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Masterbuilt Gravity Feed

912smoker

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Nov 29, 2020
And lining with tinfoil clean up easy!
I also add a layer to the top of the heat deflector
 

jcemt72

Newbie
13
14
Joined Apr 10, 2021
Hello All, I am reading through this thread after buying a 1050 V2 Sunday and was very excited to try out this smoker/grill combo as it would replace my Pit Barrel Cooker and Weber 22. It seems like the best of both worlds with the gravity fan powered charcoal and heat control. Unfortunately, right off the bat I started having problems with the 1050 in the area of the door switch not working and a grease leak around the bracket that holds the drip pan. Upon inspection I found that there was at least one rivet missing that holds the pan bracket on adding to an already prevalent problem area. I posted on the FB group and found that it is not uncommon to have those problems.

I am a but discouraged that an $799 grill is having those types of problems and known issues that need fixes before really being used. I am encouraged that they can be fixed, but am bummed its even happening in the first place. I think I may return this one and either get a refund or exchange. Since I like the concept so much, are there other brands that accomplish the same thing with better quality? I have seen the Char-Griller, but that appears to have its own issues. Seems that the price point is not considered expensive or an area where quality is better.

I hope I dont offend any of the users who are happy with what they have as if I didn't have these problems before even really cooking anything I would be quite happy as well.

THanks!
Dave
Get the char griller 980. It is awesome
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
1,102
429
Joined Apr 25, 2015
...what if a grease fire breaks out and I can't see it due to the lid being closed?
Read the Funloving Manual. It's all in the Manual....

See Troubleshooting. Over-heating causes error code Err3. MB lists the most likely causes as a grease fire or a controller malfunction that free-runs the fan to feed the fire excessively.

Since you can set the control point to 700F, I'm going to guess the trip point for Err3 is ~900F. And I'll hazard a guess that Err3 turns off the fan and, if you keep the lid shut, would extinguish the fire (alas also your meal) soon enough, with no action at all required on your part. But since one cause of Err3 is a free-running fan, MB also instructs you to manually turn off the power upon getting an Err3 code.

Since a grease fire gives pretty impressive flames that will reach your factory temp sensor, and since even a cool flame temp is ~2000F, I don't think you have to worry about the unit not being able to handle a grease fire without your visual intervention. As with any smoker and most cookers, don't be a Looky-Lou.

And I trust everyone recognizes this discussion as a reminder to not operate any cooker close to combustible materials, like your overhead eaves or wood siding.
 
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mcokevin

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Joined Oct 18, 2016
Well, add me to the list of MBG owners with failures. Less than four months into ownership of my 1050 the controller / fan is on the fritz. The smoker will light just fine and come up to temp, then the fan quits after about 15 minutes of cooking and no amount of resetting will bring the fan back online.

First happened Saturday night while grilling dinner for friends. Dinner was OK as I was able to get everything moved to my gasser quickly, and the 15 minutes of smoke still flavored the food.

Tried another test cook last night and exact same problem.

And now we will see how Masterbuilt support is!
 

SGMan

Smoke Blower
127
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Joined Mar 12, 2019
Well, add me to the list of MBG owners with failures. Less than four months into ownership of my 1050 the controller / fan is on the fritz. The smoker will light just fine and come up to temp, then the fan quits after about 15 minutes of cooking and no amount of resetting will bring the fan back online.

First happened Saturday night while grilling dinner for friends. Dinner was OK as I was able to get everything moved to my gasser quickly, and the 15 minutes of smoke still flavored the food.

Tried another test cook last night and exact same problem.

And now we will see how Masterbuilt support is!
Check your switches. Namely the ones on the hopper door(s) - these will stop the fan if 'open'.
The switches tend to be the culprit more times than not.

Another thing - make sure that your controller software is up to date as well.
 

912smoker

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Joined Nov 29, 2020
Yep sounds like a switch issue. Had the same problem but mashed the switch in and out repeatedly for 30 seconds or so and everything operating as it should.
I contacted MB support for a warranty claim and got a quick response and a replacement switch arrived the next week! Still haven't replaced as I don't mind manipulating the switches before the cooks.
Hopefully you'll have the same results !
 

912smoker

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
955
547
Joined Nov 29, 2020
Well, add me to the list of MBG owners with failures. Less than four months into ownership of my 1050 the controller / fan is on the fritz. The smoker will light just fine and come up to temp, then the fan quits after about 15 minutes of cooking and no amount of resetting will bring the fan back online.

