Masterbuilt Gravity Feed

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I wish I could tell you the make/model of the switches, but I threw the packages away. I just picked them up and my local auto parts store. These had the wire leads already on the switch so I just clipped off the electrical connectors that came on the smoker, and soldered the wires together. It's pretty straightforward.

Hey no problem, toggles are a dime a dozen and sounds like a quick and easy solder connection. There are actually almost too many options when I go down that rabbit hole on Allied or Grainger. Did you use heat shrink over the solder connections or anything for protection?

Regarding the gasket - I have been putting that off but think it would help mine too. Did you remove the factory gasket or put the one you found on Amazon right over top of the factory gasket?
 
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Hey no problem, toggles are a dime a dozen and sounds like a quick and easy solder connection. There are actually almost too many options when I go down that rabbit hole on Allied or Grainger. Did you use heat shrink over the solder connections or anything for protection?

Regarding the gasket - I have been putting that off but think it would help mine too. Did you remove the factory gasket or put the one you found on Amazon right over top of the factory gasket?
Hey there, as far as a switch goes, I actually found the one that I used (CLICK HERE). I liked it because it was hardwired, and I could solder the wire leads. I did use some heat shrink over them when I was done. I was glad I did this mod as I was able to secure the wires away from the firebox. Its really easy to access both switches. The switch itself is super easy, as when the door is closed, the circuit is completed, and when the doors are open, the switch opens the circuit.

I should have been a little more clear on that seal thingy from Amazon. I put the seal around the cooking chamber lid, as I was kind of surprised how much smoke exited all over the place. Smoke was exiting everywhere, and in the wind here in Oklahoma, heat lost, is more fuel consumed. With the positive pressure design of the unit, there really is not any negative affects to limiting the amount of air loss. It just all goes out the back vent now.

The other thing I did was add a small piece of that BBQ seal on the grill side of the lid switch (pictured below). My thinking is that with the seal on the lid, and on the bottom in that location, it prevents smoky/acrid/humid air from traveling by the switch and contaminating it. So far it seems to be working pretty well. I'm less convinced on this though, because the seal also gives an opportunity for moisture to accumulate in that exact location. I suppose the great equalizer is whether or not the heat is high enough in that location to boil off any moisture? That all said, I have a background in engineering and I enjoy making improvements/mods. YMMV...
 

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When using manual toggle switches, you might consider getting sealed or waterproof models to prevent the same smoke failures to the internals of your manual switch as is causing the MB automatically-acting switches to fail. Since sealed units are about 3-4X as expensive as a pressed-together switch, I'd probably save the money and just generously apply some RTV sealant around all the clamp joints in the cheap ones.
 
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I fired up my 560 Saturday to smoke some ribs. When the charcoal is first lighting, there's a lot of smoke. And it shows how badly these things leak air. The leaks are everywhere.

I'm thinking it might burn less charcoal if I fixed as many leaks as possible ? It just makes sense it would heat the cook chamber for efficiently if so much of the heat wasn't leaking.

And these things flat go through the charcoal. I went through almost 2/3 of the chute of B&B comp oak for a 3 hour rib cook.

Anyone done this ?
 
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I fired up my 560 Saturday to smoke some ribs. When the charcoal is first lighting, there's a lot of smoke. And it shows how badly these things leak air. The leaks are everywhere.

I'm thinking it might burn less charcoal if I fixed as many leaks as possible ? It just makes sense it would heat the cook chamber for efficiently if so much of the heat wasn't leaking.

And these things flat go through the charcoal. I went through almost 2/3 of the chute of B&B comp oak for a 3 hour rib cook.

Anyone done this ?
Great info and thanks for sharing…

_________________

Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
I fired up my 560 Saturday to smoke some ribs. When the charcoal is first lighting, there's a lot of smoke. And it shows how badly these things leak air...
Well the air and smoke has to go somewhere. I could argue that if it's coming out "all over" it's doing a good job of heating the entire grill (and ALL your food) evenly.

Folks have mentioned (even in this thread) sealing their machines better but I don't recall anyone saying it's saving them big money on fuel. Now you can add an oven type electric element so more cooking energy is coming from cheaper electricity, and even slow down the fan a little, and your hopper load will last longer. But you'll get less smoke flavor in your food too.

