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Best Propane Smoker Reviews 2020 – Top Picks & Buyer’s Guide

If you love smoked foods but want to make the cooking process a little easier compared to other smokers, then you should definitely give the propane smoker a look.

The best propane smoker is great because it’s practical on a lot of different levels.  They’re affordable, typically have multiple racks to cook lots food on simultaneously, and most importantly can make some really tasty food.

You can find a lot of different makes and models of gas smokers out there – but we’ve done all the research to compile a best propane smoker list right here for you.

Stick around until the end for some things to look out for when shopping and some tips for how to best utilize your propane smoker.

In a Hurry?  Here’s a Quick Look:

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Best Propane Smoker Reviews 2020

Dyna-Glo Wide Body LP Gas Smoker

Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D 36" Wide Body LP Gas Smoker
  • 20,000 Total BTUs, Dual Cast Iron Burners
  • 4 adjustable cooking grates
  • TOTAL 1,235 square Inch of cooking space
  • Protect your smoker with a custom-fit Dyna-Glo premium cover - Model DG1235GSC (Sold Separately)

When it comes to the best propane smoker, our top pick has to go to the Dyna-Glo Wide Body LP Gas Smoker.  All around, it has everything you want to see in a quality cooker.

Dual cast iron burners are capable of producing up to 20,000 BTUs of output, and 4 adjustable cooking grates give you maximum space and flexibility to smoke the meats of your choice.

In fact, you’re afforded a grand total of 1,235 square inches of cooking area on those 4 racks – enough to feed a small army.

Design wise, this propane smoker comes with a water pan that’s designed to keep your food juicy and moist even after hours of cooking.  An accurate built in temperature gauge means you can monitor your smoker’s ambient temperature easily.

One of the best features of the Dyna-Glo Wide Body Gas Smoker is its high capacity wood chip box.  Even with the best propane smoker, one of the sacrifices you make compared to a charcoal smoker is the amount of smokey flavor you can impart onto your food.

That worry is addressed here, as the high capacity wood chip box lets you burn plenty of wood chips for long periods of time.  This ensures that your food picks up the desired flavors and you don’t have to constantly refill the box.

Things We Like:

  • High capacity cooking area.  Across 4 different racks, you’re given a generous 1,235 square inches of cooking area to work with.
  • Adjustable cooking grates allow you to customize your workspace to fit different sizes and cuts of meat in your smoker.
  • Large wood chip box means you don’t have to refill during long smokes and ensures plenty of smokey flavor reaches your food.
  • Water pan does a great job of keeping your food moist while it cooks.
  • Great price, and an excellent value for the money.

Things We Don’t:

  • Thermometer isn’t the most accurate, although this is a problem with propane smokers in general.  You’d be better off investing in a probe thermometer.
  • Not ideal for smoking in cold or windy settings unless you purchase an upgraded gasket.

 

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

 

PIT BOSS 77435 Vertical LP Gas Smoker

PIT BOSS 77435 Vertical Lp Gas Smoker, Red
  • Dual valve/dual burner system provides 100-350 temperature range
  • Three porcelain coated cooking grids, 800 sq in
  • Stainless Steel burners - 12, 500 BTU total
  • External access to wood chip drawer and grease tray
  • Large viewing window with high temperature door seal

Pit Boss has a great reputation in the outdoor cooking industry, and their Pit Boss Vertical LP Gas Smoker is one of the best propane smoker choices out there.

It has a thinner profile than a lot of competitor’s products do, which is nice if you’re tight for space on your patio.  Despite the narrower body, you’re still given 884 square inches of cooking area to work with across 3 porcelain coated cooking racks.

Two stainless steel burners have a 12,500 BTU output capacity and can hold a temperature range of 100-350°F – which is a perfect range to handle smoking and roasting duties.

The wood chip drawer and grease tray are easy to access with an external door.  You can easily manage your wood chips while you’re cooking and when it’s time to clean up, grease removal is made easy too.

There’s also a large viewing window with a high temperature seal so you can get a peek of your food while it cooks.

Things We Like:

  • Narrow profile is great for tighter spaces and you don’t have to set aside a ton of area on your patio thanks to a small footprint.
  • 800 square inches of cooking area across 3 separate porcelain enameled racks.
  • Wood chip box and grease pan are easily removable so you don’t have to spend a bunch of time or hassle managing your smoker.
  • Nice temperature range at 100-350°F, you’ve got plenty of smoking versatility.

Things We Don’t:

  • Customer service for these smokers isn’t the best, which can be frustrating if something goes wrong.
  • You might have to cut your meats to fit them in the narrow body – for example a full rack of ribs likely won’t fit in this smoker.

