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Masterbuilt XL Wide Smoker Owners: Air Flow Issues?

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by darthtrader, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. darthtrader

    darthtrader Newbie

    I really appreciate all the initial reviews and pictures posted of the new Masterbuilt XL.  I'm trying to decide between this and the GOSM BB.  So far, it looks like the Masterbuilt still doesn't compare to the features of the GOSM, but most I'm willing to overlook and mod on my own; however, one thing strikes me as a possible area of concern that could compromise the quality of BBQ to come out of the cooker.  The lack of an intake is a little concerning.  This will be my first experience with non-charcoal smokers so perhaps this doesn't apply to propane smokers.  Doesn't the lack of an intake interfere with the fresh airflow with the smoker to carry the smoke and heat out of the exhaust?  Wouldn't this cause some issues with stale and bitter smoke?
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  2. dbarnett66

    dbarnett66 Smoke Blower

    I will be smoking a couple of chickens this weekend, so i will let you know. I will try to take some pics too.
  3. darthtrader

    darthtrader Newbie

    Thanks, dbarnett!  I was bummed when BassProShop stopped carrying the GOSM and skeptical about buying a product this new.  Looking forward to your test cook.  Anyone else who has this smoker, please feel free to chime in.
  4. Darth- I bought one last weekend but haven't seasoned it yet- I am waiting for the long Columbus day weekend. I own the GOSM 3605 small block and can tell you the build quality/gauge of metal used is on par with the good GOSM's and better than the Wal Mart GOSM's (bought a 3405 and took it back). It seems the air intake is from the bottom of the smoker up through the wood pan, which has vent holes. The concern I have is if you don't use their patented wood pan, it seems you would have to mod some vents in the bottom like the GOSM. Just a guess, I haven't fired it up yet.
  5. I bought one of the Masteruilt XL a couple of weeks ago.  Used it this past weekend.  One thing I have an issue with is the door does not seal and smoke vents from the door.  I purchased a rope gasket today, installing tomorrow and using again this weekend.  The butt and ribs I smoked turned out great in this smoker.  I am going to mod the smoke vent and put a stack on the top later on.  I can get one for the standard Masterbuilt smoker for $12.99.  Might even just built my own.  Air intack is from the bottom.  I used smaller chips (three small bags) and I can tell you they burned up quickly even though they were wet.  I purchased some large chunks today and going to try those as well.  Might even stuff a few in a coffey can and see how that works.  Will let you know how it works out.   
  6. darthtrader

    darthtrader Newbie

    Okay, I couldn't resist anymore.  After bourbonman clarified that there was an intake through the bottom, I went ahead and bought one.  A lot of posters on this forum seem to have complaints about the door fit, so I'll go ahead and buy some rope gasket.  Question about that, though...  Should the rope go around the door or the box?
  7. caiguar

    caiguar Fire Starter

    we should get a thread going for mods on this smoker, I just got mine and still need to know what to put or do to it.  Hope to see some of the other owners share some ideas.  First thing for me is I am going to built a base with wheels for it and bring it up to level.

    One other thing guys, where is a good place to get the rope for the door? I might need to get some too since a lot of people are needing that and well, its an oven, my oven has some so might as well equip my smoker from the start.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  8. darthtrader

    darthtrader Newbie

    I totally agree on starting a mods thread for the XL.  I have a few mods planned:

    1. Gasket

    2. Grease deflector for the door.

    3. Some kind of mobile cart to set it up a bit higher with a work surface.

    4. Depending on the structural soundness of the box, perhaps later adding a Char-Griller firebox for dual fuel if the bottom intake doesn't interfere with heat control...  Yet to be determined.

    I'd be happy to share however I decide to mod.  Hopefully others will be willing too.

