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Master Forge Double Door Smoker

Posted

Pros: Two Doors,strong handles, covered smokestack

Cons: thermometer needs calibration

I purchased the Master Forge Smoker after reading tons of reviews and driving all over looking at all the brands of units available at the local chain stores.

 

Bang for the buck, This smoker is the best!  Packing alone was high quality, everything wrapped, standardized bolts, logical build order, complex parts preassembled, clean surfaces, good welds, even the outer box had shipping straps!

 

This is a solid unit and the complaints about the doors leaking smoke is not a problem. I used a plastic paint brush handle to pry the door lips square and also used a small wood block and a hammer to tap out the edges around the openings. The bar that crossed between the top and bottom door was pressed in and was causing a large gap. I used my hand to pull it out and worked around the edges and was able to make a nice fit for both doors. Seems they bent the sheet metal edges in a bit too far during manufacturing.  One other thing is when you tighen the door handle locks slide them all the way back in the slots to make the doors get pulled tight when the handles are in the lock down position.

 

I took the thermometer and put it in a small stainless steel bowl and placed it into my home oven. The bowl was so I could see through the window of my oven the face of the meter.  My oven is a newer model with digital settings and so I set the oven to 220 degrees and waited for it to beep that the temp was achieved. After about 20 minutes the thermometer was reading about 50 degrees high. So I removed the unit and once it cooled I took a wrench and unbolted the nut on the sensor and removed the thermo from the black metal holder. (dont need to loosen the two black bolts on the housing) Once I removed the meter, I used a small screwdriver and bent the tabs on the shiny metal housing and carefully removed the bezel and exposed the face of the thermometer and needle indicator.

 

I then used my finger to gently pull the needle backward about 1/4 to 1/2 around. The thermometer is made from a bi-metal coil. I did this several times until the needle would rest farther back from it's original resting point. I reassembled the unit and bent the tabs back down and put the nut back on the housing and returned to the kitchen and placed the assembly back into the oven. I set the temp to 220 and waited. This time the meter read about 10 degrees higher at 230.  Close enough for me and I did not want to re-twist the needle again and risk any more the possible breaking of the unit. Now if I am cooking anywhere between 220 to 250 I am happy, it's not that critical. 

 

So now I am all set and after breaking in the unit , I cooked my first Pork butt. Be sure to line your water bowl with foil and make some wings so you get better coverage from the drippings. 

I used the cowboy hickory chips sold at lowes and they worked perfectly after a good soak pour off the water and let them dry a bit.  I like smoke flavor but I want to taste the meat too, so when my chips cook out after about 4 hours I don't add any more, even the owners manual says the smoke flavor sets in the meat in the first two hours. I like to add a small stainless bowel with apple cider vinegar on the low rack to add a little twang to the pork. I also dont like mixing meats, I like to cook pork with pork, beef with beef. It's not just smoke your making, it''s moist heat, low and slow. This cooker sure beats my old charcoal unit by a mile.

 

As you can tell , I am very happy with this smoker!! 

Posted

Pros: easy assembly; economical; large capacity; oversized smoke box and liquid tray

Cons: leaks smoke

I purchased the unit online boxed (not already assembled) from my local Lowe's store using their 30 minute store pick-up option along with the recommended cover. The packaging was done very well (considering its price) and there was no internal component dings or dents. Assembly was straight forward and pretty quick (took about 30 min). The only problem was a bad cooking grate which had a broken weld on (1) of the tines. I contacted the service center the next morning and a replacement is on its way. After seasoning it with a couple of hickory chunks for the recommended 45-60 minutes at a minimum 175 degrees and allowed to cool, the pork spare ribs went on. It does leak quite a bit of smoke around both the upper and lower doors as reported by other posters. I did buy the 3/8" fiberglass rope kit found in the fireplace section at Lowe's ($6.98) and will apply it to both doors before the next use. Unlike some of the other posters, I found the supplied thermometer to be fairly accurate (within 3-5 degrees when measured with an oven thermometer placed on the center rack) but use a Maverick digital remote thermometer when cooking anyway. It was easy to maintain a chamber temp (measured at center rack) of 235 deg (I used the seasoning session as a way to experiment with the vents, stack and burner temp). The ribs were GREAT and full of smokey flavor. I will be doing a beef brisket or pork butt (haven't decided which yet) over the upcoming weekend and will take some pics to post. Overall, I would highly recommend this smoker to anyone looking for an economical propane smoker.

