June 30

Best Gas Smoker for Barbecuing

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When it comes to barbecues, the definition of what the best gas smoker is differs from one person to the other. To help you pick the best gas smoker for when you are having your next barbecue, therefore, we have gone through the market, sampled the top recommended gas smokers, and compared them against each to identify the best.

Considerations When Picking a Gas Smoker

How Much Can The Gas Smoker Accommodate

The amount of food that you can grill on the gas smoker determines how many people you can cook for at once. The best gas smoker for a small time dad who grills only for his wife and kids, for instance, is different from that of a large scale griller who entertains his whole family at his house on family holidays. You do not want a situation where food gets ready in bits and half of the crowd you are hosting has to wait while more meat grills because you picked a gas smoker that is smaller than you require.

Good gas grills will allow flexibility by having adjustable racks that you can move around to reduce or increase the amount of food being grilled according to the number of people that you are serving.

Reliability

How much you can depend on your gas smoker really matters. Most gas smokers in the modern day come with timers that you can preset for optimum grilling conditions. Your choice of a gas smoker should be one that can maintain the pre-set conditions throughout the grilling session and gives you an alert once the cooking is done.

Structure Quality

A good gas smoker produces limited amounts of smoke, locks in heat and moisture, and does not leak grease. Having optimum conditions of heat, moisture, and reduced smoke levels allows your meat to grill in a perfectly regulated environment and the result of the grilling is perfectly cooked meat.

Cost

Gas smokers range in price depending on the features they pack and what amount of food they can accommodate. The amount of money you spend determines what you get as additional features on a gas smoker. Consider buying a smoker that is within your price range and capable of serving you fully to avoid buying a pricey smoker that you do not even need.

Cleaning

A grilling session is always followed by a cleanup process to get rid of leftover food pieces and overcooked pieces of meat. Be on the lookout for smokers that come with detachable racks that you can remove and clean separately. Removable racks also give you access to the interior parts of the smoker, thus allowing you to clean its walls and remove the dirt stuck on its interior.

Additionally, consider smokers that have non-stick pans and racks because they make getting rid of dirt even easier.

How Gas Smokers Work

According to master class, a popular grilling website, gas smokers work by heating meat through conventional currents of hot smoky air. The meat placed in the top compartment of the smoker is surrounded by hot smoky air that allows the meat to cook both inside and outside.

Parts of a Gas Smoker

Gas Burner

Located at the bottom part of the smoker, it acts as the source of heat. A flame lights up the gas as it leave the burner through the many vents at the top of the burner.

Wood Chip Tray

Above the burner is a tray that is perforated at the top, which holds pre-selected chips from hardwood trees. The wood chip tray produces smoke after heat from the burner heats the wood chips. Different chips produce different flavors enabling you to spice your meat the way you like it.

Water Pan

The water pan is located above the wood chip tray and is initially filled with cold water. As the smoker gradually heats up, so does the water in the tray. At optimal temperature, the water begins steaming and combines with the smoke from the wood chips.

Grill Racks

Depending on the size of your gas burner, you could have one or multiple grills that you use to hold the food you are grilling. Food can be placed directly on the grills or you could opt to put it on skillets covered with aluminum foil.

Dampers and Vents

Dampers and vents are located both at the bottom and at the top of the grill. They function by controlling airflow into the gas burner at the bottom and allowing heat to escape at the top of the burner. By controlling airflow, the bottom vents also help regulate the temperature at which the smoker operates at. More airflow means more oxygen, which means that the temperature rises. Limited airflow reduces the amount of oxygen and in effect, reduces the temperature of the smoker.

Top Gas Smokers Review

Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker

The versatile smoker from Cuisinart is a majestic 36-inch high smoker suitable for both small time and vigorous grilling. The interior has a robust space that measures 5.45 square feet. Its vertical profile allows for multiple placement of grills while the internal combustion chamber fits four 14 inch by 14 inch stainless steel grills. The grills are removable and dishwasher safe.

With this Cuisinart smoker, monitoring the temperature is easy with a built in thermometer that is placed conveniently on the front door. Adjustable air supply vents allow users to adjust the airflow into the smoker, thereby enabling them to regulate both the temperature and the amount of smoke. The door features a convenient twist to seal handle that locks in the heat, moisture, and smoke in the smoker.

Wood chips and water in the Cuisinart smoker are held in two porcelain-enameled trays, which make cleaning up after a grilling session easy and fast. A 40-inch long hose that effectively attaches to a regular propane tank is sold with the smoker and has a regulator for changing the amount of gas going into the smoker.

