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Just Bought a Masterbuilt Model 20051214, Propane Smoker from Sam's

smoker21

Meat Mopper
261
17
Joined Feb 13, 2011
First, please forgive me if this has been reviewed and discussed elsewhere.  I did spend 45 minutes looking around and found close but not this model.  It is a 2 door, ( Top door is Glass ) with 2 burners  @ 8250 BTU each. It also has 5 racks.  Also the doors hinge on the left. ( My MES 40 hinges on the right.) And of course a cheesy thermometer on top of the door.

I have never had a propane smoker before.  Just offset and electric.

I just put it together and before I got too far I wanted to hear from the gang what are the normal things (Mods) I should do to it. I did notice it did NOT have insulated walls, so I assume keeping temp might be a challenge when the sun goes in and out.

I'm going to do the burn it in later when the rain stops,

Thanks in advance.

JD
 

donegotfat

Meat Mopper
192
121
Joined Oct 16, 2016
The stock thermometer could be the issue.

I notice in your signature you have a Maverick ET-732, have you used it inside the MES to see if the temps are different than the stock one reads?
 
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smoker21

Meat Mopper
261
17
Joined Feb 13, 2011
Nah. This was just the first burn in. I'll play with it more later, and besides, 225 is all I need. [emoji]128523[/emoji]
I did pull the small wood chip tray out and put in an 8" cast iron pan as my first mod.
 

r2 builders

Smoking Fanatic
372
70
Joined Sep 12, 2016
I sealed the leaky door of my smoker with nomex tape.
Seems to have resolved that issue.
Masterbuilt 30" 2 door.
 

r2 builders

Smoking Fanatic
372
70
Joined Sep 12, 2016
I thought of one more thing that I did.
I made skirts out of cement board for all sides around the bottom to control the wind blowing in.
Cut them to match the angles of the legs
 

comer4tide

Fire Starter
52
18
Joined Nov 3, 2016
Pull the heat shield and stock wood chip tray out. I never installed it on mine because it looked like trouble the moment I took it out of the box. I use an elevated grill rack and cast iron skillet in mine. works like a charm and can easily hit 350-400 on my Maverick Therm inside if I want to and can hold 225 no issue with single burner
 

smoker21

Meat Mopper
261
17
Joined Feb 13, 2011
I did 3 racks of baby backs last night. With it being a tad chilly here, it took quite a while to heat up. Once I was able to stabilize the temp @ 250', everything was great. The cast iron pan worked like a charm!
 

comer4tide

Fire Starter
52
18
Joined Nov 3, 2016
Im glad to hear the cast iron worked. I have yet to have an issue with mine that way. Lots of smoke, no flare ups, and plenty of heat
 

arbee

Newbie
1
10
Joined Nov 10, 2016
i got mine 2 weeks before thanksgiving sprayed the racks and door glass with cooking spray then did 1 20lb whole turkeys and 2 turkey breasts  then 1 22lb whole turkey and everything worked great with propane you treat it like an oven and with the glass door you dont have to keep opening the door to check on it money well spent you wont be sorry
 

smoker21

Meat Mopper
261
17
Joined Feb 13, 2011
Now when the temperatures rise a bit, I have bone in turkey breast for my next test smoke. [emoji]128523[/emoji]
 

smoker21

Meat Mopper
261
17
Joined Feb 13, 2011
Okey doke, I can now say a few things about the Masterbuilt 44XL gasser. Unlike the MES smokers this is not insulted and does not have a thermostat. Keeping a temp is damn near impossible! The sun goes in, the temps fall. The sun comes out the temps go up. The wind, really reeks havoc on the temps also!
I cooked a spatchcocked a 7 pound turkey breast and about 25 pounds of smaller chicken parts, mostly thighs and drumsticks and had one whole rack left. [emoji]128578[/emoji]The day was abit breazy and the sun was in and out. Temps were from 225-285. Definitely needed the Maverick and of course my trusty Thermapen.
The heat was uneven mostly because of the wind, so cooking times were all over the map. All the vents were closed as much as possible, but with the huge opening below the burners, nothing mattered much. Another problem I had was as I took more and more meat out, the temps went higher and higher. Because I was lowering the flame, the wood in the cast iron pan stopped producing smoke so things were smoked unevenly.

So far, I haven't done any mods. They are forthcoming. Any and all suggestions will be gratefully encouraged and appreciated.

I am going to build a dolly for it. The stock wheels are crap! As was suggested.
I am going to put cement boards on at three sides( probably all four) of the legs. As was suggested.
I am going to try my A-maz-n pellet smoker on the lower shelf (right side or left) above the air vent, with a foil tent. My idea. [emoji]128578[/emoji]

OK guys & gals, all lines are open for your helpful suggestions.

Thanks.

JD
 

r2 builders

Smoking Fanatic
372
70
Joined Sep 12, 2016
Where I live I get a lot fluctuations in Ambient temperature anywhere on the same day from 35 degrees to 75.
So I have been playing around with some insulation ideas.
I have attached a pic of a little project I am trying.
I found insulated ironing blankets on Amazon and trimmed them to wrap the chamber. I sealed the pieces together with heat resistant foil tape.
I cut holes for the vent and any other necessary protrusion. What I should end up with is insulated pads on all exposed surfaces.
To keep it tight to the chamber I am going to try magnets to hold it tight.
I'm running a couple of smokes this weekend to see if it helps stabilizing chamber Temps.
I will let you know if it actually makes a difference.
 
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