7 Best Propane Smokers of 2021
Propane smokers offer many benefits, so it's great if you've decided to get one. They are affordable, dependable, and produce great flavors.
Gas powered smokers offer the same level of ease as electric smokers but they cost much less and are more portable because you can even use them off-grid where there's no electric power.
In this propane smokers review, you get a list of the top propane smokers in the market, plus all the necessary information to help you make the right choice.
7 Best Propane Smokers – Review
1. Masterbuilt GS30D (Best Overall)
2. Smoke Hollow 38202G (Versatile 700 Sq. Inch Smoker)
3. Masterbuilt 44241G2 (Heavy-duty for Large Families)
4. Cuisinart COS-244 (Most Stylish)
5. Masterbuilt 20050116 (Best Compact)
6. Smoke Hollow PS4415 (With Glass Window)
7. Char-Broil 12701705P1 (Small & Affordable)
1. Masterbuilt GS30D
2. Smoke Hollow 38202G
(Versatile 700 Sq. Inch Smoker)
3. Masterbuilt 44241G2
(Heavy-duty for Large Families)
4. Cuisinart COS-244
5. Masterbuilt 20050116
6. Smoke Hollow PS4415
(With Glass Window)
7. Char-Broil 12701705P1
(Small & Affordable)
1. Masterbuilt GS30D – Best Overall Propane Smoker
- Cooking Surface: 717 square inches
- Material: Steel
- Weight: 58 pounds
The Masterbuilt GS30D is a large propane smoker that's well-built and offers enough space to smoke meat for medium to large groups. It offers 717 square inches of cooking surface and is easy to use.
Made from steel and featuring stainless steel spring handles, this smoker also looks modern enough to fit into most settings. It's simple but elegant, and its 2-door design makes it easier to use.
You get four racks in the package, which you can arrange as you please for best results. Its stainless steel burner comes with a push-button ignition, earning it a place as a top-rated propane smoker here.
What you may not like is the rather small pan for the wood chips and its insulation, which could be better.
Else you get a porcelain-coated water pan, an inbuilt thermometer, and a type-1 gas regulator with hose to make it the best overall offer in this review.
More Detailed: Masterbuilt GS30D Review
2. Smoke Hollow 38202G – Versatile 700 Sq. Inch Propane Smoker
- Cooking Surface: >700 square inches/3.4 cu. ft
- BTU: 20,000
- Material: Steel
- Weight: 68 pounds
With the Smoke Hollow 3820G, you get a propane smoker with lots of space and which is versatile as well. It features a 3.4 cubic feet large cooking space with about 700 square inches of cooking surface on four racks.
The racks are chrome-plated for durability and you are free to adjust their heights in the smoker, making it very flexible and one of the best vertical propane smokers you'll find.
You also get a sausage hanger, two doors for heat retention when smoking, and a hose with a regulator. For the burner, you get a stainless steel system with 20,000 BTUs and a push-button ignition system.
It would have been great if this offer came with a cover and you always have to face it towards the wind to prevent the flame from going out. Else its other features are very impressive and make it one of the best propane smokers in the market.
3. Masterbuilt 44241G2 – Heavy-duty Propane Smoker for Large Families
- Cooking Surface: 6.5 cubic feet
- BTU: 2 x 12,000
- Material: Steel
- Weight: 100 pounds
If you've got a large family or have to smoke for large groups, then you need something like this offer from Smoke Hollow. It's one of the best propane gas smokers for smoking large quantities of food at a go.
The package is impressive, starting with its dual stainless steel burners, which produce 12,000 BTUs of heat each. It also features dual doors, which makes it possible to add water or wood pellets through the lower door and still keep up the heat inside.
You get 5 cooking grids. Two standard grids and two for jerky, plus a rib rack and a sausage hanger.
Although you can fire each burner independently of the other, you'll still end up wasting energy with this smoker, if you're smoking small pieces of meat. Else, this is the perfect heavy-duty solution to smoke plenty of meat for a large family or gathering.
