Top 10 Best Gas / Propane Smokers under 500 dollars: If you’re new to gas smokers or propane smoker and wish to know more about them then you’re at the right place. We’ll review the best gas smokers for you in order to make it easy for you when deciding to get one. As a result you’ll get to know them exactly as well as thy work, their different features, specifications and standards.
Gas smokers are pretty good since you can feel the nostalgia while using them and it also allows you to smoke a plethora of food which is ideal for parties, events or even when having relatives at your place.
Although ultimately, the choice will for the top rated propane smokers come down to your own tastes and preferences, it does no harm in knowing the best propane smokers on the market before making your decision.
Click to jump straight to each topic:
- 1 The Best Gas Smokers Comparison Table
- 2 How do gas and propane smokers work?
- 3 The general pros and cons of purchasing a gas smoker
- 4 1. Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Smoker
- 5 2. Camp Chef Smoker 18-inch Smoke Vault
- 6 3. Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill
- 7 4. Weston 48-Inch Outdoor Propane Vertical Smoker
- 8 5. Smoke Hollow 38202G
- 9 6. Smoke Hollow 44241G2 44-Inch Vertical Propane Gas Smoker
- 10 7. Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP 36″ Gas Smoker
- 11 8. Smoke Hollow 30164G 30-inch
- 12 9. Smoke Hollow 38205GW 38-Inch
- 13 10. Camp Chef Smoker 24” (SMV24)
- 14 Electric vs. Propane (Gas) smoker
- 15 Things to consider when buying a Propane Smoker
- 16 Conclusion
The Best Gas Smokers Comparison Table
Below are a list of the different of the best gas smoker 2018 and best propane smoker 2018 products we’ll be reviewing.
|#1. Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Smoker||Check Price||21.1 x 21.4 x 43.5||58.4 pounds|
|#2. Camp Chef Smoker 18-inch Smoke Vault||Check Price||30.2 x 18.8 x 17||63.5 pounds|
|#3. Char-Broil: The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill||Check Price||23.1 x 23.4 x 36.2||22.7 pounds|
|#4. Weston 48-Inch Outdoor Propane Vertical Smoker||Check Price||17.5 x 17.5 x 49.5||107 pounds|
|#5. Smoke Hollow 38202G||Check Price||20.7 x 27.5 x 47.1||68 pounds|
|#6. Smoke Hollow 44241G2 44-Inch Vertical Propane Gas Smoker||Check Price||24.5 x 33 x 60||100 pounds|
|#7. Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP 36″ Gas Smoker||Check Price||27 x 19.2 x 46.5||54 pounds|
|#8. Smoke Hollow 30164G 30-inch||Check Price||19.7 x 22 x 39.1||43.8 pounds|
|#9. Smoke Hollow 38205GW 38-Inch||Check Price||47 x 25 x 17||70 pounds|
|#10. Camp Chef Smoker 24” (SMV24)||Check Price||30.5 x 25 x 17||74.6 pounds|
Before getting into the reviewing, let’s check out how the best gas smokers work as well as their general pros and cons.
How do gas and propane smokers work?
Gas smokers use a very simple design which is similar to the electric smoker. Connected to a propane tank, you’ll always see a gas burner at the bottom. Currently, cabinet style are the most popular style of gas smokers. They might also be referred to as “vertical smokers” since they food are vertically stacked onto the racks above the water pan as well as the gas burner and wood pan.
Usually made of cast aluminum or brass, there is a burner at the bottom and it has numerous jets while also being very durable. Below the pan for wood is the burner and above the wood pan is the shelf for putting your water pan. Then above that are for food, four more shelves. To make sure that the gas gets enough oxygen, the bottom vents cannot be adjusted. There is usually a chimney or two at the top. So as to prevent soot from building up onto the meat, you should always leave the top vent open all the way.
The general pros and cons of purchasing a gas smoker
Advantages that are unique to gas smokers are:
Portable – It is much easier to take gas smokers with you camping since they use propane tank and are much easier to carry while with the electric one, unless you have a generator, it is not possible to bring them around.
