Masterbuilt 2-door Propane problem

  • 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.


Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jun 29, 2016
Bolivar, Ohio
Did my biggest challenge yet this past weekend.

I smoked (3) 7 pound Pork shoulders in my Masterbuilt propane - it was the best smoke I've done to date.  Hit 170 internal meat temp, wrapped all 3 in foil and continued up to 200.  Let sit for an hour, unwrapped them, pulled and it was nice and fork tender.  I ran the smoker temp at about 240 to 250 the whole time.

Next came the problem.

At about 4:00pm Saturday, about 2 hours after taking out the pork shoulders, I loaded all 4 racks of the smoker with whole chicken wings - about 12 per rack.  I have the 'Smoke' dual probe temperature system and I know it's accurate.

I know from previous experience that I need the smoker temp to be around 325 or even a little higher, to get crispy wings.  I had this all planned out and was very excited to finally achieve the best wings yet - for the 30 people at our party.  My plan?  1 hour at 325, then transfer to the grill for a 10 minute blast of hot grilling.  I've done this before after listening to the great people here.

Well, just my luck.  30 people, big party (for me), pressure's on to have the best darn wings they've ever eaten.

And what happens?  Try as I might, I can't get the smoker over 200 degrees!!!!

Tank was half full, I switched to another full propane tank.

Shut off the controller, disconnected tank, opened valve, closed valve, started from scratch, - 200 degrees.  The temperature controller knob is usually in the straight down to give me about 240 degrees so I cranked it to full.  I can see the propane flame - it's blue with a little yellow like it should be.  I played with the venting - but I usually keep them open (as instructed here).

Now what?  As the minutes ticked away, I salvaged the wings by waiting about an hour to get some smoke on them, then transferred them to the grill and finished them.  They turned out fine, but I was completely disappointed.

The reviews for this smoker are 100% positive.

And I have to say, for the price, I guess I've liked it so far with a few issues - all of which have been detailed here by other people.

For one thing, I've experienced massive swings in temperature - sometimes because the wood starts on fire, sometimes the temperature Gage on the unit is as much as 40 degrees off from an accurate add-on (like the Smoke or the I Grill systems) - I have both.

I plan on taking it apart tonight and look at the burner.

The worst part?  For the rest of the day, my big-mouth brother is telling me how great his Traeger pellet smoker is and that I should buy one of those!  Drove me crazy.  

I have to say.  I love smoking, and me and my wife love the results.  At the party Saturday, I had people literally taking me to side and asking if they could take home pulled pork left-overs.  What a great feeling to be able to provide friends and family with that type of service.  But, in the 2 years I've been smoking seriously, I have had more disappointments and I'm wondering how much is related to this smoker.  As you all know, the dedication to the art of smoking meat goes far beyond lighting a gas grill and throwing hamburgers and hot dogs on a half hour before you eat.  For the pulled pork - it meant preparing them the night before with McCormicks, then getting up at 5 am to get them on the smoker, then a good 8 to 10 hour watch - and with this smoker, that means stoking smoke chips every 45 minutes to an hour, watching the water pan, controlling the heat once in a while, etc.  Ugh.  

Sorry I wrote so much.  I truly love this 'sport' or whatever you call it :) but I can't stand mechanical failures and problems.  

So with all this said, I've got 2 questions:

First, any ideas on why I couldn't get the smoker above 200 degrees?  That has, by the way, never happened before.

Second, do you think it's time for me to "move up" to another smoker that will give me less trouble?  I know people will respond and say they've had the Master built for 176 years and never once had a single problem with it.  I get it.  But I'm just asking.  Can it be that the Masterbuilt propane is a great 'starter smoker', but if I'm getting serious about smoking 3 or 4 shoulders at once, or smoking 60 chicken wings at once, I should be 'upping my game' to the next level of smoker?  Quite frankly, one of the reasons that I bought this smoker was that I read about how a 'flame' gives a better smoke than electric, more traditional flavor, and better high heat.  

My brother-in-law has the Masterbuilt electric smoker and his claim is that it stays on temp all the time, you just 'set it and forget it' (hope I don't get sued for saying that Mr. Ronco).

And, as I said, my dear sweet brother incessantly reminds me of the virtues of his glorious Traeger pellet smoker.  I've had products off the Traeger and honestly?  I don't think the quality of smoke or the finished product is as good as what I've producted with wood chips and propane.

So as usual, here you go.  Pick apart my opinions and comments and give me your best advice.  Nothing kills a party for me quicker than having problems when 30 people are getting ready to stand in line to eat, and I'm having some kind of problem.

As usual, I'm afraid I sound like a whiner, and I'm sorry for that.  Monday morning blues.  But thanks for you opinions.

I've got the same smoker. Never had a issue getting over 200* though. My issue was i couldn't get it under 300* without messing with the tank valve, which is dangerous. Needle valve fixed that issue, but was still constantly adjusting the needle valve to maintain consistent temps. Mailbox mod with the amazn tube was the next mod.

Cooked some fantastic Q with that for a couple yrs. Still use it with the Mailbox mod for a cold smoke chamber.

I now use a GMG pellet smoker. Love the thing. Put a 11# pork but on this morning around 3am, and went back to bed. However, the smoke profile isn't as strong. The amazn tube works well to add additional smoke flavor.

It sounds like you saved the wings, and everything else came out great, so I'd say you did good. Thumbs Up

BTW, my pellet pooper doesn't make crispy wings. Have to finish them on the gas grill.

Now I'm researching stick burners. Guess I'm addicted.
Last edited:
I have the MBP as well but I haven't had issues with an inability to get over two hundred. Like mowin, i struggle more to keep the temperature low.

The reason I am replying is that you mentioned that the wood starts on fire which messes up your temp. One of the best pieces of advice I found on here was use a cast iron pan over the chip pan to help prevent the wood chips from lighting up from being exposed to the propane flames. The next thing I did was to switch to wood chunks. The wood chunks last a lot longer and require less top ups during a smoke. I know that doesnt help your heat situation, but I hope that you found this helpful anyways.

Happy Smokin!
Wow, never saw this before! One of the reasons I went to a stick burner was because I couldn't get the MB gasser to keep lower temps without propping the door open! Same smoker as yours.
Regulator maybe? I don't know. I hope someone has ideas..
Hey friend! I had a similar issue with my smoker. It is a 2 door job. The brand is Hark. I found that the flow control need inside the knob was covered in fat. I don't know how it got in there but once I cleaned it all out it was fine again. Don't lose any parts though! I made the mistake of working on it on my lawn. Should have moved it to the shed or at least laid a tarp down to work on. Also check where the air and gas mix along the pipe just before the burner. Sometimes that can get coated in fat too if it has a mesh grate type set up.

Hope this helps.

I posted here but the reply isn't showing?? Basically the post said that I had a similar problem. Fat had actually clogged my gas flow controller. I had to pull it all apart and clean it out. Just be careful not to lose any parts. Especially that spring. It could also be your venturi (where the air and gas mix before the burner). my one needs a cleaning too, the flames are mostly yellow with a little bit of blue. Not the other way around.
Last edited: is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads