BEST PROPANE SMOKER: A BUYER’S GUIDE WITH REVIEWS

Who does not love freshly smoked food? On a lazy summer evening, the smell of smoked vegetables and succulent meat from for neighbour’s yard is enough to get your mouth watering and your stomach grumbling. Are not their times when you wish that your family could also enjoy a smoked BBQ? And why can’t you make that wish come true? All you need is a best propane smoker that does power by propane and a few hours of time to cook and serve the food. Finally, you can say bye-bye to temptation and long waits in BBQ shops.

Why smoke food?

So much history of smoking food does exist now. The art of smoking is so ancient that it is hard to pinpoint a particular start period. Almost every primitive culture shows records of usage of smoked meat. With evolving times, the lists of foods that can smoke grow longer and just about everything edible including vegetables, sausages, bacon and even cheese did add to it. What is the reason behind the success of this popular trend? Why are people so obsessed with smoked food? The answer to this comes in several forms.

  • Mouth-watering flavor: The smoke adds a special taste to food that other cooking methods are not capable of doing.
  • Prolonged preservation: It is common knowledge that smoked items resist decay and spoilage much better than items cooked by other methods.
  • Juicy tenderness: The consistency of food obtained from smoking, offers the best chewing experience.
  • Ease of operation: Smoking is quite easy to master and to cook delicious food on your own gives a certain sense of accomplishment and fulfilment.

Why use a propane smoker?

Now that you do convince that you must cook and try out your smoked food, the next step is to identify the best smoker. Based on the type of fuel used, smokers can classify into various categories. The fuel can mean wood charcoal, wood pellets, electricity or propane. Of all these four types, the propane smokers do often choose for their ‘set it and forget it’ principle of working. It essentially means that you do not have to keep monitoring your smoker throughout the cooking process constantly.  So if you are thinking of getting the best propane smoker, then you can expect the following benefits.

  • You can get authentic smoky flavored food in the comfort of your backyard.
  • You can set it up at the desired location and have an instant party with delicious barbeque.
  • The process is very simple. The smoker does not require much attention. You have to load the food, set the suitable temperature and timer and then let the smoker do the rest.
  • The food, even meat, cooks very fast in the smoker. So this means that you do not have to wait around endlessly for your favorite meal.
  • Propane smokers require no or very little maintenance.
  • With this smoker, there is hardly any chance of burning the meat. That is why both experts and novices easily prefer it.

What to look for in a propane smoker?

So if you have now decided that propane smokers are the ideal way to get delicious smoked food, then you need to look for the following criteria and specifications before ordering the best propane smoker.

Size and capacity

Small propane smokers are enough to produce food for a typical large family of maybe up to 10 people. The larger smokers are capable of feeding an entire party all day long. So before buying, first decide how and why you are going to use the smoker. If you are a frequent party giver, a larger propane smoker should do the trick. Otherwise, a small one will be more than enough. All the smokers would have mentioned their room capacity in the description of the product. Make a clear note of this before buying.

Features

Every smoker comes with its own set of features and differs in aspects like the number of cabinets, trays available, cooking space, temperature controls, electronic push button igniters, etc. Go through all of these and see if they fit your requirement.

Cost

In most cases, this will be the deciding factor. There is a multitude of products ranging from 100 dollars to several thousand dollars. As the products get expensive, you will find better options for controlling temperature, timings and all other features that strive to make the smoking process less strenuous.

There are so many smokers out there that it is impossible to go through every single one of them and verify the mountain of data description and specifications given. So to make your job easier, we have listed below some of the best propane smokers that are bound to impress you. We have listed the pros and cons to give you a better outline of what to expect from the best propane smoker.

Comparison Table

MASTERBUILT 20050716 THERMO TEMP PROPANE SMOKER

Packed with features, the Thermo temp propane smoker from Master built is one of the best smokers under 300 dollars. If you are looking for a family-friendly smoker, then this affordable smoker will make a fine addition to your backyard.

Product features:

  • It equips with a thermostat to control and regulate temperature automatically.
  • It runs even without electricity.
  • Has a safety emergency valve that shuts off the burner if by chance the flame has been extinguished.
  • It comes with a tank fuel level gauge to indicate the remaining available amount of the propane fuel left in the tank.
  • That features a temperature sensor that controls the burner and helps to maintain a desired, suitable temperature throughout the cook.
  • It comes with a dual door design.