I'd say part of getting a gravity feed is recognizing fuel costs will be high. But this is not because the smoke leaks, it's because so much of the designed machine is getting hot that doesn't directly contribute to cooking your food. Plus they're parts that are pretty well convection cooled by ambient air. You don't want to kill yourself with the experiment but put a pellet grill in a cold garage and run it and then repeat the expt the next day with the gravity feed cooking the same food at the same temp for just as long. I think you'll find the gravity heats up the cold garage much better!

A classic offset smoker has the same issue. The part generating, and intercepting, the most heat is separated from the cook chamber. But at least there you can fairly easily add heat shields/reflectors, and even double-wall the firebox, to save on fuel consumption. After all, it's just a box. But few do that. The market for offsets just accepts you're going to use quite a few pounds of fuel to get the job done.

If someone can provide the cfm of the fan in these, we can do some precise calcs as to how much heat is being blown through these. From there, one could estimate maybe 10% could be saved by ensuring the smoke only follows the design path out the design ports/chimney, ie sealing those areas you see leaking. But I'm pretty sure you'll find it's a lot less than what's getting convected or radiated away from a gravity machine's many hot surfaces. Heck even the chute at the tippy top needs the mesh finger guard so it must be getting hot!

IR radiation is huge from red hot coals. In a kettle, about half of that goes into cooking your food...your food "sees" the red coals. In a gravity machine those red coals are far removed from line-of-sight of your food. You just hope much of that heat gets blown by the fan into your cook chamber, again similar to the draft in a classic offset, but again, not very efficient.
 
Higher end gravity feeds are very insulated and they use a heavier duty , more expensive gasket on all the doors. Check out the gaskets and insulation here

Gravity-Fed Insulated Smokers (assassin-smokers.com)

A kamado type cooker is very fuel efficient, because its insulated and does not leak.

My 560 has a double walled cook chamber, which provides insulation. But that does no good if it leaks badly in several different places.

I'm convinced it would be more fuel efficient if it did not leak and there would be less cool /hot spots inside the cook chamber. I'm more concerned as to whether its possible to seal these things up, and if so, how it was done. I'm thinking RTV Sealant, lots of sealant.
 
I fired up my 560 Saturday to smoke some ribs. When the charcoal is first lighting, there's a lot of smoke. And it shows how badly these things leak air. The leaks are everywhere.

I'm thinking it might burn less charcoal if I fixed as many leaks as possible ? It just makes sense it would heat the cook chamber for efficiently if so much of the heat wasn't leaking.

And these things flat go through the charcoal. I went through almost 2/3 of the chute of B&B comp oak for a 3 hour rib cook.

Anyone done this ?
I used the self adhesive BBQ seal around the cook chamber lid, and the flat area around where the charcoal gets loaded. (See previous posts for links and pics)

I have that stainless "lid" thingy from LSS mods, and with that seal material, around the cook chamber, mine leaks VERY little. I'm very satisfied with fuel consumption at this point...

Hope that helps?
 
How much wood do you guys use? Can't seem to find a consensus

That's the 64 thousand dollar question. I think its something everyone has to figure out for themselves. It largely depends upon how much smoke flavor a person likes.

The same issue exists with a WSM, how many wood chunks. And its pretty much a very individual thing.
 
That's the 64 thousand dollar question. I think its something everyone has to figure out for themselves. It largely depends upon how much smoke flavor a person likes.

The same issue exists with a WSM, how many wood chunks. And its pretty much a very individual thing.
I had a feeling that would be the case. I just recall reading that the smoke flavor isn't absorbed anymore after a couple of hours, so I wasn't sure how true that was and if I'd be wasting wood by adding more later in my cooks.
 
................ I just recall reading that the smoke flavor isn't absorbed anymore after a couple of hours, so I wasn't sure how true that was and if I'd be wasting wood by adding more later in my cooks.

That is a myth and totally untrue. Smoke rings stop growing after a while but meat keeps taking on smoke flavor until you take it out of the smoke.
 
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I had a feeling that would be the case. I just recall reading that the smoke flavor isn't absorbed anymore after a couple of hours, so I wasn't sure how true that was and if I'd be wasting wood by adding more later in my cooks.

