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Beginner - Master Forge Question

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Should i buy last year's model for $109 or the new model for $169?  Is the grease deflector on the new model worth the difference in price?

 

I am retired, have done some grilling and enjoy smoked meat.  I would be cooking for 2 persons.

 

Thank you.

post #2 of 18

 

Welcome to SMF Dan!

 

Do us a favor & update your profile info to include your location. Thanks!

 

I'm not familiar with your smoker, is it a propane, charcoal, or electric smoker?

 

Do you have a photo & model #?

post #3 of 18
welcome1.gif
post #4 of 18

Welcome to SMF! I have last years  gas model and after a few modifications, I love it. I have not seen the grease deflector in the new one, but I never have a problem with grease dripping on the fire since the water pan and the chip box are between the meat and the fire. The shelf is nice, but I would not pay an extra $60.00 for it. Just my 2 cents.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your reply.  Have you posted your mods?

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

My location has been added.

 

This smoker is a propane vertical two door model sold by Lowe's.

post #7 of 18

Hey Dan, I own the older model and have had it for some time now and really like the thing.  I haven't seen the new model in person but a member here bought one of the new ones and I asked him to post some pictures of the inside, which he did.  From what I can tell - based on his pictures - there doesn't appear to be any major difference with the water pan/wood box/burner configuration.  As for the grease deflector, I didn't notice that on his pictures.  Is the deflector on the door?

 

As for any mods, I think the mods required for the older model would still be required for the new model, including the rope gasket around both doors and pitching the factor thermo that comes with the MF and either installing a decent/reliable analog in the door or going with a digital/wireless unit.

 

As for the benefit of the new side-shelf, I don't see a major gain here, when comparing the price difference.  Plus the shelf is on the hinge side of the smoker, so when ever you open the smoker door, the shelf will be blocked... just an observation.

 

As for the price difference, I just don't see the newer model being worth the extra cash but that's MVHO. 

 

-Salt

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Concerning the shelf, the open door would indeed block the shelf and, in any case, is not of much interest.

 

The grease deflector is on the door and three insides.  It would appear that grease running down the insides and door would be directed into the water pan.  Would this be useful?

 

I am aware of the sealing and thermometer issues.

 

Thank you again.

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Concerning the shelf, the open door would indeed block the shelf and, in any case, is not of much interest.

 

The grease deflector is on the door and three insides.  It would appear that grease running down the insides and door would be directed into the water pan.  Would this be useful?

 

I am aware of the sealing and thermometer issues.

 

Thank you again.

post #10 of 18

Dan, I typically don't have a problem with grease running down the sides of my MF...if you place your meat in more or less the center of the grates, most of it will drip straight down in to the water pan. 

 

When I used to run water in my water pan, I did have a problem with steam/moisture running down the sides of the smoker, which was a real pain, but I've switched to using clean play sand in my water pan and haven't looked back.  I feel it holds heat much better than water, helps with minimizing temperature swings when you have to open the door and I don't have to worry about filling it up during a smoke.  I haven't had one bit of trouble with dry meat coming out of the MF using sand instead of water.... with that said, I'm not sure how much benefit there might be to those grease deflectors... especially since they're going to cost you $60....

 

If you want to try the sand, line your pan with HD aluminum foil, fill it about 3/4 full with clean play sand (Home Depot and Lowe's carry it) and shape the sand so it tapers to the center of the pan.  Then put 2 layers of HD aluminum foil on top of the sand.  This makes clean up very easy.

 

Hope this helps.

 

-Salt

post #11 of 18

Dan, I have not posted the mods, but they are just the rope gasket, thermometer, and I changed out the hose, regulator, and orifice with a unit that has a needle valve for better control of the gas flow. I am with GrayStrat on the no water in the water pan. I ran my smoker for the first time last weekend with pea gravel in the water pan covered with HD foil and it made a major difference in holding a steady temp. The only reason I used the gravel and not sand is because I had a bag of it left over from another project. Not saying it works any better or worse, but the principle is the same.

post #12 of 18

Thanks for bringing up the needle valve mod, Bill.  I did that to mine as well and forgot to mention it.  That is a great mod as well.  Really allows a much finer temperature control.

 

-Salt

post #13 of 18

Hello Dan and welcome1.gifto SMF

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Salt and Bill,

 

Thank you so much.  You have cleared up my question - it will be the older model for me.  Concerning the water question, all three of us live in areas with high humidity, so there is already water in the air.  Furthermore, when propane burns the combustion products are carbon dioxide and water.  Hence, we probably have enough moisture without water in the bowl.  The bowl could be filled with about anything so long as it is clean and not flammable.

 

Dan 

post #15 of 18

welcome1.gif to SMF . You have come to the right place for smoking info. This site is loaded with great info just use the search bar at top of page to find what you are looking for. If you can't locate the answer just ask folks here are willing to share there knowledge. I suggest you take  the 5 day e-course on smoking its chuck full of great info. Smoking  5-Day e-Course

 

I too have the Master Forge and I also run sand in the water pan it works much better. I do add a small pan of water on a shelf above the sand. However I am on the fence as to whether it actually does any thing. 

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you.  When I can make time I will sign up for the five day course.  This is indeed a very valuable site.  I was using it for research before I joined.  Since I have tech knowledge (electrical engineering) and years of experience with plumbing, etc., I will offer help whenever I can.

 

Dan

post #17 of 18

welcome1.gif Lots of helpful folks here. As you've already discovered it seems.

post #18 of 18

I have the new one and use the shelf to hold a wireless thermometer base. That, and my beverage when I need to open the door when I tend to the contents. It is definitely on the wrong side though. I thought about moving it, but so far I've just moved a deck box close by to hold anything I might need temporarily.

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