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Low temp in new masterbuilt smoker

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by petpoor, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Last month I got a Masterbuilt smoker after looking long and hard at many others. I finally got around to use it today and could not get the temp above 275 wide open with ambient air temps in the low 80's. This troubles me since I smoke alot in the fall/winter months, my other smoker is a BBQ grillware and it will hold 400 if I wanted even when it is in the 40's. Is there anyway they could have assembled something wrong causing this problem ??? I would hate to know that I have a new smoker that I am going to have to mod i.e. new burner and or regulator assembly to get the temps up. The reason I found this out today is this smoker I am pretty much reserving for poultry which from what I have learned does not really benefit from the low and slow plus I got a late start on dinner so tried to hurry it at the end[​IMG]. Any help or ideas is greatly appreciated.


  2. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    275 is the design limit on the MasterBuilt Electric -- which is what I suppose you are talking about.  It is designed to be low and slow.

    If you want to crisp up your chicken -- you could finish them on the grill.
  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Be very careful if you do mods to up the heat on your mes. The unit is designed not to exceed 275 deg. If you kick it up you could cause problems w/ the components of this smoker.

     the interior walls could warp and wiring could be compromized.

     Not saying this will happen . But there is no telling how high a temp they maxed out the cabinet during testing. probably not much over 275
  4. This is a masterbuilt propane smoker not the MES, surely this one should be able to achieve more than what I was able to achieve  yesterday.


  5. tank

    tank Smoke Blower

    How did you measure your temp?  The gauge that came with the unit or using a wired probe?  This could be your problem.  The gauge that usually comes with these things are junk.
  6. mbtechguy

    mbtechguy Newbie

    Hi Tom,

         What unit did you purchase?  All of our propane smokers will achieve 400F+, especially with the ambient temperature you described. I would first check the connection between the valve and burner venturi, then verify using a seperate heat indicator.  Check this, and let me know the results.  Regardless of the issue, we will correct.  Tks.

  7. Darryl,

    It is a vertical propane smoker model #20050106, what should I look for in the connection between the valve and venturi burner ????? This unit had been assembled at the store and to my eyes it looks ok but I am not sure how far into the burner the pipe should actually go. The brass end of the hose only goes to the second set of holes from the end on the burner pipe. My first thoughts were that the temp gauge on the unit was bad but triple checked it with my digital probe and the wife's oven thermometer and all read within a few degrees of the other with the highest reading barely over 275.

  8. mbtechguy

    mbtechguy Newbie

    Hi Tom,

       Your connection sounds correct based on your explanation.  I've got one assembled out back, and will test it today.  I'll give you an update asap. Tks.
  9. mbtechguy

    mbtechguy Newbie

    Hi Tom,

        I went out, and fired up that 106 Smoker, and on high for 20 minutes, it reached 396F.  I placed the unit in the shade before testing, to get a more accurate reading, as I'm sure in would have been higher in the direct sun.  The stock heat indicator was lagging behind, as hopefully you will see if I get the picture uploaded.  The unit is rated at 15,400 BTU's, and that is all based on valve/orifice size which remain consistant, and are checked 100% at the factory.  So now I'm a little confused.  Assuming you are getting the proper amount of gas to the burner, the first assumption would be that you are losing heat somewhere, and other than the air damper, it could only be at the door. (Please check for any unreasonanable amount of gap at the door).  This unit is not insulated, but during our cooking test's we have always had the control knob at, or a little above the "low" setting to maintain 200-220F (Normal smoking temperatures).  This would be something you could check next time you smoke.  The only other thing, is that there could be some debris, etc. in the valve orifice.  I realize your concern is with smoking in the wintertime, and we will have to wait until it gets colder to verify.  Continue to get more familiar with the unit, and advise if you have any additional problems.  I know there is a 90 warranty, but if you do have problems in the winter, or will need a new hose/valve regulator assembly, I will certainly take care of that, no worries.  Please provide any feedback you may have.  Thanks.

    PS- I dont have permission to add a picture evidently.

  10. Darryl,

     I am smoking for the family this weekend so will need to use both smokers which will give me a chance to use it again. Just by looking at it I do not notice any huge gaps in the door but will check around it while smoking with it and see what I find. I certainly appreciate your help and it is good to know that I am not stuck if I can not get it working properly, nowadays that is rare and says alot about your company[​IMG]. Thanks for your time and I will let you know how it works.

