Best Propane Smokers

5 Best Propane Smokers in 2020

When the weekend comes around and you’re stuck on what to do, we believe that nothing can beat a cookout with your loved ones. The atmosphere, the smell of the meat smoking, and the sound of people laughing all add up to the best way to relax in your spare time.

It doesn’t even need to be the weekend to get out your smoker and cook up some of the best tasting meat for your family and friends. No excuse needed!

If you’re thinking about buying a smoker, you’ll undoubtedly know that there are hundreds available to choose from. But what should you be looking for when you’re shopping around? And what is the best propane smoker?

To help make things clearer, we’ve done all the hard work for you and put together a list of some of the best propane smokers available. We’ve even included a super useful buying guide that has all the information you need to help you decide which of these fantastic alfresco cookers is right for you.

All you have to do is sit back and start planning what you will smoke first because after reading what these propane smokers can do, you’re definitely going to be hungry!

In a hurry? Let’s start by taking a look at our top pick. 

Our winner after 35+ hours of research

Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker with Thermostat Control, 40 inch, Black

Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker with Thermostat Control

Our Rating

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Best Propane Smokers - Comparison Table

Best Propane Smokers - Our Reviews

Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker with Thermostat Control, 40 inch, Black

#1. Our Overall Top Pick

Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker with Thermostat Control

Our Rating

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This smoker is a whole 40 inches tall, which is huge in the smoking world and equates to enough room to cook up to 16 chickens, 6 turkeys, or 8 racks of ribs! Now that is impressive. This can accommodate a lot of food so if you’re serious about smoking meat, this is your go-to model. With 4 racks, you can fit a wide range of meats and vegetables all in on go.

The automatic thermostat control means that you can set your temperature and happily walk away knowing that your food is being cooked evenly and those smoky flavors are distributing well throughout the whole burner. There is also a safety gauge that automatically turns off the burner if the flame is extinguished, giving you extra peace of mind over its safety.

There’s also a tank-fuel lever gauge that gives you a clear indication of how much propane you’ve got left in the tank, and it operates with an impressive 15,750 BTUs (British Thermal Units).

Each of the four cooking racks is chrome-coated too, which doesn’t only ensure they are as durable as possible but also makes them incredibly easy to clean. 

Pros

  • Can hold a massive amount of food at once with enough room to cook up to 16 chickens, 6 turkeys, or 8 racks of ribs
  • Has an automatic thermostat control that allows you to spend less time monitoring the food as it cooks
  • Features a built-in safety valve that automatically shuts off if the flame is extinguished
  • Comes with four chrome-coated shelves that are super strong and easy to clean

Cons

  • Does not come readily assembled
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Char-Broil The Big Easy

#2. Runner Up

Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill

Our Rating

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Not all propane smokers come this packed with handy accessories to make your cooking experience as easy as this! If you are cooking up a feast for a larger group of people, this is the product you need. This model comes with a 1200 square inch basket that can fit those larger cuts of meat. It can even hold a 21lb turkey - imagine that for Thanksgiving!

This product has a smoker box that is accessible from outside of the smoker. Meaning that you can add your favorite wood chips without the hassle of opening the lid. Our top pick for wood chips would be hickory by the way – that flavor cannot be beaten on some good quality brisket.

Not only is this an impressively sized smoker but it also has a 180 square inch grill which is perfect for chicken wings, corn, burgers, and more! Perfect for any get together you may have planned.

Pros

  • Comes with loads of accessories that allow you to smoke, roast, and grill
  • Tru-infrared technology cooks your meat evenly without the need for human intervention
  • Has a huge 1200 square inch basket that can hold bigger joints of meat
  • Also has a 180 square inch grill that is perfect for chicken wings, burgers, and more
  • The smoker box is accessible with needing to open the smoker’s door

Cons

  • Doesn’t give you the option to set the smoker to a certain temperature and instead uses BTUs as a heat indicator
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Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D 36' Wide Body LP Gas Smoker

#3. Runner Up

Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D 36" Wide Body LP Gas Smoker

Our Rating

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Super simple to use, this Wide Body LP Gas Smoker from Dyna-Glo features a simple push button to ignite the flame and allow you to start smoking in record time. It’s powerful too and operates with 20,000 BTUs over dual cast iron burners.

