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 June 14, 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.
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.
- 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
- Issue with design of water and chip tray
- Tray can block oxygen and heat from rising and cause some wood chips not to light
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.
- 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
- Issue with its durability
- Has been known to struggle reaching your desired temperature in extreme cold weather conditions
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.
- 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
- Issue with wood chip door
- When completely filled with wood chips, it is difficult to close or open the door
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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
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.