Reviews

The Best Propane Smokers (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Consider these propane smokers for a slow, steady, and reliable cooking experience.

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BY Zach Faulds / LAST UPDATED ON March 20, 2021

A high-quality smoker can be a great addition to your cooking arsenal if you are into flavorful smoked meats, chicken, or fish. Propane smokers are an extremely convenient way to smoke your own meat at home or for an outdoor cooking experience at an event or campsite. The best propane smokers are incredibly efficient, and they are available in various types to best fit your cooking preferences. These smokers are quite reliable, and they can easily be transported in your vehicle for your next camping trip. They also make an excellent option for a day-long cookout in your backyard, patio, or deck. Whether you are looking for great value, durability, versatility, or a user-friendly option, we look at the best propane smokers currently on the market. Read on to see which one is the best fit for your outdoor cooking needs.

Best Overall
Cuisinart Vertical Propane Smoker
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Summary
Summary

This 36-inch propane smoker features four 14 by 14-inch removable stainless steel shelves. It is easy to set up and includes a 40-inch hose and a regulator that attaches to any standard propane tank.

Pros
Pros
  • Easy-to-read thermometer on front door to help monitor internal temperature
  • Door will remain tightly sealed with a twist of the handle
  • Includes 5.45 square feet of interior cooking space
Cons
Cons
  • Issue with design of water and chip tray
  • Tray can block oxygen and heat from rising and cause some wood chips not to light
Best Overall
Cuisinart Vertical Propane Smoker
Best Value
Dyna-Glo Vertical LP Gas Smoker
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Summary
Summary

This vertical propane smoker features four adjustable steel wire racks and a total of 784-square inches of cooking space. The 15,000 BTU cast iron burner with electric ignition allows for quick and easy lighting.

Pros
Pros
  • Heavy-duty, porcelain enameled steel water bowl allows for tender meats with maximum smoke flavor
  • Temperature gauge features a smoke zone to indicate ideal temperatures for smoke flavor
Cons
Cons
  • Issue with its durability
  • Has been known to struggle reaching your desired temperature in extreme cold weather conditions
Best Value
Dyna-Glo Vertical LP Gas Smoker
Honorable Mention
Char-Broil The Big Easy Infrared Smoker
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Summary
Summary

This propane smoker utilizes Infrared technology to cook your food evenly and add smoke flavor with no flare-ups. It is one of the most versatile smokers on the market, allowing you to smoke, roast, or grill.

Pros
Pros
  • Internal cooking basket can hold up to a 21-pound turkey
  • 180-square-inch grill grate provides plenty of space for grilling most meats, vegetables, or sides
  • Easy to use and operate: simply connect to a standard liquid propane tank, turn one knob to on, and turn the other knob to light the unit
Cons
Cons
  • Issue with wood chip door
  • When completely filled with wood chips, it is difficult to close or open the door
Honorable Mention
Char-Broil The Big Easy Infrared Smoker
Propane Smoker In The Garden
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Propane Smokers

  • Flavor. One of the major benefits of propane smokers is the smoky flavors they create. While it may not match that of charcoal, propane smokers produce a better flavor than traditional electric smokers.
  • Portable. A benefit of propane smokers is that you can bring them with you on camping trips. Many propane smokers are quite portable, easy to travel with, and do not require a power source to operate.
  • Reliable. Since propane smokers do not rely on electricity or a power source, they are a proven product and make a great backup cooker if you were to lose power in your home.

Types of Propane Smokers

Cabinet

Most propane smokers are built cabinet-style, featuring a burner and vents at the bottom of the smoker and the chimney and dampers at the top of the smoker. Most propane smokers do not naturally produce smoke, so wood chips or wood pellets are typically used to create the smoky flavor in your food.

Pellet Box

Pellet boxes are an excellent addition to almost any propane smoker. Without a pellet box, most propane smokers will not generate enough smoke to cook your food without adding new wood pellets every hour. Most fully loaded pellet boxes will allow for up to five hours of additional cooking time without replacing the wood.

Combination

Combination smokers allow for charcoal to be added to your propane smoker. This allows for a more versatile product and more extended periods of cooking without replacing any wood pellets. In some cases, charcoal can still be added to your regular propane smoker by adding a second fire box with a few charcoal pieces inside.

Top Brands

Cuisinart

Founded in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer and headquartered in Stamford, Conn., Cuisinart is one of the most reputable American home appliance brands owned by Conair Corporation. In addition to high-quality propane smokers, Cuisinart produces air fryers, roasting pans, cutlery, grilling tools, and more.  

Dyna Glo

Dyna Glo is a trusted company that manufactures a range of home and commercial grade heaters for all purposes, including kerosene heaters, gas forced air heaters, gas radiant heaters, and natural gas heaters. The company also manufactures an impressive range of grills and smokers.

Char-Broil 

Founded in 1948, Char-Broil specializes in grilling products and accessories. It is a trustworthy company with several high-quality products that can be reliably shipped across the United States. In addition to propane smokers, Char-Broil manufactures charcoal grills, turkey fryers, grilling accessories, and more.

