Best Propane & Natural Gas Smokers (Jan. 2018) – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews


You know that feeling, it’s a summer evening and that gentle waft of BBQ passes by. All of a sudden it’s all you can think about and you wonder BBQ for dinner? 

Well anyone can master a gas smoker to produce those delicious smells. Both the prohopane gas smoker or natural gas smoker can produce tender and succulent meat and vegetables. These authentic flavours can be achieved in just a few hours.

Cooking with gas is similar to electric smokers. Most products are push start ignition, therefore it’s a set and forget, style of cooking. This type of smokers is perfect for someone who doesn’t want to the hassle of spending all day tending to coals or adding pellets.. 

Propane smokers are also very pomrtable, so it’s possible to cook up your favourite meals out on a camping trip or just around at a neighbour’s place.

Top Gas Smokers for 2018

Gas Smoker Model




Weight

Colour



Masterbuilt 20051311



 

43.5 x 21.4 21.1 inches

58.3 lbs

Black

Char-Broil The Big  Easy

 

23.4 x 23.1 x 36.2 inches

62 lbs

Black 

Smoke Hollow Smoker Pro Series

 

33 x 24.5 x 60 inches

112 lbs

Black/ Grey

Chef Smoke Vault 24

17 x 25 x 30.5 inches

74.6 lbs

Black/ Grey

Our Top 3 Propane Smokers 

Masterbuilt 20051311 

Smoke Hollow Smoke Pro

           Masterbuilt 20050116 Portable Gas Smoker

Our Top 3 Natural Gas Smokers 

Chef Smoke Vault 24

Char Broil Big Easy

 Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP

 

Need Help Picking A Gas Smoker?

You might have noticed that there are a lot of smoker and BBQ sites out there on the web. Each will claim to give you most accurate information. However,  I have personally used all the gas smokers I have recommended below.

I want to give you all the most informative and in-depth reviews from first- hand experience to ensure you are cooking and eating the highest quality BBQ

 


Masterbuilt 20051311

The  Masterbuilt Propane Smoker 20051311 is one of the top rated gas smokers on the market and amongst our favourite. Find out why the smoking community seem to favour the Masterbuilt.

Very Generous Capacity

The Masterbuilt gas smoker has a very generous capacity comes with a total of 717 square inches of smoking space as well as 4 chrome racks. This large smoker allows you to load it up with large or long cuts of meats. This is perfect when we have a crowd of around 10 -20 to feed.

Perfect For Beginners & Long Time Smokers

This gas smoker is a fantastic buy for any first-time smoker. However,  it’s not just for beginners, many long-time enthusiasts favour the Masterbuilt. This is due to its quality built and user-friendly interface. To start it up, it just an easy push-button igniter.

Top Quality Build

This gas smoker comes with a firm locking door with particularly tight seams and an inner liner, all of which serve to hold more warmth and smoke, its capacity to hold a temperature; the quality of its temperature gauge; and, most importantly, the excellent smoked meats it produces.

This is an inexpensive, but high-quality smoker that has a large cavity is well-constructed and even has some nice details that are often missing in some of the more expensive models. Due to its size, the Masterbuilt is also a portable Masterbuilt 20051311propane smoker 

Masterbuilt 20051311 Pros

  • It’s an affordable unit to both buy and maintain.
  • Small and compact, yet spacious enough to smoke food for large group of people
  • Temperature probe allows for accurate cooking.
  • The electronic push button igniter makes its a breeze to get going.

Masterbuilt 20051311 Cons

We didn’t find any negative other than the cover didn’t quite fit over it.

 


Smoke Hollow Smoker Pro Series

The Smoke Hollow Pro Series LP Gas Smoker 44” is what we consider a  premium gas smoker with all the features you need to create the best smokey flavours. This smoker is actually very similar to the Smoke Hollow 44241G2, however,  the Smoke Hollow 44 pro series has a letter W in the end, which stands for a window located on the door of the smoker. Having this window is a game changer and what elevated this smoker to our best gas smokers of 2018 list. Find out what else helped it to the top of this list below.

Huge Cooking Space

With just over 6 cubic feet of cooking space in this gas smoker, enough room for 5 racks. You will be able to cook enough in this smoker to feed over 15 people. It is our go to if we are cooking for a big event.  It has 2 standard grids, 2 jerky style grids, 1 grid for ribs and one hanger for sausages.

Strong and Sturdy Doors

We have found some other smokers leak smoke. One of the best features of the Smoke Hollow Pro tightly latching doors which don’t allow anything to escape.

