Searching for the best propane smoker? Read our propane smoker reviews to find the right one for you. If you are looking for a smoker that you can start and then walk away from to socialize or handle other things, a gas smoker is the best way to go. Propane smokers are easy to use, and you can buy one at a fairly reasonable price. The heat that comes from them is clean, while that smoky flavor that you desire comes from wood chips and liquid in the water pan. For those looking at gas options, let’s go over what’s most important.
What to Consider When Buying a Propane Smoker
Most smokers, even the tiniest of them, can produce food for a couple of families. The larger ones can provide enough for dozens and dozens of folks at once. Knowing what you prefer is important because if you have too much capacity, you’ll end up paying for it and not using it. However, if you buy too small, you’ll be frustrated with not having enough room. It requires real thought and awareness of your needs.
Some units can only do smoking. Others offer both smoking and grilling options. If you already own a grill, you may not care to pay for that added functionality. However, if you do not, it might be worth a few dollars to pay for a unit that can do both. The versatility will likely make up for the additional cost quite quickly.
Features of the Propane Smoker
You may be the sort who wants every modern feature on your machine or you may prefer something simpler that reminds you of earlier times. Both are available, but knowing how you operate it is integral. That said, most cookers are going to fall somewhere in the middle, so figure out what is most important to you and be sure you get it.
Without further ado, our list of the ten best propane smokers begins below. Hopefully, you find the right match for yourself or at least get off on the right foot to start!
Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker, 40″
Smokin-It Model #1 and Model #2 Electric Smokers
Top 10 Best Propane Smokers reviews
What’s the best propane smoker to buy? Being fanatical about smoked food, we have researched the best propane smokers that are on the market at this moment in time. We’ve come up with a list of propane smoker reviews we think are the best and we’ll tell you why.
1. Masterbuilt 20051316 Thermotemp X-Large Propane Smoker
Our first on the list is the Thermotemp by Masterbuilt. This is a large capacity smoker with many bells and whistles that people appreciate. The size is about 53 x 29 x 23 inches, making it a substantial piece of equipment.
The cooking space is considerable and can take on massive amounts of food. Just to give an idea of what you can smoke in one session, think about four whole turkeys or 16 full chickens. If you prefer ribs, you can smoke eight racks at once. This Masterbuilt propane smoker also has a temperature sensor to ensure that the burner is at the right temperature. Additionally, it features a safety valve that shuts things off if the flame is put out.
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2. Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D Propane Smoker
The Masterbuilt GS30D is an optimal piece of cooking machinery for first-time smokers, but also offers features that long-time smokers will appreciate. This propane smoker has three ways to regulate temperature, which is more than most competitors. The first is through the dial on the front face of the device, the second is through the vent on the back of the unit, and lastly via the valve that controls propane coming out.
This item is 70 pounds, which is going to take a bit of effort to move. However, this also means it’s more stable and likely to stick around for years and years. That said, the assembly is effortless. It’s mostly assembled when you get it, but you will need to put on the legs and handles.
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The design with two doors allows for easy access to the chip and water tray while avoiding any smoke or heat loss. It comes with four shelves that you can move around and remove as needed, as well. It’s a versatile option for an innovative chef who loves smoking.
3. Smoke Hollow 3615GW Windowed Propane Smoker
The Smoke Hollow 3615GW is a windowed unit with an aesthetic that is hard to call anything but attractive. The glass used is tempered, which makes it stronger than regular glass and holds the heat inside better. There is also an adjustable temperature control so you can change things up on the fly if needed.
This unit comes with a huge wood chip tray, which you can fill with any flavor chips you like. The tray is also external for easier reloading when it becomes needed. There’s also a water pan, which is porcelain coated. As for the trays in this device, you’ll get four of them, all of which are adjustable and made with chrome plated grids for durability.
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With the Smoke Hollow Propane Smoker 3615GW, you get a button igniter that is simple to use, for a beginner or a more experienced person. The heat range is good, making it easy to cook up dozens of cheeseburgers, chicken breasts, or fish filets. Family and friends would want you to host every barbecue if you have one of these in your backyard.
4. Smoke Hollow 38202G 2-Door Propane Smoker
Smoke Hollow is a well-represented brand in the propane game, as you may have already noticed. This unit has a massive 3.4 cubic feet of cooking area and measures in at 38 x 20 x 14 inches.
