Oh! I just can’t get over the holidays! Our home smells good from the different kinds of food. The place is fixed and squeaky clean. You get that anxious feeling waiting for relatives to arrive. It is that one time of the year of getting together celebrating the Yuletide Season. The preparation to make the Holiday a success is quite stressful. There is planning here and there, not only the decorations, but the menu as well. This is the part where you have to prepare all equipment necessary, along with the ingredients to make a dish with a sumptuous outcome. With the whole menu in mind, what makes us excited are the smoked dishes. Just thinking of the meat and skewers will make you jump on the inside and drooling. This type of dish is also easy to prepare. There are various types of smoking to use which depends on your expertise. In this article, we will discuss the differences among charcoal and electric and gas smoking. These methods have their fair share of pros and cons not only in cooking but also in our health. We need to know all these so we will get a heads up on which ones need to be avoided.
The Difference Among Charcoal, Electric & Gas Smoking?
Is it really necessary to know the difference among charcoal, gas, and electric smoker? It is surely a yes! There are some aspects that are altered, not that much though, based on the type of smoker you are using. What is common to charcoal, gas, and electric grill is the change in the taste of food depending on the type of grill you are using. Other factors are the features of each smoker respectively to which we will dig into further.
Charcoal smoker will give you traditional vibes of grilling. This method perfectly fits if you have your own backyard where you get to enjoy it with the family or friends. However, there is a need of keeping the grill in distance from them. The backyard is the perfect space for charcoal smokers.
You can easily move around and distance yourself once you start grilling as it produces intense heat and smoke. There is no control to switch on or switch off once you start this type of smoker. Knowing the process of using a charcoal smoker, it takes an ample time compared to gas or electric smokers. It takes time lighting the coals and stoke them until reaching the desired temperature. Keep an eye as well on your charcoal smoker until you finish cooking to avoid overcooking the dish. Add briquettes if necessary and increase time to cool it off once you are finished cooking.
Pros of Charcoal Smoking
- Different charcoal broiled flavor
- Enjoy grilling within your budget
- A traditional barbecue cook-out
- Scorch grilled food with a bonus of nutty caramel texture
Cons of Charcoal Smoking
- Produces carcinogenic smoke that can cause cancer
- There is a need of continuous purchase of charcoal and maintain good condition
- Requires ample time to start grilling
- Briquettes must be left to cool on their own since it can’t be turned off
- A spacious place is required
Gas smoking gained popularity next to the traditional charcoal smoking. Gas smokers offer the same smoky flavor of food just like charcoal smokers, but they are more convenient to use. Other features gas smokers may offer are burners, smoker boxes, rotisserie and others. Gas smokers may be powered by propane or natural gas.
The advantage of gas smokers against charcoal smokers is you have full control over the temperature. However, hooked up to natural gas limits the portability of a gas smoker. With all other features and accessories that goes along with a gas smoker, it requires plenty of room. Unlike charcoal smoker, gas smokers do not have to be heated up 20-30 minutes before starting the grilling.
Pros of Gas Smoking
- Choices of other features
- No emission of carcinogens
- Quickly cook the food
- Food results to real barbeque flavor
Cons of Gas Smoking
- Needs space and will not suit some housing complexes
- Being hooked to a natural gas line will make it impossible for portability
- Propane tank can be harmful
- Larger than an electric or charcoal smoker
With the continuous age modernization, equipment also evolves. Thus, through the changes, an electric smoker being the latest modernized smoker is popular to market nowadays. An outlet is necessary for this type of smokers to work.
You can also choose your preferred size that will perfectly fit to your home. You can get personal sized or even a large one perfect for outdoors and get togethers. Electrical smokers, unlike charcoal and gas-powered ones, do not give charbroiled flavor to the food. That would be a great taste difference that some will not be pleased with. Electric smokers do not produce carcinogenic smoke which makes it a healthier choice compared to charcoal and gas smokers.
Pros of Electric Smoking
- Quickly heats up
- Easier to use
- Safe and healthier
- Various options and has an available counterpart perfect for smaller homes
Cons of Electric Smoking
- Needs to be plugged to a power outlet
- Classic charbroiled taste is not recreated
- Frequent use will cause an increase in electricity bills
Which is Which?
We all have our own choices when it comes to smoking, and despite the charcoal and wood health risk, this traditional smoking is still the best option if you opt for that sumptuous charbroiled taste. But if you are after the convenience of not having to wait for the briquettes to heat up the smoker, you may use gas smokers or electric smokers. Charcoal vs wood vs gas smoking time varies pretty much.
- Both charcoal and wood will take a longer time to prepare compared to gas smoking. As mentioned, there is a need to make embers out of the wood or charcoal before you proceed to cooking.
- Various models and types of smokers are available in the market. It is up to the user what will be his preference in consideration to all the factors that are mentioned. If any two of the mentioned smokers are available at home, that is way convenient because there is a choice which will be used.
- Budget wise, charcoal smoking is your best option, however, checking your food from time to time is advised since it is highly possible that charcoal smoking may cook food unevenly.
- Health and environment wise, the perfect choice is electric smoking. It does not emit carcinogenic elements that may damage both health and the environment.
With these great choices in smoking, there is no agreement that we limit ourselves in experimenting with our recipes. You can twist one recipe and another so as to make meals exciting with family and friends. Get togethers will never be boring. Although, we must keep in mind the necessary measures to keep us safe when using our chosen smoker. Taking into consideration all the pros and cons of charcoal, gas or electric smoking, we can weigh our decision well. We will be able to think thoroughly which smoker fits for us. Using a traditional smoker such as a charcoal smoker, you may add up accessories to avoid burning your food and for an even cooking.
Whatever we choose, let us prioritize our family and the environment. What is more rewarding than spending time and enjoying the moment with them. Having even just a barbeque or smoked food with the right people can turn a bad day into a perfect one. It is never too dull sharing the table or a picnic with the gang. Appreciating the moment will last a lifetime and will forever be in the memories of your loved ones. Have a good laugh with the type of smoker you have chosen.