Consumers have several different choices when they’re searching for a new smoker. Some models are electric-powered and some models are charcoal-powered and both of these types work fairly well for what they’re designed to do. However, there is also a third choice that consumers might want to consider, and that choice is gas-powered smokers. These smokers can smoke at high-temperatures, are easy-to-use, and are dependable. They are the type of smokers that allow anyone to get good results—no matter their skill level. We should know because we’ve reviewed three of the best gas smokers and we know how well they work.
- Editor’s Choice
Camp Chef 24-Inch Propane Smoke Vault (Amazon) – Review
- Also Recommended
Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow Propane Smoker (Amazon) – Review
- Also Consider
Char-Broil Vertical LP Smoker (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Camp Chef 24-Inch Propane Smoke Vault
This smoker is approximately 24-inches wide, 16-inches deep, and 30-inches high. Those measurements are without its legs equipped, however. When this smoker has its legs on it, it has a total height of 44-inches. This product also has cooking rack dimensions of 21.5-inches by 14-inches, and its door measures 22.5-inches wide by 28-inches high. This size smoker is capable of smoking everything from briskets to whole turkeys and it does it very efficiently.Even though some people consider the Camp Chef Smoke Vault to be an introductory-level smoker, we found that it wasn’t just a good model for beginners. We felt that it was a gas smoker that was capable of delivering excellent results for everyone from beginners to experts. Sure, it is easy to use, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used in a variety of different ways to produce professional results. Let’s examine some of its features and see where it excels and where it might fall short.
This product is also easy to move into place, even though it doesn’t have any wheels or casters equipped on it. It weighs around 75-pounds, so one or two people should be able to move it from one location to the next—if needed. Once it’s set up in position, the consumer merely has to hook it up to a 20-pound propane tank and it’s ready to smoke their favorite foods.
This smoker can produce up to 18,000 BTUs of heat, which is more than enough to meet the needs of most people. It has a temperature dial that consumers can use to set the unit’s smoking temperature and it has three damper valves to control heat and smoke levels. This product can produce smoking temperatures from 160 to 400-degrees Fahrenheit as well. If there was one thing that we didn’t like about this smoker, it was the fact that it’s built-in thermometer is a little bit off. Not a big deal, but definitely worth mentioning.
– This is a reasonably priced smoker.
– It has excellent temperature control.
– It’s very easy to use.
– The thermometer isn’t as accurate as we would’ve liked.
Also Recommended: Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow Propane Smoker
Next up for our reader’s consideration is this model from Masterbuilt. This gas smoker is called the Smoke Hollow and it’s a decent-sized product that we feel will help all of our readers get the smoking done that they need to get done. Inside of this model, there are four chrome-plated racks that are large enough to smoke sixteen pork butts, eight racks of ribs, four turkeys, or even twenty chickens. This is a model that’s approximately 21.26-inches by 29.13-inches by 43.50-inches in size and is made out of high-quality stainless steel.
This product also has several features that make it a worthwhile model for people to consider. As we mentioned earlier, this model has four chrome-coated smoking racks that can be removed as needed, a push-button ignition system that lights the smoker quickly, and an adjustable air damper that allows the consumer to control moisture and smoke withing the main smoking chamber. This product also has a hose that makes hooking it up to a propane tank easy and allows the consumer to keep the tank a safe distance from the smoker itself.
If there was one thing that we didn’t like about this smoker was that the paint inside of the unit has a tendency to peel over time. This can be particularly troublesome to most people, although other people have taken the time to repaint the interior of this smoker with high-temperature paint to avoid potential paint peel. This is definitely something that consumers should keep in mind before purchasing this smoker.
Keeping all of these points in mind, we do still feel that this is a quality smoker—especially if Masterbuilt takes the time to address the internal paint issue. We feel that this smoker holds its temperature well, doesn’t leak smoke and is easy for most people to use. It’s a quality product that seems to work very well.
– This smoker works extremely well.
– It has a push-button ignition system.
– It’s big enough to smoke up to 20 chickens.
– The inside paint on this smoker can peel over time.
Also Consider: Char-Broil Vertical LP Smoker
The last gas smoker on our list is this one from Char-Broil. This is a smoker that’s approximately 19.5-inches by 21.5-inches by 45.5-inches and is powered by liquid propane. It’s a model that’s made out of steel and doesn’t weigh a whole lot, but is durable enough to last through many, many smoking sessions. And it’s for all of these reasons, and for others, we’ll mention below why this model was put in our number three position on our list of the best gas smokers available.
Inside of this smoker, the consumer will find 595 square-inches of cooking space on three chrome-plated cooking grates. This is large enough for the consumer to smoke several chickens, briskets, or other foods that they may need to smoke. This model also has a door-mounted temperature gauge, an air damper to control smoke and temperature, and a long propane hose that keeps the consumer’s propane tank a safe distance away from it while they’re using it.