    As for the rope gasket, I simply did a search on Lowes.com.  It's pretty inexpensive.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  9. Guys I installed my rope gasket this evening and put in on the box.  I found out one thing is the door does not cover the bottom of the box.  I looked at that pretty hard and have figured that I will hit Lowe's in the morning and but a piece of square metal the size of the door and screw it on after I run a bead of JB Weld.  This should seal the bottom of the door up pretty good.  I noticed that I was getting some leakage of smoke from the bottom once the box filled up.  I cannot for the life of me figure out why in the world that bottom of the door does not cover the bottom of the box. 

    As to the gasket, I purchased the 1/2 inch at ACE hardward that came with the sealer.  Wet the gasket with water after you run a bead of the stove adhesive and work it in a little.  Let it set for one hour and then fire the smoker up and let it heat for about another hour.  This should cure the adhesive. 

    As to the air intake, it is at the bottom for sure.  I have used mine and the meat turned out great. 

  10. caiguar when you get your base built post some photos.  I had the same idea and putting it the base on casers.  I want to build one that will hold the take also and be able to roll the entire thing around.  My thoughts is to frame the base with metal angle and screw a 3/4 in piece of plywood on top.  I have a friend that sprayed bedliners and was thinking of having him to coat the top of the base with bedliner material.  I am going to do some more thinking before I dive into the project.  I have some more smoking to do this weekend. 

  11. caiguar

    caiguar Fire Starter

    well I decided to start my journey with my masterbuilt xl here, instead of opening a new thread so here are the first pics guys, this is the assembly part, as I have the time I will post the pics of the upgrades, I will start with the gasket of course.

    as it looks straight out of the box


    the inside, nothing on it still


    as the door looks closed, not as bad as I was fearing


    the bottom


    the bottom after things were put on


    the inside with things put on


    all done, no on with the seasoning

    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  12. dbarnett66

    dbarnett66 Smoke Blower

    I am seasoning tomorrow and smoking two Chicken's with Pecan Chunks. I will let you know how things turn out. If Chunks due not work, I always have the A-Maze-N smoker to try as well.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Is it insulated?

    How low can you turn the gas?

    Dump the cheapie chip pan, and use a cast iron pan for chips.  I think the heat dissipates too fast with the cheapie pan for good ignition of the chips.

    The sheet metal door pretty flimsy, How about getting (2) more latches for the door?  I bet this would give you a better seal.

    Keep posting pics!

  14. I seasoned mine yesterday. Before I fired it up I took the thermo off and stuck the tip in boiling water- it measured 212 or therabouts. I then Pammed the inside and used hickory chunks in the wood pan. I didn't soak the chunks. I had smoke within 5 minutes and the chunks were on fire within 30 minutes and the temp shot up to 350-400! I had the smoker on medium at the time so I turned it down to low and closed the vent. 30 minutes later it was reading 250 (verified by an oven thermo on the inside). I came out 15 minutes later and it read 200 so I turned it up to med. 15 min. later and it read 150- I discovered the flame had blown out! This was a little disapointing as it had never happened with the GOSM. I let it air out and relit- It held 250 on medium for the next 2 hours. It wasn't a particularly breezy day in Connecticut. I will be smoking on it today- will post on another thread with qview.
  15. caiguar

    caiguar Fire Starter

    hey dbarnett66 let me know how the a-maze-n smoker works with this, I was looking into them instead of buying a cast iron pan for wood burning, that way I can smoke for longer without the worry if the wood catching fire or my temps spiking up.

    I'm about to season mine right now,  I got my pam can ready to go

    here are some pics of how it looked.

    notice TBS coming out on this pic, I don't know about other member but during my season I put some hickory into it to test out the stock wood pan and well, it worked great, I used chunks not chips tho.  great smoke production at the level it should be, not too much and not too little.  looked great to be able to get some perfect smoke ring on meat.  I will test it out asap today was just the seasoning.


    here is how it looked when done


    will post some later with the gasket installed because some of the smoke was getting out from the door, not that much I must say but to have it perfect that should be the first mod for everyone that got this smoker.  I can see this smoker used right out of the box to smoke some meat, no issues at all.  so far very pleased with the results, I was getting very very consistent temps even with a little breeze.