 

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

 

Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24

Camp Chef has a fantastic line of quality outdoor cooking appliances, and the Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 definitely lives up to the bill.  It includes two cooking grids and one jerky rack, which makes the process of homemade jerky even easier.

Three adjustable damper valves help you to control and fine tune your temperature, which is a great feature you don’t see on a lot of other propane smokers.  A matchless easy press ignition system can have you smoking in no time.

Design wise, it’s a straight forward smoker and can consistently hold a temperature range of 160-350°F.  The base tray is removable to help make the clean up process has hassle free as possible.

This is also one of the most efficient propane smokers we’ve seen.  I don’t know what it is about the Smoke Vault series, but they just seem to go longer on less propane.

Things We Like:

  • Efficient user of propane, you’ll find your self getting more mileage out of less propane.
  • Simple, intuitive design that includes all the features you’d expect plus a few extras.
  • Great temperature range for smoking at 160-360°F.

Things We Don’t:

  • Cooking racks could be more durable and seem to deteriorate with some cold exposure.

 

 

Masterbuilt MB20051316 Mps 340g XL Propane Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker with Thermostat Control, 40 inch, Black
  • Temperature sensor controls burner to maintain desired temperature
  • Safety valve shuts off burner if flame is extinguished
  • Tank fuel level gauge indicates the amount of propane in the tank
  • Four chrome-coated smoking racks
  • 15,750 BTU stainless steel burner

Masterbuilt is one of the prominent manufacturers of electric and propane smokers, and their MB20051316 XL Propane Smoker is one of our favorites.

Four chrome coated cooking racks are spacious and have enough room to handle 16 chickens, 6 turkeys, 8 racks of ribs, or 8 pork butts at once!  Safe to say, this is a great choice if you’re smoking for a large crowd.

A few features are built in here that help to make your life easier as the cook.  Namely, a temperature sensor that controls your burner’s output to your desired setting, tank fuel gauge, and built in safety valves all make your life easier while you get to work.

There are also some features that help to make your food even tastier.  A heat diffuser is included in the design to evenly distribute heat from your burners – ensuring evenly cooked food.

Also, an exterior wood chip tray can be accessed during your cook without opening the main chamber.  This way, you don’t have to lose valuable heat to add to your wood smoked flavors.

Things We Like:

  • Lots of cooking space across 4 chrome plated racks – an ideal size whether you’re smoking for a small or large crowd.
  • Relatively slim profile means you can fit this smoker into a smallish space on your patio.
  • Wood chip tray is on the exterior and easily accessed during your cook.
  • Temperature sensor controls your burner to put out the temperature you set.  A lot of other best propane smokers use cheap thermometers – this one is quite the opposite.

Things We Don’t:

  • Maintaining lower temperatures has been challenging for some customers.
  • Masterbuilt customer service is spotty – sometimes they are great and sometimes they are hard to get ahold of.

 

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

 

Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker

Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36" Propane Smoker, Black
  • 5. 45 SQUARE FEET OF INTERIOR: The spacious 5. 45 square foot interior means there is plenty of room to smoke a variety of meats along with several trays of vegetables. The vertical footprint makes it a perfect size for patios and barbecue kitchens.
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3" L x 18.1" W x 38.6" H | Weight: 69.5 lb
  • FOUR 14 X 14-INCH REMOVABLE STAINLESS STEEL SHELVES: Four stainless steel racks can be easily removed for smoking whole birds or large cuts of meat. Racks are dishwasher safe, making cleanup easy.
  • BUILT-IN THERMOMETER: Features easy-to-read thermometer on the front door for accessible monitoring of the internal temperature.
  • TOTAL TEMPERATURE AND SMOKE CONTROL: An adjustable gas supply gives control over the amount of heat. Optimal smoker access through two doors and a rear vent can be opened or closed to control the amount of heat and smoke exiting the oven.

Cuisinart is a brand that’s best known for kitchen appliances, but they also make one of our favorite choices for best propane smoker.  Particularly, the Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36 is a great choice – and at a low price.

It’s got a very slim profile; probably the slimmest of any smoker on this list – so that can be a good or bad thing depending on how much patio space you have.  Despite the slim profile, you’re still given 4 stainless steel racks to work with that total 748 square inches of cooking area.

Design wise, it’s pretty similar to your standard propane smoker.  A main door lets you access the cooking area for your food, and a secondary door lets you access your water pan and wood chip tray.

Things We Like:

  • Slim profile is ideal for tight spaces – this is a great choice for those with minimal patio space.
  • Quality materials used in construction, and it shows in customer reviews.  The COS-244 does a great job of retaining heat throughout long smoking sessions.
  • Twist lock door also has a high quality seal and ensures that heat won’t escape during your cook.

