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Smoker or Pellet Grill?

A smoker grill is the best choice when compared to a pellet grill. The smoker is designed to smoke and grill foods for a much lower price point. Beginner grillers should get the smoker if they are looking for a cheap entry point into grilling.

There are several grill types out there in the world. When shopping for a new grill, you might find yourself scratching your head between an offset smoker and a pellet grill. It’s understandable, as both grills look similar, but that is where any similarity ends. Which type of grill you get depends on what you are cooking and your own needs.

Before you get overwhelmed by choice and disregard getting a grill altogether, you need to think about the main differences between a smoker and a pellet grill. Then you can properly make your choice when you see which one is better for you.

What Are The Pros and Cons Of A Pellet Grill?

Pellet grills are almost an upgrade of their distant cousin, the smoker, and they work the same way as the smoker. However, instead of using charcoal and woodchips, the pellet grill runs on pellets. The hardwood pellets are drip fed into the firebox automatically to keep the temperature that you set.

Because of this, you don’t need to continually be stoking the fire or adding more wood to the blaze. You can just sit back and let your items cook without a need to babysit the grill. But one of the cons of a pellet grill is the power consumption. It is electrically powered and needs to be plugged in to work. Some pellet grills even have Wi-Fi, so everything is controlled from your phone.

Can A Pellet Grill Be Used As A Smoker?

Since a pellet grill and a smoker are almost distant cousins, some people see that as the same. Then they wonder if a pellet grill can become a smoker as well. In this case, those people are correct. Pellet grills can be used as smokers, and their versatility allows them to do much more.

Plus, since pellet grills work on wood pellets, the smoke flavor is not as pronounced. Even if you do put in too much smoke, it is tough to over smoke meat in a pellet grill.

Are Pellet Smokers Better Than Regular Smokers?

In their versatility, yes. Pellet smokers cannot only smoke and grill but also bake and cook. Plus, you just need to flick a switch to turn it on, and then it’s fire and forget. The wood pellets should keep your grill at the temperature you define, and that’s that. It is perfect for beginners to the barbeque circuit.

A regular smoker does require more care and knowledge of fire and food. You also need to be more hands-on with it, and regular smokers can’t do as much. However, they are much cheaper than their pellet counterparts. They also work without using power so that you can use them anytime, anywhere.

Are Pellet Grills Unhealthy?

I’ve seen this question on many forums, and I figure I should give you the answer as I see it. The wood pellets are made of wood, burn like wood, and produce the same type of smoke as a standard grill. They are just the same as any other cooking fuel and are not a health hazard.

The real health risk is the way that you grill and the foods that you eat. If you eat meat with a lot of fat on it, and when fat starts to sizzle, you get heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These are harmful to you and your food, but you can avoid ever releasing them.

First, don’t char your meat to more than a crisp. Charring releases more of these HCAs and also ruins the taste of the meat. While you can have a little char if you like it, your meat should not be a black lump of inedible flesh.

Who Makes The Best Smoker?

Ask this question to any grillmaster, and you get a different response each time. In my opinion, the best smoker has to come from ‘The Big Green Egg.’ They are expensive, to be sure, but these kamado-style grills look lovely and can cook just about anything. It’s probably easier to list what the Egg does not do! It also comes in seven different sizes to fit snugly into any backyard.

Picking The Correct Grill Type

If you are looking for a grill, then you need to know what you are looking for. Do you simply want to smoke meat all day? Do you need a grill that can be used to bake? What type of fuel are you comfortable using?

The answers to these questions are the things that should pick the grill for you. But for a beginner grillmaster with a desire to do everything, I’d have to recommend shelling out some more money for a pellet grill.

Article by: Almog Keynan

Beyond being married and a father of three my real passion is to grill and smoke food. ever since I was young I have enjoyed smoked meat. If you want to know more about me check out the about page.