How to buy the Best Gas Smoker?

A gas smoker enables owners to take their backyard parties to the next level. Smokers are capable of grilling large batches of meat, fish, and veggies with minimal or no supervision at all, giving the party host ample time to mingle with his guests rather than spending time tending to the grill and getting smoked himself.

Gas smokers can be set up and left to tend on its own because you can set the timer and the temperature. Unlike gas grills that you have to constantly check, just in case you’re burning the meat too much. As a result, smokers avoid grilling the meat too much (overcooked, dry, or burnt) or too less (undercooked or raw). The grilled goodies give your party and guests more reasons to enjoy the party.

If this is your first time to buy a smoker of you’re planning to replace an old one, make sure to read through this article to know what to look for when you buy your gas smoker. All factors that should be considered will be listed, to give you an insight for decision-making.

 

What to look for in a gas smoker?

In order for you to get the best gas smoker there is, we have listed some factors about the suitable gas smoker for you and some recommendation. Remember, just because a gas smoker is deemed as the best there is means that it will be the best for you too. Everyone has different needs and preferences, so it’s up to you to decide which one is the best gas smoker.

Price: The best gas smokers don’t really come with a big price tag. You can get a good one that will last you years below $500. In some cases, it can go as low as around $100. Your decision shouldn’t be really swayed by the price of the gas smoker because most of them come in the same range. A good investment would be the:

 

Char-Broil Big Easy TRU Infrared Smoker, Roaster, and Grill

Bestseller No. 1
Char-Broil Offset Smoker, 40"
  • 739 sq in primary cooking surface with 275 sq in secondary cooking surface
  • 3-piece smoking chamber helps eliminate air loss and maintain temperature
  • Porcelain-coated cooking grates and lid-mounted temperature gauge

 

Be wary though of the cheap ones as they might be refurbished ones that customers returned due to problems and were just fixed. Refurbished are definitely cheaper but it poses some risks.

However, if the seller promises to take full responsibility, gives good warranty, and would take the product back in case you changed your mind or encountered problems, it’s probably worth trying it. Who knows, you might get lucky. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Meanwhile, gas smokers that go beyond $500 are deemed luxurious. Keep in mind to go over the quality of the overall product, the material used, the capacity, etc. Also read reviews about the product you’re eyeing. You don’t really have to spend so much for the sake of practicality.

Fuel: Gas smokers mostly come in propane fuel (the tanks don’t come with the product). Although propane tank is considered as cheap in some areas, it may be a hassle to refill and/or replace it every time it runs out as you have to run to your nearby utility station. It’s also difficult to know how much fuel you have left so most owners take their tanks for refills although it’s not fully used up yet.

For this, barbecue junkies who use gas tanks have found a way to not be shortchanged. Purchase a grill gauge to use for weighing propane tanks. An empty tank weight five pounds, and a full one is 20 pounds. It’s also worth mentioning that since your gas grill runs through propane tanks, you should get a backup tank just in case you’ll need it. This is advisable if you’re having a big party and the smoker is the main source of party food.

There’s also a way to avoid using propane tanks and skip all the hassle. This is to connect your smoker to your existing natural gas line. Doing this will also cut costs because natural gas is cheaper than propane. Not all gas smokers come natural gas ready though so you have to seek the help of a professional to set up your smoker to the gas line. It may cost you a bit depending on the distance of the smoker to the nearest line.

Even if you’re tempted to save, hire a professional for this. You don’t want to risk having flaws in the gas connections. Something that isn’t difficult to connect to your gas line is the:

 

Landmann USA 3495GLA Smoky Mountain Vertical Gas Smoker, 34-in

Landmann USA 3495GLA Smoky Mountain Vertical Gas Smoker, 34-in
  • Heat saving easy access drawers with handle to access wood chip box and water pan with opening main chamber door
  • 13,500 btu with fully adjustable heat control and front door temperature gauge
  • 4 adjustable chrome plated cooking grates and meat hanger

 

Size: Gas smokers come in many sizes and shapes. Decide if you want to get a big one or a small to medium sized one. Naturally, big ones will consume more fuel but this will enable you to cook more meat and result to less batches. If you like throwing backyard parties a lot and invite two dozen people at a time, then a big smoker is worth getting as it can whip up a large amount of food in the littlest time.

