A Smoker vs a Grill – Which one should you buy?
A Grill or a food smoker is an excellent addition to your lawn for summer. And if you think that both of them are the same, then you're wrong. Grilling and smoking are entirely different techniques, and the flavors produced by the smoker vs grill differ as well.
If you're in a mood to use a grill for smoking the food, then we would like to correct you here. A smoked meat enthusiast can easily identify your trick as there would be lack of smoked flavors, and you'll not feel good about it. So it's better to understand the fact that, smokers and grills, both are a separate unit having different features and advantages.
Both grills and smokers are said to perform basic functions, but their offerings and benefits are very different from each other. In this article, we aim to make you aware of all the differences between a grill and smoker and help you select the right one. So if you're confused with their working and features, and are planning to buy one of them, make sure to go through the article.
Difference Between Smokers and Grills
The most important factor which makes cooking possible with smokers and grills is the temperature. Both smokers and grills use a different cooking temperature to cook food. On one side, a grill uses direct heat to prepare the meal, whereas, a smoker uses indirect heat to cook food.
Because of direct heating, the temperature of the grill reaches as high as 400 degrees or even more. No matter which type of grill (gas or charcoal) you're using, the cooking temperature will be very high.
On the other hand, the cooking temperature of smokers ranges from 160°F - 300°F. This doesn't mean that you'll be not able to perform cooking with toys temperature, as meat, vegetables, cheese and most of the meats requires a lower temperature to get smoked.
#Design And Construction:-
You might find some smokers and grills to have a similar appearance, but we would like to tell you that both of them are completely different from interiors.
Grills are designed in such a manner that the cooking grates receive direct heat, whereas, smokers are designed in a way where it uses indirect heat to cook food.
So whether you're using charcoal, or gas grill, the heat will be directly striking directly to the grates. And that's the only reason why grills take a lesser amount of time to prepare your meal.
On the other side, food smoker uses indirect heat where heat is vented to the cooking chamber from the fire chamber. Hence, it takes more cooking time when compared with grills.
If you're using a food smoker, then you're in a great position to preserve your foods, if prepared properly. You cannot achieve a food preservation method while grilling your food. When there were no refrigerators in the market, people were supposed to preserve their food by smoking or salting them.
However, the preservation of meat is done through hard smoking, where you get a final product similar to jerky. To preserve meat, a large amount of salt is used, and the meat is smoked until it lost all of its moisture.
Salt not only remove moisture from the meat but also resist the development of bacteria. So to preserve your food, we would recommend you smoker here.
Types Of Food Smokers available in the market
Electric smokers are one of the easiest to use smokers, which also eliminates the use of propane gas or charcoal. This also means that you'll never run out of fuel while working with electric smokers. But most of the smoked meat enthusiast says that electric smokers don't provide you as many smoked flavors as a charcoal smoker does.
However, if you prefer convenience for yourself, then a best electric smoker will be a perfect pick for you. One thing to note here is, you've to provide a continuous and steady supply of electricity to the smoker. So you cannot take the unit on a road trip.
Wherever there's fire, there's smoke. And this is what over which a charcoal smoker is based on. Charcoal smokers are those type of smokers which uses charcoal as a fuel. This charcoal produces smoke which cooks the meat.
It is obvious to say that charcoal smokers provide the best authentic flavors to the meat. So if the taste does matter for you, then you shouldn't look for the alternates of charcoal smokers.
However, some buyers don't like to have these smokers because of less convenience. Starting a charcoal smoker requires some efforts and some users may not like it.
Electric smokers are convenient to use whereas charcoal smokers provide best flavors, but you've to go through learning tutorial to become a master. However, gas smokers also allow you to cook delicious smoked food with good flavors.
Moreover, this is quite affordable than electric smokers and are easier to use when compared with charcoal smokers.
These smokers get heat up quickly and easily, and even maintains consistent cooking temperature for a long time. It also requires less attention which means you don't have to worry about burning of the food.
Types Of Grills available in the market
Gas grills are one of the most popular grills available in the market. This route of grills can be operated on both, bottled propane and natural gas as well. However, most of the gas grills run over propane gas, but they can easily convert into natural gas.
Some of the people ask for the differences between propane and natural gas grills, and there's a little difference between these two. Natural gas grills offer more convenience and are less expensive than propane tanks.
We would recommend these type of grills for those who are impatient and wants quick fire up of the grill. So if you're one of them, you should not miss this.
Charcoal grills are not said to be much convenient as cooking with this type of grill is quite time-consuming. Charcoal grills use charcoal as the fuel. You've to throw some efforts to begin it.
No doubt, charcoal grills are more expensive than gas grills, but many people who are genuine meat lovers prefer charcoal grills because of authentic flavors. The flavor of the food gets more enhanced if made using natural wood.
This type of grill is recommended for those people who can't just miss the smoky, grilled flavor. So overall, grilling with charcoal grills is a pure art which will be missing with a modern gas grill.
Similar to electric smokers, electric grill also offers more convenience when compared with charcoal or gas grills. The cooking in this device is performed with the help of heated grill plates, without any involvement of fire.
This type of grill is best suited for those people who can't deal with the fire regulations using gas or charcoal grills. The only thing that is against this type of grill is the taste. The taste and flavors are good, but they just can't be compared with the flavors offered by traditional grills.
Smoker vs Grill - Which is better for you?
Choosing the right one between a smoker vs a grill is tough; there are some important things you should consider. Some of them are listed below which may help you decide the right one.
#For What Purpose Do You Want Smoker or Grill?
You've to think about what type of food you love to cook. Is that meat, burgers, or just vegetables? If you're looking to cook a whole chicken or a lamb leg, then it is recommended to go with smokers.
This would bring out the best flavors of the meat along with smoky taste. As we mentioned, smokers use indirect heat to cook food which will add extra flavors in it. Just make sure that there's enough moisture remaining in the meat to avoid dryness.
Whereas, if you're planning to cook smaller pieces of meat, then grill will be ideal for you. Direct heat would be providing a steady and high temperature that is recommended.
#Do You Have Enough Storage Space?
The place where you are planning to set up your smoker or grill matters a lot. There are a huge number of grills and smokers available in the market having different sizes. It is your budget which will make you choose from.
However, if you've storage issues at your place, then there are even compact sized smokers available. Looking at grills, you can find compact grills which are small in size that you can take it along with you.
So before making a final call, we would recommend you to check the weight and dimensions of your respective grill or smoker.
#For How Many People You Want To Cook For?
This is another important factor which you should look at while choosing between smoker and grill. So if you want a smoker or grill to cook for your entire family, guests and close friends, then you must go with a model having a larger capacity. Both grills and smokers come in different cooking space.
If you're looking to handle catering for many people, then smokers are highly recommended, as more food can fit into it. Whereas, if you want to host small family get together, then grill would be a perfect pick for that.
However, if you've more demand then make sure that the cooking grates of the grill can handle the job easily.
Honestly saying, whether you choose a smoker or a grill, it will be based on your personal preferences. Grilling food is quite straightforward and easy art to prepare food, whereas smoking provides you some more offerings and choices.
Moreover, grills have a higher cooking temperature and prepare food at a faster rate. And that's the reason why they are recommended for barbecues. On the other hand, smoking food takes time, but the taste it offers is better than that of grills. I hope this helps you choose between a grill and a smoker.
Last updated on March 6th, 2019 at 10:24 am