First happened Saturday night while grilling dinner for friends. Dinner was OK as I was able to get everything moved to my gasser quickly, and the 15 minutes of smoke still flavored the food.

Tried another test cook last night and exact same problem.

And now we will see how Masterbuilt support is!
And mine failed when I cooking for my daughter and new SIL. Smoke was fine but cranked the temp up for sear and ......
 

mcokevin

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
327
317
Joined Oct 18, 2016
Check your switches. Namely the ones on the hopper door(s) - these will stop the fan if 'open'.
The switches tend to be the culprit more times than not.

Another thing - make sure that your controller software is up to date as well.
Yep sounds like a switch issue. Had the same problem but mashed the switch in and out repeatedly for 30 seconds or so and everything operating as it should.
I contacted MB support for a warranty claim and got a quick response and a replacement switch arrived the next week! Still haven't replaced as I don't mind manipulating the switches before the cooks.
Hopefully you'll have the same results !
Thanks Gents. I did check the switches somewhat thoroughly but as I had food on the grill both times the main focus was to finish dinner.

If the switches keep failing I'll probably wind up shorting them so the circuit is always closed, and then I'll add a manual toggle switch in near the controller so I can kill the fan when I am refueling on long smokes. I would rather not do that as it's a pain and I then would not be able to let anyone else use the smoker as I've bypassed the auto safety features.

Hopefully we'll be good here... will keep you all posted.
 

BBQ Bird

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Jan 14, 2021
Yep sounds like a switch issue. Had the same problem but mashed the switch in and out repeatedly for 30 seconds or so and everything operating as it should.
I contacted MB support for a warranty claim and got a quick response and a replacement switch arrived the next week! Still haven't replaced as I don't mind manipulating the switches before the cooks.
Hopefully you'll have the same results !
I've had a similar problem with my 800. The switch for the ash door suddenly needs to be pushed in farther than the door pushes it. I just wedged a small screw in there to keep it pushed in for now.

I'll probably just short the switch before my next cook.
 

marsexpress

Newbie
4
2
Joined May 5, 2021
I've unfortunately had every switch go bad on my 800. Not only that, I've had it randomly switch off in the middle of cooks numerous times. Masterbuilt is shipping me 3 new switches and controller assembly, but it's going to keep happening with the switches, so I'm not sure what to do
 

negolien

Smoking Fanatic
590
485
Joined Jan 1, 2020
I've unfortunately had every switch go bad on my 800. Not only that, I've had it randomly switch off in the middle of cooks numerous times. Masterbuilt is shipping me 3 new switches and controller assembly, but it's going to keep happening with the switches, so I'm not sure what to do
Switches can be bypassed fairly easy most of us did it pre-emptively cause well honestly their plastic. As for shut offs make sure u connect to wifi and do the update it fixes such issues.
 

RCAlan

Smoking Fanatic
351
174
Joined Aug 26, 2018
I've unfortunately had every switch go bad on my 800. Not only that, I've had it randomly switch off in the middle of cooks numerous times. Masterbuilt is shipping me 3 new switches and controller assembly, but it's going to keep happening with the switches, so I'm not sure what to do
Three things you should do as regular maintenance is 1. Place a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil over the charcoal hopper lid switch and the ash bin switch. Put a small hole in the foil, so the switch stems can fit through it. Doing this will help keep any debris out of the switches. 2. Spray the switches with some electrical cleaner like this can actually fix faulty switches. A can spray costs about $5.00 at Walmart or a PC store like Best Buy.
Image.jpeg

Spray the switches and their contact connectors lightly , then push the stems in and out a few times and then allow them to dry. Wait 5 min. then push the switches in and out a few times and then power up your grill. They should work fine after that. As a routine maintenance, spray the switches at least once a month to help keep them working properly and clean. 3. Always keep the charcoal hopper lid and the ash bin door closed, but do not latch them shut. Latching them shut will have the switches springs compressed until the grill is used again. In some cases, that could be days or weeks… Which is adding wear and tear to the springs, even though the grill is not even being used. The less wear and tear, the better. Hopefully in the future, Masterbuilt and CharGriller will produce a more durable and longer lasting switches for their Gravity Fed Smokers.. .02
Give the tips a try and Good luck.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
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mcokevin

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
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317
Joined Oct 18, 2016
Got some new switches, a new probe (for some reason) and a new controller coming in sometime under warranty replacement from Masterbuilt.

