Master Forge Smoker temp not high enough

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by cptfantaztic, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. cptfantaztic

    cptfantaztic Newbie

    Hello. Bought a Master Forge propane smoker at Lowes. It has the double doors (1 door for the smoke box over the second door for the burner). Problem is I cant get the temp to go above 225 degrees. Smoking boston butts for the second time this morning and as did the first time the temp wont come up. Burner flame looks good and getting plenty of smoke, just that the temp guage on front of smoke door only reads 225 max. Any suggestions??
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I answered this in another thread, but the answer is get a good temp gauge. Preferably a digital. Your smoker should be able to easily get above 300.
  3. wyatt

    wyatt Newbie

    I was having the same problem.  I could get the temp to about 240 in the summer, but come winter, I couldn't get over 180 on a 40deg day.  So, to the propane supply I went, bought a high pressure regulator that had an adjustment, getting rid of the regulator that came with it (no adjustment).  I have the control on the smoker on high, and regulate temp with the regulator.  I can maintain temp now on any day...
  4. hanf28

    hanf28 Newbie

    I'm Having the same problem first got it could get it up to 300 now cant even break 200 degrees have a Master Forge Gas Smoker with the door gaskets installed (what kind of regulator did you install on your smooker)
  5. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Try opening the valve on the bottle really slow.....and then light it on low flame bringing it up to high. Sounds like the safety on the regulator is cutting the flow off...My gas grill has the same symptoms from time to time..If you open the valve to fast it cuts the gas flow 1/2 off. Let me know if this helps.

  6. Im sure you have tried this, but on mine (same model) when i have the vents on the bottom open at all, even half way, the temp never goes over 200, even at full burner, but if i close them, i can get it up to 400 very easily. Guessing that with the size of the vents they let more heat out then air in, and you dont really need them for the air anyway as the burner has large open spaces under it for air
  7. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Don't know how I missed this but I did. I have this exact same smoker, and have several thoughts and solutions on this. I have experienced these one time or another over the years using propane smokers. You may have already tried some of these.

    1. The stock thermometer is JUNK. Mine was off by over 50 degrees, and was very erratic.

    Solution, Replace it with a good thermometer Or add a digital probe placed threw a potato on a grate. I use a digital probe with remote display.

    2. Wind and cold will effect the temps of this unit BIG TIME. 

    Solution, Construct a wind break around unit. I use 4 sections of insulated duct work around mine. 

    3. Valve on LPG tank not open fully. If not opened fully it will restrict the flow of gas.

    Solution,  Open valve on LPG tank 100%

    4. Bad flame. Check flame with door closed. You can see flame threw hole on left side of burner assembly. A good flame will be; blue, have little yellow tips, and be between 1- 2 inches high.

    Solution, Clean burner assembly including burner holes I use a wire brush, and pipe cleaners. Clean venturi tube, I use a small bottle brush. Clean screens on venturi tube, I use old tooth brush

    5. Smoke stack damper not open. You need the damper open to allow flow threw smoker.

    Solution, Open smoke stack damper

    6. Heavily loaded smoker. I have noticed that when I have the smoker heavily loaded my temps run lower.

    Solution, smoke 1/2 as much and do 2 smokes, add some lit charcoal to the chip pan, use a dry water pan or 1 filled with sand.

    7. Smoker not preheated. I get better temps when I run my smoker on  high for 15- 30 min with no water pan or smoke tray. I then add the water pan fill with boiling water and smoke tray and run till I get TBS, then add my meat.

    Solution, Preheat smoker

    8. Regulator safety activated. If you open the valve on smoker, then valve on the LPG tank, the safety on regulator can activate, and restrict your flow of propane. It can also happen if you open the LPG valve too fast. Quick way to tell if activated  is watch your flame as you turn the valve on smoker. If flame hardly moves or not at all its probably activated. Will also normally be a small flame.

    Solution, Close valve on smoker and LPG tank. Remove the hose from LPG tank. Wait approximately 30 seconds, reattach hose.  Slowly open LPG tank valve to full open. Press the electronic ignition as you open valve on smoker.

    9. Side vents on smoker open too much. I find as 53rdcard does I get better temps with the vents closed.

    Solution, Close the vents

    10. Bad propane/LPG tank. Believe it or not you can get bad propane, and or LPG tank. Your BTU's will suffer due to this. I have had this happen several times when I was using BlueRino bottle exchange. Since I have switched to a local suppler, that fills my bottles, I have had no problems.

    Solution, switch tanks

    11. LPG tank low on gas. When my LPG tank gets low on gas I see a drop in temp. I can't explain why this happens it just does.

    Solution, Switch tanks

    Hope these help you out.
  8. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So after many late nights reading reviews and the pros/cons on just about every LPG Vertical smoker out there. I decided for the price i would go with the Master Forge. Reason is the lower bottom door for less heat loss, a vented cover over the chip pan, adjustable vent and ability to add a 500* braided gasket around the doors (which i bought also)

    Con that i have seen so far is the cheap door thermo which i have plenty of very nice dials to replace it with. Top rack will be able to position higher after a simple mod to hang sausage.

    Other Con is i wont be able to play with it until Christmas.   [​IMG]

  9. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Were are you and how cold was it when this happened.This is why we need to know if your in upstate NY or Florida.[​IMG]
  10. hanf28

    hanf28 Newbie

    I live in S.E. Minnesota doing some ribs as we speak I figured out part of my problem everytime I turn on the gas valve I turn it slowly so I dont get that regulator issue.  I went out to local Fleet Farm and got a out wool army blanket in the army surplus area. I have been smoking on my desk and its super windy, therefore I put the wool blanket around my smoker to help insulate the walls and create a wind block. So far the temp has maintained a proper, steady temperature.  (Feels like 12 degrees and a wind speed of 20 miles per hour here!)  I am holding my temp in the smoker at 225-240 half throttle no problem.
  11. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    That's what i guessed .Burr[​IMG]
  12. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    Where did you get the gasket for the door on the MF smoker?
  13. hanf28

    hanf28 Newbie

    At Lowes it was an empeial or imperial stove gasket 3/8 inch I think it was $7-$8 I bought 2 of them
  14. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    Yeah I had to order it from Lowes as here it's not a standard stocked item.  I'll get it in a few days and install it and I should see a big difference the next time I smoke.
  15. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    I received the gasket I ordered but I am wondering what is the best way to attach it to the smoker.  Does the cement that comes with the rope gasket work well or is there a better way?

  16. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can get the braided seal  with the glue at Lowes where the fireplace things are, screens, ash buckets. pokers, fake logs. It was like $7.49 and its 1000* rated. They have 3/8" and 5/8"

  17. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    Yes this is exactly what I purchased.  I had to order mine thru Lowes as they don't stock that item in our stores. Does the glue work really well or is there a different way to attach it to the unit?
  18. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    From what i seen, apply the glue around the frame where you want the seal. Let dry and get tacky for 10-15 mins then place the gasket material into the glue and wait 12 hrs before closing the door to the cabinet. Sounds easy huh. I will video it when i do mine.
  19. hramos375

    hramos375 Newbie

  20. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Isnt't it nice all the safety stuff the govt rams down our throat..,to protect us from ourselves. ,,,,the older valves were better and reliable in my Humble Opinion..

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