Looking to Purchase a Charcoal Smoker

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Those burnt ends look amazing! Thanks for checking the size of the 560! BrianGSDTexoma brought up a good point about charcoal consumption, how is the 560 with that? I am still on the fence about going with a gravity feed or a WSM. You guys are starting to sway me toward the gravity feed side LOL. My biggest hesitation is the Masterbuilt being mechanical and there being issues with that.
I'm not a log keeper, but I put about 1/2 bag of 8#B&B briqs (becuase i screwed up and didn't buy lump. long story) and part of a bag of walmart lump, but the results rocked and made it through a 7 hour smoke. so about 8 lbs i'd guess. @ $6 a bag for WM lump, not too bad in my opinion. not a kamado for sure... but much better smoke profile.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bcaruthers
They are the same as pellet as far as set it and forget it. Set the temp fill the hopper every 5 or 6 hours. Easier to maintain the rig though no vacuuming out your dust and stuff LOL. You can use lump or charcoal with splits up the middle if you want super smoke or just charcoal. Can go low as like 160 and as high as 700. Youn can even get one with a griddle if you're a black stone fan.



Feeding a hopper every 5-6hrs would seem like a chore over the course of an overnight cook.
 
Like anything mechanical, things can go wrong with it. A quick perusal of the masterbuilt gravity series 800 Facebook group and other social media areas regarding these smokers may give some perspective on reliability. Good luck with it:emoji_thumbsup:
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: bcaruthers
I can’t speak for Masterbuilt, but I can easily get 10-12 hours of cook time using charcoal briquettes and hardwood chunks in my CG 980 GF…. FYI. So far, not one problem or issue.. Knock on wood.. lol

__________________

Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
Ok so I finally pulled the trigger and after much debate, I ended up going with the Masterbuilt 800. Thank you all for your responses! If you guys have any tips on the 800 it would be much appreciated.
I hope you like it as much as I like my 560. Can't vouch for longevity as I've only done two long cooks, but temps were spot on and I didn't mind charcoal consumption.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bcaruthers
I’ve had the Weber kettle 22” for years and do most of my smoking on that. Like some have said, kinda limited on space. I use to have the WSM 22” for about 6 months. I sold it bc I thought it was a lot more work to use that over the kettle, as far as setup and cleanup and what not. Not a lot of work just was more than I wanted to do when the kettle was so much easier. So once I sold that I purchased the 26” kettle and that sucker is big. I’ll never need anything bigger. Easy to clean, control temp it does it all. I still use my 22” a lot for cortex wings and stuff like hot dogs but can’t go wrong with either
 
  • Like
Reactions: bcaruthers
I find there is usually something to be done with the meat every few hours anyway...spray, mop, turn, wrap, whatever. I rarely get more than 3 hours sleep at a time on an overnight cook.

Wow. 3hrs of sleep. Good to see that everyone has a different way of doing things. Glad to see that whatever works, works. 👍

I sleep all night on an overnight cook. Be it on my Rec Tec RT 590, or my 22 in WSM with FireBoard 2 Drive controller. Both of these cookers will hold within approximately 5 degrees or so of set point.

The WSM will run in excess of 15 hrs on a single fuel load of lump charcoal. And that's conservative with the stock fire ring in it. It will run any type charcoal put into it, from B&B Charlogs, to Kamado Joe Big Block, all the way down to Kingsford Match Light were I inclined to use that.

As I no longer spray, never did mop, nor turn, and rarely wrap, and have diminished desire to do any of the aforementioned in the middle of the night in these suburbs having found over the years that they are minimally beneficial to my final results, sleeping all night during an overnight cook, that’s easy for me.

Of course though, all of this said, A WSM with a controller, or a Rec Tec and smoke tube would cost
him more than the retail of the smoker he ultimately chose. A $500-$600.00 budget would be tough. I spent more, but I sleep like a baby while getting the smoke flavor that I want and that my Rec Tec cannot quite consistently match, even with a smoke tube.

But I only state the aforementioned and include the graph and example below, to show that one can indeed sleep all night on an overnight cook using a charcoal smoker, and never have to open it until the food is ready to come off. I put this brisket on the WSM, let it run all night at 225°F, and finally jacked up my set point to 250°F at around 11:00AM the next morning, never opening the lid nor the fuel door. The graph never dips, until ready to remove the brisket from the smoker, then wrap it and let it rest. No moppin', no spritzin', no turnin', no wrappin' and still get a good result. This one was wrapped only at the end of the cook, and allowed to rest in butcher paper, inside the cooler when it came off.

This brisket was put on the smoker at approximately 10:00 PM. I took it off at 12:24PM the next day. I can't imagine having to get up at 3:00AM-4:00AM to have to go outside, lift a bag of charcoal, potentially with nearby wildlife, or even some knucklehead prowling looking for something to break into, and refill a fuel hopper.
IMG_6598 3.JPG
IMG_6611 2.JPG
IMG_6622 2.JPG


Screen Shot 2022-02-16 at 9.09.03 AM.jpg
 
Last edited:
Ok so I finally pulled the trigger and after much debate, I ended up going with the Masterbuilt 800. Thank you all for your responses! If you guys have any tips on the 800 it would be much appreciated.
Hickory log/stick in the hopper surrounded by charcoal, then another one in the ash pan when you smoke. My Homedepot had a bag of hickory logs for $20 so this should last me close to 20 cooks. I know others also close off the back vent with foil to reduce air flow. I reccomend this but haven't mastered it yet myself so can't give specifics.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bcaruthers
Congrats on the 800 ! I have the 1050 and it turns out some great Q.
Get a bottle of electrical contact cleaner and spray the switches between uses. Spray and work them manually for 30 secs or so and you should have no switch problems.

Keith
 
  • Like
Reactions: bcaruthers
The MBGS 800 got delivered today, along with the LSS Mods. Got everything put together tonight. I will do the burn off and season in the morning. I got three racks of St Louis ribs to try out in the afternoon.
E504FA00-D5E5-439B-8D7D-325C5B69C887.jpeg
 
The MBGS 800 got delivered today, along with the LSS Mods. Got everything put together tonight. I will do the burn off and season in the morning. I got three racks of St Louis ribs to try out in the afternoon.View attachment 526606
Ribs is a great first choice. depending on how you do them, it doesn't need to be baby sat (is that a word?) IMG-3212.jpg
 
SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.
Clicky