For the skilled pitmaster or barbecue purist, just one gasoline supply issues: wooden. However lately, there’s been a proliferation of people who smoke with figurative “plug and go” fueling choices. We’ve examined charcoal people who smoke, that are an in depth second to conventional people who smoke relating to the infused-with-smoke taste anticipated from barbecue. Pellet people who smoke supply an alluring different, with constant temperature management and an simply managed gasoline. However two varieties of people who smoke stand alone when it comes to options, usability, and limitations: electrical people who smoke and gasoline people who smoke, the latter of which is the topic of this assessment.

Each electrical and propane people who smoke use wooden chips solely as a flavoring agent. They’re heated both contained in the cooking chamber or immediately under it, and the ensuing smoke (in principle) flavors the food. In gasoline people who smoke, the heating is achieved by attaching a propane tank to the unit; the temperature is then set and adjusted via both a dial on the unit or, in some instances, with dampers. 

Gasoline people who smoke aren’t excellent. They run scorching, which makes the inherent “low and sluggish” nature of barbecue troublesome to attain. However use their qualities to your benefit, and a propane smoker turns into a useful yard cooking software. They’re nice for brief smoke classes and do very nicely with fish and greens. Plus, they’re comparatively low-cost, typically beginner-friendly, and straightforward to wash.

The Winners, at a Look

Camp Chef SMV24S 24-Inch Smoke Vault Vertical Gas Smoker

Amazon


Extremely strong and well-built, this sturdy smoker’s door closes like a vault (together with a gimmicky however cute mixture “lock”), which seals within the smoke. The additional huge racks enable for ample airflow across the meat. Each the water bowl and wooden chip tray are simple to entry, though neither wanted babysitting throughout our smoke classes. The hen, ribs, and salmon had been all well-cooked with properly rendered fats and a superb smoke taste. We particularly preferred the drip tray, which spanned your entire size of the smoker, making cleanup a breeze.

The Finest Design-Minded Gasoline Smoker

Amazon Pit Boss PBV3G1 3-Series Gas Vertical Smoker

Amazon


This good-looking smoker has a uniquely pink pebbled exterior and a glass-paned door, making it one of the eye-catching fashions we examined. It additionally has a intelligent design, with a burner immediately beneath the wooden pan for an environment friendly fireplace with numerous flavorful smoke. Though we discovered the two-burner system barely complicated, as soon as we mastered it we had been in a position to produce among the best-tasting (albeit subtly flavored) outcomes of the bunch.

The Finest Price range-Pleasant Gasoline Smoker

Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36-inch Propane Smoker

Amazon


There are not any dampers on this simplified gasoline smoker, which made warmth management difficult throughout testing. However hold the temperature set to low and refill the wooden chips as wanted, and also you’ll have a low-stakes expertise well-suited for a newbie. We preferred the simply accessible wooden chip and water trays. The salmon fared higher than the hen and ribs, so we suggest this primarily for shorter smoke classes with delicate proteins or greens. After all, at about $250, the Cuisinart is a steal.

The Exams

Critical Eats / Russell Kilgore


  • Meeting Check: Earlier than unboxing and assembling every smoker, we learn their manuals, paying attention to useful hints and security warnings. We rated the setup expertise based on a wide range of metrics, together with whether or not any items arrived broken, the inclusion of needed instruments and {hardware}, how easy (or not) it was to assemble, how lengthy it took, and if it was potential with only one individual.  
  • Hen Wings Check: Earlier than cooking, we fitted every smoker with a wi-fi grill thermometer to independently monitor the cooking chamber’s temperature and evaluate it towards the smoker’s built-in thermometer. We then ignited the smoker based on the producer’s instructions and set it to 225˚F. We famous how lengthy it took to stabilize and let it dangle at that temperature for 10 minutes. We stuffed the wooden and water trays then added 20 seasoned hen wings. We famous what number of may match on a rack, and whether or not they had room for ample airflow between every wing. We monitored cook dinner time, eradicating the wings once they reached 165˚F utilizing an instant-read thermometer; throughout this time we famous temperature swings, in addition to how usually water and wooden wanted to be replenished. The wings had been then taste-tested for look, texture, and taste.

Critical Eats/ Russell Kilgore


  • Ribs Check: We started the ribs take a look at concurrently the hen wings take a look at, setting a rack of seasoned ribs on the underside rack of the smoker. We cooked them till the meat reached 195˚F, evaluating the expertise by the identical metrics because the hen wings. We famous any fascinating charring, bark, and smoke rings on the meat, and tasted it for texture, juiciness, and total smoke taste.
  • Salmon Check: We needed to find out how every smoker dealt with low-temperature classes and delicate proteins, so we lowered the set temperature to 200˚F and added giant salmon filets to the smoker. As soon as the fish reached an inside temperature of 145˚F, we eliminated it and tasted it, evaluating it primarily based on look, taste, and texture.
  • Cleansing Check: As soon as the people who smoke cooled, we cleaned them completely based on the producer’s directions. The presence, placement, and dimension of drip trays proved particularly useful in stopping messes.

