Masterbuilt Gravity Series Smokers Are a Quality Control Nightmare; My Review

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sitruunatee

Newbie
Original poster
Oct 29, 2022
13
19
Hello all!

First post here but I've been reading for a while. But, I basically want to go through my experience of dealing with Masterbuilt Gravity 800 series smoker directly through Masterbuilt approximately a year and three months ago. This grill has been stored in a dry climate, in an indoor patio, and with their heavy duty grill cover. Please enjoy this review; pictures for fun!

IMG_0172 (1).jpg
Original versus IMG_0225 (1).jpg versus
IMG_0257 (1) (1).jpg


I purchased my 800 gravity series smoker from Masterbuilt.com for 900+ dollars. When it arrived, it was packaged poorly and the lid had a dent. I reached out to Masterbuilt and they sent me a new lid; this one arrived with scrapes and scratches than the original. The outer box was in perfect condition and the inner box was destroyed. I reached out again and they sent me yet another lid, but this time for the wrong grill. The third time, however, they were able to get me an intact lid for my grill. They wouldn't let me return either of the damaged or incorrect lids so they became industrial metal waste. Great work guys.

As a side note, they glue huge stickers inside of the grill that cannot be easily removed. They'll burn off on your first cook, but the glue will first drip over your grates if installed! See this video for reference:

Additionally, this unit was having issues connecting to my Wi-Fi after being used once, and then turning on again. It would lose the connection and I'd have to re-pair it each time. I was asked to supply all of the details of the app, my phone, my Wi-Fi, and the grill. They never reached out to me with an update or any sort of follow up. The new control unit I purchased FIXES this issue. Cool.

IMG_0171 (1).jpg
and
IMG_0227 (1).jpg

Next up, the thermometer got stuck on a random temperature, causing the thermometer to be useless. Then the cheap hopper handle broke (obviously defective) from normal opening and closing. They replaced these. And gave me a tumbler for my trouble.

IMG_0170 (1).jpg

Then, the lid sensor died causing me to not be able to heat my grill fully. They replaced this for me and then that worked for about 3 months and it failed again. Then both sensors on the hopper and the ash door also failed. They are obviously defective. I ended up putting in my own contact switch because trying to deal with support to get another was too much of a hassle. I now have inline sensors and fan control that I can enable or disable with switches (cool, right?).

Additionally, at this point, even with regular cleaning the internals of the grill are rusting due to their material choice. I have bought aftermarket stainless components to somewhat fix this issue. I clean the grill after each use. My last grill lasted over 10 years without this kind of wear.

IMG_1814.jpg


Finally, I pull the grill out to cook some steaks and smoke a chicken and then the control unit will not power on. I reached out to support, now out of warranty, and they ignored all of the quality defects I've so far had and said it looked like I had an order in (for almost 90 dollars!). I said yes, but I explained that I was reaching out to express my dissatisfaction with their quality control. I've had this grill a year and although it cooks great, it is a nightmare. THEY NEVER BOTHERED TO REPLY TO ME EVEN TO SAY "SORRY".

This is the picture of the control board. It has two problems: 1) the solder used to connect to the board is essentially non-existent. This is a major QC issue. 2) the cable is in no way glued or held together. The black clip does not prevent slipping. Because of that, the forces of gravity with the cable pulling on it WILL cause that solder to fail. There is also no sort of rubber gasket inside this component to prevent moisture build-up in the components for those that live in wet climates.

My review score: 0/10 quality control. 8/10 meat smoking, if it works.

Do not purchase a Masterbuilt Gravity Series grill or you will find yourself where I am today. A grill should last more than 1 year. Masterbuilt should care about their customers and their quality control. They do not. If anyone wants to see the full e-mail chain spanning from delivery to now of them not caring, I'd be more than happy to share it!
 

babydoc

Smoke Blower
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Aug 13, 2022
134
99
Hello all!

