Bought a Master Forge vertical smoker from Lowe's today

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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.
I know this thread is under "Charcoal Smokers" but if you get frustrated with heat control on this unit, consider getting one of these for it.
I love my Master Forge!  I've had it a good while and never seem to have any problem out of it.  I know it doesn't have much air vents but, I just put mine up of 2 cinder blocks and use the minion method.  It stays around 250-275 degrees most of the time.  Sometimes it will spike to 300 degrees.  Here is mine with 2 butts and a turkey on it.

As you can see mine has got some wear and tear on it.
I finally got myself a grate to make a charcoal rack with so as soon as I get some time (been busy enjoying the plentiful snow up here in Michigan on my snowmobiles all winter) I will get it set up and start smoking again.
just an update, I have been using this smoker about a year and half and it is still doing a great job.  No parts have broken or rusted.  Everything, including my aforementioned mods have held up great and allow for consistent smoking results.  I did end up drilling two 1" holes into the lid for some extra exhaust flow and that seems to help it breathe a little better.  For $70 plus a few mods this has turned out to be an awesome "first" smoker for me.  I think my next project is to make a hybrid UDS/22.5 WSM.  I have an extra weber kettle and a spare drum--i'm pretty sure that I can modify the drum to fit between the top an bottom of the kettle. I plan to also shorten the legs on the the kettle base.  Any thoughts?
Put the charcoal grate it. Smoked a 10 lb butt and a 12 lb turkey on it this past weekend. Both turned out alright but using apple wood it still struggles to get up to/maintain temperature. Everybody loved the food but looking at the finished butt color, I knew it could be better. Still pretty frustrated with it but I don't want to give up on it yet as it's portability is the main reason I have it. Suggestions?
Chevy Tech,have you had any luck getting your master forge dialed in?  how's it running for you lately?  Have you done any modifications to it yet?
Sorry for the super late reply but no, I havent. I still struggle to get anything smoked quite right in it and temperature control is very difficult as well. I even added a top vent to it with little success. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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