Reliable – Since it does not rely on electricity, the propane smoker are much more reliable and are a better back up in the even there is a power outrage and you’re out of electricity.
During a long cook, you may have to switch the propane tank – Although it’s not really an inconvenience, you can make sure that you have a few spares on hand or even by always starting the smoking with a full tank. Electric smokers get the edge onto this.
Narrow sides on some models – With some models having narrow side, it sometimes makes it difficult to fit much larger cuts of meat or even a whole turkey.
The Masterbuilt propane smoker is an affordable unit in terms of both price and maintenance. It produces delicious result as well as using very little propane. For newbies, this is very easy to operate. It is also authentic giving you a better feel than electric smokers as well as being very sturdy. It does a consistent job in smoking meat to perfection. Since it is small and compact, it is alwayswell designed to fit your backyard and yet very spacious so as to smoke enough food for events like parties and family reunions. With this smoker, you pretty have everything you need to polish your skills and achieve mastery of smoking and grilling. The Masterbuilt 20051311 is best gas smoker for the money since it uses reasonably priced and readily available propane as its fuel as well as being designed in vertical fashion for efficient use of its space for effective smoking. It is very helpful since it has two door and most importantly, it is a propane smoker that gets you tasty food. Interested in satisfying customers, the company also provides excellent customer service. Overall it is worth the money as well as being quite affordable. Anyone that wants to smoke meat on a regular basis in their backyard can use it, whether they are a beginner or a veteran since it is very easy to handle.
Some people however still don’t like a few features about the Masterbuilt 20051311. Some people agree that the chip tray that is provides is useless since it does not do what it’s supposed to do as it is too small and ineffective. It would have been nice if the Masterbuilt came with legs or even wheels and would have been nice if the latter were also pre drilled in order to accept the standard casters. It would be much more easy to move them if they had wheel. Although a minor inconvenience for some, a large rack of ribs need to be cut in half for it to fit into the 30-inch smoker, however it is not a problem for everyone. The thermometer into the door sometimes seems to be inaccurate and could be off anywhere from 10° to 25°. However it is possible to bypass that with a simple purchase of a digital smoker to use it along with the Masterbuilt.
- Push Button ignition
- Burner is made of stainless steel
- 717 square inch of cooking space
- Porcelain coated wood chip tray
- Built-in temperature gauge
- No wheels to move it around easily
- Temperature gauge not exact
- Chip tray too small and ineffective
- Some meat may have to be cut in half to fit
The Camp Chef SMV18 is one of the top rated gas smokers and will make smoking food of your preference very convenient. The SMV18 operate by using propane and this cleaning isn’t really a problem. One of the best thing about the Camp Chef is that it is possible to use it outdoor onto the patio or garden. There is accurate control of the smoke as well as the heat and since it is more power than most, it gives you quicker response when adjusting the heat. Using high-end technique the smoker is excellently manufactured making lightweight but sturdy. The smoker is also perfect for parties since it has a large cooking space. Regardless of the weather conditions outside, the push button ignition makes it perfect to start smoking. There are some things that are a bit under average though which is the thermostat, since the latter is not accurate. Due to packaging and shipment condition, there can be minor dents. Since the unit isn’t delivered in ready-to-use condition, it require assembly which can prove to be a hassle.
Some of its key features are its water pan, the jerky smoking rack, the two adjustable smoking racks, the thermometer is also easy to read and the wood chip tray is made of heavy gauge steel. There are a lot of advantages in getting this smoker since it is easy to use and once assembled, you can expect the smoking to be very good. If you love smoking a variety of food, then this smoker is perfect for you. As a plus is it also designed for heavy duty work.
It also as threw adjustable damper valves which are one on top of each side, making it easy to control the temperature. The thermometer can read from 50 to 550 degrees and is also easy to read. The matchless snap-ignition is very convenient for use. There are also some ideas, recipes and cooking tips included once you get it. It is one of the best propane smoker for the money.
