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Is It Safe to Use a Pellet Smoker Indoors?

Smoking meat outdoors can be so much fun, especially with friends and family. However, there are times when the weather doesn’t permit it.

When this happens, I always wish I could bring my pellet smoker inside and use it. 

Pellet smokers are not recommended to use indoors because it is not safe. They are fire hazards and should only be used in areas that are fire-safe. Apart from that, since pellet smokers use wood, they produce harmful chemicals such as carbon dioxide, which can be detrimental to health. 

While pellet smokers can only be used outdoors, it is still possible to smoke meat indoors.

Why it’s Not Safe to Use Pellet Smokers Inside?

To be fair, it’s not only pellet smokers that should not be used indoors. There are numerous smokers and grillers available in the market, but there are very few options for indoor use.

Smokers that use charcoal, wood, propane, or gas as fuel are not safe to use inside.  

Since pellet smokers use wood, it is clear that they can only be used outside. Even in the garage, it is still not safe to use pellet smokers.

The proper way to use a smoker is to place it in a well-ventilated area. It will prevent the risks of fire and carbon dioxide poisoning. As much as possible, keep a fire extinguisher handy, so it can easily be put off in case of fire. 

So, if smokers that use wood, charcoal, and gas are not intended for indoor use, what’s left to use for inside smoking? That leaves us with electric types.

Okay, I know that some pellet smokers are electric, so are they safe to use inside? The answer is still no since it still burns wood pellets.

If it makes you feel better, even indoor smokers need proper ventilation. Also, not all electric grillers or smokers can be used indoors.

Most of the time, a high-speed fan for the kitchen is enough to keep everyone in the family safe. 

How to Safely Use a Pellet Smoker

There is no better way to smoke meat than using wood. I love pellet smokers because I can easily infuse flavours into the meat depending on the wood pellet I use.

Cherry, mesquite, and hickory are some of my favourites. However, just like with any griller or smoker, it should be used correctly and with safety in mind. 

It is important to know that pellet smokers are not designed to be used in the rain. Wood pellets should be kept dry as they can produce more ash, reduce their density, and are harder to ignite when used wet. 

Always check the cords for damage and ensure they are not exposed to any liquids before using them to avoid fire and electric shock.

As mentioned earlier, it is not advisable to use pellet smokers in an enclosed space. Choose a well-ventilated area and keep the grill chimney open.

While pellet smokers are known to keep a steady temperature, it wouldn’t hurt to check it now and then while smoking the meat.

Don’t rely too much on its ability to maintain a precise and steady heat. It may not always be the case, especially when the pellet smoker is damaged or has malfunctioned. 

Keep electrical cords secured at all times. Be sure to connect them to a ground fault interrupter while using the pellet smoker.

This will prevent people from tripping over on the cord and damaging the smoker. Before plugging and unplugging, make sure the smoker is turned off.

Lastly, when cleaning the smoker, allow it to cool down completely and check that it is unplugged.  

What is an Indoor Electric Smoker?

As mentioned earlier, it is possible to smoke meat inside using an indoor electric smoker works by using electricity with wood chips. The wet wood chips are heated until they start producing smoke.

The smoke will then cover the meat and penetrates inside. Depending on the style of the indoor electric smoker, the meat can hang from hooks or sit on racks. 

Most electric indoor smoke can be huge, which is why it is mostly used in commercial kitchens. However, it is also suitable for homes with large kitchen space.

Due to its size, most can accommodate lots of food inside. It can be used in smoking and cooking meat such as pork, chicken, and beef. 

Compared to other types of smokers, indoor electric smokers are the most expensive. However, it can be a good investment, especially for those who are in the food industry.

Meats cooked and smoked in indoor electric smokers also have the same smoky flavour that outdoor smokers provide. This kind of smoker also produces tender and juicy meats. 

Pellet Smokers Vs Electric Indoor Smokers

I have to say that both smokers are great. Choosing between the two will largely depend on how you plan to use them, your budget, and space. So, let’s see the pros and cons of the two smokers.

