The Best Propane Smokers: 2018 Buyer’s Guide

Regardless if you’re buying a smoker for the first time, or upgrading your current model, every smart shopper should always do their homework before pulling the trigger on a new purchase.

Luckily, we’ve done our homework so you don’t have to this time. Knowledge is power, and it’s a surefire way to set yourself up for success.

In this review, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the best propane smokers and outlining them in depth.

With this, we’re going to cover their main features and some of their top pros and cons shared by recent buyers.  Trust us when we say you won’t want to skip over any parts of this write-up.

Comparison Chart of the Best Propane Smokers

Things to Consider When Buying a New Propane Smoker 

When buying a new smoker, there are a few things to consider beforehand. Below are a few of the main things shoppers should always keep in mind when reviewing models.

Price

Of course, one of the main considerations when shopping is price and your budget limitations. Unless you’re part of the small percentage of shoppers where money isn’t a factor, price consideration is pretty common for most. With this, it’s best to think about the features within each model and the value of the particular smoker.

Size

The next thing you should always keep in mind is the size of the smoker. Ask yourself some straightforward questions such as, “where will I store the smoker?”, “how much am I intending to smoke per session?”, “will these answers change over time?”. 

Fuel Type

If you’ve made it this far in the article, it’s probably safe to assume that you’ve considered fuel. But, overlooking the type of fuel for your smoker is critical. With this, how will the type of fuel play into where and how you smoke?

Luckily, propane smokers are very user-friendly, reliable, and easy to transport. Depending on the model, owning a propane smoker means you can take it a variety of places with ease.

Cleaning

When it’s all said and done, typically the last step of the process is cleaning. If you’ve overlooked this aspect and cleaning your smoker is a painful chore, then this means you’re now stuck with an awful last step.

Be sure to check if the racks are removable and what recent customers had to say about their experience of cleaning the particular model you have your sights on.

Reviews of the Best Propane Smokers 

Now we’re going to transition into the review section of this article and direct our attention to the smokers that made out list for the best propane smokers.

Within this section, we’re going to discuss the main features of each, then dive into the pros and cons associated with each model. We have a lot of great smokers in store, so let’s get started!

Masterbuilt 20050211 Black Propane Smoker, 40-Inch

The first model on our list is the 40-inch Masterbuilt 20050211 Black Propane Smoker and this smoker has been a crowd favorite for some time.

This smoker offers users an insane 1300 square inches of cooking space within the four racks. The built-in stainless steel burner has 15,400 BTU’s, designed to effortlessly smoke all meats and vegetables to perfection.

This easy to use model is perfect for beginners since it comes with push-button start up and a ready to use temperature gauge. Users will be thrilled when they enjoy the authentic and tasteful flavors delivered from this vertical smoker. Other main features include:

  • 4 chrome-plated smoking racks
  • Adjustable air damper for full control over temperature and smoke output
  • Easy to use water bowl for added flavor and moisture
  • Comes with temperature gauge
  • One-push ignition

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Well built and great price
  • Wider base for laying out meats
  • Locking door to trap heat and smoke
  • Excellent model once set-up and practiced on

Cons

  • Does not come with wheels, so moving or storing may be challenging for some
  • Learning curves vary when it comes to assembly and understanding directions
  • Recommended to do an initial ‘burn-out’ and run the smoker before actually smoking any meats or vegetables

Bottom Line

When it comes down to the 40-inch Masterbuilt 20050211, this propane smoker is an outstanding value for the size and production output. Overall, people have excellent things to say about their experience while using this smoker and it's a great model for all experience levels.

Smoke Hollow 38202G 38-Inch 2-Door Propane Gas Smoker

Known my many in the smoking community for its commendable name, Smoke Hollow continuously manufactures high quality, well-built smokers. The second model on our list is the Smoke Hollow 38202G 38-Inch 2-Door Propane Smoker and let’s just begin by saying, this thing is an absolute beast. This smoker comes with four chrome-plated racks that each adjust for a variety of cooking styles.

Users have more control over temperate and smoke output through the two door system which allows them to easily add water and wood chips. Additionally, this model comes complete with a gas control system to adjust temperature ranges.

Before saying too much more about this Smoke Hollow propane smoker, let’s take a look at some additional features, then dive into a few main pros and cons.

  • Built-in external thermometer
  • One-push ignition
  • 20,000 BTU LP gas output
  • 3.4 cubic feet of cooking space
  • Racks are chrome-plates

Pros

  • Cooking racks are adjustable
  • Hanging hook included in model
  • Very user-friendly and easy to use
  • Dual door is excellent for adding water and wood chips without disturbing temperature

Cons

  • Door does not have a tight seal
  • Does not come with wheels

Bottom Line

The bottom line with the Smoke Hollow 38202G 38-Inch 2-Door Propane Smoker is that this is an excellent model and an amazing value for the price. Nearly all buyers have reported that their favorite feature of this smoker is its size and ability to hold massive amounts of meat. With this, users have a ton of control over heat and smoke output. Hands down an excellent model.

Char-Broil Vertical 600 Liquid Propane Gas Smoker

Next on our list of the best propane smokers is the Char-Broil Vertical 600 Liquid Propane Gas Smoker, a fantastic model made by an excellent company. Char-Broil has been around for a number of years and continuously strives to deliver top-of-the-line smokers to customers in need.

This vertical smoker offers multiple racks so users have the option to smoke a variety of different sized meats. One of the great features incorporated in this model is its double drawer design. This feature allows users to add water or wood chips to their smoker without losing heat.

With this, the smoker also has a built-in thermometer for those who don’t have an upgraded, aftermarket thermometer. There are few other top features that you should know about before we move onto the pros and cons shared by recent buyers, let’s see what they are!

