Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best gas smokers 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated April 1, 2020
Best gas smokers of 2018
After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. You must have heard that the best gas smokers should allow you to save money, right? Sure, but that’s not the only reason you should consider getting one. Based on customer reviews and my own experience with the cowboy method I’ve found the best 3 gas smokers on the market. Simply review and buy them.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this gas smokers win the first place?
I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
Why did this gas smokers come in second place?
I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
Why did this gas smokers take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials.
gas smokers Buyer’s Guide
Pimp your gas smoker
Owners complain about cheap construction, but when they look at the price tag, I don’t get their complaint. If you want high quality construction, great food, and set it and forget it ease, buy a pellet smoker. You can take steps to improve these cheapo smokers by putting a gasket inside the doors, sealing leaks, and replacing the thermometer. But it really isn’t necessary and it could work against you. Most of them run hot, you might make it run hotter by sealing it. Here’s an article with some links that can help you tighten up your gasser.
Turn down the heat. Most of the models I have played with tend to run hot, in the 250 to 275°F range on the lowest setting. I think ideal temperature for low slow smoking is 225°F, but most meats will be just fine at the higher temp. Not ideal, but not bad. If you want to drive down the temperature a bit, try ice in the water pan or leaving the door slightly ajar. This wastes fuel, but should do the job.
Water supply. Most come with a small water pan. I jury rigged a larger pan so I don’t have to keep filling it and to help stabilize temp. One reader installed a copper water pipe on the outside side with a tank to feed the pan.
Install a better thermometer. Some of the cheapest worst thermometers I’ve ever seen are installed in these inexpensive unites. Remove it and install a good digital thermometer probe.
Buy a cover. They don’t come with a cover and the paint jobs are usually not baked on, so use a cover to prevent rust.
Buy rib racks. These smokers are small, so you will want to buy at least two rib racks in order to pack in enough to feed all the people who will come sniffin’ around.
Some gas grill owners find it hard to dial the temperature down to 225°F. So they go looking for solutions. Some want to reduce the amount of gas, a method that can work, but it must be done properly and is potentially dangerous. I do not recommend this technique, but I publish it here just to give the you an idea of what is involved and with the hopes of discouraging a common mistake or two. Remember, fiddling with the gas supply system could create an explosion or fire resulting in death and destruction of your home. I strongly recommend that you use a professional if you wish to modify the factory setup. Your local LP gas company will be glad to help for a fee.
The gray saucer shaped regulator is specifically matched with your smoker, so if something is wrong with it or the hose, don’t fiddle with it, just get the numbers off it and buy a new one of the exact same kind. No substitutions. It must match. The regulator is like a carburetor on a car. It is tuned for the pressure of the tank or natural gas supply, the needs of the grill, and it mixes in the correct amount of air. You can’t just replace an automobile carburetor with any old carburetor. Experts tell me that the popular adjustable red regulator people buy on the internet is designed for high pressure gas sources and should not be used. If you use a high pressure regulator on a low pressure burner it can blow the seals from the valves and possibly explode. A low pressure regulator on a high pressure burner will produce a flame about the size of a kitchen match.
One expert says the best approach is to limit the volume of gas with a brass needle valve between the regulator and the burner like the one shown here. With a small valve after the regulator you can restrict the amount of gas going into the burner. It would still have the correct pressure but there would not be as much flow. Even though there are no marks on the valve, 1/turn knocks it back 15°F.
Versatility is the key to a great smoker, and you get plenty with the Camp Chef Smoker. Let’s start with the gas supply, and this is one of the few models that can use both propane and natural gas. The temperature range from 150F/65C to 500F/260C it’s more than enough to do a low-temp smoke or cook something a lot quicker such as a pizza or bread.
Char-Broil The Big Easy
The Char-Broil Big Easy uses technology to make sure that all of your food cooks evenly; the smoker uses a TRU-Infrared system to make sure that no hot spots form inside of your cooking chamber. Infrared cooking makes spit rods, air dampers and water pans a distant memory. You can easily fit a 2pound turkey inside of this unit, and its unique door design allows you to easily remove food when it is done.
This smoker tears the reviewers apart, some think it is the best budget smoker today, while others complain it is too lightweight to do the job. However, it does rank as one of the better gas smokers available, and at a good price is excellent value for money. The light construction of the Dyna-Glo Smoker has both advantages and disadvantages.
