Got a electric smoker recently.

Are there any differences that one should consider in terms of recipes when using an electric smoker?

Or are there any processes that one must take additional steps when utilizing a smoker?

I want to make sure that there isn't any additional work I need to consider, things I must consider to maximize flavor and tenderness.

2 Answers 2


Recipes for smoked meat are usually mostly about the preparation and then a note about target temperatures. These things will not change; the air will just be heated differently.

With grilling there is quite a bit of difference between charcoal and other heaters. Flavor and the fact that charcoal can get much hotter are the two big differences. Neither of these are important for smoking, in my opinion. You don't want it to get hot at all and any flavor the charcoal might have provided is wholly eclipsed by the flavor of the smoke itself.

One advantage of charcoal smokers is that they are cheaper and you can smoke much larger quantities of meat- you just need a big enough barrel to hold it all.

You can use your recipes as is- you just won't have to check your fire all the time to maintain your target temps.


Temperature will be the only variable that affects your cooking process. An electric smoker typically runs at one temperature, and holds it fairly consistently. A charcoal smoker will be a bit more erratic, and can be run hotter or cooler. Granted, a 25f (14c) temperature swing will not affect the quality of the food, but it will affect the cooking time. It also will give you a deep smoke ring, while an electric will not (but that is purely cosmetic).

Regardless, your process will be the same -- put meat on smoker. Wait a long time. Take meat off smoker when finished. You just won't have to check your fuel level with an electric.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.