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.

Your most annoying problem with your smoker or grill

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by fourthwind, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am compiling a list of issue's that particular smokers or grills have.  Let me know what you have and what you find annoying.  I am looking at getting into some manufaturing and would like to avoid any of the things we all seem to bitch about.  Also if there is a feature that you haven't seen in any of them that you would like to see, write that down too. 

    Thanks for your help!
  2. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I have an MES 30, an older model.  From the various reports here, it seems to do a better job at producing longer smokes at the higher end of the temperature.  It has a full size chip box and loader versus the current half size.  It does not do as good a job at warm smoking (e.g. 140F).

    My biggest gripe with my MES is the failure of the wires connecting to the heating element and the messy job it is to get access to them for repair.  Masterbuilt has modified their machines in current models to have an access panel to those connections -- very good move on their part.

    I definitely like the ease of operation of the electric models versus propane, wood and charcoal models.  I used to have a R2D2 shaped Cajun Smoker that used charcoal and a soaked wood for smoking.  It would often burn too hot and/or produce too much smoke.  Very hard to control for "low and slow smoking".  I have no experience with smokers with an offset fire box, so cannot speak to them.   I have had friends tell me that they can do a decent job of maintaining an even temperature with a propane smoker system -- I wonder though.  The electric contols can be set and not touched for hours without concern.

    I now have an A-Maze-N smoker and have used it for cold smoking of cheese -- I cannot think of any better way to do that.  I only wish that the AMNS fit better in my MES30.

    I wonder if a small (e.g. computer size) fan would help in a smoker?  Some of the guys who have done self-made mods could speak to that.  Those who use something like the Smoke Daddy have a fan to force air through it.

    Clean up is messy -- but I don't have any good ideas about how the manufacture could improve that.  I usually spray surfaces such as the grates and water pan with PAM or similar.  That helps cleanup, but it is still a chore.

    Good luck to you in your endeavors.
  3. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Cleaning my UDS.  Then not enough smoke from the GOSM @ lower temps.  That would also be adding chips to it every 2 hrs.
  4. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    One thing I think that applies to just about all smokers (aside from maybe the MES which I'm not familiar) is the lack of an accurate chamber thermo.  I'd be willing to pay extra for a smoker if I knew it had an accurate thermo! 
  5. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We have a cure for this..  For our stuff, and to retro existing..  Still in finishing design and patent stages, but I would expect that by January we will be releasing details, so hold tight on this one!
  6. garyt

    garyt Smoking Fanatic

    Decent thickness of metal, Not having to bring it home and do modifications to make it work properly and accurate thermometers already installed. Depending what type it is a grate for the charcoal that will last or a basket in the first place to hold the charcoal. Would you buy a car and get it home and the first day start reading reviews and making modifications to get it to run correctly. There is a huge opportunity for someone to make a mid priced BBQ pit that is worth the money
  7. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Along the same lines as the last post.

    I would have to say that a meat probe that was wireless to the base unit would be great. Not like the maveric but rather a probe that could go in a piece of meat that is on a rotissiarry rack while in motion.

    A good easy and reasonable priced high temp fan, like what is used in the souther prides for convection.

    I would love to have a way to open and close a baffle of some sort on a UDS. My only gripe on a UDS is the flare in temp when the lid comes off. I'm thinking something like an actic fan louver of sorts.

    Another thing that may be a patent issue would be the famous smoke in the eyes deal. Some rigs are worse then others but I hate it when the door or doors open and here comes the smoke. Some of the restraunt rigs that are indoors have a evac switch that takes the smoke out the stack instead of in your face.
  8. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Tried to enter this yesterday, but right as I was going to click submit, my ISP went down!

    By far the  biggest problem with my MES 30 is, it is  too small  !

    When I find the right deal on an MES 40, I'll be fixing that problem.

  9. Dutch

    Dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Great idea Fourthwind, a product survey before you build. Beats having to do a prototype and then using it or having someone else use it and finding out that you should have done certain things differently.

    What I could use on all of my smokers is a "Neighbor's Kid Repellent Dispenser". As long as I'm outside with the smokers, things are fine. . .as soon as I go in the house for something, over they come and lift the lid to see what cooking. No use locking the gate to the backyard cuz they'll just climb over it. (Let's see. . . where did I see that ad for military surplus razor wire. . . [​IMG])
  10. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

     I would luv to have a hydralic jack to raise the main portion of the wsm/vertical smoker straight up, so that you could add charcoal/lump/wood chips without disturbing the water pan or meat for long smokes. Normally, when I am smokin' butts or briskies the wsm is full, so I can not lift the top part off and have to add thru the door, which a chunk usually falls in front of a vent. My 3 cents worth.
  11. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think all smokers would benefit from having several pre-installed grommets for running therm probes through. Maybe ones that could be capped off with a threaded cap when not in use?
  12. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the replies guys..    As a an addicted smoker myself, I have had my share of frustrations with the equipment that is available,  Especially here in Colorado.  We will be offering some unique stuff when we get all the prototype's and paperwork done..  It's an amazing feat in itself!

    Keep the replies coming!
  13. tjohnson

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

    "Good Luck" with the patent process.....Been There Done That!

    You can save a few $$$$ and do some research yourself.  If you haven't searched for similar patents, go to http://www.google.com/patents and do some snooping around.  My attorney charged $250/hr for research, and I was able to save a ton of money by providing him with lots of info upfront.

    I "Ditto" the accurate thermometer thing.  I'd much rather pay a little extra for good controls, than have to live with junk and have to replace them.

  14. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I would be happy if my SmokinTex could hold the temp for the whole smoke. It is all opver the place and I am about to see if there is a way to replace the heating element