• 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.

Masterbuilt Gravity Feed

BBQ Bird

Smoke Blower
82
81
Joined Jan 14, 2021
I have been using the Weber wax starters wrapped in a oil sprayed paper towel. It lights and I have flames within a few minutes. The problem starts once I set the temperature and close up the hopper and ash bin lids.
Is it normal to feel some air blowing around the sides of the fan. It seems the fan isn’t aimed directly at the firebox and there is some air coming out of the sides of the fan
To me, it sounds like airflow the issue. If you're able to get the cook chamber up to 400 (even if it takes a long time), then your charcoal is getting lit. Once it's lit, the fan should be able to push enough air through to stoke the charcoal fire and push heat into the cook chamber, so that the temperature should rise quickly.

If the charcoal is getting lit, but the cook chamber isn't heating, then something is inhibiting the airflow. The first question is to confirm that you've completely removed both slides from the hopper and the firebox. More than once, I've got the charcoal lit, closed the doors and set the temp, but when I've come back a few minutes later, the temp has barely risen because I'd forgotten to remove the slides.

If the slides are removed, then confirm that the fan is running. When the cook chamber probe is measuring much lower than the set temp, the fan kicks on and is quite audible. On my grill, when it gets to about 10 degrees of the set temp, it slows way down and you have to strain to hear it. But that very low speed is what keeps the fire stoked to maintain the correct temp.

You say that you can feel air coming out the side of the fan, which leads me to believe that it's blocked somehow, and air is being pushed out the side. Again, first culprit would be the slide not being removed. After that, a misaligned fan could be the problem. Can you post a pic showing your fan set up? You should be able to look in through the ash hopper door and see the face of the fan.
 

jmancuso

Newbie
4
0
Joined May 2, 2021
The lighting trouble could be user error but it does seem to be lit after 2-3 minutes. The slides are pulled completely out. I could hear the coals crackling and then when I close everything up and start the fan it seems to start warming and after 10 minutes the temperature starts dropping again. I did notice one problem that I’m going to fix and try firing it up again. The corner of the ash bin door seems to have been bent during shipping and as it heats and expands it loses contact with the switch and kills the fan. I think this is part of the problem but the one thing that is confusing me is the temp probe reading. Yesterday morning I got it lit and was using the griddle. The temperature reading was showing 400f for about 30-45 minutes. When checking the griddle temp with a laser thermometer it was 270-330 depending on the area. Also as I had the lid open for about 15 minutes the fan was running slowly because the grill was at the set point of 400 but the air near the probe wasn’t even hot. The whole area of the grill where the probe was sitting was 250-300 with the laser thermometer. I’ve attached pictures from inside the ash bin and the outside of the fan.
thanks
9385E16B-68F3-4FAE-A848-04F41397157B.jpeg
C5D05F4F-1B0C-47BE-8A79-F596107BDB97.jpeg
 

BBQ Bird

Smoke Blower
82
81
Joined Jan 14, 2021
The lighting trouble could be user error but it does seem to be lit after 2-3 minutes. The slides are pulled completely out. I could hear the coals crackling and then when I close everything up and start the fan it seems to start warming and after 10 minutes the temperature starts dropping again. I did notice one problem that I’m going to fix and try firing it up again. The corner of the ash bin door seems to have been bent during shipping and as it heats and expands it loses contact with the switch and kills the fan. I think this is part of the problem but the one thing that is confusing me is the temp probe reading. Yesterday morning I got it lit and was using the griddle. The temperature reading was showing 400f for about 30-45 minutes. When checking the griddle temp with a laser thermometer it was 270-330 depending on the area. Also as I had the lid open for about 15 minutes the fan was running slowly because the grill was at the set point of 400 but the air near the probe wasn’t even hot. The whole area of the grill where the probe was sitting was 250-300 with the laser thermometer. I’ve attached pictures from inside the ash bin and the outside of the fan.
thanks View attachment 495083 View attachment 495084
Your pics look good and I don't see anything wrong with your fan. I should note that i was mistaken when I said that you should be able to see the face of the fan from the ash chamber. I had forgotten that there is a rubber flap that hangs down between the fan and the chamber. Your pic looks like what I see when I look in my 800.

I think you're probably right that the bent door on the ash chamber expanding and losing contact with the switch is the main cause for the slow heating of the cook chamber. You might try contacting Masterbuilt to get a replacement door. Early 560 models were notorious for failing switches, and some crafty people were able to rewire to bypass the switches, but I'm not sure how to do it.