Things We Don’t:

  • Water tray isn’t designed well and can lead to oxygen and heat not reaching and lighting your wood chips.
  • Warranty is only 1 year, we’d like to see something longer in line with industry standards.

 

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

 

Masterbuilt MB20050116 MPS 20B Patio-2-Portable Propane Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20050116 MPS 20B Patio-2-Portable Propane Smoker, Black
  • Two chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Built-in temperature gauge
  • Push-button ignition lights burner quickly and easily
  • 5, 000 BTU stainless Steel burner
  • Regulator knob adjusts flame for desired temperature

If you’re looking for something a little more portable, it’s hard to go wrong with the Masterbuilt Patio-2-Portable Propane Smoker.  Two chrome plated racks give you enough space to smoke 4 chickens, 1 turkey, 2 racks of ribs (would need to be cut down to fit), or 2 pork butts at once.

All of that and the smoker weighs only 22 pounds, which makes it an ideal choice to take on the go to your next tailgate or camping trip.

Otherwise, it comes with all of the same features you’d expect out of the best propane smoker.  That is, a built in temperature gauge, easy ignition system, and an intuitive knob to help control your temperature.

Things We Like:

  • Portable design is easy to take on the go for smoking at your campsite or tailgate.  At only 22 pounds, you can easily transport this smoker.
  • Well constructed and does a great job of temperature retention and evenly cooking food.

Things We Don’t:

  • Not ideal for large cuts of meat or cooking for larger crowds due to the smaller space in the main cooking chamber.
  • Chip tray and water pan are so small that you’ll want to buy a separate pellet tube smoker and/or an aluminum pan to replace the water tray.

 

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

 

PIT BOSS 77425 2.5 Gas Smoker

PIT BOSS 77425 2.5 Gas Smoker
  • Dual valve/dual burner system provides 100-350 temperature range
  • Four porcelain coated cooking grids, 884 sq in
  • Stainless Steel burners - 13, 500 BTU total
  • External access to wood chip drawer and grease tray
  • Large viewing window with high temperature door seal

Pit Boss makes another appearance on our best propane smoker list with the Pit Boss 77425 Gas Smoker.  It’s an all around solid choice and at a reasonable price.

It comes with a dual valve and burner system that’s capable of maintaining a 100-350°F temperature range for long periods of time.  The two stainless steel burners are capable of 13,500 BTUs of output.

As far as cooking area goes, you’re given a generous amount of space to work with.  Across 4 porcelain coated cooking racks, there’s 884 square inches of cooking area to work with.

Similar to other Pit Boss smokers, there’s a removable grease pan and wood chip tray that help make the smoking and clean up process easier on you.

Things We Like:

  • 884 square inches of cooking area across 4 separate porcelain enameled racks.
  • Wood chip box and grease pan are easily removable so you don’t have to spend a bunch of time or hassle managing your smoker.
  • Nice consistent temperature range of 100-350°F.  That’s all the range you need to cook any smoked meat low and slow.

Things We Don’t:

  • Pit Boss customer service isn’t the best, which can be frustrating if something goes wrong.

 

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

 

Why Buy a Propane Smoker?

The best propane smoker is great about two things specifically – convenience and affordability.

Along with electric smokers and pellet smokers, propane smokers fall into the class of “set it and forget it” cookers and are designed to minimize the amount of time you have to actively spend managing your cook.

They can make some really delicious food with minimal effort and not really any extra features and fuel costs.  All you need to work a propane smoker is a propane tank and a few wood chips (or potentially some wood pellets).

Remember, some foods cook on a smoker for upwards of 12-16 hours.   Some people love the process of managing a charcoal fire, but that’s a lot of work!  Propane smokers take a lot of that burden away – you don’t have to manage a fire when smoking on a gas smoker.

Check out a deeper comparison of propane vs electric smokers here.

Propane Smoker Pros and Cons

Here are a few distinct advantages and disadvantages of the best propane smoker:

Pros:

  • Set it and forget it style of smoker is ideal in a lot of situations.  It’s a luxury to be able to set your temperature and return hours later to delicious, thoroughly cooked food.
  • General ease of use.  Everything about propane smokers is easy.  Specifically, you can dial in your temperature with the turn of a knob.
  • They’re fairly portable smokers.  Most don’t weigh too much, and all you need for fuel is a propane tank – which can also be transported.  Unlike electric smokers where you need an electrical connection for it to work.
  • Really good flavor.  As far as flavor goes, you’ll get better flavor on a gas smoker vs electric – but less flavor compared to a charcoal smoker.
  • Propane is a reliable and cheap source of fuel.  Ongoing costs will be low, and you also don’t have to rely on the cheap electrical components that typically come in an electric smoker.
  • Propane smokers are affordable.  You’d be hard pressed to find a propane smoker for much more than $400 – which is the entry level price point for many other types of smokers.

