Gas smokers, which use your everyday propane tanks for fuel, are a common choice for beginners. They aren’t overly complex and don’t require constant attention. Additionally, a typical propane smoker can hold a lot of food relative to its small footprint.
In this guide, not only will we go over the best propane smoker for every preference, but we’ll also offer up some helpful information and advice on what to consider when you begin comparison shopping.
So let’s get started so you can get smoking!
Propane Smoker Comparison Table
Best Propane Smoker Quick Summary (If You're in a Hurry...)
- Our choice for the best propane smoker on the market is Smoke Hollow’s PS4415, which is equipped with dual burners and a huge amount of cooking space. It also provides versatility with its included jerky grids and rib rack.
- Cuisinart’s COS244 vertical propane smoker, which is equipped with four shelves, is the ideal choice for you if you want all the benefits of a full-size smoker without sacrificing as much space as you would with the larger footprints of similar models.
- Similar to the Cuisinart model above, Masterbuilt’s MPS 230S also offers four racks in a relatively narrow, tall design.
- For those of you who are ready to take your gas smoking game up to the next level, the Masterbuilt MPS 340G includes special ThermoTemp technology to maintain your desired temperature.
- If you want a smoker you can take anywhere, Masterbuilt’s Patio-2-Portable gives you the freedom to roam with its compact, lightweight design.
Top 5 Propane Smokers - Individual Reviews
Here are the in-depth reviews of our top five best propane smokers:
1. Smoke Hollow PS4415 Propane Smoker Review
Smoke Hollow’s PS4415 claims our top spot because of its large capacity and variety of convenient features. Let’s start with size – this model is 5′ tall and almost 100 pounds. Inside the cooking chamber are 5 different racks: 2 standard grids, 2 jerky grids, and one rib rack. The rib rack allows you to place ribs on their side to save space. The jerky racks simply have smaller grids, so they work for any food that might fall through larger gaps.
You know you’ll be able to fit a ton of food, but what about power? Luckily, the PS4415 comes with two stainless steel burners, both of which are 11,000 BTU. Additionally, they are independently controlled so you can precisely adjust your temperatures however you wish. There are also two wood chip trays, one for each burner. The heat and smoke exit through the chimney on top, which has adjustable drag control.
For convenience, the door has a window that allows you to see the food on every rack. This door also has a built-in thermometer gauge, but it’s always a good idea to have a multiple-probe smoking thermometer to find hot spots in your smoker (and to monitor your meat’s internal temperature).
2. Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36" Propane Smoker Review
Cuisinart’s COS-244 offers a nice middle ground in terms of size. It’s designed to have a small footprint, but it still manages an impressive 5.45 cubic feet of interior cooking space. Inside are four stainless steel shelves that you can remove to accommodate larger cuts of meat or even whole birds.
This model has just one burner, but note that there are two ways to control the temperature. First, you can adjust the gas supply. Second, there is a rear vent that can be opened or closed. The door has a twist-lock to ensure that it stays tightly sealed.
While there is a temperature gauge on the front, some complain that it is inaccurate. Sometimes, however, it’s less a matter of accuracy and more a problem of placement. A thermometer can only be put in one place, but obviously temperatures will vary throughout the smoker. That’s why every great pitmaster learns the “hot spots” on their smokers.
This smoker comes with a steel tray that holds both wood chips and water. This makes cleaning up super easy!
3. Masterbuilt MB20052318 MPS 230S Propane Smoker Review
Masterbuilt is a well-known name in BBQ, particularly for manufacturing some of the best electric smokers. They also make a variety of propane smokers, and this MPS 230S model is the first of three Masterbuilt smokers on our list.
This entry-level gas smoker is quite similar to the Cuisinart COS-244 above, in terms of overall size, weight, and design. It weighs in at 56 pounds and has four racks for food. The 15,400 BTU burner provides the power needed for consistent cooking temps, and it lights up with a push-button ignition. It has a patented “flame disk bowl” that both protects the burner from grease drippings and also holds wood chips.
If you want a quality gas smoker from a highly reputable manufacturer that will get you started with the world of smoking meats, you should absolutely consider this one. If, however, you’re ready for something a bit more advanced, be sure to check out Masterbuilt’s MPS 340G below.
4. Masterbuilt MB20051316 MPS 340G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker Review
The Masterbuilt MPS 340G is a high-end model with some unique technology. A lot of gas smokers require you to adjust the flow of propane based on the temperature, which can become even more complicated with an inaccurate built-in gauge. This Masterbuilt ThermoTemp model, on the other hand, takes care of regulating propane flow for you. All you have to do is select the temperature that you want.
