Masterbuilt Extra Wide - Cookin' with Gas

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by pars, May 30, 2011.

  1. pars

    pars Fire Starter

    I bought my Masterbuilt for my birthday in early April. I had read all the reviews and knew what to expect. Poor fitting / leaky door - Chip pan that catches fire --

    Those things are true. First fire for seasoning proved it out. The only modification that I made right away was to get rid of the chip pan and replace it with a standard chip box that you might use on your grill. Surprisingly this worked great. I stole a rack (that you might find in the drawer under you range) from my wife, and it was perfect for setting over the fire and put the chip box on. I will post some pictures soon. 
    I'm not sure how I'm going to address the door issue. I may add two more latches. The Masterbuilt only has one in the middle. I suspect adding one at the top and bottom might help a lot. I may also use some kind of gasketing material to help. As it can get pretty cool here in NH - controlling and conserving heat can be critical.

    This smoker is huge -- As a hobbyist, I don't know if I will ever fill the racks. What I have learned is that I need to add some time to my cooking as opposed to my much smaller vertical bullet. I have done Chicken - Ribs - and a pork butt and all were under done even with careful attention to temp. I was just given a gift of a really nice smoker thermometer with a wireless remote for monitoring. I will try this soon. 

    I know there are a lot of opinions about cooking with gas. I guess my take on it is that I don't feel the heat source is as important as the rubs, brine's, slathers and the wood used.

    As a newbie - I may be way off base here, but that is my mindset at this time. I have a lot to learn and I'm certain I will find a wealth of helpful information here.

  2. Depending on how bad it is, the gap really isnt all that crucial. Mine doesn't have much of a gap and I've used it down to around 10 degrees with the burner no more than 50% at any time. The chip pan as well as water pan are a joke though. I ended up getting a big baking pan from Walmart that holds about a gallon of water without sloshing over.
  3. Say, I am new to the forum, but I have been a fan for years.  I have one of these smokers and was able to get the door to close much better, by adjusting the latch.
  4. pars

    pars Fire Starter

    Thanks Cliff --- I have played around a bit with the latch which pulls the door in snuggly except for the top and bottom. I have manhandled the door a bit to shape and bend but it is still pretty leaky.

    I am considering some rope or silicon gasketing. 

    Once I figure this all out I will post some pictures of the mod.

    Thanks for your input.
  5. papad

    papad Smoke Blower

    I would be interested to know how that smoker is working out. Have you used it yet? Reason I ask, is because Bass Pro Shop has it on sale for $179 and I'm really considering getting one.

    Anybody that can give me any info on it? I read all the reviews on Bass Pro's site, but they don't have the pertinent information like how it works as far as holding temps and even cooking, how much propane it uses, you know, the good stuff. All they talk about are the usual things, "the chip pan is garbage, the water pan is too small, can't get the temps low enough, can't get the temps high enough."

    I figure I should be able to get better from the guys here, (if anyone has first hand knowledge).

    Any help greatly appreciated.
  6. pars

    pars Fire Starter

    Hey there Papad --- I haven't had this unit long enough to answer all of your questions, but will pass along what I can.

    I purchased this from Bass Pro back in early April. Previously I had been using a vintage Charbroil Bullet that my Father In Law won in a contest. It was also a gas unit. I haven't had any problems with temperature control. I'm not sure if that will be true in the colder weather that we see here in NH. I do use a Maverick Redi Check thermometer and find that the gauge on the unit seems about 10 degrees lower.

    Everything you read in the reviews that are out there are true. Lousy chip pan - water pan too small -- poorly fitting door.

    These are all things that can be corrected and adjusted which I am in the process of doing. 
    As for some Pros's - this unit is huge. I can't imagine how much you can fit in this thing -- certainly more than I will need.

    Assembly was easy and the overall quality of the unit is good. If you enjoy the ease of cookin' with gas and have lots of mouths to feed - I would not hesitate to recommend this unit.

    Good Luck and Good Smokin'

  7. papad

    papad Smoke Blower


    Thank you for the reply. I went over to our local Bass Pro to look at one in person (only a 10 minute drive, which makes it nice). You're right, it is quite large. Just what I want. I don't smoke very often, but when I do, I like to fill them up.

