The 8 Best Propane Smokers for 2021

Smoking meats is easy, but getting everything ready and starting your smoker used to be time-consuming. But now that’s such a thing of the past.

In this article we discuss the best gas smokers that do amazing things by cutting down on the time consuming aspects of smoking, and are easy to use and come in handy.

This article features 8 of the best propane gas smokers for the money. These smokers are very effective and are loved by many people.

In this review, we discuss their effectiveness in terms of their construction, their easy-to-use design, cooking space, pricing, part availability, and safety features.

If you are worried that a propane smoker won’t give your food the right smoky flavors, it’s probably because someone told you HAD to have a charcoal smoker or a pellet smoker to get a good flavor. I’m here to tell you that these propane smokers will prove all these naysayers wrong. Already have one?  See this guide for tips on how to get the most out of your gas smoker.

Here are some of the best gas smokers for sale:

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Product Information

Price

Masterbuilt 20050211 Black Propane Smoker
Masterbuilt 20050211 Propane Smoker
Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP 36in Vertical LP Gas Smoker
Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP Vertical LP Gas Smoker
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36 Propane Smoker
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Propane Smoker
2. Camp Chef Smoker 24in ​Smoke Vault ​Extra Large SMV24​
Camp Chef Smoke Vault Propane Smoker
Char-Broil Vertical Liquid Propane Gas Smoker
Char-Broil Vertical Liquid Propane Gas Smoker
Smoke Hollow 38202G 38-Inch 2-Door Propane Gas Smoker
 Smoke Hollow 38202G Propane Gas Smoker
Masterbuilt MPS ThermoTemp XL
Masterbuilt MPS 20B Portable Propane Smoker
#1 - Our Top Pick

The size and quantity of food it produces is one of the things we love about this model. 40-inch-wide smoker with 4 chromed interior smoking racks that are capable of cooking up to 100 pounds of meat. It is a great option for camping trips and tailgating parties.

In this Masterbuilt propane smoker there are four stainless steel burners that provide enough fire for quick cooking, a push button ignition, a gas control valve powered by a Type 1 regulator, and a hose. Therefore, you have checked off two items off your list here; safety and an extra savings on parts.

What kind of smoky flavor would you like in your food? This smoker is fully able to give you that flavor. It features a built-in porcelain enamel steel tray you can fill with any wood you desire to make your food smell incredible while it cooks.

You will not have to worry about finding the right steel water pan to help you create moisture for your food as it cooks. A built-in water tray solves this problem.

With its built-in temperature gauge, you can also keep an eye on the temperature. The temperature is an important factor in smoking, but you can be guaranteed a more accurate read of heat as your food cooks rather than relying on a thermometer that might be inaccurate.

As a final note, we love this smoker for its black powder coated exterior. It is a standard finishing touch that blends with the design.

What We Liked

The signature feature of the Masterbuilt 20050211 has to be its large cooking space. The cavernous 1,307 cubic inches of ample cooking space means pieces of meat for the whole family. The 15,000 BTU burner is also more than capable of heating up this big space and maintaining the temperature throughout your smoking sessions. The screw in side carry handles are also a nice touch.

It also comes equipped with four removable stainless steel shelves and plenty of additional holes that make it easy to customize to accommodate everything from sausages to adding a rib rack. I believe you could easily fit a 5th rack in here if needed.

What We Didn't Like

While the thermometer gets the job done, they could definitely improve by adding a better one. The only other complaint I had was with the push button ignition, during testing, the push button showed signs it could be prone to getting stuck. It’s an easy fix but also something that you shouldn’t have to deal with.

#2 - The Runner Up

When it comes to space and mobility, 36 inches is a good size for the Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP. The frame is well-constructed and is expected to last for quite some time.

A push button electronic ignition makes it easy to start and light. Using matchsticks to light a burner is old news, so we’re glad that this smoker features this modern technology. However, If there is no electricity available, it may be difficult to start your device, so there is a bit of a trade off.

With more than 800 square inches of smoking space, this Dyna-Glo is ideal for large groups. A great option for you to choose if you sometimes feel like you are running a mini restaurant and need to serve large groups of people but are still trying to save money. If you’re considering this unit be sure to consider its cost, cooking space, and durability.

A dual door design results in good temperature control and uninterrupted cooking when more wood chips are needed to fuel the smoking process. A large capacity water tray and a wood chip tray are built in, so you are pretty much plug and play out of the box.

Dyna-Glo devices have proved to be long-lasting, which is why the DGY784BDP is built with porcelain enamel coatings to prevent heat damage from long cooking sessions.

Last but not least, it includes a temperature gauge with an easy-to-read display and a smoke flavor indicator so you can see how much smoke flavoring is appropriate for cooking certain types of food. Quite simply, this feature is exceptional!

What We Liked

The Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP has earned a lot of very positive reviews and it certainly delivers the value with a maximum of square inches of space. It works with any standard propane tanks, and comes with the standard four stainless steel racks so it’s exactly what you’d expect. It works and comes at a fair price!

What We Didn't Like

This Dyna-Glo 36” smoker surprised me with the lack of any sort of viewing window. The lack of any sort of glass window means you need to open the door to peak inside which affects smoke production.

Speaking of the double-door design, it doesn’t seal as well as I would like either allowing some smoke to escape. This could make it difficult to maintain a steady temperature curve if you are the sort to micromanage your cooking.

#3

First up, let’s talk about the most exciting feature of the COS-244. By adjusting the vent design, this device can be positioned as a table-top. How cool is that? When you don’t have space for an extra table, you can easily have two people use this smoker at the same time, and dinner will not be interrupted.

With this Cuisinart, you can prepare food for up to 8 people on 4 (14 x 14) inch adjustable smoking racks. For grilling larger portions of pork or racks of rib, the racks can also be removed, allowing for a consistent temperature.

Because of its solid construction and compact size, it’s easy to move around and disassemble due to its side handles. Otherwise, the design is about what you would expect from a vertical cabinet with a large 768 square inch smoking chamber and two-door layout. It’s super easy to add wood chips and water when needed and heat loss is kept to a minimum.

Furthermore, the porcelain enamel coating withstands high heat temperatures without affecting its build up in any way, nor does it get too hot to handle, although we do recommend using heatproof gloves at all times when cooking.

You will not need to purchase an additional hose and regulator since this vertical includes a 40-inch propane hose and regulator. All you need to bring to the party is a gas tank.

What We Liked

The ability to use the COS-244 as a tabletop is as ingenious as it is simple. The adjustable air damper and twist-lock doors make smoke control a cinch too. Just looking at it, you can almost feel the sturdy construction. It’s just a great product. That’s probably why it comes with a 3-year warranty.

I am generally suspicious of any integrated temperature gauge, but this one did a decent job in every temperature range I tried it on.

What We Didn't Like

Because of the way the wood chip tray and water bowl are positioned, you really need to light the wood chips before adding any water. I think the placement limits the flow of oxygen as I was having trouble lighting the wood chips until I tried this.

#4

This Camp Chef is almost small enough that you could use it as a table-top or portable propane smoker, particularly if you’re a bachelor living in an apartment with a small kitchen.

A grill’s size is a critical factor when cooking, and the size of this grill has been a selling point for Camp Chef.

A matchless ignition system and an easy-to-adjust damper system control the internal temperature, making it one of the best propane smokers on the market.

A complete package of tips, guidelines, and recipes are included in this machine to assist you in making some great foods with this machine. This would be a great purchase for college students looking to cook for themselves.

Despite its great features, we might be a little heartbroken by its price. While this smoking vault might not be the best option for a budget-saver, it caters to your needs with the quality of the build.

The smoke vault comes with two grids for cooking and a jerky rack, so it can accommodate a large group of people, with many different cuts of meat. Water pans and wood chip trays are also useful for creating moisture and adding a smoky taste to food.