On the other hand, if you have backyard gatherings for your family and friends, a small to medium sized smoker will suffice. A small smoker can accommodate about 12 hungry stomachs, easily.

Smokers also come in different shapes, the popular one being the cabinet style ones, with front door opening just like a refrigerator. This is the recommended one to get because it has several tiers that allows you to put a lot of meat to grill at once. An affordable cabinet-style smoker is the:

 

Masterbuilt Propane Smoker

Bestseller No. 1
Masterbuilt MB20052318 Propane Smoker 230S
  • Dual-door design - add wood chips without losing heat
  • Four chrome-coated smoking racks
  • 15, 400 BTU stainless Steel burner

 

Conclusion

Smokers are a fantastic addition to your backyard, patio, or outdoor kitchen because of its ability to produce mouth-watering dishes easily; you don’t have to be a top chef to own or operate one. It’s also easier to use compared to traditional grills because it doesn’t require your full attention.

It’s able to work on its own and grill without you having to look over your shoulder all the time. A gas smoker is also a good replacement for charcoal smoker or grills because it is able to retain the nice, smokey flavor charcoal smokers produce, without the cost of messy, high-maintenance cooking.

Gas Smoker Reviews: How to select the best Gas Smoker?

Owning a gas smoker to use during backyard barbecue gatherings is a must because it not only produces mouth-watering grilled goodies, but it also does it so that none of your time and efforts is wasted. This is also the case if you want to cook up a lot of dishes in several batches; if you’re going to do it on a grill all by yourself, you’ll take hours, and not to mention, you’ll be spending the entirety of the party in front of the grill.

There are a lot of gas smokers out there and it might be noteworthy that you should read through gas smoker reviews before you leap onto shopping for the one deemed best.

A positive review may not necessarily mean that it’s the one that will work with you because everyone’s needs and preferences are different from the other. That said, reviews should only be a guide and not the main factor that will affect decision-making.

Since you’ll be deciding about the right gas smoker to get, it’s essential that you know how to select the best gas smoker through this article.

 

What are the factors to consider when getting a gas smoker?

Source of fuel: Propane tanks mostly run gas-powered smokers but it can be modified so that you can connect it to your existing natural gas line. Propane tanks, although handy can be a bit costly because you’ll have to constantly take it to your utility station for refills or tank replacement/exchange. Having it directly connected to your natural gas line can save you bucks because it’s cheaper and hassle-free.

The initial setup to the gas line may be a bit tricky though and having a professional set it up for you may require you to pay a hefty amount, depending on the job to be done and the distance of the smoker to the nearest gas line. It’s going to be worth in the long run. Warning: Do not attempt to do the smoker and gas line connection yourself, as it’s very hazardous. You don’t want your line to have leaks, especially when you try to run your gas smoker.

If you’re sticking to using propane tanks, there’s a way to know the capacity of the tank so you’re sure about the time to take the trip to the utility station. Use a grill gauge that weighs the tank. In the gauge, an empty tank would weigh about five pounds while a full tank would weigh 20 pounds. This will also avoid getting under-filled if you take it with you to the refill station.

Price: You can get a good quality gas smoker for less than $500 that will do a stunning job. Gas smokers are preferred by many over electric ones not only because it is cheaper than electric smokers but it also produces better tasting meat. Gas smokers are able to retain a bit of the smokey flavor compared to electric. If you’re totally going for flavor rather than ease of cooking, read more about charcoal smokers. An affordable yet high quality smoker is the:

 

Outdoor Leisure 38208G Smoke Hollow Propane-Gas Smoker

Bestseller No. 1
Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker, Black
  • Charcoal smoker for authentic smokehouse flavor at home.Rust-resistant aluminum heat shield
  • Made of porcelain-enameled steel; heat-resistant nylon handle
  • 2 nickel-plated 18-1/2-inch-wide cooking grates for a total of 481 square inches

 

Some smokers go up further than $500. These are mostly because of the materials used, the quality, and the brand name. If you are going to use yours for family gatherings that are not very frequent, you don’t have to spend that much. Mid-priced gas smokers will do the trick.

Style: There are different styles to choose from when getting a gas smoker. The popular ones are the upright standing smokers such as the bullet style, barrel/drum smoker, and cabinet style smoker. These are popular because of its function and design. It opens up in the front like a refrigerator and is very easy and safe to use as putting in and taking out meat won’t cause any accidental burns.