That was once the axiom, after meat reached a certain IT , it would not take any more smoke. But I think its been debunked. Not certain , though.

We have to judge by the color of the meats, which is generally used as a guide to when to wrap. The longer the meat is taking on smoke, the darker it will get.

And once its wrapped, all that's needed from the smoker is heat. I usually pull the meat and go to the kitchen oven after wrapping.

But all that, just comes down to personal taste. Some people wrap ribs when they reach a mahogany reddish color. Others don't wrap ribs at all, they like the darker smokier rib with more of a bark.

To me, that's what makes barbecue an art rather than a science.
 
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I used the self adhesive BBQ seal around the cook chamber lid, and the flat area around where the charcoal gets loaded. (See previous posts for links and pics)

I have that stainless "lid" thingy from LSS mods, and with that seal material, around the cook chamber, mine leaks VERY little. I'm very satisfied with fuel consumption at this point...

Hope that helps?
Do ypu have the link to the seal material you bought? (I didnt see it on the prior posts - Amazon link just goes to Amazon home page)
What LSS mod... the vent damper?

I havent put together my 1050 yet but want to seal it best I can... I have an Akorn now, and it uses very very little lump (like $1 worth) per 12hr+ smoke.
 
Do ypu have the link to the seal material you bought? (I didnt see it on the prior posts - Amazon link just goes to Amazon home page)
What LSS mod... the vent damper?

I havent put together my 1050 yet but want to seal it best I can... I have an Akorn now, and it uses very very little lump (like $1 worth) per 12hr+ smoke.
Hey there,

For the seals, just search amazon for "nonley smoker gasket seals". Lots will pop up, and I assume they are all pretty much alike. I went with the 3/4 inch seals, and they fit the lid rim very nice. I installed the seal on the lid itself and not the "bottom" part of the grill. My thinking is that I want to be able to clean the bottom part if I slop some bbq goo when I'm pulling meat off the cooker.

As for the LSS mods I spoke about, its the HOPPER COVER as seen on his website. I put the BBQ seal all around the top of my hopper, and then I placed one strip on the bottom of my hopper cover. The strip I placed on the bottom of the hopper cover is just so that the cover will stay aligned with the seals on the top of the hopper itself. It sounds more complicated than it really is. I just laid the seals out in a pattern so that the hopper cover now only fits in one way.

As for the other LSS mods, I really like the anti-flash mod, and I really like the water pan. With the added humidity, it is really easy to make some super juicy cooks.

As for consumption of charcoal, I don't have a great answer there. I know it will certainly use more than the Akorn you described, but not an unruly amount. The seals seem to help a bit. It seems to be a balance between too many seals/decreased smoke quantity, or, no seals/lots of smoke/lots of fuel usage. You'll find the balance that works for you.

Hope this helps!
 
B beech350guy How do you like the 1050 vs your Pitboss vertical (which one do you have?)?
I'm wondering if I should just get a higher-end vertical that is insulated instead of messing with the 1050... I live in Colorado, it gets cold.
 
B beech350guy How do you like the 1050 vs your Pitboss vertical (which one do you have?)?
I'm wondering if I should just get a higher-end vertical that is insulated instead of messing with the 1050... I live in Colorado, it gets cold.
I have the Pitboss pro-series PBV4. I think all the Pitboss verticals are about the same. On the later ones they moved the electronics to the side as they were constantly getting covered when basting meat.

There is no comparison between the pitboss vertical and the gravity 1050. Hands down, the better machine is the gravity. The temp control on the Pitboss is absolutely terrible. If the bottom of the smoker is near the commanded cook temp, the upper part will be 30-50 degrees cooler. I have experimented with laying wet towels over the vent, and sveral other methods to regulate the escaping heat, but none of them work. Its just not a great design.

Then there is the lack of smoke. The pitboss pellet smoker just doesnt throw off very much smoke. I installed a cold smoke generator to increase the smoke, but its a pain. It only lasts about 20 mins, and you constantly have to put more chips in. On a long smoke, that gets old, quick. Also, I have replaced the electronic board twice, and the temp sensor. They have a five year warranty, but thats getting old...

Frankly, all I use my vertical for is hanging sausage, but to tell you the truth I'm probably just going to start doing that on my gravity. It's that good of a machine.
 
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