Propane Gas Smokers: The Recommended Choice for the Money – Reviews & Buyers Guide
Having reviewed all the models in our product line, we choose the propane smoker priced under $200 as the best. Its large cooking area and high capacity make it the best value.
The 30-inch Masterbuilt MB-20052318 MPS 230S Black Propane Smoker most certainly deserves our top rating.
It provides a huge cooking area of 1307 square inches and makes the best value for the money.
Its portability is remarkable. This 30-inch model is on a sturdy, but lightweight frame making it ideal for taking it on the road for barbecues away from home.
This model is extremely user-friendly. It fires up quickly and easily thanks to an advanced spark ignition system, and the high-quality thermostat allows us to precisely set the flame in order to control the 15,400 burners.
Why a Propane Smoker?
If there are any lingering doubts about how versatile the propane smoker is, then consider time.
One wants to minimize their time slaving over a hot grill; additionally excessive opening and closing of the doors could adversely impact the taste of the final product.
These modern propane-fired units allow the cooking process to be highly efficient while at the same time preserving a good deal of the grilling tradition.
It is widely recognized that propane grills have revolutionized the concept of smoking.
Tried and proved old-fashioned cooking techniques now may be employed on this new, clean, energy and time-efficient propane cooking platform.
It is now possible to reduce overall cooking time up to two hours in most cases.
This time could be devoted to other aspects of food preparation, like the delicate process of seasoning. For frequent grill users, the overall amount of time that will be saved will be immeasurable.
Is The Size Of The Smoker Right For Your Needs?
Propane smokers come in many different sizes and energy ratings. No matter what one’s space limitations might be, a suitable smoker can be found.
A highly advantageous feature of the gas smoker is its vertical construction. Within the smoker there is ample space; but since space is oriented vertically, the unit as a whole takes up a minimal amount of area on the patio.
Also, this vertical design allows the unit to be easily stowed in a car for cooking away from home.
The smoker is ideal for those with limited space and who are concerned that a large, cumbersome grill would ruin the aesthetics of their backyard or patio.
Are Smokers Designed To The Aesthetically Pleasing?
Yes, they are. Smokers are designed to complement your home’s accouterment. Smokers are vertically-oriented and generally rectangular in shape.
They have a brilliant finish and come in a variety of colors. They indeed serve a decorative function and are highly fashionable.
Portability is paramount: the modern propane smoker is so easy to move that one person can easily position the unit anywhere in the backyard or patio without any assistance.
Typically, a smoker weighs about 40 pounds. Its compact size is radically different from the traditional, and very cumbersome, multi-function smoker/grill combo units.
These modern propane smokers have no portability/transportation issues. They are easy to put in almost any automobile for trouble-free transport.
Some propane smokers are larger in size. We will discuss the features of these models next.
Does Assembly Of The Smoker Require Special Skills?
Your propane smoker will come with easy to understand, step-by-step instructions for assembly. Unlike industrial-grade smokers, these models are simple to put together, requiring at the most some screws (included in the package) in some places. The set-up process is straightforward: once the dampers and cooking grates are properly put in place, the trays for water and wood chips can be readied for smoking.
In the unlikely event that you are not able to assemble the unit on your own, you should have no difficulty in finding someone to help you.
The Easiest Smoker To Use
Propane gas smokers are ideal for the beginner. The assembly process is easy. Operation of the airflow system, fuel storage, fuel delivery, and ignition systems are also very straightforward and should pose to trouble for even the novice user.
The ignition system consists of an automatic module designed for quick starting. The grates are easily removable and the thermostat allows for precise temperature regulation.
List Of The Top-Rated Propane Smokers
We really like the Masterbuilt MB-20052318 MPS 230S Black Propane Smoker for its spacious cooking chamber and resultant smoking performance. This 30-inch model has four chrome racks, which allows cooking as much as 100 pounds of food at one time! This large capacity makes this model ideal for camping and large tailgate styled parties.
