Masterbuilt Gas Smoker Mods

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by pignit, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is a lost post on my Masterbuilt Gas Smoker Modifications:

    I started messin with my Masterbuilt the day I got it. First thing I did with the help of this forum is switch from Propane to NG. I picked up some castors and mounted them on the legs so I can roll this thing around without lifting it up.

    I picked up the idea for extra insulation from a post and decided to add it to the MB. My smoker is single wall metal construction. I took hardibacker board and cut it to fit each outside wall and top. If you wanted more insulating value you could take it right to the edge. I wasn't really having a problem holding heat at the time, but now that winter has set in I think it has really helped me keep my temps without having to crank it up all the way.


    I had some problems with the wood chip pan from MB allowing too much flame through the vents and catching my wood on fire. I messed with smoke boxes and tin foil but nothing kept the wood form igniting at some point in the smoke. That's when I added the smoke daddy. So far I'm pleased with it. It's a little stubborn getting started but once you get her fired up it provides lots of smoke.



    Now I'm thinking about adding some baffles to the bottom walls to help disperse the heat a little more evenly. I'm getting way too much heat along the walls and without foiling or rearranging some larger cuts of meat, I get some black edges. I don't want to have to open the smoker to rearrang so I'm going to try some baffles.

    Thanks for the thread. Lots of good ideas!
    smoken gator likes this.
  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey, Pignit. Great mods! I want to ask details about that insulating board material. Where'd you get it? What's it called? What'd it cost?
  3. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's called hardibacker board. It is used as underlayment for tile. Temps are good up to 500 degrees so it works well for a smoker. I got it at lowes but you should be able to get it at any building supply store. I think it ran about $12.00. This was some leftover I had.
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks for the info. Point for you
  5. minn.bill

    minn.bill Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Nice mods and good pics.heres some more points.
  6. Question, since you added the smoke daddy, is it the only source of heat, or are you still using propane?
    I was considering buying a smoke daddy for use with a cold smoking process, but if it is burning your meat, then it would be to hot.

    aka Rocky
  7. azrocker

    azrocker Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I have a smoke daddy and have cold smoked cheese with it. It worked great. I installed it on my gas grill and have smoked a roast with it. It works well. I am glad I got it. Porky Pa was great for customer service. I rate the product and service A+

  8. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The smoke daddy doesn't create any heat inside the smoker. It creates some heat in the unit itself but none of it is transferred to the inside of the smoker. The heat I'm referring to is created by the gas burner.
  9. Thanks for a fast response... I am still on course in that case in getting my smoke daddy. Sure would make life easier than using ducting from my smoker to a cold box. Since time is money, and cost of materials, the smoke daddy seems reasonable.
    [​IMG] to the members of this forum for all their insights and willingness to share their talents and knowledge. (CB in cure right now thanks to the members here, q-view coming after the smoke monday)

    aka Rocky
    smoken gator likes this.
  10. spyx

    spyx Newbie SMF Premier Member

    On the original post, is that smoke daddy the Big Kahuna or the Large Smoker? I'm thinking about purchasing one for my MES. Thanks
  11. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Smoke Daddy (?) Could someone enlighten me as to what it is, how does it work? Seems like its portable? Where can they be purchased? Thanks All...:>)
  12. spyx

    spyx Newbie SMF Premier Member

    Here is the site... (that I found, not sure if there are alternative places to purchase). I have not used one although thinking about making the purchase.
  13. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's the large but if I were buying again I would go ahead and get the Big Kahuna.
  14. Thanks a lot, was ready to order a smaller one, now have to think twice ;)

    aka Rocky
  15. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The reason being the chips and pellets fall better in the larger one. I have to check on the one I have and the pellets and chips don't fall down into the fire sometimes and I have to stir it up a little. I don't think the larger diameter would have that problem.
  16. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the link to the site and the recommendation as for the size to consider. This sure is a great forum!!!
  17. cruizer

    cruizer Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Way cool never seen or heard of a smoke daddy before. This place is great! [​IMG]
  18. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've done a number of posts on the Smoke Daddy from buying it, installing it... and getting it to work. I don't think the Smoke Daddy right out of the box is the end all. I've done a couple of things to mine that give me more control over the smoke it produces. Here are a couple of things I think you should know if you are considering one of these units.

