If you are a grill enthusiast, there may be only a few things you can consider more delicious than smoked foods.
While deciding which food tastes better depends on personal preferences, when it comes to picking a grilling equipment, there is a huge debate among community because each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
As for smokers, no one will disagree that propane is a great way to "set it and forget it" and still have a great smoked meal at the end.
They are very easy to use and provide a great value for the price, but which one is the best propane smoker? With so many different options and brands on the market, it can be hard to choose which one is the right for you.
In this guide, we're going to do test and review propane gas smokers based on several factors, so you will know which one is the best vertical propane smoker on the market today.
For a lot of people, it is hard to find a great smoker, so each product featured here is designed to deliver an excellent smoking experience and each will last for years of food prep.
Table of Contents
In a Rush? Here's Our Winner!
How We Picked and Tested?
While a lot of sites out there claim to be credible sources for reviewing all the gas smokers, the truth is that most of them are either sponsored by manufacturers to highlight specific products or just feature the product they think would be more suitable for them.
To provide the best and the most honest reviews for each model, we either test personally the product or our editorial staff has tested them before writing the review. Only this way, we will be able to provide an honest review, giving you all the advantages and disadvantages of each product.
In addition to that, we always search the web and look up all the reviews from previous customers, so we can cross check our experience with other users.
For each selected product, we take into consideration the Construction, Design, Durability, Features, Warranty & Customer Reviews, at the end, we do a full round up showcasing everything you need to know, including all the advantages and disadvantages for that specific model.
3 Main Reasons Why You Should Buy a Propane Smoker
If you are in doubt if you really need a propane smoker or not, here are 3 main reasons why you should buy one:
The Fastest Option
If you are looking for a propane smoker, then chances are that you are not really into that fully involvement and dedication other type of smokers require. For example, having a charcoal smoker will require tons of dedication and involvement into the cooking process while with a propane smoker, everything is faster and simpler.
Charcoal was popular back in the day, where the technology was as advanced as it is today but with the modern technology, we can still enjoy great smoked meats with less time and dedication.
They are probably the fastest type of smokers out there, saving you around 1 to 2 hours of cooking time when compared to other models.
With that saved time, you can decide to prepare the food, cook something additional to the meat or just finish dinner faster.
Ease of Use
There is no doubt that electric and propane smokers are the easiest models to use. They are designed to be used by everyone, even the most newbie smokers.
They come with easy to use technologies, quick to start ignition system, built in thermometers, pre-programmed smoking presets for different meats etc.
On top of that, most manufacturers offer full support on their website, covering everything you need to know with step-by-step tutorials and YouTube Videos.
Back in the days, charcoal smokers were chunky and heavy. They were not easy to use or move around since they were made of heavy materials. Most modern propane smokers are very mobile, giving you the ability to move or transport it around without too much effort.
Most of the main units weight up to 40 pounds and have a nice, sleek design, meaning that you can easily position anywhere you want, or even transport them on other places, since you can easily put them in the back of a truck.
Best Propane Gas Smokers for Consideration
#1 - The first option to consider is the Masterbuilt GS40D. It comes with a steel construction with black powder coated outer shell which helps you maintain the temperature and not lose any heat. The main smoker room has about 1,307 square feet of cooking space and is powered by a stainless steel burner producing 15.400 BTUs.
Overall, this product has a great design, a very stable built, plenty of smoking space and useful features, all combined into a affordable price.
#2 - The Smoke Hollow 38202G is the second option we decided to include in our list. This product has almost the same design as the upper mentioned smoker; Two door design, so you can easily access the chip and water room and an overall stable built body, made of welded steel.
It has 3.4 cubic feet of cooking/smoking space and is capable of producing 20,000 BTUs, which are more than enough to quickly heat the smoker and cook your meal.
#3 - The third option we picked is the Camp Chef 18-inch Smoke Vault. It has 420 square inches of smoking space and is capable of producing about 18,000 BTUs from its single burner. It can easily reach temperatures of 150 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which you can monitor from its door thermometer.
#4 - Coming up next is the Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP. It has a very impressive cooking space of 784 square inches and produces about 15,000 BTUs, plenty enough for most of your smoked meals. It has a two-door design, an overall well built quality and very lightweight because of its powder coated sheet metal.
#5 - The next option to consider is the Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker. It is a product from the iconic quality grilling brand, with plenty of cooking space and tons of features. This product has in total about 595 square inches of cooking surface and is capable of producing 16,500 BTUs from its stainless steel burner. Overall, It's very stable and well built and can be a great option if you are planning to cook large amount of meats.
#6 - If you are a fan of shinny looking smokers, then the Weston Outdoors 36" Model is the right fit for you. It has a narrow width and long height design, 4 chrome plated removable cooking racks, stainless steel construction and is capable of cooking up to 14 pounds of food at once.
