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Initial Setup and Using the Masterbuilt Vertical Propane Smoker

libbyw

Newbie
5
10
Joined Nov 10, 2013
Quick newbie question about seasoning the smoker. Do I follow the directions that came with my smoker and oil the inside or do I clean the inside and run it with just wood? Got everything assembled today and hope to season and smoke something this weekend. Recommendations for an easy first smoke are always appreciated! I was thinking whole chicken and some kind of pork?
 
3
10
Joined Dec 20, 2013
Libbyw, yes follow that seasoning instructions and wipe eveything inside with a light coat of oil, this helps with flavoring during smokes and prolongs the life of the smokerr form the inside out. Ive read some posts about cleaning the inside and this is strongly discouraged because of tastes and flavors that could get into the meats after you've cleaned it. If it gets too messy inside use a plastic scrapper on the sides and a scrub pad for the grates. As for a meat for your first smoke whole small chicken is good make sure to get the brand that has minimal processing. I also recommend some kind of pork roast its very forgiving. Best of luck.
 

libbyw

Newbie
5
10
Joined Nov 10, 2013
Thanks Lieutenant Dan! I was wondering about using any type of cleaner and what it would do to my flavors. Oil it will be! Can't wait!
 

dan skarr

Newbie
8
12
Joined Aug 19, 2013
I was having major issues with my MB duel fuel smoker with flareups of the chunks and that foil method should fix that no problem!  Thank you so much, going to make my double smoked ham I'm doing tomorrow that much better.
 

tt ace

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
88
20
Joined Jul 21, 2011
Great!  The ham sounds yummy!!!  I am getting ready to do smoked almonds, chex mix and sausage.  By the way, you do not have to change the foil in the chip pan every time.  I go several smokes before I change it.
 
 
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susieqz

Smoking Fanatic
375
14
Joined Dec 9, 2014
ace, thank you for these great details. can you comment on this machine vs pellet smokers. as to ease of  use?

i haven't found your  review yet. i'm not great at navigating this site,
 

smoke n brew

Newbie
24
13
Joined Jun 29, 2013
There are many suggested mods for this smoker, and many swear by them. I don't. I tried many of the suggested mods, and just got frustrated. I love my Masterbuilt 40", and in the beginning, (because I was trained on a different smoker) I had to learn what temperature would be produced on a windless day with a given setting on the regulator. The learning curve was short thank goodness. The only mods I have on mine, are swapping out the water pan with a 13x9x2 pan from the dollar store,(without modifying the frame) and using a cake pan covered with foil with a small hole on the opposite side of the burner to hold my wood chunks. I basically slide the chip pan over the edge of the burner for controlling the amount of smoke and I don't have to worry about flame ups or burning my wood up too fast. I have a fire brick set next to the burner to support the other side of the chip pan. I am sure you will love your Masterbuilt propane smoker just like the rest of us. Good luck!
 

bode124

Newbie
5
10
Joined Jan 22, 2015
Hey everyone!

Brand new to the smoking business - my girlfriend just bought me this Masterbuilt vertical smoker for Christmas, and I loved it initially, and then totally hacked my my first slab of ribs.  Thankfully, I found this forum and it saved me - thanks to all of you!  My first set of ribs was totally overdone and made me realize that my thermometer was truly a P.O.S. and that I was totally clueless.  Next I smoked a whole turkey and then I pulled it a little too soon but there was still a lot of good meat.

Finally,the third time I absolutely perfectly a cooked a gorgeous pork shoulder.  I wanted to slab the whole thing between two pieces of bread it was the best thing I ever tasted!  The tin foil in the pan totally saved me and now I have a cast iron pan to try out this weekend after I make some modifications to the unit (wheels to attach, a grate for the top, and some sealing and swapping of materials.

I have a few questions to ask and wondered if anyone could help:

1) I notice this unit is not sealed too well with smoke coming out of the doors and basically anywhere it can - Does anyone seal around the gaps like where handles are, or the thermometer, in addition to around the door?  if so, what have you used?

2) I am in the market for a more accurate thermometer (even though i think i figured out my P.O.S. thermometer now), and have seen some previous recommendations that are helpful.  My question is does anyone know of any good thermometers that sync with a smartphone and send alarms when temps get too high?

3) When ramping down the smoker after the shoulder I tried my hand at a batch of almonds and gouda.  The gouda did real well although I left it alone a bit too long, but the almonds were not ideal.  The smoke flavor was great but I think the almonds were still a bit too raw and not that oily deliciousness I was hoping for.  Has anyone had success with nuts/almonds and what temps/time did you use?

Thanks for the help everyone, I have truly learned that so much of this is trial by error.

Mike
 

travisitguy

Newbie
12
10
Joined Dec 29, 2014
I get smoke thru the door gaps as well although I have not sealed it up as others have. been thinking about this as well. I am using a 10 cast iron skillet ontop of the wood chip tray. worked good on my last attempt. will be doing up some beef this sunday if all goes well.
 

bode124

Newbie
5
10
Joined Jan 22, 2015
These worked great on the door and I cut small ones for the handles and thermometer as well and seems to work great.
 

goinphaster

Newbie
2
10
Joined Mar 4, 2015
Need help, all I am getting is billowing white smoke. The knob is on low, the right bottom vent is open 1/2, the other is closed, and the top is full open. The maverick reads 244. I used the foil modification on the chip pan, the water is full, and I have hickory chips (not soaked). Can any one give me a clue about what's going on?

Edit: the knob was pointing straight down....
 
