10 Best Propane Smoker Under 300: Unbiased Opinion for 2020

Now that summer is upon us, it is about time we get outside and smoke some meat. And if you are a serious BBQ enthusiast, then you probably know that the right cooking device makes a big difference. In other words, you require a reliable and quality propane smoker to get you started.

The ideal smoker provides hours of consistent heat while burning carbon-free fuel.

With that said, smokers are a dime a dozen nowadays – available at different price ranges to suit every budget. It’s even possible to get the best propane smoker under 300.

To find the top models currently available, we have looked at the main propane smoker features such as:

  • The smoking area
  • BTUs
  • Built quality

Follow our guide and you will have no problem choosing the best propane smoker.

Comparison Chart Propane Smoker Under 300 Bucks

If you are in need of a pocket-friendly propane smoker, we have listed below the top 10 best propane smokes under $300. So keep reading to see what models you might need to add to your kitchen.

Product
Editor's Choice
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36" Propane Smoker
Best Seller
Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker
Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP gas smoker
Premium Quality
Masterbuilt MB20005716 propane smoker
Pit Boss 77435 gas smoker
Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker
Image
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36" Propane Smoker, Black
Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill +...
Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP 36" Vertical LP Gas Smoker
Masterbuilt MB20050716 Mps 330g Propane Smoker, 30" Thermotemp
PIT BOSS 77435 Vertical Lp Gas Smoker, Red
Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker with Thermostat Control, 40...
BTU
12,000
18,000
15,000
12,000
12,500
15,750
Materials
Alloy Steel
Stainless Steel
Cast Iron
Cast Iron
Stainless steel
Steel
Prime Status
-
-
-
Editor's Choice
Product
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36" Propane Smoker
Image
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36" Propane Smoker, Black
BTU
12,000
Materials
Alloy Steel
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Best Seller
Product
Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker
Image
Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill +...
BTU
18,000
Materials
Stainless Steel
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Product
Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP gas smoker
Image
Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP 36" Vertical LP Gas Smoker
BTU
15,000
Materials
Cast Iron
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Premium Quality
Product
Masterbuilt MB20005716 propane smoker
Image
Masterbuilt MB20050716 Mps 330g Propane Smoker, 30" Thermotemp
BTU
12,000
Materials
Cast Iron
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Product
Pit Boss 77435 gas smoker
Image
PIT BOSS 77435 Vertical Lp Gas Smoker, Red
BTU
12,500
Materials
Stainless steel
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Product
Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker
Image
Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker with Thermostat Control, 40...
BTU
15,750
Materials
Steel
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price

The Best Propane Smoker Under 300 - Reviews

1. Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36" Propane Smoker

If you are in search of an extremely inexpensive propane smoker that you won’t regret buying, then the Cuisinart COS-244 is your best bet.

Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36
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Product Description 

This smoker features four stainless steel racks, which you can remove if you need to smoke large cuts of meat. Its cooking area is fairly spacious, and at 5.45 square feet of the interior cooking area, you can easily prepare multiple recipes at the same time.

Cleaning the smoker after use is a breeze thanks to the porcelain enameled steel tray that holds the water and wood chips.

Other features and benefits 

Besides its spacious and beautiful design, it also comes equipped with a built-in thermometer. There is a 14 by 14-inch shelves that can be removed. Of course, there are other features you’re going to like about this smoker, such as a recipe book with tips and a 40-inch propane hose and regulator.

Pros

  • Well-built
  • Great performance
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use

Cons 

  • Easy to assemble but can take over an hour

2. Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker 

The Char-Broil looks good for a propane smoker that costs under $300. Apart from smoking, it lets you grill and roast.

Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker
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Product Description 

The smoker features a TRU-infrared technology and gives you plenty of cooking area with 180 Square inches of grill space. It can accommodate up to 25 lbs of meat. You can also control the temperature from 9000 to 18,000 BTUs.

Other features and benefits

The unit allows you to smoke your food with no flare-ups. You can evenly grill cuts of meat like turkey roast and ribs. There is also a smoker box that adds flavor to your meats and other foods.