Being light it is extremely portable, but that does mean the metal smoke box is relatively thin, and some reviewers are concerned it would not last a long time. Having said all that, the double door design gets universal praise for making things easy to replenish water tray and the wood chips. Having a small water tray, it will need regular topping up during a long smoke, so access is critical.
This is one mighty big gas smoker, and it can smoke more than pork butts and 1racks of ribs or at a time. With that much room for food, it is probably more than enough even for the biggest home barbecue. Like many of the gas smokers today, it is a simple basic design, it has a single burner at the bottom of a cabinet, with a door which is full height giving access to the smoking chamber and the burner, water tray and wood chips.
Outdoor Leisure 34168G
The Outdoor Leisure propane smoker is specifically made for outdoor use; you can smoke all of your favorite meats on its three adjustable cooking grids. It comes with a porcelain-coated water pan, and you can easily get it going using its ignition button. The doors have magnetic latches on them, so you can always be sure that the unit is completely sealed when you close them.
Smoke Hollow 44241G2
The Smoke Hollow 44241Gvertical gas smoker is perfect for people who need to smoke a lot of food at once; the unit measures 24.x 3x 60 inches, so it gives you plenty of room for smoking without crowding your food. The 4inch cabinet doors make getting food in and out of the unit a breeze.
At first glance, this looks like all the other meat locker style gas smokers today, but this Char-Broil comes with a unique warming rack on the top of the appliance which sets it apart. It has become one of the more popular gas smokers today because of the convenient way it has been designed. The cool touch handles make it easy to open the doors and move the appliance around if needed.
The piezoelectric starter for the burner means there is no faffing around with matches to light the flame. Inside there are specifically designed grills, two to smoking jerky, one for ribs, and to standard racks for anything else. The controller on the bottom of the unit, along with an internal thermometer allows the cook to accurately regulate the heat inside the smoker.
Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker
For those enthusiasts who like to take their smoking skills “outside of the box,” this smoker offers the opportunity to utilize a wide range of cooking methods and techniques. There are many ways to preserve and store food that you harvest from nature such as meats, fish, poultry, cheese, and even vegetables.
Everyone from young to old or newbie to professional chef can join in the crusade of creating delicious smoked goods with their bounty from the lake or the woods. This Char-Broil vertical electric smoker promises to have it all covered with smoke.
When investing in a wood smoker it is important to take three things into consideration: mobility, functionality, and cooking space. The Char-Broil smoker offers both new and seasoned users 50square inches of interior smoking area. For those times when a larger unit is necessary, the three removable racks will accommodate to take in larger meats and poultry. When it comes to mobility, this unit does not come with wheels, however the 50 pound weight of the unit makes it relatively easy to re-locate if necessary.
When you own this Char-Broil smoker you will have one of the lightest yet powerful wood smokers available. The understated design and porcelain-coated body give the impression that your smoking is no joke. Housed within is a 1,500 Watt heating element that will heat both the water and the wood to create a heavy aromatic smoking environment.
The double-insulated walls offer you even heat with minimal thermal loss. The removable water pan and wood chip tray allow for easy and quick start ups and clean ups.
When compared to other models such as the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, this model is smaller and more suited to the enthusiast who is looking for a “hobby” sized smoker.
When it comes to finding a quality smoker that offers a durable and versatile model, the Char-Broil vertical electric smoker leaves the competition in a cloud of smoke. This smoker has a sleek design, simple operating and clean up processes, plenty of power, and room for a number of smoking projects.
Buying a smoker is never easy. If you want to cook your ribs and your fish with perfection every time, then buying any smoker will not seal the deal for you at all.You have to know all the bits and pieces of a smoker before going for it.
But who has the time to learn all that? So I have gathered some of the best options which you should have in an electric smoker that will keep you from buying low quality smokers.
So, here are the top things that you should know to make the perfect and most well thought purchasing decision while shopping for the best electric smoker for you.
Most of the electric smokers use thermostats to keep an eye on the inner temperature of the smoker.
Recently some of the smokers in the market are also using rheostat to measure the heat of the cooking chamber.
While cooking, as you know timing and temperature is really crucial. According to some of the well explained electric smoker reviews, the smokers with thermostats have been given maximum thumbs up.
So, if you want to buy the best of the best from the professional smokers industry, then you should go for the one with a thermostat on it.
My answer is yes, they are. They are easy to use and they do not require extra work like gathering wood and charcoal, which is a must for a classic smoker.
Caveats are the small ventilation system which is installed in the combustion chamber of the smoker to let the smoke and heat escape the chamber.
