Master Forge 2 door smoker resolves

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by geos, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. geos

    geos Newbie

    OK,  long post but bear with me.

    I have the above unit and it worked ok in warm weather when new, blanketed it was ok in cold weather if you kept an eye on it, played with the flame and protected it from wind. This ain't no high end smoker. Anyway... I go to use it 2 weeks ago and have a large yellow flame,  the shut off valve won't shut off,  there was also flame coming out of the venturi area. To check every thing out you have to remove the front legs, and dismantle the burner unit, completly.

    This is what I found. The valve was shot, there was a small leak in the swivel fitting that goes into the valve body, and spider webs in the venturi tube close to the burner. You can only really check the tube if you remove the burner from the tube, there are two small screws that mount the burner to the tube flange. This was causing a reduction in air and causing a back pressure that caused flame to come out of the venturi end of the tube which could cause the regulater hose to melt.

    The valve itself looks like a Sunbeam grill valve (left) ? I think) from pictures I saw on a online grill replacement parts page. The valve was listed for $18. Instead, I found a ball valve with 3/8" hose barbs at Lowes for $6, cut the regulator hose and installed inline, so it is now the shut off valve, and the old valve was reinstalled and only controls the flame height, the other end of the regulator hose which swiveled on the old valve body and leaked, was cut off and reinstalled on the 90 degree 1/8 pipe fitting barb, after the old brass crimp  was removed.

    Now after leak checks and putting everything back together, the unit is working good. While I was at it, I cut 1/2" off the back of the water pan to let more heat by, put 2 bricks in the water pan with a cheapie 10" cake pan on top to catch drippings. The chip pan is warped but if you notch out the corners it could  probably be straightened, I didn't bother, and I also don't use the pan cover.

    So... it was a PITA, but it's working, for now,  probably should remove the venturi tube and burner assembly once a year at least, to check that alls clear, and don't put in 2 racks of ribs before checking that everything still works, [​IMG].  Lucky for me I was able to adapt the propane grill to serve as an acceptable substitute.  Cheers,            P.S. the ribs were great.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice mod......  Good job making a mediocre smoker into a very usable smoker....     [​IMG]...

  3. GeoS,

    Thanks for sharing! Have you noticed an increase in heat output?

    I have the Master Forge 2 door smoker as well. I've been smoking with it for 3 years now. I've been super happy with it until my last two cooks when i couldnt get it up to 225 or above. I should say that both of these cooks were large batches with 30-40lbs of meat. I never struggled to get upto temp in the past but im not sure i've done cooks this large. I am wondering if this is a matter of heat output limitation of the smoker or if something is wrong.

    Here are my thought /observations:

    1) I have noticed that the tips (last third) of the flames at the burner are pretty orange instead of a nice hot blue. Not sure if this could be a sign a burner issue resulting in less heat from inefficient burn?
    2) i am considering insulating the sides and top of smoker. Thinking it'll keep the heat in and on the meat where i need it.
    3)ive noticed with the master forge that i have to keep the vents on either side of the chip tray wide open or i make charcoal of my wood instead of getting a full burn to ash. This suggests to me that the design may have some airflow limitations in the firebox area in general.

    Any thoughts are appreciated!

  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bill, morning....  some critters may have crawled into the venturi of the burner....  spiders as an example.....   blow or wash out the burner and you should have a nice flame again...

    Noticing charcoal is a good sign of lack of air flow...   Is there adequate venting at the top of the smoker for good air flow ??  Drill a few small holes, 1/2" or so using a step drill, to improve that situation....  I recommend the holes be drill high on the sides of the smoker to keep rain etc. from getting in.... 

  5. Thanks Dave! My smoker is still out from my latest ccok for my sons birthday yesterday so I'll clean the burner and tube for sure. Will look into the additional venting at the top as well. Maybe i can add some holes to the side of the 'stack' or do you think theyd be better in the body of the smoker itself?

    I also saw some mods on the forums to the water pan... Holes and trimming back the lips that should help with flow from the firebox to the body of the smoker.

  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    OH !!  I didn't know your smoker had a stack.... My error....  I'm not familiar with all the smokers, especially if they have been modified...   but, making charcoal is a definite sign of lack of oxygen....   does the stack have a damper ??  are you closing it ??  Are you using a water pan with water in it ??   The steam can smother the oxygen....    Start a new thread with pics of your smoker and a complete description of what you are doing and a complete description of things you are experiencing....   Others may have the same situation and could learn from it....  

    That will keep this thread from being HIGH JACKED !!!!
  7. geos

    geos Newbie

    Hi Bill, After disassembly and cleaning the venturi tube, my flame was much better, but the tips were still yellowish. On that tube you can't adjust for more air, the venturi area is just screened in. Check that the screen is really clean, just a thought, but taking out some or all the screen might allow a little more airflow. Modifying the water pan by cutting back the front and back "lips" should allow more heat to come up and around it, but if you were getting more then enough heat before, then the problem is probably the quality of your flame, or the tank may be on "safety" cutting the full flow to the unit. Open the tank valve very slow, then crack the unit's valve and light.

    If it's very windy try blocking it with plywood or something or move the unit out of the wind. You shouldn't need to insulate it with summer temps, but blanketing does help when colder. I usually leave a bottom vent, the down wind side,about half or a little less open, and the stack either wide open or about 3/4. closing it by half may raise the temp. some. Could be it was just the sheer volume of cold meat that held it back. Back to the burner, I couldn't see the spider webs until I removed the tube from the round burner, just blowing through it did nothing.    Good Luck.
  8. Thanks GeoS and congrats on pulling your MF 'out of the fire' so to speak.


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