Similarities between Electric Indoor Smokers and Pellet Smokers

Before we discuss their pros and cons, I want to show their similarities first.

  • Both are powered by electricity
  • They use wood
  • Offer the same tasty smokey flavour
  • The two smokers use high technology that offers precise smoke and temperature levels
  • Takes time to cook meat

Pros & Cons of Electric Indoor Smokers

PROSCONS
Uses fewer utilities and wood Expensive
Ideal for those without outdoor space Not suitable for smaller kitchens
Can be used all year round
Precise heat and smoke control

Electric Indoor Smoker Pros

Uses fewer utilities and wood

While indoor electric smokers can be large, they are still smaller than most outdoor smokers. That said, they consume less electricity, plus they use fewer wet wood chips. 

Ideal for those without outdoor space

Food establishments that do not have an outdoor space may find indoor smokers a better option. They are perfect for restaurants in the city, where outdoor space is scarce. 

Can be used all year round

This is probably one of the best advantages of indoor smokers. Pellet smokers cannot be used when it is raining and can be challenging during winter. Unlike indoor electric smokers, whether it is raining or freezing cold outside, they can still work properly. 

Precise heat and smoke control

Most indoor smokers have better technology in maintaining and controlling heat, smoke, and moisture levels. This guarantees that meats are cooked and smoked to perfection, without the need to adjust regularly. 

Electric Indoor Smoker Cons

Expensive

Indoor electric smokers are significantly more expensive than pellet smokers. While they have better technology, not everyone may afford to buy one. 

Not suitable for smaller kitchens

Because they tend to be large, restaurants and homes with smaller kitchens will not be able to fit electric indoor smokers inside. 

Pros & Cons of Pellet Smokers

PROSCONS
Versatility Cannot be used indoors
Lots of flavour options Seasonal
Offers the best smokey flavour
Consistency
Great value for money

Pellet Smoker Pros

Versatility

Depending on the type or model, you can smoke, barbeque, and roast on pellet smokers. Some models can also allow baking. 

Lots of flavour options

Since pellet smokers use natural wood, they provide excellent flavours to meat, such as mesquite, hickory, apple, cherry, maple, and a lot more.

Offers the best smokey flavour

While you can also achieve great tasting smoked meat on indoor smokers, pellet smokers infuse better smokey flavour without leaving the meat dry.

Consistency

Pellet smokers have advanced technology just like electric indoor smokers. They can guarantee consistent smoke and temperature level throughout the cooking process.  

Great value for money

Pellet smokers are significantly more affordable than indoor smokers. They are durable, high technology, easy to use, and can last a long time.

Pellet Smoker Cons

Cannot be used indoors

Since it burns wood, it cannot be used indoors for safety purposes. Using them inside the kitchen is harmful to health and may cause a fire.

Seasonal

Pellet smokers are best used during summer or dry season. While it is possible to use them during winter, it can be a challenge. It’s a big no to use them while raining.

Related Questions

Is there a smoker that can be used indoors?

Apart from indoor electric smokers, there are other types of smokers that can be used inside. Examples of these are stovetop kettle smoker, pressure cooker smoker, and infusion smoke gun.

All these smokers are safe to use inside the home. However, these types of indoor smokers may not provide the same smokey flavour that pellet smokers can provide.

Do electric smokers need ventilation?

Electric smokers need ventilation because they need airflow inside for smoke production and combustion. The vent controls oxygen to get inside or escape outside.

The heat becomes hotter when there is more oxygen that goes inside the electric smoker. That is why it is better to keep the vent open, especially when you are preheating. 

Are electric smokers better than wood?

When it comes to the flavour of the food, wood smokers undoubtedly produce better tasting results than electric smokers.

Wood smoke creates a flavour component that makes barbeques and other meats taste and smell really good. But if you are a beginner, electric smokers would be the better choice because they are more convenient and easier to use.

Electric smokers are also your best choice if you live in an apartment or places that don’t allow open flame. They are also much cheaper than other smokers.