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Best Propane Smokers

Updated April 2022
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Best of the Best
MasterBuilt Propane Smoker
Propane Smoker
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Thermostat Control
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A large, well-built propane smoker that allows you to set and maintain a specific temperature.


The sensor inside this unit controls the burners so the chef can maintain a fairly stable cooking temperature. A safety valve shuts off burner if the flame extinguishes. The fuel gauge indicates how much propane is left in the tank.


Be sure to read all of the instructions as there are details in there that ensure proper functionality of your smoker.

Best Bang for the Buck
Cuisinart Vertical 36" Propane Smoker
Vertical 36" Propane Smoker
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Best for Beginners
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A good basic propane smoker that allows you to smoke your meat with less hassle.


Water/wood tray has its own door. Easy instructions make it easy to use. Turns out tasty meat. Works with wood chips. Compact design doesn't take up a lot of room on your deck or patio. Holds a lot of meat.


The assembly of this smoker takes a long time and may need some tweaks.

Camp Chef 24" Smoke Vault
Camp Chef
24" Smoke Vault
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Most Stylish
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A large and smartly designed smoker that doubles as a conversation starter because it resembles a bank vault.


This sizable model has two cooking grids along with a jerky rack. The three adjustable dampers help you control the temperature, which you can monitor using the easy-to-read door thermometer. The matchless snap-ignition is appreciated.


This model tends to pick up some dings during transit. Inspect upon receipt.

Dyna-Glo 36" Vertical Propane Smoker
36" Vertical Propane Smoker
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Simple Yet Solid
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A straightforward and affordable cast iron propane smoker that is also impressively roomy.


The 4 adjustable steel wire racks give this compact model versatility. It has a 2-door design which helps reduce heat loss. The push-button ignition makes it easy to start and the 15,000 BTU burner delivers consistent heat.


A few users have noted that the smoke tends to leak out from around the doors.

Dyna-Glo DGW1904BDP-D 43" Wide Body LP Gas Smoker
DGW1904BDP-D 43" Wide Body LP Gas Smoker
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Large Capacity
Bottom Line

A massive smoker with the power to feed an army and then some.


Features 6 adjustable cooking grates that are easy to remove. The 20,000 BTUs and sealed double-door design ensure constant temperatures. Powder-coated steel box can stand up to the elements for years. Electro-pulse ignition system for quick, reliable starting.


Unit is large and heavy and can be difficult to assemble.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best propane smokers

Out of all the cooking techniques in the world, it’s hard to find one more satisfying and delicious than smoking. Typically done “low and slow” over long periods of time, smoking gently cooks food while imparting rich and unique flavor profiles that simply can’t be replicated by other methods. It might require time and effort, but when smoking’s done right, it’s mouth-wateringly worth it. While there are several different types of smokers on the market, for our money, you can’t beat a propane smoker.

Propane smokers use gas burners to smoke chunks of wood or charcoal, which then cook and flavor meat, vegetables, cheese, and even salt over the course of several hours. The ideal choice for aspiring pitmasters who want consistency without the hassle of traditional wood and charcoal smokers, propane smokers offer the perfect balance of convenience and taste, and one is a great fit if you’re cooking for a crowd.

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The water pan sits over a smoker’s heat source and distributes indirect, stable heat throughout the oven. It also adds moisture and taste to your food, helping the smoky flavor stick to the meat. For added punch, fill the pan with cider or beer.

Key considerations

A typical propane smoker features a propane burner inside a steel oven with cooking grates, a drip pan, a water pan, and smoking chip tray. Here’s are the basic elements to keep in mind when shopping.

Key considerations

A typical propane smoker features a propane burner inside a steel oven with cooking grates, a drip pan, a water pan, and smoking chip tray. Here’s are the basic elements to keep in mind when shopping.


Propane smokers are constantly exposed to heat, smoke, and weather, which makes the materials used in their construction a vital consideration. Steel is an extremely durable metal, and it’s a sign of quality in oven boxes, cooking grates, water trays, and wood chip trays. A powder-coated exterior is a plus in terms of standing up to abuse, as is a multi-layered oven for superior insulation.

Door design

Consistent heat is extremely important when cooking with any kind of smoker, and with single-door models, heat and smoke will escape any time you need to add wood chips or water or check up on your next meal. That makes a two-door model, or a model with separate drawers for wood and water, extremely practical because it provides better temperature control. In addition, an adjustable latch is key to a proper door seal.


How many people do you typically cook for? If it’s a family of three, you likely don’t need a propane smoker with six cubic feet of interior space, but you might if you’re feeding large groups or hosting events. A smoker that size is large enough to handle a full bird along with supplemental racks for veggies and other meats, so shop accordingly. Keep in mind that smaller units generally come with smaller water pans and wood chip boxes, and the 18-inch, 30-inch, and 40-inch measurements you see in product listings refer to the width of the oven.