In contrast to many other smokers, which typically have just one or two dampers, this model provides three dampers for maximum heat control. It’s a small device with three dampers, one on top and the other two on both sides.

I really would have no trouble recommending the Camp Chef Smoke Vault for any budget minded user. Judging by the many other positive reviews. I’m not alone.

What We Liked

Assembling the Camp Chef Smoke Vault is a dream. While the legs were a bit difficult to install alone, it practically comes ready to use out of the box. It is also extremely efficient. During testing, I only had a nearly empty 20-pound propane tank on hand and we squeezed out a full 4 hour smoke from it.

What We Didn't Like

With this type of smoker and at this price point I wasn’t really surprised to notice the door allowed for a bit of smoke leakage. Camp Chef could easily fix this in production, but honestly it’s not really a big deal.

What made more of an impact for me was the quality of the racks, they just feel cheap and unlikely to hold up to years of use.

#5

This Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker is one of the best propane models under 200 dollars on the market, so let’s have a look to see what it offers.

It is a great recommendation for a big family to purchase this device, which we describe as a big smoker. The large cooking surface area of this smoker is close to 600 square inches with 3 cooking grates that offer ample space to cook for a party without the worry of running out of food.

The three grates are coated with chrome for added durability and are designed with a handle that is cool to the touch, making handling a much safer affair. It means that a person can open a lid without wearing heat proof gloves while cooking, but to be on the safe side, it is always best to wear heat proof gloves while cooking.

The smoker comes with a water holding pan and a wood tray for moisture and delicious smoky flavor, respectively, all for a very reasonable price.

Char-Broil has always been at the top of its game when it comes to managing temperatures. This smoker is one of the cheapest to find on the market and comes with features such as an easily adjustable upper vent for easy temperature adjustment and a top grate that can be used for warming your food.

Moreover, you will also find an included long-lasting LPG propane regulator, which means that you can save even more money by not having to buy a propane regulator from an outside source that you might not be 100% confident in.

Last but not least, this vertical smoker includes 2 dual door partitions, one for the combustion portion and the other for the cooking portion, this aids in keeping the heat flowing during the cooking process.

Despite the fact that this machine has been criticized for its poor quality design, we believe that this might be a good buy for those on a tight budget.

What We Liked

Let’s be clear, the Char-Broil Vertical Propane Smoker is targeted towards the occasional user or someone on a budget. For that category, it’s an amazing buy. The 600 square inch cooking chamber is plenty for virtually all cuts of meat, and it’s light, which makes it almost a portable smoker. I also found it very easy to clean.

What We Didn't Like

The build quality isn’t what I would consider solid construction and I noticed some issues with the temperature being inconsistent.

#6

I think that Smoke Hollow is going head-to-head with its competitors by producing highly competitive gas smokers to fit a variety of different consumer needs.

The stainless steel design of this smoker makes it a good choice for an entry level smoker. The product is crafted with durability and sturdiness, offering great value for the price you pay. With a simple design, you can easily use this smoker without having to worry about it breaking down.

The majority of gas smokers don’t come with hangers to cook sausages, but this version of a smoker thought it wise to include this, making it a unique feature that allows you to cook different types of food. In case you are a sausage freak, then you will be satisfied with this one.

In terms of value for money, this device may seem on the high end, but we must say that the features it offers still make it a very competitive device.

It comes with a push-button ignition system for ease of fire lighting along with an external temperature gauge that aids in checking the temperature without having to probe into the interior.

It includes 4 cooking grates with a wide range of adjustment levels as well as sausage hangers that give you plenty of room to prepare food.

The Smoke Hollow propane smoker comes with both upper- and lower-level air vents, which is a great feature to have in a smoker for good airflow while you are cooking.

What We Liked

I found the adjustable air damper valves to be a nice treat on an affordably priced model. Usually we don’t see so much flexibility.  The design isn’t fancy, but for the price you get a lot of flexibility.

