Initial Setup and Using the Masterbuilt Vertical Propane Smoker

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by tt ace, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Hey Mpzee-

    I have a GOSM prop smoker and I'm sure the dial on the MB is just as crappy (read, lots of wiggle when moving left or right). At first I just pulled it off when I smoked, but then replaced it with a generic knob with a set-screw.

    What will really help is adding a needle valve in your line between the tank and the smoker. It allows a much finer tuning of the flame than the control knob. I normally open the needle valve all the way (look at the flame and you will find the spot right where it begins to adjust the flame), then adjust my control on the GOSM to around the temp I want, say 225. After, I find the sweet spot, I will only use the needle valve to adjust the flame and I can keep that at no more than +/- 5 degrees of where I want.

    Keep in mind, vertical props are a pain on windy days and can vary the temp by 20-30 degrees with each gust. I normally keep my vent almost closed, and I have bricks that can block the wind as needed on the bottom.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  2. john kelly

    john kelly Fire Starter

    what are the best gaskets for this smoker mine leaks like crazy even a little from around the name plate
  3. markusm

    markusm Fire Starter

    That's what my girlfriend does with Turkey for the holidays... it's great!
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  4. mpzee33

    mpzee33 Newbie

    Thanks for all that answered my newbie questions...

    Lessons learned.

    Spare ribs are definitely forgiving using the 3-2-1 method. temps as low as 201, high as 260...

    Wind was a factor in the temp swing.

    Utilized the Maverick ET-733 Thermometer, works great.

    Placed cast iron pan on top of wood chip pan and chunks (I believe) still caught on fire, next time wrapping in foil.

    vent was wide open, next time going to see what happens when half closed.

    Would like to purchase a needle valve, to help with temperature swing/ also don't like the knob on the much play.

    Family and friends raved about the taste/smoke and the rub.
    Told them it was an old family recipe what was once known as (Jeff's Rub) known as Mike's secret rub. don't let Jeff know.

    Next attempt...Pork Butt

  5. pdqgp

    pdqgp Newbie

    Newbie here with a GM 30" Smoker.   Loved finding this forum and thread!

    Seasoned it yesterday and am getting ready to smoke some pork this weekend.   Later today I'll be buying an 8" round grate to mount above the burner for my cast iron smoke boxes one of which is shown below.   I know many have talked about using chunks but I have two bags of chips and yesterday when I seasoned it, one box full of chips smoked for over an hour.  I have two and was thinking I can rotate them lengthwise sliding one in on the left for the first hour and put the second in on the right for hour 2.  It didn't flame up and it holds heat very nicely and I'm sure helped keep the temps regulated. 

    Even with a brisk breeze I was in the 225-250 range with ease figuring out where it would set.  Temps were checked with a Maverick ET-732

    Here are a couple quick pics.

    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  6. IMHO- the issue with chips with these types of smokers is at the 225-250 range, chips will do fine (although not smoke as long as chunks I have found). My issue has been above 250, like when smoking chicken, the higher temp tends to ingite the chips, which leads to flare up, boiling water pan, temp spike etc. The chunks seem to do better above 250. Normally I will do 2-3 chunks, along with a few chips to get the smoke going. BTW, my local Cabela's had peach chunks. I can NEVER find that in Chicago. Whoot!

    I will be putting a plate between the chip box and flame to act as a diverter. It may prevent those flare ups at higher heat.
  7. pdqgp

    pdqgp Newbie

    First Smoke is underway.

    3lbs of Boneless Sirloin Pork Roast that the wife had bought. Thawd, brined overnight and seasoned nicely. Smells great as it has trails of thin blue smoke (TBS) from the Apple Chunks I'm using.

    The thermometer is working great too. Inside temps are staying in the 220-230* range and the meat is now up to 120+* and progressing nicely. I did also order a roll of 1/2" x 1/8" heat proof felt seal to apply around the two doors. I've read that while it's not necessary, it will help especially during the colder temps in the fall and winter and hold in more smoke and heat. We'll see how I like it and how it performs. Reviews of it are all good.

    Here's where she's set up on our deck.    I did find a nice cover for the smoker, so I moved it to the deck where it has a great home viewable from both our kitchen and the back of our family room while in use.