Using this unit is simple, something that is common among propane smokers versus wood smokers. You just turn the smoker on, reduce the temperature to the heat you want, and fill the cooking area up with tons of meat and vegetables for the family. It holds the heat well and can maintain temps up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of outside conditions.
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The unit features four chrome-plated grates for cooking, along with porcelain-coated water and wood chip pans. It also has a built-in temperature gauge so you can quickly look at the unit to see how things are doing. The two-door design makes it easier to get inside and offers a latching lock to keep heat in when smoking is occurring. Another thing we like about this smoker is that it features a cast brass burner. Cast brass burners durable and last longer than their stainless steel counterparts.
5. Camp Chef Large Vault Propane Smoker
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The Camp Chef smoker weighs in at 65 pounds and has a heat output of 18000 BTU. The machine is made from durable material, so you can relax in the knowledge that you won’t have to buy another for quite some time. The smoker itself is built for heavy-duty use and will likely fit the needs of nearly anyone out there.
One of the perks of this unit includes precise control of the smoke and heat being used. It also gives a very quick response when the temperature is adjusted or turned on or off. Also, due to the push button ignition, the weather won’t matter as much. If showers come in, you can still get the smoke rolling.
Accessories come with this unit, including a jerky smoking rack and two adjustable smoking racks. It also comes with pans for water and wood chips. The final item you will receive upon purchase is a thermometer that is easy to use, even for beginners.
6. Camp Chef Large Vault Propane Smoker
The Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Propane Smoker is classified as a medium-sized unit. It provides 764 square inches of cooking space, which is more than enough for the average individual. The size of the unit is 46 x 14 x 14 inches, with the larger number corresponding to the height. It has an easy to use design which just involves turning a valve and twisting a knob.
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The trays included are removable, and four of them come with the unit. There are two doors for easier availability to the smoker’s cooking area. There is also a twist lock handle to keep the smoker safe, even if little ones might be running around nearby. There are also vents located on the back which provide more space on the top of the unit.
For those who might be nervous about smoking, the manufacturer for this item includes a recipe book. Soon enough, you’ll be smoking some chicken breasts, pork ribs, or mixed vegetables and feeling like a real professional.
7. Char-Broil Vertical Propane Smoker
With a gas unit, one of the perks is that it heats up quicker than other types of smokers. The Char-Broil vertical has this feature, as well as many others that are bound to please anyone considering owning their first piece of smoking equipment. Another great thing about gas smokers is that they tend to be more portable, which will appeal to some more than others.
The stainless-steel cooking burner on this unit puts out 16500 BTU, which is far and beyond what you’ll need to cook up a plate of chicken thighs or a pan of burgers. It also comes with adjustable, removable cooking grates. These are each 194 square inches, making the entire smoking space 580 square inches.
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The bottom drawer allows access to the wood and water pans, so you can quickly fill them up whenever it is needed. The main door has a locking mechanism to keep any children’s hands from getting into the unit. It also features a thermometer at the top center of the unit.
8. Smoke Hollow 38205GW Windowed Propane Smoker
If you appreciate the look of a windowed smoker, the 38205GW from Smoke Hollow is an option to consider. It has a large glass window so you can peek in on your food at any time to see how things are moving. It’s also packed with useful features and even comes in at an entirely reasonable price.
This unit weighs in at 70 pounds and measures in at 17 x 25 x 47 inches. It’s a great size for the beginner or even someone who has been smoking their meat for ages. The door on this unit has a “Sure-Lock” latch, as well as spring wire handles to avoid anyone burning their precious fingers.
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With this model, you get adjustable cooking trays, which are chrome plated. The smoker can cook all sorts of goodies, including red meat, poultry, fish, shrimp, veggies, and more. It is large enough to accommodate a decent sized turkey, so you’ll likely have no lack of space if you choose to purchase it. It’s a great product for the aspiring smoker who may not have a ton of experience with it just yet.
9. Smoke Hollow 30164G Propane Smoker
The Smoke Hollow 30164G is another great propane smoker from the manufacturer. It comes at a low price and offers features that individuals will likely appreciate. The smoker comes in at 30 inches by 16 inches, making it a reasonable size for your yard. It also weighs in at 43 pounds.
This smoker provides up to 10000 BTUs, which is great when cooking meat and seafood. It has three chrome plated grills that you can remove and organize as you like. There is also a temperature gauge on the front so you can easily see how things are going with a mere glance. It also features a “Sure-Lock” latch for the door, which is a nice touch.
