How To Use A Propane Smoker In 13 Steps (With Pictures)

Propane smokers like electric smokers are one of the easiest and fastests smokers to use.

They are less stressful to manage as they use gas for fueling which is moderately priced to acquire and super fast to light.

Also, controlling temperatures is easier with propane smokers as they are made with in-built knobs designed to increase and decrease heat in a matter of split seconds.

So to make life even better for you, we share these steps and tips to teach you how to use a propane smoker for quick, flavored and delicious foods.

Enjoy the read!


1. First things first, get a propane smoker

This article is about propane smokers, hence no other type of smoker can be substituted for one. Find a way to get one if you do not have one to make this article more meaningful to you.


2. Prepare your food

As propane lights up easily, the best thing to do before heating up your smoker is to prepare your food and wood chips.

Season your meat with a dry rub or spice of your choice, wrap it in cling film and marinate it in a refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.


3. Get wood flavoring ready

While the meat is marinating, soak your flavored wood of choice in water for 30 minutes to be used to create a smoky flavor in the smoker.


4. Prep up the smoker

About this time, your food and wood are ready to get into operation.

Secure the knobs on the propane cylinder and the connection to the smoker. This will prevent you from leaking propane while cooking.

As also known, a leakage can easily cause a fire. Beware to keep safe.


5. Create more flavoring

Next, remove the aluminum pan meant for sitting in water while cooking and cover it with foil paper.
Pour some water in it afterwards and add some herbs of choice to create moisture and flavor to the food while cooking.

Place it back in the smoker.


6. …And even more flavoring

Find the wood chip compartment in the smoker and fill it with the soaked wood chips.

Once loaded, cover the compartment and place it back in the smoker, ready to be used.

However, do not over pack the wood chips in the box.


7. Manage airflow

This is time to use the chimney and vents on the smoker to early use.

Open the vent and chimney halfway to allow a good circulation of air in the smoker. More particularly for bad smoke to escape from the smoker through the chimney.


8. Get the smoker heated up

The smoker should be ready now to introduce fire. Propane smokers have an ignition that allows you turn on, increase, decrease and turn off fire in the smoker easily.

Hence to start the fire, release the gas knob on the cylinder to let out propane and light the burner (s) by applying the ignition as the manufacturer’s manual guides you.

Your fire should be lit and ready to heat up the smoker.


9. Cook your food

Ensure to remove your meat from the refrigerator to sit for at least 30 minutes before you cook it.

Place the meat on the grill grates right above the bowl with water and herbs.

Smoke your food in a temperature of 225 °F to 250 °F for the perfect doneness.


10. Apply the golden rule

Close the door of the smoker and do not open it to look at the food while it is smoking. You can only do this between 1 ½ hours to 2 hours after closing the door.

Once you open the door prematurely, heat will be let out of the smoker and will affect the cooking process.

Try to avoid the urge to keep looking at the food while it is cooking. It will save you stress in the long run.


11. Check temperatures and fuel.

After about 2 hours, you can now open the smoker’s door to reduce the heat with the regulator.

Add more wood chips to the fuel compartment which is also a good time to add water to the moisture-providing bowl.

After this process, close the door of the smoker and continue cooking.


12. Check food’s doneness

Always have a meat thermometer in hand to help you check the food.

Once the food is cooked to your desire, remove it and set it aside to cool.


13. Time to eat

Once the meat has cooled, slice and serve it.

Enjoy the richness of cooking your meat with a propane smoker.


So, if you already have such another type of smoker as electric smoker, offset smoker, I think you’ll want to read this article, it helps you in using a general smoker and finding helpful resources about other types of smokers


Use the right wood

Any wood isn’t wood when it comes to smoking. There are special woods in the market meant for this purpose that come flavored and unflavored as per your choice.

Do not be careless to use treated lumber or plywood instead. These contain chemicals that can harm the body when transferred to the food.

Preheat before use

Always ensure to preheat the smoker for about 10 to 15 minutes before you place the food in the smoker to cook.

Preheating disinfects the device and creates a welcoming environment for the food to begin cooking in a good state.

Stay safe

Once your food is done, immediately turn off the burners and close the gas release knob on the propane cylinder before you proceed to do anything else.

As said earlier, gas can be a dangerous chemical and if mishandled, it can lead to havoc.

Clean when cool

Only clean the smoker when it has cooled down.

Considering safety again, it is better to not clean while the device is still hot so as to not burn yourself.

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