Taste Differences?


Mac Mayhew

TVWBB Member
I have learned a great deal from your cookbooks and appreciate your taking the time to answer questions.

I have a question concerning taste: when smoking food on a smoker, a charcoal grill, or a gas grill, do you notice much difference in the taste of the food in the end? My own experience is that a charcoal grill and a smoker result in a tastier product. Between the smoker and the charcoal grill, I know that the smoker is MUCH easier to use, particularly for foods that take a while to cook. But is there a measurable difference in taste?
Thanks, Mac. That's a great question. I think that temperature can make a huge difference in the taste of any smoked food. Theoretically, a charcoal grill, a gas grill, and a smoker can produce the same even temperatures, but that's not always the case. The temperature in a charcoal grill tends to fluctuate quite a bit, especially over a long period of time and particularly after a few beers, which is one reason why it's so great to have a smoker. They hold temperature steady for much longer, and you can taste that difference. I tell newcomers to start smoking on gas because most of them already own a gas grill and it is so easy to set the burners for the ideal temperature, add the wood chips to the smoker box, and let it go. Some guys on this forum will wince at this thought, but I've had some really great barbecue cooked on gas grills. So again, I think temperature is paramount. You can use any grill you like as long you can control its temperature.