Smokers are fueled by a variety of different methods. Some are fueled by charcoal, others by wood pellets, and still others are powered by gas. Which one of these smokers is the best? Well, they each have their pros and cons, so that’s impossible for us to say. What we will say, however, is that some of the best gas smokers currently available are not only easy to use but also easy to clean. With these models, there is no charcoal to dump out, so it’s easy to clean them up after a day of smoking. We should know because we’ve reviewed some of the best models currently being manufactured.
Quick Summary of Best Gas Smokers
Editor’s Choice: Masterbuilt 40-Inch Propane Smoker
This model has a thermostat control that allows the consumer to adjust the temperature as the need to achieve the perfect smoke. Inside of this model, the consumer will find four chrome-plated smoking racks that together provide up to 961 square inches of smoking space. They will also find a state-of-the-art safety shutoff system that automatically turns off the smoker’s burner if the flame accidentally blows out. This helps to prevent any unfortunate accidents that can occur from filling up the smoker with nothing but pure propane.
Another feature that we liked about this gas smoker was that it has a stainless steel burner that could generate up to 15,750 BTU of heat. That’s high enough to ignite the wood chips that are needed to provide the smoker with the smoke it needs. Thanks to this system’s temperature sensor control, the power of this burner is accurately controlled to ensure a consistent cooking temperature throughout the entire smoking session.
Keeping all of this in mind as we write up this review, we think that this should be the number one choice for most people. This is a smoker that works well and is well-built from the bottom up. It’s also a model big enough to cook up to 8 pork butts or racks of ribs, 6 turkeys, or 16 chickens. It’s a model that also has a relatively small footprint as well. We think it’s a model worth investigating.
- It has a 15,750 BTU stainless steel burner.
- It has thermostat control.
- It has a safety-valve shutoff.
- This model costs more than some other smokers.
Also Recommended: Cuisinart COS-244 36-Inch Vertical Smoker
This product is approximately 19.3-inches long, 38.6-inches high, and 18.1-inches wide. It’s a vertical smoker so that it doesn’t take up a lot of space and has a small footprint, but provides plenty of smoking space inside of it.
Inside of the unit, the consumer will find a porcelain-enameled steel tray that holds water and wood for the smoking process. On the outside of this unit, the consumer will find a 40-inch propane hose with a regulator that the consumer can use to hook up to a 20-pound propane tank and keep it a safe distance away during the smoking process.
If there’s one thing that we didn’t like about this gas smoker, it’s the fact that its thermometer seems to be a little bit off. Not by a whole lot but enough to make a difference. That’s why we recommend anyone purchasing this unit to change out the thermometer to a different model.
Having said that, we still think that this is a great smoker. It has a nice vertical footprint that’s easy to place just about anywhere, and it holds in smoke well. It’s also easy to use and provides plenty of smoking space. And probably best of all, it’s one of the more inexpensive gas smokers currently on the market, so our readers might want to keep that in mind when they’re searching for a new smoker. This is one that’s inexpensive, works well, and doesn’t take up a lot of space. What more could a person want?
- It has 785 square-inches of cooking space.
- It has a seal-tight door.
- It has four removable shelves.
- The built-in thermometer could’ve worked better.
Also Consider: Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow Smoker
This model is approximately 21-inches by 29-inches by 43.5-inches and is made out of stainless steel. Inside of it, it has four cooking racks and enough space to smoke 20 chickens, 4 turkeys, or 16 pork butts. It’s also equipped with a stainless steel burner that can deliver up to 15,400 BTU/Hr of heat and is controlled by the thermostat.
So far so good, but it wasn’t long before we noticed a serious flaw with this model. The interior of the smoker is painted and the paint tends to peel after using the smoker for a while. Some people solve this problem by coating the inside of the smoker with high-heat paint before using it, but why should the consumer have to make aftermarket adjustments just to get it to work properly? We don’t think people should, and that’s the reason why this inexpensive and otherwise great smoker made it to the bottom of our list.
However, even with the paint problem, we still think that this is a decent model. It certainly does a good job of smoking meats or seafood, and it has a push-button ignition system that makes it easy to use. It’s also equipped with an adjustable damper that helps the consumer control smoke and heat levels. All things considered, we think that it’s a good smoker that could’ve been great if the manufacturer had put a little bit more thought into it.
- It has enough interior space to smoke 20 chickens.
- It’s a reasonably priced gas smoker.
- It does a good job of holding in smoke.
- Interior paint tends to peel after a while.
A Guide To Gas Smokers
Even though gas smokers might all look the same and are by design quite simple, there are some differences between different models. Enough differences, in fact, that we had to write a guide on the subject. And that guide is what you’re currently reading. So if you’re interested in finding out which gas smoker features are the most important, then follow along with us as we run down the list. Okay, let’s get this guide started by talking about the smoker’s size.
Consider The Smoker’s Size
One of the first things that consumers should consider is the size of the smoker. The consumer should not only consider the physical space that the smoker occupies, but also the interior space of the smoker. The consumer is going to want to make sure that the gas smoker fits in the outdoor space they have designated for it. They will also want to make sure that the inside offers enough space for them to do all of the smoking that they need to do.
While we’re talking about the interior size of the smoker, it’s probably a good idea to think about the number of racks that the unit has. These smokers can have anywhere from 3 to 6 racks, depending on the brand chosen. Of course, the more racks the smoker has, the more space the user will have to spread out their meats and seafood.
Let’s Revisit The Shelves
Okay, we briefly mentioned the shelves of the smoker in the previous section, but we think that they’re important enough for us to dedicate a whole section to them. When choosing a smoker, the consumer should pay attention to the racks that come with the smoker. After all, shelves can make or break a gas smoker and can determine how well it helps with the process of smoking.
The first thing that the consumer is going to want to consider about the shelves is what they’re made from. Are they made from porcelain-coated cast-iron, or are they made from chrome stainless steel? Are the racks adjustable or removable? Those are just some of the questions that the consumer is going to want to ask themselves.
Consider The Temperature Range Of The Smoker
The next thing that the consumer is going to want to consider is the temperature range of the smoker. Smoke people need their smoker to go as low as possible, while other people might need a smoker that maintains a higher temperature. Our opinion is that as long as the smoker is able to hold temperatures in the 200 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit range it should work just fine.
How About A See Through Door?
Something else that the consumer might want to think about is whether they need a window in the door of the smoker. As far as we can tell, about half of the gas smokers available have door windows and about half of them don’t, so it’s evenly split. As far as which one is right for the consumer, it all depends on their personal preferences. Having a window allows the consumer to see their food smoking without having to open the door, but if that’s not important to the consumer, then they can certainly choose one that doesn’t have a window.
A Safety Shut-Off System
Although not every gas smoker has a safety shutoff system, it’s certainly something that the consumer might want to consider. For anyone who doesn’t know what this safety system does, let us briefly explain it. Gas smoker safety shutoff systems will turn off the gas supply if somehow the burner’s flame is blown out. This prevents gas from building up inside the smoker—a situation that could result in tragic consequences. That’s why we recommend that most consumers are going to want to make sure that they purchase a model that has one.
Some Last Features To Consider
The above features should provide a solid foundation upon which people can base their gas smoker buying decisions. However, that doesn’t mean that those are all of the features that the consumer might want to consider. There are also some features that aren’t strictly important but are still nice to have. Let’s take a look at some of these “optional” features and list them so our readers can at least be aware of them so they can make an educated decision when it comes to buying their new gas smoker.
- Electronic Ignition Systems
- Digital Or Analog Controls
- Length Of The Propane Hose
- Porcelain Enameled Wood/Water Trays
- Built-In Thermometer