What We Didn't Like

The rear vent on my test model arrived damaged, but this was probably due to shipping. My only real complaint with the smoke hollow 38202G is with the door seals. I noticed a small amount of smoke leakage.

#7

Masterbuilt’s latest propane smoker has been redesigned with a variety of new features. The new thermostatic temperature gauge does an amazing job of managing the amount of gas the reaches the 15,700 BTU single stainless steel gas burner. This, combined with a heat diffuser, keeps your temperatures consistent, even and accurate.

A really cool new safety feature they’ve added is a gas shutoff sensor, this is would come in very handy for those difficult windy days. As soon as the sensor detects the flame has gone out, it shuts off the gas. This has happened to me a few times in the past, so I’m really happy to see this feature here.

The Thermopro XL is the larger brother to the MPS 330G, they are both pretty comparable, however if you cook larger cuts of meat like say a rack of ribs or brisket then you’ll want to stick with the XL model.

Here you get 4 chrome coated removable racks and a cooking chamber with just over 790 square inches of space, this is plenty for even a large backyard party.

What really stood out to me was the build quality and attention to detail, the frame looks solid and I noticed absolutely no smoke leakage. So the heat retention on this model should be solid.

What We Liked

The integrated temperature gauge is really more like a thermostat, communicating with the gas flow valve to give some of the most accurate temperature controls we’ve ever seen. The attention to detail also stands out, I really loved the way they’ve mounted the wood chip tray to the door. It makes adding wood chips so easy!

What We Didn't Like

The warranty. Many brands nowadays offer a 5-year warranty that covers anything that doesn’t wear and tear. For some reason, Masterbuilt is only offering a one-year warranty and when you look at the fine print, it doesn’t cover things like rust or pain issues. At this price, I expect better.

#8

As it turns out, there aren’t a lot of good options when it comes to portable propane smokers. Even though you’d think they are a no-brainer for the campsite or tailgate party.

The biggest challenge you will probably have with the MPS 20B Patio-2, besides pronouncing the name, is fitting larger cuts of meat inside. The included smoking racks aren’t even large enough to fit a full rack of ribs. So expect to get a little creative.

This really surprised me because Masterbuilt claims the interior should hold two full racks of ribs, but I just don’t see how. The included hose also doesn’t fit your standard 20 pound propane tank, so expect to buy an adapter.

I’ve been perhaps overly critical of the MPS 20B, but I don’t mean to be. It’s portability is impressive and if you don’t mind getting a little creative organizing pieces of meat, this could be a great buy for you.

What We Liked

The MPS 20G is extremely compact, you can tell a lot of thought went into making the design as portable as possible. In the end, you’re buying a 22 pound smoker that measures just under 24 x 24 inches! The interior is very well insulated as well, which means it holds a consistent temperature and uses less propane.

What We Didn't Like

The smallish racks are probably unavoidable given the need to keep things small and light. However, I do take issue with the included wood chip box and water pan. They are so small! I found myself replacing the water pan with an aluminum pan and pulled out an old pellet tube to handle the wood chips.

All these extras start to add onto the cost quickly.

The Highly Recommended Choice

Based on the cooking area, overall size, and other quality features of this list of amazing gas smokers, we have chosen our best propane gas smoker under $200.

Drum roll please! It really shouldn’t surprise you that our top choice is the Masterbuilt 20050211 Black Propane Smoker, 40-Inch

It offers the largest cooking surface of 1,307 square inches of cooking surface for its affordable cost, which makes it a great investment and ideal for a party.

Due to its 40-inch size and lightweight design, this device is easily transported around, making it possible to have a barbecue away from home with friends and family.

In addition, the burners can also be easily controlled for the most desired heat with its quick spark igniter and 15,400 BTU burners.

There is no better value for money than this.

Still not sure why you should buy a propane smoker?

