Masterbuilt dying - Help me decide next smoker:

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Of the two choices above - Which might I be happier with?

  • Pit Boss Rancher XL

    Votes: 2 100.0%
  • Pit Boss Copperhead 7-series

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2
  • Poll closed .

thebattman

Fire Starter
Original poster
Mar 26, 2009
35
13
My Masterbuilt MES140S is beginning to show signs of problems (almost 2 years old). Rust around case where door gasket meets case, and randomly quits heating to a temp above 200 degrees.

So I've been looking at options for a new smoker (Won't buy another Masterbuilt), and I think I've narrowed it down to between:

Pit Boss Rancher XL Pellet grill/smoker - a bit over 1000 sq/in of cooking grid - single level grate plus warming rack. I like this for the flexibility of smoking or grilling (I have a propane grill for my lightweight grilling needs).

OR

Pit Boss Coperhead 7-Series - verticle pellet smoker - over 2000 sq/in of cooking rack space - possibility of 8+ butts at a time - something I encounter once or twice a year. But having the additional space would be nice - and I like the design. Plus - 60lb pellet hopper...

I've read a lot of reviews - the 7 series has some problems reported - though I've talked to an owner of a 7 series and a 5 series (basically the same but a bit smaller) - and neither reported any of the issues seen in some reviews.

So - looking for input - especially if you've used ether of these. But also - the Grill/smoke of the Rancher XL (but smaller capacity), or the Copperhead 777000 (7-series)?
 

seaham358

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Aug 18, 2007
765
51
Hyde Park, NY
I have been reading reviews for months and I almost bought a Pit boss and the negative reviews about the electronics made me stop. I also have a MB XL and it still works ok. Mine rusted around the burner opening and that 1.5" lip is gone and it affects the airflow and I have problems keeping a nice blue flame. Cleaned the burner and still have issues. I decided on a Camp Chef slide and grill ZG sold at Dicks. They are 499 but go on sale for 399 once in a while. I got lucky the other day and they had a 20% off coupon so I got $100 off so I got it for the sale price of 399. It has great reviews and so far after only a few cooks I'm loving it. The temps on the grate are about 10-15 below what it's reading on the digi screen, which I'm good with. Comes with 2 probes and they seem to be right on. LOVE the set it and forget it of the pellet, I was always messing with the MB for the first 2 hours getting the temp dialed in. I'm sure there are a lot of guys the love the Pit Boss, I was just not willing to lay out 500 and have issues. Good luck with your pick .
 

thebattman

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Mar 26, 2009
35
13
Thanks 5GRILLZNTN for the input. I cut my teeth using those Webers in various forms (I called each one by the same name: R2D2!).

I graduated to a stick burner (Chargriller "Pro") that worked pretty well other than the thin metal being not so great at holding heat - and the metal being rather thin and rusted out after a couple of years between firebox and main cooking body).

I moved to my first Masterbuilt with great results (other than almost never any visible smoke ring). But it was a pain - as a known defect of poor connectors to heat element kept burning out). That one left me in a pickle with a big smoke scheduled - so that's how I ended up with my MES 140S just under 2 years ago. It has worked well until recently.

My life is "too busy" any more to be able to tend a charcoal or stick burner. I do miss feeding the fire and tending. But I don't miss my R2D2 days at all!
 
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thebattman

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Mar 26, 2009
35
13
I have been reading reviews for months and I almost bought a Pit boss and the negative reviews about the electronics made me stop. .

Thanks - I too have been hitting the reviews. Many of the negatives appear (after some digging and reading elsewhere) to be nearly as much user error as production issues. The Rancher XL seems to have significantly less negatives than the Series 7. There are a few posts here about the Copperhead 7 (and the Louisiana Grills version - which is identical) and most seem to be positive.

I do appreciate your comments and info!
 

mike243

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Feb 25, 2018
3,364
1,650
E Tn
1 thing I will state is when you load either 1 up heavy the meat will be a big heat sink and the therm on the lid of the Austin will read lower than the set temp of the controller, not a big problem and they will match up at some point. I have read the same issue with the #5 and suspect it would be normal on any smoker unless you just had a huge fire or low air flow. every thing comes out great so that's all that matters
 

bigfurmn

Master of the Pit
Feb 25, 2016
2,085
1,810
Farmington, MN
I've owned a Pit Boss 1000SC for over a year now. 1000SC is similar to the Austin XL, just different looks. (think buying a GMC compared to a Chevy, basically the same thing). I have only had one issue with it and that was the heating element went out. I contacted Pit Boss and had a new part in a couple days. Easy fix took about 10 minutes. That being said I use this grill for everything from grilling steaks to smoking an 18lb brisket. I love this grill. I also have a MS40 Masterbuilt that I had before the Pit Boss, I love the unit but it doesn't get much use any more.
 

thebattman

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Mar 26, 2009
35
13
Made my decision- wound up going to Lowe’s and buying the PBP1100. It’s going through initial burn-off as I type this.
 

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RCAlan

Smoking Fanatic
Aug 26, 2018
429
259
Made my decision- wound up going to Lowe’s and buying the PBP1100. It’s going through initial burn-off as I type this.

Great Choice... After doing Your initial burn in, always follow the owners manual instructions on starting and preheating your grill. Never just plug it in and set the temp... Preheating for at least 15-20mins. @ 300*-350* degrees is key to maintaining solid and stable temps and using a shop-vac to keep your grill clean and the Fire Pot clean of ash after every cook is key as well. The first few cooks will be fun, but also a learning experience, so don’t take any shortcuts in the understanding of your new grill... It can put out some Great Bbq!!


PB Austin XL in SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 

jpretts

Newbie
Apr 13, 2017
1
0
Gainesville Georgia
I have been reading reviews for months and I almost bought a Pit boss and the negative reviews about the electronics made me stop. I also have a MB XL and it still works ok. Mine rusted around the burner opening and that 1.5" lip is gone and it affects the airflow and I have problems keeping a nice blue flame. Cleaned the burner and still have issues. I decided on a Camp Chef slide and grill ZG sold at Dicks. They are 499 but go on sale for 399 once in a while. I got lucky the other day and they had a 20% off coupon so I got $100 off so I got it for the sale price of 399. It has great reviews and so far after only a few cooks I'm loving it. The temps on the grate are about 10-15 below what it's reading on the digi screen, which I'm good with. Comes with 2 probes and they seem to be right on. LOVE the set it and forget it of the pellet, I was always messing with the MB for the first 2 hours getting the temp dialed in. I'm sure there are a lot of guys the love the Pit Boss, I was just not willing to lay out 500 and have issues. Good luck with your pick .
The camp chef is proving to be high amateur top shelf. I personnaly have a Treager, MB Pellet and MES40. Enjoy them all. Retired my MES 30 after 5 years of use.
 

PoppinSmoke

Newbie
Oct 25, 2019
21
12
After haunting these forums for the better part of four or five years I finally joined. I also had a MS40 that I was pretty happy with up until the electronics went out. About that same time my gas grill was in need of replacement also. Like you I ended up with a PB1100. Have to say I am very happy with it. Doesn't smoke as well as my smoker did or grill as well as my grill did but does an amazing job as a "tweener". Have liked everything that has come off of it and even better the picky eater wife has too. You will find that what RCAlan said above is very true about the preheat and cleaning. I have also found that the pellets make a HUGE difference not only in smoke but temp swings. I have had the best luck with cookinpellets and Lumberjacks but typically use Lumberjacks as straight Pecan is my preferred smoke. Enjoy
 
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