Customer service was really helpful, though a bit annoying as I don't think my rep quite understood how PID controllers work -- kept saying that the probe "sends a message" to the controller to turn on the fan, which it doesn't. Controllers simply read the value of the probe and make a logic decision based on the temp probe plus other conditions (contact closures from sensors).

The rep thought my probe might be bad, but that is almost definitely not the case as the controller is reading the correct temps constantly but is just not turning on the fan.

Oh well -- in any case, a new electronics package coming so I should be good relatively soon. Depending how long it takes I may mess with the existing switches this weekend to see if I can get it up and running.
 
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marsexpress

Newbie
4
2
Joined May 5, 2021
Three things you should do as regular maintenance is 1. Place a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil over the charcoal hopper lid switch and the ash bin switch. Put a small hole in the foil, so the switch stems can fit through it. Doing this will help keep any debris out of the switches. 2. Spray the switches with some electrical cleaner like this can actually fix faulty switches. A can spray costs about $5.00 at Walmart or a PC store like Best Buy.
View attachment 506598
Spray the switches and their contact connectors lightly , then push the stems in and out a few times and then allow them to dry. Wait 5 min. then push the switches in and out a few times and then power up your grill. They should work fine after that. As a routine maintenance, spray the switches at least once a month to help keep them working properly and clean. 3. Always keep the charcoal hopper lid and the ash bin door closed, but do not latch them shut. Latching them shut will have the switches springs compressed until the grill is used again. In some cases, that could be days or weeks… Which is adding wear and tear to the springs, even though the grill is not even being used. The less wear and tear, the better. Hopefully in the future, Masterbuilt and CharGriller will produce a more durable and longer lasting switches for their Gravity Fed Smokers.. .02
Give the tips a try and Good luck.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
Definitely a few good ideas! Thanks, I'll for sure give both of those a go.
 

RCAlan

Smoking Fanatic
351
174
Joined Aug 26, 2018
Definitely a few good ideas! Thanks, I'll for sure give both of those a go.
I just came across this video this morning and the guy in the video had the same Idea as me about using electrical cleaner spray. I’ve been using electrical cleaner spray for years on my old PC’s and even on my pellet grill and my CG 980 GF. It really works. He mentions it at the 2 min and 30 sec. mark. He takes the whole switch apart.. You really shouldn’t have too do all that, Just follow the steps I mentioned previous and everything should work just fine. Good luck.

__________________

Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
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Blackadar

Newbie
1
0
Joined Aug 27, 2021
I have a MB800 Gravity and I love the concept. However, I've had major flare-ups the last two smoking sessions. I believe I know what caused them (me) but I'm hoping to get some advice on how to fix a problem without catching my BBQ on fire.

After it's been smoking 6-8 hours, I get quite a bit of ash build-up between the fire and the coals in the chimney. The temperature starts to drop even though there's still charcoal above because the ash is blocking the fire from coming into contact with the new coals. It's happened on all 3 of my long smokes with this. So what I want to do is clear the ash from the fire box so the new coals can light up and maintain the temperature. The first time I did this I shook the coal grate quite vigorously. The second time I did it quite gently. However, shortly after doing this both times the main grill chamber caught on a roaring fire. I'm not sure why - stray ember or perhaps a piece of charcoal fell somewhere it shouldn't? Either way, I slammed in metal sliders to cut off the air flow but at that point the grease from the long smoke was on fire. At that point the only option is to get the meat off while flames are shooting out the top of the main cooking chamber.

A bit of arm hair and eyebrows later, I'm asking the experts here - do you run into this issue? Do I need some sort of different charcoal? How do you clear the ash build up during a long smoke without catching the entire grill on fire? Should I instead use a longer screwdriver to poke at the ash to get it to drop in the hopper?

I really can't wait 2 hours during a smoke to drop the temp to where I could properly clean out and reload the coal chute, so I have to do something. I'm just not sure what I should be doing.
 

deejus

Fire Starter
42
60
Joined Jan 8, 2020
I have a MB800 Gravity and I love the concept. However, I've had major flare-ups the last two smoking sessions. I believe I know what caused them (me) but I'm hoping to get some advice on how to fix a problem without catching my BBQ on fire.

