Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker Review
Cuisinart may not be the first name you think of when it comes to grills and smokers. While they’ve been making quality kitchen appliances for years, they are relative newcomers to the outdoor cooking space. Yet they’ve made a big splash with quality units like the Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker.
It features a well-built frame and body, with a door twist lock door that seals tightly. The propane burner at the bottom heats a porcelain-coated, heavy-duty wood chip tray, which is integrated with a water pan. The water surrounding the wood ensures that the meat is exposed to smoke and moisture to an equal degree.
The smoking chamber measures in at 5.45 cubic feet. It also comes with four 14” X 14” smoking racks. The Cuisinart COS-244 also comes with a 40-inch propane hose and an attached regulator. There’s even a sturdy bottle opener mounted to the side of the frame.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Smoker was designed and built with an eye toward quality. The heavy wood chip pan being surrounded by the water tray and coated with heat resistant porcelain is a very nice touch. Attention was even paid in making sure that the twist lock handle seals the door tightly. There aren’t any hooks for hanging sausages, which would have really put the design on top!
Including the regulator is also nice and not 100% the case with some of the competitors in this space. The propane hose is 40-inches long, which might sound long on paper, but when you factor in the lower attachment and the hook up to the propane tank, it almost ends up feeling a little short.
At the current time, there isn’t a natural gas conversion kit available for this gas smoker.
As a company Cuisinart has a lot of experience with developing easy to read instructions. This carries through with their COS-244 Cabinet Smoker. The directions are easy to read and there isn’t much in the way of assembly. If you aren’t all that mechanically inclined there are online retailers who do offer an expert assembly service.
The Cuisinart COS-244 Cabinet Smoker is big enough to smoke pretty much anything you want it to. A giant brisket flat might not fit on the 14” X 14” grill grates. You might also need to cut a rack of spareribs in half or into three rib portions.
Otherwise, there’s more than enough room in the 5.45 cubic foot smoking chamber to handle Boston butt pork shoulders, beer can chicken and ring sausage. With careful placement, you could even fit a small turkey on one of the grates. If you want to smoke fresh link sausages, you’ll need to set a single rack at the highest position and then tie them on with some butcher’s twine.
There are a few tweaks you might want to consider with this vertical smoker. The heavy-duty, porcelain-coated wood chip pan with an integrated water tray is really nice for delivering moist smoke up to the meat. Yet there are sometimes where it seats so tightly in the lower portion of the smoker that it limits the amount of heat that rises, or requires a long preheating session.
One way to get around this is to move the wood chip and water tray up to the lowest slot of the smoker cabinet. This will allow a little bit more of the propane burner’s heat to rise up to cook the meat.
The Cuisinart COS-244 Cabinet Smoker comes with four grates that measure in at 14-inches by 14-inches. Each one provides 196 square inches of smoking space for a grand total of 784 square inches.
Yet, I think you’ll find that when all four are installed you will be limited in the height of the foods you prepare. Most of the time you will have only one or perhaps two grates installed in any single smoking session.
The wood chip pan integrated with the water bath tray is an innovative touch to help add steam to the heat and smoke. The end result is a juicy piece of meat every time.
The twist locking handle on the door might not seem like a bell or whistle, but there are plenty of vertical smoker cabinets that don’t have a proper way to seal the door. Not only does a secure seal maximize smoke density in the chamber, it also helps with temperature control.
Ease to Clean
The dripping pan and wood chip tray pulls out easily for quick disposal. The porcelain coating also makes it easy to clean.
The grates are little sticky with lean meats, but so long as you are smoking at a reasonably low temperature, you shouldn’t need too much scraping.
With vertical cabinet smokers soot, grease and residue can start to build-up on the temperature probe. This can cause the door thermometer to give you false readings. A quick, little wipe down with an abrasive sponge will help keep it clean and accurate.
Cuisinart backs their COS-244 Cabinet Smoker with a three-year warranty. It also requires you to register the product within the first 30 days.
This is a little bit better than competitor smokers in this price range.
Cuisinart might be a relative newcomer in the grill and smoker niche, but they’ve been producing quality cooking appliances for decades. They bring this natural acumen to bear with their COS-244 Cabinet Smoker. The price is highly competitive for this space, and it has all the basic features you want, with a couple of nice extra touches. If you are in the market for a vertical cabinet smoker, it’s definitely worth putting a star next to on your list of options.
- Wood chip pan and water pan in one
- Twist locking door for a tight seal
- Includes regulator and hose
- Backed by a nice warranty
- Friendly price point
- Propane hose is a little short
- No natural gas conversion kit
- Grates are a little small