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Masterbuilt Gravity Feed

BiscuitoftheSea

Fire Starter
59
20
Joined Jun 10, 2019
I've been having pretty poor luck with putting wood directly in the hopper layered in with charcoal (lump or briquettes). It just isn't consistent. It seems best if you add say 4in+ of charcoal, then a few pieces of smoke wood, then more charcoal, then more smoke wood. This allows the wood to get up to temp and produce clean smoke by the time the heat and fire get to it. Problem is, if I'm smoking a steak, pork chops, etc. and I am only doing it for about an hour, I'm really not getting any of that wood on there as it hasn't reached the wood. When I put the wood lower, I get dirty smoke. Another issue is if you layer it in with one type of wood, and you don't burn through it all (like a short cook) and your next cook you want a different wood flavor, you are stuck with whatever was in the hopper. It isn't an easy process to remove everything.

To test a way to produce good smoke flavor and not have to deal with all that, I decided to load the hopper with one type of charcoal (just filled it up with charcoal briquettes - Kingsford Competition). Then I take all the medium sized pieces of charred wood / charcoal that are remaining in the ash bin from the last cook and pull them out and set them to the side. I toss the rest of the ash away and then put the stuff I had put to the side back in the ash bin. I then toss a couple fresh pieces of wood in the ash bin. After that, I light the main hopper with a firestarter square and throw a half of a firestarter square in the ash bin and light that. Give it about 2-3 min to heat up and then close everything down and let it heat up.

I did pork chops in it. Cooked them for about 50 min at 225. Temps held perfect as expected since I was using a full hopper of charcoal. The few times I checked on it, there was good smelling, clean smoke in the chamber. I checked the ash bin and everything was smoking well in there. Threw a couple more small chunks in at about 30 min in. Took the pork chops off and seared them on the Weber. Only seasoned with salt and pepper and the smoke flavor was strong and very tasty. No hint of dirty or weak smoke.

I think this is the way I will do it for now. If I run into issues, I might try the split in the hopper surrounded by charcoal, but this method allows the unit to be consistent because you aren't messing with the hopper and allows you to get good smoke flavor still.
 

PPG1

Smoking Fanatic
412
314
Joined Aug 22, 2020
I've been having pretty poor luck with putting wood directly in the hopper layered in with charcoal (lump or briquettes). It just isn't consistent. It seems best if you add say 4in+ of charcoal, then a few pieces of smoke wood, then more charcoal, then more smoke wood. This allows the wood to get up to temp and produce clean smoke by the time the heat and fire get to it. Problem is, if I'm smoking a steak, pork chops, etc. and I am only doing it for about an hour, I'm really not getting any of that wood on there as it hasn't reached the wood. When I put the wood lower, I get dirty smoke. Another issue is if you layer it in with one type of wood, and you don't burn through it all (like a short cook) and your next cook you want a different wood flavor, you are stuck with whatever was in the hopper. It isn't an easy process to remove everything.

To test a way to produce good smoke flavor and not have to deal with all that, I decided to load the hopper with one type of charcoal (just filled it up with charcoal briquettes - Kingsford Competition). Then I take all the medium sized pieces of charred wood / charcoal that are remaining in the ash bin from the last cook and pull them out and set them to the side. I toss the rest of the ash away and then put the stuff I had put to the side back in the ash bin. I then toss a couple fresh pieces of wood in the ash bin. After that, I light the main hopper with a firestarter square and throw a half of a firestarter square in the ash bin and light that. Give it about 2-3 min to heat up and then close everything down and let it heat up.

I did pork chops in it. Cooked them for about 50 min at 225. Temps held perfect as expected since I was using a full hopper of charcoal. The few times I checked on it, there was good smelling, clean smoke in the chamber. I checked the ash bin and everything was smoking well in there. Threw a couple more small chunks in at about 30 min in. Took the pork chops off and seared them on the Weber. Only seasoned with salt and pepper and the smoke flavor was strong and very tasty. No hint of dirty or weak smoke.

I think this is the way I will do it for now. If I run into issues, I might try the split in the hopper surrounded by charcoal, but this method allows the unit to be consistent because you aren't messing with the hopper and allows you to get good smoke flavor still.
You pretty much confirm the fact that you have to get to know your smoker 'cause everyone even of the same brand will act different. Congrats on you getting a handle on yours
 
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Bigheaded

Meat Mopper
151
164
Joined Mar 14, 2021
Maybe it's just dumb luck, but I've never had a problem with wood chunks in the hopper on my 560. I don't even think I read read the instructions because I usually toss 1 in then put some charcoal then some more wood then charcoal then more wood. And I put a few small chunks in the ash bin. I definitely don't pay close attention outside of keeping it around 4-6 chunks in the hopper and 2 in the bin.
 