Posted

Pros: Putting Together Is Simple, Durable, Inexpensive, Compact, Cosmetically Appealing

Cons: Thin metal, bad table placement, small chip tray

First, I notice a good amount of people complain that smoke leaks out of their smoker. I personally don't have that problem with my unit. I feel like it may just be inconsistency with the parts for each smoker. Some probably fit more snug then other. However if you have that problem, you can easily research ways to fix it for a few dollars.

 

This is my first smoker, and it's a great unit.  So far, I've had a hard time getting it up toward 300. I'm even in Southern California, so the worst weather we have is some high winds, and rainfall a couple weeks a year.  Thermometer seems to be accurate because my food cooks correctly in the time it should. So obviously my internal temp is what I need. Just wish I could raise it for when I cook high & fast.

 

Overall, I think this is an awesome unit for the beginner smokers out there. PLUS, it's a Lowe's exclusive, so for a whole 25 bucks extra I have a 2 years warranty and if anything bad happens, they replace the entire thing for F-R-E-E.  Also better for myself, because there's a store directly across the street from my neighborhood :)

Posted

Pros: Easy to use..dual fuel LP and coal

Cons: Thermometer is not good

Great unit, easy to put together, thermometer is not working....

 

Ribs turned out great, and pork shoulder is working out so far....looks great.

 

 

Posted

Pros: Wonderful product for the money

For those of you new to smoking, one tip. Quick is bad - slow is good. Don't rush it and don't worry too much about the smoke. Smoke only does anything in the first hour or so anyway - after that it doesn't make any difference. I'm sure the thermometer on mine isn't accurate to NASA standards, but I doubt that oven thermometer some of you are using is much better. Find an "idiot number" on the one that come with the smoker that seems too work and go with it. Here's my test. Ribs done in 28 seconds - too hot! Ribs been in there since yesterday - too cold! Pretty simple, eh! You can always check it if you want to. Stick it in a pan of boiling water - should read 212 (give or take a few degrees depending on altitude, barometric pressure, impurities in the water.... just go with 212 - its easier) To sum it up, I think this product is fantastic for the price, and it works fine straight out of the box.

Posted

Pros: Good size, constant temp

Cons: Leaks smoke


After a smoky, 4th of July feast at a friend's house, my wife and I had to get a smoker. We only had two primary requirements when looking for a smoker since we have a decent grill. We have a gas line on the patio, so that requirement was second to price. We wanted to stay under $200 on our first unit and go from there. 

 

We read reviews on the similar Brinkman propane unit, but we noticed that it has about half the cooking area as the Master Forge. No brainer! 

 

I hooked it up with our old propane tank, seasoned it and smoked some Italian sausages. That first time a lot of smoke seeped out the doors, but after doing a couple more smokes the smoke stopped coming out of the door nearly as much. I assume after a couple of months, the smoke seep will be reduced to a very acceptable amount. 

 

Since Master Forge doesn't offer a gas conversion kit, I bought a Charmglow kit and found a reducer nozzle in the water heater section of Lowes. Works perfectly. My gas is just not as strong as the propane, but I can still get the smoker up to about 300 degrees. 

 

Natural gas smoker for under $160.00! Worth every penny!

Posted

Pros: Sips the propane, seperate access to chip pan and water, maintains temp very well, light weight

Cons: Doors leak a little, light weight, door thermometer, small water pan

I purchased this smoker based on the reviews I have seen. It's light weight can be a plus or a minus. It's easy to move around but the thin metal doesn't retain any heat. It does help that you can work with the chip pan and water pan without opening the main door. I did install fiberglass tape around the big door to minimize leakage.....it stopped.

 

Of course the supplied thermometer reads 40-50 degrees higher than the actual chamber temp. A cheap walmart oven thermometer solved that problem.

 

The first propane tank (20#) ran for nearly 28 hours before I changed it out. I weighed it right before I started smoking a boston butt figuring I could run it out.... 21.5 lbs - 16.9 lb tw = 4.6 lbs of propane....I ran the tank for 5 hours and I started to get nervous so I put the spare on. I weighed the first tank again and it weighed 20 lbs.......28 hours of smoking on roughly 17 lbs of propane is pretty darn good in my book. That's an overall average of roughly 1.65 hrs per pound of propane. The last 5 hours of use only consumed 1.5 #.......go figure.