Pros 

  • Carrying handles
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons 

  • The smoker box is quite small

3. Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP gas smoker

This vertically designed gas smoker is the best bang for your buck. For less than half a price a similar smoker would sell, you get a lot of features like a built-in thermometer. It lights up easily and is easy to clean.

Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP gas smoker
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With a cooking space of 784 square inches, you can cook plenty of tasty meals at once. It is suitable for warm and cold weather.

Product description

The Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP features a 15,000 BTU burner with an electronic push control button. The 4steel wire racks are adjustable to accommodate different sizes of food. The porcelain-enameled steel wood chip box accommodates any type of wood chips. It’s equipped with a grease and condensation management system.

Other features and benefits

The heavy wood chip box made of porcelain-enameled steel retains heat. It also offers maintenance-free cooking for hours. The electro pulse ignition system makes it heat up first. The high capacity of the water bowl enables it to minimize evaporation by circulating water back.

The stainless steel thermometer with a ‘smoke zone’ indicates the ideal temperature for infusing smoke flavor. For customized temperature and flavor control, the adjustable top and side damper enables you to do that. The temperature gauge is easy to read.

The double doors ensure no heat is lost when opening any of the doors. They are also made with quick-release latches that make them easy to access.

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Lights easily
  • Digital control buttons

Cons

  • Smoke leaks out of the door easily

Also Read: 15 Best Grill Surface Thermometer : Selective Guide

4. Masterbuilt MB20005716 propane smoker

With a propane smoker like this one, you don’t have to be glued to the cooking area while smoking. You can walk away from it and let the meat cook while you do other things. It shut-offs in any case the flame extinguishes.

Masterbuilt MB20005716 propane smoker
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Product description

The propane smoker has a temperature sensor control burner with a customizable temperature. The four chrome-coated smoking accommodates 12 chickens, two turkeys, four racks of ribs, or even four pork butts. The amount of propane in the tank is indicated by the type 1 regulator. The regulator has a fuel level gauge and a hose level gauge.

Other features and benefits

The heat is evenly distributed by the heat diffuser. In case the flame blows out, the shut-off valve turns off the propane.

Pros

  • Shut off valve
  • Easy to use
  • Temperature sensor-controlled burner

Cons

  • Temperature control not working properly

5. Pit Boss 77435 gas smoker

The Pit Boss gas smoker is spacious with a viewing window that keeps the flavor inside. It’s easy to assemble and use if you are a beginner or pro in smoking meaty foods.

Pit Boss 77435 gas smoker
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Product description

The dual valve/burner system provides a temperature range of 100˚F- 350˚F. Both valves are controlled by a single knob, and you can customize it either on low or high temperatures. The 884 sq inches cooking area is spacious with four porcelain-coated racks that are rust-free.  The push-buttons make the gas smoker light up easily and quickly.

Other features and benefits

The large viewing window with a high-temperature door locks in temperature for smoky, tasty meals. The rear wheels and the handle make it easy to move it. The wood chips tray maintains the maximum temperature, and it pulls out easily.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to clean
  • Spacious

Cons

  • Poor customer service

6. Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker

This smoker is lightweight and can easily be moved to where you want to cook or store it. The grates are adjustable to accommodate any type or size of meat you want to smoke.

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Product description

It features a push-button ignition light burner, a porcelain-coated tray, and a built-in temperature gauge. It lights the burner easily and quickly. The two chrome-coated smoking racks hold up to 4 chickens, two turkeys, two racks of ribs, or two pork butts.

Other features and benefits

The adjustable air damper controls the amount of moisture and smoke. The side handles make it easy to move the smoker from one place to the other.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy monitoring of food
  • Maintains temperature correctly

Cons

  • Wood chip is so small

7. Smoke hollow PS40B propane smoker

It’s easy to assemble and use even if you are a beginner to smoking food. It’s budget-friendly and durable to last you longer without wearing or tearing easily.

Smoke hollow PS40B propane smoker
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Product description

The smoke hollow propane smoker is made with a 15,400 BTU stainless burner with push-button ignition.  It lights up quickly and easily, and the four chrome-coated racks are large enough to hold up to 20 chickens. It's large for serving many people at once, whether it's a gathering or a party.

Other features and benefits

The adjustable damper controls moisture and smoker in the griller. The legs of the smoker add its height, therefore, making it easy to access. It’s easy to move around before and after use. The stainless racks are rust-free and are easy to clean.

Pros

  • Adjustable damper
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Cheaply made

8. Landmann 3895GWLA propane smoker

The 34-inch smoker provides two-heat savings. The doors of the smoker are secure and are resistant to rust.

Landmann 3895GWLA propane smoker
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Product description

Made with a 13,500 BTU burner, this smoker provides two heat savings. It has four adjustable chrome-plated grates and a meat hanger. The porcelain-coated steel water pan and the heavy-duty steel wood chip box with a lid are rust-free. The material is durables and can last you longer.

Other features and benefits

The doors of the smoker are durable, and the hinges are made with magnetic closures that keep it more secure. The dual doors allow you to fill water or even wood chips without necessarily opening the chamber. This ensures no heat is released when adding chips o refilling water. Apart from that, the squared legs which wide apart provide stability to the smoker. It stands steadily and is moveable when cooking is over or when you want to take it to a different place.

Pros

  • Quality material
  • Stable
  • Adjustable heat control

Cons

  • Leaks smoke

9. Char-Broil vertical liquid propane gas smoker

This propane smoker is designed with a double drawer that offers a better smoking experience. The space is large enough to accommodate large meals, and it's easy to refill water and wood chips.

Char-Broil vertical liquid propane gas smoker
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Product description

Char-broil propane smoker is has a larger cooking surface of 595 sq inch. The three chrome-plated cooking grates have a large space to accommodate large meals. It features a wood chip tray, water pan, adjustable dampers, and a warming rack and a temperature gauge. With the one-touch handle, the smoker can be moved without worrying about burning your hands.

Other features and benefits

The double drawer makes it quick and easy to add water to the water pan and more wood to the chip tray. This reduces heat loss in the cooking chamber as you don’t have to interfere with cooking. The porcelain wood chip tray gives your meals the smoky flavor while the water pan reduces evaporation. There’s a warming rack on top of the chamber for warming your food if it gets cold.

Pros

  • Adjustable dampers
  • Warming rack
  • Durably designed

Cons

  • Poor temperature control

10. Broil King 923610 propane smoker

The Broil King propane smoker prevents grease from dripping and designed with dual doors. It’s easy to assemble and use for smoky flavored meals.

Broil King 923610 propane smoker
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Product description

It features a 770 sq inch cooking surface capacity with a multipurpose roast rack and an ace-temperature thermometer.  The four cooking racks are adjustable and are made of stainless steel hence rust-free.

Other features and benefits

The dual doors make it easy to add wood chips to the wood tray. You can also check the level of water to the water pan without opening the cooking section.  No temperature is lost during this process.

The secondary door is used to access the water bowl and the smoker box.

Pros

  • Dual door
  • Easy to assemble
  • Spacious

Cons

  • Rack holders pop-out

Buying Guide

With so many brands in the market, sometimes it's difficult choosing the right propane smoker. There is no wrong choice when it comes to purchasing a product. Depending on your choice, here are a few things you should look for when purchasing a propane smoker;

Design

Opt for a front-loading smoker. It should be easy to assemble and clean. Check the features and accessories the smoker is equipped with. A push-button ignition lights the smoker quickly and easily. Does the propane smoker come with a wood chip tray and water pan? A propane smoker with two doors and a window for checking food without opening the door is advantageous. A smoker with two doors allows you to add water or wood chips without opening the cooking chamber.

Quality

Assess the features of the smoker you wish to purchase. A good quality propane smoker will last you longer and save you a lot of money. With high-quality products, be guaranteed to spend less on repairs or purchasing a new one. The material should be durable and rust-free and should hold heat nicely. Some quality materials to look for are stainless steel, chrome-coated smoking racks, or even porcelain wood chip trays. The smoker of your choice should give you smoky-flavored meat without any deposit of soot.

Temperature

Temperature is everything when it comes to smoking food, and most propane smokers have an in-built temperature gauge. The temperatures usually range from low to high, and it should be adjustable. The temperature you need depends on the type of food you are smoking. You can adjust it to your preference.