Types like these are very tight and insulated. It also allow you to smoke multiple meats and veggies without wasting gas. Get something with several tiers such as the:

 

Weston Outdoor Vertical Propane Smoker

Bestseller No. 1
Weston 30-Inch Outdoor Propane Vertical Smoker (41-0701-W)
  • External thermometer
  • Black powder coated steel door with door clamps
  • 30" Fully welded black coated steel cabinet

 

Other styles include the offset side firebox and kamado smokers, which look like a giant sturdy egg. Offset side firebox may have a lot of additional functions but isn’t recommended if you’re purchasing solely for the smoker.

Size: Deciding for the right capacity of smoker to buy depends on the manner of usage. Do you expect to have a lot of visitors every now and then? If yes, go for mid to large sized smokers as they are able to grill more meat in a certain period. They can also last a day of grilling, especially if your typical gathering doesn’t finish in only a few hours.

However, if you’re the type who is looking for some laidback backyard barbecue gatherings, consider getting a small one. Generally, smaller sized gas smokers are enough to feed about 10 to 15 family members/guests. Also consider this if you’re not going to use it much. You don’t want to invest a lot in something that you’ll leave to rust outdoors.

If you want to get more usage out of your smoker, get one with accessories built-in to it such as a grill and side burner. For this type, check the:

 

Smoke Hollow SH7000 Gas/Charcoal/Smoker Grill with Infrared Sear Burner

SaleBestseller No. 1
Smoke Hollow PS4415 Pro Series Propane Smoker, 33" x 24.5" x 60", Black
  • 2-Independently-controlled 11, 000 BTU stainless Steel burners
  • 2-Large-capacity external-loading smoke flavor wood chip trays
  • 2-Standard cooking grids, 2 jerky style cooking grids, combination cooking grid/rib rack

 

Conclusion

If you love backyard barbecues and do it regularly with family, or you often invite friends to come over for a laidback day of grilling, you might consider getting a gas smoker. Unlike traditional grills, a gas smoker will take care of the entire job for you. All you have to do is place the meat inside the smoker, set the time, turn it on, and leave meat to grill.

It gives you quality time to spend with your loved ones and friends as a host, instead of spending time in front of the grill, making sure that the meat is cooked well for your guests. Gas smokers are also fairly cheap and very safe to operate compared to other type of smokers.

How to select an Electric Smoker Grill?

Electric smoker grills are nice to have because it gives more function. Having a grill or a smoker on its own is already awesome. But you get two of these? It’s perfect. However, you won’t really need both of them at the same time and in some instances, you’ll probably just use one of them, which asks the question: Do you really need to get an electric smoker grill?

The answer depends on your needs and preferences. Do you want (not necessarily need) to own both? Do you always hold backyard barbecue parties with a lot of guests? Do you have the budget to spare? If your answer is yes to one or more questions then why not? After all, owning both is pretty cool.

Before you get all excited and go to the first appliance store you know to get your first or replacement electric smoker grill, it’s worth noting to get in-depth with a buying guide about electric smoker grills. You want to be able to purchase the right one on the first go, as these don’t come cheap.

 

What to look for in an Electronic Smoker Grill?

Price: You can get an electric smoker grill for as cheap as a hundred dollars or as expensive as a few thousand bucks. Bear in mind that it doesn’t mean that you got your appliance at an affordable price it’s not good enough. Or that if you got the most expensive product there is, it’s the best one. Prices and needs vary; one can find his perfect smoker grill for a little over than $100, while one may get satisfied and happy for a smoker grill that’s over $1000.

It all boils down to your preferences, and of course, your budget. The function is always the same; the differences are in the composition of materials used, the brand name, and other additions or perks such as a side burner. An example for a multi-functional smoker grill that’s still within the “acceptable” budget range is the:

 

Smoke Hollow Gas/Charcoal Smoker Grill

Smoke Hollow 1800CGS Gas/Charcoal/Smoker Grill with Side Burner
  • Gas and charcoal grill with side smoker
  • 860 square Inch of cooking area
  • Burns charcoal and liquid propane

 

If you have the money to spare but can’t decide to save or splurge, barbecue fanatics who have tried it all give this advice: Get a smoker grill that’s over $400; you will get the ability to smoke lots of food at once and have the best equipment to do it with.

