Sitting near a bone fire for a couple of hours to smoke the meat is a very long process. It’s too difficult to roam near the fire and anytime any incident can ruin your trip. It seems a good idea when you go crowded with your friends.
But at home, it is very boring to sit alone for a longer time. Instead, you can get a less time-consuming and easy to use propane smoker. You can go to your bed while your food is cooking. It’s like press the button and enjoy.
There are many advantages of using gas-fueled smokers:
- They are simple to cook on.
- They are affordable.
- Clean, even cooking and heat.
Most consumer units use propane tanks. However, the campsite models are natural gas friendly.
Though it is possible to modify other brands to use natural gas, the process must only be performed by a professional.
Propane smokers are really portable, so it’s possible to cook up your favourite meals out on a camping trip or just around at a neighbour’s place (when you feel like showing off your new skills).
I’ve put together a list of my favourite gas smokers below along with information I wish I had when I was picking mine!
There are many different gas smokers on the market. However, a propane smoker is among the most popular for simplicity and convenience.
|Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker||Best All-Around Gas Smoker|
|Smoke Hollow 44-Inch Gas Smoker (Editor’s Choice)||The Lowest Price Smoker|
|Masterbuilt 20051311 Propane Smoker||Best Gas Smoker Brand|
|Dyna-Glo 36″ Vertical LP Gas Smoker (Professional’s Choice)||Best User-friendly Smoker|
|Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker||The Best Smoker Under $200 to Buy in 2018|
Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker – Best Vertical Propane Smoker
This is good inexpensive smoker you can buy to cookdelicious meals without breaking the bank.
Being an inexpensive smoker, it performs relatively wellwith some supervisions.
This smoker has three cooking racks in it which provide about 7,566 cubic inches space for cooking. You will experience the better smoking texture and taste in this gas smoker because it gives you the power to control the heat for a long time.
The warming shelves are on the top of the smoker cabin. You can reach the ultimate temperature above 300 in the chamber. The wood chips tray and water pan have porcelain cover on them. It is made of steel and weighs about 76 pounds.
You can smoke your food in it at low or high temperatures. Just get some wood in the tray and pour your favourite liquid in the water pan and you are on. The smoker is not that heavy, neither that light. So, it’s somewhat portable. It offers a match-freeignition employing a push-button piezoelectric igniter.
This gas smoker is considered as the best affordable one with good features of an ideal meat smoker. It’s a heavy constructed unit, and its overall construction has the worth of the price tag.
Smoke Hollow 44-Inch Gas Smoker – The Lowest Price Smoker
It has two wood chips trays having porcelain on them. It gives you nice storage for longer cooking and bigger pieces. It beast weighs about 100 pounds.
It has steel surrounded which is welded to save more heat inside and increases its durability. You don’t need to compare its weight with any other smoker because it’s meant for it.
You don’t need to open the main compartment for refilling as the bottom one will do it for you. Just open the door and check your trays. It helps to keep the heat inside and loss is negligible than single door smokers. You can reach the ultimate temperature of 450 with this box.
If your after a high quality smoker but still want to be able to feed 10+ people this should be your choice.
This is an inexpensive, but high-quality smoker that has a large cooking area. It is well-constructed and even has some nice details that are often missing in some of the more expensive models. Due to its size, the Masterbuilt is also a portable propane smoker
Dyna-Glo 36″ Vertical LP Gas Smoker – Best User-friendly Smoker
Dyna-Glo gas smoker has more than 750 square inches space for cooking inside. It got four racks inside for more durability and easy handling. It weighs only 54 pounds having a two door design. It uses propane as its main fuel.
You get electronic ignition system where you need to press a button and you are on. You can set it at different temperature with a dial on its control panel.
We really enjoyed the power this unit packs. We enjoyed using it it when we are just cooking for our family or testing some new recipes.
The smoker has a steel wood chip box with porcelain coating and handles on the either sides. The water bowl is also stainless steel made for long lasting and easy cleans. It has two doors for extra smoking effect.
You can see the temperature of the room in its inbuilt gauge. It has a quite big storage for the pork or turkey. You can fulfil your fantasies with this box.
This Dyna-Glo is a great unit for both beginners and experienced smokers especially when you are just cooking for a few people.
It’s super effective in terms of producing the right amount of smoke and maintaining temperature, thus it produces quality food.
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker – Best Home Smoker
This smoker is designed with four 14-inch square stainless steel racks and a vertical space of cooking. Therefore, you can enjoy nice storage of bigger pieces and longer cooking. Components coated with porcelain enamel can help to handle the extended use when the temperatures are high.