4. Cuisinart COS-244 – Most Stylish Propane Smoker
- Cooking Surface: 784 square inches of space
- Material: Steel
- Weight: 40 pounds
Cuisinart's COS-244 is a 36-inch high beauty that sets itself apart from other propane smokers with its unique and stylish design.
Not only does it look very good, but it's also an efficient and dependable propane smoker. It comes with four stainless steel racks for up to 784 square inches of cooking surface and its tightly sealed doors guarantee the best flavors.
Unlike some automatic-ignition smokers though, this one needs you to light it with a long match and it uses the same bowl for both water and wood chips.
On the other hand, it's still one of the best propane smokers for the money, for lovers of elegance.
5. Masterbuilt 20050116 – Best Compact Propane Smoker
- BTU: 5,000
- Material: Steel
- Weight: 22 pounds
Masterbuilt offers a useful smoker here for meat smoking enthusiasts who also love to hit the road often. Whether it's just in the park or camping or RVing, this smoker will always fit in beautifully.
It measures just 16 x 23 x 23 inches but it offers enough space for two chrome-plated racks, a 5,000 BTU stainless steel burner, a temperature gauge, and air vents for smoke control.
You can stand it on its legs while smoking or simply fold the legs under to make it compact for transport or storage. And this makes it the best portable propane smoker on this list.
There's a newer version of this smoker, however, and it comes with improvements in many areas, including a lower price. This makes it hard to resist as one of the cheapest propane smokers.
6. Smoke Hollow PS4415 – Propane Smoker With A Glass Window
- Cooking Surface: 6.5 cubic feet
- BTU: 22,000
- Material: Steel and glass
- Weight: 93 pounds
The major feature of this propane smoker is its glass window. This gives it a unique look and lets you or your guests see what's inside as well.
To further accent its features, it also features a stainless steel door handle and two-external loading stainless steel wood chip trays. Another unique feature is the thermometer that's fitted into the glass window and its chimney-like vent.
There are two burners with 11,000 BTUs each and you can fire and control them independently of each other.
Its downsides are its high price and the simple fact that it's not the compact smoker that you can take everywhere with you.
For accessories, you get five chrome-plated cooking grids, including standard and jerky grids, as well as a porcelain-coated water pan.
7. Char-Broil 12701705P1 – Small & Affordable Propane Smoker
- Cooking Surface: 595 square inches/ 7,566 cubic inches
- Material: Steel
- Weight: 76 pounds
Although not the smallest propane smoker in this review, this smoker is small enough for those who want a smoker for small to medium-sized cooking.
It offers 595 square inches of cooking surface on three grates and a total of 7,566 cubic inches of space. It also offers a warming rack on top of the smoker that uses the heat from the escaping smoke.
There are basic accessories that you would expect from a propane smoker, such as a thermometer, a hose with a regulator, a stainless steel spring door handle, and porcelain-coated water and wood pans.
What you don't find though, are an ignition switch, glass window, or special jerky or sausage grates. To make up for that, Char-Broil offers this smoker at a low and attractive price.
How to Buy the Best Propane Smoker
Given the unique nature of propane smokers, you need to understand the important aspects that matter and you should keep in mind when making your choice.
They are as follows:
1. Cooking Surface
One of the most important aspects of a smoker is the cooking surface that it provides because this determines how many people you can cook for at a go. This cooking surface is usually given in square inches and comes from how many grates the smoker has.
If you're smoking for just you and a few friends, then up to 250 or 300 square inches of smoking capacity is enough. If it's for a larger group, then you can consider 700 square inches or more.
Some manufacturers will give their figures in cubic inches and this refers to the total amount of space inside the smoker. If you like to smoke large pieces, then this is a good metric to consider.
2. Construction Material
Most of the propane smokers you'll find get manufactured using steel. Most times, it's enameled steel but there are variations like glass doors and stainless steel parts, such as handles.
You also need to check the gauge of the steel used in constructing the smoker's shelf because this determines the thickness of the construction and a higher gauge means thicker steel, which means a more sturdy and longer-lasting product.
Other important features of the construction material include its ability to capture and retain heat, as well as cutting back on grease and smoker leakage.