  11. rmattson2

    rmattson2 Newbie

    Having the same issues here with our new Masterbuilt propane smoker.....had it on high setting for several hours and cant get temp above 200 degrees....we live in NH and the ambient air temp was in the 40's......smoker was a preassembled floor model so I have no manuals to refer to for operation procedure...any info would be appreciated
  12. thomasa

    thomasa Newbie

    Tom, what did you learn about the low temps in your smoker?  Tech man said 400 and you were getting 275.....what was the problem.  I'm have the same trouble.
  13. Sorry I have not posted a followup things have been busy and I actually forgot about this post[​IMG]  I tried using it a couple weeks ago, weather was about as crappy as it comes.... around the freezing mark and snowing. I had the smoker under the covered deck and built a windbreak around it with some plywood. With the control valve wide open the best it got was about 215-225 was able to smoke the chickens on it but gas consumption was way more than it should have been at least in my eyes anyway. I got volunteered by the wife to smoke a couple turkey breasts for my neighbors Super Bowl party next weekend and will most likely use my other smoker for that. I like this smoker but guess I will have to only use it when the weather is at least in the 60's and up. I checked the door for massive air leaks and it does not appear that is has any gaping holes or anything like that, had to run with the damper almost closed also to even get the temps that I did so did not use as much smoke as I normally like to use out of fear that it was not getting proper airflow through the smoker and would ruin my chickens.

  14. thomasa

    thomasa Newbie

    Thanks for the reply.  Sounds like the low temps are our cross to bear(hope this is the worst thing we ever have to deal with).  I'm like you, I can't get no satisfaction as far as hot goes.  May think about a new smoker although this one isn't very old at all.  Any suggestions as which others to look at?  Guess I shouldn't say that on this site.  Our weather generally isn't too extreme here in coastal North Carolina but I still have the problem.  My smoker has never seen that 400 degree mark.  Again., thanks for replying.  Regards. 
  15. otis857

    otis857 Smoke Blower


      Which Masterbuilt model do you have? I got the XL gas smoker and it will pull high temps, keeping it below 225 is more of a problem for me. I haven't tried to top it out, but I get it up to 350 pretty easy. I did insulate mine which helps on the cold days, but wind appears to be a bigger problem than low temps (ck the XL mods thread). Since you dont have the instructions and your unit was preassembled, try loosening the screws on the bottom of the box that holds the burner in. The holes are slotted for venturi adjustment. If you loosen them up enough to move the burner, you can fire it up and slide it to adjust the flame. This may solve the problem.
  16. There is something definitely wrong with some of these smokers if they aren't hitting 225 at around the 50% mark. I've had mine going multiple times around 10 degrees with a 10-15mph wind and no wind block. It's also maxed out my Maverick at 350+ on similar days. Dont give up on the Masterbuilt just yet, it has to be an easy fix with the propane hose, regulator, or burner.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  17. Oh I have not given up yet, there are lots of things that I really do like about this smoker. I just need to tweak on it somehow to get the temps up.

  18. jborvrnut

    jborvrnut Newbie

    I am having the same temp. problems but I am wondering if my problem revolves around the gaps around the door and if so how can that be fixed. This was a gift this past Christmas and it has been used 2 times. The meat comes out good but I can not get the temp. above 280 - 300 with the valve wide open. I live in Southern California and don't have the issues with the cold weather. Any suggestions about the gap around the door would be appreciated.
  19. dbarnett66

    dbarnett66 Smoke Blower

    My master built XL hits 250 with the valve halfway between low and medium. It sounds lke you might have a regulator or burner issue. Like some others I can get this thing over 350 wide open. I would call customer service as soon as possible. One other thing you might try is that the newer valves on the bulk cylinders can be a little flakey. Try turning the knob all the way off (hard), and then quickly turn all the way open (hard). Repeat this a couple of times with the smoker valve open and closed. A good friend of mine showed me this technique on one of his sticky bottles. Worked like a champ for him, so it may not be related to the smoker itself. Just a thought...
  20. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Daryl the Masterbuilt guy is on this forum & I'm sure will be able to resolve your problem. If not I would contact Masterbuilt customer service, they have always been very helpful in the past.