What We Realized

Gasoline People who smoke Ran Scorching

Critical Eats / Russell Kilgore


Not like electrical people who smoke or pellet people who smoke, which have a comparatively constant warmth supply, propane people who smoke warmth in bursts. This made sustaining an adequately low temperature troublesome, and we discovered that many we examined had been unable to keep up our preliminary desired temperature of 225˚F (though including the protein resulted in an preliminary temperature drop earlier than spiking once more). Whereas mildly annoying, this isn’t a deal breaker—offered you don’t anticipate gasoline people who smoke to effectively render fats throughout an extended session, or produce meltingly-tender meat. 

General, Temperature Dials Have been Inaccurate in Sustaining a Goal

Critical Eats / Russell Kilgore


Though gasoline people who smoke embody a dial or knob that enables the consumer to set their goal temperature, they’re usually inaccurate. This isn’t an issue distinctive to propane people who smoke. Actually, most varieties of people who smoke and grills we’ve examined have inaccurate temperature gauges, which is why we suggest shopping for a separate grill thermometer, irrespective of the way you’re cooking. We discovered dampers had been additionally required for dialing within the temperature to our desired setting. Probably the most profitable smoking classes had been achieved with the smoker set to the bottom setting, and the dampers adjusted accordingly.

Roomy Cooking Chambers Have been Very best

Critical Eats / Russell Kilgore


Not solely do giant cooking chambers enable for wider racks that may maintain extra, however in addition they promote higher airflow, leading to extra evenly cooked, better-flavored proteins. We additionally famous that the people who smoke that had been best to make use of throughout a session had been those with ample area for checking wooden and water trays, and sliding out racks. 

A Tight-Sealing Door Was Essential

Critical Eats / Russell Kilgore


Gasoline people who smoke do produce smoke, however the wooden chips are merely a flavoring agent, and there’s not sufficient smoke to really cook dinner the meals. For that motive, it’s vital each final wisp of smoke stays inside the smoker. Our prime choose, the Camp Chef Smoke Vault, has a singular door harking back to—you guessed it—an impenetrable financial institution vault. 

The Standards: What to Search for in a Gasoline Smoker

Critical Eats / Russell Kilgore


One of the best gasoline people who smoke have each on-unit dials and dampers to regulate the temperature. Water and wooden chip trays with roomy capability are greatest, as they don’t have to be replenished as ceaselessly throughout smoking. Ideally, these trays will be eliminated with out opening the principle cooking chamber. Search for people who smoke with wider racks to permit for larger-format smoking or huge cuts of meat. Lastly, and maybe most significantly: The door of the cooking chamber ought to seal tightly shut, to lure smoke inside with minimal leaks.

The Finest Gasoline People who smoke

Camp Chef SMV24S 24-Inch Smoke Vault Vertical Gas Smoker

Amazon


What we preferred: Though we initially wrote off the vault-style door as a gimmick, it proved superior in locking smoke contained in the unit: The Camp Chef had the very best seal of any we examined. This smoker additionally had the biggest floor space, with over 900 sq. inches of cooking area. We had been in a position to match a whole rack of ribs on a single rack, and there’s loads of room for airflow, irrespective of the way you load it up. The wooden tray holds 4 cups of chips, which is right for a sluggish, sustained burn that doesn’t want a lot replenishment (we solely had so as to add an additional two cups as soon as throughout the hen and ribs take a look at, and the salmon didn’t require any further chips). When the temperature dial was set to low, sustaining the goal temperature required minor damper changes. The hen and ribs had been among the most profitable we examined, with a taste harking back to charcoal smoke, properly rendered fats, and engaging char.

What we didn’t like: When pulling out the grates, we wished that they had been designed with a bevel; because it stands, there’s no function for maintaining them in place. The water tray sits contained in the cooking chamber, though we didn’t should refill it in any respect throughout testing so it is a minor quibble. The temperature management knob is over-responsive, inflicting huge temperature swings in response to minor changes. This smoker is admittedly on the pricier facet, and since we suggest charcoal people who smoke as a greater total product, some folks might discover the Camp Chef too costly for its limited-use eventualities. 

Key Specs

  • Cooking floor space: 903 sq. inches
  • Variety of racks: 2, plus a jerky smoking rack
  • Dimensions: 16 x 24 x 24 inches
  • Weight: 75 kilos

Critical Eats / Russell Kilgore


The Finest Design-Minded Gasoline Smoker

Amazon Pit Boss PBV3G1 3-Series Gas Vertical Smoker

Amazon


What we preferred: The pink exterior is eye-catching, and the glass-paned door is a pleasant function that lets you visually test on the progress of your smoke session (though it should additionally require extra diligent cleansing over time). The Pit Boss has wheels on two of its legs, making it simpler to maneuver round whereas nonetheless being comparatively sturdy. Though the heating system was not intuitive—extra on that under—as soon as we mastered it, sustaining a goal temperature proved comparatively hands-off. The hen wings had been juicy, with a fascinating snap to the pores and skin; the ribs had been tender with nice texture, regardless of having minimal smoke taste.