Cons

  • You might have to switch out propane tanks a lot if you smoke frequently, potentially even mid cook.  It’s a hassle to do this, but just par for the course with even the best propane smoker.
  • Vertical design can make it challenging to smoke large cuts of meat like full rib racks or brisket.
  • A lot of models are cheaply made and leak heat and smoke.  We’ve done our best to avoid these on our best propane smoker list, but there are a lot of pieces of junk out there.

Best Propane Smoker – Buying Tips

Here are a few things and features to look out for when comparing different models.

Width

Width is important on two different levels.  First, it comes into play in terms of how large of a footprint your smoker will take up.  Generally speaking, propane smokers have a vertical cabinet design so they don’t take up a lot of ground area.

But there are all sorts of different sizes, and some are narrower than others.  Make sure to pay attention to this and to note how much space you have available on your patio for a smoker!

The second consideration when it comes to smoker width has to do with the cuts of meat you plan to smoke.  With smoking, it’s not uncommon to cook some pretty large and wide cuts of meat.

You might not want to cut down your rib racks or brisket in order to smoke them, so if this is you just make sure to buy a smoker with a wide cooking chamber that will accommodate the foods you want to smoke.

Wood Tray

Your wood tray is the way you are going to get that delicious smokey flavor to your food.  A properly designed wood tray will allow you to easily add wood chips, even mid cook, and will burn them to smoke your food with delicious flavor.

Be sure that your wood tray has a separate exterior door from your main chamber.  Any wood tray that requires you to open the main door and let heat escape is just poor design.

General Build Quality

We mentioned already that unfortunately, there’s a lot of crap out there on the market.  Be sure to pay attention to the general build quality of your smoker – the best way to do this is to read customer reviews and feedback.

Specifically, you want to look for feedback that speaks to temperature retention and heat distribution.  The cardinal sin of any smoker is to leak heat – it will completely ruin your food and smokers that leak are totally useless.

Stay away from any smoker that appears to be prone to leaking heat, because there are plenty of options out there that are well made.

Warranty

With any expensive appliance, it’s a good idea to take the warranty into consideration.  Industry standard for propane smokers is more or less a 3 year warranty.  Anything less than that I’d be disappointed with.  If all else is equal, choose the manufacturer that offers the more generous warranty.

Tips For Getting the Best Flavor From Your Propane Smoker

One of the knocks on propane smokers, when compared to charcoal smokers at least, is that your food will be lacking the same degree of traditional smokey BBQ flavor when cooked in a gas smoker.

We’ve compiled a few tips for increasing your foods flavor to the point where some might not even know the difference.

Utilize a Pellet Tube Smoker or Pellet Maze Smoker

Sale
A-MAZE-N AMNPS Maze Pellet Smoker, Hot or Cold Smoking, 5 x 8 Inch
  • FULL SMOKE - Get a full-bodied smoke for up to 12 hours using a-maze-n pellets. Smoke time will vary depending on what chips or pellets you are using
  • PERFECT FOR ANYTHING – Great for use on salt, cheese, poultry, fish, pork & steak. Add a mouthwatering smoky flavor to anything you can fit in your smoker
  • RUST FREE – Stainless steel construction prevents corrosion to preserve the life of your pellet smoker
  • ONLY 12.6 OZ - The lightweight design makes A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker easily transportable from the grill to the campsite
  • CONVENIENT SIZE - 5" l x 8" w size makes it easy to use with almost any grill

Pellet tube and maze smokers were practically made for electric smokers and gas smokers.  They also work great in modified cold smoke generator setups, but they’re ideal for adding extra flavor to your propane smoker.

These work so well because they burn for 5 or 6 hours at a time and will impart plenty of flavor.  That’s plenty of time to flavor even larger cuts of meat.

The best part is, you can easily refill it if or when you need more.  All you need to do is have a bag of wood pellets handy and you are good to use a pellet tube.

Upgrade Your Wood Tray

Unfortunately, a lot of the wood trays out there just aren’t that great.  There are a few different types of enhancements you can make to upgrade your wood tray and the amount of smoke it produces.

Each smoker is different, so you should test things out on your own, but many cheap boxes can be replaced with a small cast iron skillet – which will do a much better job of burning your wood chips and generating smoke.

If that doesn’t work, try placing a cast iron skillet filled with wood chunks directly over your burner.  That should provide plenty of smoke to flavor your food.

Best Propane Smoker – Wrap Up

If you’re considering getting a smoker, the best propane smoker is hard to beat.  When it comes to ease of use and flavor, you’ll be hard pressed to find something better that checks both of those boxes.

I hope this guide has helped to point you in the right direction!  Which propane smoker did you end up with?  Let us know in the comments section below.