#7 - The last option to consider is the Smoke Hollow 38" glass model smoker. This model has an unique 2 door design, with the cooking door being glass, so you can see your food without opening it. It contains 4 chrome cooking grids and a cooking space of 326 square inches.
Quick Comparison Table
Cooking Area (in2)
22 x 22 x 44
3.4 Cubic Feet
20 x 28 x 47
30 x 19 x 17
27 x 20 x 40
20 x 22 x 46
18 x 18 x 36
3.4 Cubic Feet
21 x 28 x 48
Reviews of the Best Propane Smokers
1. Masterbuilt GS40D - Editor's Choice
The first propane smoker in the guide comes to us from Masterbuilt.
This particular smoker is an excellent choice for those that are just starting out into the world of smoked meats.
It's a very stable unit that rests on four stout metal legs. The entire device weighs almost 86 pounds, but when you're smoking meats, portability isn't your highest priority.
As you may have noticed from the photos, it is a compact design model, with a width of 27 inches, length 19 inches and height 37 inches.
As a vertical smoker, this product also does a great job of helping the smoke rise from the lower section so that the meat is flavored evenly.
Internally, the product has four chrome smoking racks that provide a massive amount of smoking space; 1307 square feet to be exact. When it's time to start, the smoker also has a push-button ignition that's simple to operate.
Also, if you need more power and more cooking space, there are other larger versions of the same product on the buying page.
A feature that many smokers might appreciate about this product is its affordability. This Masterbuilt smoker won't set you back a ton of money for its size and included features.
Our second product, the Smoke Hollow 38202G is another great vertical propane smoker that has a stout and stable design.
It also has a very impressive capacity; you can fit a lot of smokable meats inside this Smoke Hollow's 3.4 cubic feet of space. This will let you easily smoke larger meats like full turkeys, beef ribs, pork loin or pork shoulders.
Construction-wise, this particular propane smoker has a great build quality. Its body is made of welded steel that's durable and treated to be weather-resistant. It also has a two-door design so that you can easily access the chip tray and water pan without disturbing the heat and smoke inside the main smoke chamber.
Many more advanced smokers will also appreciate the temperature options that this product has. First, it can use a 20,000 BTU propane burner that ensures that the heat is nice and consistent.
Secondly, the venting system of this smoker is fairly well-balanced; you can really ensure an even temperature as a result of the upper and lower vents.
Finally, the smoker also comes with a built-in temperature gauge that will let you precisely manage and monitor your meat's smoking environment.
This Camp Chef smoker is a great product that has a good amount of smoking space for a variety of meats. While you may not be smoking several turkeys or a few racks of ribs in it, it does have 420 square inches of smoking space and it even has room for a few extra racks.
When it comes to heat and smoking performance, this Camp Chef product has a single 18,000 BTU cast iron burner. This allows for a temperature range that's great for smoking: 150 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you're trying to keep track of the smoking process, it has a door thermometer that's relatively easy to read that will track temperatures from 50 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you like to switch it up a bit, you may find the jerky smoking rack fairly convenient. This rack makes crafting your own smoked jerky fairly simple.
In addition to this, this product also comes with some cooking tips and recipes from their official website, so that you can explore your taste options with relative ease.
Like the other smokers in this guide, the Camp Chef includes a matchless ignition. In fact, it uses a piezoelectric ignition that makes starting the device up fairly easy.
For those looking for a lot of space to smoke meats, this Dyna-Glo product may be a great option.
Firstly, it has a very impressive 784 square inches of cooking space. You can even adjust the wire racks so that you can smoke items of various sizes. This really opens up a wide variety of options when you're considering what to smoke.
As a two-door smoker, this product has the capability to let you work with the chip tray and water pan without letting much of the heat or smoke dissipate. This is very fortunate because the main smoking compartment doesn't have seals, so there's a bit of smoke loss gradually anyway.
When it comes to performance, this propane smoker has a 15,000 BTU cast iron burner that provides a good temperature range for most smoke jobs. The product is made of powder coated sheet metal that's protected from the elements and is also very lightweight. In fact, the smoker only weighs about 54 pounds.
This is a fairly stable and sturdy smoker that has a wider stance at its base so that you won't have to worry about it tipping. Additionally, the pan and chip tray are both porcelain enameled, which ensures their lastingness.
There are few backyard cooking brands as iconic as Char-Broil and this vertical gas smoker lives up to the brand's history of quality.
The first thing that you'd notice with this product is its very impressive cooking area. In totality, it has a 595 square-inch cooking surface with a full 7,566 cubic inches of internal cooking space. This is definitely more than enough room for larger meats, which is great considering the price point of the product.