First post here but I've been reading for a while. But, I basically want to go through my experience of dealing with Masterbuilt Gravity 800 series smoker directly through Masterbuilt approximately a year and three months ago. This grill has been stored in a dry climate, in an indoor patio, and with their heavy duty grill cover. Please enjoy this review; pictures for fun!

View attachment 647359 Original versus View attachment 647360 versus View attachment 647361

I purchased my 800 gravity series smoker from Masterbuilt.com for 900+ dollars. When it arrived, it was packaged poorly and the lid had a dent. I reached out to Masterbuilt and they sent me a new lid; this one arrived with scrapes and scratches than the original. The outer box was in perfect condition and the inner box was destroyed. I reached out again and they sent me yet another lid, but this time for the wrong grill. The third time, however, they were able to get me an intact lid for my grill. They wouldn't let me return either of the damaged or incorrect lids so they became industrial metal waste. Great work guys.

As a side note, they glue huge stickers inside of the grill that cannot be easily removed. They'll burn off on your first cook, but the glue will first drip over your grates if installed! See this video for reference:

Additionally, this unit was having issues connecting to my Wi-Fi after being used once, and then turning on again. It would lose the connection and I'd have to re-pair it each time. I was asked to supply all of the details of the app, my phone, my Wi-Fi, and the grill. They never reached out to me with an update or any sort of follow up. The new control unit I purchased FIXES this issue. Cool.

View attachment 647362 and View attachment 647363
Next up, the thermometer got stuck on a random temperature, causing the thermometer to be useless. Then the cheap hopper handle broke (obviously defective) from normal opening and closing. They replaced these. And gave me a tumbler for my trouble.

View attachment 647364
Then, the lid sensor died causing me to not be able to heat my grill fully. They replaced this for me and then that worked for about 3 months and it failed again. Then both sensors on the hopper and the ash door also failed. They are obviously defective. I ended up putting in my own contact switch because trying to deal with support to get another was too much of a hassle. I now have inline sensors and fan control that I can enable or disable with switches (cool, right?).

Additionally, at this point, even with regular cleaning the internals of the grill are rusting due to their material choice. I have bought aftermarket stainless components to somewhat fix this issue. I clean the grill after each use. My last grill lasted over 10 years without this kind of wear.

View attachment 647365

Finally, I pull the grill out to cook some steaks and smoke a chicken and then the control unit will not power on. I reached out to support, now out of warranty, and they ignored all of the quality defects I've so far had and said it looked like I had an order in (for almost 90 dollars!). I said yes, but I explained that I was reaching out to express my dissatisfaction with their quality control. I've had this grill a year and although it cooks great, it is a nightmare. THEY NEVER BOTHERED TO REPLY TO ME EVEN TO SAY "SORRY".

This is the picture of the control board. It has two problems: 1) the solder used to connect to the board is essentially non-existent. This is a major QC issue. 2) the cable is in no way glued or held together. The black clip does not prevent slipping. Because of that, the forces of gravity with the cable pulling on it WILL cause that solder to fail. There is also no sort of rubber gasket inside this component to prevent moisture build-up in the components for those that live in wet climates.

My review score: 0/10 quality control. 8/10 meat smoking, if it works.

Do not purchase a Masterbuilt Gravity Series grill or you will find yourself where I am today. A grill should last more than 1 year. Masterbuilt should care about their customers and their quality control. They do not. If anyone wants to see the full e-mail chain spanning from delivery to now of them not caring, I'd be more than happy to share it!

Bummer...I just ordered my 1050 yesterday and am really psyched to use it. I know there are some big (HUGE) MB fans here. I wonder if there are some mods or preventative things a new user should consider to avoid heartache/trouble?
 
