I love my masterbuilt smoker but I'm also working out some "bugs" this was my first season smoking and everything I made came out great, I only had a few small problems.
- first problem I came across was with my flame blowing out if it was on low and too windy out. I had my dad build a wind shield out of some wood that fits over the top of the smoker and goes around all sides but still allows for air flow. My flame blew out once and began to baste my meat in propane Since using the wind shield it hasn't happened again.
- Second, the water pan is small. Drippings were falling and being burnt which is no good, also the volume was quite sad and on long smokes would need to be refilled. I plan on doing what was mentioned at the beginning of the post with lowering a rack and using a large foil pan. That should keep the drippings from falling and being burnt.
- Third, lack of gasket. I lose a lot of smoke around the door, the hole the thermometer goes through, and where the logo is all leak smoke. The door is the only one that concerns me, it also causes a lot of temperature fluctuations depending on the weather and temp I need to run. Nothing a little RTV sealant cant solve. I love that the door has a 2 position latch, for low temps I can leave the door cracked open and it hangs on the latch.
- fourth. The biggest problem is the wood chip pan. I had one smoke this season that ended up COATED in black soot. At first I thought my smoker wasn't level and the flames were burning incorrectly. I found it was a combination of things. The wood pan sits too low and smothers the flame causing it to burn orange. I was putting a double layer of tin foil in the pan to keep the chips from burning, the vent holes in the wood pan are huge and the chips catch on fire. it's in a terrible spot and is just a bad design. I'm thinking about buying one of the GSOM cast iron wood boxes, looks like it would be the perfect solution to that problem.
Only other problem i've had is that the bottom of the smoker is starting to rust. I was going to take out the burner box to give it a good cleaning but one of the screws is rusted in. So for the winter I plan on cleaning the bottom and throwing on a coat of High temp paint, getting the new wood box, resolving the water pan issue, and putting a gasket around the door. I saw a mod someone else did where they wrapped the smoker in insulation and I might give that a shot too, the metal on this smoker is thin and like I said temperature fluctuations are common (especially in New England weather changes every 5 minutes!) I've learned a lot this year and come next season I should have all the problems fixed.
My only questions are what to use for paint. Obviously some type of high heat paint like an engine paint? also should I just paint the bottom or is it okay to throw a coat inside the whole smoker. I'm just concerned about rust in the future.