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gary s

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
26,211
4,650
Joined Jan 6, 2011
I'm a stick burner maybe someone will along that can help

gary
 

bwarbiany

Smoke Blower
122
18
Joined Sep 30, 2013
Need help, all I am getting is billowing white smoke. The knob is on low, the right bottom vent is open 1/2, the other is closed, and the top is full open. The maverick reads 244. I used the foil modification on the chip pan, the water is full, and I have hickory chips (not soaked). Can any one give me a clue about what's going on?

Edit: the knob was pointing straight down....
White smoke means your chips are igniting, not smoldering. If you have them in the main chip pan, there's not (IMHO) much way to avoid that.

I use the water pan, lined in foil, sitting on top of the chip pan. I use chunks, not chips, and try to space them out well enough that they won't cause each other to catch flame. I then use cheap disposable aluminum foil pans for a water pan above that. I've tried the cast-iron pan mod, but didn't find it too much better than the OEM water pan w/ foil. This is probably because the cast iron I used was only an 8" pan, so I couldn't keep the chunks away from each other and so they'd ignite.

Even so, I still have issues. I keep a spray bottle on hand, and I can tell just by smell from inside the house when I've gone from thin blue to billowing white smoke. But as long as I use chunks and keep them far away from each other, I've had generally decent luck keeping flare-ups to a minimum.

I did try the AMNPS, but as I learned after buying it, it's not good in propane smokers like ours as there isn't enough airflow. But it sounds like you have a newer model with a lower vent (mine doesn't have this), so an AMNPS near the lower vent might work for you, or a tube smoker? (I bought the tube smoker, but haven't pulled it out of the package yet). 
 

smokesomebutt

Newbie
1
10
Joined Jul 3, 2015
that's absolutely crazy, those slots are extremely important, they are vents and are very important for airflow, anyone covers those up, you're asking for extremely dangerous trouble!!!!! if you block off the airflow, the flame will go out almost immediately, and now you have raw propane building inside of your smoker! use the smoker the way you bought it, and any questions call the manufacturer.   
 

mrnewbie

Newbie
4
10
Joined Jul 8, 2015
This is an amazing thread and I've learned so much, thanks to all the posters and people who've contributed to this.

Now it's my turn to look to some of the masters here for some help.  I'm totally brand new to this and very excited.  Put it together yesterday and I'm seasoning it.  I got the dual Maverick probe in it.  I have the MB set to its lowest setting for heat and the probes are reading 345 in the middle/front and 435 in the upper/back.  Door thermometer is only 15 off.

Not sure where I should go from here as it looks like this is running waay to hot and have no other option but to start turning down the valve on the propane tank itself?

Any help appreciated.

Regards.
 

gditys

Fire Starter
59
16
Joined Apr 12, 2015
 
This is an amazing thread and I've learned so much, thanks to all the posters and people who've contributed to this.

Now it's my turn to look to some of the masters here for some help.  I'm totally brand new to this and very excited.  Put it together yesterday and I'm seasoning it.  I got the dual Maverick probe in it.  I have the MB set to its lowest setting for heat and the probes are reading 345 in the middle/front and 435 in the upper/back.  Door thermometer is only 15 off.

Not sure where I should go from here as it looks like this is running waay to hot and have no other option but to start turning down the valve on the propane tank itself?

Any help appreciated.

Regards.
It is running way to hot plus turning down the valve on the propane take itself wont do anything to control the heat they are not made that way your best bet if to get a needle valve that is the best way to control the heat in these units and they work great here is the one I got I just  cut the propane hose and put the valve in then I just turn the valve on the smoker all the way on high and just use the needle valve to control the heat Bayou Classic makes one also the are the same thing I would get one I think it will help u a bunch http://www.parker.com/portal/site/P...S&vgnextdiv=687547&vgnextpartno=NV108P-4&Wtky=
 

mrnewbie

Newbie
4
10
Joined Jul 8, 2015
Thanks for the information gditys!  I called customer service and MB is going to FedEx a new regulator to me.  Going to try that and if it doesn't work, will have to go the needle valve route.  Was hoping to not have to go in that direction but I hear it's a good solution.  And based on a search, seems to work each time.  I'll report back on which direction I end up going.

Thanks again for the help.
 

eazybreezy02

Newbie
24
12
Joined May 7, 2015
Kielbasa Kid.  No that is not foil faced styrofoam house wall insulation.  This insulation is found back in the plumbing section for covering hot water heaters, etc.  It has a layer what looks like a bubble wrap in the middle with a layer of foil on both sides.  It works great!  You will find the complete instructions at http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/112976/insulating-a-propane-smoker#post_716376


Scooter, glad the foil on the chip pan worked for you.  It has really been great for my smokes as well.  Someday I will take you up on a bag of Hickory.  I have oak, alder, mesquite, and various fruit woods that have been given to me.  However, there is no place around here that grows Hickory.  I have found the best place to buy it is a either Loews or Home Depot.  The Ove Gloves really work well.  They make things much easier without fear of burning your hand or fingers.  I am really pleased that you found something of use in this tutorial.
Ace, great idea with the insulator and the bricks! I'm going to need to do something like that when winter approaches and outdoor temps drop to -20C here where I am. Plus being on the shores of Lake Huron, it's pretty much windy almost every day. Great post and thanks for the ideas!
 

santafe66

Newbie
4
11
Joined Jun 26, 2015
I have both the maze smoker and the 12" tube and was told by the A-MAZE-N folks that the maze smoker won't work well at my altitude of 7000 ft.  That's why I bought the tube.  Will be trying it out this weekend and will report back on how it worked.
 

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