Dual Burners

The Smoke Hollow Pro has two 12 000 BTU burners which can be operated independently for optimum performance and temperature control. Having the two burners allow the ability to cook different cuts of meat to perfection.

Good Strong Handles

We found that some smokers have flimsy handles. Not this one, the strong handles on both sides of the smoker allowed me and my buddies to move it about the backyard before a cookout. Smoke Hollow Smoker Pro Series 11

Smoke Hollow Smoker Pros Series Pros

  • Large window for keeping an eye on your progress
  • 6 cubic feet of cooking space
  • Comes with 2 standard cooking grids and 2 jerky grids, sausage hooks and 1 grid for ribs.
  • The external wood chips allowed us to load without a loss of temperature

Smoke Hollow Smoker Pros Series Cons

  • Temperature knobs
    Only takes wood chips not chunks 


Chef Smoke Vault 24

The Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 is one of the best natural gas smokers on the market. It comes in two sizes the 18 inches and 24 inches, this will focus on the Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 inch. Chef-Smoke-Vault-24

The Smoke Vault 24 is a vertical smoker with a vast temperature range from 150 to 500 degrees, which makes it much more so it is much more versatile than many gas smokers on the market.  The combination of affordability and simplicity to operate convinced us to name this one of the best gas smokers available. Not only that is we love that it can be converted to become a natural gas smoker

Huge Cooking Space

The cooking space is 903 square inches. We found that us is enough room for around 35 steaks or  4-5 slabs of ribs lay flat out on the racks. Which in our eyes make this a cooker able to feed the masses!

Convertible to Natural Gas Smoker

You are also able to convert this smoker to natural gas. This is one of our favourite features, having the ability to not have to worry about propane tanks and running out half way through a cook is so refreshing! It also is so much cheaper to use natural gas instead of propane and better for the environment.

Versatile Door Set Up

The Smoke Vault has a refrigerator type door which allows it to be not only a smoker but an oven as well. We were able to smoke ribs as well as cook a pizza. The pizza surprisingly came out delcicous, it had a crispy bottom and perfectly melted cheese, we were absolutely shocked too!

Easy Assembly

The Camp Chef Smoke Vault is known for it easy assembly. You can see this in the Smoke Vault as is built very sturdy and well made all the parts fit together tightly.

 


Camp Chef Smoke Vault Pros

  • The door thermometer is large and easy to read from 50 to 550 degrees
  • The Camp Chef has a push button ignition to light
  • Camp Chef Smokers wood pan can hold enough wood for two hours
  • Can easily fit a whole Turkey
  • Can be converted to a natural gas smoker

Camp Chef Smoke Vault Cons

The Camp Chef has some weight behind it, don’t expect to be lifting it by yourself

Who Are Gas Smokers For?

Some of us want to enjoy those succulent smoky flavours without labouring over a smoker or grill for a whole day. Sometimes you happen to get distracted, need to run off to the supermarket or kids need some help only to return to your smoker to find a charred BBQ.  It has happened to me MANY times! You must wonder if there is a better way?

Well my follow BBQ eating enthusiast, the gas smoker is one of my favourites as it offers the set it and forget it feature. All you have to do is insert your wood chips (if your brand requires them) set your temperature and timers, put in your food and let the smoker get to work.

The following will help you decide whether a gas smoker is for you;

You Enjoy That Smoky Flavour

If you’re after the most authentic smoky wood flavours in your own backyard then a gas
smoker is the way to go. Gas smoker includes a tray for your wood chips. This
allow you to insert flavoured wood of your choice.

The “Set It and Forget It” Feature Really Appeal To You

If you want a smoker allows you to set up the smoker and come back hours later to a delicious meal, a gas smoker is for you.With the best gas smokers, little tending or maintenance is required. All you have to do is set your desired temperature and timer, load up with meat and vegetables and the smoker will take care of it.

You Don’t Enjoy Hours Tending to The BBQ

One of the advantages to having the best gas smoker is your meat will not take long to cook. We have found that during a cookout with the best gas smoker will not take more than a few hours, however, if your cooking brisket this could be another story.

 

What Factors Should You Consider When Buying A Gas Smoker?

Now you are convinced that you can’t cook another meal with a gas smoker the next step is determining which one you want. You will find that some cheaper gas smokers will have features that some of the best gas smokers don’t and vice versa. It is very important to understand what you want when you are browsing.

Ease of Use

You may want to look for a smoker with Separate doors for the lower part of the cooking cabinet and the cooking chamber. This  enables you to easily check on the flame or replenish water or smoking fuel without losing smoke or heat. This can ensure smoking your food is a much easier process

Size

Make sure you assess whether you routinely cook for crowds just a few. Buying a smoking gas smoker means it will be easily transportable. You should pick a smoker that can easily accommodate all the food you want to smoke.

Price

If you are a home chef then a mid-range gas smoker might be ideal for you. Good quality mid range gas smokers start at around $150. Investing in a good quality product will ensure your smoker produces enough smoke but also lasts you many years.

Construction

Assess the quality of construction, as smokers in the lower price ranges are often thin and flimsy. You will find that the materials in which your smoker is produced will have a major impact on the level of quality of your smoker. Try to purchase a smoker that is made from thick steel and is properly insulated. If the smoker you choose is made from thin metal, it will lose heat.


What is a Natural Gas Smoker?

There is some confusion around the natural gas smoker, basically, the fuel source is supplied by a utility company. The natural gas is then directly piped to your house. Natural gas as a fuel option is becoming more commonplace as consumers learn of the benefits of outdoor cooking with it.

Pros and Cons Of Natural Gas

Natural Gas Smoker Pros

Natural gas is automatically provided, no need to worry if your gas bottle will run out. Natural gas burns cleaner than propane does. This means there is less chance of affecting the fuel affecting the taste of your food.

Natural gas is much cheaper than propane (LPG). It has been found to be typically 1/6 of the price of propane (LPG).

 

Natural Gas Barbecue Cons

You will need an accredited gas professional to install a natural gas smoker/ BBQ.

You may need to pay to be connected to the gas mains

You will not be able to change the position of the smoker to another location in your backyard.

Energy Content of Natural Gas

One cubic foot of propane gas has the same energy content as two cubic feet of natural gas. And you find that it still costs more to use propane. This difference in energy is also the main reason that a propane smoker or grill can’t be hooked up directly to a natural gas line. Converting A Propane Smoker or Grill

 It is possible to convert a propane smoker or grill and some manufacturers provide modification kits for LPG to NG. If you’re interested we recommend you contact your manufacturer to see if a conversion is available.

Our Other Favourite Gas Smokers

 

Chef Camp Smoker 18 Inch

The gas smoker is a relatively inexpensive however its loads of value for its price. You can also convert The Camp Chef to a natural gas smoker, which makes using it even cheaper (natural gas costs way less).

We found that this smoker is capable of producing temperatures up to 400°, this smoker can accommodate everything from chicken, to ribs, to turkey, and more.

When you buy this smoker you also get with a book of tips, ideas, and recipes, this cooker has everything needed to get the smoking novice off to a great start. We recommend the 18-inch because you get a product that’s functional, consistent, and reliable.

Can Convert to Natural Gas
You are able to swap between having a natural gas smoker and having a decent portable smoker to take on your camping trip

Holds Temperatures Well
Once we got to our desired temperature with this smoker, it maintained that temperature without any additional manoeuvring.

Easy to Read Door Thermometer
The built-in thermometer has a great wide range from 50 to 550 degrees to encompass even the hottest conditions as well as monitoring the ascent from a cool Fall day to cooking time.

Convenient Push to Start
You don’t need a lighter or any prior knowledge of smokers to get this one going. All you need is to know how to operate your kitchen stove, similar to that push and turn just like for the burners in your kitchen. Once you have ignition, adjust to the desired


Camp Chef Smoke Vault Pros

Easy to clean up, everything is removable which is handy for cleaning.
Built using quality construction materials and techniques
Lightweight, yet sturdy. Easy to move about however your not going to put your back out
Easy Conversion to Natural Gas

Camp Chef Smoke Vault Cons
Additional Assembly Required
Some reports of accurate readings from thermostat

Smoke Hollow 44241G2 Vertical LP Gas Smoker

The Smoke Hollow 44241G2 Vertical LP Gas Smoker is one known as one of the best gas smokers in the industry. It is also made by one of the most trusted brands. We believe Smoke Hollow is one of the best brands to go for if you’re looking for quality and reliability.

Smoke Hollow have said this is the largest gas smoker they have manufactured. It has some serious cooking space. You might notice 44241G2 is similar to the Smoke Hollow 44 Pro Series we included in our best smokers of 2018 list above.

The Smoke Hollow 44 pro series LP gas smoker has a letter W in the end, which stands for a window located on the door of the smoker. The last number on the Smoke Hollow 44241G2 is two, which stands for the number of doors that smoker has. It is a dual door smoker, doors are located one above the other.

Key Features of Smoke Hollow 44241G2

Huge Cooking Space
6 cubic feet of capacity, can easily handle enough food for large gatherings. This includes Five Chrome Plated Steel Grates. 2 Standard Grids, 2 Jerky Style Grids, 1 Rib Rack and 1 Sausage Hanger.

Powder Coated Sheet Steel Construction
Its powder coated steel sheet metal construction makes it durable and strong. It can withstand rough weather and extreme temperature as well.

Has Two 12,000 BTU Stainless Steel Burners
The 44241G2 comes with fuel-efficient dual and independently controlled 12,000 BTU inline stainless steel burners. The heating unit works brilliantly. It’s a larger ash-free combustion system and much stable, reliable heat sources than other gas smokers in the market.

Can Get to Temperature Quickly
Due to the fact that this gas smoker has two burners, it can quickly get up to temperature.

Smoke Hollow 44241G2 Pros

Huge cooking area
Assembly is pretty simple
Maintains the moisture in food and cooks evenly
Double-door mechanism to prevent heat loss.
Durable steel built
Double tray for wood chips to ensure delicious flavouring.
Intelligent temperature controlling, doesn’t fluctuate even when fully loaded.

Smoke Hollow 44241G2 Cons

You might need someone to help you move it as it can be quite heavy for one person.
Not the best door seals, which can result in some heat lost Though it can easily be overcome by including some sealing element in the gap of the door.

 

Dyna-Glo Gas Vertical Smoker

Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP is a vertical liquid propane gas smoker that’s designed for high-performance cooking one of the top rated gas smokers.  We found because it is a smaller unit allows its professionals and beginners to cook smaller batches and not waste energy or fuel. We like using it when we are just cooking for our family or testing some new recipes.

Key Features of Dyna-Glo

Good Smoke Production

This smoker does a good job of creating smoke and maintaining temperature to the desired levels. Like other gas smokers, this is a good set and forget unit.


Really Easy to Assemble

The unit comes along with very detailed instructions for assembly, a recipe book and a user manual that provides very clear instructions. It’s quite easy to assemble, so even new smokers shouldn’t have a lot troubles using it for the first time.


Well Designed Doors

The two doors are situated well, in a way that you don’t not to open the main door of the oven to acess the area where  the chip and water pans are. However, you got to be extra careful when pulling the chip pan in and out

 

Dyna Glo Pros

Well-designed

Easy to use and assemble

Maintains temperature consistently

Good for cooking for smaller groups

 

Dyna Glo Cons

Thermometer often yields with an incorrect reading, +/- 20 degrees Fahrenheit

 

Final Verdict 
This Dyna-Glo is a great unit for both beginners and experienced smokers especially when you are just cooking for a few people. It’s effective in terms of producing the right amount of smoke and maintaining temperature, thus it makes quality food and barbecues. This is highly recommended to everybody who needs something a little bit smaller.

Masterbuilt 20051316 Thermotemp X-Large Propane Smoker

If you want something that is truly set and forget then this top of line bad boy should be your go to. The Masterbuilt 20051316 Thermotemp X-Large Propane Smoker has everything you need to achieve this state, is has auto temperature control, tank fuel level indicator, an auto shutoff feature if the flame is extinguished.

This is one of the most advanced smokers we have got a chance to play with and it did not disappoint. It had a lot of features that most smokers are missing. We even had the confidence to let this smoker work overnight well we slept without a worry in the world.

Key Features of Masterbuilt 20051316

Safety Valves
We liked that this smoker has a safety valve which shuts off the burner if the flame goes out. This what makes it a true set and forget unit. We were surprised to find most units don’t include this feature.

Fuel level Indicator
Most of the time you need a sperate indicator on your propane tanks to monitor your gas levels. However, this model includes one which helps make sure you avoid the dreaded empty tank half way through your cook.

Thermostat Controlled
This unit uses its thermostat to control the burner and maintain the desired cooking temperature. The thermostat control unit also helps to maintain temperature steadily throughout the cook.

Four Grate Space
There is Ample cooking space which allows you to smoke up a variety of meats and dishes. This is our go to when we are cooking for a group of friends, it can handle enough food to feed 15 – 20 people.

Masterbuilt 20051316 Pros

Thermostat control system
Very high quality and sturdy design
Propane fuel gauge
Safety valve switch

Masterbuilt 20051316 Cons

Due to the size, it can take longer to put together

Final Verdict
The Masterbuilt Thermotemp X-Large Propane Smoker is a top quality investment for those who wish to smoke but don’t want to tend to the smoker all day. It also gives you a great piece of mind that it will perform safety.

The Char-Broil Big Easy TRU Infrared

The Char-Broil Big Easy TRU Infrared is a smoker, roaster and grill all in one. We do love this unit however, we couldn’t include it in our top 3 as it’s not really a strictly a smoker.

We love that they have managed to pack in some many great features in a such a small unit. It is really helpful for people without much space but still, love top tasting food.

If you want the 3-in-1 experience of a smoker, roaster and grill, then this model will 100% not disappoint! Let see what it has to offer!

 

Key Features of Char-Broil Big Easy

Ease of Use

This unit only took an hour to assemble and get it going for the first time. It came with a very detailed user manual and the directions are very easy to follow. We also like that it is easy to clean everything is removable.

Good Grilling Space
We were able to grill over 25lbs of meat on the Big Easy, it was surprisingly large space and nothing felt cramped about it.

Infrared Heating System
The main feature of this all in one grill is its infrared heating system. Your food is heated via the inner wall which radiates natural infrared heat. We found that the infrared system keeps the meat juicy and succulent.

Woodchip Tray
When you smoke with the Big Easy have the option to add wood chips. The wood trip tray holds up to a whooping half a pound of chips. We found that this gave our brisket a similar flavour to when we use our charcoal smoker.

No Air Dampers or Water Pans Needed
Due to the infrared heating technology, there is no need for a water pan. This means less clean up and maintenance required. This meant I had more time to enjoy meals with my family at end of a cook.

Char-Broil Big Easy Pros

• No water pan required
• Easy to clean
• Infrared heating system
• Woodchip tray

Char-Broil Big Easy Cons

Though there is no digital temperature display, the knob does accurately indicate the temperature

Final Verdict

The Char-Broil Big Easy TRU Infrared Smoker, Roaster, and Grill is a good product in terms of producing quality, smoked food. This unit is especially for people who are short on space and don’t want to have forgo having the option to smoke, grill or roast.

This is a great smoker and may have made top 3 if it had larger grill space and were a dedicated smoker.

Weber Genesis E-330

Weber is well-known for building some highest quality natural gas smokers and this model does not disappoint!  The Weber E 330 is a grill as well as a one the best natural gas smoker. We found it allowed us to control the temperature to within a few degrees. We loved the option of being able to grill and smoke in one unit. thereby saving us a lot of time. There were a few other things we loved it as well.

Key Features of Weber Genesis E-330

Fuel Choice

When you use this unit you have the choice of propane or natural gas. You have the option to make this portable and move it around or yard or deck with propane. Otherwise, you can take advantage of cheap natural gas and never have to worry about running out of gas. We liked that it came 10-foot flexible hose for the natural gas connection.

Extra Work Space
The Weber Genesis E-330 had two side tables, which we like as we could continue prepping as other meat was cooking.

Enormous Grill Space
This grill is immense, you have over 5077 sq. inches of cooking space and a warming rack that measures 130 sq. inches! You never ever had to worry about running out of space or not being able to cook enough at once.

High-Quality Build
The grill has porcelain-enamelled cast-iron cooking grates, which leave a beautiful sear on our food. The burners are made of high-quality stainless steel, which meant they can bear the moisture found in natural gas and liquid propane.

Flavorizer Bars
One of our favourite feature from Weber the flavorizer bars. These bars are designed to catch grease from your meats and vaporize them for added flavor. The remaining grease is safely redirected, this can prevent flare-ups.

Weber E 330 Pro

• 3 Burners with separate ignition systems
• Flavorizer Bars
• Enormous Grilling Space
• Choice of natural gas or propane
• Temperature Control

Weber E 330 Cons

• This is a big grill so it may not suit smaller spaces.
• Assembly is a little involved

Final Verdict

No doubt this would have been in top 3 best gas smokers if it was strictly a smoker. You found that there are many grill/ smokers on the market at a lower price, however, none give you the same value for money this one does. It will last for years to come, it is easy to use and is made by a reputable company and warranty

This is a unit made for the true lovers of grilling and smoking!


How to Use A Gas Smoker

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNlE87rR9as

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