    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  8. Where's the meat?! :)

    Ok, we'll wait for the money shot!
  9. pdqgp

    pdqgp Newbie

    Was very tender and juicy and both my son and I loved it.  However, we have man-cards.   The wife and daughter didn't like it.    I think with my wife it was that she was thinking pulled pork and didn't realize that's not the kind of meat she bought and took out to thaw.   Normally she makes this in a crock pot.

    I had mine on a soft bun with slaw and BBQ sauce and it was yummy!  Side dishes of baked bean that were also made in the smoker next to some corn on the cobb.  Delish!

  10. pdqgp

    pdqgp Newbie

    Got my cover today!  Very nice, lined, weatherproof and has a great quality zipper making on and off installation a breeze.

    Landmann USA 31976 Vertical Smoker Cover, 19-Inch by 19-Inch by 40-Inch

    Link Here   $25

    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  11. pdqgp

    pdqgp Newbie

    Installed a nice Heat Proof gasket around the doors today.

    Here's a link to the thread showing pics and details.
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  12. tt ace

    tt ace Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I would put a mat of some kind between the smoker and the floor.  If nothing else to keep from getting stuff from the meat on the floor.  I would be very careful about putting the smoker on a wood floor.  There is not much heat being generated on the legs, but you don't want to have it fall over when it is being used.  However, I see many people using BBQ grills on wood decks.
  13. pdqgp

    pdqgp Newbie

    I will be getting a mat for in front and perhaps under it just so I don't drop any greasy good on the deck making for a messy clean up.  Although dogs do good for that  :)

    Smoker / grill wise, I'm not a bit worried.  It's rock solid.  You'd have to push it over to cause it to fall.  Push hard too.    It's out of the way along the rail and our deck is pretty big at 20 x 26.
  14. asystole

    asystole Newbie

    I just got my Masterbuilt not too long ago.  I am new to smoking and all that junk.  First thing I noticed was the wood chips fell through the flame pan and I went in search of how to fix it.  I came across this post and tried it.  I guess I need to tweak it a little or attempt it again because I went to check my chips after a few minutes and they were on fire.  The flames were still getting through!

  15. billb

    billb Newbie

    Did my initial seasoning today, and i found that I need lots of practice at controlling temps !! Also I tried a cast aluminum wok to hold the chunks but found that it's shape allowed too much heat to bypass the Wok so i didn't get much smoke until internal temps rose above 300 deg. I have been unable to find cast iron pans here in the Philippines so I will have to modify the stock chip pan. Other than that everything worked as planned, even with a Philippine regulator..
  16. Billb,
    Try using a 10 or 12 in aluminum pie pan, it worked for me until I modified the chip pan that came with it. The temp thing is something im still working on too. Once you figure it out the smoker holds temp great. Right now without a needle valve, my next mod, im able to hold temp around 225 internal.
    lieutenant dan.
  17. bearbrew

    bearbrew Newbie


      You could always make a chip pan out of steel plate if you know a welder.
  18. pdqgp

    pdqgp Newbie

    Started Sprinkling Yesterday, but I wasn't going to let that slow me down.   I was surprised however, how quickly a little water on the smoker dropped the tempeture.

    As a side note and follow up, the new Heat Proof Felt Seals worked GREAT!     Temps were steady and ALL the smoke that did roll out came from the back of the unit.     Very happy indeed.

    (See above for more pics)

    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  19. pdqgp

    pdqgp Newbie

    Finally snapped a cell pic of my Montana Grill Tank Cover.   Very nice quality material, great fit and all for $9.99 after an online coupon for $10 off  :)          Logged back in and bought a second one for my Weber Gas Grill too.   Really cleans up the look.

  20. dscherry

    dscherry Newbie

    Good advice. Thanks.  I found a slightly easier mod to the chip pan vent problem.  Not better, just different.  I picked up 3 steel electrical box covers from HD or Lowes ($.60 each - they measure 4"x4") and they lay perfectly  flat across the vents, under the raised bars.  At first, I was going to screw them to the bottom, but found I didn't need to.  They set against each other, and don't move around.  Lets you use the original chip pan (no frying pan, and no need to make foil blanks each time you bbq).  

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