Let’s see what is has to offer in terms of pros and cons.
- Matchless snap-ignition makes it convenient for use
- Powerful, giving it quicker response time
- Lightweight and Sturdy
- Can withstand high levels of heat
- Adjustable valves is always a plus
- Not fully assembled
- Can have minor dents due to packaging and shipping inconsistencies
- The built in thermometer is not accurate
This smoker is much more than just a smoker since it is also a grill and a smoker. It is possible to add wood chips for smoky flavor as well as using a big drop-in basket as well as hooks to roast larger items. From grilled burgers to whole roasted chicken, the cooking results are always impressive. It is almost bulled as UK’s first gas-fired, 3-in-1 smoker, roaster and grill. The large capacity means that it can be used outside. It is possible to throw in wood chips so as to create a rustic smoker aroma that infuses into food from the pull-out smoker. The drop in basket, since it is big, as a roaster can cook up to 11kg of vegetables and poultry.
Allowing for cooking classic barbecues such as burgers and steaks is the grill on top. The Char-Broil Big Easy as a grill offers infrared cooking. Retaining and radiating heat over the whole grill surface is the unique porcelain coated cooking grill that has a zigzag cross-section. With tiny holes in the grill allowing smoke through so as to get a traditional taste, the flames will never come into contact with the food. Also in order to cook smaller food such as asparagus and shrimps without fear of it falling, there are no gaps. As a result, the food is cooked more evenly. The food also retains moisture since there is less hot hair rushes upwards which will seal the natural juices of the meat. Also, food fat won’t drop and cause flare-ups. Ranging from slow-roast temperatures (100°C) right through to high heat (400°C), there is a single heat control. The thermometer isn’t build it but supplied with the smoker and as a result, you have to stick it in the meat.
The Char-Broil arrives assembled. Even though it is dense and weight a bit, it is possible to be moved by one person, even though a bit difficult. It also give a very solid feel. Within a couple of minute, it the Big Easy come up to temperatures. As mentioned before, there is no temperature gauge onto the grill and you’ll have to work with the thermometer that is supplied with. No matter where the food items are on the grills, the results are always consistent.
If you’re not intofashion then you won’t have any trouble with it. The Charbroil SRG is not the prettiest barbecues on the market, however its cooking methods are hugely versatile. Its ability to grill and roast big items makes up for its modest capacity. The results of the smoked or grilled food are also even and easy control. This SRG takes smoking to the next level if you want to move beyond your standard smoker.
- Heat is distributed evenly across the whole grill surface
- Temperatures range from 100°C to 400°C which is impressive
- Possible smoke, grill and barbecue
- Arrives already assembled
- Temperature gauge isn’t on the lid
- Doesn’t look modern
The Western 48-inch smoker is a performance driven product and it is exactly as it is marketed. This smoker offers a wide range of features as well as being made from premium quality materials which is pretty sure to be worth your money. Including an adjustable damper and rotary igniter, it has several unique features and both of them makes it very easy to start up as well as controlling the gas pressure. Including six racks which is pretty rare among gas smokers, it has a massive space of 8.5 square feet. Giving you room for all kinds of cooking are two sausage hanger racks. Maintaining a cooking temperature is one of the key trick to getting a good smoking and this can be done with its built-in temperature gauge which makes it easy to accurately see the internal temperature and make adjustments. Giving you smoky and tender meats are the three adjustable dampers which help in controlling the internal temperature.
The smoker in itself is made up from black-coated steel and the latter is fully welded in order to ensure it give the maximum durability. The latte comes with two, handles in order to give support and balance the smoker when opening the door even though it is a single cabinet style gas smoker. Since it does not come with wheels or detachable legs, this smoker is pretty hard to transports. Out of most smokers, this gas smoker has the most number of cooking racks. All of them are adjustable and removable. In addition to the very top, with two sausage hangers, it is pretty convenient. The rotary igniter also makes it easy to start up. It is possible to make use of the temperature gauge to monitor the temperature level.
