It's been quite a while since my last post here on the forum. Well over a year, so what brings me back ? My Master Forge Electric Dome Smoker died on me last month. It was four years old. I have to accept responsibility for it's much too early demise because I took it for granted. I left it out side exposed to the elements with no cover and that finally took it's toll. She is ugly now like she's been through a tsunami. But she still had a way with some beef ribs right up until the end.
Some grease and moisture seeped into the connection between the heating element and the temperature control and caused an electrical short. It's a shame, when I looked into replacing these components the cost of buying them plus shipping was enough to buy a new smoker. So that's what I ended up doing. I looked high and low for another Master Forge Electric Dome smoker but as luck would have it I couldn't find anyone who still carries this model. So I ended up purchasing the look a like Brinkman Gourmet Electric Smoker/Grill from Home Depot. This time I purchased a cover for it.
There are a few differences between the two units I want to comment on. First I think the build quality for the Master Forge was a bit better than the Brinkman. They both weigh in at about 30 LBS. and have detachable bottoms that convert them into a grill. The Master Forge had clips that locked the bottom on so you could move it as one unit. The Brinkman's body just sits loosely on top of the bottom unit with no way to secure it so you have to move each section independently. I'm am glad to report that I noticed no smoke escaping from the Brinkman down where the bottom unit meets the body of the smoker yesterday when I did the first three hour burn to cure the smoker.
The Master Forge came with a temperature gauge for the top of the unit to give you an idea of the internal temperature. The Brinkman did not. Not to worry though, I had the good folks at Home Depot drill a hole in the top of the new Brinkman smoker before I left the store with it so I took the old temperature gauge off the Master Forge and put it on the Brinkman. Another thing is the Master Forge had a fully detachable power cord with a variable temperature control. The Brinkman's power cord and heating element is one unit with no temperature adjustment. It runs wide open. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. The temps were running between 270-310 degrees while the unit was curing, which is higher than I like for smoking. I like to keep my temps around 210-230.
I have it connected to a switched outlet so when it runs a little hot I'll just switch it off for a little while to regulate the temperature. My only other complaint is the door handle on the Brinkman is small and located right on the door so I'll need a pot holder when I want to open the smoker to add wood chips. The Master Forge had a large handle that did not get hot to the touch. I really wish I could have purchased another Master Forge Electric Dome Smoker, For now the Brinkman will have to do.
The Master Forge smoker is dead but not berried it will continue in service. I gave it to a friend who lives in a house he will remove the non functioning heating element and convert the smoker from electric to a charcoal smoker. I would have done this but I live in an apartment and you can't use a charcoal, or gas smoker within ten feet of the structure. The electric smoker can be used right on my patio.
Today will be my first time using the new Brinkman Gourmet Smoker/Grill with food we'll see how it goes, and I'll post the results. That's it for now. j