Smoking food has come a very long way from how our ancestors used to tackle the task. Gone are the days of hanging meat in the kitchen chimney or taking your deer to the smokehouse. Gas smokers have made it to the twenty-first century, but are they any good?
Gas smokers are great for anything from meat, to vegetables, to fish, to cheese even. They do a fantastic job introducing delicious smoky flavors through low heat and a slow cooking process. Operating a gas smoker is very simplistic, making smoking doable for even the most inexperienced of cooks.
Although working with a modern-day smoker may seem a bit intimidating, don’t be wary of the process. Gas smokers offer you a way to smoke food perfectly in a way that requires very little work from you. Continue reading to see a few reasons as to why gas smokers are so good and look into 8 of the top gas smokers and their features to figure out which one best suits your needs.
Why Are Gas Smokers Good?
There are so many different kinds of smokers out there: you have your charcoal smokers, your wood smokers, your electric smokers, and, of course, your pellet smokers. With all of these available, why are gas smokers such a great choice when it comes to cooking your meats to perfection, creating flavors for your vegetables unlike any other, and making cheese dips with tastes you could have otherwise only dreamt of?
The things that make gas smokers so great include that they are:
First and foremost, let’s talk about price. If you were to go out and buy a pellet smoker or even a charcoal smoker, you had better get your wallet ready. These smokers work wonderfully, but they cost you some serious cash when it comes to purchasing time.
This is one of the biggest appeals for gas smokers. For a good-sized, well-made gas smoker, you will be paying a third, sometimes a fourth of the price that you would pay for other smokers. Talk about savings!
Second, gas smokers are extremely user-friendly. With other smokers, you have to add pellets, keep wood stocked, or create charcoal stacks in order to keep the heat going.
With a gas smoker, all you need to do is turn the nozzle on your propane tank and flip the switch on your smoker. In a matter of minutes, it will be heated up and you will be ready to get down in smoky town without any heavy lifting required.
Smaller in Size
Third, gas smokers are not obnoxiously bulky. They are designed in a vertical position which means you are able to fit this smoker into smaller spaces or you can have a smoker that does not take up half of your deck.
Even with the smaller size, you are able to fit a good amount of food within them and you can also have a few options as far as sizing goes. If you are one who cooks for two or for twelve, there is a gas smoker for you.
Able to Use Temperature Control
Fourth, gas smokers are very reliable when it comes to maintaining temperature. One of the most difficult parts of charcoal and wood-burning smokers is that the temperature can drop or increase drastically due to weather changes.
Since gas smokers rely on gas to perpetuate heat within them, this is not an issue because the contraption is consistently fed gas for as long as your propane tank can supply it. This means more consistent cooking for you!
Top 8 Gas Smokers Reviewed
Now you know all the perks of gas smokers, where do you even begin to start, in sorting out which one is the best one for you? Take a deep breath, sit back, and relax. Here I have compiled for you the 8 best gas smokers out there.
Each has its own appeal and each is going to offer a little something different. Regardless of some differences, they all are great at doing what they were designed to do, which is smoke like a boss. So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at the top 8 gas smokers reviewed.
The Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker comes with all the stops to not only fill your mouth with its name but fill it with incredible food too. Earlier, I mentioned the beauty of gas smokers having the ability to very accurately control temperature. With this smoker, it does one of the best jobs out there at accurately displaying the temperature, but also maintaining it throughout the smoke.
This feature involves a thermostatic temperature control that constantly regulates the flow of gas to the actual burner within the smoker. This means a better cooking environment for all your food which means a better outcome for texture and taste. This smoker is also a great model for those of you that need more space. It has 792 square inches of cooking capacity which means you will have no issue cooking whole racks of ribs and bigger cuts of meat.
There is also one last feature to this smoker that really makes it stand out from the rest. With any gas smoker, you will be inserting wood chips in order to create the smoke you need to flavor your food with actual smoke. Even though you will be using gas (propane) to supply the heat, the wood will add the smoke and flavor.
The Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker has the chip tray added to the door of the smoker so you do not have to worry about pulling trays out from the bottom of the smoker and putting them back in with the potential of spilling chips. A small feature with a big impact in terms of cleanliness and user effectiveness.
The Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36” Propane Smoker is not the biggest smoker out there, but it can certainly hold its own when you are having a dinner party and need to get enough meat on the table for ten to fifteen people.
This smoker is more of a mid-sized model, but it still has plenty of oven space (5.5 square feet to be exact) to cook big Boston butts, a few racks of ribs, and even whole hams if you get the itch. Because of its size though, it fits easily in spaces that do not have a ton of room meaning that its mobility and adjustability take it to the top of our list.
Along with this, you are able to adjust the gas supply with this smoker so that you can control how much heat is coming from the propane tank along with the ability to regulate the temperature with the thermometer. The temperature can be easily seen on the front of the door so you do not have to worry about running back and forth to check how the internal temperature is fairing.
It’s sleek, it’s well-sized, and it is made well. What more could you ask for in a smoker than what the Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36” Propane Smoker has to offer.
