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Masterbuilt Gravity Feed

SGMan

Smoke Blower
127
90
Joined Mar 12, 2019
I would say either way you can't really go wrong.

Both of them will give you charcoal fired food with flavor that rivals a stick burner, with the ease and convenience of a pellet pooper. But because this is a Masterbuilt Gravity thread, and you posted here, you are now obligated to go the MBGF route.

Otherwise go and get a pellet pooper and enjoy your White Claw. :emoji_laughing:
 

BiscuitoftheSea

Fire Starter
58
20
Joined Jun 10, 2019
I couldn't have my first question be a softball that you all knock out of the park! Appreciate the quick responses and the perspectives on this. One big benefit that the 1050 has going for it for me is that it's actually available in my area . That honestly might be the deciding factor since they are both at least close in quality, price etc... and I am not aware of other gravity fed charcoal smokers in the $1kish range that are available around me (metroish area of Minnesota).
I'm in the metro area of MN as well. Menards listed the 980 for a while (never in stock) and now have pulled the listing. Lowes also lists it, but they are never in stock and don't know when stock will be coming.

I sold off my RecTec RT-700 and bought the 1050 a couple weeks ago. I went to Home Depot and they had both the 560 and the 1050 in stock and out on the floor. I played with both of them and the build quality isn't even close. The 1050 feels like a solid, well built smoker while the 560 feels much cheaper. I think part of that is the extra weight of the double lined chamber. Either way, if you go somewhere and only play with the 560, you will be turned off from the 1050, but shouldn't be.

I have watched the youtube of the guy who has both the 560 and the 980. To me, that isn't a fair comparison as the amount of upgrades on the 1050 to 560 is significant (and he has the first generation 560, which had some issues that have been resolved).

The 1050 has the following improvements over the 560:
- bigger cooking area (obviously)
- more usable second and third rack due to the extra space in the cooking chamber
- Hinge design is better, making it
- Stainless steel front shelf (vs, none)
- Stainless steel side shelf (vs. powder coated)
- Solid bottom shelf (vs. expanded metal)
- Chamber is double walled and porcelain coated (vs. single walled)

On top of that, there were improvements made to the design after the original 560 including:
- Porcelain coated charcoal hopper
- grate between the coals and ash bin were redesigned

What we really need is someone to give a head to head of the 1050 vs. the 980, but that doesn't exist yet as far as I can tell.
 

jrberg56

Newbie
9
2
Joined May 9, 2021
I'm in the metro area of MN as well. Menards listed the 980 for a while (never in stock) and now have pulled the listing. Lowes also lists it, but they are never in stock and don't know when stock will be coming.

I sold off my RecTec RT-700 and bought the 1050 a couple weeks ago. I went to Home Depot and they had both the 560 and the 1050 in stock and out on the floor. I played with both of them and the build quality isn't even close. The 1050 feels like a solid, well built smoker while the 560 feels much cheaper. I think part of that is the extra weight of the double lined chamber. Either way, if you go somewhere and only play with the 560, you will be turned off from the 1050, but shouldn't be.

I have watched the youtube of the guy who has both the 560 and the 980. To me, that isn't a fair comparison as the amount of upgrades on the 1050 to 560 is significant (and he has the first generation 560, which had some issues that have been resolved).

The 1050 has the following improvements over the 560:
- bigger cooking area (obviously)
- more usable second and third rack due to the extra space in the cooking chamber
- Hinge design is better, making it
- Stainless steel front shelf (vs, none)
- Stainless steel side shelf (vs. powder coated)
- Solid bottom shelf (vs. expanded metal)
- Chamber is double walled and porcelain coated (vs. single walled)

On top of that, there were improvements made to the design after the original 560 including:
- Porcelain coated charcoal hopper
- grate between the coals and ash bin were redesigned

What we really need is someone to give a head to head of the 1050 vs. the 980, but that doesn't exist yet as far as I can tell.
Appreciate the detail and insight on this. Have you used your 1050 in cold weather? If so was there a significant difference in coal consumption? My primary use will be smoking and as a grill when I need backup because my BGE is too full (that's the best problem to have).
 

BiscuitoftheSea

Fire Starter
58
20
Joined Jun 10, 2019
Appreciate the detail and insight on this. Have you used your 1050 in cold weather? If so was there a significant difference in coal consumption? My primary use will be smoking and as a grill when I need backup because my BGE is too full (that's the best problem to have).
Not really. I got it after it started warming up here. It eats through charcoal briquettes though (I tried the Kingsford Competition from Costco). It does pretty good with the lump charcoal though (tried the B&B Oak from Ace). I didn't even use a full hopper in 6 hours smoking between 225 and 250 with the lump. I threw some Cherry in the hopper and ash bin as well. I've cooked ribs a lot on the RT-700. Best ribs I've ever had. I cooked pork chops and steaks on the RT-700 (reverse sear since that thing can't sear for the life of it) and they didn't even get close to the 1050. No idea why. Didn't really taste smokier. Maybe it is luck or coincidence, but 3 of the 3 meals I cooked on it came out better than anything I've produced on gas or pellets. So I'm a gravity fed convert whether you go with the 980, the MB 800 or the MG 1050 - I think you will enjoy what comes off.

