Bought a Master Forge vertical smoker from Lowe's today

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I'm having the same problems as you! I tried the minion method, but the temps still dropped faster than I expected. Let me know how you mod the smoker because I need the same treatment!
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I cut a 1 1/2 inch hole in the flattest part of the lid for a vent, I use a aluminum disk to adjust the air flow.

The disk is loose, but it stays in place.

I use an adjustable aquarium air pump for air flow into the bottom hole.

Minimum works great.
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This thread seems to be a popular reference for folks wanting to modify a Brinkmann... on this particular page there's a guy who is applying some of the same mods to the MF smoker. I'm going to use some of the same ideas. Apologies for the offsite link, hope that's not a problem.

Here's the original full write up on mods to the ECB...

I'll have to check out that thread.

I cut a 1 1/2 inch hole in the flattest part of the lid for a vent, I use a aluminum disk to adjust the air flow.

The disk is loose, but it stays in place.

I use an adjustable aquarium air pump for air flow into the bottom hole.

Minimum works great.
Have you tried using an aluminum disk for the bottom hole? Are you able to maintain steady temps with these two mods? It seems like my temps go from 225 to 190 in about 2 hours.

Also, do you guys have a lot of smoking come out through where the lid goes into the body and around the little door? 
Hi All How are the Master Forge smokers holding up.. I'm new to smoking and was looking at these smokers in Lowes the other day, for my 1st Smoker?

Any tips on wood/charcoal, going to use it moslty for ribs and brisket at 1st.

Thanks Dan
Hi All I'm going with a Master Force Vertical Smoker from Lowes. I began looking into the Electric one, seems to be a lot less complicated then the charcoal one.
Would the smoking results/taste be the same with either one? Would I still have to DO the mods with the electric one?
Other questions:
1 Charcoal, Lump / briquettes

2 Wood, chips / chunks /pellets

Thanks Dan
Hin All I went with Master Forge Electric smoker..I have 3 smokes so far, works good..I don't have to worry about adding charcoal.

I  just have to keep an eye on the smoker temps,some times they do change rapidly, that is  where the Maverick 732 comes in handy.

I can keep an eye on temps while watching tv or at the computer.

Ribs n chicken came out real good, have to work on my briskets 2 of 3 came out dry..

Thanks Dan
I bought this same MF smoker and it has some issues. But it has the bones of a great little inexpensive smoker!  I have had a ball making up and borrowing mods to do to this thing and I am really pleased with the results. I am doing a Youtube video about the whole process. I'll post a link as soon as I get it done.

Needed fixes. ..

Not enough air flow to the fire pan.

Ashes keep smothering the fire.

Not sealing properly.

Therm in the wrong place.

No way to control air flow.

No vents in the lid.

But with my modified MF vertical smoker I can hold 280-300 degrees for 6-7 hours with no interaction from me, and I have a few more fixes to do to it.  The smoker cost me $59, the mods so far have set me back about $50. So I have a great looking, great smoking cooker for about a hundred bucks.  I figure if I lkeep the whole project under $150 I am still way ahead of the game measured aginst a WSM or similar cookers.

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I noticed a lot of folks talk about not being able to maintain temps on the master forge (or Brinkmann) and also noticed those posts tend to be in the colder months.  If your thin-walled smoker is in the summertime air and sun, you'll struggle with gaining temps...if it is in the colder months (as in Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, when smoked meats really hit the spot!) you'll be struggling to keep up the temps.  I came up with a quickie fix a few years ago that has worked famously, and compares to the insulation values of such as the "Big Green Egg" etc.  Go to any big box hardware store, and buy a 4x8 sheet of aluminum faced, 1 1/2 to 2 inch rigid insulation.  Cut it to make a surround sized to your liking, using duct tape to "hinge" the whole thing, and use it as a wind break.  It reflects heat back to the smoker in the winter, and stops the wind from sucking your heat away.  In the summer, you don't need to use it, but if you did, you could use far less charcoal.  Use a piece of plywood for a lid, put on some relatively light weights on the corners if its windy, and it works like a dream.  (Just don't get the material too close to the smoker, because the rigid foam can melt.
Hi guys, I bought this same Master Forge bullet water smoker about a month ago and love it!  I will have to upload pics of my mods later but after a few small adjustments, I am able to hold steady at 225 for 8 hours with charcoal left over!  I cut a piece of sheet metal and attached it to a pivoting screw on the bottom so i can control the air intake.  I  can swivel it open, closed or anything in between.  I also used tin snips and cut out a "weber-style" circular 4 hole intake that is also mounted on the bottom of the base.  I used a step bit to drill out 4 perfect holes.  I now have 2 intakes that I can control.  It is very nice to have this control, especially when I am done with a cook because once the vents are closed my fire goes out and my unused charcoal can be re-used for the next smoke.

Charcoal pan mods: I used this man's build as a guideline, but I simplified it so it worked for me.  I added a grate to the charcoal pan by drilling 3 evenly spaced holes around the outside rim (1" high).  I inserted a stainless steel bolt with washers on each side and used 2 nuts to hold it in place; this created a resting place for my new $9 weber grate.  It is a great grate!  I have plenty of air intake, and with the raised grate the air can get under my coals.  It is nice that the ash falls below the coals which does not snuff out my fire.

I cut one more "weber-style" circular 4-hole intake that i might mount on my lid so that i can increase the amount of exhaust coming out of the smoker.  For $59 plus another misc. $15 for a grill grate and nuts/bolts/washers I have a DYNAMITE  smoker that will last all day on the same batch of lump charcoal (minion method).  I have already used it for ribs, picnic pork shoulder, chicken legs/thighs, 8 lb turkey breast, turkey legs, mango-lime fresh atlantic salmon, and chicken breast. 
Hi All, I need some help from someone that owns this smoker....I was at lowes yesterday and saw the master forge vertical smoker open box on clearance for 48 dollars.... I found the guy in that zone and told him I'd be willing to get the old display model thats missing a grate off his hands for like 30 bucks.  He agreed way to quickly so later when he was marking the tag I pushed a little further and he marked it to 24.00.  I didn't get to happy till I got past the manager at the front who gave me a grumpy look that it was so cheap.

SOOOOOOOO.  it only had one meat rack and it doesn't have the water pan other than that perfect. 

I need somebody to measure the water pan and tell me if the brinkmann 13.5 water pan works with this smoker.  heres the link to bass pro's


Hey Tom, my smoker is at our beach house and we won't be down until President's Weekend.  Hopefully one of these guys can help you sooner than that.  If it doesn't fit perfectly, you could do this:

1) add three bolts going around the smoker with nuts to secure them in place.  *this should be done at the height of the bottom of the water pan*

2) add a cheep grill grate on top of the bolts

3) place water pan on the grill grate

Tom, I got this smoker for Christmas, and the supplied water pan is one of the few items I have not had to modify yet. Mine is 12.5" in diameter, but there is enough room in the smoker for the 13.5" pan to fit. You will just have to modify the three supplied hanger brackets slightly, or maybe even replace them outright with some other form of hardware.
If you're in San Diego, the Mission Valley Lowe's has the older MF unit on clearance at $20.  Mod it & you have a WSM ...except it's only about 15.5"
If anyone is looking for the masterforge they have one in Palmyra Pa
I bought one they have one left can't wait to start mods like my brinkman
I have added 6 1-1/8" air holes to the outer fire box casing of mine to add more air. Now I just need to put a raised coal rack in too. I hate hauling my big smoker around while we camp all summer so this smaller/more portable smoker makes perfect sense as long as I can get it to smoke meat well. So far, in stock form with lump charcoal, it has been nothing but a disappointment. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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