Goodbye wood smoker, hello electric grill

About four years ago, I purchased a meat smoker, lured by the prospect of preparing my own smoked meats and experimenting with new recipes. I had chosen a medium-sized, high-quality wood-fired model with a thick, sturdy casing built to last. Since then, pellet smokers have emerged, automating much of the smoking process, although cooking times remain unchanged. The cost of cooking meat with such smoking increases due to the cost of specialized pellets.

Ultimately, the smoker proved a bad investment. Last week, I sold it secondhand, about half a year after I put the advert up. I was lucky, I got back more than three-quarters of the money I originally paid for it, and that’s only because the price of new products went way up.

Today, I’d like to share my experience with the smoker and discuss why it turned out to be a regrettable investment. By sharing my story, I hope you can learn from my mistakes and consider this article a cautionary tale before venturing into a similar endeavor.

It takes a long time to smoke food

As someone who enjoys cooking, I generally prefer quick recipes that don’t require excessive time in the kitchen. In this regard, using a smoker didn’t suit my needs. My time could be better spent than dedicating half a day to monitoring a brisket in the smoker. Tasks like watching the temperature, adding wood, and basting the meat with marinade must be performed at precise intervals; otherwise, the final product may not meet expectations, or worse, an expensive cut of beef could be ruined.

During the COVID pandemic, I used the smoker far less than anticipated. Although I worked from home for extended periods, remote work often involved long hours in video conferences and spending considerable time in front of the computer screen. Balancing work and the supervision of the smoking process was challenging.

Additionally, gathering in large groups was impossible due to restrictions and quarantine measures. Frankly, it felt different to fire up the smoker just to smoke a small portion of meat for ourselves.

Too much smoke can be an issue

Fortunately, I have a spacious garden, which allowed me to position the smoker in a way that didn’t disturb my neighbors with the smoke produced. Wind-blown smoke drifting across a neighbor’s fence for hours would not be tolerable for anyone.

I advise anyone with a small or cramped garden to reconsider owning a smoker. It’s not practical in such limited spaces, and smoke-related issues are almost guaranteed to arise, potentially causing problems with neighbors or other household members.

You need good meat to get good results

It goes without saying that using quality ingredients is crucial to achieving the right results. However, even with top-notch ingredients, success is not guaranteed.

No one is born an expert, and as with any skill, initial mistakes are common, especially without guidance from someone more experienced. By the time I finally mastered the art of smoking food, I had made my fair share of errors, which unfortunately led to the ruin of some exceptional and costly cuts of meat. Looking back, I can’t help but feel regret over these mistakes.

Hello electric grill

All the reasons mentioned above made me give up the smoker. The entire experience failed to bring me satisfaction and negatively impacted my finances.

With the right mindset, I’m better off taking my family out to dinner in an expensive smokehouse than continuing my adventures with the smoker.

Because summer is coming and we still like to sit at a barbecue in the evening, we opted for an electric barbecue model from Weber called Q2400.

There’s no need to say there’s a huge difference between a smoker and an electric grill. We had to say goodbye to the distinct flavor and taste achieved through smoking.

However, the electric grill offers the advantage of being practical, and I have no concerns about using it during the driest months of the year. This makes it a safer and more environmentally friendly option for outdoor cooking.


In conclusion, while my meat smoker adventure didn’t turn out as I had hoped, it allowed me to learn valuable lessons about cooking preferences, time management, and the importance of considering personal circumstances before investing in a kitchen appliance.

That is, I have learned the expensive way to make better-informed decisions in the future. I can’t turn back time, but I hope that sharing my experiences will help you avoid making the same mistakes I did.

The cover picture is taken from Elen Ogannisyan on Unsplash, because I don't know why I didn't take a picture of my smoker while I still had it.

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