Masterbuild XL Mods - Post your mods here!

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

  1. onytay

    onytay Smoke Blower

    I really like the chimney, where can I get it?
  2. Originally Posted by 53rdcard

    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

    Hello all,

    My wonderful wife bought me a Masterbuild to replace our failing electric smoker.  I've assembled it and run through the seasoning process, and hope to start using it next weekend.  Thanks to all that have posted your modifications here; there are several on my to-do list before Saturday!
  3. Hey guys, couple of stupid questions from a rookie.  Just bought an XL this weekend and seasoned it out.  Have a bayou classic needle valve/regulator coming to me that I bought off ebay, also did the cast iron skillet for the wood chips and would love to do a smoke stack since I have ALOT of wind in my back yard. 

    So my questions, the cast iron pan I put right in the supplied chip pan, why would you want to raise it higher as I see some of you have?  What is the benefit? 

    Dont think I am going to do the backerboard inside as it gets crazy hot here in the summer in San Antonio, but thinking about sealing the door.  How helpful is that?  What are you using?

    I see someone did a smoke stack off the back vents, what parts did you use and where did you get it?

    Thats about all I have, thanks in advance!
  4. schmitzmoke

    schmitzmoke Fire Starter

    Ripper998, read on for a few tips that will set you on your way,,,

    Here's my review of this smoker

    See   for other reviews that have all your answers

    A list of very simple mods this unit needs
    • An 8" cast fry pan ($10 at WallyMart) for wood chunks placed on this upside down grilling Wok found at a yard sale for a buck. Tossed the original chip pan, it's worthless.
    • A few pieces of varying sized angle iron to lift the cast fry pan, this moves the cast fry pan away from the burner providing better heat control for your wood chunks. It's very important to get the heat just right for the wood chunks, the wood must heat up and slowly let the good thin blue smoke out. The chunks must never openly burn, (bad white smoke, your meat will taste like a car fire)
    • A nice smooth 3/8" bead of Silicone around the door frame that seals the door perfectly.
    • A large disposable foil water pan that doubles as a drip'ins catcher.
    • Wheels, they make it so easy to move around. ($2 ea at Harbor Freight)
    • Some left over ceramic tile siliconed to the top of the smoker to protect the top and hold some heat, it works great as a warmer!
    • A few bricks wrapped in foil inside as a thermal mass to hold some heat.
    • A throw rug to protect the pool deck. ($2 yard sale)
    My first smoke, 2 butts and some fresh polish sausage.


    Set up for ribs and beer can chicken, I filled the original water pan with sand and stone and covered with foil to transfer heat to the disposable foil water pan, the mass of the sand, rock and water hold a huge amount of heat, it works great!


    I found this smoker to be very easy to use and maintain heat in. You can move your temp up or down quickly if needed. Propane usage was minimal. The adjustable shelves inside are great for setting up your smoke. The cleanup was very easy. A large foil drip/water pan and a few pieces of foil on the bottom does the trick. The mod that turned out the best was the wheels! It's sooooo easy to move, even when hot. I added a bungee strap to hold the propane tank on the wheel frame, so its off the deck.The only thing I need to do is find a better spot for my temp monitors. It gets very warm on top with the ceramic tile. I'm thinking about a simple removable shelf on the back of the unit that will act as a heat break. The Stainless Steel doors are only offered on the Sam's Club on-line version of this smoker. I like the look. it matches the rest of my outdoor kitchen. Ive done Chicken, Cornish Hens, Butts, Ribs and Polish Sausage so far with outstanding results. I'm really looking forward to learning more on this smoker. Compared to the Off-Set that I had, this is the way to go. Set the temp, add wood chunks every so often, watch your meat temps and that's all you need to do.

    For a cover, I purchased this from Wally-Mart on-line for $20 bucks delivered. So far it's holding up in the Florida summer sun.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
    jeff myers likes this.
  5. Nice job on the wheels and supporting frame.  1x4 pine?

    Small castors probably won't work for me since I'm on a regular deck, but maybe a larger set will do the trick.  I suppose it's be worth the $10-$15 investment to find out since  the existing rollers are next to useless.
  6. I love my masterbuilt smoker but I'm also working out some "bugs" this was my first season smoking and everything I made came out great, I only had a few small problems.

