SMOKER: electric or propane

6mm Remington

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SMOKER: I need your help guys I've been looking at getting a new smoker and have eyeballed the Masterbuilt smokers at Cabelas and Sportsman's Warehouse. I want to do this right the first time and I don't know if I should get the Propane smoker or the Electric smoker.

Thanks for the help.
David
 

Speeddmn

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wood>propane>elec...

I'm a novice at smoking, but I talked to a local store here and that is what they recommend. Also not to use one with glass doors, as it looses more heat thru glass than a solid metal door.
 

Bambistew

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I'm somewhat of a novice, but smoke about 100lbs of stuff a year. If you want to do dry smoked products like jerky or hard smoked fish, stick with electric or wood. Propane emits water vapor when it burns. Takes a bit longer to dry, and it doesn't come out quite right. Otherwise for moist smoked meats, doesn't really matter imo.
 

Addicting

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I had a propane one and it eventually ended up in the scrap yard because of lack of use. It was too hard to have it outside and control the temp/moisture over long periods of time. Similar to what Bambistew said. I really like the convenience and self containment of an electric. Several guys around me have them and you can set your salmon in them, program it, leave it in the barn, and walk away.
 

shootbrownelk

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I'm on the fence about that too....Propane or Electric. I had an electric Little Chief smoker and when it's cold outside you have a difficult time maintaining a constant temperature. I think Propane might be the way to go. Wood is too much of a hassle IMO.
 

NoWiser

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I recently used the electric model you mentioned for smoking a batch of salmon. It did a great job at keeping the temperature I had it set on but I really struggled to keep smoke going. It was a warm day and since I was trying to smoke at low temperatures, the heating element rarely turned on. No heating element = no smoke. I had to babysit it the entire time or I'd have never had smoke. I ended up opening the door often and manually lighting my chips just to get smoke. I think it could work great in the winter when the outside temp is in the single digits, or if you were smoking at higher temperatures, but low smoking temps when it was 85 degrees outside was a nightmare.

I think they make a cold smoking attachment or maybe some aftermarket smoke tubes could solve this issue. I haven't tried either but if they fixed it, I'd be very happy with the smoker. I love the convenience of electric.
 

Jorgy

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They both have there good and bad points. Love my propane smoker, I can smoke in cold weather, and can also bump the heat up the last 20 minutes of smoking chicken to get crisp skin. You have to work a little more to get the right temp on it though, but it's not "hard". Buy a remote temp gauge before your first smoke. Worth it's weight in gold in my book.

I had an electric for years and loved it too, just didn't work worth a crap in cold weather.
 

rideold

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Camped last weekend with a guy who has one of the Traeger pellet grills. He went fishing at first light and had smoked trout to share later in the day. Pretty slick.
 

npaden

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I have both an electric and a propane. I never use the electric anymore.

A Co-worker has a pellet smoker and he really likes it.

My main uses are smoking pig and jerky. I've never noticed any issues with it being harder for jerky to dry due to propane vapor but I live in a pretty dry climate.
 

Addicting

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You have to work a little more to get the right temp on it though, but it's not "hard".
I should clarify, "hard" no, inconvenient Yes! We normally smoke in the fall when cold weather is not as much of a factor and if it is we can move the electrics inside the garage/barn with out worry of it. It just smells the place up and we leave the window or garage door cracked. With the Propane we never would do that and we were forced to constantly monitor it, even with a remote gauge. For me it came down to I just didn't want to babysit it getting the temp right just to have Mother nature make me change it. I had better things to do and I usually would, then I would forget about it while I was working on the other projects only to come back to the tank ran out, the flame blew out, the outside temp heated up and now I'm baking instead of smoking, ect... the electric solved my ADD..DD..DDD.D smoking issues.
 

buckbull

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For me Electric is the clear choice. A thermostat (and meat prob) is a must for whatever you buy. I prefer the convenience of electric. My brother in law has a Traeger pellet grill that we use when we do large batches of meat (polish & cajun sausage, bacon etc). We can get a better crust and flavor with the electric smoker than the traeger though. As mentioned above, the glass door is worst than worthless.
 

buckbull

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I should clarify, "hard" no, inconvenient Yes! We normally smoke in the fall when cold weather is not as much of a factor and if it is we can move the electrics inside the garage/barn with out worry of it. It just smells the place up and we leave the window or garage door cracked. With the Propane we never would do that and we were forced to constantly monitor it, even with a remote gauge. For me it came down to I just didn't want to babysit it getting the temp right just to have Mother nature make me change it. I had better things to do and I usually would, then I would forget about it while I was working on the other projects only to come back to the tank ran out, the flame blew out, the outside temp heated up and now I'm baking instead of smoking, ect... the electric solved my ADD..DD..DDD.D smoking issues.
Exact same reasons I went to electric with thermostat. I produce a much better product now too that the temps are not fluctuating all the time.
 

TheTone

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I've been doing the vast majority of my smoking lately with my green mountain pellet grille. About the only thing I have any concern with is that I can't hang things in it to smoke, but it has done awesome for me with fish, jerky, summer sausage and other bigger pieces of meat.
 

jnagel32

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Get an electric Masterbuilt Smoker and an A-Maze-N pellet smoker to use with it. Set the temp and forget it. Best way I've found to smoke stuff. Super easy and you can use it to cold smoke, too. No way I'd use propane. Too much of a hassle to get a consistent temp. My buddy has one and he hates it.
 

COEngineer

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I have propane and it is probably cheaper to run than electric, so depending on how much you plan to use it, that may be a factor. My biggest complaint with propane is that it's hard to maintain a constant (low) temp. Depending on the breeze, it can change rapidly. I think a thermostat-controlled electric one would be slick.
 
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