The Dyna-Glo 36” Vertical LP Gas Smoker is another mid-sized smoker, but it also comes at a great price. It is not much smaller than some of the bigger smokers (coming in with 784 square inches of cooking space), so you still have plenty of room to get in larger dishes or bigger pieces of meat or fish. There is nothing more frustrating than having to cut apart a piece of meat in order to accommodate a smoker’s size, and this smoker will not disappoint you in that way.
It also offers a double door system which is a huge plus when it comes to restocking wood chips. The reason this is such an appealing feature is that you don’t have to open the entire chamber to add chips.
Why does this matter? If you open the main door, smoke is going to rush out when you still have time on the clock to cook your meat. With the second door, you are able to quickly open a small space and add the chips you need without fuss.
This smoker also has an electric ignition button which makes start up a breeze and a control dial at the bottom of the smoker to help navigate your cooking process. The four wire racks within this are adjustable and easily removed as well.
With this feature, you can smoke a tree if you so please, there is plenty of space. Totally kidding, do not attempt to smoke a tree, it will not work out in your favor.
Yep, you read that right. The Camp Chef Smoke Vault 18in Propane Gas Smoker is a whopping 18 inches. However, do not let its small size fool you. This smoker comes with everything you need, but it is able to get the job done at almost half the size of other smokers.
This size is great for those of you who don’t have a need to smoke big pieces of meat or large quantities of anything else in a single session or even for those of you that want a smoker but simply cannot afford the space.
This smoker has an adjustable heat control with an 18,000 BTU burner and has two smoking racks that can hold a petite whole chicken or tackle the juiciest of pork loins. This smoker also uses three damper valves to give you the ability to adjust the smoke and temperature to exactly how you want it.
Don’t worry though, this is not your only option for temperature. There is an internal temperature gauge that helps you know exactly where the temperature sits. Additionally, there is a removable base tray, wood chip tray, and water pan, which makes cleaning this small smoker a breeze.
This is a great smoker for someone who needs a little woodman in their backyard but does not feel like purchasing a smoker that is going to take up the majority of their patio. It’s like a miniature version that works just as perfectly as the other massive workhorse gas smokers.
I bet you never thought you would see the day where a truly portable gas smoker hit the marker. Well, today is your lucky day my friend. As the name implies, the Masterbuilt MPS 20B Patio-2-Portable Propane Smoker is one that can go from your patio straight to a tailgate, friend’s house, pool party, or campsite.
For those of you that are looking for something not so stationary, this is a great option for you. It is not a huge size but is still capable of holding a few chickens and a rack of ribs at once.
This smoker also does very well at maintaining temperature. Smaller smokers, at times, have a tendency to be a bit inconsistent when it comes to temperature, but with the Masterbuilt MPS 20B, it does a fairly great job at keeping the temperature right where you want it. The gauge is right on the front so all you have to do is glance over and then get right back to your campfire songs without skipping a beat.
I know, you are sitting there wondering what dual fuel would even mean for a gas smoker, right? Well, the Masterbuilt MDS 230S Dual Fuel Smoker is an invention trying to break records. This smoker gives you the option, through the use of a flame disk bowl, to either use gas during your smoking session or only use charcoal. This gives you the option to change up the flavor of your meats and other foods through the signature flavors charcoal produces.
This smoker also has a two-door design to it so you are able to add wood, fuel, or charcoal without having to interrupt anything happening within the chamber. It is a great size that can hold enough food for large parties (can you say “Thanksgiving Turkey?”).
Along with that, it also uses three separate dampers to control the heat and smoke along with a temperature gauge. This is a big smoker that offers a bit of a change-up when gas gets a little too plain for you.
If you are someone who needs enough space to feed a seriously large crowd, consider the Smoke Hollow 44-Inch Vertical Gas Smoker. This smoker is one for those who are not messing around when it comes to the demands of the people they are cooking for.
With a 44-inch vertical capacity, it has 5 racks that are easily removed and changed up. Because of its size, it has two stainless steel burners that get temperatures hot in a matter of minutes.
A nice feature of this gigantic smoker though is that you can use only one burner if you are in need of a lower temperature. No need to fidget with both burners to control low heats, but you can implore one and cook low and slow all day if you want.
The Smoke Hollow 44-Inch Vertical Gas Smoker is built solid and comes available with a door that is solid or one that offers a window if you prefer to watch your dishes transform within the smoke.
Between big and small smokers, this one falls right in the middle. The Camp Chef 24” Smoke Vault is one of those smokers that just looks like it means business. This smoker is insulated to perfection and is made in a way that you know it will last and last through years of smoking adventures.
Because of its mid-sized construction, it can fit all you need for a decent-sized gathering without having to worry about overpacking the chamber with enough food.
There is also something quite enticing about this smoker: it uses very little propane during operation. Some gas smokers are known to absolutely guzzle propane, even when they are smoking at low temperatures.
However, the Camp Chef does a great job at sipping away at gas rather than taking shots of it starting at noon. This is a huge thing to consider if you are not a big fan of running to fill propane tanks every few smokes.