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Should I keep my Masterbuilt Dual Fuel?

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by GoHawgs, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. GoHawgs

    GoHawgs Newbie

    Over the past few months I have gotten the itch to buy myself a smoker since we just moved to a new house. After reading Aaron Franklin’s book I really got excited about the romance of smoking with wood only and not using alternative sources such as coal or propane. That being said, after reading about a few newbie smokers, the WSM kept popping up as the most recommended smoker for a decent price. It seems like all of the good offset smokers are way out of my price range (the offset is what I really really wanted - but I was willing to compromise with a charcoal/wood). Well come Christmas time and my parents purchased me the dual fuel masterbuilt smoker. I’m debating on taking it back and using the proceeds for the WSM. Can I get a little bit of advice on whether to do this or not. After looking at the masterbuilt dual fuel smoker, the door design, rack design, handles, etc. look great (better than the WSM), but I can’t get over the fact that I might be using propane to cook meat. Are my concerns valid? My goal is to learn to smoke meats using wood only in the long term.
  2. oldsmokerdude

    oldsmokerdude Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    As you know, you don't have to use propane, you can burn charcoal in your new Masterbuilt as well. (As an aside, I was gifted a Masterbuilt propane only smoker a while back. Used it once and gave it away. Though tons of folk on here use propane smokers with great success.)

    That said, there is a reason the WSM costs two to three times as much as the Masterbuilt (depending on size). If it were me (just my opinion), as long as I didn't hurt anyone's feelings I would trade up to the WSM. You may find that cooking over charcoal and wood gives you all the enjoyment and smoked goodies you want and need.
  3. GoHawgs

    GoHawgs Newbie

    Thanks for your response! One question I had is why the WSM is higher rated? Can you give me specifics? I went to Home Depot today to look at the WSM and it looked to be made of thinner metal, and would be more difficult to load/unload meat and wood. Do you have any experience using either of these?
  4. oldsmokerdude

    oldsmokerdude Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    While I don't currently own one, I have used them in the past and think quite highly of them The WSM is a very well made product with an excellent reputation that is capable of producing outstanding BBQ. You will see WSMs competing on the professional BBQ circuits right next to the large custom rigs. Properly cared for, they will last years and years. Not sure where you are located, but the WSM will maintain temps a lot better in cold the cold and wind.

    It's not without it's drawbacks, however. It's harder to load and unload meat as you mentioned and be tricky to add charcoal through the side door.

    All that said, these are just my opinions. Lot's of folks on here with Masterbuilts of various varieties producing some amazing food. You will be happy with either product.
  5. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    It's not really that the WSM is a better smoker - it's more of a best bang for the buck type of deal. A fully loaded ring on my 22" is more then enough charcoal to do a butt, brisket or whatever I want. Loading meat or other items is only slightly more difficult if your using the bottom rack. The top rack is as easy to load and unload as any smoker out there. WSM's are also made out of porcelain coated metal so rusting out is a non-issue. I started out with a cheaper offset and then switched over to the WSM after a couple of years of the constant babysitting and going thru multiple bags of briquettes when doing longer smokes. Any smoker is capable of putting out good smoked food, but it's up to you on how much time and effort you want to put into it.