I think it comes down to what your really want to make in it. I have for jerky and bologna / sausage a smoker I built that is 4x4x8 feet with a regular entry door siding and a shingled roof "picture an outhouse". Inside I use a propane turkey cooker burner and a 12 inch cast pan. I drilled a hole for the hose to go out to a 20lb bottle. I cut apple wood and lay on the pan to smolder and smoke, I can do 200lbs of bologna / sausage at once and a load of jerky. For cooking say chicken / fish/ roast I have a Pit Boss pellet grill that works great when you need a little extra heat and also I'm not constantly watching temp because it has a lot better control.
Horizontal Oklahoma Joe's. Mostly Oak for long smokes and mesquite for shorter smokes or grilling. I can have a fire In the box and shovel coal into the grill when I'm ready.
Takes some time to really learn the smoker and it is more involved than setting a thermometer but I've got this one figured out and I would put my product up against my uncles or BIL electric smokers any day. Although I never complain eating what they smoke either.
my opinion... electrics are easier, stick burners are better if you can master it.
I have the Masterbuilt electric and love it also. I feel I made the right decision over getting the propane. At least for me anyway. I love the smoker and use it usually at the least once a week! I've made jerky, smoked salmon, beef brisket, rib-eyes, beef roast, pork ribs, macaroni and cheese, baked potatoes, pork belly, and more. Love it!
I had a Masterbuilt for years & really liked it. Lost it somehow moving 10 yrs ago. Built a few from old reefers or wood & hotplates w/CIskillet burner.
Neighbor loaned me his LilSmokey elec. as he never used it & it is ok if no wind is blowing. I have built wind breaks to try & smoke pastrami to no avail...lol
Been using a gas grill with burner box but it is usually too hot or not hot from wind loss. Hate grilling on gas except it is ez & quick...
I'll be moving the fire ring to sheltered location for grilling soon & getting another Masterbuilt.
I use the masterbuilt electric and have had good success with it.
The biggest improvement I made though was using an Amazen smoker burning pellets and using a mailbox mod for it. It gets your smoke away from the heating element for the electric and gives a consistent smoke for up to about 10-12 hours without having to mess with it
I cant compare the two, but I have a Bradley electric with the automatic feed bisquettes. I really like it. I use it for smoking salami, jerkey, fish, etc. I like the cold smoke option for cheese and for cold smoking a steak before grilling it.
Electric will always give a great finished product because consistency in temp is the key to smoking. But let's be honest. If you don't like collecting your favorite wood, tending a fire, standing in the yard with a beer, then what are you really doing?
I have made sausages and jerky a long time. I do not recommend or like electric ones. They draw on your utility bill plus they just don't regulate as well as gas. Avoid glass doors. I have a propane smoker and I don't always smoke. Sometimes I use it like an oven to cook summer sausage and that.
If this is your first time, do not over do the smoke. It will give your product an acidic taste. You want just enough smoke to do the job. You also need a meat thermometer to go with it and I recommend one you can put the probe into the meat and leave the digital unit on the outside of the smoker.
If you are actually smoking meat and that, you need a sausage picker to poke tiny holes in your sausage and jerky for the smoke to penetrate. Chemical smoke is not recommended. I hate that stuff. It DOES NOT taste like smoke and I lack any trust in it really being safe to use.