One other note on the 1050 - it gets to temp insanely fast. Way faster than the RT-700. And I'm not just talking about smoking temps. I can get it to 550 just a little slower than my Weber Genesis E310...
 

Roman Buffalo

Fire Starter
63
103
Joined Apr 30, 2020
Appreciate the detail and insight on this. Have you used your 1050 in cold weather? If so was there a significant difference in coal consumption? My primary use will be smoking and as a grill when I need backup because my BGE is too full (that's the best problem to have).
I use mine in the winter here in western NY a fair amount I set it up in my lean to or roll it just outside my garage. It’ll use a little more fuel than normal but the temp holds like it should. I’m in ski country so lots of wind and snow.
 

Bigheaded

Smoke Blower
101
128
Joined Mar 14, 2021
I love my 560 to death, will keep it until the 800's are back in stock and sell it on Offer Up and upgrade. The 1050's awesome but I want the 800 for the griddle. I have the slightly updated 560, and while it's no 1050, it's still sweet and has a good amount of room.
 

jrberg56

Newbie
9
2
Joined May 9, 2021
Well, thanks to all of you in this thread I'm the proud new owner of a 1050! I got it at Home Depot and will benefit from them matching Menards 11% rebate which is a nice savings. I will fire it up and season it tomorrow and am considering getting the LSS mod pack for it right away as well. It'll be a nice complement to my MES + AMZN (likely will get a lot less use) and my BGE.

Do you all find lump or briquettes burn faster slower? I'd take brand recs too. I got standard Kingsford for seasoning and then some B&B lump and Fogo lump to test. Was hoping to get B&B briqs but the store didn't have any.
 

912smoker

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
893
498
Joined Nov 29, 2020
Got a close look at the 980 today at the local Lowe's. Not what I was expecting. Doesn't seem to be as sturdy build as the 1050. Floor model was dented and seemed to wobble some when pressing down on one side. Don't think the build quality is better than MB imo
 

912smoker

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
893
498
Joined Nov 29, 2020
Well, thanks to all of you in this thread I'm the proud new owner of a 1050! I got it at Home Depot and will benefit from them matching Menards 11% rebate which is a nice savings. I will fire it up and season it tomorrow and am considering getting the LSS mod pack for it right away as well. It'll be a nice complement to my MES + AMZN (likely will get a lot less use) and my BGE.

Do you all find lump or briquettes burn faster slower? I'd take brand recs too. I got standard Kingsford for seasoning and then some B&B lump and Fogo lump to test. Was hoping to get B&B briqs but the store didn't have any.
Congrats !! I get longer burn times with lump. I prefer the B&B Charlogs when I can find them otherwise B&B lump, Have 3 bags ordered from Ace that should be in tomorrow. The MB lump works well buy too pricey for me.
 

mcokevin

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
321
310
Joined Oct 18, 2016
Long time reader and first time poster. I've read through a majority of this thread and have read a lot about the Char-Griller 980 as well. I'm considering the MB 1050 vs the CG 980. For those who own the 1050 do you feel that MB cleaned up most of their design or material quality changes enough from the 560?

For reference I have watched Tom Horsman's comparison of the 560 vs 980 but am wondering if MB has improved the elements he points out that tip the scales to the CG980 over the MB560.
Welcome to the forum. I think the best thing you can do is to try and see both in person for yourself and get your hands on them. The 980 is very new and the 1050 is still pretty new, so there aren't a ton of them out in the wild. I'm quite happy with my 1050, I don't have a ton of concerns about material quality (though I am having a gasket issue at the moment, but I think that will be an easy fix). I think MB have fixed most of their issues with the 560 but it is hard for me to say for sure as I haven't compared side to side.

EDIT: I read later you have gone ahead and bought the 1050. Good choice!

Got a close look at the 980 today at the local Lowe's. Not what I was expecting. Doesn't seem to be as sturdy build as the 1050. Floor model was dented and seemed to wobble some when pressing down on one side. Don't think the build quality is better than MB imo
I don't know that it's fair to judge the quality of anything entirely on a floor model. You have no idea who is assembling that, and they probably don't care if it's done right. I ordered my 1050 from Home Depot and specifically ordered it unassembled. They rolled out an assembled one that was dented, scuffed up, dirty as hell, and looked wobbly. It had obviously been assembled at one point and left around uncovered and been hit and bumped. Thankfully they had two unassembled ones and I was able to take one of those.

The one I assembled myself is of course much better. Based on my experience I won't judge anything solely on a floor model moving forward! That said, you can still definitely get a feel for quality of material and design of the unit.
 