It is the one of two fastest options that you can find

Our guess is that you wouldn’t want to spend eternity trying to grill food. Time is an essential component when it comes to grilling food, but noone wants to spend more time then needed right?

Traditions are great, but is it necessary to grill the way your grandfather did? Modern technology can give you the same results as older methods of grilling.

In the world of smoking, propane smokers have no doubt been a Godsend, as they are not only equipped with the essentials of any smoker, but they also beat the best in competition with their fast cooking speed. If you use a gas fueled smoker, you can expect to save between 1 and 2 hours of cooking time.

Therefore, you can now marinate your food for a longer period of time. In contrast, if you have a work deadline or need to start prepping dinner, a gas smoker will save you the headache and time.

Is it of a good size?

Gas meat smokers come in a variety of sizes to fit almost any kind of space. When buying a device such as this, you have to consider the available space.

Gas smokers have the advantage of being mostly vertical designs, which is one of the things we like about them. Despite having sufficient cooking space inside, they also utilize height space as opposed to width space in their exterior design.

If you prefer to store it this way, it could easily fit into a storage shelf.

Gas smokers do not require a lot of accessories to get started, just a propane tank. Even if you feel that the tank will take up additional space, most tanks are cylindrical, which will save you space.

By using a vertical propane smoker, you can ensure your backyard remains spacious and attractive.

Are they beautifully designed?

The exteriors of your home can be enhanced by smokers. Because of this, we believe gas smokers are specifically designed to meet this need.

A propane smoker is typically rectangular in shape, with a great finish on the outside and a stylish color that stands out in the backyard.

If you’re looking for a simple look for your backyard, these smokers are perfect. Consider buying one of these devices with an exterior color that matches your backyard or a neutral color if you want to be safe. The beauty it exudes onto your property will be evident from a distance.

Check for easy mobility

Mobility is key. We don’t want to hold up 3 to 4 people to help reposition a smoker after a party. Propane smokers can be easily moved around, which makes them a good choice.

The average weight of these machines is around 40 pounds and they are shaped like mini wardrobes, which makes handling them a lot more convenient than a traditional 3-in-1 smoker/grill combo.

When you buy these kinds of smokers, you do not have to compromise on the convenience of moving your smoker from one location to another. Designed to fit very well into the back of a truck, they are able to be moved seamlessly to the location of your choice.

Some propane smokers, however, may be larger in size. So that you do not feel deceived when purchasing, we would suggest weighing your needs when buying.

How simple is it to assemble?

Almost all of the propane smokers on the market come with easy-to-follow instructions that allow you to build your device once it has been delivered to you.

In contrast to many gas grills, charcoal or electric grills, these machines are more like cabinets and may only require a few screws to be tightened here and there. As soon as you have fixed the grates, set up the dampers and positioned the water and wood chip trays where needed, you are ready to grill.

You should seek the help of an expert if you are not comfortable doing this on your own in order to prevent damaging your investment.

One of the easiest types to have

Gas smokers seem to be designed for beginners.

Many of the best propane smokers feature easy-to-use technologies to aid consumers. Aside from being propane gas fueled, they are also the best natural gas smokers on the market, making fueling a breeze.

These stoves usually come with quick-start ignition systems, easy-to-use cooking grates, and built-in thermometers, so you can practice those recipes.

What should then be your consideration for your purchase?

Go for a great build

In order to make the best purchase, take the time to investigate the various products available on the market and read as many propane smoker reviews as you can before you finally decide.

In addition, it would be a bad idea to rely on brand names, since some of those brands may have produced good products in the past but that may not be the case with the device you intend to purchase.

Stainless steel, porcelain, cast iron and chrome are some of the materials of construction to keep an eye out for. It is important to note that these elements are extremely durable, very heat-resistant, and do not wear and tear easily. There is a good chance that stainless steel propane smokers may be one of the most popular choices among consumers because of its resistance to rust and sleek appearance.

