While experienced pit-masters might scoff at them, propane smokers are a legitimate and easy way to smoke your meat.
And they deliver fantastic results, if used right.
We tried out some of the best propane smokers to help shed some light on this category. And we found the Masterbuilt MPS 340/G to be the absolute best in the business.
The Masterbuilt model takes ease-of-use to a whole new level with its automatic temperature regulation and safety features.
The temperature range provided is more than
enough for most users, and the quality of the build is fantastic.
Top 7 Propane Smoker Reviews in 2021
The Masterbuilt MPS 340/G combines the automation of electric smokers with the raw power and results of a propane smoker, thanks, in part, to its ThermoTemp technology.
For example, have you ever been hesitant to leave your smoker for hours unattended? Those fears are founded because if the flame were to die out, there could be a dangerous gas build-up in your smoker.
Thankfully, the MPS 340/G – our favorite smoker! – includes a sensor that automatically shuts off the gas valve if it detects that the fire has gone out. This feature gave me tremendous peace of mind to leave the smoker on its own, as I’m sure it will for you, too.
But the ThermoTemp technology delivers more than just safety. It has access to your gas flow, so it can automatically regulate the heat inside your smoker’s chamber. The thermostat also is far more accurate than any of the other smokers we tried.
The gas tank on the MPS 340/G also draws some attention, thanks to a bracket that allows you to carry the smoker AND the gas tank as a single unit. There’s also a fuel gauge installed, so you know exactly how much gas you have left – so convenient for avoiding running out of propane in the middle of a smoke session!
The front door also has a glass window, so you can check the doneness of your meat without ever opening it. The wood and water tray also have their own door, so you can keep the smoker closed throughout refills.
The Masterbuilt MPS 340/G delivers fantastic smoking technology. With its temperature-control technology, it’s the perfect equipment for beginner and casual meat smokers. It’s not too expensive, either, so it should fit most folk’s budgets.
Dyna-Glo is a well-known brand in the smoking industry, and it created a winning gas smoker with its Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP.
First, the entire body is constructed using heavy-duty steel coated with porcelain. It gives this model a very satisfying heft, which, in turn, gives you confidence in its durability. This thick shell also helps retain heat quickly, so you use fuel far more efficiently.
Providing the heat is a powerful 15,000 BTU burner that can handle plenty of meat – even a smoker that’s full to the brim. The burner uses an electrical ignition to start the flame, which is convenient. But if you don’t have access to electricity in your backyard or a park, this can be problematic.
Temperature is controlled via a control dial, which is slick and easy to use. The built-in thermometer is surprisingly accurate. It also identifies when your smoker is in the “Smoke Zone,” which is the temperature range that’s ideal for infusing that smoky flavor into your food. Simply adjust the dial, and you’re good to go – no second-guessing required.
The chamber provides a total of 784 square inches of cooking space. It’s wide enough to accommodate a whole rack of ribs, so that’s a bit more good news. Space is relatively generous, as you can even use this model for a small restaurant operation.
Both the water tray and wood chip box have high capacities, so you’ll spend less time refilling them. The larger volume also ensures you that you get lots of moisture and wood flavor in your meat during extended smoking.
Overall, the Dyna-Glo propane smoker is a fantastic choice for the novice and experienced pit-master alike. Beginners will appreciate the ease of use, and veterans can still achieve that depth of flavor that a traditional smoker can give.
Plus, the price isn’t too bad!
Cuisinart is a recognizable name among home and professional cooks. After all, it’s known for creating high-end kitchen appliances that are at the top of any aspiring chef’s list of must-have gear.
So, when Cuisinart came out with its own propane smoker, we took notice. Granted, the company hasn’t proven itself in the barbecue and smoking space, but its name automatically equates to quality. So, how did they fare with this one?
First of all, like any of its other kitchen gadgets, the COS-244 Propane Smoker features a sleek and sophisticated exterior. And it’s built with pretty thick, high-gauge steel. You’ll instantly feel it when you open the package. You get the sense that this will last for years, if not decades.
One of the highlights of this propane smoker is that it allows you to control heat and smoke separately. You adjust the temperature via the rotary dial, just as you would an oven. And you can regulate the smoke via a rear vent, which you use to let out excess smoke.
The internal chamber provides a massive 748 square inches of space, enough to fit whole chickens and large hunks of ribs or brisket. It has four stainless steel trays, where you can place food on its corresponding four shelves.
Need a brisket recipe? check this one out!
A small flaw with this propane smoker is that there’s no separate tray for the water and wood chips. Only a tiny bowl is provided to separate the wood from the water, which can be an issue and can limit smoke production.
There are workarounds, though, such as putting the water on the bottom shelf and the wood on the tray. Some even claim this is a better option, as the wood is not in contact with the flame, leading to more even smoking.
Overall, Cuisinart made is a terrific entry from kitchen appliances to outdoor smokers!
If you’re considering getting a propane smoker on a tight budget, the Pit Boss 77425 might just be the pick for you!
This model is a compact little smoker that nevertheless provides up to 676 square inches of cooking and smoking space. It’s wide enough to fit a whole chicken or a moderately sized slab of brisket.
The beautiful thing about this smoker is the glass panel in the loading door. This panel allows you to see your meat smoking in action and gauge doneness without opening the door and lowering the internal temperature of the chamber.
The Pit Boss smoker uses a dual burner system. A 10,000 BTU burner provides the primary source of heat to cook the food inside the chamber. A second 3,500 BTU burner, meanwhile, is dedicated solely to heating the wood chips in the tray.
This two-burner system is a good idea, in theory, so you can control smoke and heat production separately. But there are a few minor flaws that might detract you from having a 5-star experience.
First is that the wood tray tends to expand when exposed to too much heat, requiring you to use force when taking it out, inevitably scraping the main chamber.
A second issue is that the wood burner is too close to the wood tray, causing your wood chips to burn unless you soak them extensively.
The water pan also has a limited capacity, which only lasts an average of about three hours, thus preventing you from completing overnight smokes.
Despite these minor drawbacks, the Pit Boss propane smoker is still fantastic for the price. If you’re mindful of it and compensate for its shortcomings, it will reward you with delicious smoked meats and other foods. It’s perfect for beginners or for pit-masters who must work with limited space.
It doesn’t get any simpler than the Camp Chef Smoke Vault!
This sturdy smoker comes in a very minimal yet sleek design, with that distinctive silver front door and temperature gauge. It really DOES look like a vault of meaty goodness.
The design of the Smoke Vault comprises a heavy-duty stainless-steel door, which gives you access to the main chamber. You’ll net cooking-width dimensions of 21.5 inches, which is enough to fit a large chicken and a load of wings.
The smoker uses a powerful 18,000 BTU burner, giving you a temperature range from 160 degrees Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Its snap ignition allows you to start fires quickly without resorting to matches.
The Smoke Vault also provides you a lot of flexibility with how you adjust the heat inside the chamber. You can regulate the temperature via the main dial, which increases and decreases the burner output. Or you can use the three damper valves (one on top and one on each side) to help vent out any excess smoke or heat.
The temperature dial can, however, be a pain to adjust if you’re looking for small increments.
This model includes a built-in thermometer that can help monitor temperatures with ranges from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. However, we found that it’s not terribly accurate and you’re better off buying a dedicated probe thermometer for this purpose.
You can access the wood chip and water in their individual trays. Both are made from heavy gauge porcelain-coated steel, so they should last well.
The big con with this smoker is that you must open the main door to get to the trays, which can lower the temperature inside the chamber.
But if you can overcome these few quirks, the Camp Chef Smoke Vault is an excellent high-capacity smoker at a stellar price point!
The biggest problem with most smokers is that there are bulky pieces of equipment. Even among propane smokers, it can still be a pain to haul them around the yard, much less on a trip.
But who says you can’t take a smoker on your next camping trip? Masterbuilt thinks you can, so it offered its take on a portable smoker, in the MPS 20B.
This smoker weighs in at about 22 pounds and has modest dimensions of 16” x 23.5: x 23”. It’s not light, but it’s certainly portable. The legs also fold for comfortable transport.
The material used here matches the high quality of Masterbuilt’s other offerings. Stainless steel ensures durability and a sleek, minimalist appearance.
This is a portable smoker, so you won’t be able to fit a lot of meats inside here. The inclusion of two racks helps, but you do need to cut your food into more manageable sizes.
Despite its small size, the MPS 20B can surprisingly hold in the heat. At its lowest setting of 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature remained consistent, with few fluctuations.
Unfortunately, the size limitation also affects the water and wood tray. But it seems unnecessarily small here, as our workaround involved a much bigger water pan and a pellet tube for the smoke.
With that, we found that the MPS 20B ISN’T a beginner’s smoker. Due to its portability, some features are removed, so you must rely more heavily on skill to operate it successfully.
In the right hands, however, this is the best way to enjoy delicious smoked meats in the great outdoors, fresh out of the smoker. If you have someone along who has capable hands or is an experienced pitmaster, this is a real gem.
If you’re planning to host a large smoke party, or maybe want to get in the business of smoking meats, you need a much larger capacity than most smokers in the market. This Landmann propane smoker is one such beast.
At 1,576 square inches, it’s the smoker with one of the most significant capacities in the market. That’s close to double the space of most other smokers! The five cooking grates also allow you to rearrange and cook tons of food at the same time.
Of course, its size also means that it must consume quite a bit of propane to maintain heat. So, if you’re a casual backyard smoker and not smoking copious amounts of meat regularly, this might not be a justifiable purchase.
But if you happen to use one, you’ll be rewarded with a durable and heavy-duty smoker. The smoker comprises thick gauge steel, so it can certainly hold its own. The burners are all made with cast iron, and everything is rust-resistant.
The large doors also feature a magnetic closure, which effectively closes the door without any leaks and gaps. The water and wood-chip trays each have their own dedicated drawer, so it’s effortless to access them without having to mess with the main door.
For temperature adjustments, you have the standard rotary dial at the front. For further control, it includes damper vents on the chimney and each side. Guards help maintain warmth and smoke when not venting.
Overall, this is a fantastic purchase for its high capacity.
Final Verdict: Best Propane Smoker For Your Money
Masterbuilt MPS 340/G to be the one that stands out above the rest.
It has a sophisticated temperature regulation and a safety feature, clear glass doors, powerful heat output, and excellent construction. Plus, it has an attractive price point. Overall, a win for both beginners and aficionados alike.