Electric Smoker vs Dehydrator

Electric Smoker vs Dehydrator: 4 Main Differences Discussed

You want to make delicious, healthy food at home, but you’re not sure which kitchen appliance is right for you. Regarding dehydrators and electric smokers, there are some key differences to keep in mind. All the difference lies in how these appliances work to preserve food.

Electric smokers use heat for cooking food, which means that they can produce smoky, flavorful dishes. Dehydrators remove moisture from food, preventing bacteria from growing and helping preserve the food’s nutrients. Before making your decision, you must know all the facts about electric smokers vs dehydrators.

So which one should you buy? If you’re unsure, read for more information about each appliance. We’ll help you determine which option is most appropriate for your needs.

Electric Smoker vs. Dehydrator: What Are the Differences?

Electric Smoker vs Dehydrator What Are the Differences

Electric smokers and dehydrators are both popular food preparation appliances that can be used to create mouthwatering dishes. Although, these two devices serve different purposes and have different features.

Key Differences Between Electric Smokers and Dehydrators:

Electric Smokers:

  • Cook food with heat, producing smoky flavors
  • Ideal for meats, fish, and vegetables
  • It can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Cooks food quickly
  • Easy to operate


  • Prevent bacteria growth by removing moisture from food
  • Ideal for fruits, vegetables, and herbs
  • Must be used indoors
  • It takes longer to dehydrate food
  • Requires more attention

Now that you know the basics let’s dive into each appliance in more detail.

The Function

Dehydrators and electric smokers differ primarily in their functions. Electric smokers cook food with heat, while dehydrators eliminate moisture.

Smokers use wood chips to produce smoke, which flavors the food as it cooks. The temperature inside a smoker is controlled by a thermostat, ensuring that the food doesn’t get overcooked or burnt.

Dehydrators work by removing humidity from food, which prevents bacteria from growing. Dehydrators use low temperatures and fans to slowly dry food by circulating air around it.

Ability to Utilize

If you’re primarily interested in cooking, then an electric smoker is the way to go. Smokers have a single purpose, unlike dehydrators, and are specifically designed for cooking. This makes them much more efficient at smoking food than dehydrators.

Dehydrators, on the other hand, can be used for various purposes. In addition to drying food, they can also be used to preserve herbs and spices, make fruit leathers, and even create homemade potpourri.

The Applications

Dehydrators and smokers both help preserve food, but they have different applications. A dehydrator can be used to prepare various foods, including meats, fish, cereal, fruit, nuts, bread, and vegetables. A smoker’s size determines how much food can be prepared.

Although smokers can be used to prepare a variety of foods, they can only cook one type at a time. This is because each type of food requires a different type of smoke. As a result, smokers are typically used to prepare larger quantities of one type of food, such as meats or fish.

The Attention

A significant difference between an electric smoker and a dehydrator is the required attention. Electric smokers are relatively easy to operate and don’t require much attention. You just need to add the food to the smoker and set the timer.

The food in dehydrators is more prone to getting burnt or overcooked. This is because dehydrators use low temperatures to slowly remove moisture from the food. Pay attention to the type of food you’re dehydrating when setting the temperature on the dehydrator.

Can An Electric Smoker Be Used As a Dehydrator?

Can An Electric Smoker Be Used As a Dehydrator

It is possible, but it isn’t ideal. The temperature of the smoker must be controlled to prevent overcooking. The flavor of beef jerky can be enhanced by smoking, but other food items may be better off being dehydrated in a more traditional fashion.

While an electric smoker can be used to dehydrate meat, it is not the ideal method for doing so. This is because the temperature of an electric smoker can fluctuate quite a bit, making it difficult to control the dehydration process. Smoke from an electric smoker can also impart a strong flavor to meat, which may not be desirable for all types of food.

For these reasons, it is generally best to dehydrate meat in a traditional food dehydrator or an oven. When you use an electric smoker, monitor its temperature closely and only smoke the meat for a short period to avoid adding too much flavor.

Are Dehydrators Capable of Smoking Food?

No, dehydrators are not capable of smoking food. The main purpose of a dehydrator is to remove moisture from food without adding odor. You’ll need to get a separate smoker if you want to smoke food.

Dehydrators use a heating element and fan to circulate hot air around the food, slowly drawing out the water content. The temperature is set low enough so that the water evaporates without cooking the food. This process can take several hours, depending on how much water is in the food and how thick it is.

Once the water is gone, the food will be smaller but retain its original flavor and nutrition. So, a food dehydrator is a good option if you want to eat healthy without adding extra flavors.

Can You Put Fruit In an Electric Smoker?

Can You Put Fruit In an Electric Smoker

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, electric smokers are a great option for smoking fruits without imparting too much smoke flavor. Electric smokers use an element to heat wood chips, which in turn creates smoke.

For most electric smokers, it is best to put the fruit in the smoker for approximately twenty to thirty minutes. The smoker then forces the smoke through a water-filled pan, which cools and filters the smoke without removing any of the flavor or nutrients.

After that, you can turn the smoker off and let the fruit cool down before eating it. When placed in an electric smoker, fruits can acquire a delicious smoky flavor. Smoking fruit preserves its natural sugars, making it a great way to enjoy out-of-season fruit.

Is It Possible to Dry Herbs Using Electric Smokers?

Electric smokers are capable of drying herbs. It is ideal for preserving the flavor and aroma of herbs by drying them. Heat is circulated through the herbs in a smoker, which causes the water inside the leaves to evaporate. 

