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Gas Smoker vs. Wood Smoker: The Ultimate Comparison

Gas smoker vs wood smoker

As much as we love mid-summer barbecues, a nice little personal roast in the winters is unbeatable. And while the snow isn’t here to last, memories around the tailgate certainly are. With that being, you will have to decide what type of grill you want. After all, all those tailgate parties need to be memorable.

If you’re looking for smoking your steaks and vegetables, we recommend getting a smoker. There are two types of smokers: gas and wood powered. In the following few paragraphs, we have highlighted the difference between gas smokers vs. wood smokers. See for yourself and check out our recommendations.

So let’s get started!

What is a gas smoker?

A gas smoker, as the name may suggest, is a smoker that is powered by natural gas. This usually includes propane and other gas tanks. But first, you must learn what a smoker is. A smoker or smoker grill is a special type of grilling equipment. It can reach tremendous temperatures. This means that you can use a smoker to go beyond. This is what allows these machines to retain smoke within the cloche.

These gas smokers are powered by butane or propane. Propane is the cheaper and more common option. Being powered by gas, you can expect them to take up more expenses. And they can run out quite soon. However, there’s always a bright side. For example, you can reach astronomical temperatures with a gas smoker. This will make smoking and cooking faster and smarter.

Gas smoker vs wood smoker

If you want a slow, steady roast, then we recommend buying a gas smoker with a few knobs. This will help you to control the amount of gas and heat. Say, for example, you want to have your steak cooked rare from the middle. Buy a gas smoker with a thermostat and keep the temperature high. Read on to find what we recommend: gas smoker vs. wood smoker.

What is a wood smoker?

A wood smoker, as you may have guessed it, uses wood pellets as fuel. The concept is the same. It is a special type of grill that can reach high temperatures. It can create and retain a lot of smoke without overheating the food. But the main difference in the gas smoker vs. wood smoker comparison is that a wood smoker is easier to control. There’s only so much reliability you can put in gas valves. A wood smoker is a better option for slow and steady roasting.

Wood smokers generally use wooden pellets. These are cork-shaped cylindrical pieces of wood. They are made from condensed and compacted sawdust. The type and nature of the pellet decide the flavor and smoke. For example, a maple or apple wood pellet will be best for a light or smoky roast. Look for pellets which have the least amount of organic ash and moisture. Some, such as Douglas fir pellets, may leave creosote deposits on the stove. Choose yours wisely.

As for benefits, wood smokers cost less. The initial price is cheap, and the annual fuel expenses are also reduced. I mean, you could just use regular pieces of wood instead of buying premium pellets. But if you can afford them, we’d definitely recommend a good bag of pellets.

Gas smoker vs wood smoker

Health aspects: gas smoker vs. wood smoker:

When it comes to picking out the best cooking equipment, health concerns arise. For example, one unit may leave a lot of fat while the other may allow harmful deposits to accumulate.

Gas smoker:

A gas smoker is a great choice. However, if you really want to know, we’ll tell you the downsides. Gas smokers increase the temperature very rapidly. This can result in the food being undercooked from the middle. That does not mean that a professional will get it wrong. But for home cooks like you and me, we recommend getting a gas smoker with a thermostat. Be sure to slowly roast the food, especially steaks.

With regards to the good sides, higher temperatures mean more fat gets burnt off. This will give you a steak that is free from fatty acids and cholesterol. This feature is best for ham and beef, as those are the fattiest.

Wood smoker:

Wood smokers may pose many health risks based on the type of pellet used. For example, a test found that certain Douglas fir pellets leave a heavy deposit of creosote on the stove. Creosote is a thick gummy substance that is harmful to humans. The IARC says that creosote is carcinogenic. This means that it can likely cause cancer.

As for the good points, wood smokers do not leave food raw. So you at least get that. Although be very careful when picking out the right type of pellets.

Practical benefits: gas smoker vs. wood smoker

Apart from the health benefits, there are a lot of other benefits in gas smokers vs. wood smokers.

Gas smoker:

  • They require lesser cooking time. Rapidly heating the food will make cooking faster and reduce time spent near the stove.
  • They are more environment-friendly. They do not release harmful by-products into the atmosphere.
  • Gas smokers are best for cooking rare and medium rare steaks. We recommend them for lightly roasting the food from the inside.
  • They are able to melt fat deposits and are healthier for the heart.

Wood smoker:

  • They are more cost-efficient. The fuel is affordable and cost friendly. Users will not find any issue in buying wooden pellets.
  • Renewable energy. Doesn’t require you to buy an entire gas tank every now and then.
  • Temperature can easily be controlled by merely changing the number of wood pellets.
  • Do not pose the threat of undercooking food. It means your food will be very healthy.

Which do we recommend: propane smoker vs. wood smoker

Now here’s a tough one. We like to give our reader’s choice to decide. But if you ask us, both the gas smoker and the wood smoker can be a good choice.

Gas smoker vs wood smoker

In particular, the gas smoker is best for those on a high budget who want professional cooking. The wood smoker is more recommended for those who want variety and low costs.


All in all, both the gas smoker and the wood smoker have proven to be great candidates for cooking. However, one always dominates the other. But we find that both have their own uses and health benefits. You just need to decide yourself which type of smoker is best for you. Don’t forget to tell us about which smoker turned out to be your favorite. We love hearing from you.

And as always, Bon appetite!

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