Size

When choosing a propane smoker, consider the number of people you will be serving.  It's always advisable to go for something that's not too small. You never know if you might have visitors or a party and realize your smoker is too small to handle a certain amount of food. If the people you are going to serve are few, get a smaller smoker instead. With big sizes, you can cook both small quantities and large quantities. However, the size depends on your preference, budget, and storage space. It is best to buy something portable to carry anywhere like picnics, camps, among others.

Stability

Look for a propane smoker that stands steadily without wobbling. It should be able to withstand wind since most of them are used outdoors. For easy movement, consider one with wheels, you might need to change storage position or take it somewhere. The doors should be secure and durable. You don’t want a door that’s going to fall to the ground when opened.

Price

We all budget differently. Go for a smoker that you can afford but is equipped with quality features. It doesn't matter if it is pricy or inexpensive as long as it gives you value for money and is worth buying. Most propane smokers are inexpensive, making affordable to anyone.

Storage

Most of the propane smokers are vertically designed and take less storage space. They take much height and less width and are easy to store. Check the dimensions of the smoker you are buying, keeping in mind the space area it will occupy.

Research

Make Google your best friend to browse web pages of various models available in the market. Alternatively, you can get recommendations from friends or neighbors. Researching is a great way to get knowledge on the different types of brands and what makes each unique. Compare and contrast the different models you can get. Knowing the pros and cons makes your purchase a bit easier. This way, you can compare various propane smokers within your budget and know the best one to choose from.

How to use a propane smoker 

Are you afraid to use a propane smoker? No worries! It is not as complicated as it looks.

Prepare the smoker 

To start with, get a propane smoker and read the manufacturer’s instruction manual. Initially, it is advised to perform a test run without food in your smoker. But before that, check the gas level in the tank and connection for leaks.

Now that you have tested the smoker and inspected it for potential leaks let’s move to the next step.

Step 1: Attach your propane tank to your smoker 

Every smoker is different. Again, it is advised to revisit the manufacturer’s manual for instructions on how to connect the propane tank to a smoker.

Once you attach the tank to the smoker, inspect the tank for damage and the seal for cracks. If it is damaged or leaks, you may want to return it.

Step 2: Start a fire 

Start your smoker and set it at your desired temperature. Usually, the optimal temperature is between 200 – 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the door is tightly closed, and the chimney and vents are open.

Step 3: Place woodchips 

Place the wood chips on the flat pan above the burner. The pan will hold the chips. And it is designed to allow the maximum amount of smoke ideal for the meat. You may need to add more chips on the pan frequently, depending on whether you are smoking your meal directly or indirectly.

Be sure to choose flavored woodchips to get the best smoke flavor from your meat cuts. For example, applewood chips are known for their sweet smoke. They are ideal for pork and chicken. Other woodchips you may want to consider are pecan and hickory woodchips.

Note: smoke should be coming from the chimney and vents. If smoke is emanating from another place other than these two places, turn off your propane and seek help from the manufacturer.

Step 4: The water tray

The water tray is located lightly above the woodchip tray. Apart from water, you can also fill this tray with wine, beer, or cider for added flavor. As a rule of thumb, chicken tastes good smoked with anything apart from maple or oak. Beef tastes great with woods with the exception of apple. Fish work with mesquite, oak, and older. And pork is especially tasty with virtually everything aside from oak and mesquite.

Step 5: Place your meat 

After you have heated the smoker to the desired temperature level, put your meal on the racks. You can also smoke veggies like mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers.

Step 6: Monitor your smoker 

You will need to inspect the smoker every half an hour. Check the trays and add more chips or water if necessary. Do not forget to use safety gloves when opening the door to your propane smoker. And do not leave the door open for longer during cooking process as it may cause heat loss, hence extending cooking time. You can do a visual inspection if your smoker features a glass door.

Step 7: The internal temperature 

To achieve maximum accuracy, read the temperature level of your meat’s thickest part. Use meat thermometer to gauge the internal temperature of your food. Note that there are different kinds of meat. And different meats require a different temperature to completely cook.  