British thermal units are a measure of energy, and when it comes to smokers and grills, they measure the heat output of a burner. Put simply, the more BTUs a smoker has, the more heat its burner is able to produce. More BTUs are generally better, but a high number isn’t always necessary. If you’re more interested in cold smoking, for instance, there’s no need to overspend for heating power you won’t use. For quality propane smokers, expect to find BTU ratings between 10,000 and 20,000, keeping in mind that smaller boxes don’t require as much energy to heat.

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Expert Tip
Select propane smokers can be converted to natural gas, however, it’s not as simple as plugging in a new tank. You’ll need an adapter, a few tools, and about 15 minutes of work to make the conversion.

Propane smoker features

With the basic considerations out of the way, let’s cover some additional features that allow you to adjust your recipes quickly and easily.

Temperature controls

With accurate temperature readings, you can tweak the heat level inside your smoker to guarantee perfect results. Units with vents, damper valves, and adjustable gas supplies help you fine-tune temperatures to perfection. Considering how crucial temperature management is to smoking, you’d be surprised by how many propane smokers don’t include one from the factory. Worse yet, some do include thermometers that fail to display accurate readings. Always seek out propane smokers with integrated thermometers, and peruse user reviews to gauge their reliability. It never hurts to have an external thermometer on hand, however.

One-touch ignition

Fumbling with lighters and matches is outdated and unnecessary, particularly when one-touch ignition exists. For added convenience, look for propane smokers with push-button or rotary ignition.

Dedicated racks

A smoker’s main cooking racks are literally the heavy lifters of the whole operation. These are where you’ll put whole turkeys, racks of ribs, beef shoulders, and the like on barbeque day, but select models feature dedicated racks and hangers for smaller items. If you’re interested in smoking sausage, jerky, vegetables, and other small or oddly shaped items, seek out propane smokers with purpose-built areas for these foods.

"For beef, pork, veal, ham, and fish, cook until the internal temperature has reached 145°F (62.8°C). Heat poultry to 165°F (73.9°C)."

Propane smoker prices

Propane smokers come in a variety of sizes and with a plethora of add-ons that affect the price.


You can find entry-level propane smokers for as little as $100, but don’t expect to find a barbeque solution capable of feeding large groups. You’ll typically find small units in this price range equipping one or two smoking racks, a 5,000 BTU burner (more or less), and relatively thin walls and legs. Small smokers like this are extremely portable, though, and that makes them perfect for cookouts.


The smokers in the $150 to $200 range are notable for larger cooking areas, more powerful burners, and additional convenience features like one-touch ignition, damping valves, and two-door layouts.


If you pay $250 or more for your propane smoker, you’ll enjoy cavernous oven boxes capable of feeding large groups. You’ll find first-rate construction materials, sophisticated temperature controls, dual-door designs, and seriously powerful burners.

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Smokers use all kinds of wood – hickory, maple, and oak being the most common – with some sold in prepackaged bags with added flavoring. Not all wood is suitable, though. Never use treated lumber or plywood because they can harbor harmful chemicals.


  • Keep the door closed. This is the golden rule of smoking. While it’s very tempting to peek at your food during cooking, doing so allows heat and flavor to escape. If you’re the curious type, seek out a smoker with a tempered glass window for easy monitoring.
  • Add more flavor. More flavor is always better. Along with marinating and dry-rubbing your food, soak the wood chips in spiced water, a vinegar mixture, or cider for more of a bite.
  • Let the smoked food sit for a few minutes before serving. When the meat is done, resist the urge to cut and serve it immediately. As it cooks, moisture moves outward toward the surface of the meat. Cutting the meat before it rests results in that moisture spilling out, which can leave your food dry and bland.
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Like your meal, your smoker needs to be prepped. Preheat the oven for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. Not only does this create a suitable, even cooking environment but it also disinfects the interior.


Q. Why should I choose a propane smoker over wood, charcoal, or electric models?

A. Charcoal and wood smokers provide excellent flavor, but they’re harder to use and have a steeper learning curve. Electric smokers are easy to use by contrast, but they don’t generate the same taste. Propane smokers split the difference by offering intuitive cooking, consistent heat, and outstanding results.

Q. How long do propane tanks last?

A. Propane mileage varies by manufacturer, ambient temperatures, and cooking temperatures, but here are some key figures to remember. A standard-size propane tank contains about 4.8 pounds of fuel, with the tank itself weighing around 17 pounds. To estimate your usage, weigh the tank before cooking, weigh it after cooking, and divide the weight difference by the number of cooking hours. With some basic math, you’ll know approximately how many pounds of propane you use per hour in those conditions.

Q. What’s the difference between cold and hot smoking?

A. As its name implies, cold smoking involves much lower temperatures than hot smoking, and generally lies between 90°F and 120°F (32.2°C to 48.8°C). Cold smoking is more about flavoring than cooking and is commonly used for fish, jerky, cheese, salt, and cured meats. Hot smoking, on the other hand, lies between 165°F and 300°F (73.8°C to 148.8°C) and results in the liquidization of fat. 

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