Normally a wood and charcoal smoker does not have ventilation installed in it, so it leaves a smokier flavor in the food then its electric counterpart.
An electric smoker has less airflow in the chamber, as there is no need for combustion to cook food within an electric smoker. An electric smoker also helps to cook a solid meal without leaving unwanted burn spots on the meat or on the fish.
So, if you are trying to decide if a gas or electric smoker which is better for cooking a tasty and visually attractive meal, then I would vote for the electric one.
You should not buy a smoker without getting really comfortable with its heat structure. The heat structure or a heat flow is based on how heat is distributed within the temperature chamber of a smoker.
But if you are thinking of getting the electric meat smoker fish smoker, than you should go for the smoker which has a upward heat flow which is generated from below the heat furnace. It will help to cook your meat and your fish with perfection and will also help your meal to have the smoky and crunchy flavor which you desire.
Most of the leading smokers, especially the ones I have mentioned as the, have an installed e-smoker temperature control facility which will be really helpful for a newbie to become skilled in cooking smoky delicacies in no time.
Smokers from various have various kind of layers or trays installed within them. Some of them will have a stainless steel structure, while others will have formulated steel racks within them.
While making an educated decision about which one to go for, you should choose the smoker which has thick grids which are also straight. Such a design will prove to be really helpful if you do not have the luxury to spend a lot of electric smoker cooking times.
These designs block the smoky flavor from getting into the food and it also prevents food from getting cooked to perfection. If you look into a popular electric smoker cookbook you will find that they have also suggested to buy smokers with hollow grids, mostly with straight, thick, long bars.
Use of resources
As you know, electric smokers run on electricity, not on wood or charcoal. So if you do not want to collect wood and charcoal to cook food with a smoker, then the best way would be to go for an electric smoker instead of a traditional one.
Extra Tips to Keep in Mind
I really appreciate your presence on my site, so here is a secret for you that I do not share in any other electric smoker review or cookware critique site.
While most of the old timers love to buy their cookware from local markets, most of the smart buyers are now leaning towards buying their cookware online. Especially when it comes to buying critical things like an electric smoker, I strongly recommend you to order them online.
Widthwise, some models are too narrow to accommodate a full rack of ribs or a large brisket or pork loin roast, meaning the meat might have to be halved or trimmed to fit.
Even though propane smokers are modestly priced, you still want to get your money’s worth.
Material can rust
If you have limited space in your backyard, this smoker grill unit is perfect for you. The Medina River Outdoor 60 smoker grill unit is ideal for the small apartment or patio. While small and compact, it can still cook for about six people.
This unit has a grill size measuring 1inches by 1inches and comes with both charcoal grate and grilling grate. It features cool-to-touch handles for safety, banded doors, and damper on its flute.
If you are a grilling enthusiast on a tight budget, this smoker grill combo unit is perfect for you.
With its vertical gas smoker, you are guaranteed a durable as well as a reliable way to smoke your food to perfection. Since it has steel construction and square legs, the unit is both sturdy and stable.
Its temperature gauge is placed at eye level on the unit’s lid to help you accurately monitor how hot the smoker grill is. That said, with this feature, you can also quickly figure out when you can place your food on the grilling platform and how long it will take for it to cook.
Even though not as large as most smoker grill combo, this unit’s 290 square inch cooking space and 140 square inch warming rack give you just enough space to cook your food.
If you look at the price of this smoker grill combo, you will automatically know that this is for grilling enthusiasts on a strict budget. Regardless, you should not let its price turn you off, as it has a few good qualities and features that are definitely worth your time.
This unit is designed with wood handles and shelves that easily stand out from its black steel finish. The metal grate at the bottom and the two wood shelves attached to this unit provides you plenty of places to store miscellaneous grilling items like condiments, seasonings, spatulas, food, drinks and even your charcoal bag.
Its grill and smoker are strategically placed side by side allowing you to organize the food you will be grilling and smoking. It has a built-in thermometer on the main lid that displays the temperature, which enables you to check the temperature without continually opening and closing the lid.
Test the Flame Taming Devices
The flame tamer should be directly over the gas grill burner and not on the sides. When a burner is exposed, the rate of the damage to the burner is greater. That said, grease, oil, and even salt from the food that you are cooking will cause damage to the grill unit over time.
This one has a cooking surface of 50square inches. It is quite smaller than the Masterbuilt, but it is definitely adequate to cater large servings. It comes with three chrome-coated grates that can be adjusted to different height. Because of this, you can fit in large chunks of food on this smoker easily.
