Whether you plan on cooking for your family, friends or even for a large group of people, you need to get a reliable propane smoker that’s perfectly cut out for the job.
The truth is that if you’re not a pitmaster though, then chances are that you may not know what features to look for in a smoker. And while you may have heard about a few of them that you definitely need to consider, there’s a good chance that you still don’t have a complete picture of what to bear in mind when looking for a smoker.
The good news though is that in the paragraphs below we’ve covered everything you should consider when buying your first propane smoker, so that your first ever meal cooked with it is going to taste simply amazing.
Our Top Choice
- Temperature sensor controls burner.
- Four chrome-coated smoking racks.
- Features Safety valves.
- Perfect for slow-cooking.
- Great value for your money.
Masterbuilt 40-inch ThermoTemp XL
Masterbuilt MB20050716 Mps 330g
Camp Chef 24-Inch Smoke Vault
Is a Propane Smoker Good?
Effective cooking surface
One of the first things you’ll need to keep in mind when selecting a smoker is the effective cooking surface you’re going to get. However, you do need to think about the number of people you plan on cooking for before deciding on how large or small the cooking surface should be. Speaking of which, if you want, you can also use racks to the interior surface in order to augment the cooking surface based on your needs.
Size and portability
For many first time buyers, size is very important when deciding on a smoker. For instance, if you’re the type who travels often and you’d like to also take your propane smoker and portable pellet smoker with you on a trip from time to time, then you need to think about getting one that’s easily transportable. Some desirable attributes in your smoker in this case would be collapsible spacing and detachable legs.
Did you know that there are actually smokers out there that have capabilities which extend beyond their initial use (i.e. smoking meats)? For instance, you could get a grillsmoker combination unit that uses open flame smoking sections and cooking surfaces in a single, unified design. This specific solution won’t only make it easier to smoke meats, but also cook a wide range of other delicious meals.
Eventually, you will need to replace one or more parts of your smoker, since accidents, regardless of how careful you are when using your smoker, are prone to happen. Because of that, prior to getting a smoker, you should also research and see how easy it is to find and buy parts for it.
At this point we can safely say that you have a better idea of what to consider when it comes to buying the best propane smoker for your needs.
Top 3 Best Propane Smoker Reviews of 2022
1. Best Overall Propane Smoker – Masterbuilt 40-inch ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker
Why you’ll love this:
The Masterbuilt MB20051316 Mps 340g Thermotemp XL Propane Smoker is a rugged smoker that’s made for the smoking hobbyist who wants to make sure that every single time he uses it to cook either for family or friends, the results are going to be mouthwatering.
In this regard, the Masterbuilt MB20051316 delivers in more ways than one. Its cooking surface is simply massive and at 792 sq. inches, you can easily cook multiple meals on it at the same time. With patented technology, it allows you to smoke your recipes with the convenience of a conventional oven and no more monitoring or adjusting the temperature.
Build quality is excellent made of commercial grade stainless steel, meaning that no matter how often you’re going to use it, it’s going to last you for many years to come.
As you can see, these features are top notch and should be enough for both novice and experienced smokers to cook a wide range of tasty meals.
2. Runner Up – Masterbuilt MB20050716 Mps 330g Propane Smoker
Why you’ll love this:
Combining the best of the best in smoking capacity, heat output and precision, and always delivering consistently amazing results thanks to its automatic temperature monitoring system, the MPS 330G from Masterbuilt’s Adventure Series is a run-away favorite for our top pick. Simply put, it’s an exceptionally well-made vertical smoker that’s packed with useful features — all available at a reasonable price.
Take just one look at the MPS 330G, and you’ll see how different it is from other smokers in this category. The large window on the main door allows you unparalleled oversight for the entire smoking process, and a separate loading door for fuel will prevent any temperature drops during refills.
Add all of that to a spacious interior and small, sturdy wheels for easy transport, and it’s easy to see why we recommend this as your first consideration when looking for a vertical smoker.
What We Liked
- Huge surface area for smoking big batches of meat.
- Automatic temperature control and viewing window make this the easiest smoker to operate that we’ve ever used.
- Caster wheels make it easy to move and reposition.
- Fuel can be added to a separate door, without releasing heat.
- Allows for perfect fine-tuned adjustments for competition-quality smoking.
What We Didn’t Like
- No options for hanging hooks.
3. Best Value – Camp Chef 24-Inch Smoke Vault Propane Gas Smoker
Why you’ll love this:
Premium power output for any grill or smoker always comes with a premium price. But the real test of whether any cooking tool is worth its cost comes down to its consistent results in producing delicious food. For the Camp Chef “Smoke Vault” propane smoker, we think its higher price tag is a bargain when considered in light of its added features and ultra-durable design.
Producing 18,000 BTUs at maximum heating output, the Smoke Vault easily holds the title of hottest smoker we’ve tested. And while you’re not likely to use it at its maximum temperature of 500 degrees F for just any smoking project, it gives this smoker from Camp Chef the ability to cook anything from breads, to pizzas, to whole roasts — all while infusing them with its signature rich, smoky flavor.
In short, the Camp Chef Smoke Vault is an impressive smoker with an equally impressive price tag, and one that’s guaranteed to impress any experienced grilling fanatic.
What We Liked
- Largest possible smoking capacity of any vertical smoker we tested.
- Easily adjust your temperature with the heat control dial.
- Plenty of heating power from its best-in-class 18,000 BTU burner.
- Wet heat design keeps your meats moist and juicy while cooking.
What We Didn’t Like
- Heavy and somewhat difficult to transport.
- On the expensive side.
Whether is build quality that primes when looking for a smoker or maybe certain various without which you wouldn’t be able to cook those delicious meals you’re probably known for, the Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker won’t hold you back in any way. In fact, this is a solidly built smoker that comes with a host of features which is going to make you change your opinion about smoking meats.
It’s not only its 792 sq. in cooking surface that helps get its point across as being one of the top propane smokers out there. Because of these amazing features and more, we choose the Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker as our top choice.
Care & Maintenance
You need to see whether the smoker you plan on getting can be easily cleaned and maintained by reading some of the information online. For instance, those that come with a detachable ash pan and are designed so that they can be cleaned with little effort are the ones you should be on the lookout for. A few preventative measures and basic precautions on how to use a propane smokers are going to go a long way when it comes to avoiding irreparable damage.
Here’s a good instructions on how to connect your propane tank to a grill.
Cooking in a Propane Smoker
It’s best to cook food slowly on a smoker to allow the aromas to infuse your meats and vegetables. You can use the control panel to set the desired temperature to approximately 225°F.
If your smoker has air vents, you can open them to allow more oxygen to enter the firebox. This process helps to raise the internal smoking heat level to 225°F quickly and efficiently. When your smoker reaches the target temperature, it’s time to add your food.
Complete guide on how to use a propane smoker.
Electric vs. Propane Smoker
When comparing an electric vs. propane smoker, it’s essential to look at their convenience and ease of use. This point is crucial for people who are just beginning to learn about smokers.
Although propane smokers don’t need a power outlet and can be placed anywhere outside, electric smokers are much easier to use, especially for beginners.