    Think I'll pick one up and give it a try.
  8. otis857

    otis857 Smoke Blower


      Its hard to go wrong for the price with the XL. When I bought mine, Bass Pro Shops dropped the GOSM big block for the XL, so I couldnt compare the two. Jakethesnake, myself and others have posted on the mods needed to make them work great. If you're the least bit handy, it wont be a problem. I went a little crazy with mine, insulating it and even adding a chimney, but it works like a champ now. ANd I cant tell any difference in the taste of meat cooked with gas vs wood or charcoal, but the convenience of gas cooking is sure nice.
  9. pars

    pars Fire Starter

    Papad -------

    I really think you can't go wrong. With some minor modifications you will have a easy to operate - extra large - competitively priced unit.

    I do recommend picking up a Maverick Smoker Temp unit. The one I have has a remote unit so I can monitor the temp of the smoker and the temp of the meat from inside the house. I really love that as I don't have to glue myself to the smoker.

    Go For It -- You won't regret it.

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  10. I wish I could give you more of a report, but so far I have only seasoned mine.  I made a grease deflector and some sausage hanging rails out of angle aluminum I had around.  First Test, I only had the door thermometer to go by, without even firing it up in the sun was 115 degrees.  I need to put a oven thermometer inside and try some more settings.  On the lowest setting, I could get the smoker down to about 250.  I am hoping that the door thermometer is way off, because I want to smoke sausage and jerky, I have to get down to 180 to do that.  May have to use an electric hot plate without the propane to get that low. 
  11. pars

    pars Fire Starter

    To help to lower the temp -- make sure the slide vent in the back of the unit is wide open. That will help to release some of the heat.

    I sometimes use that vent to help raise and lower the temp.

  12. Thanks Pars, I will give that a try.  I think it was wide open, but I will make sure on the next test.
  13. otis857

    otis857 Smoke Blower

    Cliff, I had this problem with temps, especially in the Az sun. I found that there is not much air flow through the smoker compared to other models. Other smokers have bottom mounted adjustable vents, which this one does not. I added a chimney out of 3" exhaust tubing and eliminated the cheesy slide vent, which greatly increased the air flow and its easier to get temps down to as low as 200 degrees now. An easier alteration would be to add 1 or 2 vents down low vs fabbing a chimney to increase the air flow
  14. Otis857,  Thanks for the suggestion, I was thinking that I might need to do something like that.  That might get me low enough for Sausage Smoking (180 degrees) 

    I did some more experimenting this weekend and with the settings on Low, the outside gauge said 250, the oven thermometer inside said 225.  Not bad for brisket and ribs.  At halfway between low and med, the outside gauge said 350 and the oven thermometer inside read 300.  Quite a ways off on the outside thermometer.  I am sure in winter it will get low enough.

    I may have to put in that extra vent, or use the electric hot plate method when I want to smoke sausage or bacon.
  15. Here are the mods that I did to the masterbuilt extra wide propane.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  16.   I can't wait to get mine. I am currently in South Plainfiled, NJ picking up a load that's going to West Virginia. On my way there, I am going to stop off at the Bass Pro in Harrisburg and purchase this unit. Been anticipating buying it for several months now.
  17. jlmacc

    jlmacc Meat Mopper

    Hello guys,

    I am thinking on going out and getting one of these today.I have been looking around for awhile.I was thinking the master forge two door smoker butI tihnk it will be to small for my needs.I currently have an old brinkman bullet electric smoker.It has done ok over the years.Just want to up grade.If I get it I will let everyone know what I think.Bass pro is about 40 minutes from me so i made sure I called first.They said they had them in stock for $199.
  18. otis857

    otis857 Smoke Blower


       If you need the larger capacity, its hard to go wrong with the XL for the price and the size. If you watch the specials at BPS, you can pick it up for $20-30 less too. They have their issues, but what product like this for under $200 wont? There are a lot of threads here on how to get the most out of them and with a few minor tweeks, they work pretty damn good
  19. jlmacc

    jlmacc Meat Mopper

    Yeah well I couldn't wait for the sale LOL,I have been looking around for awhile and had the day off work so told the wife I was going to pick it up.I have it assembled now.I was wondering if olive oil would work to season it?I have some kind of pam spray but it is butter flavored,not sure if that would be a good idea.It seems they pre olied it too,but I want to go over it again because it seems they didn't do a great job.Well let me know what you guys think and I will let you know how it works by the end of the weekend going to smoke something this eekend...just not sure what[​IMG]
  20. pars

    pars Fire Starter

    You will love this thing !! I love mine. It takes some minor mods and tweeking - but WOW  - this thing is a monster. I think the WOW factor will kick in when you take it out of the box and put the legs on it. Take some pics and post them when you get it up and running.

    Good Luck with your new smoker !

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