I received my new Masterbuilt Extra Wide propane smoker this past Father's Day and spent the first day or so, seasoning it with some long hickory smokes.
here it is newly assembled and ready to go! The front door fits very well with little indication of potential leaks or gaps. I know others have used the fiberglass rope to aid in the sealing of the door, but i wanted to see the extent of 'leakage' before considering that particular mod.
After two days of heavy smoke, I gave it an initial run loading it up with several goodies...some baby-back ribs, 1/2 a turkey breast and some garlic sausages I made a few weeks ago.
In this smoke I used the silly little water pan and the pie-shaped chip pan as well. I did wrap the hickory chunks in foil to help minimize flame-up on the chunks. I also inserted an old pizza stone above the chip pan to help absorb some of the direct heat and disperse it. I insert two temp probes through the back vent (see photo below); one inserted into the turkey, the other to monitor the smoker temp. The probe registered about 20° hotter than the door thermometer that came with the unit. As smoke began rolling @ about 200-225° there was very little smoke 'seepage' at the door. Got it up to 250° fairly quickly then reduce the gas flow to 225° & maintained that temp for several hours.
The end result: I over cooked the turkey a bit— focusing on too many things that weekend!—the breast was a tad dry. The sausages were tasty—dried, smoked & with a strong flavor that reminded me of eating jumbo-sized slim-jims. Both the ribs & turkey however had a bit of a 'metallic' flavor—an indication that perhaps I needed to smoke & season the box MORE before inserting any consumables. I subsequently 'seasoned' (smoked) the empty box @ 275° for another 3-4 hours.
Since I wanted to use the smoker for sausage, I wanted to modify the unit to accommodate some hanger bars.
So I measured & cut some solid oak & dowels to create hanger bars similar to what I've illustrated here.
This set-up should allow for 10-15lbs of sausage to hang easily without too much crowding.
For sausage-smoking, I use the Amazen smoker as I can keep the temps down (<170°) & still get plenty of smoke.
The propane burner still runs a bit hot for this so I've some more research to do to see if I can find a happy solution to use both the prop. burner & AMNS in conjunction to achieve good smoke & easy-to-regulate temps below 180°
Only other mod I've done is to mount the whole unit of a 2x4 rolling/locking platform that raises the whole thing up about 6-8"—making it easier to move about and load/unload the goodies within.
I based my design upon fellow member SmokeThis1's design—shown here:
Got plans for briskets this weekend! Should be fun!
Edited by Couger78 - 6/30/11 at 3:04pm