Pros:

  • The thermostat eliminates the need for manual adjustments as done in other traditional smokers.
  • The dual door design is very useful and efficient. It allows adding of wood chips into the smoker without any additional loss of heat.
  • This propane smoker makes the smoking process simple and safe. It is very easy to assemble and requires very little monitoring, and even amateurs can easily operate this and get the best possible outcome, without much struggle.
  • It has four separate smoking racks. Each rack has spacious room and is large enough to accommodate a huge turkey. The racks also prevent intermixing of food.
  • It works at its maximum efficiency even if it is placed outdoors and operated in cooler temperatures.

Cons:

  • Each rack as such offers a lot of space, but when you see the smoker as a whole, the design is quite restricting and uses up a lot of useful space. Sometimes you might wish that it had just a little more room to stuff food.

CUISINART COS-244 VERTICAL 36″ PROPANE SMOKER

The COS-244 Vertical 36” is a sleek, compact, stylish black propane smoker from Cuisinart. At first glance, this smoker is bound to impress you with its good looks. But it is not only the exterior that is attractive. What is inside is as worthy and impressive as it looks.

Product Features:

  • It does equip with four spacious 14″ x 14″ shelves made from refined stainless steel.
  • It features a combination of water/ wood tray that comes with a porcelain enamelled exterior.
  • The smoker has a well thought out design with a vent located at the back of the smoker to provide extra table top space at the top of the smoker.
  • It comes with a 40″ hose and regulator that attaches the propane smoker to any standard propane tank.
  • It has two doors that facilitate ideal smoker access and an enormous 5.45 square feet interior cooking space.

Pros:

  • The plan area of this propane smoker is small and compact. It makes it ideal for usage in barbecue kitchens and patios.
  • The temperature control and heat control settings of this smoker are on point and very easy to control and monitor. It also has an easy to read thermometer, attached to the front door to help you keep an eye on the internal temperature without much effort.
  • Whenever you want to whole smoke large pieces of meat or an entire bird in one go, you can simply remove the four stainless steel racks and use the entire space as a single compartment.

Cons:

  • The water reservoir may not be big enough to fulfill high-end needs and may require continuous refilling. Apart from this minor flaw, this smoker excels in all other aspects.

SMOKE HOLLOW 3615GW 36 INCH PROPANE GAS SMOKER

This stylish propane smoker from Smoke Hollow is peculiar in appearance because of its glass window. This see-through feature of the smoker can come in handy in many aspects. The unique trait along with the other features and good pricing makes this one of the best budget smokers out there.

Product Features:

  • It is large, spacious and very easy to clean.
  • The strong and clear tempered glass window allows you a visual view of the food as it cooked.
  • It comes with a large capacity, external loading wood chip tray, for adding different desired smoke flavors.
  • It has four cooking grids, each with adjustable heights to enable cooking of different sizes and shapes of food comfortably. All the plates are also chrome plated to ensure that they withstand high temperature and do not stick with the smoked food.
  • Both the water and wood pans do coat with porcelain.
  • It comes with a stainless steel burner for adjusting various gas and heat controls.

Pros:

  • This propane smoker is extremely weather resistant and can be used all year round even in outdoor environments, irrespective of temperature or season.
  • The assembly is quite simple and does not require much time or effort.
  • The smoker can conveniently use for all types of meat and other food products. The flavor does astound, and the glass window allows easy monitoring so that you can make sure the food does cook to the right consistency.

Cons:

  • Some users have made some complaints saying that they have faced issues with the lighting of the burner. Some say that the burner keeps cutting off within a few minutes. But these could be isolated incidents and may not apply to all the cases.

CHAR-BROIL VERTICAL LIQUID PROPANE GAS SMOKER

This vertical propane gas smoker from Char-Broil is a great combination of simplicity and affordability. It has all the basic features to give a great smoking deal, without overstepping the functionality. Weighing only about 19.95 pounds, this is one of the lighter weight models that offer flexible portability.

Product Features:

  • It comes with a spacious cooking surface of 595 square inches and includes three cooking grates that are chrome plated to withstand high temperatures.
  • Has a hard cooking space of 7,566 cubic inches.
  • It features an additional warming rack at the top of the smoker chamber.
  • It special gas feature facilitates a healthier smoke experience by maintaining consistent heat throughout the smoker.
  • The wood chip and the water pan do coat with porcelain.

Pros:

  • It is an excellent smoker with which you can start your smoked food journey. The ease of usage and low pricing makes it very popular among first-time users. In fact, many barbeque experts have claimed that this simple smoker is where their passion started.
  • The compact design of the smoker makes cleaning and maintenance operations very easy. You hardly have to spend any time in this area.
  • You can run it 24/7 without losing efficiency.
  • The cooking space is surprisingly large for a smoker of such compact size.
  • The drawer system of the smoker is smooth and functions a lot better than other smokers of a similar price range.

