Smoking foods is one of the best possible ways to cook foods, particularly meats. There is just something about that smoky flavor that really sets these cooking machines apart from any other cooking method out there.
Smokers come in all sorts of sizes and styles. They also use different fuel sources. You can use a smoker that operates electricity, or even solely on wood or pellets.
You can also use a smoker that uses a fuel like propane. With these, you usually also supplement with wood or even pellets to get the smoky flavor that you’re after.
What is the best propane smoker? The best propane smoker has multiple cooking racks included, a separate door for food and fuel, is large enough for your needs, has at least 10,000-20,000 BTUs, temperature controls, and is easy to use.
The best one is going to depend on your needs really. You should look for something that is the right size for you but also that will have consistent temperatures and be easy to use. There are quite a few really great choices out there.
In this guide, we will share with you the 9 best propane smokers on the market. We’ve taken the time to sift and sort through the options to try to narrow it down to some of the very best.
You will find a variety of choices here and we hope you can find something that you feel will meet your needs.
Stick with us to learn about the 9 best propane smokers, and more.
How To Choose A Propane Smoker
We have quite a few really great options to share with you. But before we get into them, let’s talk about some of the qualities that help to determine whether a propane smoker is as good as it seems.
This part of our guide is designed to give you some insight so that you can make a fully-informed decision about the propane smoker that you choose.
You will find that smokers come in a variety of sizes, much like grills do. Most smokers stand vertically, rather than horizontally like a grill. However, there are some that are still designed horizontally instead.
When you think about the size of smoker that you want, you will want to think about how much or what type of food you will be cooking in it.
Some people use their smokers for simple things like burgers and steaks but some people also use them for large things like brisket, pork butt, ribs, or even a whole turkey.
The size you choose is completely up to you but we do want you to be sure to pay attention to this detail before you buy.
That’s right, something as simple as a door is going to make a real difference in your choice.
Here’s the thing. You want to know that your door is going to hold in heat during the cooking process.
So ask this question when you’re looking at options:
Are the pellets/wood refueled in a separate compartment from the cooking section?
Ideally, your wood or pellets would be in a separate door or compartment.
The reason for this is you are going to have to replenish them during cooking.
Having them in a separate compartment allows you to check them and stock them as needed without letting precious heat escape from the cooking section of your smoker.
Another important factor for your propane smoker will be the BTUs. The BTUs are the output power for the heat. This number tells you how much heat the burner can emit.
So, the higher the BTU number, the better the heat provision of the smoker will be.
You don’t always need the highest number out there, though. As long as the BTUs are sufficient for the space of the smoker, it’s a good choice.
If a smoker has infrared technology, it can usually operate on fewer BTUs and still be efficient where the heat is concerned as well.
In general, the majority of smokers have BTUs in the range of 10,000 to 20,000 but this is not a guarantee either.
The temperature control and monitoring device will be valuable for the work that you are doing in the smoker. Having a control that is accurate and reliable is going to make a world of difference when it comes to how well your food cooks.
You need to know that your smoker can maintain a good temperature without babysitting it. You also need to know that your thermometer is accurate and reliable.
Just because there is a thermometer doesn’t mean it is accurate. So keep that in mind as well. You will want to check out what others are saying so you know if you can depend on the thermometer or not for your cooking needs.
Easy to Use
If the smoker you buy is hard to use, you’re going to end up frustrated and irritated rather than happy and pleased with the process.
Easy to use means a couple of things.
The first is whether or not the smoker is easy to light. If it’s a pain to light, you might just give up before you even get started cooking. We love the options with a push button ignition. Most of the time these will start in an instant and it just makes your job so much easier.
And of course, any other feature that makes it easy for you like a comfortable handle, good design, or dampener for easy temperature control are all great features.
A smoker should come with cooking racks. But you do need to watch for this as there are some out there that require the smoker racks to be purchased separately!
In most cases, you will have multiple racks available to you so that you have plenty of cooking space to cook a variety of items at one time.
The other thing is to make sure that the racks are stable enough to hold a decent amount of weight. For example, if you want to smoke a whole turkey, your rack needs to be able to hold that turkey without failing.
Check out how many racks your smoker comes with and whether you can slide in pans or other things if you need to.
You also might want to see how easy the racks will be to clean. They are in a smoker so they are probably going to discolor but they still have to be cleaned between uses.
