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Masterbuilt XL Propane Smoker first cook and mods.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So I bought a Masterbuilt XL Propane smoker to replace my old Smokey Mountain Great Outdoors smoker.

The original set up was very simple but there were a few "glitches" I noticed.

 

The door didn't fit quite square. A simple...forceful... twist of the whole box got it to line up just fine. :)

 

I read previous posts and decided up front to use my 12 in cast iron pan for the wood.

 

I had a bunch of "chips" left over and tried those during the burn in. Chips catch fire, even in the cast iron pan. Save yourself the trouble and just get chunks ahead of time.

 

I decided to go with a big aluminum roasting pan for my first cook. Glad I did but it still made a mess.

There's a little drain hole with a hanging cup to catch drippings that seems all but useless.

 

After the build and first cook, I decided to make a rolling stand for it.

 

I'd suggest if you want it on a stand, build the stand during assembly. It's a whole lot easier..and cleaner.. to add one while the whole thing is upside down and the legs are off.

 

The temperature gauge was fairly accurate. I boiled it before installing and at my altitude (4400 ft) it read right at 202 which is a couple degrees off but right in line with my "wal mart" digital remote.

 

Decided on ribs for the first cook. Did NOT wrap them this time on wife's request. I'll probably cook at a little lower temp next time.

It didn't have a problem staying around 225,250 or 275 during testing. I guess I got lucky on that one.

 

I bought a huge pan for water/dripping at Costco for 13 bux. I'll try that one with a couple beer can chickens today :)

 

Anyway, a few pics.

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

The only real problem so far is the ignition spark doesn't work most of the time and it's hard to tell if it's sparking at all or just a weak spark.

 If you are lighting it with the lower pan installed. It WILL go boom :(

I suggest removing the pan to light it but I'll probably just replace the igniter with a better unit.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Man I LOVE a Big RACK!

 

 

All that's left is a rack of ABTs and we are good to go :)

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

So...3rd smoke and it's either got a bad regulator or burner.

 

Masterbuilt would be happy to send out new parts...some time in August because they are on back order...

 

They suggest I see if Bass Pro can exchange it before the return time expires...

 

Here's my review:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/products/masterbuilt-gas-smoker-xl/reviews/4880

post #5 of 8
Love my masterbuilt xl. Seal it and put double sheet metal buddy at work made base with wheel works great and put insulation between the sheet metal and will be at 225 all day long.
post #6 of 8

Masterbuilt builds bargain basement crap! Their customer service is non existent, take that junk back where you got it. Hopefully it was a Bass Pro Shop, they will give you a cheerful refund instead of wasting time trying to get anything resolved with Masterbuilt.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

I returned it for an exchange at Bass Pro.

 

The igniter works on this one...

 

The burner and regulator are the same garbage as the last one but they made it through the burn in and a smoked chicken.

 

I still have time to return it if I need to. I'll give it a couple cooks and see what happens.

post #8 of 8

Going to get an extra grate and replace the water pan grate (with the hole in it).  Waste of good metal.

I also use cast iron pan for my chips.  No problems.  Going to try wood chunks next.  MasterBuilt even suggested not using the cast iron skillet and wrapping chips in heavy foil, punching a few holes it it, and setting it right on the chip pan that came with it.

I invested in Maverick digital wireless dual probe thermometer which works great.  Just set the base unit on top (insulate with foil or something to keep it from getting hot), then run probe and wires through the vent holes on the back.  I use one for meat and one to monitor smoker temp...which saved my butt a few times.  While smoking salmon at lowest temp, wind blew out  flame several times.  You can set a smoker temp range on the Maverick and when temp drops below lowest setting alarm goes off to let you know something isn't right.  Plus, excellent meat thermometer as well.  MasterBuilt thermometer reads about 10-15 degrees higher than digital one.

Door on mine doesn't fit flush either.  Someone mentioned getting some fireplace tape like stuff to put all around door for a good seal.

And so far the electric lighter works great.

Smoked salmon, chicken, pulled pork, and spare ribs so far and everything turned out excellent.

Only gripe is that the lowest temp I can get on the smoker is around 200 degrees.  Really too high for salmon, but the salmon turned out great anyway.  Anyone with suggestions to fix that I would be very grateful.

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