Want to know what makes a great propane smoker? Then read on! We have everything you need to know about propane smokers.
Getting a large group of friends together and smoking a large quantity of ribs, chicken brisket, and a turkey is a great time that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own back garden.
But, if you don’t have a smoker at your home, is there a big difference between the models and what you should look out for?
When buying a smoker for your home, there are multiple things that you should consider, such as: how much meat it can hold, what the temperature capacity is, and what material it’s made out of, among others. All of these separate a good smoker from a great one.
This article will discuss propane smokers and what to look out for when buying one of the best propane smokers on the market.
So keep reading! We have everything you need to know about propane smokers.
Why Use A Propane Smoker?
Smoking meats has been a popular way of cooking food since the colonists first arrived in America, and they discovered that this was the way preferred by the Native Americans.
They would use charcoal and cook the meats until they were soft, succulent, and delicious.
In modern times, thanks to technological advances, one popular method of smoking meat is a propane smoker, which uses gas as its heating source.
Propane smokers have become popular as they burn much cleaner and more efficiently than charcoal burners, meaning there will be no ash or suit on your delicious meat.
Most smokers use a relatively simple design in that the gas burner is connected to a propane tank and sometimes even the natural gas line of your home.
Usually, there will be a shelf or area above the burner to place wood chunks or sawdust to get that authentic smokey taste.
If you love to cook meat and host significant garden events at your home, you should think about investing in a propane smoker.
They are efficient, convenient, easy to use, and you’ll have everyone at your home in a state of bliss once the meat comes off the smoker.
What To Look For In A Propane Smoker?
Before you run to the hardware store and pick up any old propane smoker, there are a few things that you should consider.
Each person is different when it comes to a smoker, and depending on how often you’ll be using it and how much food you plan to cook with it, it can dramatically affect the style of the propane burner and the price.
To make it a little easier for you, we have done plenty of research and will list below a few ideas you should consider before buying a propane smoker.
How Much Meat Can It Hold?
The most important factor to consider when buying a new propane smoker is the capacity or how much meat it can hold.
If you are someone who cooks from time to time for a small family of four or five, then a smoker of around 800 square inches will be perfect for your smoking.
If you are someone who enjoys hosting BBQ parties and you’re looking for a smoker that will be able to cook high amounts of brisket, ribs, chicken, and pork, then you’re going to want a medium-sized smoker that will give you around 1,200 – 1,600 square inches of cooking space.
The Temperature Range
When it comes down to choosing a high-quality propane smoker, you should realize that they vary in heat output.
It’s essential to recognize that the more heat output your smoker has, the easier it is for the smoker to achieve and sustain the right perfect for smoking meats.
Most propane smokers will work with either one or two burners, giving you a BTU of around 10,000 to 20,000.
If you live in a colder state and your propane smoker is outside, it will require more power to stay at the optimal heat of around 225 degrees; thus, this is a major thing to consider.
What Is The Smoker Made Of?
While you wouldn’t think the propane smoker’s material would significantly affect the overall taste and efficiency, it certainly does.
When it comes to the highest quality propane smokers, you want to ensure it’s a mixture of cast iron and stainless steel.
There are a few reasons why these materials are much better for propane smokers; a stainless steel frame will dramatically increase the longevity of your smoker as it resists rust and corrosion.
Within your propane smoker, you should find cast iron burners. Again, these will last much longer than cheaper materials and help optimal heat transfer.
The interior should be coated in stainless steel, not paint, as the paint will eventually crack, bubble, and fall off.
Does It Have Two Doors?
Having two doors on your propane smoker is an excellent idea, as it will ensure that your smoker maintains the perfect temperature.
Two doors on the front will include an upper one for the main compartment where the meat will be smoked, whereas the other will allow you to access the lower level of the smoker.
This ensures that no heat will be lost in the upper compartment if you need to top up the heating element in the lower level of the smoker, such as the wood chip box or the water bowl.
Does It Have Something Other Propane Smokers Don’t?
When it comes to a great propane smoker, a few extra features others don’t have can improve your smoking experience.
A thermometer on the smoker’s door is always a great addition, as you can keep an eye on your smoker’s internal temperature to ensure your meat is cooking at the correct temperature.
Another great additional feature on some of the more extravagant smokers is a glass window which allows you to peek into the smoker to ensure that your meat is cooking nicely.
More straightforward yet convenient add-ons include adjustable racks that accommodate meats of all sizes.
Our Top 3 Propane Smokers
When it comes down to choosing the perfect propane smoker can be a difficult challenge, considering how saturated the market is with such items.
We have taken the liberty of providing you with three of the best propane smokers on the market, which are listed below:
1. Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24
The Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 is a great all-around propane smoker. It has a tremendous heavy gauge wood chip tray and water pan to optimize the infusion of flavor into the meat.
The fully adjustable heat control dials, damer valves, and door thermometer make it easy to use.
This smoker’s temperature can vary from 160F to 350F and will leave your meat as tender and succulent as possible.
One con of this specific model is that it can have a leaky door from time to time. The model will cost you around $439.99.
2. Masterbuilt 44-Inch
The Masterbuilt 44-Inch is one of the largest propane smokers on the market and is excellent for those huge BBQ get-togethers.
It has four interior smoking racks that can fit a large amount of meat in one go.
The stainless steel burners with porcelain flame disk bowl ensure you’re getting a high-quality smoker, and the simple gas control valve with spark igniter makes it easy to handle.
This smoker’s heating element is a gauge 15,400 BTU stainless steel burner, ensuring that your meat can reach the optimal smoking temperature, leaving your guests in awe as they prepare to enjoy your feast. This model can cost up to $380.00.
3. Dyna Glo 36 Inch Vertical Propane Smoker
The Dyna Glo 360Inch smoker is a great beginner’s smoker that anyone wishing to get into the art of smoking meats can use and enjoy.
It has around 700 square inches of cooking space spread over its four adjustable steel racks.
It has an easy-to-use 2-door design that ensures no heat is lost when cooking if you have to add in more smoking material, such as wood chips. As well as this, it has simple heat control gauges.
It has a 15,000 BTU cast iron burner with an electric start button and a large control dial, making it a smoker which is both practical and easy to use if you’re a beginner.
So, now that you know why a propane smoker is an excellent choice for your home, you have plenty of tips to go out and find the best one for your home and enjoy succulent and smoked meats whenever you want.