Moreover, the Char-Broil has an insulated dual-wall design. This particular scheme enables the device to sustain an even temperature throughout the smoking process. A water pan and wood chip tray are also integrated on this electric smoker. Meanwhile, the temperature gauge on its lid ensures that you have the overall control over the heating element.
The length of its legs is too short
The Smoke Hollow 30162E is an excellent product if you want to push your limited budget to the maximum. It is a versatile device works well with outdoor smoking applications. It can cater various ingredient because of its adjustable temperature. It is notable as well that the temperature controller is exact and precise. Because of this, the device can provide even cooking results.
When it comes to design, I can attest that this electric smoker is extremely rugged and waterproof. The entire body is covered with a porcelain coating, making it resistant to corrosion and rust. Meanwhile, the extended design of its legs enables you to balance it properly wherever you place it! The magnetic door system works perfectly, too.
This device can heat up as fast as 1minutes. With its 480 square inch cooking surface and double wall design, smoking gets very convenient. Just like the Landmann USA Electric Smoker, the Smoke Hollow 30162E is using an independent temperature controller. Therefore, you can already change the temperature without having to touch the device.
How to Choose an Electric Smoker
It is not just enough that you know the best names when it comes to electric smokers. There is also a need for you to know what makes them the “cream of the crop.” In short, you have to assess what makes these devices tick.
Electric smokers may have the same function, but they are not really similar. Most of the models that you can see on the market today vary in design, features, and sizes. Considering these aspects, the choosing process might become difficult, especially for those that are clueless about what to get.
Electric smokers provide more control than to their traditional counterparts. Specifically, the smoker should come with a thermostat that allows you to adjust and maintain the ideal temperature of the smoker. If possible, a smoker that you choose must have a temperature setting so that you can either lower or increase the heat freely.
It would also be great if there is a temperature gauge attached to the door of the electric smoker. This component removes the need for you to guess the internal temperature of the device.
Since the electric smoker will be used on outdoor applications, it should be durable and rugged. The entire structure should be rigid enough to withstand external detriments. The body should not be easily scratched or dented. Of course, those electric smokers that come with double walls are expected to be sturdy. They also have amplified heating efficiency.
One of the most ignored aspects of a smoker is its legs. These parts hold the entire structure in one piece. Therefore, it should have an ergonomic design that ensures balance and stability. Otherwise, the device would be rendered wobbly. There is a good chance that it could stumble, especially when breezed by strong wind gusts.
Take note that an electric smoker should have handles on their side so that you can transport them easily. Meanwhile, its door should have a magnetic latch system, too. You don’t want the smoke to leak out from the device. That’s a waste of heat and power. Fortunately, a foolproof door can keep this from happening.
Lastly, it is essential that the electric smoker has an air damper. It would enable the moisture to escape, which allows an optimal smoking process.
I think that for this price, considering the features, the cooking surface, efficiency and temperature control it is the number ( right behind PG2DLX ).
Why did I choose this pellet smoker as the second and not the first one? Only because of the price and size. For many people the grill that I described above will be enough and the price is half as much. If you have some more money to spend, then you’ll love this smoker.
When you first look at the price you will think it is high. But it’s a pellet grill that is definitely worth every cent. Perfect suggestion for demanding meat smokers as well as for those who are starting on their journey and wish to have a really decent equipment with many interesting features.
Temperature – we’ll start from that since I believe that it is something we should pay attention from the start. This smoker is phenomenal at handling maintaining a fixed temperature. Forget about constantly monitoring the temperature, it’s completely unnecessary here. Just set the temperature and forget about control.
All thanks to the Smart Grill Technology™ PID temperature controller. This system is intelligent and precise enough to allow you to set the temperature from 180ºF to 500ºF at 5º intervals. And it really does work, it’s not just another marketing gimmick on the manufacturers’ part.
When you open the lid of the REC TEC Grill, the Smart Grill Technology™ system detects the temperature drop and adds more fuel in order to maintain the temperature you choose.
Your grill calculates the amount of fuel needed to maintain the desired temperature in real time.
This pellet smoker includes Smart Grill Technology™ which takes all those factors into account, which allows to maintain the temperature you selected all through the entire cooking process.
Keep that in mind, as the right temperature is the key to making great food. Meanwhile, plenty of competitive grills use old systems that are bad at maintaining the temperature in different weather conditions.