Cons:

  • Some users say that they have faced difficulties in getting the smokers running at higher temperatures until all the water has boiled out. And sometimes, if the boiling continues for a longer duration, the food might start steaming before getting smoked. But all this is entirely based on unique situations and cannot be generalized.

SMOKE HOLLOW 38202G 38 INCH 2 DOOR PROPANE GAS SMOKER

This propane gas smoker from Smoke Hollow is one of the best two door system models available in the market today. With its large capacity and comparatively affordable price, this is one of the top sellers in the smoker’s market.

Product Features:

  • This propane gas smoker’s cabinet comes with a spacious cooking capacity of 3.4 cubic feet
  • It features four cooking grids that are chrome plated and equipped with many levels of adjustment
  • It runs on LP fuel gas and can give outputs as high as 20,000 BTUs
  • The package also includes a sausage hanger and an external temperature gauge for easy and accurate temperature measurements
  • It equips with a convenient and comfortable push-button system for the ignition
  • It also has unique upper and lower vents that facilitate temperature control to the maximum possible extent

Pros:

  • The two-door system is very efficient and comes with several benefits. It makes it much simpler to control the smoker’s internal heat and moisture levels. With this, the user can feed the water pan or the wood chip pan without opening the top door. It prevents the release of heat and maintains the temperature at a constant rate
  • The control systems for the temperature are elementary and flexible to use. You can shift from low to high-temperature range within a matter of seconds.
  • In that initial set of assembly and seasoning process is very simple.
  • The gas smoker is very temperature resilient and can work well even in cooler outdoor atmospheres.
  • The door thermometer gives very accurate readings and provides a shortcut method to monitor the required internal temperature.

Cons:

  • The only disadvantage with this model is that it has no inbuilt door gaskets. A separate gasket must be purchased for the top door if required.

WESTON 48 INCH OUTDOOR PROPANE VERTICAL SMOKER

The outdoor propane vertical smoker (48 inches) from Weston is one of the most massive capacity smokers available for commercial use. It is easily one of the most desired smokers for large scale usage.

Product Features:

  • It comes with a fully welded exterior with a heavy gauge and a black coated, stylish steel cabinet for cooking
  • This propane gas vertical smoker has a superior quality fuel delivery system that is fully adjustable in all aspects and has undergone several tests to ensure perfect safety.
  • It comes with an inbuilt rotary igniters for providing easy and stresses free start-up operation
  • The internal temperature of the smoker can be easily read and marked with the help of a convenient, easy to understand, external temperature gauge.
  • It also has other additional features such as two sausage hangers

Pros:

  • It is suitable for use in all weathers and is the best propane smoker if the usage involves smoking large quantities of food at a time for events like parties.
  • Even though this is a significant unit, it is surprisingly easy to set up. The product comes with an easy step by step instruction manual that explains the assembling procedure in simple terms. With its help, you can put the smoker together within minutes.
  • This smoker is especially great for smoking meat. The flavor and consistency of the product are excellent as you can easily control the temperature settings and change it to suit your needs. The temperature changes are incorporated very quickly. So your meat will not burn up even if you turn down the heat at the last minute.

Cons:

  • Even though the total internal space is quite large, the width between the racks is not that enormous. It makes it difficult to squeeze in large items such as a vast turkey as a whole.

OUTDOOR LEISURE 38208G SMOKE HOLLOW PROPANE GAS SMOKER

This propane gas smoker from Hollow Smoke is a great model for rough outdoor use. All products from Hollow Smoke are known for their high quality and exceptional performance. And this propane smoker model is no exception to this trend.

Product Features:

  • It comes with an easy to operate push button ignition system, a reliable and efficient cast brass burner and an accurate and easy to read temperature gauge
  • It also equips with four grids that are chrome plated. These grids can be adjusted to vary the cooking height based on the need.
  • The wood chip box and the water pan are coated with porcelain to withstand high temperatures.
  • The product is compact with an outer dimension of 21 x 15 x 39 inches

Pros:

  • The best thing about this model is its attention to smaller details. For example, the door handle is specially coated to enable it to stay cool even as the internal temperature rises to it upper limits
  • The smoker body is sturdy, spacious and well designed.
  • Despite the fairly compact and small exterior, the inside part of this propane gas smoker is quite laborious and can surprisingly hold a lot of food for its size.
  • This gas smoker is suitable for all outdoor temperatures and is ideal for cooking all sorts of food including meat and vegetables
  • The controls are very simple and easy to master. Even ammeters can easily cook delicious food with this smoker.

Cons:

  • Some users say that they have faced issues with the overall temperature controls of this model. The temperature regulation is sometimes not as quick as expected. But as a whole, this model is very satisfactory for a product of such affordable pricing.