It also features a temperature gauge so you’ll always know when the smoker has reached the desired temperature for your chosen food and a super helpful ‘smoke zone’ that indicates when it’s got to the perfect smoking temperature. This makes it a great choice for anybody that’s new to smoking and is unsure about the required temperatures.

Large water and wood bowls are included with this smoker too, so you won’t have to worry about them running out or needing to refill them regularly even when you’re smoking something for a long time.

This smoker also comes with four removable, easy to clean racks that give you the opportunity to cook a variety of recipes without any fear of running out of space. There is even a removable rib rack to expand your cooking options even further and really impress at your next cookout.

Pros

  • Really easy to use and features a simple one-touch push-button to ignite the flame
  • Operates with 20,000 BTUs over dual cast iron burners
  • Has a temperature gauge with a useful ‘smoke zone’ indicators that is super handy for people new to smoking
  • Includes large wood and water bowls that won’t need to be refilled to regularly
  • Also includes four removable racks and a rib rack

Cons

  • Doesn’t feature any special technology to monitor the cooking temperature for you
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Smoke Hollow PS40B Propane Smoker by Masterbuilt, Black

#4. Runner Up

Smoke Hollow PS40B Propane Smoker

Our Rating

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Featuring an adjustable air-damper, the PS40B Propane Smoker from Smoke Hollow gives you total control over how much moisture your chosen joint of meat is exposed to. And, with easy to use push-button ignition, it’s easier than ever to get smoking!

It can hold a lot of food at once too, thanks to the 43-inch cooking area. This gives you enough room to cook up to 20 chickens, 4 turkeys, 8 racks of ribs, or 16 pork butts. It also has four chrome-plated cooking racks to support your food as it cooks, and they’re easy to clean once you’ve finished cooking.

The stainless steel burner operates with 15,400 BTUs of power whilst the integrated temperature gauge indicates when the smoker has reached the perfect temperature.

The design of this smoker has also been built with convenience in mind. First of all, it’s raised up on legs to give it a little more height and to make loading and unloading food a lot easier. It also features handles on either side which gives you the opportunity to easily lift it into place when it’s needed, and then put it back into storage over the winter months. 

Pros

  • Features an adjustable damper that gives you more control over the succulence of the food you’re cooking
  • Uses push-button ignition for quick and easy lighting
  • Has a huge 43-inch internal cooking area with room to cook up to 20 chickens, 4 turkeys, 8 racks of ribs, or 16 pork butts all at once
  • Has a stainless steel burner that operates with 15,400 BTUs
  • Design features including raised legs for easy access and handles for convenient transportation

Cons

  • This smoker also doesn’t have any special technology to monitor the temperature for you
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PIT BOSS 77435 Vertical Lp Gas Smoker, Red

#5. Runner Up

Pit Boss Vertical Gas Smoker

Our Rating

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With a temperature range of 150ºF-350ºF, the Vertical Gas Smoker from Pit Boss gives you the ability to cook a huge variety of recipes with ease and gives you the power to create super tender slow-smoked meats.

It’s also really cleverly designed and features a glass-front so you can keep an eye on your food as it cooks without needing to open the door and risk a drop in temperature. Meanwhile, the elevated frame makes lifting your food in and out of the smoker much easier.

This smoker has a large 800 square inch cooking space and operates with 12,500 BTUs of power across its stainless steel burners. There are also four porcelain-coated cooking grates that can be placed at varying intervals inside the smoker and are super easy to clean once you’ve finished cooking.

Both the wood chip drawer and grease tray are accessible from the outside of the burner as well, further reducing the risk of the temperature dropping as you refill and empty them. Meanwhile, the easy-to-read temperature gauge gives you an accurate reading of the internal temperature of the smoker so you can place your food in at the perfect moment. 

Pros

  • Has a temperature range of 150ºF-350ºF giving you even more control over what you smoke
  • The glass-fronted door allows you to view the inside of the smoker without risking a drop in temperature
  • Features a large 800 square inch cooking space and four porcelain-coated cooking grates
  • Operates with 12,500 BTUs of power
  • The wood chip drawer and grease tray are externally accessible for easy refilling and cleaning 

Cons

  • Some people that previously purchased this smoker noted that the temperature gauge began to fog up when in use
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Best Propane Smokers - Buyers Guide

Smoked meats and veggies always taste better. The flavors you can achieve are truly unbeatable. A propane smoker allows you to smoke meats and veggies to your heart’s content but without the hassle of a charcoal smoker.