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sitruunatee

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 29, 2022
13
19
Bummer...I just ordered my 1050 yesterday and am really psyched to use it. I know there are some big (HUGE) MB fans here. I wonder if there are some mods or preventative things a new user should consider to avoid heartache/trouble?
Well, those door switches WILL fail. So have a plan to replace them. As I said, I replaced them with better contact switches and then soldered in an override to make the fan turn on manually, and to make the switches think they are shut.

I would also try to tape or hot glue the power connector cable to the unit so it won't pull out that solder point.

Finally, check out LSS mods, which makes (expensive) high quality stainless parts to stop some of the build issues. https://www.lss-mods.com/

Enjoy your grill, but just know that customer support and build quality are lacking. It's made some great steaks, chickens, ribs, you name it though.

In the future, I'm going to wire in a bypass that allows full manual control of the grill, eliminating the need of a control unit at all for short grilling sessions. (But that will make the grill require constant attention to keep the heat levels correct).
 
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mcokevin

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Oct 18, 2016
676
796
Orlando FL
I've had loads of issues with mine too - cooks the best food I've ever made - when it works.

Welcome - and ignore negolien negolien . About 85% of his posts are troll posts.
 

sitruunatee

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 29, 2022
13
19
I've had loads of issues with mine too - cooks the best food I've ever made - when it works.

Welcome - and ignore negolien negolien . About 85% of his posts are troll posts.
Thanks! I think it was a fair post to show all of the quality issues. Maybe it'll make people think twice.

But I agree, the grilling/griddle/smoker are awesome when they work. I've made some of my best meals on this thing. I just wish it was built better and that Masterbuilt cared!
 

babydoc

Smoke Blower
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Aug 13, 2022
134
99
Well, those door switches WILL fail. So have a plan to replace them. As I said, I replaced them with better contact switches and then soldered in an override to make the fan turn on manually, and to make the switches think they are shut.

I would also try to tape or hot glue the power connector cable to the unit so it won't pull out that solder point.

Finally, check out LSS mods, which makes (expensive) high quality stainless parts to stop some of the build issues. https://www.lss-mods.com/

Enjoy your grill, but just know that customer support and build quality are lacking. It's made some great steaks, chickens, ribs, you name it though.

In the future, I'm going to wire in a bypass that allows full manual control of the grill, eliminating the need of a control unit at all for short grilling sessions. (But that will make the grill require constant attention to keep the heat levels correct).
If you mod it further make sure to post and update!
 

negolien

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Jan 1, 2020
1,703
1,357
Sacramento, Calif.
I had my 560 for about four years been bullet proof /shrug.. not the way to start your stay on a site.. just saying. BTW lid sensors 100% don't look like that they have plastic covers so chances are you got a big flare up and burnt it off lool.

grill.jpg
 

negolien

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Jan 1, 2020
1,703
1,357
Sacramento, Calif.
You're not gonna win any friends spamming some hater thread as you first posts just saying. You wanna learn and stuff cool but don't come on here to cause drama with mb we're not down with that
 

sitruunatee

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 29, 2022
13
19
You're not gonna win any friends spamming some hater thread as you first posts just saying. You wanna learn and stuff cool but don't come on here to cause drama with mb we're not down with that
You're not going to win any friends by private messaging me and harassing me with my very first post and then flooding my thread in which you previously said no one cares.

Please tell me WHY I'm not supposed to post my honest opinions? Are you working for Masterbuilt or something? It would appear that people might want to know about issues AND successes they have with products. It's a grill. And it has abysmal quality control and I have provided documentation of each issue.

So please take care. You have absolutely convinced me to avoid you at all costs.
 