As for the griddle temp being significantly lower than the air temp measured by the probe, that is what i'd expect. I imagine you'd have to heat it for a long time (an hour plus) for it equalize with the air temp coming through. The air can come up through the drain hole on the left and will allow for the probe to measure a much hotter temp than the griddle itself, or even the air temp on the right side of the cook chamber.

I've found that the right side of the griddle gets a lot hotter than the left due to it's proximity to the fire box, and that's where I do my searing and smash burgers.

Sorry, you're having issues with your 800. I hope you can get it worked out.
 

jmancuso

Newbie
4
0
Joined May 2, 2021
Your pics look good and I don't see anything wrong with your fan. I should note that i was mistaken when I said that you should be able to see the face of the fan from the ash chamber. I had forgotten that there is a rubber flap that hangs down between the fan and the chamber. Your pic looks like what I see when I look in my 800.

I think you're probably right that the bent door on the ash chamber expanding and losing contact with the switch is the main cause for the slow heating of the cook chamber. You might try contacting Masterbuilt to get a replacement door. Early 560 models were notorious for failing switches, and some crafty people were able to rewire to bypass the switches, but I'm not sure how to do it.

As for the griddle temp being significantly lower than the air temp measured by the probe, that is what i'd expect. I imagine you'd have to heat it for a long time (an hour plus) for it equalize with the air temp coming through. The air can come up through the drain hole on the left and will allow for the probe to measure a much hotter temp than the griddle itself, or even the air temp on the right side of the cook chamber.

I've found that the right side of the griddle gets a lot hotter than the left due to it's proximity to the fire box, and that's where I do my searing and smash burgers.

Sorry, you're having issues with your 800. I hope you can get it worked out.
Thanks for your help. I think the griddle temperature should equalize a little faster than that. I had a heavier cast iron griddle on my cheap propane grill and it would be at the same temperature as the rest of the grill in about 15 minutes. If anything the Masterbuilt griddle should be hotter than the air temperature because it’s being heated directly underneath it and the temperature probe is above the griddle. I do have two other questions.
With the griddle being a little smaller than the opening it sits on, does yours sit in the center or off to one of the sides? If I try to leave it centered it teeters back and forth because the back support isn’t flat and if I have it off to one side it is slightly sloped.
Also do you fill your hopper with just enough fuel for each cook? If so do you have rough amounts for what you would use to say sear two steaks at 700f vs cooking a chicken at 400f for an hour?

thanks again
 

Joma

Newbie
11
7
Joined Jun 15, 2020
So I made the mistake of happening upon this grill at Home Depot yesterday and I've since been obsessing over it. It looks and sounds amazing! My current setup is a pellet grill with a Smoke Daddy Magnum attachment to give legit smoke to my cooks... Anyone know if this would match or better that setup in smoke flavor? This sounds much more appealing as the Smoke Daddy sort of takes a lot of babysitting during cooks...and I've already put a couple small burns in my new composite deck from wandering embers getting loose from the SD, though I did recently purchase a nice thick rubber mat to hopefully avoid any further issues in that dept. I also have a metal bucket on top of a tiled stand to catch ash and embers, but it's not 100% foolproof as my deck now shows...

I'm also a little concerned about the quality of this guy as it sounds like a stainless steel upgrade for the chute might be required after a few months... But I'm especially nervous about paying north of $500 only to discover I prefer the results of my current setup. Would be a rather expensive mistake.
 
21
14
Joined Jun 11, 2018
My nephew is a Traeger Pellet guy, we were grilling steaks on my Weber Propane grill and he was saying how he can't achieve the high temps to sear with the pellet grills, that got me thinking and that is when I looked at the Masterbuilt Gravity Fed. I have had it since just after Easter, so far no issues, goes from to 700 degrees in like 2 minutes, holds temperature within 2-4 degrees. It uses charcoal, it seems to save the coals when I shut it down, but I am not keeping track of how much I use, because right now it seems good. What I do like is the flavor and taste of what I cook, I love that I can set the temperature and know it will maintain it. No Mods as of yet, don't see a need so far.
 

negolien

Smoking Fanatic
573
476
Joined Jan 1, 2020
too long but
The grill is fine.. most of us have had them for several years. Most of us WITHOUT problems have done almost no modding to them just saying btw. Only thing I did 2+ years ago was add lavalock and a different brand of flat rope and high temp rope sealer to the doors. Lavalock to the lid flat ropes to the two doors. Oh and i did the door by pass to avoid any issues. I have NEVER had an issue with the app or shut offs also. I have done many ribs and steaks and burgers and asparagus and meat loafs. I have also done a few longer cooks like wagyu briskets and wagyu plate ribs.

grill.jpg
Yes the 560 was the first gen the new ones are better. For $198 at times is someone still gonna bitch? Probably.
 