Coming in several sizes, it is possible for you to purchase the one to your liking as well to the capacity you are used to cooking. Although the price is a bit on the high side, you pretty much get for what you pay for in terms of capacity and performance. It is also one of the most durable gas smokers manufactured.
- Made from premium quality material
- Comes with six racks and thus more cooking area
- Temperature control is easy with the three adjustable dampers
- It is made from black-coated steel making it solid and durable
- Does not come with wheel and heavy to move
- The price is a bit on the high side
With quality in mind, this cabinet style propane smoker was constructed. It is well made, heavy duty and reliable since it is made with a black steel body. There are two handles on each side for easy mobility and they are both safe to touch even though the latter is in use since it does not get hot. The Smoke Hollow 38202G weigh 68 pounds is easy to lift and move around. As a result, it is ideal for outdoor barbecuing as well as transporting in various places like the beach and camp.Large enough to fit various vegetables, steak and even salmon, this Smoke Hollow Propane Gas Smoker features a large 3.4 cubic feet of cooking space. So as to allow for the right amount of smoke as well as making the most out of it are the two vents that control the temperature.
It is easy to set up in less than one house since the instructions are clear and simple to understand. Using the push-button ignition system, the smoker itself health up very fast. It feature an external temperature gauge for easy viewing, the latter which accurately shows the internal temperature. It also comes with a type 1 LP gas hose and regular, however you still have the option of buying the version with a cover in order to protect it from outdoor elements.
The Smoke Hollow 38202G is price within medium range out of most the smokers in this review.
- It is of very high quality
- Has a built-in temperature gauge
- Easy temperature control features
- It also has a large cooking area
- Sturdy and safe construction
- Separate access to wood chip tray and water pan
- Push-button ignition system
- Easy to assemble
- A bit pricey compared to previous picks
- The thermometer is not accurate
- No wheels for mobility
The Smoker Hollow 44-Inch Vertical Propane Gas Smoker is made up of heavy duty steel construction material. It gives access to both main cooking area and the chip panel as well as the water pan with dual doors. For optimum performance, its burners are made up of stainless steel. The Smoker Hollow 44-Inch also weighs around 100 pounds making it fairly large as well as being ideal for events and big parties. The also smoker gives you plenty of space to cook your meats, fish and vegetables with its five cooking grids that are adjustable and removable. So as to give your food a rich smoky flavor though the two wood chip pan, it uses dual burners in order to control the temperature. The external temperature gauge will accurate display internal temperature. In order to check the process of their cooking/smokingwhenever they wishes too is the large glass window that will offer plenty of viewing space, acting just like a window display would.
The instructions are clear and simple making assembly easy. For ignition, the smoker uses a push-button system so that you can get it started instantly. Since the wood chip tray and water pan are accessed through different doors, cleaning is made very easy since they can be conveniently removed and emptied independently.
Overall the features are pretty inviting. The Push button ignition is always a plus. It also have dual stainless steel burners that can be independently operated for optimum performance and temperature control. With 5 cooking grids, they are pretty much over average, with the grids consisting of 2 jerky grid, 2 standard cooking grids as well as 1 rack and 1 sausage hanger. The cooking area capacity is also pretty big at 6.5 cubic feet making it easy to handle enough food for the largest and biggest parties or events. The smoke stack is also easily adjustable. The porcelain pain is also coated and the tempered glass viewing window is a must.
- Tempered glass window for display
- 5 cooking grid making up 6.5 cubic feet of cooking area
- Built-in thermometer
- Push-button ignition
- The burners are not of high quality
- The built-in thermometer is also not consistent
- Temperatures doesn’t always get on desired level
For optimal durability, this vertical gas smoker is made of heavy-duty steel. In order to increase its lifespan it has a powder-coat finish. For improved smoke flavor and efficiency, it has a special shape that allow the heat to naturally rise. The design was made specifically so as to enable the air to flow and then be distributed evenly throughout the smoker. There’s a total cooking area of 784 inches and surprisingly, this large LP gas smoker weighs only 54 pounds and for that capacity, it is pretty lightweight, As well as a smart heat maintenance system, the Dyna-Glo has an impressive grease management system.
For igniting, it uses a push-button and the cast iron burner uses a 15000 BTU which makes the unit heat up easily. Ideal temperatures for smoking are identified by its ‘Smoke Zone’. Locking heat and making refilling of wood chips more convenient for better cooking control, it offers two doors. Perfect as low maintenance cooking, the wood chip box is porcelain enameled and this make it burn heat in a most efficient manner. You also won’t have to refill water again and again since the water bowl can carry a large volume of water.
Assembly of the Dyno-Glo takes less than one hour. Consistent temperatures as well as convenient monitoring is expected during cooking/smoking. Although it does offer a great convenience and ease of use, it is not entirely a ‘Set it and Forget it’ smoker type. The Dyna-Glo does not come with a propane tank but comes with a regulator and hose. To protect it from outside elements, it is possible for the users to purchase the version that comes with a gas smoker cover. In order to ensure that it stays on and protects the smoker for years, the cover is custom-fit.
Although a bit expensive, it does compensate in other categories such as quality, customer service and so on. It something you really need if you want something to make tasty smoked food.
Let’s see what it has to offer in terms of pros and cons.
- Durable and Solid
- Lightweight and easy to move
- Large cooking area
- Easy to use even for beginners
- Large capacity water pan and wood chip box
- Price a bit on the high side
- Does not come with propane tank
Constructed using high quality steel for maximum protection, this one piece, cabinet style propane smoker is pretty much study and solid. Cool to the touch, it has a spring wire door handle which is safe to use even without wearing gloves. Not removable for extra stability, its legs are about eighteen feet deep. Measuring 39.5 inches tall and 21 inches wide, the Propane Gas Smoker makes it a relatively small gas smoker. Although it does not come with wheels, it has side handles which make it easier for users to carry when they are transporting the smoker from one place to another.
For optimum temperature control, the auto-ignite gas smoker uses a 10000 BTUs stainless steel burner. In the same way to what you would probably do when grilling using a gas grill, the temperature is controlled by using the knob on the gas smoker. The Smoke Hollow 30-Inch has 3 chrome-coated smoking grids, the latter which can easily be removed or adjusted for a variation in the grid levels. It uses a built-in thermometer to monitor the temperature in order for it to display the temperature onto the external temperature gauge.
The assembly is also pretty much easy to do. There is also the different accessories such as the water pan that sits above the wood chip pan. Although it would have been better for them to have separate doors for both of the pans to prevent loss of heat, it still does the job.
Let’s see the different pros and cons it has to offer.
- Push button ignition system
- Large cooking area
- Strong and lightweight
- It is also affordable
- Easy to use
- Adjustable racks
- Only basic cooking
- No separate compartment for wood chip tray and water pan
Sporting a painted in a steel body, the Smoke Hollow 38-Inch Propane Gas Smoker is a pretty durable smoker. In case you would want to move the smoker around for transportation, it has one handle on each side. The 18.5 inch deep legs it has are built-in and cannot be removed. As a description, it would be fair to say that this smoker is a two piece cabinet style while also have spring handles which are safe to the touch.
Even though it is a small smoker, at 70 pounds it does weigh a lot. However if though other smokers are lighter and bigger, this one is much more compact as well as being solid. To cook for around 6 to 8 people, the Smoke Hollow is perfect for larger groups, and can even be used for small events and parties. Featuring 4 chrome-plated cooking grids that have multiple adjustments levels that can also be removed at your own convenience, this smoker has a capacity of 3.4 cubic feet. Both accessible through separate doors, it has a porcelain coated water wood chip tray and water pan. The door also helps in locking the heat when smoking.
Since the user manual is clear and was also illustration, assembly is easy to do and does not take a lot of time. The smoker overall is very good and affordable while offering an array of features.
Let’s see what is has to offer in terms of pros and cons.