This unit also has a porcelain-coated wood chip and a water pan that can provide the smoke and moisture that the meats encased need to get that nice smoky flavor but get it without drying out. Because this feature is basically a double drawer that can be opened without heat loss to the main smoking chamber, the consumer can tend to it as necessary throughout the entire smoking process. This smoker also has stay-cool handles and a temperature dial that’s extremely easy to operate.
If there was one thing that we didn’t like about this smoker it’s the fact that it didn’t hold smoke as well as we thought it should. It had the unfortunate tendency to leak a little bit around the door. It didn’t leak very badly, but we felt that there should’ve been less smoke escaping than there was. Other than that small flaw, we felt that this was a quality gas smoker.
– It has over 595+ square-inches of smoking space.
– It has a porcelain water & wood-chip pan.
– It’s reasonably-priced for a smoker its size.
– It doesn’t hold smoke as well as it should.
Having now finished reviewing some of the best gas smokers—all of which just happen to be LP smokers—we’ve decided to write a guide on how consumers can find gas smokers that suit their needs the best. We know that when people look for gas smokers, they aren’t always looking for models that use propane, and even if they are, they might not necessarily want to choose from among the ones we’ve reviewed. We understand this quite well, so we decided to write this little guide. Hopefully, it will help all of our readers navigate through the plethora of gas grills currently being manufactured and help them find a model that will make them very happy.
The Pros & Cons Of Gas Smokers
Before we begin our guide on gas smokers, we think that it’s worthwhile to talk about whether these smokers are actually right for the person thinking about buying them. Even though we think that these smokers provide the most benefits for a wider range of people than other smoker types, they’re still not what everyone is going to need. With that said, below are some of the pros and cons of gas smokers.
- They are simple to use
- They’re fuel-efficient
- They are portable
- They reach smoking temperatures quickly.
- Inexpensive models tend to “leak” smoke.
- Long smoke periods might require several propane tanks.
- They aren’t usually very good at cold smoking.
Step One: Choose Between Propane And Natural Gas
When it comes to gas smokers, consumers have two different choices available. They can either choose natural gas or propane models. Both are very similar in operation, but natural gas models require installation from a professional for them to be installed onto the home’s natural gas line. Natural gas smokers also tend to have a higher price tag, and this prompts many people to choose LP smokers over natural gas ones.
Step Two: Choose A Smoker Shape
The next thing that the consumer is going to want to consider is whether they want a kettle-shaped smoker or more of a cabinet-shaped one. In our opinion, cabinet smokers offer the best balance of size and cooking efficiency. While kettle-shaped smokers generally do a better job of circulating smoke, cabinet smokers off the most space.
Step Three: Think About The Smoker’s Temperature Range
The third thing that the consumer is going to want to think about is the temperature range in which the smoker operates. In order for a smoker to do cold smoking, it has to go down to temperatures as low as 68 to 86-degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, most propane grills aren’t capable of operating at temperatures that low, so most of them aren’t suitable for cold smoking.
Even though gas smokers aren’t very likely to be used as cold smokers, the consumer still has to think about the temperature range in which the smoker operates. Most high-quality LP smokers that we’ve come across have a temperature range of 160-degrees to 400-degrees Fahrenheit—which is suitable for smoking.
Step Four: Think About The Smoker’s Size
Another thing that the consumer should think about is the size of the smoker. The consumer is going to want to make sure that the smoker is large enough for their needs, but is still affordable enough for them to buy. Different people will have different needs as far as the amount of smoking space they need or how much they want to spend on a new gas smoker. Some people might need a smoker that can smoke twenty chickens or four whole turkeys at a time, while other people might only need to smoke a few pork steaks every once in a while. Every consumer is going to want to make sure that they think about their needs and then buy the smoker that’s the right size for them.
Step Five: Think About The Smoker’s Price
We briefly mentioned the smoker’s price in our previous step by saying that larger smokers will cost more—but we do think that this is a point that needs to be reiterated. Everyone who buys a smoker should consider the price range they want to spend and try to stay in that price range. That will ensure that they won’t get swept away by marketing hype. Consumers should also keep in mind that the size of the smoker isn’t the only thing that determines the price. The smoker’s BTU and the number of features can also have a significant
Step Six: Consider Additional Features
As this guide comes to an end, we’d like to talk about some of the additional features that the consumer might want to think about before purchasing their next gas smoker. The following features might be important to some people and to other people, might be unnecessary extras. It all depends on what the consumer wants or needs from their gas smoker.
- Built-in temperature thermometer
- Number and location of air dampers
- See-through access door
- An electronic ignition system
- Built-in safety features
- A long propane hose