7 Best Propane Smokers – Reviews & Buying Guide
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 smoker 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 – Reviews
- 1. Masterbuilt GS30D – Large Capacity Propane Smoker at a Great Price
- 2. Smoke Hollow 38202G – Versatile & Spacey Propane Smoker
- 3. Smoke Hollow 44241G2 – The Heavy-duty Solution for Large Families
- 4. Cuisinart COS-244 – Super Stylish Propane Smoker
- 5. Masterbuilt 20050116 – Perfect for Smoking on the Go or at Home
- 6. Smoke Hollow PS4415 – High-quality 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
7 Best Propane Smokers – Reviews
1. Masterbuilt GS30D 717-Sq. Inch Propane Smoker
For the best propane smoker with a large capacity and a good price, Masterbuilt offers you this 30-inch vertical smoker with 717 square inches of cooking surface and a price that puts a smile on your face
2. Smoke Hollow 38202G 2-Door Propane Smoker
This smoker comes with 4 cooking racks and an extra sausage hanger, allowing you the freedom to smoke as you please. It also offers a large 3.4 cubic feet of total smoking space
3. Smoke Hollow 44241G2 Vertical 44-Inch Propane Smoker
Only a giant smoker like this can take care of the smoked meat needs of a large family or group. It comes with dual burners and five cooking grids, including for jerky, rib, and sausages
4. Cuisinart COS-244 36-Inch Propane Smoker
Anyone who loves stylish stuff will love this offer from Cuisinart. Add a touch of beauty and class to your smoking sessions with this 2-door and 5.5 square feet large propane smoker
5. Masterbuilt 20050116 Portable Propane Smoker
It weighs only 22 pounds and measures 23x23x16 inches, making it a very portable smoker that also comes with all the necessary features like temperature gauge, air dampers, and folding legs
6. Smoke Hollow PS4415 Glass-Door Propane Smoker
Here comes a cabinet-style smoker with a glass window. You can look to visually inspect your meats, as well as impress your guests. There are two burners with 22,000 BTU combined and lots of accessories
7. Char-Broil Vertical Propane Smoker
This is a simple propane smoker with all the basic accessories like a hose with regulator, three grates, wood and water pan, plus a warming rack on top of the smoker
1. Masterbuilt GS30D – Large Capacity Propane Smoker at a Great Price
- Cooking Surface: 717 square inches
- BTU: N/A
- 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 larger 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 looks modern enough to fit into most settings. It's simple but elegant, and its 2-door design makes it even easier to use.
You get four racks in the package, which you can arrange as you please for the best results. Its stainless steel burner comes with a push-button ignition and so, earning its place thereby as a top-rated propane smoker.
What you may not like is the rather small pan for the wood chips, else you get a porcelain-coated water pan as well, an inbuilt thermometer, and a type-1 gas regulator with hose.
2. Smoke Hollow 38202G – Versatile & Spacey 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. Smoke Hollow 44241G2 – The Heavy-duty Solution for Large Families
- Cooking Surface: 6.5 cubic feet
- BTU: 2X 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 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 also get 5 cooking grids, 2 standard ones, plus 2 for jerky, 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 at a go.
4. Cuisinart COS-244 – Super Stylish Propane Smoker
- Cooking Surface: 784 square inches of space
- BTU: N/A
- 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 lighting 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 those who love some elegance in their lives.
5. Masterbuilt 20050116 – Perfect for Smoking on the Go or at Home
- Cooking Surface: N/A
- 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 smaller for transport or for 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, but it's also costlier, making this offer even harder to resist as the cheapest propane smoker on this list.
6. Smoke Hollow PS4415 – High-quality 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, which both 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.
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
- BTU: N/A
- Material: Steel
- Weight: 76 pounds
Although not the smallest propane smoker in this review, this smoker is small enough for those who want something 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 also those 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 that 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 about 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 also 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, including premium offers with all their bells and whistles and the very affordable budget models as well.
Which propane smoker you choose in the end is up to you because they all offer different special features and it's only you that knows what you need the most.