- Compact and Solid
- It is affordable
- Has 4 chrome plated cooking grid
- It also as a built in thermometer
- The built-in window display makes it convenient to check the food
- Separate chamber for water pan and wood chip
- The quality of the built-in thermometer is inaccurate sometimes
- It doesn’t have a drip tray
Designed so as to lock the flavor of hickory as well as many other within the gas smoker, the Camp Chef Smoker is one that every amateur pretty much need to have. The smoker is also made of heavy duty steel for protection. This simple smoker can reach up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit in temperatures which is pretty good. For its small size, the Camp Chef Smoker weighs around 75 pounds. The Camp Chef smoker has two adjustable smoking racks as well as a jerky rack as well as three damper values on each of the side so that it can be cleaned up easily. It is easy to check the external temperature as well as monitor the cooking through the gauge onto the door. Giving maximum temperature control is the featured protected burner drum. Since the smoker has a steel wood chip tray and a water pan, it is pretty easy to clean up after use.
With click of the button, the smoker automatically starts since it has a matchless ignition system making it easy to start the smoking process. Through illustrated manuals, the smoker comes with lots of cooking tips and recipes which the users can follow easily. One con though is that you’ll have to buy the propane tank yourself even though it comes with a gas line.
Let’s see the different pros and cons it has to offer.
- It is made of heavy duty steel
- It has a built-in thermometer
- Easy to clean
- Sturdy build
- Adjustable cooking racks
- Quick auto-ignite feature
- The price is pretty much on the high
- It weighs a bit for its size
- Propane tank is not supplied
Electric vs. Propane (Gas) smoker
If we’re talking about the set and forget it feature, then the electric smoker is the winner. Gas meat smokers although not unsafe, monitoring is required since an open propane line cannot be unattended for long hours. However moisture levels can be adjusted for longer cooking durations.
Since they are relatively low tech, you’ll need to have a basic understanding of how propane meat smokers work to use it effectively and this means it is a no-no for beginners for some models. Items such as outside temperature will have to be taken into account which might be too much for some people. On the other hand, electric smokers works as easy as the over meaning beginners understand them quicker.
In terms of their prices both of them vary depending on the model among other features. Branded electric smokers can range from $300 – $400. To properly analyze the cost in the long term, it is important to take the electricity consumption into consideration. Requiring a propane tank, gas smokers usually begin in the region of the $150 range.
Things to consider when buying a Propane Smoker
There are a few thing to consider before buying a new propane smoker. Below are the things that you should keep in before when buying or reviewing the different models, especially if you’re a newbie.
One of the main considerations when shopping of course is the price as well the limit you’ve set onto your budget. Price consideration is pretty common for most people unless you’re part of the small percentage of shoppers where money isn’t a factor. With this in mind, it is better to think about the features that each model present as well as the value of the smoker you wishes to purchase.
The size of the smoker is one thing you should always keep in mind when deciding. You need to know exactly where you’ll be keeping the smoker and get the measurements right. Also we’re not speaking about a temporary storage space, but the permanent one. If it is temporary, then it’s better to know exactly where you’ll be putting the smoker. So as to save money on the long run, it’s better to be smart.
Also the type of fuel you’ll be using is also an important feature to consider (in this case propane). Overlooking the type of fuel means that other type of fuel might be more expensive while some might not burn hot enough to reach the desired degrees of hotness. Since you’re considering propane smokers, it is very reliable and easy to transport and it also means you can take it to a variety of places depending on the occasion.
Typically the last step of the process is always cleaning and you should consider all the features that your future smoker will have so that the cooking process is easy for you. However if you’ve overlooked this step, you’ll be stuck with a smoker that’s a pain to clean. You also have to check if the racks are removable as well as checking different customer reviews before deciding to buy.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this review and have the best gas smoker reviews as well as the best propane smoker reviews, it is now possible for you to purchase a smoker and having a general knowledge about it. Remember than all smokers are not the same and do not provide the same features. All of them are different and many things will vary from model to model. Ultimately it will come down to your own buying habits, tastes, capacity and preferences. So better look at the review before buying.