    Used the seasoning time to see how the temps looked, the perfect temp was right between low and med to get 250, If i wanted to smoke a little lower for example 225 would be 1/4 of the way after low.  I think this smoker is very efficient, ran with a tank that was almost empty for 4 hrs today and still have some gas left.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  16. dbarnett66

    dbarnett66 Smoke Blower

    Here is my review:

    The good:
    1. The outside temp gauge was dead on with the three other oven gauges that I had on my racks. I was pleased.
    2. Smoke loss was not bad around the door. I had two small areas on the top. No smoke loss on the bottom.
    3. Temps were very stable. I held 350 with high temp and vent open. Over 400 with vent closed. It was 91 degrees outside.
    4. Propane usage was far less than I expected for a 2.5 hour smoke. Feels like a have a full bottle left.
    5. Very little grease drips from the unit. Ok I cheated. I bought a huge aluminum foil pan at Walmart for $3 and used it below the two chickens I was smoking. I filled it with 1/3 water. I never had to refill the pan. The chicken did recieved plenty of smoke from three fist chunks of Pecan. Chicken on top, huge turkey pan below, then the stock wood pan below that.
    6. The grill that the chicken sat on cleaned up in less than 5 minutes with a stainless steel wire brush from Walmart and some warm water.
    7. The chicken was very moist and flavorful. Just the right amount of smoke. too. Not brined nor rubbed either.
    8. Medium provided me with a constant temp of 300 degrees.
    9. Low was around 175.
    10. The wind was blowing unusually hard, enough to sound off the wind chimes off and on throughout the smoking session, and the flame never went out. I could hear the flame ripping around with the current of wind, but temps were stable.
    The bad:
    1. The stock wood chip pan sucks.
    2. The knob on the smoker feels a little flimsy to me.  If flexes a little when turning. It does not feel stout. I am sure it is not a problem, but I like it when items are built solid.
    3. A costco 45 gallon trash bag does not slip over the ides when I am storing the smoker....LOL JK...I know, I will upgrade to 55 gallon bags hahah.
    Overall the smoker is a solid unit and I know with the right wood pan, this will be a winner. I do not plan to mod the unit as of now, except for the wood pan, since I had the results I was looking for. Do yourself a favor. By several of the disposal aluminum roaster pans. The largest that Walmart had fit perfectly. I had no grease of mess on the bottom of the unit. Sorry there were no pictures, I had a busy weekend. 

    I will use the A-maze-N smoker next week on 2 more chickens. With the A-maze-N smoker under the huge aluminum roasting pan, grease will not be an issue, and I should not have any temperature spikes. I bought the 6 x 8 sized A-Maze-N and it will fit to the side of the main burner. Till next week!
  17. jackshady

    jackshady Newbie

    Hello everyone, I'm knew here and new to smoking. I love BBQ, so I decided to give it a try with a MasterBuilt XL Smoker on sale at Bass Pro $179. I seasoned it yesterday and tried to smoke some ribs, wings and veggies. I had issues with the chips catching fire so I switched to chunks. I am still having issues getting it to smoke properly. I have since found some complaints about this model for the issues I'm having. One suggestion was to buy a Smoke Daddy. I would prefer not to shell out more money for the time being. Does anyone have any suggestions for a replacement chip pan or anything else. Thanks!!!!!
  18. caiguar

    caiguar Fire Starter

    I didn't have that issue while seasoning, but if you are, get you chunks and wrapping them in foil, some members have decided to get a cast iron pan to use instead of the stock one.  cheap solution:  just wrap the chunks in foil.
  19. dbarnett66

    dbarnett66 Smoke Blower

    Wow, I will try the "Aluminum Foil" method on my chunks. Sounds like it will work perfectly.  This forum is awesome.
  20. The aluminum foil method works; however, the foil sticks to the pan, so when you want to put a new packet in you have to pull the entire pan out with channel locks and use tongs to pry off the old packet. A real pain.