The 9 Best Propane Smokers
Now that you’ve got some basic decision-making details under your hat, let’s take a look at the options. We sorted through the choices out there to try to narrow it down to the very best options available:
|1.||Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Smoker||4 cooking racks, spacious, door thermometer|
|2.||Masterbuilt MB20051316 Smoker||4 cooking racks, thermostat control, watch food cooking|
|3.||Pit Boss 77425 Gas Smoker||Multiple cooking racks, external wood chip tray|
|4.||Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP Smoker||4 cooking racks, dual door design, 15,000 BTU|
|5.||Char-Broil The Big Easy Smoker & Grill||Smoker box and tray, holds 25 lbs, infrared cooking|
|6.||Camp Chef Smoke Vault||3 cooking racks, temperature control damper valves|
|7.||Z Grills ZPG-700D Wood Pellet Smoker||8-in-1 smoker/grill, auto temperature control|
|8.||Masterbuilt MPS 230S Propane Smoker||4 cooking racks, 15,400 BTU burner, easy ignition button|
|9.||Cuisinart Grill Bundle||3 cooking racks, up to 400°F, carrying case|
In the process, we also made every effort to try to choose a variety of options. We know that not everyone has the exact same needs so our goal was to have choices to meet as many different needs as possible.
Below, you will find our top picks for the best propane smokers around in more detail. We’re sure you’ll find the right one for you!
1. Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Smoker
First up is a Cuisinart 36-inch model. Cuisinart is known for their kitchen supplies and this one is a budget-friendly pick when it comes to a propane smoker.
It’s a vertical model and the interior hosts 5.45 square feet for you to cook with. There is plenty of room so you can even smoke multiple things at one time in there. It also comes with grilling racks for the same purpose.
The four included racks are all stainless steel. They are easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.
The smoker sports a built-in thermometer. It’s located on the front door so you can easily track and monitor your temperature inside the smoker.
You can constantly control and adjust your heat as needed and the smoker has vents that you can open and close to help as well. The door has a twist-lock handle so it stays securely closed at all times.
The wood and water are separated from the cooking space. It’s in its own tray so working with it and even cleaning it are a breeze.
- Heavy-duty smoker with plenty of space
- Comes with 4 cooking racks
- Thermometer on the door to monitor temperature
- Wood tray separated from cooking space
- Plenty of room in the cooking chamber
- You may have to do some tweaking to get your temperature where you need it.
2. Masterbuilt MB20051316 Smoker
This Masterbuilt model comes in a 30 or 40-inch selection. So if 40 inches is just too large, go ahead and check out the other model.
It’s large and it’s really great quality. We love that this smoker has a viewing window so you can see the food inside even when the door is closed.
The smoker has built-in temperature controls so that you can always monitor the temps as needed. It also comes with 4 racks that you can use inside and you have quite a bit of space in there to work with multiple or large items.
The wood tray is separated from the cooking space but you can also open them up together if you want to.
This smoker operates on 15,750 BTU. It has a safety valve on it so it shuts off if for some reason there is no more flame on it.
It’s a very nice model that is really easy to use.
- Comes in a 30 or 40-inch model
- Plenty of BTUs for the size
- Viewing window so you can see your food
- Comes with 4 cooking racks
- Separated wood tray from cooking space
- The packaging isn’t great when you receive it, making unpacking and assembly a bit of a challenge.
3. Pit Boss 77425 Gas Smoker
The Pit Boss smoker comes to you in a sleek red color that is pretty awesome.
There are not very many options out there that come in color so it’s a great way to switch out from the mundane black you see all of the time.
This smoker has 884 square inches of cooking space inside. Your temperatures can be adjusted from 100-350°F.
You’ve got 13,500 BTUs of burner power, which is great for this size. It also has a viewing window on the door so you can see inside.
The door has a thermometer built onto it so you can easily monitor your temperatures. Your wood chip drawer has external access so can easily access it. It’s a drawer that pulls out so heat isn’t a problem when you work with the drawer.
- Sleek red color
- Viewing window so you can see what’s happening inside
- External wood chip tray that is easy to access
- Built-in thermometer
- Plenty of power for the size
- The water pan has to be refilled often during longer smoking sessions.
4. Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP Smoker
This Dyna-Glo smoker is popular amongst smoking fans. It has a lot of really great reviews and seems to be good quality.
This one is their standard 36-inch size but they also have a large or extra-large model available if you want something bigger.
This smoker can run on propane or LP gas if you want more fuel options.
It’s your traditional black powder coated smoker with solid doors. It’s a heavy-duty design and those solid doors work to effectively hold in heat to cook more efficiently.
The burners are 15,000 BTUs, which is quite a bit of power for the space. It does include cooking racks that are easy to remove and wash as well.
The double door design lets you open just your wood area when you want to keep the cooking area closed securely.
- Solid, heavy-duty build
- Available in 3 size options
- 15,000 BTUs is plenty of power
- Includes 4 cooking racks
- Dual-door design for easy access to wood
- The temperature control can be a challenge to work with and may take some getting used to for the best cooking results.
