Propane Smokers item created by bmudd14474, Jul 5, 2010
Pros - Little smoke escapes
Cons - Will not get hot enough
Our MasterForge smoker has been a problem child for the whole year and half we have had it. It will not get above 160 in cooler months. We can use it fine six months out of the year but no Thanksgiving/ Christmas meats!!! Don't know what to do to remedy. Any thoughts?
Pros - The gauge metal used for the entire unit, including the grills far surpasses the brinkman. Wingnuts! No wrench needed.
Cons - It's new... haven't found any yet...
The last Brinkman I got blew up. Yea, you read that right. It blew the top off the grill when it went, too. It went boom! That's about as simple as I can put it. It was less than two years old, too. The inner coil did something to cause the outer portion of the heating element to rupture about 1 inch length of the tube! The split was football shaped. No one around... no one hurt. I use it as a smoker, but I also use it as a grill a lot, too. Stuff drips on the coil... is yours going to do that? What can I do to prevent it?
Pros - Easy to use - cooks great
Cons - Adding water can be a challenge
We just finished Memorial Day weekend - our first with a smoker. We used the MF all weekend. Ribs and Friday and Saturday, Pork on Sunday (for use on Monday), and then more Ribs. This was our first experience using a smoker. Read lots of recipes, talked to friends who use smokers to get a handle on how to get started. All of the ribs turned out great, we had nothing left from our party on Saturday. The pork was equally successful. We have just a little left from two roasts, not enough to fill a small zip lock bag.
I will have to say I am very pleased with the performance of the smoker. I know we still have a lot to learn, but the people on the forum here are great and very helpful. I am looking forward to using the smoker quite bit more.
Our assembly was very straight forward. No problems. We bought the MF based on the price/quality ration. We did not want to invest a lot up front until we became more comfortable with smoking. If we continue, we will probably move to a more expensive smoker, but for a beginner so far this has been a great experience.
Pros - nice drip/water pan
Cons - poorly designed , cheaply built, flimsy, temp gauge does not work
After reading several reviews, mostly good I decided to purchase this smoker. I picked it up at my local Lowes store and brought it home and started to assemble it. Instructions were for the most part, easy to follow. I began assembling the unit and noticed how flimsy the unit was. The strip of steel on the front sererating the upper and lower chamber bent when i tried to pick up the unit. The upper door assembled with no problems. The bottom door however was another story. when i attempted to attach the c-clip to the handle, i noticed that the hole that was drilled in the flange welded to the door frame was drilled to close to the bottom of the door, so everytime i rotated the handle to close and latch the door, the c-clip would walk itself out of the groove in the handle. Also this was after i purchased the fiber rope kit reccomended by reviewers to seal the door. Figuring this was a small problem i continued assembling the unit. Once finished i seasoned the smoker and was ready to try my first smoke. as the smoke started to billow out the top i noticed the temperature gauge did not rise. I was lucky in that i had a meat thermometer to place inside to see the actual temperature. And although the fiber rope did help- still too much smoke was leaking around the door. I happened to open the door to check and baste the ribs and noticed the water pan was empty, so i filled it up, only after about 3 hours at 230 degrees. the ribs did turn out good in the end. I called the customer service number provided in the owners manual and they sent me out a new bottom door and temperature gauge. I went to assemble the door handle and encountered the same problem as I originally didwith the hole being drilled too close to the door, and once again the temperature gauge did not work. I ran it under hot water next to my meat thermometer and it never got above 100 degrees. Today i called customer service again, and they are sending me again a new bottom door and temperature gauge. I also called the manufacturer GHP Group out of Morton Grove Illinois and spoke to a Gentleman and informed him of the problems i am having. He said they meet quarterly to discuss issues such as these and it would be addressed. I also own a Smoke Hollow smoker and paid the same price for it as this unit and it is by far the better unit, and bigger too. One more thing, nowhere on the box or any review description i have read gives you it's dimensions.. It is 36" tall x 16 " wide and 14" deep.