The process may take a few hours, but it is generally very effective. This method can be very effective, but it is essential to keep an eye on the temperature to prevent the herbs from burning. Additionally, it is crucial to monitor the progress of the drying process closely, as over-drying can also lead to loss of flavor.

The best way to dry herbs is to dry only one type at a time, as different herbs dry at different rates. Although it is possible to dry herbs with electric smokers, not all are designed for that purpose. To ensure your smoker is safe for this use, check its instructions before using this method.

Does An Electric Smoker Dehydrate Beef?

Does An Electric Smoker Dehydrate Beef

Electric smokers offer many benefits over traditional methods of smoking meat. They are easier to use and provide a more consistent result without the hassle of starting a fire and maintaining it for hours. Electric smokers also allow you to cook without the intense smell of smoke, which can be ideal for indoor smoking.

The downside of electric smokers is that they may dehydrate beef more than other methods. This is because electric smokers generate very dry heat, which can cause the meat to lose moisture more quickly. 

To prevent excessive dehydration, it is essential to monitor the beef while it is smoking and to adjust the temperature if necessary. With proper care, an electric smoker can produce delicious, evenly cooked beef full of flavor.

How Do You Use a Dehydrator to Cure Meat?

Dehydrating meat is a great way to preserve it without resorting to chemicals or other methods that can change the taste or odor of the meat. When done correctly, dehydrated meat can last for months without spoiling.

The process is simple and only requires a few hours in a dehydrator. After removing the dried meat from the marinade or brine, pat it dry with a paper towel. Place the meat between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound it to 1/8-inch thickness. 

Then, arrange the meat strips on a food dehydrator tray and set the temperature to the highest setting. This will usually take at least 3 to 4 hours. Once the meat is thoroughly dried, store it in an airtight container or resealable bags until you’re ready to use it. 

Dehydrated meat can be used in any dish that calls for cooked, cured meat, simply rehydrate it in water for 15-20 minutes before use. Dehydrated meat is a healthy and convenient way to have a quick protein-packed snack on hand without having to cook anything.

Can You Dry Peppers In an Electric Smoker?

Can You Dry Peppers In an Electric Smoker

Peppers can be dried in an electric smoker. The process is similar to dehydrating peppers in a dehydrator, but the smoke from the electric smoker will give the peppers a unique flavor.

Peppers are versatile ingredients that can be used in various dishes. They can be eaten fresh, roasted, or pickled, and they add a distinctive flavor to sauces, stews, and salsas. While most peppers can be dried using an electric smoker, there are a few things to remember.

You should first dry off the peppers before smoking them. Place them on the highest rack of the smoker and smoke for 2-4 hours. Peppers can also be dried in a dehydrator or oven, but an electric smoker will give them a unique flavor.

When drying peppers using an electric smoker, it’s crucial to monitor the temperature carefully. Too much heat will cause the peppers to scorch, while too little heat will prevent them from drying properly. The key is to find a happy medium that will result in peppers that are dried but not burnt.

Do Electric Smokers Work for Smoking Dried Pineapple?

Yes, electric smokers can be used to smoke dried pineapple. The process is similar to smoking other dried fruits, but the pineapple will need to be soaked in water for a few hours beforehand to rehydrate it.

When it comes to smoking dried pineapple, electric smokers are an excellent choice. Smoking dried pineapple is a delicious way to enjoy this sweet fruit, and electric smokers are an ideal way to do it. It is easier to use electric smokers, and they provide consistent heat, which is vital for smoked fruit.

When smoking dried pineapple, all you need to do is set up the smoker and stabilize the temperature between 225°F and 250°F. Simply slice the pineapple in half and place it face down on the smoker’s grate. Then let it smoke for 30 minutes before flipping it over and smoking for another 30-40 minutes.

The result will be a delicious, smoky treat perfect for snacking or adding to your favorite dishes. Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or just getting started, an electric smoker is a great option for smoking dried pineapple. You should try this next time you want something different and tasty.

Which Is Better For Jerky, A Dehydrator Or A Smoker?

Which Is Better For Jerky, A Dehydrator Or A Smoker

It depends on your preferences which work best for jerky. Your homemade jerky will last longer if you go with a dehydrator. Using a smoker will enhance the flavor of your jerky.

A dehydrator removes moisture from food, while smokers add smoke and heat. To make jerky that will last longer, you should use a dehydrator. Dehydrators work by circulating hot air around the food, causing water to evaporate. It can take several hours, but it’s effective at removing moisture from the meat.

A dehydrator will reduce the water content of jerky, making it less susceptible to bacteria growth. Smokers are better if you want to add a richer, more intense flavor to your jerky. The smoke produced by smokers infuses the meat with flavor as it cooks. 

The combination of smoke and heat also helps to tenderize the meat, making it more moist and flavorful. It is important to note that smoked jerky does not last for very long before it starts to spoil. So if you’re looking to store jerky for a long time, a dehydrator is your best bet. But if you want delicious, flavor-packed jerky, go for a smoker.

What’s The Verdict On Electric Smokers vs. Dehydrators?

You have a few things to consider when deciding which is right for you. First, what are you looking to use the smoker or dehydrator for? The best way to preserve food for a long time is with a dehydrator. You might want to consider an electric smoker if you just want to add flavor to your food.

It may be better to use a dehydrator if you have limited counter space instead of an electric smoker. Budget is the last factor to consider. Electric smokers can be quite expensive, while dehydrators are relatively affordable. Electric smokers or dehydrators are ultimately a matter of personal preference and need.

So now you know the ins and outs of electric smokers vs dehydrators. Decide which is better for you and your needs. Depending on your goal with your food, you may also use both.

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