    - first problem I came across was with my flame blowing out if it was on low and too windy out. I had my dad build a wind shield out of some wood that fits over the top of the smoker and goes around all sides but still allows for air flow. My flame blew out once and began to baste my meat in propane [​IMG]   Since using the wind shield it hasn't happened again.

    - Second, the water pan is small. Drippings were falling and being burnt which is no good, also the volume was quite sad and on long smokes would need to be refilled. I plan on doing what was mentioned at the beginning of the post with lowering a rack and using a large foil pan. That should keep the drippings from falling and being burnt.

    - Third, lack of gasket. I lose a lot of smoke around the door, the hole the thermometer goes through, and where the logo is all leak smoke. The door is the only one that concerns me, it also causes a lot of temperature fluctuations depending on the weather and temp I need to run. Nothing a little RTV sealant cant solve. I love that the door has a 2 position latch, for low temps I can leave the door cracked open and it hangs on the latch.

    - fourth. The biggest problem is the wood chip pan. I had one smoke this season that ended up COATED in black soot. At first I thought my smoker wasn't level and the flames were burning incorrectly. I found it was a combination of things. The wood pan sits too low and smothers the flame causing it to burn orange. I was putting a double layer of tin foil in the pan to keep the chips from burning, the vent holes in the wood pan are huge and the chips catch on fire. it's in a terrible spot and is just a bad design. I'm thinking about buying one of the GSOM cast iron wood boxes, looks like it would be the perfect solution to that problem.

    Only other problem i've had is that the bottom of the smoker is starting to rust. I was going to take out the burner box to give it a good cleaning but one of the screws is rusted in. So for the winter I plan on cleaning the bottom and throwing on a coat of High temp paint, getting the new wood box, resolving the water pan issue, and putting a gasket around the door. I saw a mod someone else did where they wrapped the smoker in insulation and I might give that a shot too, the metal on this smoker is thin and like I said temperature fluctuations are common (especially in New England weather changes every 5 minutes!) I've learned a lot this year and come next season I should have all the problems fixed.

    My only questions are what to use for paint. Obviously some type of high heat paint like an engine paint? also should I just paint the bottom or is it okay to throw a coat inside the whole smoker. I'm just concerned about rust in the future.
  7. Thats awesome! thank you! I'm ordering this right now on amazon, perfect like it should be made for the smoker. 

    Here are pictures of my wind shield, I'll also post the measurements if anyone would like to replicate this. It's made of some sort of composite plastic wood so it wont warp or rot. So far it's worked perfectly for me, fits over the top and still have good air flow but blocks the wind from blowing out the burner when I have it on low, thanks dad!

    Front - 6" high 30" wide  for control box also cut a hole in the middle for the hose

    Sides - 10 1/2 " high 22 1/2" wide

    back - 10 1/2 " high 30" wide
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  8. schmitzmoke

    schmitzmoke Fire Starter

    Nice job on the wind break, I also have had problems with the wind. I just used some tin foil around the legs as a temporary fix.
  9. schmitzmoke

    schmitzmoke Fire Starter

    Yes, 1x4 pressure treated pine, I simply drilled a large hole with a forstner bit to bury the nut a bolt head in the cross piece. Harbor Freight has all sized wheels that may help you out,,, cheap too.
  10. I love this set up. I. ordered the grilling wok others suggested, and the charbroil cover this week, and got a cast iron skillet. Next I'm getting the same smoke stack. Taking the smoker to my friends shop to really sand down the inside, I think I'm going to use high temp grill paint, or just a high temp 2000* engine paint. Don't know which would work best? Plan on cutting the hole for the chimney also, and putting gasket sealer around my doors. I decided not to put the cement board on the inside, I don't think I need that much insulation so only going to insulate the top. I typically get plenty of heat and just want to keep the top temp even. The bricks are a great idea on the bottom and I was thinking instead of putting sand inside the water pan that I could rest it on a half sheet pan of sand. I like the idea of having a heat barrier. I tested my thermometer and it was accurate, I also use an oven thermometer inside and a probe. I love that rack too, it would definitely benefit me in the space I'm set up in and give me a much needed area to work on. My guitarist is a great wood worker and he's going to assist me on the build, mine wouldn't look as nice as yours haha!

