Even though we love charcoal smokers and what they contribute to the field of smoking, sometimes we just don’t want to deal with the ash, mess, and hassle of running one. Sometimes we just want to run a clean smoker that is easy to operate and doesn’t require all of our attention. And it’s for those instances that we turn to the best propane smokers we can find. Easy-to-use models, don’t require a lot of user input and are capable of doing a good job. That’s why we’ve reviewed what we consider to be the best smokers and listed them below along with our guide to propane smokers.
Quick Summary of Best Propane Smokers
Editor’s Choice: Cuisinart 36-Inch Vertical Smoker
This smoker is approximately 19.3-inches long, 18.1-inches wide, and 38.6-inches high and weighs 69.5 pounds. This product has an internal space of approximately 5.45 square feet and has four 14×14-inch stainless-steel racks that can be added or removed depending on what the consumer is smoking. If they’re smoking a large turkey or chicken, they might want to remove all but one of the racks. On the other hand, if they need to smoke a variety of different cuts of meat, they’re going to want to add two, three, or four racks back into the smoker.
Another feature that we liked about this product was that it had a porcelain enameled steel tray that holds the wood chips and water that are needed for the smoking process. We also liked the fact that the smoker held onto smoke quite well and even came with a twist-lock handle that locks the door securely. Other features found on this smoker include a 40-inch propane hose, a propane regulator, and a built-in thermometer. All of these features, along with sturdy metal construction, makes these smokers some of the best propane models currently available. A smoker that helps consumer smoke their meats and veggies quickly, efficiently, and without having a big mess to clean up. All for a price that’s more than reasonable in our estimation.
- This is a well-made smoker.
- This smoker is reasonably priced.
- It comes with a wide range of features.
Also Recommended: Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow Propane Smoker
Another feature found on this model includes four chrome-plated racks that can hold up to 16 pork butts or 20 chickens. This smoker also has a push-button ignition system that makes it easy to use and a stainless steel burner that provides up to 15,400 BTU of heat. And to control the heat and smoke of this smoker, this product also has an adjustable air damper that helps the consumer to keep control over their smoking environment. And the box itself is well-built and seems to be easily capable of holding up to years of faithful smoking.
If there was one thing that we didn’t like about this product was that the propane hose seemed a little flimsier than the ones found on other models. We didn’t have any problems with this hose, but we do wonder if it’s going to hold up for the long haul. Fortunately, that was the only possible drawback that we could find, and we otherwise believe that this propane smoker is one of the better ones currently being made. It’s a smoker that the consumer should have no problem using to great effect and one that we feel should last them for quite some time to come. And all of those are the reasons why this product has made it to such a prominent position on our review list.
- This smoker has a 15,400 BTU burner
- It has a push-button ignition system.
- It has an adjustable air damper.
- The propane hose could’ve been better made.
Also Consider: Masterbuilt 40-Inch Propane Smoker
This product is approximately 22.8×28.7×53-inches in size and has an approximate weight of less than a hundred pounds. It’s a high-quality product that’s big enough to handle a whole lot of meat including up to 16 chickens or 8 pork butts. It also comes with a safety shut-off valve that turns the burner off if the flame goes out for some reason, a fuel tank indicator that lets the consumer know when their propane tank is out of fuel, and four chrome-plated cooking racks that are easy enough for people to move around as they desire.
Another thing that we liked about this model was that it had a clear front that allows the consumer to see how the food is being cooked without having to go through the trouble of opening the smoker’s door and peering inside. All of these features make this a propane smoker that can smoke a lot of food and has many of the features that people are looking for in a smoker. It’s one that some consumers are going to want to consider despite its price tag.
- Has a 15,750 BTU burner.
- Comes with a tank fuel gauge.
- Has a safety-valve.
- It costs more than other models.
A Guide To Propane Smokers
The biggest advantage that propane smokers have over other types of smokers is that they’re easier for most people to use. Although it takes the consumer a little bit of time to learn how to use a charcoal smoker, propane smokers can almost be used right out of the box without a big learning curve. Even so, most beginning smokers are probably going to need a little bit of help in not only learning how to purchase a new propane smoker and how to use it properly. Hopefully, this guide will have more information about buying and using a propane-powered smoker than they did before they started.
How To Purchase A New Propane Smoker
The first thing that we wanted to cover in this guide was what a person should look for when purchasing a new propane smoker. Below are some of the most important aspects of these smokers that the consumer is going to want to examine before they purchase a new model.
One Door Or Two Door?
Most of these smokers come with either one door or two doors. One of the doors contains the area where the food is actually smoked, and the second door gives access to the wood chip area. High-quality smokers usually have two separate doors because this allows the cook to add wood chips without having to open the main smoker. In our opinion, the consumer should buy two-door models whenever possible.
The Smoker’s Build Quality
The next thing that the consumer should think about is how the smoker is built. It should be composed of high-quality stainless steel or cast iron. We actually prefer stainless-steel because it tends to hold up well but doesn’t weigh a ton. Cast iron is also sturdy, but it also tends to be extremely heavy.
How Tight Is The Unit?
Another question the consumer should ask themselves is how tight the unit is. In other words, does it hold its smoke well? Smokers that are made from cheap metal or are equipped with low-quality doors can leak smoke—and this kind of defeats their purpose. Although it can be difficult to tell if a smoker is going to leak smoke just from an online listing, some of the things that consumers should look for when purchasing a model that won’t leak include built-up door seals and locking latches.
Dampers Are Important, Too
It’s also important for the consumer to think about the dampers or vents that are found on the smoker. These allow smoke to be released at the rate the consumer chooses and also allows fresh air into the smoker. Therefore, it’s an important part of regulating the whole smoker environment.
Temperature controls are also extremely important for propane smokers. They allow the consumer to set the temperature of the box to the exact one they need it to be. Therefore, consumers should make sure that any propane smoker they choose has a good quality temperature control system.
Other Features To Consider
Before we come to the end of this portion of the guide, we want to make a list of some of the other things that consumers might want to consider before purchasing a new propane smoker. The following features are some of the features that our readers might want to consider before purchasing a new model.
- Built-In Thermometer
- Automatic Safety Shutoff
- Propane Fuel Gauge
Tips For Effectively Using A Propane Smoker
Once the consumer has chosen the propane smoker best suited for their needs and their budget, it’s time for them to use that smoker in the most effective way possible. Below are some tips that consumers might want to think about when they’re using their propane smoker to smoke pork butts, chops, steaks, or anything else they want to smoke.
Smoke At The Right Temperature
One of the reasons why people become dissatisfied with their propane smoker is that their meat didn’t come out smoked properly—meaning it was overcooked or under-cooked. The biggest reason why that would happen is that the consumer didn’t set the smoker to the right temperature or they left the meat in their far too long.
The rule of thumb is that meat should be smoked at a temperature of around 225 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 70-75 minutes per pound. But that’s only a guideline. To be really sure that the meat is properly smoked, it’s best to have a meat thermometer in the meat. That’s the only way to know for sure when the desired doneness of the meat had been achieved.
Keep The Smoker Clean
The next step to getting the most of your propane smoker is to keep it clean. A dirty smoker is a smoker that doesn’t function properly as soot can have an insulating effect on the entire box. Therefore, if you want to keep your box in good condition, then make sure to keep it clean.