Aromatic smoked meat is a great thing, but devoting many hours to making it is not really so great, especially for someone just starting their journey with BBQ.
Of course if someone feels like smoking meat on a traditional smoker then it’s okay. But many of us would sometimes like to avoid spending half a day controlling temperature, fuel, air flow etc…
That’s why the Gas Propane Smoker was made, which makes it possible to easily prepare delicious BBQ without much effort. Sure, the meat won’t have the characteristic, intense taste like out of a charcoal smoker, but we can still talk about great BBQ here.
The best Propane smoker is one that doesn’t cost a fortune and is efficient and well built. We have conducted research that allowed us to choose few such options, you can check them out in the table below.
When buying a new propane smoker, you should focus on what you really need the most, never buy with your eyes.
Comprehensive research, tests and final analysis allowed us to choose only the best propane gas smokers available. We decided to provide few different models so that we can meet the preferences and needs of as many people as possible.
Which of them will suit you the best?
All of that depends on your expectations and on your wallet, which is why you shouldn’t make hasty decisions and should focus carefully on what you need. An advantage of gas smokers is that nearly all of them are available at similar prices, mostly differing in size, features and the quality of workmanship.
The Best Propane Smokers Reviewed
1. Best Overall Smoke Hollow 38-Inch Gas Smoker
A good propane smoker should be able to deal with maintaining temperature in any conditions. We present a model that stands out with very large smoking surface, good quality of workmanship and great efficiency.
Smoke Hollow 38-Inch, despite its huge size has a very strong burner (20,000 BTUs) that does its job perfectly. If you need even more space then check out the two burner 44 inch version but keep in mind that a bigger smoker consumes more propane.
At lower temperatures, it is important for a smoker to be able to handle a fixed temperature. This model can reach a temperature of over 400 degrees F in five minutes. Obviously, smoking usually takes place at a temperature of 200-275 degrees F but it only confirm how strong the burner is in this model.
For this kind of money, the construction seems to be solid and it should easily last for quite a few years. The assembly itself, on the other hand, was very simple thanks to the clear instructions (it took about an hour).
We really like the vast array of configurations for the smoking area. There are 4 chrome grates included that can be set up however you like. Another huge advantage are the hooks on the top that make it possible to smoke things like ribs on the hooks after removing the grates.
Located below the grates, on the other hand, is the most important thing which is the water bowl, and right below it a huge box for wood chips, or even smaller wood chunks.
When it comes to the thermometer, it is of poor quality and not very accurate, which is a norm in nearly all smokers, that’s why we always recommend buying a dedicated smoker thermometer that comes with probes.
Smoke Hollow 38-Inch Propane Smoker has everything you need to start very easy and convenient meat smoking. The smoker’s construction itself is durable and sturdy ( with small smoke leakage ), and the burner is very efficient. Taking into account the efficiency, functionality, durability and price, this is the number one for us.
2. Masterbuilt 30″ Black Propane Smoker
A very known and valued manufacturer of electric smokers also makes decent and affordable gas smokers. Are they just as great as the electric ones? Our tests indicate that they aren’t too far from that level.
Having summed up all the pros and cons of this smoker as well as the price obviously, we can clearly say that this is a perfect choice for beginners or those with a limited budget.
The size of 30 inch is not only universal but also economical and compact. If the 30 inch model doesn’t offer enough space for you, however, choose the bigger 40 inch version and the problem is solved.
Inside you will find 4 grates, right below them a water bowl and a wood chips container ( a little too small if you ask us ). If you want to refill the water or wood chips when cooking without losing temperature, you can do so by just opening the bottom door.
Sadly, this model doesn’t come with hooks that would make it possible to smoke hanging sausages etc.
Masterbuilt 30” inch only comes with one burner, but don’t worry about that, its power is big enough to heat this small-sized propane smoker. During the tests we were satisfied with the efficiency and with the results we achieved.
Masterbuilt 30″ Black version is an inexpensive gas smoker that is perfect for those with a very limited budget or for beginners. A huge upside of products from Masterbuilt is their popularity which means there’s plenty of tips available online, something useful for those just beginning to smoke meat.
