Masterbuild XL Mods - Post your mods here!

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by darthtrader, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. otis857

    otis857 Smoke Blower

    HI Dewetha,

    How did the flat cast iron griddle work out for you? Did it help with below 225 degree temps? I may look at this as a way to lower the low temp readings and work as a heat sink too. Where did you pick it up and for how much? Im still fighting getting the smoker to go below 225 without the burner going out, and this looks like it may be an answer by covering more of the burner area than a cast iron skillet does. The stack mod looks good too.
  2. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    I have not tried to go lower than 225 deg intentionally :) but it does work as a nice heat sink and I think it evens out the heat as well. I did have an issue with the flame going out before I did this and have not since. could be a coincidence but worth trying. I picked mine up at bed bath and beyond because of coupons. i probably could have picked one up cheaper somewhere if i looked around. in the end it was about 30 bucks for me. it was something like 10 x 20.
  3. jmonty580

    jmonty580 Fire Starter

    I just bought this smoker and I'm getting ready to do a few pork butts really soon and I'm afraid that what factory stuff wont be good enough to get the job done.  Should I get a cast iron skillet right away?  Is there anything I can rest it on right away to make it work or do I need to create some sort of mod to make sure its going to burn wood and not create tons of white smoke.  Any advice would help.
  4. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    Yes, get a cast iron skillet right away, and it will be ok to just set it on top of the wood chip pan that it comes with. Or you can drill holes in the pan and install bolts in it to raise it up. I used a 10" skillet that I got from Big Lots for cheap and it works great, just make sure if you get a 10" skillet that you put the holes at the very edge of it so your bolts have enough clearance around the burner, or just get a 12" skillet.
  5. jmonty580

    jmonty580 Fire Starter

    Thanks glocksrock!  I'm sure i have a pan in the house I can sub for the water pan.  Not very handy, I'll see if my neighbor can help me put the holes in the pan.  Gotta add that to my list of things to get this weekend so i'm ready to fire it up.
  6. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    I just bought a Wilton lasanga pan from walmart for my water pan, and cut and bent the bars so that it would fit. Drilling the holes in the cast iron skillet is easy, just don't drill at too high of a speed, and drill smaller pilot holes first. I would use 4" bolts that way you can raise or lower the pans height as needed... when smoking in colder weather you need to turn the gas up, so you raise the pan higher so your wood doesn't burn too quickly.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  7. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    to add to Glocksrocks comment. make sure you use Stainless and not those cheap zinc bolts.
  8. otis857

    otis857 Smoke Blower


       I think you will enjoy this smoker with a few mods like mentioned here. I used an old bbq grate to set the frying pan on raised up with 5/16ths bolts. Using bolts directly in the skillet will work well too, just make sure to space them where it wont interfere with pulling the pan out to dump the ashes while its hot[​IMG].   On a long smoke like pork butts, you will need to pull it out to dump the ash and add more wood. Also, ditch the OEM water pan in favor of something bigger. I used a 4" deep restaurant heat table pan and even it needs water added on long smokes.

    I got carried away  with mine and insulated and repainted it as well as adding the chimney, but I tend to do the overtweaking thing. But hey, this is as much a hobby as well as a way to make ya some tasty vittles.
  9. jmonty580

    jmonty580 Fire Starter

    Thanks otis.

    i seasoned it and fired it up for the first time this past weekend.  Made some country style ribs. Came out ok, not incredibly tender though. I didnt marinate them though just seasoned them up and let them sit for a few hours and then into the smoker. 

    I bought a cast iron pan as some suggested and just sat it on top of the existing chip tray and that seemed to work good for me.  instead of emptying the pan in mid smoke though when it was time to add more chips I just put them on top of the ashes, is that ok? Or do the ashes really needs to be emptied?  Water pan went dry on me twice. I definetely have to figure out soemthing to keep it full, some sort of replacement is defientely in line.  Other than that the process didnt seem overly hard.  Kept temp pretty well. Smoke didnt get out of control.  Meat had a ton of hickory smoky flavor. All in all a good expeiernce. I hope the pork butt smoke i'm gonig to do either this weekend or early next week comes out good too.
  10. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    Leaving the ashes in the pan is ok, just empty them when you are done cooking and everything has cooled. When I made ribs in my smoker the ribs weren't as tender as I wanted, but I recently read on here that using water in the pan causes things to take longer to cook, so when I made ribs in my new electric smoker for the first time, I did everything the same as usual except left the water pan empty, and they turned out perefect... so my suggestion is to either use water and cook longer, or just don't use water in the pan at all, try both ways and see what you like best. I just did a couple of butts this past weekend and didn't use water and the pulled pork was just as good as when I used water previously, so I think going forward I'll not use water, as my food has been just as juicy and tender as it was when I used water, but it cooked quicker.
  11. grinder

    grinder Smoke Blower

    Got the parts from the local plumbing store. Used a 4" A collar to go down through the top of the smoker. It has the tabs that bend over to hold it in place. I bought stainless zip screws but, didn't need them. I drilled two holes in the chimney and added a damper. The chimney slides over the A collar, it didn't need screws, nice snug fit. I sprayed with high temp paint and sealed around the base of the A collar with furnace cement. Cost $10 for parts not including the paint and cement I had kicking around.
  12. Kick arse smoker ! Just did my first smoke the other day. Wings, legs and quarter legs. All came out great. Next up ribs n fatties. Will post q view. Sooooo much easier to deal with than charcoal. Apple,cherry, n hickory ! Happy fat man here ! :biggrin:
  13. Only mod I did on mine besides the cast iron pan was to replace the thermometer on the front door. I went to academy & purchased one of theirs. It fit without any drilling.. It is usually within a degree or two of my internal wireless probe..

