Master Forge smoker major mods

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by smokifugotem, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. As I've previously set out in my review of this smoker, I had trouble from the beginning keeping my heat up in this unit.  No matter how warm the weather, keeping a constant temp at or around 225 was impossible (a real 225, not 225 on the unit's thermometer).  I've talked to others with the same problem.  I took some suggestions from fellow expert smokers on this forum and made some modifications.  

    First, I added fireplace gasket rope to the doors.  This helped keep the smoke and the heat in.  It still leaks some smoke, but not so much to worry about.  Here's a pic of the smoker heated up and smoking after the rope was added.

    I removed the old burner and purchased a new one from Tejas Smokers.   This is a super sturdy cast iron burner that more than tripled the BTUs of my old burner.  I know this may be overkill, but until you've stood over a smoker all day that won't get hot enough, don't judge!  The burner was the perfect size.  I also took the suggestions of others and bought one with a needle control valve.  After I removed the old burner, I found some thin metal from the top of a drum and cut it out with a cutting torch.  I then attached the burner to the metal and attached it to the smoker.

    I also had to cut a hole in the back of the smoker to accommodate the burner and the orifice. 

    I then hooked up the new gas line which I also bought from Tejas to match the burner.  It came with a regulator and a shut off valve, which I like, and which I've found is really handy.

    I fired it up and it burns beautifully!

    I can already reach temps twice as high as my old burner.  And while I likely won't need to get it that hot, it's nice to know I won't have any problems even on the coldest of days.  I'm also able to maintain a constant temp suitable for slow smoking thanks to the needle valve.    

    All in all, I spent about $100 and a couple of hours.  I feel like I have a great unit now and I didn't have to spend twice or three times that to buy a new one.  I'm a cheapo, so this is the kind of project I like: fix something you've got for less and make it better than you had!  I know it's not as pretty as a new one, but I'm proud of it.

    Now, I'm ready to throw some meat on this baby and see how she does!!
  2. lamar

    lamar Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Now that's a neat mod that does what you expected it to.

    Well done.


  3. 6/25/16 UPDATE:  As you can see from the pic above, I've drilled about 12 holes into the plate holding the new burner.  I found out that the burner wasn't getting enough O2.  It makes sense: the bottom of the smoker used to be open and the old burner was attached from the front of the smoker.  When I added the new burner, I had to create a plate for it to set on, which covered the formerly open space.  I tried to compensate by leaving the side vents open, but that was inefficient and still didn't provide enough O2 at higher temps. This seems to be the solution though!  I fired it up after I drilled the holes and it seems to heat so well, I actually had to reduce the flow of propane into the burner.  Now, the burner will be more efficient and in turn I'll get better temps with less fuel.  Win/win!  Amazing what happens when you understand (which means I didn't really understand until it didn't work and I had to search for a solution) the laws of physics.  Or is it chemistry?  I don't know which it is but basically fire needs O2.  Duh.  Live and learn man, live and learn!  

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