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For those who aren’t going to be doing massive amounts of smoking, this offering from Smoke Hollow is going to give impressive cooking features, an attractive look, and offer a very reasonable price. It can do everything that big dogs do, and do it just as well. It’s a smoker to keep under consideration.
10. Dyna-Glo Vertical LP Propane Smoker
Dyna-Glo is a well-known manufacturer of grills and smokers. The Vertical LP is their gas smoker and is a lightweight option for those who may prefer the ability to travel. The smoker offers a design with two doors. The larger door leads to the cooking chamber while the smaller door lets you get to the water and wood pans. It has a built-in stainless steel thermometer. The gauge is easy to read and will help you achieve perfectly smoked foods.
As far as cooking surface goes, it’s not too shabby. It has four different grates which are each 196 square inches. This adds up to 784 inches of total cooking area. There is a single burner which can reach 15000 BTU. The actual unit itself is made from powder-coated steel, while the water and wood chip pans are porcelain coated.
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The only major con with this unit is that the doors do not have a sealing mechanism, so you’re going to experience some amount of smoke and heat loss. That said, for those who are not smoking aficionados who require expensive gear, it does the job, and it doesn’t come at a premium cost. It’s lightweight, low-cost, and can smoke you some great burgers.
How to Use a Propane Smoker
Hook up the propane tank to your smoker. Make sure it is connected properly before turning on the valve to release the propane.
Open the smoker door by turning the handle counter-clockwise about 90 degrees. This can vary depending on the make and model of your propane smoker.
Remove the smoke box from your propane smoker. Fill it with wood chips. Close the lid then return the smoke box to the wire harness.
Locate the water tray. You can find it right above the box you have filled with wood chips. Line the water tray with tin foil. This will prove beneficial during the clean-up process. Fill the water tray with about a half-gallon of hot water, unless instructions for the smoker specify a different amount.
Turn the right knob to high. Turn the left knob until it clicks. It will ignite the propane. Once smoke appears, it’s time to add your meats. Smoke meats until they’re tender. Cooking time depends on the type of meats and their thickness.
Why Buy a Propane Smoker?
A propane smoker offers a steady and reliable fire source, the perfect outdoor cooking companion when preparing food for family and friends. Enjoy delicious smoked meats at the convenience of your own home. Is a propane smoker better than a charcoal grill, pellet smoker, or electric smoker? Let’s find out.
Purists may claim that a wood pellet smoker is the best way to achieve a smoky flavor. However, even expert grill masters may not notice the difference. Propane gives a flavor that’s at par with wood pellet smokers available on the market.
Propane is perfect for smoking meats such as beef brisket, pork BBQ, ribs, salmon, and lamb. It gets to temperature quicker than alternative fuel sources. The flavor is a bit different from that of charcoal smokers and electric smokers. Plus most people agree that smoked meat tastes better than those cooked on a gas grill.
A propane smoker is much better than charcoal or electric smoker when it comes to versatility. Because an electric smoker requires electricity and must be plugged into an outlet, it’s not as portable as a propane smoker. Thus, taking a propane smoker grill to a friend’s house or park for a picnic will be easier.
With a charcoal grill and smoker, you have to start, stoke, and dispose of the charcoal. This may consume a lot of time. On the other hand, with a propane tank smoker, all you need is wood and a tank of propane and you can already start cooking.
Most gas smokers only use propane with the exception of some Camp Chef units. They can utilize natural gas, but you need to the Camp Chef Natural Gas Conversion Kit. For this, you may need the help of a professional. If you want a propane smoker grill that can also use natural gas, Camp Chef smokers are a good option.
Ease of Use
It’s easier to control the temperature of a propane smoker compared to charcoal or wood-fueled smoker. With propane smokers, you’ll only use wood chips as a smoking/flavoring agent.
Propane grill parts include a push-button ignition that lights the flame quickly and knobs to adjust the temperature setting. Some propane smoker models have two doors. The main door gives access to the cooking chamber. Meanwhile, a smaller door at the bottom allows you to check the flame, add wood and water. The two-door feature is useful as it allows you to add wood chips without losing heat.
Final Review of the Best Propane Smoker
That concludes our top 10 list of gas smokers and should give you a great starting place for discovering the right one for you. Hopefully, our propane smoker reviews can help you make an informed decision. Remember, look at price, size, versatility, and features. Get what you need, but don’t get blown over by features you don’t need. Good luck out there.