Seasoning a Masterbuilt XL - Having issue with Temperature 2 high.

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by petehalsted, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. petehalsted

    petehalsted Newbie

    I am in the process of seasoning my XL right now. And have a few questions.

    First the mods I have done.

    1. 12 inch Cast Iron skillet sitting directly on the stock chip pan. I did not mod the stock chip pan at all

    2. Waterpan is restraunt style steam table pan. Has about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of clearance on each side.

    3. Mounted it on a Harbor freight furniture mover. with a couple of 2 x 4's

    In the photos you can see my ivation wireless thermometer and the sensor mounted on the 2nd shelf from the top.

    I place 4 decent size apple chunks in the cast iron skillet. 

    I live in Biloxi, MS. So at sea level, and damn hot!!! 

    I am seasoning the smoker, and I read not to use water in the pan while seasoning


    1. Big Variance between my ivation and the door thermometer, in the photo you can see my ivation is reading 246 and the door is over 300.

    2. Can't keep temp low enough. I have the propane knob as low as it will go, and my ivation is hovering around 290-300  Door is reading 350. And its raining right on it pretty hard right now (didn't seem to effect it one way or the other), but just saying, in another month I will be dealing with much higher ambient temperatures than today.

    So question is would meat in the smoker and water in the pan help with the temp? I know it will take longer to get hot, but should I be having trouble keeping it under 300 empty?

    The good news is even at this temp my chunks have not ignited. They are definitely smoking up quicker than they should but at least not burning, and I am getting good blue smoke, although probably a lot more than I should. So I think once the temp is under control I will be in good shape.

    Another question. Anyone got a cool holder or something for the transmitter? My leads are not long enough to feed through the back vent and reach over to side handle so that I could hang it off the side. What I am doing right now is I have it setting on a silicon pot holder.

    Hoping to line of the temp problem, and do a test smoke tomorrow with some chicken and turkeys. Then I have a full brisket, 4 racks of St. louis style ribs, 2 salmon fillets, 6 turkey legs, and about 8 pounds of tuna steaks ready for a full smoke. 

    And yes before you do the math, I know that won't all fit, but I will be able to do 2 "shifts" on 3 of the racks while that briskets spends the day soaking up heat and smoke.

    Update: 1 hour after I started it my chunks have ashed over and are not longer producing any smoke at all. So temp is definitely to high as is.

  2. petehalsted

    petehalsted Newbie

    Update #2: I put water in the water pan. It hold 1 gallon when filled half way, put more wood chips in and gave it a second run.

    This time, it climbed to 230 pretty fast, but then took 15 - 20 minutes to slowing climb and stabilize at 253. Chunks produced smoke for 1 1/2 hours this time.

    Interesting thing is water in the pan completely changed the dynamics, now the door thermonitor runs about 25 degrees cooler than the Ivation. Without water the door run 50 warmer than the Ivation.

    So I suspect with the smoker full of meat I will be in good shape. Will let you know how it goes with the test cook.
  3. lonestarmedic

    lonestarmedic Smoke Blower

    Thermal absorption mass of a brisket and some ribs will make a difference. Mine two do the same thing. When loaded with meat, I actually turn UP the gas for a bit to maintain 225-250. Then as meat hits about 130 or so, I start needing to turn it down. As to the transmitter, look at getting a small metal folding shelf to bolt through the wall on the side of the box. I found a wire basket from the front of an old grill. Cut the wire rack and bent it until I had a couple hooks. Then put holes in the box and hung the basket.

  4. smoke n brew

    smoke n brew Newbie

    When I first got my MB XL 40, I also had temperature problems, generally too hot. I followed all the suggested mods others had made and all I was doing was ruining my food and wasting propane. I had made smokers from almost every kind of cardboard box and metal box and/or metal sheet possible it seems, so I am no stranger to being creative to have an operating smoker. that was remote reliable...

    I do have foil on three sides. Control knob is set @ 7:00, fire is set very low. Old BBQ grate with support bricks to hold chip pan. Chip pan slides on and off on grate, but usually never on top of burner more than 10%. Empty cake tin used as heat diverter to slow down boiling off of water. Cake tin setting in factory water pan rack, and lastly the way the smoker is set up when in use. I did not take a picture of the back vent as I always run it 3/4 closed rain or shine. I do hope these pictures help as some alternative ideas to setting up this smoker.

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