Master Forge vs GOSM vs Master Built Wide

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by riotburn, May 9, 2011.

  1. riotburn

    riotburn Newbie

    So I have been searching and searching to find the best propane smoker for under $200.  I was set to buy the Master Forge from Lowes when I saw that its only 12x12? or so which kinda sucks because then I couldn't do whole briskets.  Now I'm stuck between getting that, the GOSM or this Master Built Wide (  I understand they all leak but other than that how do they compare on maintaining heat and overall capacity?
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Well, since I have 2 of the 3 units you're looking at, perhaps I can address some of your questions.  Leakage?  Yes, some but not detrimental to the mission.  If it's smoke leakage, you want a thin blue trace gracing the meat anyway.  If you've got lots of smoke escaping, you're generating too much smoke anyway.  Heat leakage, they're propane, turn it up a tad and you'll be ok.  You don't say where you're from so I have no way of knowing if you'll be trying to smoke in zero temps during the winter or sweltering in the deep south heat.

    Yes, the Master Forge is half the size, in width of the GOSM Big Block (BB).  You want to smoke big things like briskets and the like, you got no choice but to go BB.  But, then it may not be big enough either.  I've had to cut full rib racks in half to fit properly in the BB.  The Master Forge is my traveling rig.  It cranks out the food very nicely.  Has the advantage of 2 doors, so when you're adding chips in the lower section, you're not dumping heat out the top which is a problem with the single door GOSM. 
    Second:  The Master Forge is a great starter smoker if you're new to this game.  You may get down the road and discover that you'd rather go down the WSM trail (don't ask, I'm on that trail right now, kinda sorta and don't ask about that either, it's too long a story for your needs right now), you might just want to get the toes wet before jumping in with both feet.

    I'm kinda the type of guy that if I can't slam the doors, kick the tires and look underneath the car, I'm not buying it.  Master Forges are readily available, the last time I looked, through Lowes.  You can get a good look at one and see if it's going to fit your needs.  Sometimes when you order via the internet, it may not be what you invisioned it to be.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the BB GOSM as well, but it's too big for my summer vacation type trips. 

    Now if you got the bucks for a BB GOSM, you've got enough to look at a WSM 18 incher.  Now there's a smoking machine, not propane.  Lots of good deals out there for the 18 incher and we've got a lot of "experts" (don't ask how I know this) on this site more than willing to discuss the pros and cons of that system.

    Good Luck in your searchs. 

  4. butch cassidy

    butch cassidy Fire Starter

    I just bought the GOSM BB, What a smoker !!!  cast iron wood box, large ceramic coated iron water pan, you can go to Landmann's web, I paid $299.95 to my front door, they paid shipping. This was 1 month ago. can lay a whole Brisket or a full side of ribs flat on the racks. I researched for 2 months and I am happy with this smoker. 
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I can only speak for the GOSM Big Block, but can not compare, with that said it seems to be above your budget, they were $199.00 shipped from Bass Pro a year or so ago but are now $299.00 is the cheapest I have seen

    However here's some information



    • No smoke leakage on mine but then again my smoke is almost always TBS

    • Easy Cleanup

    • Smoker box is a serious piece of cast iron

    • Pull out drip tray at the very bottom with grease deflectors on the sides back and door.

    • Large Water pan

    • Almost immediate heat recovery.

    • No need to cut ribs to fit.

    • Weathers nicely, mine sits out all year long with a piece of vinyl on top

    • Huge Capacity

    • Stable temps

    • can dial in temps slightly below 200°

    • Relatively small foot print

    Premium features include: 3605BGD (Big Block)
    • Easy Access Door
    • Cool grip wire handles
    • 4 cooking grates
    • Push Button ignition
    • Porcelain coated steel water pan
    • Cast Iron Chip box
    • Dimension: 21" x 29" x 45.2"
    • Weight: 91.3 lbs.
    • Cooking Area: 1257 sq. inches
    • Removable drip pan
    • grease deflectors, note the one on the door
    • 3 vents
    • slide out smoker box tray

    GOSM Information (mods delete if this goes against forum policy)

  6. riotburn

    riotburn Newbie

    The GOSM looks great but I didn't realize its price and is unfortunately 86'ed.  So between the master forge and master built what seems to be the better option?  There is only a $20-30 difference.  Can anyone confirm that the master forge is only 12x12?  maybe 15x15? 

