How to Use a Vertical Gas Smoker

Vertical gas smokers for outdoor cooking use a tank of propane connected to the burner inside the smoker for heat.
The burner flames rise to heat pre-soaked wood that produces smoke to cook and flavor cuts of meat, poultry and fish. Vertical gas smokers are more compact than smokers that work with two cooking chambers and wood or charcoal to cook food. Setting up a vertical smoker for use takes only a few minutes, although the actual smoking may require hours, depending on what's cooking.

Step 1

Connect the hose and regulator from the valve on the smoker to the propane tank, turning the connector on each end clockwise.

Step 2

Soak wood chips or pellets in a metal bowl of water or an hour before you're ready to smoke.

Step 3

Rub seasonings to suit your taste onto all sides of the food for smoking. Seasoning adds flavor and helps lock in moisture to prevent meats from drying.

Step 4

Push in and twist the smoker control knob on the side of the appliance to release gas while pressing the ignite button. This lights the burner. Adjust the knob to the desired temperature, typically 225 degrees Fahrenheit for smoking meats.

Step 5

Drain the wood chips or pellets, and then remove the cover on the smoker. Lift off the round cooking grate to place the drained chips or pellets in the smoker pan, and then replace the cooking grate. The wood will begin to smoke from the heat of the gas burner underneath the pan.

Step 6

Set the food on the cooking grate and replace the cover on the smoker. Open the vents on the top and sides of the appliance to circulate smoke around the food.

Step 7

Smoke the food for approximately 20 minutes per pound, turning the food over once an hour and adding more wood if necessary, until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit with a meat thermometer. Cook pork and chicken to 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 8

Turn the burner knob to the locked "Off" position to shut off the smoker.

Step 9

Transfer your food to a serving platter using hot mitts. Avoid using tongs or a meat fork when lifting off the smoker grill as the food will be tender and may fall apart.

Things You Will Need

  • Propane tank
  • Wood chips or pellets
  • Metal bowl
  • Seasonings
  • Food
  • Meat thermometer
  • Hot mitts
  • Serving platter

About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.