  14. To anyone looking for a ready made smoke stack for your smoker, that has a adjustable baffle and rain shield. Read on.

    My new masterbuilt XL is coming tomorrow, I'm upgrading from a Lowe's master forge dual door, and the master forge has a smoke stack on the top, that has 3 bolt holes and a flange for surface mounting on top of the smoker, because i still want to use my master forge later i called the service department for the master forge and found out that you can order that stack for $12 with $9 shipping, so for $21 you can have a nice 2.5" dia stack and the only mod you have to do to mount it is drill some holes, and put some high temp gasket sealer under it.

    I was also thinking that if you wanted to put the durarock that some people have inside the smoker as well, you can cut the piece to fit the top so that its edges set on the durarock you have running up the sides, and drill the holes for the stack through the durarock as well as the top of the smoker, get some large dia washers to use when you bolt the stack to the top, and it will help support the durarock in the center so no other reinforcement should be needed.

    Least that is what i am going to try when the stack i ordered comes in, they said 7-10 days for delivery.

    If you want to see what the stack looks like, look for the master forge double door smoker at lowes, you can zoom in on the photo to get a better view, and as far as i know the 2 different models of the smoker both use the same stack

    Ordering information for the stack

    Service Dept # (800) 963-0211 hrs 8am-6pm M-T 8am-5pm F EST

    The lowes model number is 0190449

    They said that they didnt use the model number for the part but used the item description but here are both

    Smoker Stack - 302-02009-00

    On the assembly instructions its reference id is H
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  15. Good to hear on the Lowes stack, I'll definitely be doing that. My last mod involved attaching a charbroil side box for using charcoal, or bigger chunks. I had to shorten the factory legs on the Masterbuilt so they were perfectly vertical, otherwise it interfered with the side box mating up flat. After that, it was just a matter of butting it up to the Masterbuilt body, tracing the entrance and cutting it with a jigsaw. I used the hardware that came with the Charbroil unit to attach it. The only thing I really need to do is figure out a good tuning plate setup so the right side of my smoker isn't so much hotter than the other. Doing this mod also gives you a really good spot to put your A-maze-n box as well. I've ran it with gas since I've done this and it still works great. The only real down fall is the finish on the side box, it bubbled up on the first use, it's pretty common and looks pretty bad now. I'll eventually strip it down and try a better paint at some point.



    Wow, I really need to clean this thing [​IMG]
    jeff myers likes this.
  16. Just got mine this week.  Replaced the stock water and chip pans.  Got myself a Maverick 732 from Todd.  During seasoning I tested my temps and it was too high.  Went to Lowes with my wife looking for stuff to do the needle valve.  Made the mistake of trying to let the guy help me.  In front of my wife he tells us how dangerous it was for me to try this.  Of course, she freaks out and I end up leaving and telling her I can find a safer way.  Found the kit through the link here in the forums.  Can't wait for that to come. 

    Will insulating the inside with cement backer board help keep the temps down?  And I'm wondering if more air flow with help keep down temps by adding a smoke stack.  Just wondering if I'm missing something.  Thanks.
  17. Got the smoke stack in, and installed, put the cement board as insulation inside it, but have it removed for now as the outside temp is in the high 80's low 90's around here, and getting the internal temp down to 225 is impossible with the board in it. put RTV high temp silicone gasket maker around the door to stop the leaks, replaced the water pan with a roaster pan mentioned above, was lucky enough to already have that, and filled it with sand, raised the stock chip tray and put ceramic bricks in it to help with temp regulation and to act as a buffer between the burner and the rest of the smoker. Found that the AMNPS will fit perfectly next to the roaster pan, and burns just fine for a long smoke, only thing is, while you can start it outside of the smoker, you will have to get it to make at least some small flames once you move it, or it will go out, not sure if its the coals getting moved around or the difference in O2 when it is inside, but once you re-lite it, it works fine for the rest of the smoke, and the internal temp doesn't cause it all to burn, i have in testing gotten the temp up to 350 and it still burned as normal. And last i built a cart with shelves for it (but still need to stain or paint it), Love the smoker so far, had a master forge dual door, and upgraded to this one, main difference is the size, other then that they are very similar in use.

  18. fishnhnter

    fishnhnter Fire Starter


    I'm new here but just bought an XL and am reading through all of the mods here. It looks to me like the most important cabinet mod is a vent stack. Your's is pretty much exactly what I had in mind.  The only difference is that I already have the material I need to amke the mod in 3" vs. 4" size.  In your opinion, would a 3" stack be adequate?
  19. fishnhnter

    fishnhnter Fire Starter

    Has anyone here tried adding Hardibacker to the exterior of the unit instaed of the interior? It seems that the insulating characteristics would be about the same, easier to install and maybe less messy for the grease?????
  20. Where did you purchase the chimney?

    Edit: Never mind.  If I would have read a couple of posts higher in the thread, I would have seen the answer.  Nice mods.  I may build a similar cart.  I have to figure out where I am going to put this in my garage.  They built this house with a two car garage instead of a two and a half. 
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012

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