    Oh and to introduce myself, I got my first smoker, a Brinkmann bullet last summer and have made a couple of butts and a few small pieces of meat.  I don't really have the patience to tend to the fire to keep it going for a long smoke.  For the butts I always got frustrated and finished them in the oven at low temps (still came out amazing).  But I would like to be able to have the pork, briskets, ribs going for 12 - 16 hours.  I just made from scratch and smoked my first pastrami last week.  Came out really well just a lil too salty.


    It seems pointless to upgrade to a smoker that would make me have to halve briskets.  I was going with the Master Forge as it had the highest rating on this site, then saw the master built which had the second best rating.  That is if those ranks mean anything.  I mean I could care less about the double doors, I'm sure the few times i'll check/add wood won't affect it much in the grand scheme. 
  7. Try a GOSM 3405BGW got one from Wally and love it.  Assembly was easy, and price is right.  I paid $128 they are higher right now $148, or they have the smaller 3405GW for $97.  Did the ship to store for free shipping if your store does not stock it.
  8. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've got the MF gasser from Lowes. Just measured the racks....14 inches across and 13 inches deep. There's only 2 of us here in the house so works great for me. Picked it up for $135 assembled at Lowes so figured I couldn't get hurt to bad if I outgrew it. Have a 5 pound butt in it now....holding a steady 240 degrees for 4.5 hours.
  9. riotburn

    riotburn Newbie

    Yea the MF from Lowes just doesn't seem wide enough for what I have in mind.  I was all set to get the one from Walmart when I saw the master forge.  The Masterbuilt is 3.36" wider though, think theres much of a difference between that and the GOSM from Walmart? I'm gonna choose between one of those 2 now.  Though, it'll cost an extra $45 just to ship the masterbuilt from basspros...may be a deal breaker if I cant find it elsewhere.
  10. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    3 inches could be a big difference, maybe not. Me?, I just hate buying stuff on line where I can't get touchy feely with it and do the tire kick route.
  11. hammmerhead

    hammmerhead Newbie

    I was stuck on the Master forge @ $199 (which is now $179 at Bass Pro !!)  and the Big Block @ $299 myself. The Master Forge is the clear value winner here IMO. I  went on to read about all the mods that many have had to do with the chip box and what not on the Master Forge.  I really didnt like paying that much extra for the GOSM big block, but I am now glad I spent the extra money.  The GOSM is well thought out and the chip box works flawlessly. Having said that you could spend a lot on mods with the MF and still be cheaper than the Big Block from GOSM. Im pretty sure they are built in the same factory (China) and just have slightly different setups on the inside, but I could be wrong on this.

    Just noticed the big bump on shipping from Bass Pro that Chef Willie mentioned. Now its really a toss up between the two.
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  12. riotburn

    riotburn Newbie

    Whats the difference between the Great Smokey at Walmart and the one at Costco? besides the price?
  13. hoser45

    hoser45 Newbie

    I'm looking at the MF and GOSM (Costco) and Masterbuilt (from Sam Club). Can anyone recommend a good overall width and one to stay away from? Here are the ones I'm considering:

    Sam Club (is the a big block?):




    Landmann 38" two drawer


    Of these, any recommendations? Thanks.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  14. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hoser....this is an older thread from back in hope you get some answers you're looking for. I have the MF dual door from Lowes & for the price is not a bad starter unit. I wish it was wider but....oh well. Check out Squibs posts on the GOSM...very detailed info....use the search bar to find it. He's quite fond of it. I have no personal knowledge of the Masterbuilt...again, look for reviews from members using the search bar for info. I don't think you can go wrong with a MES....many members have them & are quite satisfied.
  15. hoser45

    hoser45 Newbie

    What's an EMS? Thanks for the input.
  16. hoser45

    hoser45 Newbie

    I'm WIDE open to suggestions but want to decide quickly as Thanksgiving is quickly approaching! How does SMOKE HOLLOW and SMOKE VAULT compare to GOSM and others?
  17. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

  18. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

      Hoser, go back to post # 3 and post # 5.  We've covered pretty much in depth each of the readily available propane smokers. 

    You have to decide how much you can afford.

    You have to decide how big you want the smoker to be.

    Your sam club offering is a Big Block.  But the term Big Block is relative. 

    EMS  actually is MES  Look at this link:
  19. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

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