For heat output, the product uses a 16,500 BTU stainless steel burner that provides a good range of heat. It's also fairly impressive that this smoker doesn't use much in the way of gas; in fact, temperatures are easy to manage and maintain with this particular product.
Its design is also very sturdy. Char-Broil has a history of making quality products, which is why this smoker seems to be very durable and ready for the elements.
Additionally, there's plenty of room inside for several racks, which is great for those situations where you want to smoke larger meats, smoke meats ahead of time, or when you want to smoke for a large group of people.
Like most models featured in this list, the Weston Outdoor propane smoker is an affordable smoker with some great qualities.
What we like most about this model is the construction. Most of the models from similar competitors have a traditional black powder steel construction while the Weston has gone with a more eye-catching shiny stainless steel main door and a 36-inch fully welded black coated steel cabinet.
This type of construction is built to resist weather changes without losing the durability and the shiny-looking element. The well-built construction is also improved by the cast iron base which, at the same time makes the heat management much easier by holding up the heat for a longer period of time.
As for cooking space, with a 36” cabinet and 4 chrome plated adjustable cooking racks, this smoker will allow you to cook up to 14 pounds of food at once.
It also comes with two hooks which can be used for hooking sausages or other foods to make more room for other types of food on the cooking racks.
While most models have smoke leaks on the door, the main door in this model is secured with lock clamps which will not allow the heat to leak and improve the safety during cooking.
Other worth mentioning features are the heavy duty carrying handles and the external temperature gauge on the front door.
7. Smoke Hollow 38205GW 38" - Best 2-Door Propane Smoker
While most propane smokers go for a complete steel all-around construction, Smoke Hollow has decided to go for a different design on their 38205GW model.
It features a 2 door design, with the front of the smoker being half glass and half steel, making it very easy for you to check the food while cooking. This prevents the urge to open the doors and release the heat, and in my opinion, I think is one of the best features a smoker can have.
Also, the 2 door design, separates the heat chamber from the food chamber, making the heat management easier without affecting the food doneness. The strong lock latch system for the doors also contributes to not allow the heat from leaking by locking the doors tight and safely.
As for the cooking space, its 38-inch cabinet and the 4 chrome adjustable cooking grids are large enough to cook food for a party.
Some users are reporting over-heating issues but with a little attention control given to it, you can manage to keep them at the desired levels.
This model is on an average price point and comes on a well-sealed packaging from the manufacturer to prevent damaging during the transport especially to the glass window.
Which is the Best Propane Gas Smoker?
Smoking meats can be very rewarding and the products that we've featured here in this guide can all deliver some excellent results. Additionally, each is designed to stand vertically, so if you have limited space, you can still smoke like a pro.
Even though each product has its own pros and cons, if we had to pick the winner from these best propane smoker reviews, it would be the Masterbuilt GS40D model. It simply has a sturdier construction than the majority of the other smokers, a massive cooking capacity for smoking meats, and it has a simple operation that can be used even by newer backyard smokers. It even has a push button ignition that makes it a cinch to start up.
As our second pick, we would consider the Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP. It is in the same price range as our first-place winner but still it has a very durable and well-built quality, a lot of cooking space, a lot of power and other useful features to make your smoking experience more enjoyable.
Liquid Propane Gas Smoker Buying Guide
If you are still unsure if the liquid propane models are the right fit for you, even after you read the upper gas smoker reviews, then this complete buying guide should help you decide:
What are Propane Smokers?
Gas smokers are outdoor cooking machines fueled by liquid propane who are easy to use by everyone due to the recent technological developments.
They produce a lot of clean heat and smoke flavor from wood chips, chunks or pellets and are very popular especially in barbecue restaurants and family parties.
How do Gas Smokers Work?
Gas Smokers use either propane or natural gas to fuel their burners, usually located at the bottom of the unit.
The heat produced by the burners heats up the pan/pans that you can fill with wood and water to create the smoke flavor. You can use wood chips, chunks or pellets, based on your preferences and needs.
The heat and the smoke are controlled with adjustable vents throughout the unit to increase or decrease the oxygen flow.
These type of smokers usually have a vertical cubic design, with multiple cooking grids, allowing you to cook a lot of food at once.
Most models come with a temperature gauge on the door, so you can easily track and monitor the cooking temperature.
Overall, these models are pretty easy to use and you don’t need to do a lot of manual work except for adding the wood or water to the pan and changing the propane tank when is running low.
Here it is a more detailed video which explains to you how these models work:
Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying a Propane Gas Smoker
If you are looking for a quick list of advantages and disadvantages of buying a propane smoker, then here are a few important points:
Why You Should Buy a Propane Gas Smoker?