3. Dyna-Glo 36″ Wide Body LP Gas Smoker
This time it’s another suggestion for those who want to easily start their journey with meat smoking without spending much money by buying an inexpensive propane smoker. A huge advantage of this model is undoubtedly its large area for smoking meat ( whole 1235 square inches ).
The smoker’s structure is decently built, but you have to keep in mind that wind and low temperature will successfully make temperature control difficult. Other than that, everything else looks most certainly good.
When it comes to the inside, another advantage is versatile choices of grates configuration ( there is a total of 4 of them plus one of them adapted for smoking ribs ). On top of that, it is possible to take out all the grates and use hooks to hang things like a whole chicken, sausage or ribs on.
Large construction also requires a big water bowl and a huge smoker box. We have to admit that the size of the box is big enough to easily fit large chunks of wood instead of tiny wood chips. Sadly, its downside is somewhat poorly fit lid, but it is not really a bother. There aren’t many models that come with a smoker box this big.
It is possible to only use one burner if you wish to converse fuel. With a good weather outside, one burner should easily be enough to maintain a fixed low temperature.
We believe that Dyna-Glo 36″ is an inexpensive gas smoker that will be a great choice for beginners and less demanding users for few years. You have to understand that from a smoker at this price you can’t expect top quality. Still, this model has everything that is required to smoke high quality meat, is easy to use, efficient and well-built.
4. Camp Chef Smoke Vault 18 inch
Camp Chef is well known to those who have a pellet smoker in their backyard. It’s a very experienced manufacturer that specializes in manufacturing nothing but BBQ and grill related devices.
The Smoke Vault model combines quality, efficiency, mobility and ease of use.
It’s the smallest out of all the models suggested by us, sadly its size might be too small to many, whereas for those who don’t smoke much it will be a perfect choice. Smaller size isn’t always a bad thing, a small propane smoker means lower propane consumption and less to clean.
There are only 2 smoking racks and 1 jerky rack included, right below them you will also find a water bowl and a wood chips container. Due to small size of this smoker, the wood chips container is also a little small which means we have to add wood chips more often. It is not exactly good news, but what are you going to do with a construction this small.
Smoke Vault is a well-built gas smoker that also works great when the weather outside isn’t very favorable. It is very easy to use and comes with all the necessary things to prepare a perfect BBQ. What else is there to ask for?
We are pleased with the results of smoking that we had an opportunity to admire during our tests. We haven’t noticed any serious flaws, when it comes to the burner there were no problems with maintaining a fixed temperature.
The construction seems to be solid and durable, we believe it can last for many years. Due to the size and price, we suggest this model for those who don’t smoke too much food. If this model is not big enough for you, buy the slightly bigger 24 inch version.
Propane Smokers make it possible to prepare great BBQ even for those who have never smoked before. It is because a gas smoker is very easy to use, relieving you from many things that have to be done with a charcoal smoker.
You don’t have to worry about getting the charcoal burning, adjusting the air vents and all that temperature control that is so complicated to beginners and plays a huge role in smoking meat.
A propane smoker significantly lowers the number of tasks and turns complicated meat smoking into a normal nearly-automated process ( set & forget style smoker ). Just refill the water bowl, fill the box with wood chips and start the burner, and then set its power with a knob.
The only tasks left for you are checking the temperature and adjusting the burner settings and monitoring the water bowl and the amount of wood chips.
One great solution is the box for wood or wood chips that allows to generate smoke so that your meat will have the same delicious characteristic smoky flavor of meat from a charcoal smoker.
But going back to the topic of buying a new propane smoker, we’d like to remind to never shop with your eyes. We have chosen few suggestions for you that differ a lot from each other which is why you should think about what you need and choose a new smoker based on that.
Just for that purpose, we have prepared this guide that features not only reviews of the best gas propane smokers, but also plenty of valuable information. If you have no idea where to start then start by reading our tips below.
What to pay attention to before buying a Propane Smoker
- The Size
Perfect Size – First and foremost, think about how much meat you smoke and how much space you have in your backyard.