Gone are the days of trying to regulate the temperature yourself. A propane smoker operates with gas so you can set the temperature and it will stay around the same heat throughout the whole smoking process.

No need to add more charcoal or fuel. Just set the temperature, add your wood chips, add your meat of choice and you’re pretty much good to go.

There are four elements to any propane smoker which you will need to become acquainted with if you’re thinking this could be the product for you. We’ve outlined each of these below to help make things a little clearer.

Burner


This is the most important part as it is where your heat source comes from. The bottom part of the smoker is connected to the gas supply in order to heat the tank and cook your food thoroughly.

Wood Pan


This is also an extremely important part of your smoker and the wood pan is where you will add your woodchips and get those delicious, smoky flavors. Go wild, mix, and match, the possibilities are truly endless here!

One tasty recipe we’d recommend is hickory wood chips on a beef brisket. Is your mouth watering already thinking of that? We thought so!

Starting out can sometimes be overwhelming though, especially when experimenting with different flavors. So, to help you out, we’ve put together a guide of what we think are good combinations to start with.

Flavor Intensity

Poultry

Pork

Beef

Game

Fish

Mild
(cherry, apple, peach)

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Medium
(oak, hickory, maple)

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Strong
(Mesquite - use sparingly)

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

These are just suggestions and there are no real rules when it comes to flavors so don’t just stick to the above suggestions – even though they’re delicious! Try out some of your own flavor combinations and see what excites your taste buds. The world is your oyster!


Water Pan


You may be wondering what the use of this part of the smoker is. This pan is usually located in the center of the smoker and is not just there to regulate the heat. It is also placed there to absorb the heat and distribute it more evenly during the smoking process.

The added moisture to this process ensures that your smoked meat doesn’t end up dry and hard to chew. You will end up with tender and juicy meat which you will not believe you cooked yourself. Trust us!


Cooking Racks


The cooking racks included with a smoker can vary in size depending on which propane smoker you choose. A lot of models have hooks at the top of the smokers to hang your larger portions of meat once fully cooked.

Others may have smaller racks so depending on what you’re planning to smoke, always double-check what cooling space is available on the model and if the racks are removable.

Some models have removable racks which are ideal if you are cooking a variety of different things. For example, cooking a large portion of meat? You can remove those racks. What about a variety of meats and veggies? We recommend placing the meats closer to the burner, the bottom of the smoker, and the veggies at the top.

Take a look at how easy it will be to clean your smoker and the cooking racks as well. Smoking can be a messy business if you’re using marinades or rubs, so look for something with either chrome or porcelain-coated racks that can be simply wiped clean once you’ve finished cooking.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean a propane smoker?


It is so important to keep your smoker clean. Clean racks mean that the food will not be compromised by greasy, off-flavors. Each time you go to use your smoker, lightly clean up your racks so that the food tastes just how you want it to.

If you use your smoker regularly, we recommend a thorough clean twice or three times a year. If you only use it now and then, a once a year, deep clean should be fine. Before you start scrubbing your smoker, make sure you disconnect the gas and cover/remove any electrical parts of the burner.

Your product manual will inform you on how to remove the parts if your model allows. We recommend gloves, steel wool, sponges and good old dish wash. Be careful when using any chemical cleaners as they could damage your smoker, we tend to avoid those. Plain and simple will do the job.


Will a propane smoker create a smoke ring?


As much as you may think it is not possible, think again, because it is. That famous smoke ring shows that you are a barbeque pro and it can definitely be achieved through a propane smoker.

Remember the water pan mentioned earlier, that will help the meat maintain some moisture which is important when looking to achieve a smoke ring. You can also regularly spritz your meat with water or apple juice to encourage that chemical reaction you dream of.

Another tip to achieve this would be to remove the fat from the meat. The chemicals can penetrate through fat however if not fast enough, the smoke ring will not be in sight. Trim the fat and cook at a low temperature for a longer period of time. You should have that smoke ring in the bag!