5. Char-Broil The Big Easy Smoker & Grill
This Char Broil smoker is a classic and it looks like the old school smokers out there.
The great news is that it works really well. It’s effective and reliable. This is a smoker but it also has settings that will let you roast or grill if you want to.
The smoker has infrared technology so you don’t need as much power to cook and it cooks evenly throughout the smoker.
This is a smaller smoker with 180 square inches of cooking space. It just has one rack to rest and cook your food on inside.
With the temperature controls and the allowable adjustments, you can enjoy power that ranges from 9,000 BTUs to 18,000 BTUs, depending on how you set it up. It does have a deep well so if you want to cook a large item that shouldn’t be a problem.
- Simple but reliable design
- Plenty of power for the cooking job
- Includes infrared technology for even cooking
- You can roast, grill, or smoke foods
- Very easy to use
- The smoker box is pretty small and will need to be refilled option.
6. Camp Chef Smoke Vault
The Camp Chef Smoke Vault is a smaller smoker that is 24 inches and stands vertically.
This smoker is very nicely designed with a silver steel door and a thermometer placed on the door so you can monitor what’s happening inside.
This is a bit more expensive than some models out there but it’s really well-made and comes from a highly-rated and sought after brand.
This is pretty cool because it comes with a jerky rack as well as two cooking grids for you to work with.
The thermometer measures temperatures in a wide range from 50 to 550 degrees. It’s really easy to ignite with just a snap ignition and no matches required.
There is only one access door on this so you have to open up everything when you need to get to the water and wood. However, it does hold quite a bit of water and wood so you should be able to go longer between checking it.
- Solid and sturdy materials
- Easy to start with a snap ignition
- Thermometer measures from 50 to 550°F
- Adjustable damper valves for temperature control
- Comes with two cooking grids and a jerky rack
- Only one access door to food and wood combined.
- The metal is on the thin side so it may not last as long as some smokers.
7. Z Grills ZPG-700D Wood Pellet Smoker
The Z Grills smoker is a wood pellet smoker that connects to propane for fuel.
It even has a compartment to conceal your propane tank in as well. It’s very easy to use and designed for big smoking jobs. This is an 8-in-1 smoker that is very versatile.
The Z Grills model is designed to look like your average grill but it has the round top, the pellet feeder, and then the smokestack as well. It’s really well-made and you have the versatility to smoke, grill, and more.
The pellet hopper can hold up to 20 pounds of pellets to give you a longer grilling time when you need it. The cooking space is pretty large and it’s spread out so you can fit plenty on the smoker as well.
This smoker can be used on propane or gas and it comes with a storage cover for you. It even has that handy storage cabinet at the base.
- 8-in-1 versatile smoker option
- Made with a cabinet to house the propane tank
- 20-pound pellet hopper
- Plenty of cooking space
- Very easy to use and clean up
- There seem to be some quality control issues with packaging and shipping, which leads to getting damaged pieces at times.
8. Masterbuilt MPS 230S Propane Smoker
If you liked the Masterbuilt series, take a look at this newly updated 30-inch model from the same company.
There are some minor updates that make it stand out, including the doors, the internal design, and the awesome handles on the separated door compartments.
This smoker comes with four smoking racks that are coated in chrome. It ignites easily with a push button to get you cooking in no time. The burner is 15,400 BTUs so you have plenty of heat for the space.
Finally, this smoker stands out thanks to the flame disk bowl that is coated in porcelain, which just improves the wood and flame design slightly from previous models on the market.
It’s very solid and sturdy and it does have those separated compartments for the food and the wood space.
- Separated wood and food compartments
- Updated model with great changes
- 15,400 BTU burner
- Easy to ignite with a push button
- Built-in temperature gauge is helpful for cooking
- Temperature gauge is off by 20-50°F at higher temperatures.
9. Cuisinart Grill Bundle
Finally, we close with one more Cuisinart option. This is a 30-inch model that is simple but completely reliable.
It’s a bundle so it also comes with a protective cover that you can use when the smoker is put away or not used for a while. This will help make it last that much longer.
This smoker offers you 548 square inches of cooking space. It is powerful and heats well. It comes with three racks for cooking with and those racks are even dishwasher safe.
This is another one that does not have separated spaces for the wood and the food so that is a detail to be aware of.
This smoker can range from 100°F to 400°F and it has an external thermometer to regulate and monitor temps. It’s a nice smaller grill that is reliable and durable. Of course, the bonus cover is really nice too.
- Good temperature range
- Internal monitoring thermometer
- 548 square inches of cooking space
- Bundle comes with a cover
- Comes with 3 shelves
- No separated compartments for wood and food.
Bonus: How To Grill On An Outdoor Gas Smoker
When you’ve found your dream propane smoker, you can use this handy guide to learn to cook on it: