​Best Natural Gas Smokers – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews (Updated April 2018)

You know that feeling, it’s a summer evening and that gentle waft of smokey BBQ passes by. All of a sudden it’s all I can think about and you wonder "will the family want BBQ too"?

I think anyone can master a gas smoker to produce these delicious smells. I've found both the propane gas smoker and natural gas smokers can produce tender and succulent meat and vegetables. Not only that it usually only takes a few hours!

Don't want the hassle of spending all day tending to coals adding pellets?  Well, cooking with gas is similar to electric smokers, most products are push start ignition. Therefore it’s a set and forget, style of cooking. 

Propane smokers are really portable, so it’s possible to cook up your favourite meals out on a camping trip or just around at a neighbour’s place (when you feel like showing off your new skills).

I've put together a list of my favourite gas smokers below along with information I wish I had when I was picking mine! 

  My Top 5 Gas Smokers For 2018

Masterbuilt 20051311
Smoke Hollow 44241GW 44-Inch 2-Door Propane Gas Smoker with Window
Chef-Smoke-Vault-24
Smoke Hollow 44241G2

Model

Camp Chef Smoke Vault 18

Dimensions

21.4 x 21.1 x 43.5 in

24.5 x 33 x 60 in
30.5 x 25 x 17 in
33 x 24.5 x 60 in
18.75 x 30.25 x 17 in

Cooking Area

717  sq in

350 sq in

429  sq in

6.5 cubic feet
350 sq in


Warranty

1.5 month manufacturer’s warranty.
1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
1.5 month manufacturer’s warranty.
1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
1-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Who Are Gas Smokers For? (This Could Be You!)

You 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? So is a gas smoker 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.

 Need Help Picking A Gas Smoker? (I Can Help)

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

 My Top 5 Gas Smokers  

The  Masterbuilt Propane Smoker 20051311 is an absolute favourite amongst the smoking community as well as ours! There is also a lot of trust as this brand is family owned and been around for years.

We tried the Masterbuilt 20051311 and believe it is a top notch gas smoker, it consistently delivered deep smokey flavours.

We also like how sturdy the build feels you can tell they have used top of line materials to make this one.

Lets see if this is the best gas smoker for you.

  Specifications

  • Height: 43.5 in
  • Width: 21.1 in
  • Weight: 58.43 lbs
  • Cooking Space: 711 sq in

  Key Features

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 15 -20 to feed.

Perfect For Beginners & Long Time Smokers
Want a smoker that is simple to use & has a user-friendly interface. 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 easy push-button igniter.

Top Quality Build
This gas smoker comes with a firm locking door with particularly tight seams and an inner liner. This high quality door means its has increased capacity to hold a temperature and smoke. When you have these elements you get excellent smoked meats..

What I Liked

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

What I Didn't Like

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

Verdict

This is an inexpensive, but high-quality smoker that has a large cooking area. It 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 propane smoker

We would highly recommend this smoker to anyone ready to invest in something. that will last them year and bloody years too come!

4.5 / 5 Stars

#2 Smoke Hollow 44241GW 44-Inch -Top Pick if Like to Entertain

The Smoke Hollow Pro Series 44' is what we consider a bloody top of the line  gas smoker. It has  with all the features you need to create the best smokey flavours with ease (at a reasonable price)

 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 

 Specifications

  • Height: 60 in
  • Width: 24.5 in
  • Weight: 113 lbs
  • Cooking Space: 6.5 cubic feet 

 Key Features

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. 

What I Liked

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

What I Didn't Like

  • Only takes wood chips not chunks 
  • Temperature knobs can be tricky to use

Verdict

If your after a high quality smoker but still want to be able to feed 10+ people this should be your choice. 

4/ 5 Stars

#3 Chef Smoke Vault 24 -Best All Rounder

We think the The Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 is one of the best natural gas smokers on the market. The design and food it produces it top bloody notch.

It comes in two sizes the 18 inches and 24 inches, this will focus on the Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 inch. 

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

 The combination of affordability and simplicity to operate convinced us to name this one of the best gas smokers.

Not only that is we love that it can be converted to become a natural gas smoker. So if your ready to stop worrying about empty propane tanks and save some cash, let see if this is the best gas smoker for you

 Specifications

  • Height: 30 in
  • Width: 24 in
  • Weight: 75 lbs

  Key Features

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 delicious, it had a crispy bottom and perfectly melted cheese, we were absolutely shocked too! We haven't tried it but we have heard rumours you can bake a cake in it too!

Easy Assembly
The Camp Chef Smoke Vault is known for it easy assembly. We had it together in 30 minutes. We like the sturdy build and the fact that the   all the parts fit together tightly, especially the doors

What I Liked

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    The door thermometer is large and easy to read. It also has a large temperature range from 50 to 550 degrees
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    It can be converted to a natural gas smoker
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    The unit can hold enough wood for two hours
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    It can easily fit a whole turkey
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    Has a push button ignition to light

What I Didn't Like

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

Verdict

One of the best natural gas smokers on the market. It is super easy to assemble and is made of high quality parts. Everything we have smoked in this bad boy has come out bloody delicious. 

4.5 / 5 Stars

#4 Smoke Hollow 44241G2 -Pick For Highest Quality Build

The Smoke Hollow 44241G2 Vertical LP Gas Smoker is one known as one of the best gas smokers in the industry. Smoke Hollow have said this is the largest gas smoker they have manufactured. It has some serious cooking space. 

It is also made by one of the most trusted brands. If your after something that will be reliable yet still high quality, I  believe Smoke Hollow is one of the best brands to go for.

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 which indicates it has two doors. 

  Specifications

  • Height: 60 in 
  • Width: 33 in
  • Weight:  100 lbs
  • Cooking Area: 6.5 cubic feet

  Key Features

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.

What I Liked

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    Assembly is super simple
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    Double tray for wood chips to ensure delicious flavouring.
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    Double-door mechanism to prevent heat loss.
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    Built with durable steel materials
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    Maintains the moisture in food and cooks evenly
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    Huge cooking area

What I Didn't Like

  • You might need someone to help you move it as it can be quite heavy for one person.
  • There are some minor issues with 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.

Verdict

Coming out of one of the most trusted brands, this smoker is top notch quality. Not only it has one of the biggest cooking capacity on the market.

4/5 Stars

#5 Camp Chef Smoker 18 Inch- The Best All Rounder

This gas smoker is a relatively inexpensive compared to features it packs ins. We found that this smoker is capable of producing temperatures up to 400°.

We love that this smoker can accommodate everything from chicken, to ribs, to turkey, and more.

 You can also convert The Camp Chef to a natural gas smoker, which makes using it even cheaper (natural gas costs way less).

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. Let find out if it the best gas smoker for you.

  Specifications

  • Height: 30 in
  • Width: 18 in
  • Weight:  65 lbs
  • Cooking Area 630 sq in

  Key Features

Can Convert to Natural Gas 
You are able to swap between having a natural gas smoker and having a brillant 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.

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 temperature.

What I Liked

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

What I Didn't Like

  • Additional Assembly Required

Verdict

Not only does the Camp Chef look fantastic in my backyard, it produces the some of the succulent smokey meat I've ever cooked.

It is made of really high quality materials and built to bloody last (I've had mine for over 4 years). I really like that unit is also tight fitting, this means no heat or smoke escape, I think that is why the food is always top notch.

4/5 Stars

Our Other Favourite Gas Smokers 

So you have seen my 5 favourite propane & natural gas smoker above. II couldn't fit in all the smokers that I recommend to my friends and family, so I have included them below.

Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP - For The Home Chef

Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP is a vertical liquid propane gas smoker that’s designed for high-performance cooking.

We found because it is a smaller unit allows its professionals and beginners to cook smaller batches and not waste energy or fuel.

We really enjoyed the power this unit packs. We enjoyed using it it when we are just cooking for our family or testing some new recipes.

  Specifications

  • Height: 46 in
  • Width: 27 in
  • Weight:  54 lbs
  •  Cooking Area: 784 sq in

  Key Features

Good Smoke Production
This smoker does a outstanding job of creating smoke and maintaining temperature to the desired levels. Like other gas smokers, this is a 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

What I Liked

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    Top performance, especially with amount of smoke it can produce 
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    Perfect for when your cooking for smaller groups
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    Maintains temperature consistently
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    Super easy to  assemble

What I Didn't Like

  • Thermometer on occasions yields with an incorrect reading, +/- 10 degrees Fahrenheit

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 super effective in terms of producing the right amount of smoke and maintaining temperature, thus it produces quality food.

This is highly recommended to everybody who needs something a little bit smaller but ready to spend a bit more of the a quality product.

4 / 5 Stars

If you want something that has the capacity feed a crowd yet truly set and forget,  then this top of line bad boy should be your pick.

The Masterbuilt 20051316  has everything you need to achieve a top quality result. 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.

  Specifications

  • Height: 51.61 in
  • Width: 22.91 in
  • Weight:  93 lbs

  Key Features

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.

What I Liked

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

What I Didn't Like

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

Verdict

The Masterbuilt Thermotemp X-Large is your most advanced smoker and is a top quality investment. It made  for those who wish to enjoy the smokey flavours 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.

This model would have made it to our top three however, it is meant for a more someone wanting to spend big to get a truly top of the line product. 

4.5 / 5 Stars

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 strictly a smoker.

We love that they have managed to pack in so 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!

  Specifications

  • Height: 36.2 in 
  • Width: 23.4 in 
  • Weight: 58 lbs
  • Cooking Area:  180 sq in & 25 lbs capacity for roasting

  Key Features

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.

What I Liked

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    No water pan required
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    Really quick and easy to clean and maintain
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    Infrared heating system
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    Ingenious wood chip tray design  

What I Didn't Like

  • Though there is no digital temperature display, however we found the knob does accurately indicate the temperature

Verdict

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. Despite being a jack of trades is a terrific product in terms of producing quality, smoked food. 

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

4 /5 Stars

Weber Genesis E-330- Most Trusted Brand

Weber is well-known for building some highest quality propane & natural gas smokers and this model didn't disappoint us!

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, saving us a lot of time. 

Let see if this top notch grill and smoker is the answer to your answer BBQ wishes!

  Specifications

  • Height: 24.2 in
  • Width: 25.6 in
  • Weight:  116 lbs
  • Cooking Area: 424 sq in

  Key Features

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 a propane tank. Otherwise, you can take advantage of super 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 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.

What I Liked

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    3 Burners with separate ignition systems
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    Choice of natural gas or propane
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    Flavorizer Bars added so much more flavour to our cook
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    Felt like we had the total control over temperature
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    Enormous Grilling Space

What I Didn't Like

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

Verdict

No doubt this would have been in top 3 best gas smokers if it was strictly a smoker.

You might find 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  company with a top reputable

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

5 / 5 Stars

Factors You Should Consider

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 and how it is fuelled.  Basically, the fuel source is supplied by a utility company and the natural gas is directly piped to your house. You need to have a licenced plumber install the gas lines to your smoker. This means that your smoker can't be moved after this.

Natural gas as a fuel option is becoming more commonplace as consumers learn of the benefits of outdoor cooking with it. We have complied the pros and cons of using natural gas below. We are a big fan of it and are always trying to educate friends and family on it. 

Pros and Cons of Natural Gas

Natural Gas Smoker Pros

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    Natural gas is automatically provided, no need to worry if your gas bottle will run out.
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    Natural gas burns cleaner than propane does This means there is less chance of affecting the fuel affecting the taste of your food
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    Natural gas is much cheaper than propane (LPG). It has been found to be typically 1/6 of the price of propane (LPG).
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    It can easily fit a whole turkey
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    Has a push button ignition to light

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. However, 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.

​​How to Use A Gas Smoker

See the instruction video below to see how to use a gas smoker. 

Happy Smoking

Charlie


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