  • Wood chip and water pan is made of porcelain
  • Chamber features top warming rack
  • 595 square inches among the 3-racks
  • Racks are chrome-plated
  • Total combined cooking space of 7,566 cubic inches

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Tons of space for hosting parties or socials
  • Hold heat well, even in cold, rough environments
  • Propane gas output is easy to control and user friendly

Cons

  • Does not come with wheels; smoker may be difficult to move or store
  • Thermometer is not very accurate, most buyers recommend buying an upgraded model to ensure accuracy

Bottom Line

The Char-Broil Vertical Liquid Propane Gas Smoker is an absolute tank, ready to hold massive amounts of meat and prepare them with ease.

One of the best parts about this model according to recent buyers is its efficiency and ease of use. When it comes down to it, this model is a steal of a deal.

One of the downsides we spotted though was that when fully set-up, the smoker may be challenging for some to move or transport since it doesn't have wheels.

But nevertheless, this can easily be fixed with a quick trip to the hardware store. Rest assured that if you’re moving forward with this model, you won’t be disappointed.

Camp Chef Smoker 18-Inch Smoke Vault Large with Stainless Door and Adjustable Shelves (SMV18S)

Another amazing smoker that made our list is the Camp Chef Smoker 18-Inch Smoke Vault - a model that's built to last. The beautiful stainless steel door nearly speaks for itself as users can open the vault, stash away their meats, and wait for the delicious results.

Inside the smoker are two adjustable racks that allow users to switch up their cooking style and adapt to whatever's on the menu. The design of the matchless snap-ignition ensures that just about anyone can light this smoker with ease and get it going in no time.

Made for all experience levels, folks don’t have to worry about being a master chef just to reem the benefits of gourmet dining. For those who are just starting out and may be learning the ropes, Camp Chef includes a booklet on some ‘cooking tips, ideas, and recipes’ as they like to say. We won’t give away all the goodies right out the gate, let’s see what else this propane smoker has to offer shoppers.

  • 3 dampers for heat and smoke control: one on each side and one of top
  • Easy to use snap-ignition; no more matches required
  • Cooking tips and tricks booklet included
  • Built-in door thermometer that ranges from 50-550 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cooking racks are adjustable - perfect for varied sizes and easy cleaning

Pros

  • Porcelain base tray is removable, which makes for easy clean up
  • One jerky smoking rack and water pan are included
  • Steel wood chip trap is constructed from heavy gauge steel
  • Easy to assemble - option for expert assembly for additional cost

Cons

  • Wheels are not included which can make storing and transporting difficult
  • Bottom vent is fairly large, which can let small amounts of heat escape (or let in) if cooking in cold environments
  • Temperature gauge on door is not very accurate - most buyers upgrade to a more reliable professional grade thermometer

Bottom Line

The bottom line with the Camp Chef Smoker 18-Inch Smoke Vault is that this propane smoker will ensure every smoking session is genuine and one to remember. Buyers who report back about this model absolutely love it and say that for the price, this is a top of the line smoker; it’s easy to use and easy to clean.

People of all experience levels can start smoking in minutes. As with the other models mentioned, a notable disadvantage to this smoker is that it doesn’t have wheels and the thermometer is sometimes inaccurate. But overall, the Smoke Vault is built to last and ready to prepare some excellent meals.

Masterbuilt 20050716 Thermotemp Propane Smoker

The final smoker to land on our list of the best propane smokers is the Masterbuilt 20050716 ThermoTemp Propane Smoker. First off, the massive benefit of this model is the built-in thermostat feature that automatically controls temperature; no need to adjust controls.

With this, there is also an indicator to inform users of how much propane is left in their tank, thus allowing them to properly plan out smoking sessions and avoid any future headaches.

Many buyers have also reported their love for the dual-door design that helps to add wood chips, without the worry of losing heat in the process. This 30-in ThermoTemp model also comes in a 40-in ThermoTemp model and a 30-in standard model, which is great for beginners who are still learning the tricks of the trade.

Unlike the other smokers on our list, this particular model comes with wheels and has a built-in glass door so you can keep an eye on the process. This nearly perfect model is loaded with features, let’s see what else recent buyers had to say about their experience.

  • Built-in safety valve shuts off burner if need be
  • Propane tank level gauge indicates remaining fuel level
  • Door design traps heat while adding more wood chips
  • Internal temperature sensor helps maintain temperature of smoker
  • ThermoTemp design is intended for a ‘set-and-forget’ smoking style

Pros

  • Safe and secure design
  • Straightforward assembly  
  • Glass door helps you watch cooking process
  • Wheels make for easy transporting and storing
  • User friendly and tons of room within the 3-racks

Cons

  • Can be harder to maintain temperature under windy conditions
  • Racks slide into grooves on smoker rather than on the smoker itself - which can burdensome because they’re not securely anchored  

Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, the Masterbuilt 20050716 ThermoTemp Propane Smoker is definitely a top of the line model.

There’s no doubt that this is loaded with features and users don’t have enough good things to say about it.

The built-in ThermoTemp design is innovative and helps control the temperature of the smoker, so you can focus on other aspects of your meal.

The ‘set-and-forget’ design is a huge plus for all users while the glass dual-door provides critical functionality and versatility.

Conclusion

In the end, all of these smokers come with their individual, unique style and offer buyers a plethora of features. When it comes to buying a new smoker, it’s best to evaluate your needs and focus on functionality, your experience level, and your budget.

We hope this review of the best propane smokers has contributed toward your next purchase and gets you that much closer to enjoying those prized, deliciously smoked meats.

If there was something specific that stood out to you within this article, be sure to drop a comment below and let us know! We love hearing from our readers and can’t wait to hear about which smoker you chose. Happy smoking!

Leave a Comment