TNJAKE

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Nov 26, 2019
9,901
13,497
Ridgetop Tennessee
Welcome from Tennessee. Sorry your first post got trolled. Seemed like an honest and fair review if you ask me. We all have different experiences with smokers. Some good, some bad. Most of us at smf are very friendly so hope you'll stick around and share some cooks with us. Stop by roll call and introduce yourself when you get a chance.
 

sitruunatee

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 29, 2022
13
19
Welcome from Tennessee. Sorry your first post got trolled. Seemed like an honest and fair review if you ask me. We all have different experiences with smokers. Some good, some bad. Most of us at smf are very friendly so hope you'll stick around and share some cooks with us. Stop by roll call and introduce yourself when you get a chance.
Thanks! I've probably been browsing here for maybe a decade. Because of this place, I got into smoking and grilling way more and I've been lurking forever for tips and tricks. I owe a lot to this forum even if I always just hid in the background!

I'll try to actually take pictures and post some of what I've made in the future. And hopefully, ideally, Masterbuilt sees stuff like this and improves the quality of their products!
 

clifish

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
May 25, 2019
2,934
3,011
Long Island, NY
I would be pissed too that you paid damn good money for the 800 and had those issues. I stole mine from a Walmart clearance for $347 and love it. I have wifi issues but it is 200 feet from my house so I just use a good Bluetooth therm to watch the temps. It holds temp and cooks great, I have the LSS hopper cover and klotesmod manifold cover/water pan. I have only had it for 3 months ( has not gone through a NY winter yet) so we will see if there are any issues. I don't do high heat cooking on it only smoke. I do spray the the switches with electrical contact cleaner every couple cooks....YMMV.
 

912smoker

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Nov 29, 2020
3,314
2,528
Statesboro Ga
Hello all!

First post here but I've been reading for a while. But, I basically want to go through my experience of dealing with Masterbuilt Gravity 800 series smoker directly through Masterbuilt approximately a year and three months ago. This grill has been stored in a dry climate, in an indoor patio, and with their heavy duty grill cover. Please enjoy this review; pictures for fun!

View attachment 647359 Original versus View attachment 647360 versus View attachment 647361

I purchased my 800 gravity series smoker from Masterbuilt.com for 900+ dollars. When it arrived, it was packaged poorly and the lid had a dent. I reached out to Masterbuilt and they sent me a new lid; this one arrived with scrapes and scratches than the original. The outer box was in perfect condition and the inner box was destroyed. I reached out again and they sent me yet another lid, but this time for the wrong grill. The third time, however, they were able to get me an intact lid for my grill. They wouldn't let me return either of the damaged or incorrect lids so they became industrial metal waste. Great work guys.

As a side note, they glue huge stickers inside of the grill that cannot be easily removed. They'll burn off on your first cook, but the glue will first drip over your grates if installed! See this video for reference:

Additionally, this unit was having issues connecting to my Wi-Fi after being used once, and then turning on again. It would lose the connection and I'd have to re-pair it each time. I was asked to supply all of the details of the app, my phone, my Wi-Fi, and the grill. They never reached out to me with an update or any sort of follow up. The new control unit I purchased FIXES this issue. Cool.

View attachment 647362 and View attachment 647363
Next up, the thermometer got stuck on a random temperature, causing the thermometer to be useless. Then the cheap hopper handle broke (obviously defective) from normal opening and closing. They replaced these. And gave me a tumbler for my trouble.

View attachment 647364
Then, the lid sensor died causing me to not be able to heat my grill fully. They replaced this for me and then that worked for about 3 months and it failed again. Then both sensors on the hopper and the ash door also failed. They are obviously defective. I ended up putting in my own contact switch because trying to deal with support to get another was too much of a hassle. I now have inline sensors and fan control that I can enable or disable with switches (cool, right?).

Additionally, at this point, even with regular cleaning the internals of the grill are rusting due to their material choice. I have bought aftermarket stainless components to somewhat fix this issue. I clean the grill after each use. My last grill lasted over 10 years without this kind of wear.

View attachment 647365

Finally, I pull the grill out to cook some steaks and smoke a chicken and then the control unit will not power on. I reached out to support, now out of warranty, and they ignored all of the quality defects I've so far had and said it looked like I had an order in (for almost 90 dollars!). I said yes, but I explained that I was reaching out to express my dissatisfaction with their quality control. I've had this grill a year and although it cooks great, it is a nightmare. THEY NEVER BOTHERED TO REPLY TO ME EVEN TO SAY "SORRY".

