Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite 44" propane smoker

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by poppatimz, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. I am considering purchasing this smoker. It seems to be a new model for Masterbuilt and I cannot find any reviews. Does anyone have any feedback on this smoker? Thanks
     
  2. turkster

    turkster Newbie

    Just got mine couple months ago seems ok to me. I'm new to the smoking bizz but have done a 14 lb brisket, 5 racks of ribs, 15 whitefish, and 13 lbs of deer jerky.  When i was doin the jerky it was windy and the side that was catching the wind was alot cooler than the other.  I guess thats thermodynamics.  Either got to build a little insulated shelter for it or keep an eye and move product around.  The left side that was hotter and dried out the jerky lot faster.
     
  3. Just got mine this past weekend. 

    Got it all assembled and will hook it up to the gas this weekend to burn off the factory chems.  I've also got some tinkering to do.  At first glance there's really not a good place to stick my AMPS, but I think I've figured out a solution by using a brick down in the bottom to help elevate the AMPS to get it far enough away from direct heat when only running the right burner, but still close enough to the left side vent for oxygen. 

    So this weekend, I'll burn off.  During the week i'll be working on creating my silicone gasket, and then by this weekend, I'll season it and run some smoke through it to gauge temps and see if my AMPS mod will work.  If everything goes smooth, I'll get some meat on there by next weekend.

    Really excited to have so much room to play with.  I can already tell it will be a significant upgrade from my old MES 30.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Congrats on the new smoker. Looking forward to some great Q-view from you.

    Al
     
  5. Can you post pics of the mods you do? I'm getting this smoker next week and plan to do the needle valve mod and a door seal.
     
  6. Sure thing. 

    Unfortunately my hi temp silicone shipment is delayed until Friday, so it might push me back a few days.  But I will be sure to take pictures and post.

    I'm going to start out without the needle valve mod, just to see how well the temperature holds and/or fluctuates with one burner going.  If it isn't to my liking, I may come back and install the needle valve. 

    Stay tuned!
     
  7. kipeharris

    kipeharris Newbie

    I also recently purchased the MB 44". Has anyone upgraded their wood chip tray? Besides the door gasket currently being shipped and after replacing the water pan with a foil pan from grocery store. I seem to like to smoker, I wish it could hold temps better in cold weather. 

    Any tips or advice from anyone? 
     
  8. jimmy1957

    jimmy1957 Smoke Blower

    Got mine last year on 12-1-2015 at a great buy at Tractor Supply, I'm having a hard time maintaining my temp also, I read somewhere that it was recommended to get a 8 or 10 inch cast iron pan for the wood so I bought one, But I can't use that on my burners due to the v shape metal sitting above the burners but my brother in-law could use it on his MGS 30 gas as it has 1 burner that is round an it sits right on it , Also my family got me the Masterbuilt cold smoker which it was design for the 30 MES smoker so I had to modify my smoker to use it so I would recommend the A-Maze-N smoker as do a lot of people here, So far did cheese came out good, Jerky didn't come out very good because I couldn't keep the temp low enough an it tasted more like I just cooked it so next time I will use the cold smoker again, I did try turning the knob from half way between  high to off which lowered the temp but it was windy that day and my burners kept going out, Also my brother in-law claims he has no problem keeping the temp low when doing cheese or jerky so maybe I  should have bought the MGS 30 inch as his is older and seems to be made of heavier material, But we will get this smoker right as I'm new to this and it will take time.
     
     
  9. kipeharris

    kipeharris Newbie

    I tired the Cast Iron Skillet with no luck. After several attempts and a 1/2 a bottle of propane I adjusted the height and then drilled small holes in the base.  I could not generate any smoke at a reasonable temprature.  Any other ideas for a upgrade for the chip pan? 


    I installed my door gaskets from BBQgaskets.com. I have only smoked once since and they worked great. Great seal on both doors.  
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  10. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you guys have a large vent hole under the burner and if it came with a square box that kinda covers or surrounds the hole, turn that box into a shelf and lay an AMNTS.  Works perfectly for me.  I have a cast iron skillet which I use to use to smoke chips and pellets, but now it sits on top of the burner to help distribute the heat.  the AMNTS produces lot of smoke.  Also did the needle valve but rarely do I need to run at low temps in that smoker.

    Here's a couple links to some of my gasser mods.

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/234143/honey-dont-bother-me-ill-be-in-the-shop-welding

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/129949/my-masterbuilt-gasser-mods
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  11. jimmy1957

    jimmy1957 Smoke Blower

    cmayna, After checking your links I noticed you have one round burner so that would work nice, But the 44XL that I have has 2 burners, The burners are just 2 tubes with tiny holes that are about 10 inches long just like on my regular gas grill, The burners are about 8 inches apart, Then it has a ^ shape metal that goes over them so there is no way to set a pan on it, Now it does have a rack above that with a small hole to set the small pan for wood chips in, Pan is about 5"x3". I will try to upload some pictures tomorrow.
     
