Pros and cons of electric (also electric vs charcoal what's the difference?)

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by perthsmoker, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. perthsmoker

    perthsmoker Newbie

    Hi guys my names Royce I'm from Perth, Australia. I'm looking into getting my first smoker and im new to this style of cooking, but I want to know what's the difference between an electric and a charcoal smoker, and what's better, I feel that charcoal would have more flavour and better quality cooked meat (once I have gotten the hang of it) but I think that electric being easy to set up and basically automatic as I'm looking at a Bradley smoker that I may use it more as it's easy to use and clean and less time consuming in terms of starting the fire ect. Can people please share their knowledge and experiences and opinions. Thanks in advance kind strangers
  2. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Royce....the answer is uses electrickery and the other uses charcoal.

    Only joking mate.....cant miss an opportunity to take the piss out of a sand groper.

    I can speak to the charcoal side of things, as i dont have one...but my friends that do say everything tastes better over charcoal...and if you're into looks you get a smoke ring. Also you can get em hotter. Down side is you gotta deal with charcoal

    I got a MES30 for convenience. I like that i can set m temps and walk away. I run with an iGrill2 and and an AMNTS...I get good smoke for up to 6hrs and s long as Im in range, i can monitor temps remotely and not have to open the smoker ever. Downside is it doesn't go over 275F.
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Like Dingo said, you can get a smoke ring with charcoal, but not with electric, but a smoke ring is all show.

    Electric is so much easier, and you can get awesome smoke flavor by using the AMNPS, unless you're at high Altitudes, then the AMNTS is better, like Dingo uses.

    With the AMNPS I can get up to 11 hours of perfect smoke without touching it.

    I originally looked at the Bradley line, but I didn't want to have to use their pucks (expensive!!), so I too got an MES 40, and I love it now for over 4 years.

    Click below & you can see what you can easily do with an MES 40:

    Just click on "Bear's Step by Steps".

  4. Royce, I'm a newbie as well and have only done a couple of smokes to date. I have a CharGriller smoker and must admit I'm still trying to sort out the heat side of things. I have also purchased a gas powered cabinet smoker recently but have not used it yet as I want to sort out the charcoal one first. I've been checking around here in Australia for cheap smoking wood and have discovered a lot of Aussie wood suitable for smoking so I'll be using this as a cheap fuel. I'm using Rosewood at the moment.
    By the way welcome to the best forum around for smoking.

    Cheers from Down Under.
  5. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I think there are some modifications you can do for that smoker to work better. Try the search feature at the top of the page. It is pretty awesome. By the way. WELCOME. I am all charcoal and wood here, I just think the stuff tastes better than electric and gas.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
  6. perthsmoker

    perthsmoker Newbie

    Thanks for all the response guys what's a MES 40? I googled it but not sure I have the right product, does it have a glass door? I do like the idea of charcoal as its a bit more involved and some of the smokers I've seen have the option to be used as a charcoal grill as well as smoker. I'm looking at offset smokers at th moment and the electric option was a Bradley as a work mate is looking at buying one and the ease of set up and cleaning sounds appealing and like I would probably use it more often.
  7. krubby

    krubby Smoke Blower

    Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

  8. perthsmoker

    perthsmoker Newbie

    Cheers KRubby
  9. Royce I brought mine from Bunnings, $169 for the grill, $99 for the offset firebox and $42 for the cover.

  10. perthsmoker

    perthsmoker Newbie

    How does the Bunnings one go mate? Did you have to do any mods to it? Is there "heat exchange" style plates in it to retain heat and keep the whole box at the same temp like the bigger smokers or being a small smoker it doesn't require it?
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I chose an electric smoker, my MES 30, precisely because I didn't want to fool with charcoal or propane in addition to having to load wood chips (I now only use wood pellets) every 20-30 minutes. Electricity gives me good steady heat and the wood pellets last for 12 hours or so. It's made smoking that much more fun and easy.
  12. perthsmoker

    perthsmoker Newbie

    The AMNPS, will that only use pellets or will it use chips and briquettes too?
  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Pellets only. It is a small expanded metal maze. you light one or both ends and it burns slowly around like a snake.
  14. I have had a MES and a Bradley electric smoker. Gave them both away and got a Vision Kamado style lump charcoal smoker andLOVE IT!
  15. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The PS stands for Perth Smoker--I mean, Pellet Smoker. [​IMG]
  16. perthsmoker

    perthsmoker Newbie

    Yeah I'm thinking bout heading down the charcoal road now, with the char griller being the smoker I'm settling for, as it's fairly cheap and a few simple mods seem to make it good as gold unless anyone else has some other suggestions? As I'm open to them and like to research purchases to death.
  17. No Royce I haven't done any mods to mine although I intend to do a bit of sealing in the future. I have to learn more about this heat shield thing before I go charging into anything.

    Cheers from Down Under
  18. perthsmoker

    perthsmoker Newbie

  19. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The big rap against CharGrillers is their cheapness of construction and their thin steel walls, way too thin to adequately retain heat and maintain temps like more professional offset barrel smokers. They also rust, which is not good for a smoker kept outside. I've got a friend who owns one and I'll take my MES 30 Gen 1 over the CharGriller any day. (For grilling I love my Weber 22.5 inch One Touch Silver.) If you're thinking charcoal, the Weber Smokey Mountain bullet smoker comes in different sizes and is extremely popular and highly-regarded. That's just one idea.
  20. perthsmoker

    perthsmoker Newbie

    I don't intend on owning the smoker for ever, just long enough to learn the basics of meat smoking and to justify an upgrade/custom build with the missus, as getting my way is through her stomach ;) but I can see the heat retention would be an issue, I've also seen another brand called Hark and the model is Tri fire, for $699 it's constructed from 2.5mm steel. what would be a good thickness to look for in the construction of the smoke chamber? but this model, so far I can only see one supplier and he is in the eastern states of Australia so it might be pricey to ship the smoker over.

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