This smoker is very durable and saves the heat inside properly thanks to the high-grade steel material surrounding. It can retain the heat inside and reach the temperature of up to 450 degrees with this box. Therefore, though it is a bit heavy, it is worthy with these good features.
It is quite simple and easy for you to do the refilling without the need to open the main compartment because the bottom one can help you then. What you need to do is just to open the door and do the check of your trays.
This unit is especially for people who are short on space and don’t want to have forgo having the option to smoke, grill or roast. Despite being a jack of trades is a terrific product in terms of producing quality, smoked food.
I’ve reviewed the gas smokers in the different budget range you can buy. But it is you who’ll need totake the decision according to your circumstances. So let me help you to decide by yourself which gassmoker will be perfect for you according to your conditions.
In this guide, I’m gonna tell you what things you should consider trying to find the best gas smoker foryou. I’ll describe what makes a gas smoker good or bad.
Firstly, determine the use of the Propane & Natural Gas smokers:
I’m saying this because manufacturer makes different gas smokers for different purposes. They makelarge costly smokers, as well as cheap small smokers.
So, if you don’t smoke often and when you do, you cook only for 4-5 members, buying a 1000 buckslarge smoker would be foolish.
Or when you need to cook for a medium or large-sized audience, buying a small smoker to save moneywill be foolish again.
So, first determine why you are buying the smoker for:
- Small gas smoker (for home or family use): If you need to cook a little amount of foods for a small family, go for a gas smoker which is notexpensive because of not being too large, and is useful with good features like heating, ease ofcleaning, build quality, temperature control, etc.
- Big smoker: If you need to cook a large amount of food every time you smoke, go for something big and useful likeWeber Genesis 6531001 E-330 or Smoke Hollow 44241G2 44-Inch Vertical LP Gas Smoker. Or if you don’t have that budget but still need a large smoker, Smoke Hollow 44241G2 44-Inch VerticalLP Gas Smoker is ideal for you. It offers a large cooking space still not expensive. It’s undoubtedly thebest gas smoker under 400$ you can buy.
- Medium smoker: If you have to do both, means if you generally need to cook food for a little audience, but sometimeshave somewhat bigger gathering, something like Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker would be ideal. This smoker has a cooking area of 7,566 cubic inches with 595 sq. inches of cooking space. And thissmoker does pretty well in other sections and won’t break the bank too. It’s very cheap considering itsfeatures. It could be a great option for you under 200$.
There are several factors to consider before buying a smoker that feels right for you.
- First off, the price is an essential consideration. There are many entry-level smokers for barbecuing novices that are affordable and work well. The Masterbuilt 2-door propane smoker, for example, is an excellent choice for the beginner pitmaster. They are known for their superb temperature holding ability. Smokers greatly vary in prices starting from the very cheap at around $50, to the custom-built models that can set you back well over $10,000.
- You should also consider the cuts of meat or items that you plan on smoking. You want to have ample interior space for your needs.If you are planning on preparing foods at home for family and friends, then there is no need for high-end gas smokers. Conversely, if you are in the commercial preparation of food, then you need a smoker that can accommodate larger cuts of meat.
- Portability should also be a consideration. Propane smokers are considered more portable than electric ones. Propane smokers can quickly get transported to campsites, picnics, and other outdoor spaces.
- You should also consider the required fuel sources of the smoker before purchasing it. Some smokers rely on natural gas, electricity, wood, charcoal, pellets and other types. First ensure the necessary fuel for the smoker is affordable long-term, or even available in your area, before purchasing it.
- Lastly, consider the durability of the smoker. One of the most critical factors is noting the material used to make it. Some smokers are more challenging to clean based on what materials they were manufactured. Removeable racks, for example, are far easier to clean than permanent shelves.
Other things to buy gas smoker:
Separate doors for the lower part of the cooking cabinet and the cooking chamber are always useful.
It gives you access to easily check on the flame or replenish smoking fuel or water without losing smokeor heat.
Also make sure they seal tightly thus good doesn’t become bad.
A front-loading design is more convenient than a unit top-loading design.
Don’t forget to ask these questions:
- What kind of warranty does the unit have?
- How much assembly is required? Though you don’t need to assemble everyday.
- Are replacement parts available?
Water Smoker vs Dry Heat Smoker
Water smokers use a water pan between the fire and the heating chamber. The purpose of the water is to keep a cooler cooking area that will produce a juicy, tender product compared to dry heat smokers.
The water pan also regulates heat, which maintains temperatures evenly. Dry heat smokers burn with wood products and don’t use water pans.
Some chefs argue that dry heat smokers produce better “bark”, or the smoked skin on the meat; however, there’s no evidence to prove this point.
