roll Call and introduce yourself to the forum and get a proper welcome. As far as your question, if it is for the restaurant, you will need something bigger. If you start small, maybe propane if its an option for you. Being that you won't have time to constantly be checking on temps. Otherwise electric for a small operation. But if you want to turn out large quantities at a time, look into the bigger stuff.
Thanks Dom8 ion for taking the time to reply to my post, I appreciate it.
Actually... none of those things apply;
As I stated, I'm not looking to start out big. Most people who come in here order America's number one food anyway (pizza), just looking to add a little something extra to the menu. As far as someone checking on the temperature goes, you let me worry about that, there are plenty of people who work here that can take care of that. Thanks for the heads up, I'll introduce myself immediately.
Go electric? No extra cost or storage needed for coals?

sort of confusing

First you say go with something else, because my demands will be to big
Then you say go with something else when I express my demands will be small

hey Dom... you don't happen to have a restaurant here in Northwest Indiana that just happens to sell charcoal smoked dishes, do you?

All jokes aside, my ears are still open, any info from anyone would be greatly appreciated, Thank you.
Going to have to put a hold on the smoker for now. But thanks anyway, i'll be taking advantage of some of these other goodies on the forum, glad I found it. THANKS!
Well Tonio since I'm a natural born Texan I would go with a wood burner. I'm not saying that electric or charcoal is a bad choice I'm use to an all wood smoke and to me thats the way to go. I wish you good luck with the choice you make.
Good idea to take your time deciding tonio ... perhaps you could poll some of your best customers about whether or not 'Q' would be desireable at your place. It's amazing how fast a smoker fills up and how fast the meat disappears!

On the charcoal vs. wood ...... wood is where the flavor comes from also wood is where charcoal comes from. Charcoal gives an intense heat source with the desirable emission of smoke, however using wood with any heat source gives you that smoky BBQ taste we all love.

My opinion ......
Thanks all for your replies, you've convinced me, wood it is!

Thanks all so very, very much
You can't Imagine just how that statement alone makes me tingle!!! Wheeeoooowow!!! Just ordered a MasterBuilt Electric Smoker from Cabela's pal!! Can't wait!!
Believe my pals, I'm looking forward to it in Full Blast Mode!
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