What we didn’t like: The Pit Boss leaked lots of smoke throughout testing from each the door and the wooden chip chamber. The wooden chips wanted near-constant monitoring; we had so as to add 5 and a half further cups in three completely different installments throughout our hen and ribs take a look at. We needed to take away the underside grate to replenish the water tray, which was cumbersome and could possibly be harmful. The 2-burner system was irritating to make use of: One burner ignites the wooden chips, whereas the opposite heats the unit; at decrease temperatures, the latter burner would flip off. 

Key Specs

  • Cooking floor space: 720 sq. inches
  • Variety of racks: 4
  • Dimensions: 23 x 22 x 47 inches
  • Weight: 63 kilos

Critical Eats / Russell Kilgore


The Finest Price range-Pleasant Gasoline Smoker

Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36-inch Propane Smoker

Amazon


What we preferred: On the time of publish, this smoker retails for about $250. At 785 sq. inches, it has the second-largest cooking floor space of any smoker we examined—this allowed for higher airflow and bigger or extra items of fish or meat. The wooden chips are saved in a chamber with separate entry, so that you don’t should open and shut the principle door consistently to replenish. The design of the cooking grates is wise; they’re specifically fitted to the inside rails, which makes them simple to slip out, even with meals on them. This smoker produced very moist salmon with a implausible smoke taste.

What we didn’t like: We wished there have been dampers on this smoker, as a result of as designed the one approach to regulate the temperature is with a less-than-responsive knob. It did not carry out nicely throughout longer smoke classes. The ribs didn’t absolutely render fats and seemed higher than they tasted. The minimalist consumer handbook offered useful ideas however was on no account complete. Newbies might want to complement their studying with further supplies.

Key Specs

  • Cooking floor space: 750 sq. inches
  • Variety of racks: 4
  • Dimensions: 18.1 x 19.3 x 38.6 inches
  • Weight: 69.5 kilos

Critical Eats / Russell Kilgore


The Competitors

  • Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker: We had been shocked at how flavorful the wings and ribs had been when testing this smoker, however the design flaws had been laborious to disregard. The water pan was troublesome to replenish with out by accident dousing the propane flame, and there was no seal on the principle door, inflicting many of the smoke to leak from the unit.
  • GrillPro 33” Vertical Propane Gas Cabinet Smoker: Though we appreciated this smoker’s skill to keep up a constant temperature all through testing, the ignition was temperamental (at one level, unexpectedly emitting a big burst of flame), and the wooden chip tray needed to be replenished each 30 to 45 minutes; a bothersome frequency. 
  • Dyna-Glo 36” Vertical LP Gas Smoker: We struggled with the precarious placement of the wooden chip tray on this smoker that threatened to fall each time we adjusted or replenished it. We had been additionally dissatisfied at how scorching this unit ran. For a lot of the testing interval, it hovered between 240˚F and 270˚F, and we had been unable to stabilize it at our goal temperature.
  • Broil King Vertical Gas Smoker, LP: The most costly smoker we examined produced variable outcomes. The wings had been acrid and bitter, however we preferred the delicately cooked salmon. The interior temperature probe was inaccurate by greater than 50˚F, and the silver uncoated inside made it tougher to wash. 
  • Masterbuilt 40” ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker: As a result of it produced so little smoke, it functioned extra like an out of doors oven than a smoker, cooking ribs, hen, and fish that didn’t have any smoke-kissed taste.

FAQs

Are propane people who smoke any good?

Propane people who smoke are a strong possibility for low-stakes smoking in shorter classes. They gained’t replicate the deeply smoke-infused taste of charcoal people who smoke or wood-fueled people who smoke, they usually’re not as environment friendly at lengthy smokes that require sluggish, low, and managed warmth. Additionally they require a good quantity of monitoring, as a result of the wooden chip trays want common replenishment. However that doesn’t imply they’re not good in different facets. The refined smoke taste is ideally matched for delicate proteins like fish, and greens. The setup, startup, and cleanup are refreshingly simple, with only a propane tank wanted. 

Are propane people who smoke secure?

When the propane tank is correctly hooked up, propane people who smoke are secure. Care ought to all the time be taken when eradicating and replenishing the wooden chip tray, however past that there aren’t any evident questions of safety for the common consumer. 

What’s higher, gasoline people who smoke or electrical people who smoke?

Gasoline people who smoke and electrical people who smoke carry out about on par with one another. They’re each good for brief smoke classes, though they battle with bigger cuts of meat. Propane people who smoke have a slight edge in the case of useability (you don’t want {an electrical} outlet to get began), though they run scorching and battle to keep up a persistently low temperature. Each want common monitoring, however the stakes are price it should you’re smoking fish, greens, or something that will profit from a refined, “kissed by smoke” taste. 

Why We’re the Consultants

  • We spent over 60 hours testing propane people who smoke with a rigorous methodology and 5 separate exams.
  • We thought-about every mannequin’s strengths and shortcomings based on the next metrics: meeting, design, ease of use, efficiency, and cleansing.
  • Rochelle Bilow is the commerce editor at Critical Eats.
  • She has been writing about meals professionally for over a decade, and reviewing kitchen gear since 2021. She has intensive expertise reviewing grilling gear, together with wi-fi grill thermometers and lump charcoal.



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