Another great feature offered by this Masterbuilt smoker is its dual-door design. By including a second, separate door below the main door, Masterbuilt has made it easy to introduce new wood chips to the smoker without losing any heat from the main compartment. Speaking of which, the main cooking area comes with four chrome-coated racks.
Also, there is a sliding air damper on the back of this smoker, which allows you to either trap smoke and moisture, or let them escape. For example, if you want a dry environment for making jerky, you would want to open up the damper and let the moisture escape.
The 340G also has one nice safety feature worth mentioning: if your smoker’s flame goes out, the shut-off valve will turn the propane off for you.
5. Masterbuilt MB20050116 MPS 20B Patio-2-Portable Propane Smoker Review
The Masterbuilt Patio-2-Portable propane smoker is an excellent option for anyone who lacks space for a full-sized smoker, and especially for those who want to have a smoker when they’re away from home.
Weighing under 25 pounds, this smoker also has fold-up legs and a supremely compact design that make transporting it from place-to-place a simple process. Despite its compact design, there’s still plenty of room to smoke all your favorite meats. The two racks provide enough room for two pork butts or even one whole turkey, and the 5,000 BTU burner is more than enough for heating the relatively small area.
If there is a downside to this outstanding mini-smoker, it’s that it lacks some of the user-friendly features and functionality of larger models. However, this does simplify the smoking process – just use the push-button ignition to get started, monitor the cooking temperature with the built-in thermometer, and adjust the temperature accordingly.
What to Consider Before Buying a Gas Smoker
Now that you have some idea of the best propane smokers on the market right now, we thought it would be a good idea to give you a few general guidelines to help you as you begin comparison shopping.
Ease of Assembly
One of the most annoying things about purchasing a new, large product is that these kinds of items almost always require some level of assembly. And, frankly, no matter how handy you are, assembling consumer products can be a real chore.
So you should take into account the ease or difficulty of assembly when considering your options. It certainly shouldn’t be your primary deciding factor, but it does matter.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Nobody likes to clean up, but somebody has to do it. Some propane smokers are easier than others to maintain cleanliness. If you’re someone that doesn’t like to get your hands dirty, be sure to get a gas smoker that’s relatively easy to clean and maintain.
Or, you can always make your kids do it!
Portability - Do You Plan to Travel With It?
It might seem silly at first, but a lot of people do like to take their smokers with them to various destinations. Whether it’s camping or a public park, or even just a friend’s house, it can be nice to have the option to take your smoker with you and spread the joys of delicious smoked meats wherever you go!
So, if you see yourself as something of a traveling pit-master, you’ll want to consider how portable each smoker is. While none of them are going to be feather-light and super easy to tote around, some are less cumbersome than others.
This point is critical. Before you go out and get a brand new propane smoker, you need to decide what kinds of meats you’ll be cooking with it. If you are planning on smoking large, whole birds or briskets for lots of guests, you’re going to need a smoker with a larger interior.
However, if you don’t see yourself hosting big events with your smoker, save yourself some space and get a more compact model. And don’t be concerned that smaller models have lower BTU burners – less power is required to heat those compact spaces.
Versatility and Extra Features
Be sure to check if each smoker you consider has any other tricks up its sleeve. Some smokers are quite versatile. For instance, Smoke Hollow’s PS4415 comes with racks specifically for jerky and ribs, and Masterbuilt’s MPS 20B has folding legs to make it more portable. Other options feature a grill-smoker combination, allowing you to cook over an open flame as well as smoke your meats as usual.
Extra features are always a great plus when considering different products, and this is especially the case with gas smokers. Be sure to do your research, and you might find some hidden gems in terms of added functionality or ease-of-use.
Your best bet is to purchase a smoker that is at least relatively ubiquitous. Why? If something goes wrong, you don’t want to run into the issue of not being able to find replacement parts.
It’s the classic problem of foreign-made cars. It’s not a great investment if you can’t get the parts to fix it when something breaks down. That’s why it’s a better idea to purchase a propane smoker that has a wider distribution. This will ensure you’ll be able to find the parts you need should anything go out of whack with your smoker.
To Sum Up
There are a lot of capable propane smokers available, but we feel comfortable naming Smoke Hollow’s PS4415 the best gas smoker on the market. Why? Unlike typical propane smokers, it has dual burners, and it also comes with unique racks that make it more versatile. It’s a do-it-all smoker, but it’s not overly advanced or complicated to use.
If you’ve got questions about these smokers or want to share anything at all, please leave a comment below!