Recommendations for higher quality propane smoker?

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by wahoowad, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Smoke Blower

    I've been using a Landmann 3405GLA propane smoker for several years and it more or less suits my needs for occasional smoking. Low maintenance, enough space, happy with the convenience and results of propane. I almost always stick to the basics - ribs, pork butt, briskett, beef ribs - because this is what I like. 

    But it is a pretty basic unit and sometimes feels like the quality is borderline. I also know it is an entry level, relatively inexpensive unit so not expecting it to have a lot of wow factor.  Things like door latches, touchy temperature control, hard to service the burner when needed, etc. so am interested in recommendations for the next step up in quality in a new propane smoker. What brands and models do you recommend I look at? I'd like something nice enough that I can leave it on my deck next to my Weber grill (which I cover) as currently this Landmann is a little rusty and sun faded so I usually carry it out by my shed after use.

  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  3. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I see this as a issue throughout our hobby. Most big box store smokers and other equipment are designed for affordability of mass production and oriented to the consumer market of the weekend or casual smoker. There is not much in between the readily available box store stuff and the high end high dollar pro commercial products.

    I just have gone through this shopping for a flat top propane griddle. You have the Blackstone and Camp Chef in the $300 range. Then there is nothing until $1200.

    I think there is a market for some manufacturer to fill the void of some better quality equipment at a higher cost without having to go right to the pro commercial stuff.
  4. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Whatever you get, get a cover for it as well.   Glad to see you have a Weber charcoal grill.  That is one of my favorite smokers. 
  5. wahoowad

    wahoowad Smoke Blower

    Someone like Weber should come out with a mid-grade propane smoker. Their grills have the kind of quality I think I am looking for - not top end but also not stamped sheet metal made to last a season or two. The Weber stuff I have is designed to last with minimal maintenance. But the smoker requires mods and such to keep it going - that or you just accept the nasty way they get and/or fix how doors hang or drawers slide.
  6. wahoowad

    wahoowad Smoke Blower

    What is this Blackstone smoker? All I see is a kabob grill when I search.

    Is the Camp Chef really better than the GOSM and similarly designed smokers? Look like the same basic design and possibly have similar challenges.

    I would like to find something in the $300 to $500 range but it needs to offer something in terms of quality and features to set itself apart from the typical gosm style square smokebox with bottom burner.
  7. I’m glad this Question was asked. I’m sad there weren’t better answers. I had the same question. I would spend $500 to $1000 for a better quality propane smoker but they literally don’t exist. I can’t believe the market is $250 or $10k. I also had the same thought about Weber. I feel like for the price point of their genesis gas grills, what you get is fair. I’d love to have the equivalent in a gas smoker from them.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  9. Dave, JJ, Wahoowad,
    This is why I built my vertical 36cu.ft. outhouse smoker.



    I have about $500 in it. The auto upgrade will be about $100 bucks (if I don't have to buy the safety valve; might have one located for free). The burner set up with needle valve from Tejas smokers cost me about $60 bucks.
    I can smoke 160~180# of sausage, 120# of andouille, 24 pork butts, or 36 chickens. Have not loaded it up with turkeys yet, but I estimate I could get (12) 12~15# birds in there, which is the perfect size to smoke anyways.

    I have cooked on it for about a year now and have a feel for it now. I know the adjustments I need to make. More sq. inches of flew, low pressure regulator and the new Tejas low pressure burner. Now it's time to dial it in, then add the auto to it.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  10. FWIW,
    When going automatic; especially with propane, the larger the volume of the smoker the better. You get smaller temp. swings and it's easier to control...

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