Smokers VS Grills – What’s The Difference?
Are you getting ready for summertime parties and outdoor fun this season? If so, you may also be considering upgrading your outdoor kitchen. There are many options, and two of the most common are a smoker or a grill. But what are the differences between the two? Let’s answer that by first looking at the three primary types of grills.
Types of grills
Grilling is a popular method of preparing food outside over an open flame. Grills are usually recognized by their fuel source. Those are:
- Charcoal, small briquettes that turn into hot coals when ignited;
- Gas, a method that uses a continual source of propane as the fuel;
- And Electric, which is much smaller and requires access to a power source to work.
With charcoal grilling, you can sometimes add wood chips to achieve a similar effect as smoking.
Then what makes a smoker different?
A smoker uses what is called a smoking chamber to cook food. It’s traditionally fueled by wood logs, wood chips, or wood pellets. You will occasionally even see smokers that use the same fuel sources as grilling. But in that case, the process of smoking is still significantly different than that of grilling.
So, a smoker vs a grill: what are the differences?
As we’ve already looked at the fuel sources, the primary difference between a smoker and a grill is the cooking temperature. We sell both styles here at Burlington Fireplace, so let’s take a closer look at the process of each.
With a grill, you typically are searing the meat. This is a process akin to caramelization, browning the surface and killing bacteria. Grilling also has two distinct methods: direct and indirect heat. With direct heat, you raise the temperature of your grill to somewhere around 450 degrees and cook the meat fairly quickly. Indirect heat is a lower temperature, usually no higher than 300 degrees which takes longer.
Smoking, on the other hand, is a much slower process than indirect heat even. Traditional smoked barbecue, for example, uses heat no higher than 250 degrees. There’s even a much lower-degree method called Cold Smoking, with temperatures reaching around 75-90 degrees. Smoking can take as little as 30 minutes for small hamburgers. Typically, however, the traditional smoking process is several hours long.
Brands to consider for your outdoor patio
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of choices for your outdoor patio. Grills and smokers come in various combinations and price points. Some have large cooking surfaces while others are meant to be portable.
So where would a person start? We say with the best! Some of the top brands of grills and smokers include:
- Louisiana Grills, which is a pellet-based option;
- Napoleon, a gas grill with amazing build quality;
- Pit Boss Grills, another popular pellet choice;
- And finally, Primo Ceramic Grills, which can function as both a smoker and a grill.
How can I learn more about which is right for my home?
Sometimes, it’s just plain helpful to speak with someone who can go over your needs and point you in the right direction. Our friendly team members would gladly help you decide whether a grill or smoker is the right choice for you.
Would you like to learn more? Then give Burlington Fireplace a call at 262-763-3522 or send us a message via our contact page.