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Aurora asked in Food & DrinkOther - Food & Drink · 1 decade ago

What is the difference between charcoal barbeques and smokers?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    As the term describes, "smokers" are specifically designed for slow cooking at low temperatures (such as ribs, briskette, certain types of fish, etc.) using woods such as hickory, applewood and the like.

    Charcoal barbecues are designed for direct grilling at medium to high temperatures (for steaks, pork chops, burgers, etc.). They can also be used for slow cooking at lower temperatures by restricting the hot area of the coals so that the food is not directly over the heat source (known as "indirect" grilling). With this method, wood chips that have been soaked in water can be added as needed to create the "smoked" flavor.

    For examples of both types of devices, you might want to go to and check out the products they have offer in each category. There's also a lot of information about these cooking techniques online at places like

    Hope this helps.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


    Source(s): Woodworking Techniques
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Steve -o above has it right. Charcoal cooking is done directly over the charcoal and is used for fast cooking at relatively high temperatures.

    A smoker usually has a separate box connected to the side of the main cooker. A charcoal fire is built in the side box and wet wood (I prefer hickory for most but I like apple for pork) is added. You can also build a fire directly from wood. You don't want flames but instead a slow smoldering of the wood. The temperature is kept low by building a small fire and the smoke passes into the main chamber where your food is placed. No heat source is placed directly under the food.

    There are also electric smokers available but they are garbage.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In a charcoal grill, you cook directly over the coals, and the heat is much more intense, suitable for steaks, and chicken parts. In a smoker, there is usually a separate fire box, and you cook with the smoke, and a bit of the heat, suitable for whole chickens, turkeys, racks of ribs, brisket, etc. This method takes much longer to cook the food, but the smoke infuses into the meat, giving it that smoky barbeque taste.

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  • 1 decade ago

    charcoal is a heat source,it adds flavor from the drippings hitting the cools and smoke rising up

    smokers add soked wood chips to a heat source which creates much more smoke and is closed in by a top

    Source(s): i am a Johnson and Whales culinary school grad and memphian, home of great bbq
  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Expert Advice on Woodworking
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