This is the picture of the control board. It has two problems: 1) the solder used to connect to the board is essentially non-existent. This is a major QC issue. 2) the cable is in no way glued or held together. The black clip does not prevent slipping. Because of that, the forces of gravity with the cable pulling on it WILL cause that solder to fail. There is also no sort of rubber gasket inside this component to prevent moisture build-up in the components for those that live in wet climates.

My review score: 0/10 quality control. 8/10 meat smoking, if it works.

Do not purchase a Masterbuilt Gravity Series grill or you will find yourself where I am today. A grill should last more than 1 year. Masterbuilt should care about their customers and their quality control. They do not. If anyone wants to see the full e-mail chain spanning from delivery to now of them not caring, I'd be more than happy to share it!

Hate to hear that and sounds like you got a lemon ! And continued to receive defective parts.
The switches will cause problems due to the nature of their design and their environment . The use of contact cleaner between cooks can solve most or all of the problems associated with them. I received 2 from MB from a warranty claim but they are still in the pack on the shelf.

I've had mine for 2 yrs in Dec and have had lots of low and high temp cooks with very few issues. No mods just line the top of the heat diffuser with foil for easy cleaning . I also add foil to the hopper lid to prevent the paint from bubbling.

Amazing results and food.
Hopefully you can get the issues resolved and continue producing some great Q!

Keith
 
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sitruunatee

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 29, 2022
13
19
Hate to hear that and sounds like you got a lemon ! And continued to receive defective parts.
The switches will cause problems due to the nature of their design and their environment . The use of contact cleaner between cooks can solve most or all of the problems associated with them. I received 2 from MB from a warranty claim but they are still in the pack on the shelf.

I've had mine for 2 yrs in Dec and have had lots of low and high temp cooks with very few issues. No mods just line the top of the heat diffuser with foil for easy cleaning . I also add foil to the hopper lid to prevent the paint from bubbling.

Amazing results and food.
Hopefully you can get the issues resolved and continue producing some great Q!

Keith
I think Masterbuilt should have done physical contact switches. I replaced them with magnetic reed switches and they work great now. They were probably just a few cents more.

I’ve hot glued the new control units power wire in place to fix that problem. It also has a different Wifi card I believe, which fixed my Wifi connectivity issues.

Eventually I’ll make a bypass for the control board so I can run it in a manual mode. Not ideal but if the board dies, at least I can still grill.
 
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clifish

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
May 25, 2019
2,934
3,011
Long Island, NY
I think Masterbuilt should have done physical contact switches. I replaced them with magnetic reed switches and they work great now. They were probably just a few cents more.

I’ve hot glued the new control units power wire in place to fix that problem. It also has a different Wifi card I believe, which fixed my Wifi connectivity issues.

Eventually I’ll make a bypass for the control board so I can run it in a manual mode. Not ideal but if the board dies, at least I can still grill.
was the new control board different than the first in design? What exactly did you hot glue on the board.
 

fxsales1959

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Dec 17, 2019
623
732
PembrokePines, FL
Hello all!

First post here but I've been reading for a while. But, I basically want to go through my experience of dealing with Masterbuilt Gravity 800 series smoker directly through Masterbuilt approximately a year and three months ago. This grill has been stored in a dry climate, in an indoor patio, and with their heavy duty grill cover. Please enjoy this review; pictures for fun!

View attachment 647359 Original versus View attachment 647360 versus View attachment 647361

I purchased my 800 gravity series smoker from Masterbuilt.com for 900+ dollars. When it arrived, it was packaged poorly and the lid had a dent. I reached out to Masterbuilt and they sent me a new lid; this one arrived with scrapes and scratches than the original. The outer box was in perfect condition and the inner box was destroyed. I reached out again and they sent me yet another lid, but this time for the wrong grill. The third time, however, they were able to get me an intact lid for my grill. They wouldn't let me return either of the damaged or incorrect lids so they became industrial metal waste. Great work guys.