Propane Smoker Pricing

  • Under $200: This is the most common price range for propane smokers. Products in this price range can be quite versatile and reliable—just make sure to read the reviews before making your purchase.
  • $200 and up: Propane smokers in this price range are priced at a premium. These smokers are typically the highest quality, most reliable, and come with several special features or accessories.

Key Features

Build Quality

The type of material that your smoker is made from and the material's quality are essential features to consider. Make sure to do your proper research before purchasing a smoker that is the best fit for your needs. Most reputable companies produce smokers from high-quality materials built to withstand the test of time.

Size

Depending on your space, the amount of food you will be smoking, and the number of people you will be cooking for, the size of your propane smoker can be an important factor to consider. Most brands of smokers are available in a wide range of sizes. If you will be traveling with your smoker to events or using it while camping, finding one that is large enough and still lightweight is an important factor. Heavier smokers are challenging to carry or place in your vehicle while traveling.

Consistency

Another feature of propane smokers is that they are incredibly consistent. Most propane smokers do not need to be watched or regulated frequently. Propane smokers will maintain a constant temperature throughout the cooking process, as long as your propane tank is full of fuel. Propane smokers also make an excellent choice as a backup cooking option if you ever lose power at your home.

Other Considerations

  • Efficiency. One of the most important considerations when shopping for a propane smoker is the efficiency rating of the product. You want to find a smoker that can maintain accurate temperatures for long periods. Make sure to read the reviews to find a smoker that is the best fit for you—both in ease of use and reliability.
  • Durability. Finding a propane smoker built to withstand the test of time is another consideration. The best propane smokers should be reliable and made from high-grade material. Most smokers are completely rust-resistant and will hold up outdoors in all types of climates or weather conditions. 
  • Warranty. The length and type of warranty are essential considerations when contemplating the best propane smoker to fit your needs best. Most reputable manufacturers will include some kind of warranty with their smoker. Look to purchase a smoker with a limited warranty that will at least cover any manufacturing defects or issues with your product for its first few uses.

Best Propane Smokers Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Cuisinart Vertical Propane Smoker

This 36-inch propane smoker features four 14 by 14-inch removable stainless steel shelves. It's extremely easy to set up and includes a 40-inch hose and a regulator that attaches to any standard propane tank. There is an easy-to-read thermometer on the front door to help you monitor the internal temperature of your smoked meats. The door will remain tightly sealed with a twist of the handle. This smoker includes 5.45 square feet of interior cooking space, which allows you to cook meat and vegetables simultaneously. A heavy-duty porcelain enameled steel tray is designed to hold both wood and water.


One downside is with the smoker's water and trip tray design, Some customers have reported that the tray can block oxygen and heat from rising and cause some wood chips not to light.

Best Value
Dyna-Glo Vertical LP Gas Smoker

Get the best bang for your buck with the Dyna-Glo Vertical LP Gas Smoker. This 36-inch vertical propane smoker features four adjustable steel wire racks and a total of 784-square inches of cooking space. A 15,000 BTU cast iron burner with an electric ignition allows for quick and easy lighting. A heavy-duty, porcelain-enameled steel water bowl allows for tender meats with maximum smoke flavor. The temperature gauge features a smoke zone, which indicates the ideal temperatures for infusing smoke flavor in different types of meat. A large wood chip box is also made with heavy-duty, porcelain-enameled steel, allowing for hours of maintenance-free cooking. A limited one-year warranty is included with each purchase of this propane smoker.


However, this propane smoker has been known to struggle at reaching your desired temperature in extreme cold, wind, or other hazardous weather conditions.

Premium Pick
Char-Broil The Big Easy Infrared Smoker

This propane smoker utilizes Infrared technology to cook your food evenly and add smoke flavor with no flare-ups. This is also one of the most versatile smokers on the market, allowing you to smoke, roast, or grill meat, all in one package. The internal cooking basket can hold up to a 21-pound turkey, and the 180-square-inch grill grate provides plenty of space for grilling most meats, vegetables, or sides. It is extremely easy to use and operate: simply connect to a standard liquid propane tank, turn one knob to on, and turn the other knob to light the unit. It even features a removable grease tray for a mess-free cleanup.


Keep in mind that when the wood chip door is completely filled with wood chips, it is extremely difficult to close or open the door.

Most Durable
Camp Chef Smoke Vault

This 24-inch smoker features a heavy-duty stainless steel wood chip tray and a large water pan for a steady and slow cook. It also includes adjustable heat-control dials, three damper valves, and a door thermometer to help you control and maintain internal temperatures throughout the cooking process. It can cook meat low and slow, with temperatures ranging from 160 degrees to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It has an impressive total output of 18,000 BTUs per hour. As a bonus, this smoker even comes with a convenient jerky rack for drying out meat while it smokes. This smoker is quite reliable and maintains a consistent temperature, so you won't have to check it frequently throughout the day.