Smokin Okie

Smoking Fanatic
348
186
Joined Jun 27, 2018
Tom Horsman has new MB 1050, says all new for 2021. Looks like he's gonna set up a " Battle of the Gravity Feeds "

 
Last edited:

kennnyp1

Newbie
3
5
Joined Jun 7, 2021
So first time poster here. I have a 1050 and it's been going pretty well except for one horrible chicken thigh cook. I have no clue what I did wrong but the surface of the skinless chicken was really tough. Anyway, I was hoping the someone could help me out with something. I can't seem to get my wood chunks to light when I put them in the ash bin. I have tried the new masterbuilt grate and the grate from klotes mods. Neither seem to fix my issue. I've been burning Kingsford briquettes and once I'm done with that I'm going with royal oak lump charcoal. I don't know if that will make a difference but I'm not sure what else to try other than throwing some tumbleweeds in get a fire going. I read on this forum that someone put a grate in the ash bin. Can anyone send a link to that, I might give it a try.
 

mcokevin

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
327
317
Joined Oct 18, 2016
So first time poster here. I have a 1050 and it's been going pretty well except for one horrible chicken thigh cook. I have no clue what I did wrong but the surface of the skinless chicken was really tough. Anyway, I was hoping the someone could help me out with something. I can't seem to get my wood chunks to light when I put them in the ash bin. I have tried the new masterbuilt grate and the grate from klotes mods. Neither seem to fix my issue. I've been burning Kingsford briquettes and once I'm done with that I'm going with royal oak lump charcoal. I don't know if that will make a difference but I'm not sure what else to try other than throwing some tumbleweeds in get a fire going. I read on this forum that someone put a grate in the ash bin. Can anyone send a link to that, I might give it a try.
I haven't had great success with smoking chunks in the ash bin either, so I don't think it's anything you are doing wrong (or at least, you and I are both doing it wrong!). I wasn't happy with the amount of smoke I was getting so I wound up switching to putting a split in the hopper, and that has been working out good for me so far.

Smokin Okie Smokin Okie I think has a good solution for wood chunks in your ash bin. If you go back a bit on this thread I'm sure it's covered.
 

worldbfreebase

Smoke Blower
78
56
Joined May 13, 2020
I don't have a pic of it but I have a grate in the ash bin to elevate the wood out of the ash but it is not a grate that will really stop partially burnt coals from falling through it.

yesterday I tried something new. I put 8 or ten briqs in the bin under the grate and lit them. I then lit the wood chunk and put it on the grate. I use fire starter blocks and a map gas torch to light the charcoal, i hit the wood chunk directly with the torch to get it going.

This was by far the cleanest and most consistent smoke I have produced with my 1050.
 

Smokin Okie

Smoking Fanatic
348
186
Joined Jun 27, 2018
Right here ............. Some are buying little backpacking grill grates that set inside the ash bin. This gets the chunks up out of the ash where they get more air, and also get some air from the fan, and burn easier and cleaner. Also keeps large chunks of coal from dropping directly into the ash, which stirs it up and gets picked up by the fan and goes into the cook chamber.

That chunk of apple I have on the grate, I will split that and maybe add a couple more halves .

20210515_115747.jpg
 

PPG1

Smoking Fanatic
412
314
Joined Aug 22, 2020
So first time poster here. I have a 1050 and it's been going pretty well except for one horrible chicken thigh cook. I have no clue what I did wrong but the surface of the skinless chicken was really tough. Anyway, I was hoping the someone could help me out with something. I can't seem to get my wood chunks to light when I put them in the ash bin. I have tried the new masterbuilt grate and the grate from klotes mods. Neither seem to fix my issue. I've been burning Kingsford briquettes and once I'm done with that I'm going with royal oak lump charcoal. I don't know if that will make a difference but I'm not sure what else to try other than throwing some tumbleweeds in get a fire going. I read on this forum that someone put a grate in the ash bin. Can anyone send a link to that, I might give it a try.
I have one of the earlier models of the 560. The one thing I noticed that when I did the grate mod I was not dropping large enough pieces of charcoal to get wood chunks in ash bin started. I removed my mod and wallah charcoal fell and started my wood chunks so perhaps yours is not dropping big enough pieces of charcoal
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
1,102
429
Joined Apr 25, 2015
Right here ............. Some are buying little backpacking grill grates that set inside the ash bin. This gets the chunks up out of the ash where they get more air, and also get some air from the fan, and burn easier and cleaner. Also keeps large chunks of coal from dropping directly into the ash,... which stirs it up and gets picked up by the fan and goes into the cook chamber.
Nice! And I note your grate is spaced up quite high which puts your smoker chunks closer to the red hot coals above.
Control of both airflow and ambient heat is critical in getting wood to smoke but not burn.
 

Smokin Okie

Smoking Fanatic
348
186
Joined Jun 27, 2018
Nice! And I note your grate is spaced up quite high which puts your smoker chunks closer to the red hot coals above.
Control of both airflow and ambient heat is critical in getting wood to smoke but not burn.
The only possible problem, which I've not had and have not read of any others' having, is the CharGriller flap type issue. Though the flap on the MB is embedded deeper toward the cook chamber, unlike the CharGriller.

At high temps, I think the chunks ignite into flame. I reversed seared some porterhouse pork chop recenetly, when I cranked it up to sear, I could see flames shooting into the manifold. Now, I don't have a lot of grilling experience with my MB560, I use it as a smoker almost entirely, so that may be normal.

And I should add, I have that expanded metal resting on a firebrick that has been broken in half. I just happen to have a broken firebrick, but it would be worth sacrificing one for the cause.
 

mcokevin

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
327
317
Joined Oct 18, 2016
Just another +1 for the flame spitting behavior being normal. Maybe I'll rename my 1050 to Dragon's Breath or something similar in the Masterbuilt App.
 

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