Anyone Have Experience Using Charcoal in the Master Forge Dual Fuel Smoker?

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by wpasmoker, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. wpasmoker

    wpasmoker Newbie

    I found a great deal on a Master Forge dual fuel smoker. I've searched the forums but haven't been able to find much detailed info on using Charcoal as the main fuel in this smoker.

    This is my first smoker, though I use my LP grill a ton. I know I'll be smoking quite often and to save on LP I would like to use charcoal/wood as much as possible but with the ability to quickly bring it up to temp for poultry if needed.

    Can anyone with experience with this smoker help me understand how well or not this will work? I'm thinking I would probably need a better/bigger charcoal box to hold enough charcoal and a couple of wood chunks. Will airflow be a problem? I'm thinking maybe using a wok for the charcoal holder. Any insight from someone with experience would be awesome. BTW, Great community, I have already learned a ton and I'll be buying some of the rub you guys offer as a way to say thanks.
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I can't offer any personal experience with the smoker, but as far as cost, you will likely spend more on charcoal than propane (unless pricing in your area is the opposite of what I see here). Having the ability to use either fuel type is a plus, though.

    You may need to do some experimenting with shorter smokes to get a feel for how the smoker will handle ash build-up, as this is typically more problematic with longer smokes...if there are not adequate provisions for ash fall-out from the fire (such as an elevated charcoal grate), it will kill the fire. Start with chicken pieces or quarters, chops or steaks...something that only takes a few hours to cook. Then you can determine if mods will be needed or not. Fire control (intake/combustion air draft control) will of course come into the equation even with shorter smokes, but you have to start somewhere to identify potential problems so that you take necessary steps to correct them. In any case, you should not use an empty water pan in vertical smokers, or it may damage the pan...use washed sand or gravel at a minimum with a drip-catch over it, or fill with water.

    With any luck, someone else who has one will see this and can offer specifics on how theirs performs and what they do to make it work better.

    BTW, please drop by the ROLL CALL forum and introduce yourself (no need for personally identifiable info) so we can give you a proper welcome to the SMF family. Also, while you're there, tell us a little about your equipment and cooking experience so we can more easily help you with any future questions you may have.


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