Barbecue purists tend to turn up their noses at gas-powered smokers. I don't believe that this is because they cannot turn out great smoked foods, but because there are too many poorly designed and basically cheap gas smokers on the market. I have put together this list of the best gas smokers for sale today for those who want a simple and easy to operate smoker but don't want to be tied to an extension cord.
01 of 08
The biggest limitations of gas smokers are the range of temperatures they can hit and the fact that most of them leak smoke and heat through the doors. The Smoke Hollow 44-inch smoker doesn't have these problems. The doors latch closed tightly and the dual burner design gives it a much wider range of temperatures. It is also a very large smoker, standing 5 feet high with five racks and seven cubic feet of capacity. If there is a problem with this smoker you probably... won't see it for a few years. The lightweight burners and thinner metals shorten the life expectancy of this smoker. Care should be taken to keep it in good working order.
02 of 08
One of the problems with gas smokers is that the heat output can be limited by a factory who thinks they know best. While smoking is done in a specific temperature range, it should be up to the user if they want to "flash" smoke or do a low-temperature smoke. This Camp Chef smoker has a temperature range from 150 to 500 degrees F so it is much more versatile than many gas smokers on the market. However, like many most box style gas smokers, the body isn't... insulated and though the door on this one fits better, you still get smoke leakage.
03 of 08
Masterbuilt 7 in 1 Smoker/Cooker
This basic vertical water smoker is built on a kind of modular design that allows you to mix and match parts to give you a wide range of function. While more expensive than other similar units the good construction and varied functions make this a great cooker. As a smoker, you get to choose between gas and charcoal fuel as well as add wood for good smoke production. The excellent temperature control makes it a great smoker for the person who doesn't want a huge amount of... barbecue but wants to be able to cook it up easily and frequently.
04 of 08
One of the first things that anyone is going to put in a smoker is a rack of ribs. While many might want to smoke two or three racks of ribs, few will have the need to smoke more than that and if they are, regularly, they will probably be investing in an expensive and large smoker. This is neither of those things. The Dyna-Glo Vertical Gas Smoker has four relatively small cooking grates that just are not that big. Add to this the shortcomings that most gas smokers suffer from... and you have something pretty mediocre.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
The Masterbuilt GS40 is a large gas powered smoker with the capacity to smoke up to 12 racks of ribs or eight pork butts. The design is basic with a single burner in the bottom and a full height door in the front. The problem with this large, but inexpensive smoker is typical of this style. The thin metal and loose fitting door won't hold in the heat or the smoke efficiently meaning high fuel and wood consumption. The lightweight internal components are lightweight and... prone to failure within a few years.
06 of 08
It is hard to differentiate between gas-powered smokers. They are little more than metal boxes with a burner in the bottom and racks to hold food. This isn't saying that making a good gas smoker is impossible, or even really all that hard. Unfortunately, most are thrown together to complete a product line because there are people out there who think this is the better solution, the convenience of gas, with all the benefits of a smoker. The smoker from Landmann has some... good features, but the construction quality brings it down in the end.
07 of 08
The Masterbuilt Pro Dual Fuel gas powered smoker is marketed as being also a charcoal smoker. The reality is that this isn't all that dissimilar from the Masterbuilt GS40 Gas Smoker. At the bottom is a 15,400 BTU burner which directs its heat at a metal pan that sits under a water pan. When using gas, the metal pan (or fire disk as they call it) is filled with moistened wood chips to produce smoke. When working as a charcoal smoker, this pan holds the charcoal. This... isn't a stretch of the imagination and works relatively well considering the limitations of airflow control and lightweight construction.
08 of 08
Gas heats fast than an electric heating element which is why professional chefs hate cooking on electric stove tops. When it comes to smokers gas has the advantage of heating faster, but no real advantage when it comes to maintaining temperatures. In general, it breaks down to a matter of choice. Electric smokers draw a lot of amps and shouldn't be put on an extension cord limiting where you can place the smoker. Gas smokers are generally more portable, but this isn't... much of an argument one way or the other.