As a side note, they glue huge stickers inside of the grill that cannot be easily removed. They'll burn off on your first cook, but the glue will first drip over your grates if installed! See this video for reference:

Additionally, this unit was having issues connecting to my Wi-Fi after being used once, and then turning on again. It would lose the connection and I'd have to re-pair it each time. I was asked to supply all of the details of the app, my phone, my Wi-Fi, and the grill. They never reached out to me with an update or any sort of follow up. The new control unit I purchased FIXES this issue. Cool.

View attachment 647362 and View attachment 647363
Next up, the thermometer got stuck on a random temperature, causing the thermometer to be useless. Then the cheap hopper handle broke (obviously defective) from normal opening and closing. They replaced these. And gave me a tumbler for my trouble.

View attachment 647364
Then, the lid sensor died causing me to not be able to heat my grill fully. They replaced this for me and then that worked for about 3 months and it failed again. Then both sensors on the hopper and the ash door also failed. They are obviously defective. I ended up putting in my own contact switch because trying to deal with support to get another was too much of a hassle. I now have inline sensors and fan control that I can enable or disable with switches (cool, right?).

Additionally, at this point, even with regular cleaning the internals of the grill are rusting due to their material choice. I have bought aftermarket stainless components to somewhat fix this issue. I clean the grill after each use. My last grill lasted over 10 years without this kind of wear.

View attachment 647365

Finally, I pull the grill out to cook some steaks and smoke a chicken and then the control unit will not power on. I reached out to support, now out of warranty, and they ignored all of the quality defects I've so far had and said it looked like I had an order in (for almost 90 dollars!). I said yes, but I explained that I was reaching out to express my dissatisfaction with their quality control. I've had this grill a year and although it cooks great, it is a nightmare. THEY NEVER BOTHERED TO REPLY TO ME EVEN TO SAY "SORRY".

This is the picture of the control board. It has two problems: 1) the solder used to connect to the board is essentially non-existent. This is a major QC issue. 2) the cable is in no way glued or held together. The black clip does not prevent slipping. Because of that, the forces of gravity with the cable pulling on it WILL cause that solder to fail. There is also no sort of rubber gasket inside this component to prevent moisture build-up in the components for those that live in wet climates.

My review score: 0/10 quality control. 8/10 meat smoking, if it works.

Do not purchase a Masterbuilt Gravity Series grill or you will find yourself where I am today. A grill should last more than 1 year. Masterbuilt should care about their customers and their quality control. They do not. If anyone wants to see the full e-mail chain spanning from delivery to now of them not caring, I'd be more than happy to share it!

That's a bummer. I bought my 560 fully assembled at H Depot for a bargain of $300.
I have never attempted to use the wifi function, figuring all the BS with 2.4Ghz vs 5 Ghz wifi would be a pain in the ass. I used the included temp probe once. I have a 4 port #inkbird wifi for temp management. I find the unit holds a good temp, but i use one of the probes from my inkbird to manage grid level temps, as i think the factory temp control is typically off . IG: when set at 235 the top grid tmp is usua;lly 10-15 degrees below the fan turn off level. I have remedied this by setting cook temp 20 degrees hotter than i wan to cook at. Other than that, this is the best backyard appliance I have purchased. I rarely use my egg or off-set stick burner since i got it. I guess i got lucky nd mine was built before saki break at the factory and assembled correctly by HD. (miracle)
 

sitruunatee

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 29, 2022
13
19
was the new control board different than the first in design? What exactly did you hot glue on the board.
Yes, it's an updated version according to the PCB. I hot glued the white connector in the center which is the power connector, and I hot glued the wires around the black retention clip.
 
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