Temperature Control: This is one of the main factors that should make you decide whether to get a smoker grill or not. One of the best aspects of owning a smoker is it does the job perfectly on its own and wouldn’t need you lurking close to it all the time. To be able to do this, the smoker grill should have temperature that you can set for a specific amount of time.

Delivering the meal on time is as important as making sure that it’s not overcooked or undercooked so get a smoker grill that makes it easy to control temperature. Electric smokers would simply allow you to put the food in, set the temperature and time, and leave it to cook. After which is a waiting game that you can spend with your guests, family, or friends.

Capacity: Decide for the capacity of your smoker grill. Go for a big one if you consider yourself as a backyard party fanatic who almost always holds big BBQ cookout fests in your home and invite over a dozen guests at a time. You’d want something that is big enough to cook a lot of meat at once as it makes serving hungry people fast. You may consider getting the:

 

Outdoor Leisure SH36208 Smoke Hollow 40-Inch Barrel

Bestseller No. 1
Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker, Black
  • Charcoal smoker for authentic smokehouse flavor at home.Rust-resistant aluminum heat shield
  • Made of porcelain-enameled steel; heat-resistant nylon handle
  • 2 nickel-plated 18-1/2-inch-wide cooking grates for a total of 481 square inches

 

It’s capable to grill a big quantity of food at once with its 720-square inch of cooking area.

On the other hand, if you aim to serve only a few people including your family and some neighbors who can’t help but come over after smelling the whiff of grilled meat, consider getting a small to medium sized electric smoker grill. It will save you up electricity in the long run and it saves some parts of the unused electric smoker grill from rusting.

Accessories: You can purchase some “add-ons” for your electric smoker grill. A thermometer should be considered especially if you’re using a barrel smoker grill with a separate firebox hanging at the side such as the:

 

Laguna Grills Big Horse Smoker Grill

Sale
Laguna Grills GS-41 Big Horse Smoker Grill
  • Designed to feed up to 15 people
  • Fire box and smoking chambers are equipped with charcoal grates and grilling grates
  • Features 538 square Inch of smoking space

 

To make sure that the heat is sufficient when you cook. Thermometers aren’t expensive and can be bought in major appliance stores.

If your electric smoker grill is stored outdoors, you should also purchase a quality cover to protect it against the changing weathers. Covers range in shapes, sizes, thickness, and material. They can be bought in hardware stores and are fairly cheap. To aid you in your search, try the Classic Accessories Veranda Barbecue Grill Cover:

Sale
Classic Accessories 73912 Veranda Grill Cover - Durable BBQ Cover with Heavy-Duty Weather Resistant Fabric, Medium, 58-Inch
  • THE CLASSIC ACCESSORIES DIFFERENCE: CA Veranda covers have interior bound seams for strength, high-density stitching for durability, padded handles for comfort, matching webbing for a great look and California Prop 65 compliance for health and safety
  • PREMIUM GRILL COVERS: Barbecue cover guaranteed to fit barbecue grills 58" long x 24" deep x 48" high*
  • WEBER GRILL COVER: Fits Weber Genesis II Gas Grill model E-310, Spirit Gas Grill models E-310, E-320, SP-310, SP-320 and Weber Genesis Silver B models, along with many other popular brands (Brinkmann, CharBroil, Jenn Air, etc)

 

Conclusion

An electric smoker grill is a nice addition to your backyard or outdoor kitchen especially if you love just spending time with your family there for impromptu barbecue cookouts, or inviting friends over for a weekend of barbecue parties. A smoker grill has a lot of positive feedback because it doubles the capacity of the food you can cook.

For instance, you can smoke salmon while grilling burgers on the side. It gives your guests more variety and more dishes to sample, which will make your backyard party the talk of the town.

Of course, there are still a few cons with using an electric smoker grill such as the cost of the electricity bill if you tend to use your grill a lot. Cooking using electric grills also eliminate the chance of having an additional smokey flavor in your meat. If these concern you, you can opt to choose a more fuel-efficient smoker grill, which is either gas or charcoal.

However, many owners still stick to electric smoker grills because it’s very easy to use, safe, and fast. You don’t have to install it to gas lines, refuel propane tanks, or even tend to the messy charcoal.