Step 8: Remove meat cuts from the smoker 

Removing food from your stomach is pretty straight forward. Place the food in a clean plate. But do not forget to use safety gloves.

Step 9: Switch off your smoker 

Switch or turn the temperature knob off to extinguish the flame. Once the flame is completely extinguished, close the valve of your propane to prevent gas from leaking out. Finally, detach the smoker from the propane tank.  

Other tips for using a propane smoker 

Always keep your smoker clean

One thing that makes propane smokers more attractive to charcoal smokers is that it burns cleanly. Even so, it is prone to dirt. You will need to clean it frequently to avoid food and grease building up in it. After every cooking session, take a few minutes to clean up the cooking grates, pans, cooking surface, etc.

Smoke at the ideal temperature

Gas smokers are created to smoke meats at quite a lower temperature than a standard gas or charcoal grill. To get delicious meat with a smoky flavor and tender texture, you must smoke it for several hours. At times, you may need to wait for a whole day to get the desired results.

Invest in a good grill thermometer

Many modern propane smokers come equipped with built-in thermometers, WI-FI digital thermostats or temperature gauges. However, for the sake of accuracy, purchase a digital thermometer separately to be completely sure you are cooking at the recommended temperature.

How to regulate the temperature in a propane smoker 

A steady temperature is essential for perfect, delicious smoked meats. That means you need to know how to get your smoker between 225 – 250 degrees and keep it constant for hours.

In this section, we are going to talk about how to control your propane smoker’s temperature and keep it steady.

Controlling the airflow 

Controlling the temperature in a propane smoker is pretty straight forward. You just need to control the air in your smoker. A fire needs oxygen or air to burn. It is, therefore, critical for your fire pit to get proper airflow. The air has to flow into your firebox to burn the coals or wood chips that you have in there.

Add more oxygen to increase the heat and reduce the intake of oxygen to reduce the heat.

And when you are smoking, it is important to keep the temperature low. You are not searing or grilling. You are smoking. So the first step is to make sure your smoker is in the lowest setting possible.

Close the damper 

If you want to make it a little bit warmer inside, you’ll actually need to close the damper. By closing the damper, you attract more heat inside the smoker. The temperature inside the smoker should start to increase once the heat starts to build up inside the smoker. That’s one way of regulating heat on the inside.

Opening the damper lets the gases out, creating more space in the smoker. As a result, more oxygen gets in.

Keep the lid down 

It is not possible to control the level of heat if you are cooking without a lid on your grill. In other words, you won’t be able to control the level of air entering the smoker and the air leaving the smoker. And it is important to make sure the lid fits tightly into the unit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Should I use wet or dry wood chips on the propane smoker?

A. A propane smoker uses either dry or wet wood chips. However, dry chips burn faster and produce more smoke. Wet wood chips burn slower with less smoke. When using wet chips, it's good to use pre-soaked ones. Soak the chips in water for around 30 minutes and then use them to smoke your meat.

Q. How do I clean a propane smoker?

A. Cleaning a propane smoker is easy as all you have to do is turn off the smoker and the propane tank. Give it some time to cool down and then discard any remaining burnt wood chips. Thereafter, wipe clean the interior and the exterior with a damp towel.

Q. What are the don’ts of propane smoking?

A. Always use your propane smoker outdoors in a well-ventilated space. When not in use, make sure the cylinder valve is completely closed. Also, the gas cylinder must be used in an upright position and never use lighters or matches to check for leaks.

Overall Best

The Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP gas smoker is our top pick. It has a spacious cooking area for a large meal, a 15,000 burner, an easy to read temperature gauge and two doors. The quality features make it easy to light up and use. It’s suitable for use in either cold or warm weather and uses any type of wood chips. The smoker is also easy to assemble, according to customer reviews.

Conclusion

With the basic features in mind, purchasing a propane smoker should be easy. Whether you are a first-time buyer or upgrading, there are several suggested brands to choose from. Our top-rated brands are inexpensive and are of high quality. They are vertically designed to take little space while cooking or storing them. Even if you are on a budget, these propane smokers will perform the same functions as other expensive ones will. With a push-button-ignition, you are sure to cook tasty smoke-flavored meat without soot debris like a pro.

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