Pellet Smoker Vs Stick Burner [5 Points To Consider]

It is common to get confused while choosing the perfect smoker to cook meat. Which one is better when it comes to pellet smoker vs stick burner? We are here to help you decide. 

In this article, you will get to know 5 different aspects, usage, compatibility, flavor, maintenance, and price, of these two smokers. After learning all about it, you will not have any more problems deciding.

So let’s get started.

A Brief Comparison Between Pellet Smokers and Stick Burners

PointsPellet SmokerStick Burner
UsageEasy and simpleHard and tiresome
CompatibilityRequires electrical outletWorks anywhere
FlavorNo smokey meatPerfectly smoked meat
MaintenanceEasy to maintainDifficult to maintain
Price$400 – $2,000$100 – $500

Pellet Smoker Vs Stick Burner: Which One is The Right Choice?

The main difference between a pellet smoker and a sticker burner is the fuel. As the name suggests, a pellet smoker uses pellets to create fire. On the contrary, stick burner uses logs or stick to keep the fire alive. 

There are a couple of more differences at certain points. Knowing about these variations will definitely help you to choose the best appliance for your needs.

Here we have covered everything you need to know.

Ease Of Use: Pellet Smoker Vs Stick Burner

Pellet smoker offers you the simplest method of cooking. You just have to turn the smoker on, put the pellets in the hopper, and set the temperature you prefer. The smoker system will take care of the rest.

The auger motor will make sure that the pellets are reaching the fire at the right time. And the sensors will make sure the heat is perfect. Many pellet smoker even has modern features such as remote control option as well. This adds a lot to your convenience.

Here, for an ultimate smoked result, you can read our pro tips for using pellets in your smoker.

Stick burners are totally different in this case. Here you have to keep the fire alive all by yourself. You have to make sure that the fire is getting the perfect amount of wood, check the temperature frequently, and check the condition of the food.

So basically, you will have to stand by the pellet smoker with patience and focus. This is undoubtedly tiresome.

Verdict: Pellet smoker gives the utmost convenience to its user.

Compatibility: Pellet Smoker Vs Stick Burner

Pellet smoker doesn’t work on pellets alone. It needs electricity to run the auger motor. Many pellet smoker needs electricity to activate the ignitor as well. 

It means you cannot place your pellet smoker wherever you want. An electrical outlet has to be nearby. This makes using a pellet smoker outdoors a bit problematic. 

Stick burners are convenient in this case. A stick burner only needs sticks, logs, or wood to keep the fire alive. This is possible to do anywhere you want. The adjustable shield helps to keep the fire active even in the rain (though you should not do this).

As a stick burner doesn’t demand any form of direct connection with anything, it is far more compatible than a pellet smoker.

Verdict: A stick burner is a winner when it comes to mobility.

Smoke’s Flavor: Pellet Smoker Vs Stick Burner

Smoke adds more flavor to the meat. Unfortunately, this is one thing that pellets smokers miss. A pellet smoker doesn’t produce any smoke. Its overall structure is not designed that way.

And pellets don’t usually generate that much smoke to inject flavor into the meat. So you only get the flavor of the seasonings you used with the pellet smoker. If you don’t like the smoky flavor, there is no better alternative for you than this.

However, stick burners are highly efficient when it comes to giving your meat a good smokey taste. Burning natural sticks and logs produces the smoke you want. In addition, different types of wood add different flavors to your meat.

So if you crave the smokey flavor of BBQ, then the stick burner can satisfy you perfectly. The adjustable lid allows you to control the consistency of the flavor as well. If you keep the lid closed for a long, the smoke’s flavor will be intense. The opposite will happen if you keep the lid open most of the time.

Verdict: Stick burner gives your meat the smoke’s flavor perfectly.

Maintenance: Pellet Smoker Vs Stick Burner

Maintaining a pellet smoker means doing nothing. After you have set everything, there is actually nothing for you to do. The system will take care of the rest.

And after you are done, you can clean the smoker immediately by clearing out all the ash buildup. A thorough clean-up once a year is enough.

Unfortunately, a stick burner gives all sorts of problems that a pellet smoker doesn’t. You have to wait for an hour or two to get the fire burning perfectly. Then you have to stand by to maintain the fire.

Stick burners are a pain in the neck when it comes to cleaning as well. You have to disassemble the whole appliance to clear the ash buildup and clean every part. This is a must-do after each usage.

Verdict: Maintaining a pellet smoker is very simple and convenient.

Price: Pellet Smoker Vs Stick Burner

Pellet smokers are designed for convenience. Their advanced technology makes it easier to cook meat. In addition, they ensure perfectly cooked food. Due to all these advantages, a pellet smoker is a bit expensive. 

A regular pellet smoker starts from $400. This price can go up to $2,000, depending on the feature it offers. 

Stick burners, on the contrary, are a lot cheaper. This is only normal because these appliances don’t provide as much convenience as a pellet smoker.

A stick burner price starts from $100. And with around $500, you can get the best stick burner available out there.

Verdict: If you are on a budget, go for a stick burner. However, if the price is not an issue for you, choose a pellet smoker.

Pros & Cons: Pellet Smoker Vs. Stick Burner

Neither a pellet smoker nor a stick burner is perfect. At the same time, they have some unique feature that makes them ideal for a specific task. 

Take a look at the pros and cons of pellet smokers and stick burners. It will help you to make up your mind.

Pellet Smoker:


  • Simple to use
  • Requires little to no maintenance
  • Easy to clean


  • Not usable without electricity
  • Expensive

Stick Burner:


  • Compatible with all kinds of situation
  • Injects smokey flavor
  • Affordable


  • Difficult to clean
  • Requires high maintenance

And this was all. 

This discussion should be sufficient for you to make a choice between pellet smokers and stick burners. If you are still confused, we urge you to give the whole article another read.


Are charcoal pellets any good?

Yes, charcoal pellets can be a good fuel.

Which one is better pellet smoker vs charcoal smoker?

Pellet smoker is affordable while charcoal smoker is effective in smoking meat.

Which one is better pellet smoker vs offset smoker?

Though both offer the same amount of smokey flavor, pellet smoker exclusively runs on pellets while offset smokers use different types of wood.

Do you soak pellets before smoking?

No, you should not soak pellets before smoking.

How much wood is used on a stick burner?

6 to 8 oak logs are enough to cook your meat at the temperature of 220.

Final Words:

This article tried to clear your confusion about pellet smokers vs. stick burners. If you have read our analysis thoroughly, you already know that a pellet smoker is perfect if you want to avoid maintenance problems.

A stick burner, on the other hand, is for those who want smokey meats. But in the end, both are great and are worthy of your consideration.

If you have any questions or comments, you can leave them below.

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

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