The construction and the elements – REC TEC Pellet grill are an investment for years, safe from corroding. Most of competitive grills look pretty on the outside and the manufacturers claim they are made of stainless steel. The truth is, only the outside part of the grill is stainless. The steel on the inside is different, and major parts are made of materials of poorer quality.
It is different with REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill, here the solid construction is made of high quality materials. On the outside, high temperature powder coat and porcelain enamel finish. While inside, the manufacturers use stainless steel of very good quality for all the major parts. On the official website, we can read that you can find over 40 pounds of 30stainless steel parts in this grill ( see for yourself ).
Pellet Hopper – One of the reasons we all buy a pellet smoker for is the long cooking time. It’s an automated grill, but it needs to be provided with the right amount of pellets in the hopper. Those grills are used for long, often all night long meat smoking. That’s why it’s important for the pellet container to be very big. Here you get a 40 pound hopper capacity. You can be sure you won’t run out of fuel during longer cooking.
Cooking surface – Whole 70square inches at our disposal, which is a lot. But if this is still not enough for you, you can buy a second shelf and expand the cooking surface by extra 35square inches. That’s the total of 105square inches of meat grilling or smoking space. I think when it comes to this pellet grill, you can’t complain about insufficient space.
No meat probe
This time it’s a suggestion to those who need to bring the pellet smoker along when going out camping. Small portable pellet grill, equipped with plenty of useful features. You can easily put it in the car with you, as it has foldable legs and is lightweight.
The cooking surface is 21square inches. That’s a good number for a portable pellet smoker.
Pellet hopper holds 1lbs of pellets. Of course it also has a fat container, a stainless steel bucket, which is standard in every grill.
This pellet smoker is equipped with a PID controller, which means that the temperature control in this grill is very good. It can be controlled manually or using an app on your phone.
The panel allows to set the temperature at 150-500 F degrees at F degree intervals. It guarantees that the temperature won’t rise or drop by dozens of degrees, making your cooking more complicated that way. The PID controller makes sure that the selected temperature is maintained, and it really does a good job with that.
The app allows to create profiles. That way you can set it so that your meat smokes at lower temperatures for the first 2-hours, then you can set it so that it smokes at higher temperature for the next hours.
Temperature Probes for Electric Smokers
One of the best features of many higher-end smokers is that they offer great heat control by using a temperature probe to maintain constant heat inside the unit. The ones that simply let you set a desired temperature with an external dial, but don’t regulate it once set, won’t produce the best food.
A remote meat thermometer which can be read via WiFi can be a smart additional investment, particularly for smokers that don’t have great temperature control.
The Weston Food Smoker comes with a porcelain water bowl, smoking box and chrome-plated cooking racks. This smoker features a rotary igniter for easy start-up. An external temperature gauge accurately displays the internal temperature of the smoker.
Another excellent smoker from Char-Broil, the makers of the Big Easy, our best value smoker. Compared to that, the Digital Electric 72is more expensive, but comes with a lot to love, including several pieces of tech that automates of lot of the grunt work of cooking.
Char-Broil Digital Electric 725
Excellently built all the way through, the Char-Broil digital is a quality little unit. Double insulated walls and a really generous internal cooking area over racks make sure that this can handle whatever home use you might have for it, and the powerful heating element easily brings the inside to up to 250F, more than enough.
The only downsides I saw with this smoker are getting used to some of the controls, which can be a touch weird without reading the manual first, and the remote occasionally cut out on me, which meant I had to get up out of my comfy chair.
Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smoker
The first thing you notice when you open this baby up is the huge amount of cooking space. Four huge chrome smoking racks that give you over 700 square inches of smoking room, which is easily enough for two small turkeys, or maybe one huge one, come Thanksgiving.
The little touches are nice, too. The handles are curled wire, and specially made to vent heat so you can open it up without worrying about burning yourself, even without gloves. Not only that, but the wood chip tray and water tray that come with it are porcelain and pretty solid construction. Not something you see often on a smoker this cheap.
Get This Electric Smoker
Everyone loves that delicate, succulent flavor of well smoked meat, and recently the price for home smokers has dropped. Especially when it comes to electric smokers.
Now, you can pick up a budget home smoker for a really reasonable price that will easily cover the needs of your family, and probably a bunch of friends too. Even better, these smaller electric smoking grills are all really simple and easy to use, making them ideal for first time users.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your gas smokers wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of gas smokers
- №1 — Tuffy Reversible BBQ Grill Pad
- №2 — Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Smoker
- №3 — Smoke Hollow SH36GW Gas Smoker with Window