Roman Buffalo

Fire Starter
63
103
Joined Apr 30, 2020
Congrats !! I get longer burn times with lump. I prefer the B&B Charlogs when I can find them otherwise B&B lump, Have 3 bags ordered from Ace that should be in tomorrow. The MB lump works well buy too pricey for me.
I have no shame in saying I just grab the cheapest briquettes available at Home Depot or Lowe’s haha no matter if it’s cheap or expensive charred wood I’ve tried a bunch there’s no getting around it, it likes to eat.

firing mine up this weekend to do a pork butt and a slab of bacon
 

mcokevin

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
321
310
Joined Oct 18, 2016
I have no shame in saying I just grab the cheapest briquettes available at Home Depot or Lowe’s haha no matter if it’s cheap or expensive charred wood I’ve tried a bunch there’s no getting around it likes to eat.
I have always used Kingsford Original in my WSM and have about 120lbs of it still to use in my 1050. It was never an issue in my WSM but in the 1050 it seems to produce a bit more ash than I'd like, and some of it gets blown into the cook chamber. I am going to try Kingsford Competition next, which is supposed to be lower ash and better burning.
 

Roman Buffalo

Fire Starter
63
103
Joined Apr 30, 2020
I have always used Kingsford Original in my WSM and have about 120lbs of it still to use in my 1050. It was never an issue in my WSM but in the 1050 it seems to produce a bit more ash than I'd like, and some of it gets blown into the cook chamber. I am going to try Kingsford Competition next, which is supposed to be lower ash and better burning.
I will say the kings Ford competition does reduce down to nothing it’s pretty impressive. If I’m at Bjs they usually have a 2pack for pretty cheap I just remember burning through it pretty quick. I’ve had good luck with the ridge brand briqs from Lowe’s which if I’m not mistaken is a offshoot of royal oak.
 

mcokevin

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
321
310
Joined Oct 18, 2016
I will say the kings Ford competition does reduce down to nothing it’s pretty impressive. If I’m at Bjs they usually have a 2pack for pretty cheap I just remember burning through it pretty quick. I’ve had good luck with the ridge brand briqs from Lowe’s which if I’m not mistaken is a offshoot of royal oak.
Awesome, glad you have experience with that. Thanks for the info. Seems the 2pack of competition at BJs is only about $2 more than a 2pack of original at Lowe's. And since the comp burns so much hotter it should in theory last longer since the controller won't have to throw as much air in to the firebox to get the same level of heat.

I found this "charcoal showdown" (missed opportunity not calling it a smoke-off) while doing some research. This is super helpful.
 

912smoker

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
893
498
Joined Nov 29, 2020
I haven't found the Kingsford comp down here in my neck of the woods. But I do you use a lot of Royal Oak lump that is easily found at my local Walmart.
 

Smokin Okie

Smoking Fanatic
336
172
Joined Jun 27, 2018
Pic of my ash bin mod on the 560. This is the best mod I've found. Some use portable back packing grills inside the ash bin, but I found a firebrick broken in half and expanded metal to work fine.

It does two things, first it keeps larger chunks of coals from falling into ash, stirring up the ash, where its caught by the fan and blown into the cook chamber.

Second, it keeps the wood chunks up out of the ash in the bottom, where they burn cleaner and get a bit more of the fan blowing on them to get an even cleaner burn .

20210515_115747.jpg
 

SKade

Meat Mopper
165
185
Joined Jul 21, 2019
Glad to see one of the bigger manufacturers looking at making affordable gravity fed smokers. $497 retail ain't a half bad price. Can't tell for sure from the pics, but it almost looks like the two upper smaller racks might be able to hold a full depth rack. If so then that would be damn amazing to be able to fit 3 whole packers or 6 butts easy.

Hmm, come December I might grab one of these for the front porch collection. Gonna have to get rid of something to free up space first tho...damnit.
You can put the racks together to make a full rack. Masterbuilt also sells another set for $30 to give you 3 full racks.
 

smokewaggin

Newbie
27
34
Joined Sep 5, 2015
Welp. The old vertical gasser died weeks back (lasted almost a decad). Bit the bullet(Wife goaded me) and ended up with a 1050. It was the new model with the improvements to the switches/chute/Firefox grate. Ordered several of the LSS mods that arrived yesterday. Got it put together yesterday and did burn in this am. Cooking ribs on it now with a mix of Embers briquettes and B&B lump. Really like it so far.
 

jrberg56

Newbie
9
2
Joined May 9, 2021
I have finally had the time to break in, season and install all of the LSS mods for my 1050 and today I finally had time to smoke something and I made some pulled pork.

Overall I'm very pleased with my 1050. I had about a 35-40 difference between the grill temp and my inkbird but it stayed consistent in terms of the gap. I burned B&B briquettes, temp control/consistency is excellent and had a nice amount of TBS all day. I wish I had just a bit more chunks in the hopper for a little more smoke flavor but that's my fault.

The pork butt was 8.5lbs after some trimming and I attempted my first turbo cook 275-315 F and sprayed it with apple juice and spiced rum every hour. It finished in 9h 20mins and I'm very happy with the bark, color, smoke ring and tenderness. I also used sofalaquer's finishing sauce for the first time ever and am never going back. All in all, I'm really happy!

My only complaint is the hopper hood leaks smoke. Anyone run into this and have a suggestion for a solve? My guess is a better gasket is in order...
 

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