Propane vs Electric Smoker

Are you planning to buy a smoker to enjoy tasty smoked foods? If yes, then you should know your requirements as smokers come in multifarious power sources. Propane vs Electric smokers is a hot topic among those who are going to buy a smoker for the first time.

Propane smokers run on LPG (liquified petroleum gas), which is harmless to the environment. On the other hand, electric smokers are powered by electricity, making them an eco-friendly and perfect choice for outdoor cooking. In this post, I will introduce what these smokers have to offer.

Propane Smokers

A propane smoker is a portable and convenient type of smoker on the market. Propane gas is easy to find, easy to use, and incredibly efficient. You can use this smoker for making everything from bacon and hamburgers to fish and vegetables.

Anatomy of propane smoker
Anatomy of propane smoker

These smokers are ideal for families with children who may not want to use charcoal or wood. You can safely cook food because of their traditional style. You can use it indoors or outdoors without worrying about spreading dangerous chemicals on your food or burning down your house.

Propane smokers have been around for a long time and are deemed one of the best options by many. They are available in various sizes, so get the right size for your needs. If you have experience using different types of smokers, then you can notice that propane smokers take up much more space.


  • Consistent temperature
  • Easy to clean
  • Burns propane, which is cheaper and more eco-friendly than charcoal
  • Fast and easy setup
  • Customizable wood chips for smoke flavor
  • Weather resistant


  • Heavy and space-consuming, they can be a hassle to transport
  • Expensive 

Electric Smokers

An electric smoker is a device that uses electricity instead of heat from firewood or charcoal briquettes to generate smoke for cooking food. It eliminates the need for constant monitoring of temperature, which can be onerous when using conventional grills or smokers. Some models allow you to set the desired temperature and duration of smoking. 

While others rely on internal thermostats to control temperature settings without any human intervention at all, electric Smokers are easy-to-use as all you do is plug them in, turn on the power and wait for the unit to heat up. Once the unit is hot, you can set the temperature at which you want your food cooked and let it cook until done.

electric smoker anatomy 2
electric smoker anatomy

There are many types of electric smokers, but all have one thing in common: they are easy to operate, even for beginners. You can use these smokers for both indoor and outdoor activities as they are great for beginners and professional cooks who simply want an easier way to get their favorite meals prepared.


  • Comes with advanced technology 
  • Do not require much maintenance 
  • Environmental friendly 
  • You can set the temperature to go 
  • Easy temperature controlling 
  • Lightweight 
  • Portable and compact


  • Not as hot as propane smokers are 
  • For long-term outdoor usage, they are not good

Propane vs Electric Smoker – Head To Head

Picking up between propane or electric smokers comes down to what your requirements are. Whether you are craving jerky, fish, or smoked cheese, I believe an electric smoker is a right choice. 

You should opt for a propane smoker if you want a smoker to provide meals similar to charcoal smokers. If you are confused about gas vs electric smokers, then the following factors will make the decision easy for you.


Cost should be an important factor to consider when selecting a smoker. It is necessary because it can be a key to whether you should go for propane or electric smoker. Compared to propane smokers, electric smokers are more expensive.

You will not find a better smoker than an electric one if you are looking for convenience. If you are short of budget but have space to accommodate a bulky traditional smoker, then a propane smoker is suitable for you.

Operational Cost

Propane smokers are more expensive to operate than electric smokers. They require refills, but these are relatively inexpensive compared to gas tanks. Propane smokers also need propane gas, which can be expensive if you do not have a large supply on hand. 

Electric smokers are much more affordable to run and easier to maintain compared to propane smokers. If you are going to be using your smoker frequently, it is worth paying a little extra for the convenience of an electric model.

Ease Of Use

Smokers powered by propane require more work to operate than their electric counterparts. The charcoal grill or smoker requires more maintenance and is tough to operate than propane smokers. 

Electric smokers have many options for controlling temperature and airflow, allowing you to adjust your cooking process based on your personal preferences. 

electric smoker
electric smoker

They also tend to be more accurate when it comes to temperature control since you can set the desired temperature with a digital thermometer rather than by guessing how hot it is inside the smoker itself.


Propane smokers are incredibly reliable than electric smokers because they use different technology and have more parts to fail than an electric smoker. In an electric smoker, if one part fails, it will cost you to buy the new unit.

With a propane smoker, you can simply replace the part and keep smoking. Using your smoker for long periods of time or during events with high traffic requires this level of maintenance. Make sure the propane smoker you buy has as few moving parts as possible in case something breaks down.

Propane Vs Electric Smoker
Propane Smoker


Propane smokers are versatile in food flavor because of their taste, like charcoal smokers. At the same time, the flavor that comes from an electric or gas smoker differs depending on what kind of wood chips or pellets you use to add flavor to your food. 

Electric smokers tend to give off more smoke than gas smokers because they do not need fuel to operate them, and they do not require much maintenance as long as they are kept clean and regularly oiled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, they work just like a traditional smoker. Electric smokers are easy to use, and you can get the same results as a traditional smoker without worrying about fuel, cleaning, or maintenance. I recommend you purchase an electric smoker from a manufacturer that has been making smokers for many years. By doing this, you can assure how long it will last.

Yes, they work just like a traditional smoker does. You can move them around easily, place them wherever you want in your backyard or patio and get the same delicious flavor from a traditional smoker. If you want to make your smoked meats at home, then an electric smoker is worth considering because it is so easy to use and clean up after cooking.

As every model has a different mode of consumption, this question has no proper answer. However, the average propane smoker uses about 1 to 2 pounds of LPG per cooking session. If you use larger amounts of meat like brisket or pork shoulder, you would need more propane.

Final Words – Who is Winner!

Which should you buy: propane or electric smoker? I recommend a propane smoker because it is comfortable to use. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced chef, propane smokers are likely to meet your expectations and provide you excellent value for money if you have space in your kitchen. After looking at these factors well, you will be confident about a Propane vs Electric smoker.

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