Pros: Inexpensive, Sturdy, Lots of space, Duel Fuel
Cons: Door seal, Chip Pan is flimsy, Water pan too small, Thermometer inaccurate
Was originally looking at the Masterbuilt XL as an upgrade to my ECB that I've been using for the past 6 months and quickly outgrown. I was in Home Depot and spotted this unit and poked around with the floor model and decided the price ($161.00) was worth it after reading a few SMF reviews on my phone in store. The assembly process was easy and straightforward and took maybe 20-30 minutes. The unit seems sturdy upon assembly, I will say you need to make sure to use all of the leg braces. I forgot to put two on and thought they might be unnecessary until one of the legs bent while moving it and snapped a weld when I bent it back into place.
I decided to try seasoning without making any of the recommended mods that I saw other users make to see how well the temperature held. Just as I suspected the unit had real trouble getting to the 400 degrees recommended for seasoning and I could see all the heat leaking from around both doors. I also noticed the supplied thermometer was about 100 degrees off from my Maverick. If you use an external probe like I do that might not be the biggest deal but it's worth noting.
I then decided to buy a 8-inch cast iron skillet to sit on top of the chip pan to use instead as recommended by others. I tried to seal the door with some fiberglass rope and sealant and it wouldn't adhere to the painted surface of the grill even after cleaning. I decided to try using some silicone weather stripping from Home Depot and it worked like a charm and the self-adhesive backing was much easier to deal with. I re-seasoned this way and it was much easier to achieve the desired temp.
My first smoke was just some bone-in chicken breast that I brined for two hours. I had to fiddle with the dial to get the temp to stay at 250 but once it was there it stayed. The chicken came out wonderful and I will be attempting a brisket shortly. The included water pan is too small I found out and I used some aluminum trays with water instead so I didn't have chicken drippings all over the bottom.
Overall I would say this is a great smoker for the money but would definitely plan on spending another 20-30 on modifications to get it up to snuff.