1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Problem with Masterbuilt XL

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by barrycuda, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. barrycuda

    barrycuda Fire Starter

    I am new to smoking and my kids gave me this smoker as a gift. Been doing a lot of reading on this site. Last week I got her seasoned and tried two racks of ribs which turned out pretty good for the first time. I used the 3-2-1 method. The smoker seemed to work fine and the temp was easy to maintain. I am a big (and old) boy - 6'4"- so I raised the smoker about two feet off the ground. Attempted my first fatty and chicken smoke yesterday but could not get the temperature to get above 220. Had to finish in the oven after 3 hrs. Could raising the smoker have affected the flame? I have this hooked directly to my home propane tank. I changed to a small tank but no difference. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Welcome to SMF. There are a lot of very friendly & knowledgeable folks here to help you. I urge you to sign up for the free E-course. It will give you the basics, & even if you are an experienced smoker you may learn something new. Then start asking questions. Good luck & glad to have you aboard. Don't forget we all love Qview!

    If you haven't done so yet, go over to roll call & introduce yourself. Tell us what smoker you have and where your located, so we can give you a proper welcome.

  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off welcome Barry to SMF.  Raising your smoker won't hurt nothing I raised mine cause of my bad knees. You'll like it here cause there are alot of really good folks that would just love to help you with anything to do with smoking. Now we like having new folks here to give a new prospective on some of the ways we do things around here. Now if you are really new then I would suggest that you sign up fir the 5-day E-course it free and it will give you the basics on smoking and a few recipes too. Here's a link to it:


    then you will have a method to your newly found madness and believe me it will be a madness. Then when you start smoking things you will have to learn how to post the pictures / Qview 

    here. So here's a link to a tutorial on how to post your Qview so we can see what your doing.


    Now the next thing you have to do is run out and get something to smoke. Then just smoke it and if you have any questions just post  them here and we will answer all your questions that you might have. Oh yea there's no stupid questions we were all there in the beginning and we just really like to help others enjoy the fabulous smoked foods that we do. So again

    Welcome to Your New Addiction  

  4. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hey Barry,

    Welcome to SMF and our addicting hobby, I have a GOSM propane smoker, but the principle is the same.

    You say you cooked the ribs and didn't have any temp problems, ...I would look for an obstruction some where,  you might look and see if the Air Bleed Screen is clogged, it's located either at the orifice or on the burner tube, or a pesky insect could have built a home or web in the burner tube.

    Was your flame blue with orange tips or was it mostly orange, if it was blue with orange tips I would look for a obstruction of the propane i.e. the orifice or where the orifice enters the burner tube, if it was orange that usually means a propane/air mixture problem and the Air Bleed Screen is probably clogged with grease or something.

    Incidentally, I cook fatties at 225°-250° and chicken at 300°-325° to crisp up the skin.

  5. barrycuda

    barrycuda Fire Starter

    Thanks guys for you input. I have taken the ecourse and will introduce myself. Yesterday I fired up the smoker empty and it got to 300 in no time. I did notice when I was smoking Sunday a lot of water was coming out around the door. I did not use a separate drip pan. I was smoking two 4# chickens and two fatties. Could the juices from these dripping into my water pan cause the water to splash out and affect the burner? I use a large water pan and I had it pretty full. Maybe I need to use a separate drip pan. What do you think? Thanks.

  6. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Maybe you should start with the water pan 3/4 full & if you have to add a little more in a long smoke just put in hot water. I've found that the water pan doesn't go down too much because of all the drippings going in. If you are catching the drippings in an aluminum pan, then you may have to add a little water once in a while.
  7. otis857

    otis857 Smoke Blower

    Hi Barry and Welcome,

       I have the XL too and have done some extensive mods to it to get it to smoke the way I like. Not quite there, but pretty close now. Check out the XL Mods thread for some ideas of what myself and others have done to our smokers. I believe the XL has air flow problems that lead to condensation inside and that is what causes the dripping out of the door. I sealed up my door with felt tape, but still get condensation dripping at the lower corners. This is still a work in progress for me, but I did fabricate a chimney out of 3" exhaust tubing and that has really improved the draw through the smoker. So far, this has made the biggest difference in getting thin blue smoke out of it. The next step for me is to add an adjustable air vent down low on each side to help with the air flow problem.

    As for raising it up off the ground, the shield around the burner should keep the wind from being a problem, at least no more than it already is. THe wind is a problem for me and does affect how high I have to set the valve to reach desired temps. You could try making a temporary wind block for the bottom out of a tarp or plywood  to see if that helps.

    Good luck