If you are still in doubt why you should go for a propane smoker, here are a couple more factors to consider:
Fast Cooking Times compared to Other Methods
If you don’t have much time and hate being on the grill for hours to finish cooking your food, then you should consider a gas smoker.
You can have great results with grilling but you have to stay checking the food and in most cases, cook a couple of rounds especially if you have a small cooking surface.
The liquid propane smokers beat their competition when it comes to cooking times. They are more powerful than most electric and charcoal smokers, making you to save 1-2 hours of total cooking time.
You can use that time to do some preparing or additional kitchen work.
If you plan to place it on your garden and create a small barbecue spot then you should highly consider a model with good design.
Most of the models available on the market have a vertical design with a black powder finish, making it suitable for any garden or designing style.
If you want to give a fancy touch to your backyard barbecue spot, then you can go for a shiny stainless steel model.
One of the main reasons why you should go for a propane-fueled smoker is the mobility. You don’t have to be limited to use it only on your tight backyard spot but you should be able to move and place it anywhere you like.
Propane smokers give you this ability with their considerably light-weight design and propane tank.
You can move it from one location to another by easily carrying it by the handles and picking a propane tank with it.
They can even fit on the trunk of your car and get it with you if you go camping or on other outdoor trips.
Compact Size & Dimensions
Gas smokers vary in dimensions but most models can fit in any space, making it suitable for any home or house backyard design.
With their vertical design, most of their size is from up-down and they overall don’t take much space as they have more height space rather than width space.
You can easily fit it in any storage shelf if you desire to set it up or store way when you don’t need it, especially if you want to keep a clean and simple backyard design.
Easy to Use & Setup
Once you get used to their basic functions, you will feel like these type of smokers are made for entry-level users.
They have quick ignition systems, easy to adjust cooking grates, built in thermometers and heat control units for the propane, making them ideal for everyone, especially beginners.
As for the assembly, all manufacturers include a step-by-step manual to help you assemble the product in a few minutes.
The main cabinet comes assembled and you only need to screw a couple of bolts, assemble the cooking grates, set up the water and chip trays and you are ready.
If you still don’t feel comfortable doing an entry-level assembly process, you can always ask a friend which has more experience in assembly, so you don’t damage anything.
What to Consider when Reading Liquid Propane Smoker Reviews Online?
Here are a few factors to consider when picking or reading online propane smoker reviews:
Construction & Durability
Before deciding which is the best smoker for your needs, you should highly consider its construction and durability.
Don’t rely only on big name brands and not doing any other research online. There are a lot of not well-known brands out there who have some decent models worth considering.
Also, It is always recommended to read online reviews and what previous customers suggest after they have tested the product.
I suggest you look out for construction made of these materials: stainless steel, porcelain, cast iron & chrome. These are tested and proved that are resistant to rust, maintain the heat very well and do not get damaged from weather conditions or extended use.
Stainless steel models are the one which are mostly used as it is the best proportion of quality materials, resistance, good looking design, and price.
Also, you should consider models which are sturdy, with four legs stand, large enough to support the weight of the unit.
Don’t go for a cheaper version and accept a bit sturdy legs. With just a couple of months of usage, your unit will start to become unstable and even bending on one side.
You can go for a model which includes a warranty when legs are unstable or become unstable with time. The manufacturer can replace the legs and easily fix the issue for free.
One other factor to consider is the product design, especially the front-load design.
As I said before, most propane smokers come on a vertical design and what you may want to have in mind is the front-loading design.
If your smoker has a front door design, then loading and removing the food will be much easier.
It is a much safer and cleaner option when compared to other designs, especially the top load option, which will make you position the food from the top and you will not have much space to play with.
By opening the door from the front side, you can easily access all the food racks at the same time and make the preferred adjustments, without worrying about removing the unnecessary racks or accidentally burning your hands.
Also, I recommend picking a dual door design unit as you will have the ability to check the food without opening the fire chamber. This will allow your food to cook without any interruptions if you just need to check the burners, load more wood chips or adding water to your moisture pan.
Cooking Space & Performance
I recommend you to always go for a slightly larger than average size model. Don’t think just to cook for two-three peoples at the same time.
These devices are built to last for a few years and there are always occasions where you need to cook for a large group of people and you will feel pressured to overload the unit and lack performance.
That’s why a larger model is always the best. Most manuals and reviews will give you an approximation of how much food you can cook on one load, make it easier to predict and decide for the smoker size.
Another factor related to cooking performance is the power of the model. You want to have enough room to play with the temperatures varying from 50°F to 500°F, which will allow you to cook different kind of foods at the desired temperature level.
Pick a model with a temperature gauge or thermometer, so you can easily measure and track the cooking temperature. If your smoker doesn’t come with one, you can always pick a cheap external one online and attach to it.