Lowes Dual-door Master Forge Smoker to natural gas

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by baddaybeav, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    check your venturi tube and orifice. a small critter nay have built a nest in there. also make sure your burner is clean.
  2. sgilbert2

    sgilbert2 Newbie

    I am having the same problem with my Master Forge - interested in the answer.  Do you open the bottom vents?  I closed them hoping more heat would stay in the box.
  3. harleysmoker

    harleysmoker Smoking Fanatic

    That flame is way too low if it is on High. My flame is at least 2 inches on full blast. I also installed a needle valve regulator on mine to fine tune it.

    Check for blockages like mentioned above. When you turn on the propane tank, turn it on real slow, and off also,  so the safety valve on it doesn't set. If that don't help you could try a different tank to make sure that one is not bad.
  4. FYI - I  purchased a Lowes Master Forge smoker in mid February.  I finally got around to switching over to natural gas and noticed that they no longer use a threaded fitting to go from the valve assembly to the hose.   The hose is now crimped onto the valve assembly.  What I ended up doing was cutting the hose and adapting it with a 5/16" hose barb x 3/8" NPT and coupling that to a 3/8"NPT x 3/8" flare fitting.  Less parts, less money, but the downside is that if the factory hose ever rots or gets destroyed, the entire valve assembly will need to be replaced.
  5. I am having the same problem - at the full high setting the smoker will get to about 225 degrees and no higher.  Could the problem be that the orifice needs to be enlarged more than 1/16"? 
  6. cdldriver

    cdldriver Meat Mopper

  7. I've been checking some of the posts related to the Master Forge propane smoker.  Several people have posted that they can't get the temperature above 225 degrees.  It appears that there are 2 potential issues - one has to do with the regulator (which we don't have if we've converted to natural gas) and the other has to do with the water pan.  The water pan covers the entire box from front to back and there is only a small amount of clearance on the sides to allow the heat to rise.  Several people have cut 1/2" off of the front and back lips to allow more heat to rise into the cooking chamber.  A few have drilled holes in the lips to achieve the same result.  It appears to help. 

    As a test, I went and removed the wood box and the water pan and fired up the smoker on the highest setting.  The thermometer reached 375 in about 10 minutes.  I turned it off, put the wood box and the water pan back in, added hot water to the water pan and fired the smoker back up.  After 45 minutes, it got to 225 and stayed there. 

    The burner is obviously putting out enough heat as it gets to 375 pretty quickly without anything in the way.  My next step will be to drill holes in the front and back lips of the water pan to allow more heat to rise to the upper chamber.  I'll let you know how it works.   
  8. I went and got a step drill bit and drilled about 10 holes on the front and back lip of the water pan.  I fired up the smoker without the woodbox or water pan and it got to about 400 degrees in just over 10 minutes.  I put the woodbox and newly modified water pan in, added hot water to the water pan and waited.  Success - after about 35 minutes both of the oven thermometers that I bought and the door thermometer were reading 300 degrees.  Smoked 4 racks of baby back ribs at 240 degrees and even had to turn down the heat about an hour in to the smoke.  I just have a little finishing work to get rid of the burrs around some of the holes and I'm good to go. 
  9. arh757

    arh757 Newbie

    The built in door thermometer is complete garbage and I have been using a digital probe but it sure would be convenient to have an accurate thermometer in the door.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Pictures?
  10. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I do not have one of these smokers. I am looking at building something similar for my dad. I need to learn how to weld and he needs to make proper ribs. Something about baking them and marking them on the grill does not scream BBQ Ribs to me.

    Ok to why I posted.
    Modifying these for commercial indoor use is not safe. The biggest is fire suppression system not being effective for the amount of grease. But if you really want to try it get with the Fire Marshal and see what they have to say. We have a small electric smoker we use for doing our in house Chef Table smoking. Yes our Fire Marshel has questioned it even thoe it is under the hood system.

    We also use 6' gas grills in our location for outdoor cooking. They have 10 burner tubes and will put out some good heat. Every now and then when we light them they have a very low flame with only one tube lit. So we check to make sure no dirt or little critters have made their way into the nozzles before reconecting to the propane tanks. But One of the crazy glitches they have is sometimes you have to wiggle the regulators as you are connecting them to the tanks. Don't know why the wiggle works, but it does.

    I was wondering about the air flow for my build. Thank you for the info Shade. I have seen some use sand in their water pans. Does this really help with the temp recovery?
  11. Under high pressure gas situations, the yellow tape is a must.  However, the pressure has already been reduced significantly at your meter, and the gas running through the line is at ambient temperature...not cold like coming out of a propane tank can be.  As long as you use tape appropriately, the white tape will work...the yellow tape is thicker and you don't need as many wraps as the white.  For this use, either will work fine.

    Glad to see so many enjoying this easy mod!
  12. armand

    armand Newbie

    Great posts! Very helpful. Jim from Texas (I'm in Texas too! [​IMG]) can you give a little more detail about the wheels you used. Sounds like a great idea.

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  13. armand

    armand Newbie

    Is using a 1/16" drill bit to enlarge the hole in the orifice okay in most cases? Is it necessary to contact our local gas company to find out water table information?
  14. If you are connected to a typical municipal system, your 1/16" bit should be perfect...
  15. armand

    armand Newbie

    Thanks for the info dspracing. I was getting all geared up to go out and buy one of these smokers and convert it to NG. It seems strange that they would all of a sudden change how the hose connects to the valve assembly, but I'm sure stranger things have happened. If they no longer use a threaded fitting, what do they use? You mentioned that the hose is now crimped onto the valve assembly, what is coming out of the valve assembly that they crimp on to? You wouldn't happen to have any pictures, by chance?  Thanks to all for all this great info...very helpful!
  16. armand

    armand Newbie

    Thanks, tclark. Very helpful.
  17. I just picked up one of these units yesterday and started making they typical recommended mods.

    The regulator on my unit was also crimped so will be sourcing a 5/16" hose barb x 3/8" NPT as indicated above.

    Can anyone confirm the Watts part number for it?

    Thanks to all
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  18. I ended up using a 3/8" barb to 3/8", it fit tighter than the 5/16".

    Then to a ball valve to the hose.

    Watts A-298 3/8-in Barb Fitting 

  19. Wow great post! I will be converting my Smoke Hollow 44" lo smoker to natural gas now. Will post some pics once complete!
  20. I got the Smoke Hollow converted to Natural Gas. Took about an hour and was really easy. Drilled t he orifice out to a #54 bit and have 6.5 water column and 2 12000 btu burners. Holds temp within 5 to 10 degrees in cold weather. Here's a pic of the turkey I just smoked today!! Love the natural gas

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