Electric Smoker vs. Food Dehydrator

electric smoker vs. food dehydrator

What is the difference between an electric smoker and food dehydrator? Well, even though they have similar functions, the resulting product and how they perform is quite different. Both offer the option to preserve, make and increase the flavor of the meal.

  • What are their characteristics?

Dehydrators preserve food in a nutritious and safe way. Through the extraction of moist, you can keep vegetables and fruits for a long time. Smoker has some other benefits – it smokes and gives your meal that tender and moist flavor.

  • What’s the bottom line?

A high-quality electric smoker makes it easier for you to cook some delicious meals. It provides the perfect temperature that is required, keeping away the harmful emissions caused by Gas or Charcoal smokers. On the other hand, the dehydrator will dry your fruits and vegetables, extend their longevity and retain the minerals and vitamins.

Let’s take a look at the processes of smoking and dehydrating.

1. Electric Smoker


Electric smokers are very easy to use. The modern one uses electricity and works quite simply. The push-button start makes it functional.

The heat settings range from 100 to 280 F degrees. The smoker regulates the right temperature and will inform you via the alarm once it is reached. There is no need to add water, no guesswork, no need to turn the meat, add seasoning or rub it constantly.

Its walls are 100 percent insulated so it will enhance the even cooking. Because of its 24-hour timer with an automatic shut-off, your food will never be dry up or overcooked. As a result, you will get the best taste and texture of your meal.

2. Dehydrator


It is a small kitchen device that is used to dehydrate or dry fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, liquids, and even seeds and craft items for gardening. Utilizing small amounts of heat and a built-in fan, it reduces the overall amount of water in meats, veggies, fruits, and other meals.

When it removes the liquid, the food will not spoil for a long time because it reduces the bacteria growth. The best part is that dehydrator allows you to retain all the vitamins and nutrients within the vegetables and fruits. Depending on its capability it can take a few hours or longer time to remove the moisture.

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Pros of Electric Smokers


As we said already, these appliances are a great option for increasing the flavor of your food.

  • Easy to use – This device regulates the heat so that your meal comes out perfectly cooked. Depending on what is smoking, you can easily set the temperature. Many of them come with the wireless connectivity to apps or remote controls.
  • Use it as a Grill – You can also use it as a grill for the barbecue. These versatile devices are excellent for making the best venison, turkey, fish, and chicken.
  • Retains the taste – The smoker will give your meal the moist and tender taste. Your nourishment will be delicious when it is cooked properly.
  • Durability – These kitchen devices are known for their durability. The materials and design used in them are sturdy and imported, making it hundred percent safe for your family and you. Their inner walls are rust resistant and made from stainless steel.
  • Multitasking – Set it and forget it. Place the food in an electric smoker and adjust it to the desired heat. After that, leave it to switch off on its own.
  • Space and lightweight – The smoking chamber size ranges from 530 to 730 square inches. Most of these appliances are spacious enough to cook meals for a large group of people. With the weigh range from 40 to 60 pounds, they are also very easy to assemble and move.
  • Kills bacteria – Smoking your cuisine will prevent mold from fermenting or fat from becoming rancid. This way, it will extend the longevity of the meal.

Pros of the Dehydrator


Dehydrating is a cost-effective, easy and fun way to prepare fresh food for snacking or storage.

  • Removes Microbes, preserves nourishment – The dehydrator will eliminate the water from vegetables or fruits. It retains their natural enzymes, minerals, and vitamins. ‘’Removing moisture from food restrains various bacteria from growing and spoiling food. Further, removing moisture reduces the weight of the food. Thus, dehydrators are used to preserve and extend the shelf life of various foods.’’ according to Science of Cooking.
  • No Chemicals or preservatives – It contains only the meal you are dehydrating.
  • Saves the money – ‘’You'll be able to purchase food at a discount and then process it for use throughout the year.’’ according to Whole New Mom.
  • Preservation and easy storage – When you remove the water from the fruits or vegetables by dehydrating it, you will reduce the growth of bacteria. This way your snacks will stay safe and preserved much longer.
  • Speed – The dehydrators will speed up the drying process. It will result in the raised incidence of extra retention of meal color, and it will prevent the bacteria growth.
smoked corn

Cons of Electric Smoker


  • Complicated features – The smoker has some complex components such as programmable timers, thermostats, and heating elements. They will need a replacement after some time, and they are tougher to maintain.
  • Cooking – Because of the low water content in the smoker, it is hard to keep the meat moist. Sometimes you will need to cook it before you smoke it.
  • Carcinogenic – According to some experts, when you burn the food it develops polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAH which can cause a stomach cancer.

Cons of the Dehydrator


  • Vitamin Loss – The downside of these appliances is that they will lower the content of vitamin C and A in vegetables and fruits.
  • Not very tasty – If you want a delicious food than a dehydrator is not a good option for you.
  • Expensive – Many of these devices cost a lot more than sun drying or simple air dehydrator.

To Conclude


If you want to eat better and increase your levels of food preservation and preparedness, then you should buy a dehydrator. But, if you are looking for an excellent appliance for a perfect barbecue then the electric smoker is a great option for you. We hope that this article will help you when choosing between these two units.

After all, it all depends on your personal preferences.

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