This one is a personal choice and depends on how you intend to use the smoker. If you like to go camping or to smoke meats while RVing, then you'll keep an eye out for a portable propane smoker that you can easily carry around.
If portability isn't an issue, then you may want to focus on other features. You should keep in mind that portable smokers don't offer as much cooking space as larger and bulkier models.
4. Cleaning Ease
Part of the smoking process is the cleaning of the smoker after the cooking process, so you need to make sure that any smoker you're going to choose will make your life easier.
You can check for an accessory like a grease drip pan, which lets you collect the fat from the meat and dispose of it more easily. Also, check on the racks to make sure that they are removable and possibly dishwasher safe.
To make your life easier, always cover the drip pan or water pan with a foil to prevent the grease from dripping directly on it and so you can easily wrap and throw away the foil with its contents into the trash.
Most of the propane smokers that you'll find, cost between a hundred and two hundred dollars, although there are exceptions, of course.
It's important, however, that you make a budget and stick to it. This helps you to narrow your focus and to focus on only those smokers within your budget.
If money isn't a problem, however, then you can forget about price and focus on the other features that make the best propane smoker.
How To Use a Propane Smoker
Propane smokers are easy and straightforward to use, but if it's your first time, a step by step guide will definitely be of help and you should be up and smoking in no time.
Following are the simple steps:
Step 1. Get the Meat Ready
The first step is to get the meat ready. If it's frozen or in the fridge, remove it and let it thaw out completely. Trim your meat and remove as much fat from it as possible, then marinate to your taste.
Step 2. Prepare the Wood
You'll also need to prepare the wood chips that you'll be smoking your meat with. This is best done while the meat is marinating. Simply soak the chips in water and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
Step 3. Setup the Smoker
Next is the setup of the smoker. You need to secure and inspect all connections to make sure everything is okay and safe, then open all necessary valves to get the gas flowing into the smoker.
You'll also need to add water into your water pan and the wood chips into their container. Then set the desired amount of airflow using the vents. To make cleaning easier, it's advisable to line the water pan or drip pan with foil at this stage.
Step 4. Fire it Up
Once everything is ready, it's time to fire up the smoker's burner according to the manufacturer's directions and set the desired temperature. This temperature setup might be easy or a little difficult depending on your smoker's make, but you want to keep things between 225 and 250° Fahrenheit.
Step 5. Start Cooking
Allow the smoker to heat up for like 10 to 15 minutes before you introduce the meat. It's best to place it on the grate directly above the water pan. Now close the door and wait 2 hours at least, before opening the smoker again to check the meat.
Step 6. Finish & Eat
Depending on your desired smoking temperature, the type of the meat, and its size, you'll get different smoking durations and it's always best to check with an instant-read meat thermometer to know when it's done. If it is, then it's time to eat.
Step 7. Cleanup
Don't forget the cleanup part, which is also important. You need to let the smoker cool down before you get rid of the dripped grease and clean the rest of the smoker.
We've reached the end of this propane smoker review and you've seen all the great offers out there. From premium offers with their bells and whistles to very affordable budget models.
Your final choice here is up to you. However, you can go with the Masterbuilt GS30D with its 717 sq. inches if you want an overall great smoker.
If beauty and style is more of your thing, then perhaps the Cuisinart COS-244 would be a better choice.
- 7 Best Propane Smokers – Review
- 1. Masterbuilt GS30D – Best Overall Propane Smoker
- 2. Smoke Hollow 38202G – Versatile 700 Sq. Inch Propane Smoker
- 3. Masterbuilt 44241G2 – Heavy-duty Propane Smoker for Large Families
- 4. Cuisinart COS-244 – Most Stylish Propane Smoker
- 5. Masterbuilt 20050116 – Best Compact Propane Smoker
- 6. Smoke Hollow PS4415 – Propane Smoker With A Glass Window
- 7. Char-Broil 12701705P1 – Small & Affordable Propane Smoker
- How to Buy the Best Propane Smoker
- How To Use a Propane Smoker