Masterbuilt 40" - Electric vs. Gasser

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by 71-south, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Hi All,

    Very nice forum you have here!

    I've been happily smoking along for a few years using my Large BGE at home. Now we've purchased a lake cabin, and since the BGE isn't very portable, I'm looking at a second smoker for the lake. I'll also use it in the off season at home when I cook for groups (thus the requirement for the 40 incher.)

    I need it to be rock solid on temps for at least 8 hours at a time because we spend most of our days out on the water. Another egg is out of the question because of budget, so I've been looking at the Masterbuilt 40" units from Sam's. I just can't decide between the propane and the electric.

    I'm not concerned about fuel cost as both are pretty economical to run. I'm not concerned about the difference in food quality as I'm confident I can rock either unit. I'm also not concerned about price because I can get either one for around $200 (I have a hookup to a once used floor model for the electric.)

    I have a couple of questions, though, and was hoping someone would chime in.

    1) I normally smoke between 225 and 250. Which unit, in your opinions, would do a better job holding that temp for 8 hours or so?

    2) Do the electrics hold up as long as the propane units (I'm not extremely handy)?

    3) How sheltered (from rain) do you have to keep an electric to keep it's components from getting damaged?

    4) Can you use either one in the garage during the winter without having to install a hood?

    Plus, any other stuff you can think of will be much appreciated.

    Thanks much, and I look forward to soaking up some knowledge and adding a new horse to the stable.

  2. smokinal

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

  3. scooper

    scooper Smoking Fanatic

    Bret, I have a Masterbuilt 30" gasser.  It's the same as the 40 except for size.  I've never had an electric, so I cannot offer a comparison.

    Al says the electric needs to be sheltered.  That's not a real option for me.  I have used the gasser in some pretty heavy storms.  One that was blowing sideways rain, and sent a bolt of lightning to blow out the transformer on the utility pole, killing our electricity for 3 or 4 hours during a smoke.  The burner never went out, and the smoke was saved. 

    In normal conditions it is pretty consistent with temps as long as you either mod the wood pan to close the holes, or swap it out for a cast iron skillet. 
  4. Thanks Al and Scott. I need to chew on this a bit more, but I think I'll probably go for the propane as this thing may get wet from time to time.

    Have a great one. I appreciate the responses.


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