The four high-quality stainless steel burners deliver the tremendous heat necessary for high volume cooking. The simple push-button ignition system, gas valve fuel delivery system (using a Type 1 regulator with fuel line) ensure a quick start-up and safe operation.
This model has all of the necessary features to be considered top-rated: the porcelain coated tray for wood chips along with the high capacity water pan allow for uninterrupted cooking thus delivering quicker and better results.
The ever so important issue of proper temperature regulation within the cooking chamber is solved with the Masterbuilt 20050211’s precision thermostat. This factory-installed system is much more reliable than any aftermarket thermometer that can be installed on the unit.
The high-quality black-powder finish on the exterior of this smoker is aesthetically pleasing and makes this model highly fashionable.
The 36-inch Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP Vertical LP Gas Smoker model is a good choice for homes with limited space.
Its sturdy construction and overall high quality will ensure long trouble-free service life.
This highly recommended model is equipped with a simple to use and highly reliable electronic ignition system. No more old-fashioned lighting burners with matches! As long as you have an electric power source available, you are good to go. This high-quality smoker is an excellent value for high volume cookers. Its capacity is so large that it could be suitable for someone considering opening a small eating establishment. This model is at the top of the list in the areas of cooking area, reliability, sturdiness, and cost.
Its easy-to-use double door design allows for precise temperature control and hassles free, uninterrupted cooking. It comes standard with a large volume wood chip box and water tray. Both are rugged and designed for long service life.
This Dyna-Glo model has a proven track record. Its thick porcelain enamel exterior coating exudes quality. The high-quality thermostat is easy to use and its helpful markings offer a guide as to what levels of smoking are recommended for particular foods. This is indeed a superb product!
The Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Propane Smoker is the best choice for those who need extra table space. Its design provides additional space so that you can have two more persons using it as a table and it will not cause any difficulty.
We are sure that this exciting advantage makes the smoker one of the top-rated ones. Isn’t it wonderful?
This smoker goes with removable racks so you can easily cook any portion of meat. Using the 4 (14 x 14) inches grates of the Cuisinart you can cook food for 8 persons at a time.
Due to its small size and comfortable handles, you can easily transport the model, without worrying about disturbing its assembly because of its strong solid structure.
The cover of porcelain enamel defends from high temperatures, and much heat does not destroy the working components of the smoker. Although the handle can be overheated, it will not affect your hands while cooking. Nevertheless, we recommend using gloves to protect your hands, especially if you often cook.
A 40-inch hose and regulator come with this model so you do not need to buy additional hose or regulator and it will save both your money and time for looking for any other pieces.
The 18-inch Camp Chef Propane Smoker Stainless Adjustable – Amazon’s Choice is the best choice if your kitchen is not large and you do not have much space in your apartment. More than that, you can even use its top as a table.
This Camp Chef Smoker is an excellent choice on the market and it is beyond compare. It has numerous indisputable advantages, among them: its 24-inch size, dampers, which are easy to adjust when regulating heat, and a very convenient system of ignition.
This model is suitable for college students. This smoker goes with recipes and guidelines, which give you some tips on cooking and it will help you to make an unforgettable party with your friends in the evening.
One more thing that should be mentioned is the cost of the Camp Chef Smoker. Probably it may not be a budget smoker, but we are sure you will be satisfied with this model due to its solid build and working possibilities.
This propane smoker is equipped with a water bowl that adds the required moisture, and a wood chip tray that creates a smoky aroma for the food. It contains one rack and 2 grids that is enough for a small number of persons.
The smoker has 3 dampers, in comparison to many other machines that have one or two dampers. Three dampers provide better regulating the heat inside the main chamber. They are located on the sides and one on the top.
The Char-Broil Vertical Liquid Propane Gas Smoker is one of the best choices for you. We will give you more detailed information about its benefits. Here we go!
This smoker is large and it is preferable for a big family. It has enough space for cooking so much food that you will never run of delicious smoky food for the party.