Durability is guaranteed with the manufacturer offering a 3 year limited warranty for this gas smoker.

Pros

  • Features a thermometer that is easy to read and conveniently placed at the front door
  • Racks are removable
  • The racks can be cleaned in the dishwasher
  • The smoker supports high temperature up to 4000F
  • The wood chip tray holds enough wood chips for a complete grilling session
  • With proper care and maintenance, this is the best gas smoker for you if all you want is an impressively durable smoker
  • Supports grilling of both small and large amounts of food at a go
  • Combined wood chip tray and water pan make cleaning after use easier

Cons

  • The smoker does not have hanging hooks to hang meat when the racks are removed
  • The hose sold with the smoker does not support use with natural gas
  • Requires regular refilling of the water pan during a grilling session
  • Lack of wheels makes it hard to move around
  • Requires seasoning before first use
  • Lack of insulation on the walls causes the exterior to get hot during grilling
  • Wood chip tray requires extraction when refilling the wood chips
  • Sold without the propane tank

Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP 36″ Vertical LP Gas Smoker

The Dyna-Glo gas smoker features an electric push ignition button that enables easy and quick firing up of the smoker at the beginning of a grilling session. The iron cast body withstands high temperatures of up to 15,000 BTU and retains the temperature for long once it is heated up in both cold and hot weather.

Featuring double doors, the gas smoker minimizes heat loss in the heating chamber. To refill the water or add wooden chips, one only opens the bottom door.

The top door features a well calibrated temperature gauge with excellent décor and a marked optimum smoking temperature range that helps the cook maintain the temperature at optimum smoking levels.

Sliding vents and air dampers at the top and the sides facilitate the regulation of airflow into the smoker for a varied choice of smoking and cooling option.

The smoker has two separate enameled trays that have stay cool handles for holding wood chips and water. The wood chip tray also has a covering lid that allows the wood chips to smoke for longer.

A robust interior that measures 784 square inches conveniently fits four height adjustable cooking crates that accommodate any size of food that you desire to grill in the smoker.

A one year limited warranty cover on the Dyna-Glo smoker guarantees its durability.

Pros

  • The manufacture avails a separate premium cover for protection
  • Adjustable racks allow grilling of different sizes in the cooking space
  • Separate water and wood chip trays allow easy refilling during grilling
  • Double doors allow refilling water and wood chips without opening the upper compartment
  • Conspicuous thermometer at the front door allows easy regulation of temperature at optimum levels
  • Covered by one year limited warranty
  • The cooking racks can support a weight of up to 25 pounds

Cons

  • The smoker allows low temperature of 1000F, thus limiting cooking of smaller foods which require lower temperature
  • Regulating lower temperatures below 2500 F is difficult
  • The smoker does not have a rib rack
  • The electric ignition fails to light the propane gas if its battery runs out
  • Lack of insulation on the side walls causes them to heat up
  • The large size of the smoker require high temperatures for the wood chips to smoke
  • The fitting shipped with the smoker hose does not support use with natural gas

PIT BOSS 77435 Vertical Lp Gas Smoker

Pit boss Verticla Smoker has a modern look with a large transparent display at the front that enables viewing of the food as it grills without opening the front door. The smoker has long elevated stands that have two wheels at the back for easy movement from one point to another.

The cooking area measures 884 square inches and fits four porcelain coated cooking racks that are easy to clean since no food sticks on the porcelain surface.

The wood chip tray rolls in and out, thus allowing a seamless refilling of wood chips without interrupting the grilling food.

External heat indicators allow easy monitoring of temperature. It comes with a dual valve burner system that has one valve dedicated to heating the wood chips at 3,500 BTU while the other valve heats up the cabinet at 10,000 BTU. This enables a simple temperature regulation on the smoker with the adjustment of one knob that controls both valves. The smoker allows regulating temperature range between 1000F and 3500F. An instant push electrical ignition exists at the bottom that instantly lights up the gas on the burner.

The convenient elevated height on this modern smoker allows easy transfer of food from the heating cabinet to the dining table with ease.

Pros

  • Large transparent display enables viewing of food while grilling is in progress
  • Pull out tray works well even when the smoker is heated to high temperatures
  • Wood chips last for a long time when grilling at low temperatures
  • Wheels on the rear stand allows easy moving of the smoker
  • Has nice aesthetics with the red color
  • A cover for the smoker is available for purchase
  • Convenient height enables serving directly from the smoker to the dinner table
  • Includes four removable cooking racks
  • The cooking racks are porcelain coated, which makes the easy to clean
  • Adjustable exhaust port on the rear prevents overheating
  • Hanging hooks that fit the cabinet space with racks removed are available

Cons

  • Require special customization for use with natural gas
  • The protective cover is sold separately
  • The walls are not insulated
  • Hanging hooks that fit the smoker are sold separately
  • Temperature control is done manually by adjusting the burners

Masterbuilt 44241GW 2-Door Propane Gas Smoker with Window

Masterbuilt gas smoker is a heavy-duty gas smoker that features double stainless steel burners that can be operated independently for optimum temperature control. The water pans on the smoker are large enough to hold large quantities of water for long uninterrupted grilling time and have handles on both ends, which make transferring water into the smoker easy.

