Help finding a portable propane smoker for RV travel?

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by snowave, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. Hey guys... been a while since I've been on... but I'm still smokin away!

    I did a search, but I'm getting frustrated finding the info I want.

    My wife and I are hitting the road alot this coming year in our travel trailer and I want to be able to smoke some meat while out in the great outdoors. I can't bring my big Smoke Vault or WSM with me.. so I'm looking to find something very portable, small and lightweight. I really don't want to mess with charcoal, since I have a nice propane line from the trailer.. it only makes sense to get something to utilize that...

    I'm having trouble finding something... I've seen the Charbroil Big Easy Infrared, and that looks quite appealing.. but it also looks like more of a grill than a smoker... grilling is a plus too, but being that it doesn't sound like it cooks low and slow too well... I don't know much about infra red technology, so maybe I should read up on that.

    I've also seen the 7-1 Masterbuilt looks appealing.. especially since you can use gas or charcoal.. but the reviews tend to suggest it also cooks too high and sometimes has burner issues.

    I know there are various other items out there that you can add to a grill, etc..  and I also don't feel like making something.

    So again, my main wishes are....



    ability to cook low and slow..

    low maint.

    grilling option as well

    So.. any experiences with these units? (I didn't do a search yet on the specifics of these 2 units here yet)

    Any other items out there I'm missing?

  2. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    well.. I believe your going to have a hard time finding something that small that works on propane.... other than just a grill ....

    I know you said you don't want to mess with charcoal... but .... Myself I think you should look into the "MINI" WSM (since your already familiar with a WSM) ... I use the mini at home and also take it with in the camper (going out in two weekends)... you get the best of both worlds.. a grill and a smoker ... you do not have to modify the grill to make it a smoker .... It is soooooo fuel efficient as a smoker.... a couple hand fulls of charcoal will last up to 12 hrs (pending the weather)... and it has a small footprint ....

    Keep searching for a propane unit... but when nothing is found.... keep the mini in mind ....
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. captain yak

    captain yak Newbie

  5. smoke happens

    smoke happens Smoking Fanatic

    I use a Billsbumperq on my trailer. It is a grill, bit it has a small enough burner to get very low temps and you can use the AMNPS or tube smoker in it. Had it for 3 years and really enjoy it, plugs right into my on board propane and folds away to the back bumper when in transit or not in use. I can hold temps at 200* to 250*, just be careful in direct sunlight as that will make temp control a nightmare with such a small unit.
  6. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've been toying with the idea of a gas burner for my next mini WSM build. Could be pretty cool. I was thinking of getting one of the el cheapo propane grills from the hardware store and scavenging the burner and line. Then just figuring out a way to mount it in the smokey joe.
  7. thanks for the advice, guys.

    Originally, I was going to get the Smokey Joe (that is what you call the mini, right?).... but I think my issue is I've  had my 18.5 WSM since November, and only used it 4 times... the rest, I've gone back to my smoke vault propane smoker. Reason being, I just have had such a tough time regulating the charcoal/heat. Granted, I live in Wyoming now, and it's cold and windy alot... so that's part of it... But I built a nice 3 tiered windbreak, and still have had issues. I'm sure once the weather is nicer it will be much easier to manage. Plus, you have to make modifications to the Smokey Joe to use it primarily as a smoker, correct?

    So that's probably the biggest thing for me, I have my smoke vault dialed.. very low attention with the gas, and it doesn't get affected by the wind very much... well, at least this unit... so that's a big reason why I wanted gas.. that and the ease of hooking it right up to the trailer.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
  8. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    No... no mods needed to the Joe... guys have added extra air vents but they are not needed... they just like to tinker... Mine is all stock (no extra air vents) and it works great... you just buy a steamer pot and some grates and your good to go .... you will have to mod the steamer pot a little but it doesn't affect the Joe .... I still use my Joe for all my grilling needs ....

    that sure looks like some modifications to me. [​IMG]   (ok, I'm sure it would only take a couple hours, but still...) maybe not to the Joe itself... probably should have made myself more clear. So.. the Mini is just a little grill, that when modified can turn into a little smoker.. I get it now.

    Sorry, I'm just getting lazy these days, and just wanted something that works out of the box... however, after doing more research, I think you're right, JckD.... there just isn't really a true small propane smoker out there that I'm finding.. they're all just glorified grills.... however, the Masterbuilt 7-1 is still catching my eye.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014

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