Smoker Power Types

As you will discover, smokers come in a number of different options. Each serves its purpose with distinct pros and cons. Typically, a person will try one or more types of power for smokers, finding the one they like best. For instance, one person may prefer the charcoal smoker while someone else may think a gas smoker has more advantages. The choice is a personal one with there being no right or wrong decision.

Wood Smoker

Many smokers operate solely on wood, whether as an entire log or wood chips and/or chunks. Keep in mind that even gas and charcoal smokers can use wood if you like. The nice thing about adding the wood is the flavor. Every species of wood used for smoking food has a unique flavor. In this case, you would find that mesquite is quite strong while oak and hickory have a nice, but full-bodied flavor. For something smoky but milder, most individuals will choose apple or peach.

The wood burned in a smoker infuses into the food being cooked, giving it a rich, delicious flavor. Now, some types of wood are not good for smokers. For instance, you want to stay away from conifers, which contain tar. The same is true for scrap building wood, which is often chemically treated. Therefore, the best and safest choice is to purchase prepackaged wood chips or chunks, knowing they are designed specifically for the smoker.


To use a charcoal smoker, you would have some type of briquette made from charcoal, which would become the heat source. In addition, you could choose lump coal although it is a little more challenging to find. The only difference is that lump coal is literally wood, which has been converted into charcoal, being a pure form of the substance. Along with charcoal, most people will choose wood, which again creates the wonderful smoky aroma and flavor.

Natural Gas and Propane

The advantage to natural gas or propane is that lighting it is easy. However, people also love the fact that gas burns clean and temperatures are much easier to control. Many people who love to smoke foods will turn to gas or propane, using wood to create humidity and the smoky flavor. With gas, you eliminate the taste of anything but the meat with just a hint of smoke.


This particular type of grill/smoker is a combination. In other words, you would be able to cook using a variety of techniques. Because of this, the hybrid unit is becoming very popular but keep in mind, it is a relatively new concept so therefore, higher priced at the present.