You should also take into account the welding strength of the device just so you do not have to replace the smoker’s door in one month due to its hinges breaking.

It must be sturdy

In most cases, propane smokers come with four-legged stands to support the vertical build of the device.

It is important to make sure that the stand sits firmly on the ground. Do not take a chance on a wobbly stand simply because it is offered for an affordable price. In a very short period of time, your smoker will be completely bent over to the ground.

It’s a good idea to find out whether or not there are any warranty options should your legs become unstable after a short period of time so you can notify the manufacturer for a change or repair as soon as possible.

As many have overlooked this feature and have had problems down the road, you should take this tip very seriously.

Have enough room for temperatures

It is important to pick a smoker that has a temperature gauge that has a temperature range of 50 F to 500 F. Being able to adjust the temperature of your model is the best way to ensure that your food is cooked to perfection. It is best to walk away if you have a smoker who falls below this standard.

In the case that the product your considering does not come with a thermometer, there is always the option of purchasing one from a store of your choice and attaching it to your smoker. . .

Always remember that temperature is one of the most important aspects for grilling food and should not be overlooked when doing so.

What is your serving size?

We always advise to go for a bigger sized smoker even if you are aiming to feed just yourself and your best friend.

These devices are designed to last a long time like many other cooking equipment. There will be the need to cook for a few more friends pretty soon and the bigger size consideration will come in handy.

Look out for the dimensions of the machine’s build and more importantly the cooking surface area. Most manuals will give you a serving size approximation or you can simply read about it online to help you make a good choice.

Go for a front-loading design

It is quite a common feature of today’s smokers that the food is loaded directly into the smoker from the front door, which makes it one of the easiest things to do.

It’s also safer and cleaner than a top load option, which just makes things harder when you’re putting food on racks. You will have more control to turn food around more easily when you need to open the door to make some adjustments for the food. In addition to that, you will not need to worry about getting burned when you are working.

What is the product and part availability like on the market

Ensure that the product you buy is readily available on the market and that there are enough parts to purchase.

If there are limited supplies of the products and parts, your smoker may be as good as scrap in one year as you will not be able to repair it if it suffers major damage.

Dual door options are better

The 2-door option allows you to cook food in one area and make your fire in another area without any interruption to your cooking process.

In addition to adding more wood chips to your smoker, it can also add water to your water pan to keep it moist.

Unlike many other types of smokers, gas smokers have this feature, so we like them because it adds to their design.

Frequently Asked Questions About Propane Smokers

Who Are Propane Smokers For?
Propane smokers are for those who want a smoker that is portable and easy to use. They are also for those who want a smoker that is less expensive, as they can be found for cheaper than electric smokers.
How Long Does a 20lb Propane Tank Last on a Smoker?
A 20lb propane tank should last for about 10 hours of continuous use on a smoker.
What are the major differences between a gas and electric smoker?
Gas smokers are typically less expensive than electric smokers and produce a good amount of smoke. They require a little more maintenance than an electric smoker, but they're still pretty easy to maintain. Gas smokers also have more control over the temperature, which is helpful for smoking different types of meat and fish. Electric smokers are easier to use and maintain because they don't require any fuel or power.
What are the drawbacks of using a propane smoker?
One of the major drawbacks of propane smokers is that they don't generate as much smoke as other types of smokers. This means that you will need to use more fuel to maintain a constant temperature.
Can I connect my gas smoker to natural gas?
Yes. If the natural gas is the same pressure as your smoker, you can connect a gas line to your smoker and it will work just fine. You may need a regulator on the line if the pressure is too high or low.
Can you use a gas grill as a smoker?
Yes, you can use a gas grill as a smoker. You just need to add wood chips and place them in the smoker box. Just because you can doesn't mean it's a good idea though.
How often do you add wood chips
Wood chips should be added to a propane smoker every 5 hours or so. A good starting point is about one cup of wood chips at the beginning of the cooking session and then adding more as needed.