I started with the Masterbuilt 30" electric with blu-tooth. Smoker worked well but the range of the blu-tooth sucked like a black hole. It was only effective for around 23-25'. I had to keep leaving the house and walk out into the garage to get the remote to work. This was not acceptable for me so I returned the smoker to Home Depot.
I found a good deal on line from Wal-Mart for a Masterbuilt 30" electric with RF remote. I order that up and did my first smoke with it yesterday and these are my findings why it is so much better than the blu-tooth one.
1. Door opens with the hinges on the right. The blu-tooth door was hinged on the left. Being right handed this is a little bit of a loss but not really a big deal.
2. The RF remote is great. I can control, see, set and change the temp, time...see what the smoker temp is, see what the meat thermometer says, see how much time left and add or decrease the time. Works from all corners of my house and even from my work room down in the basement where I spend most of my time....love it!
3. The chip loader is similar in design but has a larger capacity for the chops. It is round, you load like half a cup of chips, stick it in the side, turn it 180 degrees and you are done. I like that design because you don't have to open the smoker. I would guesstimate at least twice as big? This is a big plus as the smoke lasts longer in the RF design and I didn't have to load and check the chip smoke as much as with the blu-tooth. I still kind of think I would like a loader with enough capacity to smoke for like 2-3 hours but maybe that would be a detriment? It seems like I can get 35 minutes out one load of chips.
4. The burnt wood chip tray inside the smoker is larger also.
5. It seems to me that the heating element is larger than on the blue tooth one....not only visually but also because the smoker seems to get up to temp much faster than the blu-tooth...I might be dreaming.
6. A negative is that this RF one does not come with an elevated stand that makes it easier to load and clean without bending over. The blu-tooth one had like an 9" stand that brought the smoker a little higher but still low enough to be a problem for old bones and backs like mine. For that reason I ordered a metal rolling shelf unit that is 3' high from Home Depot. This will put the unit at a much better height to load, check and clean.
7. Window and internal light are basically useless once you are 10 minutes into the smoke. Good ideas but Masterbuilt should just do away with them and make the units a little cheaper....they are just a gimmick for those that have never smoked like me. I know next time I buy I will go with the 40" electric, RF remote and no window or light.
Did a whole chicken ( my first) yesterday. 6lbs @ 250 for 6 hours. Lawrey's Poultry rub. Took the bird out when the meat probe read 170*. Skin was kinda dark and chewy but flavorful. Meat, both white and dark were flavorful and very moist....delicious!
Got some more St. Louis ribs from Costco in the new smoker now...3 hours till touch down.
I'm Hooked on smoking!