If you don’t want to spend a whole day watching a fixed temperature as well as the whole smoking process then you need consider buying a gas smoker.
Smoking doesn’t have to be complicated if you have proper equipment, of course the meat still requires many hours. However gas smoker is more convenient and easier to use as well as allows to save a lot of time.
Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or not, I encourage you to read the whole article. This is a much less popular type of smoker, so I can understand that choosing a new one might be a difficult task.
I have selected the best gas smokers out of many available on the market to help you pick the option that will meet your needs.
The Best Gas Smokers: Top Picks
Smoke Hollow 38-Inch offers 3.4 Cubic Feet of cooking capacity which is a pretty decent result, together with four chromed stands.
It only comes with one burner, but it’s a very strong one. Can achieve a high temperature of about 400 degrees in less than 10 minutes when the weather conditions are right.
Of course smoking usually requires 225-275 F but the ability of Smoke Hollow to reach high temperatures in such short amount of time only shows the power of the burner and that it can handle even unfavorable weather conditions (low temperature and cold wind).
If you need more space then check out the bigger version, which comes with two burners.
The entire construction is divided into two parts, the first is the place for food whereas the second contains a huge wood chips container, a water container and the burner. Both parts have separate doors which means you can easily refill the wood chips container when smoking without having to open the upper part.
When it comes to the quality of the entire construction, it is fairly good considering the price but don’t expect miracles here.
When it comes to the downsides, on the other hand, you should certainly expect smoke leakage through the front door. I recommend placing a gasket on the upper door which improves the situation a lot, but doesn’t eliminate it 100% as a gas smoker cannot be 100% airtight.
Proper and safe burning of propane requires enough oxygen which is why a gasket cannot be placed on the lower door where the burner is located.
What I Like:
- Separate doors for food and fuel
- Decent quality for the money
What I Don’t Like
- Only one burner
- Little smoke leak
The version I’m talking about is 30 inch, which contrary to a popular belief gives enough space for smoking, it offers a total of 717 square inches of cooking area on four racks.
Masterbuilt 30, just like Smoke Hollow, also comes with a two-part construction, which makes it possible to conveniently refill the wood chips while only opening the lower door when smoking.
On top of being a very good propane smoker available for an affordable price, the best advantage of Masterbuilt smokers is probably their community.
Not many manufacturers have such a big group of people focused around their products. It is great news for beginners as thanks to this huge community you can expect help in pretty much every situation. You can find a lot of different guides online, including in video form.
The biggest downside to me in this model is the wood chip tray, which is very poorly designed as it can get the wood on fire, which shouldn’t happen.
Masterbuilt 30″ is a great gas smoker for the money that comes with a few, small downsides.
What I Like:
- Separate doors for wood chips
- Big community
- Stable temperature
What I Don’t Like
- No wheels
- Poor quality of wood chip tray
The manufacturer of Camp Chef is well known among people who love BBQ.
It is famous for many great products, in this case the Camp Chef Smoke Vault 18, which is a gas smoker that is great for beginners and those with a limited budget.
The smoke vault model comes with everything that’s necessary at an affordable price.
It doesn’t come with wheels which means that mobility is not its strong side, although such a small construction isn’t that heavy (63.5 lbs) which shouldn’t be a problem for two people to carry.
Unlike my two earlier suggestions, the Smoke Vault model only comes with one door without dividing the whole construction into two. Right behind it you will find the burner, right above it a wood chips tray, and then a huge water container.
In the cooking part you will find two adjustable racks and one smoking jerky rack. You can configure it any way you want, creating a perfect smoking space.
The entire smoker has as many as three air vents, two on the sides and one on the very top.
During my tests, the smoke vault 18 model did pretty well when it comes to maintaining temperature, speed and results of smoking.
What I Like:
- Good quality
- Great at maintaining temperature
- Compact design and lower fuel consumption
What I Don’t Like
- No separate doors for fuel and food
The not very big construction of the smoker has its upsides, mostly the much lower fuel consumption and ease of maintaining stable temperatures. I’d like to remind that those who need more space can get the bigger model, Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24″.
What to Look for in Your new Gas Smoker
Size – Think about how much meat you usually smoke and how, a smaller smoker doesn’t make it possible to smoke things like whole ribs, they have to be cut in half. When choosing a bigger model, consider the fact that the bigger a gas smoker the more fuel it will consume (especially when it has more burners).
Price – Compare models at similar prices and pay attention to whether they offer a similar quality and features. In many cases a high price is actually caused by popularity of a particular brand, which is something you should pay attention to.
Mobility – You want to have a comfortable smoker that doesn’t take much space and is easy to move around? Search for much smaller models that were designed with mobility in mind.
Advantages of the gas smoker:
- Easy to use – First and foremost, it is one of the easiest to use types of smokers. All you have to do is plug in a propane tank and start the burner, then adjust its power in order to reach a specific fixed temperature.
- Set & Forget style – When it comes to certain cheaper models, you have to make sure for yourself if your smoker can maintain a stable temperature. In most cases all you have to do is set the burner knob accordingly and, depending on the weather conditions, you won’t have to worry anymore about temperature control throughout the entire smoking process.
- Speed – A huge advantage of gas smokers is also the speed, from the moment of starting them it only takes about a dozen minutes before you can start smoking.
- Clean – Another great news is the fact that you won’t get your hands messy while doing that, all you have to do is start the burner and you’re done.
- Decent flavor – If I were to compare the results of smoking to an electric smoker for example, then in that case a propane smoker looks much better here. In my view, the flavor of food from a gas smoker doesn’t actually differ that much from a charcoal smoker.
Drawbacks of the gas smoker:
- Lack of fuel – Propane from a tank sadly runs out which makes it necessary to have a second spare tank lying around. It is especially important when it comes to smoking, which usually takes many hours and it would be very awkward to find an empty tank halfway through smoking without any full one around.