If you don’t smoke much then there’s no point buying something big, remember that the bigger the smoker the more fuel it burns.
The universal size are the 30 inch versions that are perfect when you smoke a little more from time to time.
Power – Pay attention to how many burners and what power the model you’re interested in has.
Of course, it all depends on the size of the smoker as well.
You should remember, though, that a stronger burner allows to achieve the desired temperature much faster and works better when the weather is windy or cold.
Why a Propane Smoker?
Easy to use – It is not a typical charcoal smoker that requires your attention throughout nearly the entire smoking process. A propane smoker is nearly maintenance-free, from the moment you start it you just have to control the water bowl and the wood chips box once in a while. When it comes to the temperature, it is going to be maintained until the moment there’s no propane left in the tank.
Flavor – Plenty of people are not interested in gas smokers reasoning that the gas doesn’t generate smoke which means it won’t give the food the kind of flavor charcoal or wood does. It is true, but not everyone has noticed that every propane smoker is equipped with a wood chips box ( some models have boxes so big that they can even fit larger chunks of wood ). Located below the box is the burner, the flames from which heat the box with wood chips inside. That way smoke is generated that gives food the characteristic wood-like flavor.
How did we Test?
The research and tests we conducted for propane smokers weren’t anything difficult mostly due to the simplicity of use in those smokers. This is to a large extent a set & forget style smoker which is why we had a lot less work than when it comes to testing things like the best smoker for beginners where we had to put several different types of smokers to a test.
Gas smokers are not quite as popular as other types which is why it was also much easier to analyze the offer at stores. It is also quite a simple device that only comes with several essential elements. Not many models come with any additional features in form of different useful gadgets which is exactly why we focused on size, power, quality and price.
Having these thoughts in mind, we conducted market research that allowed us to select a list of the potential models that were worth putting to a test by us.
The practical tests are the apple of our eye, we pay a lot of attention to them as they allow to expose all the downsides and upsides of each smoker. That way we can create a honest list of the top propane smokers based mostly on experience gained when smoking meat.
Therefore we start by assembling the models that require it. Due to a constant contact with new grills and smokers, assembling anything is not a big problem to us. We can objectively evaluate, though, whether a particular assembly manual is clear or not. The assembly is also a chance to check the quality of individual elements that can’t be seen at the first glance.
Having the models ready, we move on to starting them and seeing how fast they can reach the temperature of 300 degrees F ( measured with a stopwatch ). Then we stabilized a lower temperature, refilled the water bowl and the wood chips box and put meat on the grates, where hooks were available we hung ribs.
That’s how we started the smoking process, which we then monitored until it was finished. We mostly checked how often we had to add water and wood chips, or if there weren’t problems with temperature, whether the propane consumption was high etc. All the information was written down so that we could compare not only the results of smoking but also how each model functions.
Why trust us?
For a long time, we’ve been forming a team that brings together BBQ enthusiasts. It was mostly founded for the purpose of spending free time with people we know well and those who share our passion. We love to grill and smoke meat, and what we love even more is doing it in a group, having discussions and drinking beer.
We all want to be up to date with all the news and we all want to expand our knowledge. The ability to test many new BBQ-related products is also not only educational for us but also a lot of fun.
Over time, regular meetings turned into something more than just a standard BBQ party. We decided to open ourselves to people and share our thoughts and tests with all of you through our website.
Our information, tips and most of all reviews are based on experience and not on assumptions. When looking for advice online, we make sure that you get what you really ask for, without any needless words.
When we look for something for ourselves online, we expect clear answers which is why we take a lot of care of our content so that you can leave our website with an answer to your question. On top of that, unlike ¾ of obsolete BBQ websites, we made sure to adapt our website to today’s standards.
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Collecting as much information on some product as possible is one of our many tasks to make a review or guide substantive and objective. We make sure to always include different attitudes of those interested in a topic.
For example, when looking for a new gas propane smoker we can’t tell what your budget is. That’s why we suggest few models with different parameters, sizes and equipment available in different price ranges.
This website was made for people like you which makes it our priority to provide you with what you really need. We invite you to check out our other guides, reviews, comparisons etc.