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
- Porcelain-enameled lid, bowl, and center section retain heat and won't rust or peel
- Two cooking grates provide ample room for smoking two large items at once
- Silicone temperature grommet monitors the internal temperature of your smoker
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
- 5.45 SQUARE FEET OF INTERIOR: The spacious 5.45 square foot interior means there is plenty of room to smoke a variety of meats along with several trays of vegetables. The vertical footprint makes it a perfect size for patios and barbecue kitchens.
- FOUR 14 X 14-INCH REMOVABLE STAINLESS STEEL SHELVES: Four stainless steel racks can be easily removed for smoking whole birds or large cuts of meat. Racks are dishwasher safe, making cleanup easy.
- BUILT-IN THERMOMETER: Features easy-to-read thermometer on the front door for accessible monitoring of the internal temperature.
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
- New digital display and controls make this electric smoker easy to operate
- Tempered glass viewing window makes it easy to see the results without opening the door
- Large-capacity 3.0 cubic ft. or 720 sq. in. Cooking capacity, external-loading wood chip tray allows you to easily add wood chips
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.