Pros - Easy to use..dual fuel LP and coal
Cons - Thermometer is not good
Great unit, easy to put together, thermometer is not working....
Ribs turned out great, and pork shoulder is working out so far....looks great.
Pros - Easy assembly. They have added a side shelf which provides added convenience.
Cons - Thermometer way off. Significant leakage around the door.
I fired up my new Master Forge this last weekend with 2 Boston Butts and a chicken over hickory chips. Having already tested the thermometer that was ~100 degrees off, placed an oven thermometer inside. Came up to temp in 45 minutes. Within the first 4 hours had repeated flame ups. Opened the lower dampers and took the cover off the wood tray and that seemed to resolve. Being a newbee to smoking, I was concerned that the butts were only at 170 after 12 hours by holding a constant 225. The results though were excellent and I know have neighbors lined up asking when I will be smoking again.
Pros - easy to setup and use
Cons - getting it hot
bought this smoker on a saturday and used it on sunday, like many other reviews ive read i couldnt get it over 200 degrees
waiting for next weekend to come so i can play around with it and try again
i wanted to cook something easy and forgiving so i picked a tritip and it came out good just took a little long to cook, ive read that it should take about 3-4hrs, it took mine about 5 1/2hrs
Pros - good price,
Cons - chrome part of handles rust immediately, racks rust immediately, doors do not seal good, but can be fixed at additional cost, no cover available
I purchased 3 of the smokers from my local Lowes store. One for my use and the other two for my kids. Everyone like the smokers with the exception of the handles and the grills rusted after the first use. The doors leak and do not seal good. This is can be fixed by buying wood stove seal strips from a fire place store. Overall they are good for the price. I wish that they offered a protective cover for the smokers, but they do not. Please do not call their customer service for any suggestions on a cover or complain about the rusting of the handle supports or the grills. The person I talked to simple told me "what do I expect for the price and if I wanted a cover I could possible find someone that could make one for me". Not the greatest of customer service. I plan to purchase two more smokers for two of my employees, but will probably look at some other choices before I make the purchase. You should really look around before you make a final choice.
Pros - very nice quality of smoker
Cons - water pan blocks heat
I have just used my smoker for the first time. After chasing the heat all day and reading a few reviews, I have come to the conclusion that the water pan is blocking the heat from rising to the second chamber. The water pan boils out to quickly and it is keeping the temperature from reaching the desired range. Once I removed the water pan the temperature hit exactly where I was trying to be. If you just slide in an aluminum pan on one of the lower racks, with possibly a little liquid in it, the drippings from the meat will keep enough moisture in the smoke chamber not to dry out the meat. It seams to have helped in this situation. I am in Florida and it's about 69 degrees today, with a calm wind. I am smoking a shoulder and ribs. Now that the heat is balancing out, we should be looking good in a couple more hours.
P.S. I have been using charcoal and not gas.
Thanks for reading.
Pros - size easy to use price
Cons - Can't find an all weather cover
Purchased the propane smoker on the Lowes website. Shipped from North Carolina to Pittsburgh. The lady at the call center took $20.00 bucks off. And it was the old model. This year they jacked the price up ($10)and added a side shelf. The one that I purchased is propane or charcoal. Easy to put together. As I have read I took the thermometer out and placed it in the oven at 250 degrees, also had my probe thermometer in there. The one from the smoker is 7 degrees low. Not bad in my book. Seasoned it yesterday 1/28/2012. Got to play with the dampers to see how it runs. Also added the 3/8" rope gasket to the upper door. You can get that at Lowes also, around $8.00. this is my second smoker. The first was a
Brinkmann El Cheap O. that one let me learn somethings and held up for almost 3 years. Hopefully I can get many more years out of this one. If anyone knows where I can get an all weather cover for it PLEASE let me know. I only ran it once. So time will tell if it holds up.