The smoker also has a large cooking area that measures 6.5 cubic feet and holds enough amounts of food for a large gathering.

The seven cooking grids on the smoker enable versatile cooking with four of them being standard sized grills, two are jerky grills, one rib rack, and one sausage hanger.

The dual door design of the smoker enable users to replenish wood chips and refill water pans without interrupting the grilling process on the top chamber. The top doors have tempered glass that allows the cook to monitor the grilling progress without opening the grill doors.

A temperature gauge also lets you know the interior temperature without using an external thermometer. Moreover, the smoke adjuster easily allows regulation of the temperature to desired levels.

The ignition of the smoker is also an easy electrical push button that instantly lights up the burner without fail.

Pros

  • Covered by a one year warranty
  • Has versatile racks that enable cooking for a large crowd at a go
  • A covering protector that fits the smoker is available for purchase
  • Double doors enable refilling wood chips and water without affecting the combustion chamber temperatures
  • Large clear glass doors allow monitoring of the grilling process
  • The electric ignition is effective in lighting up the burner
  • The smoker performs well in hot and cold weather

Cons

  • Short distance between the wood chip tray and the burner ignites the wood chips if they are not soaked in water
  • Its large size makes it wasteful when cooking small amounts of food
  • The glass doors do not seal completely and allow some smoke to escape
  • Temperature regulator does not allow temperatures lower than 280 degrees
  • Clear glass door becomes dark after use for some time, thus blocking the view
  • The smoker does not include a meat probe
  • Requires seasoning before first time use

Smoke Hollow 30164G 30-Inch Propane Gas Smoker

The final smoker in the review is the Smoke hollow gas smoker that closely resembles the Masterbuilt 44241GW but with fewer grills and only one burner.

The smoker measures 39.5 inches in height and has a cooking cabinet that measures 30 inches in height, 14 inches in width, and 16 inches in length.

This spacious cooking compartment fits three removable grills that are made of polished and chrome-covered stainless steel that can be varied to accommodate the amount of food you can place in the cooking cabinet.

The front door features a secure locking spring controlled handle that latches securely into place to ensure that once the grill is started, there are no interruptions until the cooking process is complete. A temperature sensor is conspicuously placed at the top part on the front door that monitors the interior temperature without the need for opening the door. The ignition is an efficient push button ignition that sparks to light the propane gas on the stainless steel burner that supports heat at 10,000 BTU.

The fully welded one-piece construction of the Smoke Hollow smoker ensures that heat and smoke are retained in the cooking cabinet from when the grilling process begins to when it ends. In doing so, it seals in heat and maintains consistent temperature levels throughout.

Pros

  • Sold with accompanying water and wood chip pans
  • The separation of the water pan and wood chip trays makes it easier to use
  • Once heated, the smoker maintains its temperature at optimal levels for long periods of time
  • The thermometer gives accurate readings, thus enabling cooks to achieve perfect grills
  • The door gives a perfect seal that is good for heat retention
  • The manufacturer covers the smoker under warranty and covers damage that happens within stipulated warranty agreements
  • Its large cooking compartment enables grilling large portions
  • With proper care and maintenance, the smoker is durable

Cons

  • Maintaining low temperatures is difficult using the knob
  • Temperature ranges change with the environment, thus making it hard to maintain low temperatures during hot weather
  • The burner walls get hot due to lack of insulation
  • Replenishing the wood chips and water requires opening the large doors, which allows heat and moisture to escape

And The Winner is…

From our comparison of the five gas smokers, Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker appears to be best gas smoker for a barbecue session. The flexibility of the removable grills that are dishwasher safe makes it trump over both the Masterbuilt and Smoke Hollow. The two smokers, however, are ideal if you are cooking for many people. As such, they are more suited to commercial use in restaurants and hotels. Cooking small amounts with large smokers leads to wastage because the gas used when heating up the smoker for small meals, is the same used when grilling large meals. The Dyna Glo is a close contender and comes as the runner up in our review. This is because its small capacity only makes it ideal for small grills.


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