Offset Smoker vs Electric Smoker: Which One is Better?
As the saying goes, “There’s more than 6 birds in the bush, when you have too many chefs in the kitchen”. That’s how it goes right? Something like that anyway. The point is that there are many ways to achieve smoked meat greatness. All you need is the will, the desire, and some cash. Whatever the budget there is a smoker out there for everyone. Low and slow is the motto for every backyard pit master but there are different levels of slow and this is still the era of instant gratification. Not every would be BBQ boss is willing to wait hours and hours or pay attention to their pit. What kind of pit master do you want to be? The first thing to decide is what is your level of commitment, and then the heat source. Do you want to go electric or wood and fire? Let’s explore the offset smoker vs. the electric smoker.
Electric smokers exist but they are the lazy man’s smoker. That isn’t meant to be provocative or an insult, just a fact. This type of smoker is as easy as it gets and doesn’t require much skill to use, but you acquire much skill from using it either. If all you want is to have delicious smoked meat or possibly vegetables, with minimal work, then electric is the way. An electric smoker is kind of like a giant microwave that you leave outside. They are giant cubes that you can smoke a lot of stuff in with ease. No previous knowledge of cooking or smoking is needed. One can literally set it and forget it like a microwave. Put the food in, set the timer, and go back occasionally to add more pellets. The biggest advantage of these is that you can put a brisket in, go to bed, and not have to worry about anything. Know yourself and your own motivation and desire before buying anything so you don’t end up with an expensive lawn ornament.
Too many times it’s been stated, “I’ll get an electric smoker to learn what I’m doing, THEN I’ll get an offset smoker”. That is the most flawed logic ever. It’s like buying a boat so you can learn how to ride a bike. Offset smokers are the true test of a cooker and the only way to achieve pit mastery. The wood goes into the smoker box, fire is added, and the meat goes on the grills. The only way to learn is to use an offset smoker and hone your craft. Using an offset smoker isn’t totally about the end product; it’s more about the journey. It’s about being outside, away from distraction, connecting with the environment and the food. Being hands on and engaged in the cook is a stress reliever and an escape from the digital world and the hassles that come with it. When asking which one is better, the offset smoker or electric smoker, the winner is obvious: offset all the way.
Go forth budding pit master and season with conviction and confidence! Follow The Smoke Ring Society on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Be sure to like, share, and leave a comment or drop a hint for future content you’d like to see on any platform.
2 thoughts on “Offset Smoker vs Electric Smoker: Which One is Better?”
I would like to add- how about both? I love me some smoked meat.
While I love the process of an offset (plus the few beers that go with it) – I also like it on a Tuesday, when a 3 AM start to my fire is just not realistic because of the job that pays for this smoking habit.
I say go for both. The true form (offset) and the convenient form.