Joma

Newbie
11
7
Joined Jun 15, 2020
For $198 at times is someone still gonna bitch? Probably.
Sorry, not following...what do you mean by that?

My interpretation is you're suggesting people are unjustly complaining about this grill for $200. If I could find it for $200 I'd be putting it together right now rather than asking questions. Unfortunately it looks like the current best price is $500...plus tax and the cost of a cover...so more like $600 all said and done. For that price I'm trying to gather a little more info before jumping in. If it does what I hope, it would be worth it...but if I end up preferring my current setup, that would be a pretty regrettable impulse purchase.
 
Last edited:

912smoker

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
810
443
Joined Nov 29, 2020
And you can add wood chunks to the hopper and Ash Bend to get the desired level of smoke for your tastes. You will not be disappointed!
 

marsexpress

Newbie
2
1
Joined May 5, 2021
Has anyone had their hopper door lid screws come loose? I added permatex screw repair and it's still loose with the lid coming off. Does anyone know how to fix this?
 

Smokin Okie

Smoking Fanatic
331
167
Joined Jun 27, 2018
Sorry, not following...what do you mean by that?

My interpretation is you're suggesting people are unjustly complaining about this grill for $200. If I could find it for $200 I'd be putting it together right now rather than asking questions. Unfortunately it looks like the current best price is $500...plus tax and the cost of a cover...so more like $600 all said and done. For that price I'm trying to gather a little more info before jumping in. If it does what I hope, it would be worth it...but if I end up preferring my current setup, that would be a pretty regrettable impulse purchase.
I paid $250 for mine in early January, found that price at WalMart through Brickseek. I guess I'm guilty of bitching about some aspects of it here even at $250, because I want to give an honest opinion of the cooker to people who are considering purchasing.

But before the CharGriller 980 was released, after owning the MB 560 for a few months, I'd pay $500 for the MB. For charcoal and chunk smoking, it generates quality smoke. And that's numero uno for me. The rest is secondary. I was totally surprised how clean the smoke was and am still amazed every time I cook with it.

I've not looked at the CharGriller in person, but from what I've seen, its got some real advantages over the MB.
 

912smoker

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
810
443
Joined Nov 29, 2020
No and I've got mine in use now but I'll take a look inside when the salmon is done.
 

RCAlan

Smoking Fanatic
319
146
Joined Aug 26, 2018
So I made the mistake of happening upon this grill at Home Depot yesterday and I've since been obsessing over it. It looks and sounds amazing! My current setup is a pellet grill with a Smoke Daddy Magnum attachment to give legit smoke to my cooks... Anyone know if this would match or better that setup in smoke flavor? This sounds much more appealing as the Smoke Daddy sort of takes a lot of babysitting during cooks...and I've already put a couple small burns in my new composite deck from wandering embers getting loose from the SD, though I did recently purchase a nice thick rubber mat to hopefully avoid any further issues in that dept. I also have a metal bucket on top of a tiled stand to catch ash and embers, but it's not 100% foolproof as my deck now shows...

I'm also a little concerned about the quality of this guy as it sounds like a stainless steel upgrade for the chute might be required after a few months... But I'm especially nervous about paying north of $500 only to discover I prefer the results of my current setup. Would be a rather expensive mistake.
Joma, I completely understand the position you’re in. I’ve seen both the MB 560 and the new CharGriller 980 GF grills in stores and wish they were available when I first purchased my Pit Boss Austin XL Pellet Grill almost 4 years ago. If they were available, I would’ve bought the MB 560 or the CharGriller 980 in a heartbeat…. and many people already know how I am with modifying pellet grills…. lol. With that being said, I can’t bring myself to spend another $600.00 plus dollars only to realize that my current setup is just as good as a Gravity Feed grills are. There approach to smoking makes a lot of since and the lack of Smoke flavor is the main gripe from many pellet grill owners. I can completely understand why someone with a stand alone pellet grill, would sell theirs and go the GF grill route. I guess I’ve invested so much $$ in my mods to my pellet grill and the results have been very good, that if I dropped another $600.00 plus dollars on a GF grill, only to find out that there was no huge improvement in the Smoke Flavor Profile…. I’d be very $&@#%. Currently, I’m running my Pellet Pro Austin XL with a Smoke Generator and Smoke Basket at the same time. The Smoke Basket is loaded with pre burned lump charcoal and a few wood chunks pre burned so that the wood chunks are now coals as well. I also do the same with the SmokeDaddy Magnum P.I.G. Smoke Gen. so that both the smoke basket and the smoke Gen. are both producing tbs charcoal smoke to go along with the wood pellet smoke being produced from the pellet grills burn pot. Some extra work at the start of a cook, but not a lot of babysitting with the Smoke Gen. as it’s about 90% full with lump charcoal and 10% wood chips mixed in only. The end results have been worth it. Please know, I’m not trying to highjack this thread, just sharing information …. and if anyone is considering a stand alone pellet grill, should definitely look at and consider a Masterbuilt GF grill as well…. Especially if Smoke flavor is important to you. I just happen to convert my Pellet grill into Hardwood, Charcoal burning pellet grill just before Masterbuilt and CharGriller released their GF grills. After reading and knowing what I know now, I would’ve went the GF route first, instead of chasing smoke from my pellet grill, until I finally figured it out. .02..

Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods…. In SoCal and Always…. Semper Fi
 

forktender

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,219
1,449
Joined Jun 10, 2008
Has anyone had their hopper door lid screws come loose? I added permatex screw repair and it's still loose with the lid coming off. Does anyone know how to fix this?
M marsexpress
This stuff will take care of it.
1620248479660.png

It's black powder it looks like graphite that you mix into a pancake batter thickness with water then apply to the threads and tighten down and let it cure overnight. The stuff dries hard as a rock and the screw will not come loose unless you smack it with a hammer to shatter the thread compound.

If Home Depot or Lowes doesn't have it your local plumbing supply house will.
We use it on high pressure steam lines the stuff is like magic. (it will work for sure).
A can cost about $12 and will last you a lifetime if you keep the lid on tight.

Dan
 

marsexpress

Newbie
2
1
Joined May 5, 2021
M marsexpress
This stuff will take care of it.
View attachment 495399
It's black powder it looks like graphite that you mix into a pancake batter thickness with water then apply to the threads and tighten down and let it cure overnight. The stuff dries hard as a rock and the screw will not come loose unless you smack it with a hammer to shatter the thread compound.

If Home Depot or Lowes doesn't have it your local plumbing supply house will.
We use it on high pressure steam lines the stuff is like magic. (it will work for sure).
A can cost about $12 and will last you a lifetime if you keep the lid on tight.

Dan
Awesome, I'll definitely try that out, thanks!
 

Joma

Newbie
11
7
Joined Jun 15, 2020
Joma, I completely understand the position you’re in. I’ve seen both the MB 560 and the new CharGriller 980 GF grills in stores and wish they were available when I first purchased my Pit Boss Austin XL Pellet Grill almost 4 years ago. If they were available, I would’ve bought the MB 560 or the CharGriller 980 in a heartbeat…. and many people already know how I am with modifying pellet grills…. lol. With that being said, I can’t bring myself to spend another $600.00 plus dollars only to realize that my current setup is just as good as a Gravity Feed grills are. There approach to smoking makes a lot of since and the lack of Smoke flavor is the main gripe from many pellet grill owners. I can completely understand why someone with a stand alone pellet grill, would sell theirs and go the GF grill route. I guess I’ve invested so much $$ in my mods to my pellet grill and the results have been very good, that if I dropped another $600.00 plus dollars on a GF grill, only to find out that there was no huge improvement in the Smoke Flavor Profile…. I’d be very $&@#%. Currently, I’m running my Pellet Pro Austin XL with a Smoke Generator and Smoke Basket at the same time. The Smoke Basket is loaded with pre burned lump charcoal and a few wood chunks pre burned so that the wood chunks are now coals as well. I also do the same with the SmokeDaddy Magnum P.I.G. Smoke Gen. so that both the smoke basket and the smoke Gen. are both producing tbs charcoal smoke to go along with the wood pellet smoke being produced from the pellet grills burn pot. Some extra work at the start of a cook, but not a lot of babysitting with the Smoke Gen. as it’s about 90% full with lump charcoal and 10% wood chips mixed in only. The end results have been worth it. Please know, I’m not trying to highjack this thread, just sharing information …. and if anyone is considering a stand alone pellet grill, should definitely look at and consider a Masterbuilt GF grill as well…. Especially if Smoke flavor is important to you. I just happen to convert my Pellet grill into Hardwood, Charcoal burning pellet grill just before Masterbuilt and CharGriller released their GF grills. After reading and knowing what I know now, I would’ve went the GF route first, instead of chasing smoke from my pellet grill, until I finally figured it out. .02..

Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods…. In SoCal and Always…. Semper Fi
Thanks. You're largely responsible for me purchasing the SD Magnum and adding it to my pellet grill reading your posts about your setup...and it did what I had hoped in terms of smoke flavor. But it does seem a bit of a chore at times, which I don't mind entirely, but for long cooks, it can be a bit much. And maybe I'm making it more difficult than it has to be, but I end up watching the grill and drinking beer for the entire cook, which can be a great thing, but having the option to do something else would be a plus. I can always drink beer and watch the grill even if the grill doesn't require it. But I don't seem to have the option to walk away if I have other things I'd like to do. The SD seems to require frequent wood refilling as well as watching that the blower doesn't come loose and out of position...the hole in my SD and the threading on the blower attachment are just a bit off so it doesn't screw in quite as nice as it should, which is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it's nice to be able to easily remove the blower and fit larger chunks in then put it back in place, but on the other, it occasionally falls out of position so another reason I have to keep a constant eye on the grill and make sure the smoke looks as it should the entire time. This grill sounds like the answer to my problems if I can get the same level of smoke flavor from it.

Sorry for the book...that got a little long.
 

SGMan

Smoke Blower
115
77
Joined Mar 12, 2019
Ive had my 560 for close to a month now and I love this thing.

As far as Im concerned - the only mods that enhance the smoker/grill are -
The manifold shield. It makes cleaning it that much easier and helps reduce flare ups.
The upgraded grate (on earlier models) although you can do a quick and easy mod in a pinch.
The fan shroud slide - I just feel a little better with a bit of protection from coals being sucked into the fan.
And the exhaust slide on the backside of the grill. (I use Lukes)
Oh, and I made a makeshift grate for the ash bin (for wood chunks)

The FB mod is not necessary IMO. Any other mods are not necessary IMO.
Just cook with it and ENJOY IT!

It spanks my MES30 with MB Mod and Auber PID any day of the week.
Makes me sad as my MES has less cooks on it in the entire time Ive owned it than my 560 in this short amount of time.
 

BBQ Bird

Smoke Blower
82
81
Joined Jan 14, 2021
Thanks for your help. I think the griddle temperature should equalize a little faster than that. I had a heavier cast iron griddle on my cheap propane grill and it would be at the same temperature as the rest of the grill in about 15 minutes. If anything the Masterbuilt griddle should be hotter than the air temperature because it’s being heated directly underneath it and the temperature probe is above the griddle. I do have two other questions.
With the griddle being a little smaller than the opening it sits on, does yours sit in the center or off to one of the sides? If I try to leave it centered it teeters back and forth because the back support isn’t flat and if I have it off to one side it is slightly sloped.
Also do you fill your hopper with just enough fuel for each cook? If so do you have rough amounts for what you would use to say sear two steaks at 700f vs cooking a chicken at 400f for an hour?

thanks again
Sorry for the late response. Haven't been in the forums for a few days. To answer your questions, my griddle sits a little left of center. There's about a half inch of space on the left and about 1.5 to 2 inches of space on the right. The bottom of the griddle has two triangle shaped support bars that run from front to back that sit on either side of a support beam in back of the smoker. When installed correctly, my griddle seems level, though I haven't put a level on it to confirm. However, I did lay the patio pavers myself, so the grill might not be sitting on the most level surface. :emoji_grinning:

I generally fill my hopper with more charcoal than I need and haven't been tracking my usage diligently. I've been exclusively briquettes, as I had read in some forums that they're usually more efficient for long cooks. I've used B&B, Kingsford Mesquite, and Royal Oak. I've been interested in trying Kingsford competition, but the prices I've seen are twice the cost of the Royal Oak, which I can get 15 lb bags for about $8 at the local hardware store. Also, Wired magazine reviewed charcoal late last year, and Royal Oak came out on top for BTUs produced per briquette and was long lasting.

Because I've never had a pellet grill, I can't weigh in with a strong opinion on the pellet grill vs gravity feed discussion. However, I can say that I'm really happy with my 800. The food it produces is delicious while also being really easy to use. Fuel consumption is probably more expensive than pellet grills, but I really like the flavor of charcoal. Even if I don't add wood chunks, it's much more flavorful than propane.
 

SGMan

Smoke Blower
115
77
Joined Mar 12, 2019
Just did a pork butt yesterday and the wife said this was by far the best one I have ever done. <3 This thing!

Well, not being able to control myself (and needing a little extra space) I went ahead and bought a custom made shelving unit for my 560 from www.michaelswooddesigns.com and I can't wait to get it set up!!


He put my custom logo on it and I sent him the font to put Smoker/Grille below it.
It comes with all of the necessary hardware to install it too!

And before you chime in - Yes, I do know the difference between a grill and grille.
I just liked the way that it looked (and who knows - I might be talking about the 'Grille' in my ash catcher) :p
 

Attachments

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.