  12. jimmy1957

    jimmy1957 Smoke Blower

    Here are some pictures of my smoker, Any ideas for a better smoking pan?


    As you can see in the picture it is a small pan, I need to modify the rack with the pan so I can use a cast iron skillet closer to the burner to smoke with.


     
  13. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Having two burners does make it a challenge, but there's always a way.  Based on the limited pics you have provided, I see some major modification work needed ( chop out the angled platform as well as the chip tray)   Can you remove it by removing screws, bolts, etc?  If so then you would not lose your warranty.   It would be nice to see pics of it without the any of platform.    I assume there's plenty of vertical space between the top of the burners and the water pan above?  My cast iron skillet sits probably 1-1/2" above the burner.  The skillet is a tad over 2" tall.

    A couple years ago, I had my skillet self supported with 4 very long bolts which were drilled through the skillet.   This made the skillet height adjustable to find the perfect distance above my burner.  The bottom of the bolts rested on the bottom of the smoker's floor that surrounded the burner.  Removing the skillet to clean or empty was a little more of a challenge having the long bolt legs but it worked pretty good.  Once I found that sweet spot height, I then made the support that I currently use.

    Another idea, assuming you can easily remove all that metal platform stuff is to thin piece of steel, say about 2" wide, and bend it into a circular ring with a large diameter that wound wrap around the burners and act like a skillet support.  

    If you were near me, we'd have this issue resolved by now [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  14. jimmy1957

    jimmy1957 Smoke Blower

    Wish we were closer as this is new to me but I appreciate all your time and help, I can remove the angled platform it is just 4 nuts on the 4 posts that hold it because I had to put that together, The chip tray can be removed easy as it just sits in the center of a rack that sits on 2 side brackets, There is plenty of room above the burners when I remove the angle bracket an it is just a big hole there, The 8 inch cast iron pan I got to use that people recommend is too small to fit over both burners so maybe I will get a bigger one, I like the idea about the 4 bolts as that would be easy enough, All good ideas, If you look at the last picture you will see shiny metal that isn't painted, That is where I already made a change, Since my sons got me the masterbuilt cold smoker for xmas it wouldn't fit as it only fits the 30" smoker, I cut the vent out so the pipe would fit in then I made a new vent to close it back up when I was just using the smoker, I will try to get more pictures but my wife left last night with the camera on a cruise,
     
  15. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here's an idea for those who want to use a cast iron skillet in your elite 44 smoker. Just left a Bass Pro shop that has one. Remove the ^ angled deflector all together. Out of some flat 1/2" wide steel stock plate, make and upside down U shape bracket which connects to the same mounting holes that the angled deflector was connected to with one bracket connecting from the front left mount back to the rear left mount. Then do another upside down U shape bracket from the front right mount to the back right mount. The height of these brackets is determined as to how far above the burners do you want the bottom of your skillet to reside. The bottom of my skillet resides about 2-3/8" above the top of the burner. My skillet is 2" in height.

    You just need to make sure the material for the supports is thick enough to withstand the weight of the skillet as well as the impact that the heat will generate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  16. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here's a sketch of what I was thinking.....
    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. kipeharris

    kipeharris Newbie

    Please post some pics when your wife returns. I am trying to figure something out.

     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  18. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I have the 40" gasser and it doesn"t have 2 burners so I wouldn't be much help But I have consider stepping up to this 44" gasser and I'm finding some interesting comments. I too use a fry pan in my 40" for wood chips. Hope you get it all worked out.
     
  19. jimmy1957

    jimmy1957 Smoke Blower

    What other pics would you like me to post? I would be glad to do that.
     
  20. jimmy1957

    jimmy1957 Smoke Blower

    Thanks that seems easy to do, I'm gone to go make them now, I did stop by a thrift store the other day and found 2 nice stainless steel pots, the 1 is about 7" wide by 3-1/2" deep, I was going to use that for inside the smoker to smoke the wood chips which should hold a lot more then what I have now to use but I still have to make a bracket for it, The other pot is 9" wide by 5-1/2 inches deep, I was going to cut a 3" hole on the side for a piece of pipe then put the pipe into the side hole on my smoker then but the pot on my gas turkey fryer to smoke wood chips to do cold smoking, I would have to make a lid for it which would be easy enough, that was my plans but now I'm going to use cmayna idea since I already have a cast iron pan for inside the smoker and I will still do the plan for the cold smoker unless I find a better idea.
     

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