The cooking area is 600 square inches and it has 3 cooking grates, which are coated with chrome providing long-lasting service.
The smoker goes with the system of cool touch that ensures safe use. You can open the door of the main chamber without heatproof gloves, although we recommend you to put on heatproof gloves to be sure that your hands are safe while you are working.
You may be satisfied not only with the budget price but also with its wood chip tray for adding smokiness to the food and water bowl for adding moisture flavor to your dinner.
Char-Broil has the most attractive price on the market. Although it is one of the cheapest smokers, it also has numerous advantages in its construction. There is an upper vent, which helps regulate temperature and heat easily. This smoker also contains a grate for warming food.
An added LPG propane regulator goes with Char-Broil Vertical Liquid Propane Gas Smoker. This feature saves both your money and time you might spend on looking for the right regulator from another source.
This machine contains 2 parts, one of them is the cooking chamber where you cook food, and the other one is for firing. This provides heat retention throughout your cooking session. Probably the quality of this smoker is not the best, but we are sure that it is a better option for less money.
The Smoke Hollow propane smoker will exceed all your expectations as it has a competitive position on the market and fits various clients’ needs. Its numerous advantages will be discussed further. Now let’s explore all of the wonderful features!
This sturdy and long-lasting smoker is a good choice for the money. Its steel structure and simple design will ensure long working possibilities. Any customer will be comfortable with the easy use of this version of smokers.
If you like sausages, this smoker is the best choice for you. The unique feature of this machine is that it contains hangers in comparison to many other smokers. Sausages with unbeatable taste of smokiness are a great dinner for your guests.
This model may be a bit more expensive than many other smokers may, although it is worth buying due to its numerous advantages it can provide.
It starts working with pressing the ignition button. There is an external temperature gauge that allows controlling the heat and an internal temperature gauge. You can also choose levels of the 4 cooking grates. In combination with hangers, the Smoke Hollow propane smoker gives you lots of opportunities when you cook.
The smoker contains 2 vents, one of them is upper, and the other is lower. They provide good airflow throughout cooking, which is a great advantage of this model.
Everyone will agree, without any exception, that the Smoke Hollow 44241GW 44-Inch 2-Door Propane Gas Smoker with Window is probably the greatest feature available on a modern smoker. The convenience provided by this window is unparalleled. Also, the window allows you to monitor the cooking process without opening and closing the door and adversely altering the concentration of smoke within the cooking chamber.
This high-quality smoker has 4 chrome racks – enough cooking area for a large group of hungry partygoers. The position of the chrome racks can be easily adjusted so that you can move the food around as it is being cooked in order free up space for new items waiting to be smoked.
The price of this model is considered average. Some have found that this unit could have a higher heat capacity; however, if the burners are properly adjusted all necessary heat levels can be easily reached.
This model’s 2-door design partitions separate the firebox from the actual cooking chamber. This allows for precise control of the smoke concentration and level of heat in the chamber thus ensuring optimal conditions for getting that perfect taste.
The doors are very well constructed and safe to use. The doors are equipped with a positive locking system and spring wire handles that rapidly dissipate heat and are cool to the touch.
Standard with this unit is a high capacity water pan that is coated with a thick layer of porcelain. The wood chip tray is of similar high-quality construction thus ensuring a very long service life.
Each unit is very carefully packaged at the factory so as to prevent any damage during shipping.
The Weston 36-Inch Outdoor 41-0701-W Propane Vertical Smoker is similar to most of the smokers covered in this review and offers many great features at a very reasonable price.
This model’s construction is superb. Its comprehensive stainless steel construction makes it bulletproof in all weather conditions.
It has the same high quality and high capacity water pan and wood chip tray that the other models have.
The Weston’s rugged 4 chrome-plated adjustable cooking racks can easily handle 14 pounds. It also comes standard with hooks for sausage.
The doors are secured by a positive locking system preventing any smoke from escaping.
