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The Resurrection of a Masterbuilt GrandMAC Deluxe Charcoal Smoker

thunderdome

Master of the Pit
1,034
27
Joined Nov 19, 2009
My wife and I went down to visit her parents not too long ago and shortly after arriving, my father-in-law said "come outside, I gotta show you something". A local bar in town had shut it's doors, so they gave him their 2 smokers, and sold him a Weber Performer for something ridiculous like $20 (this thing is nice!). One of the smokers was a Brinkmann Gourmet Electric, and the other was a Masterbuilt GrandMAC Triple Crown charcoal smoker.

Here's what a new Masterbuilt GMDCS Triple Crown looks like



He said he had tried both of the smokers but had little success with either. I figured the electric would be tough to maintain because of the wind and weather where they live, so I was more interested in the Triple Crown.  Both of the smokers looked pretty beat up. The Gourment Electric had the classic Brinkmann warped lid, so all the heat escapes out of one section where the lid and body meet. My father in-law tried smoking something in the Triple Crown, but didnt have much luck getting it up to temp, and maintaining the heat.

So I started to pick it apart. The grates in it looked like they had never been used. Both handles on the body were broke in the middle, as well as the plastic handle on the lid. The damper was inverted/warped a bid (you can see in below pic). The intake slide covers were a little stiff and warped as well. They needed to be opiled and slightly bent back into an arch that would seal when closed. The water bowl was in it, but no fire basket/bowl. Come to find out he had just been putting the charcoal down on the bottom of the smoker (he was told it was all there). So not enough air was getting under the coals and his intakes were all the way open. After he double checked, he verified it didnt come with one so it must have got lost in the move.

Here you can see our ingenious fix of the handles. About a 7-layered wrap of duct tape on each handle



I looked around his backyard and saw an old off-brand Smokey Joe. I asked if he ever used it, and he hadn't. It was his sons at one point in time, and he had left it there. The handle was broken off the lid, so I decided to salvage it, and turn it into the fire basket for the Triple Crown. We got out his drill, and found the largest drill bit he had and I started drilling holes through it. Once I set it inside the smoker, the lid's lip rested perfectly inside on the leg bolts.

When I go back down, I'll take my step-bit to increase the size of some of these holes



Here it is sitting perfectly on the leg bolts. Match made in heaven



I asked my mother-in-law if she had anything in the fridge or freezer we could test out on the smoker. She found a bottom round roast, and figured it was worthy of the test run.  She seasoned it up, as we started up some Kingsford blue bag in his new charcaol chimney (the bottom half of the old smokey joe).

His new charcaol chimney



We threw in the lit coals, and watched the temperature rise. The gauge looked to be in good shape, and although I didnt calibrate it, it was in good shape so we trusted it was accurate



We threw on the bottom round roast when she hit 225, and let it run. I added some hickory chips and pistachio shells through the side door every 45 mins or so. This was something I wasn't used to since I've grown so used to my UDS. No water pan, no side door. But it did prove handy for stirring the charcaol after a couple of hours.

2.5 lbs bottom rib roast. From here, you can see internally that the smoker hadn't been used much



Waylon, our Sous-Chef for the day



We went back in the house and relaxed, only checking the smoker every hour or so to make sure we didn't lose heat. This thing held heat like a champ. Only stireed coals twice over the course of about 4.5 hours

Pistachio shells and hickory chips smoking



Here's the finished product.



Nice smoke ring



Like I said, this was sort of a last minute experiemnt, so we already had Champagne Chicken (which was awesome), corn, and potatoes scheduled for dinner, but I had to try a piece or two.

My dinner plate





I was extremely pleased with the performance of this smoker. It seems that Masterbuilt has sort of become synonymous with electric smokers and I dont see too many people on here with this model. But other than the handles and maybe the quality of the intake covers, I would recommend this smoker to anyone and what's a better price than free.  Lookin forward to my next trip down there to see what all we can throw on next.
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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42,226
14,597
Joined Sep 12, 2009
Very cool TD!

And great looking plate too!

Bear
 

SmokinAl

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Joined Jun 22, 2009
Great job on the smoker! The roast ain't too shabby either. Actually it looks delicious.
 

sparkyth67

Newbie
2
10
Joined Jun 3, 2013
I have had one of these for about 5 years or so found it at walmart but now the legs are falling apart and the intake vents are gone so no control there but other than that it is a great smoker have used it many times wish I could find another but it looks like I will have to try and get this one fixed up 
 

anamar76

Newbie
3
0
Joined Jul 24, 2021
Hi everybody!
I am new here and also a newbie at smoking. Today I bought this:
A936F871-5026-4116-A4A0-D2E6CA9D12DB.jpeg

I found it and bought it for $10! I’ve been wanting one forever and finally could get my hands on it. Since I am new, I’d like to learn how to set it up. So my questions are: coal goes at the bottom and the water tray on top of it? or does the water tray at bottom, then charcoal? My questions are because when I got it from the person who sold it to me, it was set up as follows:
3FC79453-68D5-4D83-ABD1-8AC82CDC474A.jpeg

BF9C16F9-C666-40AF-8479-DBA5C2F60AB4.jpeg

Also what kind of chips give the best flavor?

Thank you all in advance.

-Ana
 

1MoreFord

Meat Mopper
239
100
Joined Jan 4, 2020
Ana, Charcoal on the bottom with water above. I'd go with small chunks rather than chips. Apple, cherry, hickory, oak, and pecan all have their advocates. I'm partial to oak and pecan for all around use.

Welcome to the forum.
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
1,102
429
Joined Apr 25, 2015
Check out some of the old posts about "ECB" or El Cheapo Brinkmann. These old classic "bullet smokers" are how I discovered this forum years ago.

That hasn't been a very active section of the forum lately, but they're basically a Weber Smokey Mountain for those who can't afford a Weber Smokey Mountain.

Or for those for whom Fate has gifted them with a similar bullet smoker, which though no longer being made, can still produce great food.

Nice work, anamar and thunderdome, on your cooker resurrection and mods. Keep us posted!!!
 

anamar76

Newbie
3
0
Joined Jul 24, 2021
Ana, Charcoal on the bottom with water above. I'd go with small chunks rather than chips. Apple, cherry, hickory, oak, and pecan all have their advocates. I'm partial to oak and pecan for all around use.

Welcome to the forum.
Thank you!!!
 

anamar76

Newbie
3
0
Joined Jul 24, 2021
Check out some of the old posts about "ECB" or El Cheapo Brinkmann. These old classic "bullet smokers" are how I discovered this forum years ago.

That hasn't been a very active section of the forum lately, but they're basically a Weber Smokey Mountain for those who can't afford a Weber Smokey Mountain.

Or for those for whom Fate has gifted them with a similar bullet smoker, which though no longer being made, can still produce great food.

Nice work, anamar and thunderdome, on your cooker resurrection and mods. Keep us posted!!!
Thank you!
 

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