Pellet Smoker vs Wood Smoker: Which One is Better for You?

It’s critical to comprehend the dispute between wood and pellet smokers if you’re thinking about purchasing a pellet smoker. There is a heated argument amongst supporters of smoking, and neither side is willing to give ground.

Pellet smokers can be a better choice if you want to be able to accurately manage the temperature of your smoker. On either hand, a traditional wood smoker would definitely be more appropriate if you need your meal to have intense smokey characteristics without being overbearing.

The qualities that are most essential to you will determine which smoker design is better because both have numerous advantages.

What Is A Pellet Smoker?

In a pellet smoker, compressed sawdust pellets are used to provide smoke and heat for the food. For those who are looking to save money, pellet smokers may be a better option than traditional smokers, which require a lot of time and effort to maintain.

Pellet smokers are perfect for camping, tailgating and traveling because of their modest size and portability, provided you have electricity access.

How Do Pellet Smokers Perform?

Most electric pellet smokers burn the pellets with a hot rod as they are fed into the firebox by an auger that resembles a screw.

Sawdust and other types of wood waste are compressed to create pellets. When you turn on your pellet smoker, a fire will be started in the burn pot by the igniter.

Once within the heat exchanger, the pellets are heated to a temperature of roughly 400–500 degrees Fahrenheit. They warm up and ignite, producing heat and smoke.

When the pellets are fully lit, the hot rod is turned off, and pellets are kept coming in to maintain the desired temperature.

Pellet smokers are fantastic because they produce very little ash, making cleanup simple. There is hardly much trash. These appliances are made to burn very well, and the majority of them have thermostatic controls, making it easy to manage the temperature.

What Is A Wood Smoker?

A smoker that employs wood as a fuel source rather than propane, pellets or another type of fuel is referred to as a “wood smoker” in general. Charcoal can be used in wood smokers, and many individuals do so to suit their purposes.

If you value food that is done slowly and carefully, wood smokers are great.

Smokers are classified as wood smokers if they use wood. Because wood is used to make the pellets, a smoker using pellets is a smoker using wood. However, the majority of individuals can tell the difference between true wood, whether it be chunks of wood or chips.

How Do Wood Smokers Perform?

Wood smokers are incredibly adaptable and simple to use. Without requiring you to be an experienced smoker, they consistently create high quality. One of the most difficult aspects of smoking is maintaining a consistent temperature, but a wood-fired smoker eliminates this challenge.

Pellet smokers are less forgiving than wood smokers because you can choose the size and type of wood you want to use. Wood chips are a product that can be used by some people, and they are available for purchase on Amazon as well as other reputable retailers. There are numerous hardwoods and nut woods in which to get these chips.

Apple, cherries, hickory, maples, and oaks are among the most common types of wood to utilize in a wood smoker. Your cuisine will benefit from the distinct flavors that each variety of wood imparts.

Try out various woods to choose the one you prefer. Additionally, you can combine several kinds of wood to develop a unique flavor.

As an alternative, you could split your own wood that can be used in your smoker if you have recourse to it. Your fire will spread more quickly if you divide it into smaller pieces. I enjoy breaking wood into kindling-sized pieces.

Pellet Smoker vs Wood Smoker

It can be difficult to choose between wood smokers and pellet smokers for your outdoor cooking needs. As is the case with practically every comparison between two distinct types of product, both options come with a set of advantages as well as some drawbacks.

Pellet smokers tend to be composed of materials that are relatively lightweight and have a smaller footprint than their wood-burning counterparts, whether they are vertical or offset. They are not difficult to maneuver, and their operation is uncomplicated.

In the end, the decision needs to be made based on the kind of smoking that you wish to engage in. Because pellet smokers are on the smaller side, they will not be able to cook significant quantities of meat using one. A power source and pellets are required; there is no other way to smoke in case you run out.

Wood smokers are typically quite large, particularly horizontal smokers, and they have the capacity to smoke a substantial quantity in a single session.

The fact that they are more bulky and difficult to move around compensates for the fact that they are a more traditional method of smoking.

Vertical smokers can be fueled by wood or charcoal, but they have a significantly smaller cooking space, so it is important to examine it carefully before buying a product. 

A pellet smoker is a great option for you if you are interested in technology, want something that is easy to use, and only needs to cook for a limited number of people.

A wood smoker is definitely your best option if you want to learn how to smoke expertly, host huge gatherings, or simply cook a lot of meat.

Cost Differences Between Pellet and Wood Smokers

You should expect to pay anywhere from $350 and above for a pellet smoker. ZGrills and Traeger grills are two of the most famous brands of pellet grills and smokers.

It is also worthwhile to take a look at Masterbuilt electric smokers because this brand is one of the most popular on the market and has a solid reputation for both its construction quality and its dedication to its customers.

Vertical and offset wood smokers can be manufactured at home and normally start at approximately $150. They have a more straightforward design, consisting mostly of grilling surfaces. Drums with a capacity of 55 gallons are frequently used in their construction.

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