If it’s your first time using a gas/propane smoker, familiarize yourself with the unit’s basic working principles by carefully reading the manufacturer’s instructions. This is very important and will stop you mishandling your smoker, which could lead to damage or injury.
Pros & Cons of Gas/Propane Smokers
To begin with, all smokers can yield amazing results. There’s no debate about that. A gas smoker can effectively serve you like any other type of a smoker. Just like a gas grill, a gas smoker uses gas to cook, and usually produces great food.
- Easy to use – With gas smokers, you don’t have to worry when it comes to cooking temperature settings. All that is required of you is to set the smoker to the right temperate and go attend to your other business as your food cooks. These units guarantee complete control over how you cook and are easier to use than conventional models.
- Parts are easily separated – This alone is enough to make you purchase a gas smoker. They come with numerous accessories you’ll need in case any replacement is needed. This is unlike electric units, whose manufacturers rarely supply the right accessories. In fact, some don’t actually sell, some will double their price, or worse still some will require you to replace the whole unit. A gas smoker will less likely to warrant very expensive repairs.
- Portability – One incredible feature offered by gas smokers revolves around portability. If you’re into camping, propane smokers are great additions you should consider. A good number of these units get up to relatively high temperatures compared to most conventional or traditional smokers. This makes them very reliable and flexible cooking units that can be used as ovens.
- A Variety of Key Accessories – Gas smokers usually come with specific accessories to make your cooking easy. For instance, accessories such as the side burner help users in keeping sauces warm as well as cooking side dishes. Reliable manufactures also include special accessories such as side tables, openers, spice racks, and so much more. You could also be lucky enough to purchase a smoker that has an iPod player system. Other accessories such as the grill gates can go a long way in improving your unit’s cooking characteristics.
- Reliability – All smoking enthusiast can confirm that this type of smokers is very reliable in that they are portable and have an automatic temperature control mechanism. However, most people have a major problem when it comes to gas smokers: having to carry the gas tank, which is very cumbersome, from place to place.
- Safety – Gases are usually explosive. They can harm you if not properly handled. Several people have reported minor, major or even severe injuries sustained from gas smokers, especially when lit in an open space. Remember, gas is heavier than ordinary air and it will pool close to the ground the moment it starts leaking from the jets. Therefore, be careful when pressing the button so that it doesn’t explode in your face. Windblown flames can occur with some units, and it’s difficult to predict if your unit is susceptible to the wind or not. But, honestly, gas is safer than charcoal because the possibility of sparks and other burning objects escaping is minimal. However, if you notice a problem, turn off the knob immediately.
- Space concerns – Widthwise, gas units are smaller than charcoal or electric smokers. This limited space can’t even accommodate enough meat for your guests. That means that you will have to consider halving your meat so that you can smoke what you need.
- Leaks – Some models have been badly constructed using thin metals. This can result in smoke and gas leakages. Creative barbecues have come up with methods to counter this problem: sealing the gaps and adjusting poorly fitted doors. Therefore, before buying your smoker, take note of your vendor’s reputation to ensure that you purchase a quality unit. Also, demand a good warranty. It’s your right!
Propane Gas vs. Electric?
Looking at these gas smokers, you probably realize they are very simple devices. Small meat lockers that can be heated so the pork, beef, chicken or turkey inside can be slowly cooked to perfection. Most manufacturers offer both gas and electric versions of the same product. This is the gas version of a similar smoker powered by electricity. A gas smoker has the advantage of heating up quicker than electric, as any professional chef will tell you. However, after that, there is no distinct advantage in maintaining the temperature over an extended period. Gas smokers are more portable as you don’t need a mains electricity supply.
Energy Content of Natural Gas
One cubic foot of propane gas has the same energy content as two cubic feet of natural gas. However, you find that it still costs more to use propane. This difference in energy is also the main reason that a propane smoker or grill can’t be hooked up directly to a natural gas line.
Converting A Propane Smoker or Grill
It is possible to convert a propane smoker or grill and some manufacturers provide modification kits for LPG to NG. If you’re interested we recommend you contact your manufacturer to see if a conversion is available.
FAQ about Gas Grills
When buying a propane smoker, you need to find a unit that is within your budget, but you can’t get one that’s too cheap. If you do, you’ll end up with a unit that doesn’t smoke your meat well. Always consider carefully the size of your equipment: buying a small unit might limit the amount of food you can cook for your barbecue feast.
Make sure to read some reviews to help you choose a dependable brand for your unit. This will make sure that you love the smoking experience. In addition, you will be easily able to cook juicy, tender and complex flavored meats in your own backyard. Again, demand a good warranty!