Just bought Masterbuilt Gas Smoker XL

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by duresk, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. duresk

    duresk Fire Starter

    Its my birthday on Monday and I went and picked up my new smoker yesterday. Yay!! After changing my mind a bunch of times and doing a lot of research and I ended up with the Masterbuilt Gas Smoker XL. I am pretty sure I drove my wife crazy with the amount of times I changed my mind. I have it all setup. After reading posts about the smoker, I went and purchased a 10 inch cast iron skillet for the wood chunks. I am going to season it today. Tomorrow I am going to smoke a few chicken quarters and then Sunday I have a big BBQ planned and I will be smoking as many chicken quarters as I can fit.

    Any tips?

    I am assuming the heat can and may vary on the different racks, so I am planning on rotating the racks while they are cooking.
  2. Just bought mine yesterday.  I am going to season it and do a brisket for my first run.
  3. duresk

    duresk Fire Starter

    I wanted to post an update on how things are going with the smoker.

    The setup was really slick and easy. This is coming from a someone who is not very adept at putting things together. So that says a lot for the ease of setup. The only issue I had was I put the venturi piece to close to the vent. When I seasoned it, I noticed the flame coming from the burner was really yellow and not very blue. If I had not read any posts on here about that, I would have left it alone. Luckily I realized that was an issue. I let the smoker cool down and then I moved the Venturi(I don't have the instructions, but I am pretty sure that is the name) a little further away and put it back together. I started up the smoker and the flames looked nice and blue.

    For the wood I used chunks, not chips. I put a chunk of apple wood and a smaller chunk of mesquite on the cast iron skillet for the smoke. They lasted about 45 minutes before I put some more on. 

    The smoker ran hot. At the lowest setting it was still at 275 degrees. Which was great for smoking chicken quarters, but I am a little nervous other things I plan on smoking. I know 275 is fine, but I usually smoke at about 225 5o 250 degrees. I was already planning to mod the smoker to get the temperatures below 200 so I can do kielbasa, so this just reaffirms the plan to do that.

    Even though the smoker is hot on low, it kept a constant temperature. I am trading up from a mini-wsm, so it was really nice that the smoker was able to hold a constant temp. I was able to run my kid's friends home and not worry about a flare up or the heat dropping while I was gone. 

    For my "practice" run today, I smoked some chicken quarters. I have been doing these a lot lately, because they are so cheap. I can get them at Walmart for 80 cents a pound. I am smoking 30lbs for a bbq tomorrow. I am excited to be able to cook that much meat at once. On my mini-wsm, I could do about 8lbs. If I arranged them right. 

  4. duresk

    duresk Fire Starter

    @Volcanowatcher, let me know how your brisket goes. I am debating on doing a brisket or a turkey for Father's day.
  5. no peek n

    no peek n Smoke Blower

    Congrats on the XL Gasser, If not , do do your self a favor and  don't watch the built in Temp gauge that came in the door , but get the Mavrick ET 732, and pop over to the , Propane smoker reveiw post that has now 12 pages from us Smokers online, Nice choice on the cast iron skillet on top of the chippan that came with it, ... if you need any hints that , just Holler......K?
  6. camberlink

    camberlink Newbie

    I have this exact smoker change out the flame disk for a 12" cast iron skillet and as others have mentioned use wood chunks instead off chips. I used a 12" cast iron skillet and made adjustable legs using three 4" long Stainless steel carriage bolts I placed the bottom of the skillet about 1/2 inch higher than the Stock pan/flame disk, this helped me control the amount of smoke as well as how quickly the chunks burn. I have also added extra ventilation to mine I am able to use the Amaze-n-products pellet smoker in mine while hot smoking.
  7. The brisket turned out well. I also did deer steaks, chicken breasts, and some pork. All got rave reviews.

    It stayed at 225 easily until the end, and it started to rise with the sun beating on it.  I left it in a little too long, it wound up being well done (I was aiming at med rare).  The smoker was great, I would open it up to check on something inside, and 3-5 minutes later it would be back up to temp. it took 6 hours to cook, so I timed it about right.

    The unit itself will need some tweaking, I noticed the smoke leaking out through the door. I will also replace the wood pan with a cast iron skillet as suggested above to keep my wood chips or chunks longer.

    Here is a pic of the finished brisket.

    I love this new smoker and look forward to years of use.
  8. Personally, I wouldn't worry about the smoke leaking around the door, unless its so bad that you think it is effecting the smoke flavor of the food. I have this same smoker and I keep the vent wide open anyways to minimize the chance of over smoking and give a nice steady air flow. The little bit that escapes around the door shouldn't bother the food though. But then again, its your smoker and if you don't like to see it coming out, then seal it up! Everyone has different opinions! As far as temperature control, I would also recommend getting a Maverick. I use the newer 733 and love it. I don't have any trouble holding a temp of 225 on lowest setting with a small amount of food. With larger amounts, this is even easier to maintain a low temp. The thermometer on the door can be way off or very accurate on mine, compared to the Maverick, depending on how much and where the food is placed. I have found very little difference in temps across various spots in mine, but the hot spots do exist. I did 18 - 1 1/2" thick pork chops and 18 baked potatoes this weekend for a group we went camping with, and about halfway through, I spun the racks 180 degrees around and swapped the top and bottom racks, because mine seems to heat slightly more on the right side. But not enough to make a major issue of it when smoking a lot of food. One more opinion from me, (if you care to keep reading!) as far a the chip pan goes, I would think that using a cast iron skillet would help make the wood last longer, but I use chunks in the factory pan, and get good smoke for an hour, then usually open it up and add a couple more, and if they quit making smoke before the meat is done, no big deal. It seems as time goes on, the meat soaks up less and less smoke, so the first hour or so is the important part. That's why I use chunks. Chips don't last more than 20 minutes in my smoker. Like I said, all my opinions and experiences with this smoker. Enjoy learning yours! 
  9. duresk

    duresk Fire Starter

    @Volcanowatcher, That brisket looks good. I will be smoking one in the next couple of weeks. 

    @NoPeekn, Yeah that door thermometer was way off. I have a cheapo little digital one that I use. I have done the boil test on it and it is fairly close. I do want to get one of the Maverick thermometers. I want one that is remote so I can monitor it from inside and not have to worry about going out and checking on it. I think my wife would like that too. That when I don't have to pause the movie we are watching to go check on my smoker. 

    The big thing I wasn't prepared for, was the grease coming out the bottom. I kind of forgot about that. I have been using the mini-wsm and any grease dripping hits the coals and is fine. Now I have a big grease stain(or grease river) on the cement. Need to get that taken care of.

    I need to work on my rewarming skills. I smoked the pork roast and ribs the day before. It didn't taste as good rewarmed this time. I usually put it in the oven on a low temp. I think I let it go for too long this time. It was still good, just not the best.

  10. no peek n

    no peek n Smoke Blower

    The Mav ET-732 was the best investment I made, you alwayswant to put the meat closest to the top due to heat rising and stay away from hot spotsYes it is remote to 300 ft away I can walk across the street and BS with the Horse guy and still know what the XL is doing or not doing.. , I just hang the transmitter on the fence behind the smoker and the 2 probes go into the back vent and clip on the top grate and , and I just sit inside watching NASCAR, and sip on a cold one and just Peek at the monitor and keep an eye on the temps, Amoazon sells them for $60 clamps, get the 732 or 733, not the older model the 73, Plus you can close down your back vent to about 90% and get a better temp control and smoke out of the XL
  11. alphadawg

    alphadawg Newbie

    I just bought mine last weekend and only had a chance to season it. I hope to cook a brisket and maybe ribs this weekend. I like the size of this one. It is not as big as a 40" but is wide enough to take a slab of ribs without cutting them. I only paid $159 at Bass Pro - hard to beat that!

    Duresk - I noticed that you are either using no water pan or the one that came with the unit. Other threads I read told me to get a larger pan - like a lasagna pan. That will probably help with the grease issue

    I see y'all are using wood chunks. the instructions say not to do that. I did buy the cast iron skillet so I assume the chunks are working for everyone? Other threads said it could make the exhaust blow off - like 10 feet away! The chips caught fire almost instantly when usign the wood tray that came with my unit. Not so much when I used the skillet
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  12. camphopper

    camphopper Newbie

    I already have a 10" cast iron skillet. Are you guys putting it directly on the fire or on top of the provided smoke pan? Also are you putting any type of plate with holes in it on top the skillet? This is my first gasser and I'm ready for some smokin. My electric smoker wasn't cutting it. Any help would be great. Thanks
  13. bfilipowski

    bfilipowski Fire Starter

    Were you trying to cook the brisket to medium rare? Most that I've done i cook to 195 internal. How was the texture?

  14. no peek n

    no peek n Smoke Blower

    Don't listen to the Destructions that came with it, AlphaDwag... ALLWAYS use chunks, You don't want to open the door anymore than neccessary , and 2-3 big chunks will give you a good 1-2 hr TBS smoke, and , put the pan right on top of the chip pan that came with the Gasser and no hole drilled in the pan, that will sure start them on fire, SMOLDER is the key, and Invest in the Maverick ET-732 or 733 unit..
  15. duresk

    duresk Fire Starter

    I haven't had any issues using the chunks. I did buy a 10" cast iron skillet and I put it right on the original chip pan. The chunks last at least an hour, and I usually have gotten 2 hours out of them. 

    I hadn't put any water in the water pan my first couple of smokes. I smoked a couple turkeys on Father's day and I put water in there. I do want to get a bigger pan though. Partly for more water, but also to help with flare ups. When I smoked the 30 lbs of chicken quarters, I loaded the smoker as full as it could go. Some of the chicken quarters on the outer edge were shriveled, like they had been hit with some flames. I think having another barrier in between the food and the flames would help stop that. I think the flare ups were related to how much chicken I had and how much grease was dripping. :) I guess that is a good problem to have. 

    I have the Maverick thermometer on my list of things to buy. I have a little digital one that does okay. I did the boiling water test and it was a few degrees off.
  16. duresk

    duresk Fire Starter

    I had read a few posts about people being worried about the propane running out during a smoke or how quickly the propane gets used up. My propane tank is starting to get light and probably needs a refill soon. However, I have smoked over 50 hours on this tank and it is still going strong. I will refill it this weekend, just to be on the safe side. 
  17. no peek n

    no peek n Smoke Blower

    Yup my last tank fill came down to 42 hrs +/-, and and still had a Gal 1/2 left when i got it refilled, sitting at 225* for 15+ hrs just Sips it away..
  18. patg

    patg Meat Mopper

    Are you guys using a 20 lb tank? I had read that the bigger tank the better but if I can save that extra cash for a therm I would rather do that
  19. duresk

    duresk Fire Starter

    I am not sure what weight mine is. Is there a size that is the standard size? Mine is the size of tanks that I have seen everywhere. I will have to find out for sure what size it is.
  20. patg

    patg Meat Mopper

    Usual size for a gas grill is a 20 pound tank.

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