After it's been smoking 6-8 hours, I get quite a bit of ash build-up between the fire and the coals in the chimney. The temperature starts to drop even though there's still charcoal above because the ash is blocking the fire from coming into contact with the new coals. It's happened on all 3 of my long smokes with this. So what I want to do is clear the ash from the fire box so the new coals can light up and maintain the temperature. The first time I did this I shook the coal grate quite vigorously. The second time I did it quite gently. However, shortly after doing this both times the main grill chamber caught on a roaring fire. I'm not sure why - stray ember or perhaps a piece of charcoal fell somewhere it shouldn't? Either way, I slammed in metal sliders to cut off the air flow but at that point the grease from the long smoke was on fire. At that point the only option is to get the meat off while flames are shooting out the top of the main cooking chamber.

A bit of arm hair and eyebrows later, I'm asking the experts here - do you run into this issue? Do I need some sort of different charcoal? How do you clear the ash build up during a long smoke without catching the entire grill on fire? Should I instead use a longer screwdriver to poke at the ash to get it to drop in the hopper?

I really can't wait 2 hours during a smoke to drop the temp to where I could properly clean out and reload the coal chute, so I have to do something. I'm just not sure what I should be doing.
i always use a a small waterpan under what i smoke to catch the drippings, However i know that may not be feasible for a large cook. I also do a burn off after every slow cook, let it rip to 700 for a few minutes jsut to make sure im good to go the next round.
 

jrberg56

Newbie
10
2
Joined May 9, 2021
i always use a a small waterpan under what i smoke to catch the drippings, However i know that may not be feasible for a large cook. I also do a burn off after every slow cook, let it rip to 700 for a few minutes jsut to make sure im good to go the next round.
+1 for this when I'm smoking something on the 2nd rack and don't need the first rack. If I need the first rack, I have the LSS mods that allow for an aluminum pan <2" tall to sit on brackets that rest on the manifold under the main grates. I've done 3 overnight smokes with it and a few all days smokes with no problem like you've described. Obviously annoying especially without the under grate mod but an option to consider.
 

BBQ Bird

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
113
125
Joined Jan 14, 2021
I have a MB800 Gravity and I love the concept. However, I've had major flare-ups the last two smoking sessions. I believe I know what caused them (me) but I'm hoping to get some advice on how to fix a problem without catching my BBQ on fire.

After it's been smoking 6-8 hours, I get quite a bit of ash build-up between the fire and the coals in the chimney. The temperature starts to drop even though there's still charcoal above because the ash is blocking the fire from coming into contact with the new coals. It's happened on all 3 of my long smokes with this. So what I want to do is clear the ash from the fire box so the new coals can light up and maintain the temperature. The first time I did this I shook the coal grate quite vigorously. The second time I did it quite gently. However, shortly after doing this both times the main grill chamber caught on a roaring fire. I'm not sure why - stray ember or perhaps a piece of charcoal fell somewhere it shouldn't? Either way, I slammed in metal sliders to cut off the air flow but at that point the grease from the long smoke was on fire. At that point the only option is to get the meat off while flames are shooting out the top of the main cooking chamber.

A bit of arm hair and eyebrows later, I'm asking the experts here - do you run into this issue? Do I need some sort of different charcoal? How do you clear the ash build up during a long smoke without catching the entire grill on fire? Should I instead use a longer screwdriver to poke at the ash to get it to drop in the hopper?

I really can't wait 2 hours during a smoke to drop the temp to where I could properly clean out and reload the coal chute, so I have to do something. I'm just not sure what I should be doing.
I have an 800 also, but haven't had an issue like you've mentioned. The only flare ups I had were early on when searing meat over 500F and hadn't cleaned the grease out from previous cooks. As others have said, I also now put a water/drip pan under meats on long cooks to help prevent grease buildup.

The ash buildup issue sure does sound like it's due to the type of charcoal you're using. I've used several different types and some produce another more ash than others, however it always just drops into the ash bin. I've not had it prevent more charcoal from lighting. I'd suggest trying other brands. I'm currently using Kingsford Competition briquettes and like them. I've used B&B and Royal Oak in the past. B&B was ok. Royal Oak didn't produce very good smoke for me.

The flare ups sound like they're occurring due to both the grease buildup and the sudden increase in heat coming from the charcoal after you clear the ash out. During the drop in temp, the fan will start blowing harder to raise the temp in the cook chamber, however, the ashed over coals aren't putting out enough heat. Once you clear the ash, woosh, the fan pushes a lot of hot air in and it ignites the grease built up inside the manifold.

So to prevent the flare ups, you can either set up a drip pan to prevent grease from getting inside the manifold, or find a charcoal that doesn't ash over so much and stall out temps. Or do both.
 

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