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Masterforge smoker help - chips/chunks going up in flames

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by scvinegarpepper, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. I got the Masterforge smoker a few years ago. This one:

    Love the smoker. Did a few mods with it. Primarily, the rope gasket on the door seal for heat and I keep the water pan filled with gravel. Over Thanksgiving I was smoking three butts and I had the luxury of time, so I let them ride out the plateau instead of doing the usual Texas crutch like I do when I am in a time crunch. Ended up smoking them for about 23 hours. For wood I was using hickory chunks and some pecan chips. I presoaked the pecan chips but didn't soak the hickory chunks. Basically every time I loaded up the wood box, after about an hour or so of smoke, all the wood in it caught on fire and would spike my temps over 300, sometimes 350. I need to fix this problem. I've done some cursory reading and have seen some replace the stock wood box with cast iron. I've also heard about others wrapping the chunks in foil and various other ideas. I've also heard that it has to do with the two vent dampers at the bottom being right beside the wood box and feeding the flames. What's my best course of action to keep this from happening? It didn't ruin the smoke by any means, it's just a pain in the ace to deal with, especially on long smokes when I want to pour smoke to it the whole time. Thanks for any advice anyone can offer.
  2. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd change the pan and close the dampers more to limit oxygen.
  3. Thanks for the heads up. What pan would you recommend? Cast iron or something else? TIA.
  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Seems that many have had good luck with a cast iron skillet of all things   :)
  5. So I have the old version of the Masterforge smoker without the side table.  I tried most things to prevent my wood chunks from going up in flames - soaking them for 30 minutes, soaking them for a couple of hours, putting foil over the top of the wood tray and poking holes, etc.  In every case, eventually they'd go up in flames and the temperature would shoot up so I was having to monitor consistently.  About the only thing I didn't try (as a suggestion given to me) is to space the wood chunks out so they didn't touch each other.

    My answer and savior was to get the 12" A-Maze-N tube smoker shown here: http://www.amazenproducts.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=12.  I put sand in the wood tray, sand in the water tray and then sat some foil on top of the sand in the water tray where I laid my tube smoker filled with pellets.  I wasn't really using any liquid or marinade in the water pan so filling with sand helped with evenly distributing temperature.  The tube smoker allows for an perfect, even smoke wisp that lasts for up to 4 hours and I've been able to keep a very consistent temperature.

    For the tube smoker, if you do some searches for the Masterforge you'll find those that mounted it at the base next to the heat source with a shield to prevent combustion.

    I can't say enough about the A-Maze-N tube smoker.  For me, it freed up a lot of my time otherwise spent monitoring the wood chunks and temperature.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There is one other solution ...... Put 1 chunk in the pan.... I piece of wood can't catch on fire..... It takes 2 pieces of wood to make a fire.... Another good thing about using 1 chunk of wood is you get thin blue smoke .... better flavor...
    I cut my wood into "cookies".... about 1" think or so and what ever the tree limb is that fits in the smoke wood pan..... usually 3" in diameter...
    Covering the pan with foil is good insurance... 3-4 holes about pencil size works also...
    Works for me.....

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  7. heinz

    heinz Newbie

    I have a homemade propane smoker and I was having trouble with the chips burning up to quick so I found some scrap steel pcs and started raising the chip pan (iron skillet) up away from the burner I think about 3/4 of an in worked if you use something that's 1/4 thick and stack it to get it just right