Masterbuilt Portable Charcoal Grill - New Owner w/accessory recommendations for owners (no mods)

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Mar 2, 2023
I recently purchased a Masterbuilt Portable Charcoal Smoker and figured I would share some recommendations for other owners. I'll try and keep this brief.

1. Water Pan: For those of you who like to do longer smoking sessions with this smoker, you might have considered how to add a water pan. This can certainly be a challenge considering no one wants to give-up space on the grate. My solution was to employ a 1/9th size steam pan. It's the right size to sit directly over the firebox and could be further modified by folding the outside edge to the right. Without modifications, it sits there nicely and it adds the humidity to facilitate increased smoke adhering to the meat. I ended up purchasing mine from Amazon. Here is a link to the one I purchased for just $6.56: You'll want to make certain you purchase one that is only 2 1/2" in height, too much taller and it won't clear the lid when closed. As stated, you could bend the outer edge of the pan to help clear the lid, but it is relatively easy to cheat it a little to the left without modification.

2. Hot Coal & Ash Containment in the Field: After just a few cooks, it became immediately apparent that you cannot shut down the fire while there's still fuel in the firebox. This is primarily due to the fact that the rear vents do not fully close, by design. I've seen other suggest an ash bucket with a lid when using in the field when you need to get the grill cooled off fast to get back onto the road. While the ash bucket will work by dumping the live coals into the bucket after a cook, I had another idea. The solution is a .50 cal metal ammo can. I used one from Harbor Freight for $18. When done with the cook, you use high temp gloves to remove the entire firebox, with embers intact, and place the entire firebox directly into the ammo can. Then close the lid and wait a few minutes. If you'd like, you can add a little sand into the bottom of the ammo can to help insulate the bottom. The result is a quick and easy way to put the fire out safely, without a lot of fuss trying to dump at the field site. I know this solution is simple, but it also has the benefit of being able to transport the warm coals which have gone out without a lot of downtime when you leave the location. Obviously, you'll want to make certain the ammo box is cool enough to transport safely. However, I have found that it is nice to be able to contain all of the ash and facilitates an easy clean out once cooled. You just dump the spent ash and the coals that have gone out.

3. Cast Iron Grill Grate Option: For those of you who may get frustrated with the provided stamped, porcelain grill grate, I have done a few exhaustive searches to find other grill grates which fit in this Masterbuilt portable model. Choosing not to go with custom sizes from Etsy or other locations and being cheap ('frugal' LOL), I elected to get a cast iron grill grate from Home Depot. The model I chose fits one of the Nexgrill models. It seems to work well enough and has the added benefit of retained, even heat. Don't get me wrong, the provided grill grate seems just fine, but I know that many of us like to use a cast iron grate. Of course, the downside is a little more weight, but the difference is negligible IMHO. The cast iron grate I used was purchased for $15.23 before tax and included free shipping from Home Depot. It's not a bad price for a grate solution if you want to use cast iron in this grill/smoker. Link is provided here: I don't have pictures of the cast iron grill grate, but I'll try to take some to post later.

I hope someone finds these suggestions/recommendations helpful, if not now, then maybe on future Google searches years down the line when the manufacturer may not have the replacement grill grate available. :)


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As promised in the previous post, here is a picture of the cast iron grill grate. As you can see, this cast iron grill grate is nearly a perfect fit for this grill.


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Here are a couple new pictures of the cast iron grate in use. One picture shows pork meatballs. The other shows a full rack of ribs (cut in half) and then wrapped for finishing. I stacked them on the side to finish as I smoked two pork tenderloins. You can also see the small water pan in use in the second picture. As a bonus, I've included a picture that shows two pans which fit perfectly on this portable smoker: Nordic Ware 8 inch square cake pan (aluminum).


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