The Most Important Factors When Selecting a Smoker
Like with any purchase, it is essential to do due diligence when researching each model. Do not go only by brand names: over the years, many companies have sold the right to use their names.
This is a common source of confusion. The brand name is recognizable, but the company is entirely different. In these cases, the quality of the new product is much, much lower.
Pay particular attention to the materials used to construct the smoker: you want to see stainless steel, cast iron, porcelain, and chrome.
These materials are used in all high-quality models. Also, look at the quality of the welding at each joint. Sloppy spot welding indicates that the smoker will not last long.
The smoker must be stable and not shake
The typical configuration of a smoker consists of a vertically oriented box mounted on a rugged four-legged base.
Make sure that the stand placed on level ground does not shake. Safety is of primary concern; therefore, under circumstances should you buy a smoker that has a flimsy base even if the price is very low.
Examine the warranty closely because terms and conditions may vary. Make sure you report immediately any problems with shaky legs so the manufacturer can repair or replace any defective parts.
By correcting this problem early, you will avoid future problems with other parts of the smoker.
Choose a smoker that operates within a wide temperature range
Smokers that deliver the best performance typically operate between 50-500 F. This wide range will give you the most options when cooking.
Smokers with a more narrow temperature range are considered inferior and should be avoided.
Smokers not equipped with a factory-installed thermometer can easily be upgraded by buying separately and installing it on the smoker yourself. This process is easy and does not require any special tools.
Proper temperature regulation is probably the most important part of the smoking process.
Do not be restricted by any form of portion control
It is recommended that your smoker should have a cooking capacity significantly in excess of the size of the portions you typically prepare.
Having this reserve capacity will give you the peace of mind in the event that you might have to entertain a large group of people.
Therefore, when purchasing a smoker examine carefully the rack area and do not be dissuaded if at first, it appears too large. This extra space you will very likely use sometime in the future.
Typically, smoker manuals contain specific numerical information on the relationship between rack area and portion sizes. Similar information can be found on the Internet.
Front-end system is your best bet
Modern smokers are constructed mostly using a front-end loading system. This undoubtedly makes so much easier the process of placing food into the chamber and then removing the final cooked product.
There are other considerations involved here as well: the first is, and always should be, safety.
The front-end door system greatly reduces the risk of getting burned while tending the smoker and/or adjusting the contents of the cooking chamber.
Using the front-end system, it is no problem to turn foods over or rotate them azimuthally.
Are there any issues involving the availability of replacement parts for the smoker?
As a general rule, one should purchase a cooker that uses parts that are in widespread use throughout the industry.
Exotic, customized models undoubtedly require more maintenance and pose significant problems when it comes to finding replacement parts.
Therefore, it is recommended to “stick to basics” and choose a high-quality smoker with a minimum of so-called “bells and whistles”.
Models using a dual-door system are preferred by experts
This system allows you to simultaneously cook and tend to the fire as well as to the water pan and wood chip container.
As a result, the cooking process is unbrokenly enabling all juices to be sealed in and thus achieving the best possible taste.
These superb features are not found in many smokers; therefore, we highly recommend propane-fired smokers primarily to these important features.
Propane smokers that give the most bang for the buck
Smoking is a very popular method for food preparation; however, at least historically, the process of setting up the cooker has been somewhat tricky. But that was then.
The introduction of propane-fired gas smokers has changed all that. Propane smokers have eliminated all the tedious and time-consuming tasks associated with the operating of traditional smokers.
We have chosen eight propane-fired smokers which we feel offer the best value. This article looks at the key areas that a buyer must examine before choosing a smoker.
These areas include user-friendliness; grill/rack area; safety features; availability of replacement parts; overall sturdiness and, of course, price.
Many people express concern about the effectiveness of a non-charcoal fired smoker. There is absolutely no reason to worry!
The new, modern line of propane smokers has been specially designed to address all of these issues and to offer a product that delivers the classical taste of traditional smoking, but without all the hassles connected with the old wood/charcoal models.
These are some of the best propane smokers available on the market.