    And to top it off I'm getting a AMNPS to start cold smoking! I've had a busy work season so I haven't been on the forums for a long time, I didn't realize that was all I needed to cold smoke I thought I needed so much more haa. It's going to be a damn good season this year! Thank you everyone all the ideas are great and this really solved all of the problems I've been having, or should anyways. I will post finished pics once I'm done!
  11. Paint on the inside of the smoker? 
  12. smokinberto

    smokinberto Fire Starter

    Here's a door mod I made, I hated the latches on the side. I really don't know why Masterbuilt did that to begin with.
  13. Nice door mod. I like the hinge on the side because I can crack it open, I put a gasket in because there was a lot of smoke leakage and the latch didn't hold the bottom very tight. I have a nice seal on it now though.

    I did paint the inside. The bottom was rusting, the sides were fine though. I even had rust on the bottom on the outside. I used grill paint for high temps. My friend uses that on his car projects and says it holds up better than the high temp paint does. It protects against rust really well too. I'm going to build a cart to get it up off the ground, and I have a grill cover coming so that should help prevent this problem in the future.

    The other issue I ran into, I took off the whole burner box to sand and paint, and the 4 screws were rusted on. I got 1 of them out, and I broke another one free but the poor design has the screws threaded into this metal rounded bolt that's basically tack welded to the bottom inside of the smoker (I broke the weld before the screw broke free). Moisture got in and rusted them solid! We ended up cutting the screws out and replaced them with screwhead bolts, washers, and nuts. I suggest everyone that has this smoker do that mod. Even if you don't have rust issues, in time I'm sure they would freeze up. It's a really poor design, but easily fixed.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  14. lltrevll

    lltrevll Newbie

    Iv did all of the common known mods to my xl however I would like to share this on with SMF.
    I got mt xl 40 back in July of 2012 well about 2 months later I needed a new cabin due to one brass fittings that was bad so masterbuilt sent me a new cabin so I figured why toss the bad one right... ;-).
    Well here it is.

    I went to Home Depot and picked up a chimney vent

    jeff myers and stjoeguy1122 like this.
  15. bigred7469

    bigred7469 Newbie

    Anybody know where to get a cover for this? All the links in here aren't working! Thanks!!!!
    lltrevll likes this.
  16. lltrevll

    lltrevll Newbie

    Cover for the materbuilt xl is at it's not a masterbuilt cover but it fits like a glove and thick.
  17. Just to be sure I know what I'm needing to do, the simplest way possible.

    1. Get a 8" cast iron skillet.

    2. I think I'll go the grilling wok route.

    3. Water pan.

    I'm assuming I just put the grill wok over the burner, then the cast iron skillet on top of that and that's really all I "need" ?

    EDIT: After going to the store to look at this and putting the wok in it, it seems that the only thing that is needed is to raise up the skillet about 2 1/2". Seems that anything could be used to get the height needed and the stability.

    Maybe just putting the stainless bolts in a 10" skillet would be the better..and cheaper choice. Couldn't you use standard bricks (think they are about 2 1/4") in a square around the burner and place the skillet on them?

    For the water pan, I'm thinking to get the lasagna pan at wally world, a whole $5.

    Now just need BPS to get mine delivered to the store so I can pick it up. Patience isn't my strong point.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  18. tstalafuse

    tstalafuse Fire Starter

    A question on the mods...

    I know the "patented" flame disk sucks so everyone is using a cast iron skillet that has to be raised up above the burner.  Is there any reason not to just take a pair of tin snips to the flame disk, cut out the center of it, put the skillet on top of the remaining ring stand and use that to raise the skillet to the correct height?  Or, Is that still to close to the burner?
  19. You could do that. IMO it might be a little hott at that level. I left the slots in mine, added an 8" skillet and put 1/4" bolts with nuts in the three legs of the flame pan to be able to adjust the height above the burner.  I have mine set about a half inch up off the smoker floor and get nice TBS most of the time. Hope this helps, ATK
  20. jrstout55

    jrstout55 Newbie

    I have this smoker also and use the original chip pan with a stainless steel pet watering bowl in it and it works just fine. I have used the wok also without elevating it and it also works well.

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