 

I had no problem making smoke or keeping the temp stable. Using wood chunks cut into manageable pieces works excellent. The water pan could be a little bigger. I needed to refill it 3 times during an 8 hour smoke.

 

Having just started to learn how to do this I am not even close to knowing the process. But I feel this smoker can be used to hone ones skills. I'll graduate to something larger when I feel comfortable.

 

Posted

This is my first "real" smoker - purchased a cheap charcoal one yeras ago which was a pain in the butt - could not keep the temperature regulated!  The Master Forge is AWESOME...has a short learning curve.  Holds a temperature well, sips propane, and is easy to keep clean.  I have only smoked corn, chicken, a korean short ribs so far....but everything has turned out great!  Would highly recommend it!!

Posted

Pros: Easy to use, fairly easy to maintain heat, great size for home

Cons: Would be nice if it was insulated but for the price you can't go wrong. Best I found for $150.00

I have used it about a half dozen times with excellent results.  I have no problems with it and am keeping up with all the pros websites and just yesterday smoked a 13 pound turkey with excellent results.  Very happy with this smoker and I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

Posted

Pros: Works well

Cons: Thermometer

IMG_1035.JPG 282k .JPG file

 

This is my first smoker I have owned and it has made me fall in love with smoking.  As soon as I purchased it I had to customize it a little just for my liking...as you can see I tricked it out a little...lol. 

 

I have owned it for over a year and had to add some add-ons for better performance.  I did add some seals around the doors for the loss of smoke thru the seams.  Bought the sealant from Lowes and worked great.  I added a new thermometer cuz the one it came with was way off.  about 50 degrees to low.  I use a dual probe digital thermometer also just for even more accurate readings.  and one other thing to complain about is the width, I love to smoke ribs and I have to cut them in half to fit.

 

I would recommend this smoker to someone getting into smoking.  For my first smoker I really enjoy it and it seems to be built pretty good.  It is pretty easy to use and the temps stay pretty consistent but will need some attention during the smoke.

Master Forge Double Door Smoker
Description:

Lowe's Master Forge Double Door Propane Gas Smoker * "Heavy duty" 36 In. Propane gas Smoker * 784 Sq. In. primary cooking area * 15000 BTU cast iron burner

Details:
DetailValue
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

 

Related Media/Links:

Good Video about this smoker made by Lowes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNos2CQKD64&feature=related

 

Troubleshooting/Known Issues:

Weak door fit leaks some smoke

Thermometer needs calibration at the factory

 

 

How To:

 

(May void warranty on some suggestions - your mileage may vary - be warned)

 

Cyclicpitcher wrote: 

This is a solid unit and the complaints about the doors leaking smoke is not a problem to me. I used a plastic paint brush handle to pry the door lips square and also used a small wood block and a hammer to tap out the edges around the openings. The bar that crossed between the top and bottom door was pressed in and was causing a large gap. I used my hand to pull it out and worked around the edges and was able to make a nice fit for both doors. Seems they bent the sheet metal edges in a bit too far during manufacturing.  One other thing is when you tighen the door handle locks slide them all the way back in the slots to make the doors get pulled tight when the handles are in the lock down position.

 

I took the thermometer and put it in a small stainless steel bowl and placed it into my home oven. The bowl was so I could see through the window of my oven the face of the meter.  My oven is a newer model with digital settings and so I set the oven to 220 degrees and waited for it to beep that the temp was achieved. After about 20 minutes the thermometer was reading about 50 degrees high. So I removed the unit and once it cooled I took a wrench and unbolted the nut on the sensor and removed the thermo from the black metal holder. (dont need to loosen the two black bolts on the housing) Once I removed the meter, I used a small screwdriver and bent the tabs on the shiny metal housing and carefully removed the bezel and exposed the face of the thermometer and needle indicator.

 

I then used my finger to gently pull the needle backward about 1/4 to 1/2 around. The thermometer is made from a bi-metal coil. I did this several times until the needle would rest farther back from it's original resting point. I reassembled the unit and bent the tabs back down and put the nut back on the housing and returned to the kitchen and placed the assembly back into the oven. I set the temp to 220 and waited. This time the meter read about 10 degrees higher at 230.  Close enough for me and I did not want to re-twist the needle again and risk any more the possible breaking of the unit. Now if I am cooking anywhere between 220 to 250 I am happy, it's not that critical. 

  

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