Since the metal on this propane smoker is relatively thin, you should use it with caution if you are cooking in extreme cold or hazardous weather conditions.

Best Design
Pit Boss Vertical LP Gas Smoker

The Pit Boss Vertical LP Gas Smoker is one of the most fashionable products on the market, available in a stylish red color. This propane smoker is available to cook at temperatures between 100 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It has an output rating of up to 12,500 BTUs. The dual valve system includes one 3,500 BTU stainless steel burner dedicated to the wood chips and a second 10,000 BTU burner to maintain the cabinet temperature. A large front window allows you to easily observe your meat as it cooks. This unit has a cooking area of 884 square inches and three easily removable porcelain coated cooking grids. It also has convenient access to the wood chip drawer and grease tray.


 However, some customers have reported issues maintaining high temperatures with this propane smoker, particularly over 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Honorable Mention
Masterbuilt MPS 230S Propane Smoker

The Masterbuilt MPS 230S Propane Smoker is another trustworthy product from a reputable manufacturer. This propane smoker contains a fully removable water bowl and wood trip tray. A built-in temperature gauge and four chrome-coated smoking racks provide added convenience. It is advertised to hold up to eight chickens, two turkeys, four full racks of ribs, or four pork butts. A 15,400 BTU stainless steel burner provides sufficient power. It is incredibly user-friendly, featuring a convenient push-button ignition that lights the burner quickly and easily. The porcelain-coated flame disk bowl allows the flame to reach the wood chips while shielding the burner from any grease. Two doors will enable you to access the burner and wood chips without losing any heat on your meat smoking inside.


Unfortunately, the wood chips have been known to burn up rather quickly. Some customers have made modifications or added some charcoal to prevent this problem.

Honorable Mention
Masterbuilt MPS 330G Propane Smoker

This product includes a temperature sensor control burner to maintain your desired temperature throughout the cooking process. Four chrome-coated smoking racks can be easily removed, and a large window allows you to observe your meat while it smokes. There is a safety valve that will conveniently shut off if the burner flame is extinguished. A fuel level gauge allows you to easily see the amount of propane left in the tank so that you never run out. A heat distributor evenly distributes heat from the burner throughout the cooking cabinet. The wood trip tray can be accessed from a separate door, so you won't have to worry about losing any heat while in use.


While the temperature control will maintain a consistent temperature, the temperature readings have been known to be inaccurate. As such, you may want to purchase a separate temperature gauge before using this product.

Honorable Mention
Masterbuilt MPS 20B Patio-2-Portable Propane Smoker

The Masterbuilt MPS 20B Patio-2-Portable Propane Smoker may be the best portable option available. This smoker is the perfect compact option for cooking on your patio, deck, backyard, and it also makes an excellent choice for bringing with you on camping trips. The burner can be ignited easily with just the push of a button, and the temperature gauge provides a consistent, reliable temperature throughout the cooking process. Despite its compact size, this smoker can cook up to four chickens, one turkey, two racks of ribs, or two pork butts at one time. The 5,000 BTU burner provides plenty of heat to smoke meat for smaller meals. The two chrome-coated smoking racks offer durability but can easily be removed as needed.


However, the propane smoker's pan and tray are so small that you may want to consider using a large disposable aluminum pan for water.

Tips

  • When considering your purchase, make sure that your smoker has enough cooking space for your specific needs, including your family and any large events where you may be using it.
  • If you are looking to travel with your propane smoker, make sure that it is lightweight and portable enough to carry and transport in the back of your vehicle, truck bed, or RV.
  • Ensure that your propane tank is full so that you do not run out of fuel while camping or traveling.
  • Always make sure that the wood chips or coals are fully extinguished after using your smoker to prevent any fire hazards.
  • Always keep the doors open to your smoker while you arrange and light your burner. You can close the lid once the wood is burning properly and the smoker has started cooking.

FAQs

Q: Are propane smokers any good?

Yes, there are several high-quality propane smokers available. Make sure to do your research and read all of our reviews before purchasing a propane smoker to fit your needs best.

Q: Do propane smokers use a lot of gas?

Some propane smokers do use a lot of gas, while others are more efficient. On average, a propane smoker will burn 1-2 pounds of fuel to smoke your meat. Make sure your tank is full of propane before using your smoker to ensure you do not run out of fuel.

Q: Do you use wood chips in a propane smoker?

Yes, wood chips are typically added to most propane smokers. There is usually a wood chip tray included, as well as a water tray, for use with your propane smoker.

Q: What is the best smoker to buy?

Our top-rated propane smoker is the Cuisinart Vertical Propane Smoker. There are several other high-quality options available, so make sure to read all of our reviews before deciding which propane smoker is the best fit for your cooking needs.

Final Thoughts

For a high-quality propane smoker, consider the Cuisinart Vertical Propane Smoker, featuring 5.45 square feet of interior cooking space. For a more budget-friendly option, check out the Dyna-Glo Vertical LP Gas Smoker, featuring a 15,000 BTU cast iron burner with electric ignition.