    I had a hard time learning the best method to get this thing burning and stay burning. I didn't like the fact that there was no way to control the air flow other than a back pressure valve in a T at the bottom of the unit. It is a very small valve that can be opened to give the pumped air a place to escape and thus decreases the amount of air/smoke going into the smoker. I purchased a much larger air pump with a rheostat so that I could turn it up when I was lighting it up, and turn it down when I was getting too much smoke. I also put a blow valve on it so that if the smoke got too intense you could open the valve and cut down the amount of smoke going into the smoker. You can also accomplish this by taking off the lid or cracking the lid to let some of the smoke escape.

    I have found that to make this unit truly hands free for hours you really need to use the pellets. They will burn for hours without any tending. When you mix chips or try to burn just chips, they have a habit of hanging up in the cylinder. One way I thought to help with this problem was to actually mount the pump on the side of the Smoke Daddy to create enough vibration to keep things inside moving. So far I've opted for the pellets when I know I won't be here to watch it. If I'm here I'll add some chip so the mix. The pellets are a bit more priceeee than buying chunks or chips.

    Another thing is lighting the smoke daddy. I've found that the pellets work much better getting this thing going. Also as I said before the larger air pump supplying more air makes a big difference in the time it takes to get it smoking. I put a layer about 1 inch thick in the bottom, use a torch, and really put it to it for a few minutes. I have had to go back and relight the pellets if it doesn't take the first time but you get a feel for this as you use it.

    When you have used the SD and it has cooled, the top and the bottom are hard coming off. I have to heat up the top and bottom edges to get the caps off. It cleans up well with rubbing alcohol or lately I've been just soaking it overnight in soapy water.

    One other thing to watch out for. If you load it with pellets, make sure and leave room for them to expand at the top and not plug your line going to your smoker. The pellets will actually expand when they heat up and you don't want to stop up your exhaust.

    I'm sure I'm leaving something out.... but as with anything you have to learn the little things about it that make it work best for you. I love having such a variety of wood pellets to experiment with. There is a little more to it than meets the eye. For my needs and method of smoking it works great.
    smoken gator likes this.
  19. One of my customers sent me a link to this thread. I'm always interested in what others are saying about the Smoke Daddy. I would like to respond to it with this update.
    One thing I have done is that I have increased the size of the air pump I send. I agree that the one I was originally sending was a bit small for the larger units. On adjusting the air flow, I have found that running it with full pressure works the best. If you want to adjust the smoke output the use of a larger wood chip mixture works best for less smoke. I also have added a better air valve assembly. ( The air valve is there to prevent back pressure to the pump and is not intended to be the only way to adjust smoke output. The mixing of different size wood chips works the best for that.) I think I will put this in my instructions. I have noticed that wood pellets vary in moisture content and using all wood pellets can sometimes be a problem. I recommend a mixture of pellets and wood chips. This is a gravity feed unit with no moving parts and using just wood chips can sometimes stop the drop thats why a mixture works best. The Smoke Daddy takes a little getting used to but for a unit that you can put whatever smoking fuel you want into it, from small limbs to wood chunks and not be tied to buying specially designed products to make it work, I think it works pretty well. I appreciate all comments. This helps me address any problems. I also offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
    Thanks Dennis AKA Porky Pa
    Smoke Daddy web Page
    smoken gator and lil elmer like this.
  20. mgnorcal

    mgnorcal Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Good looking mod there, simple, durable, effective.

    Is it possible that the extra insulation has made the hot-spot problem worse?

    On my clone (very similar except maybe a bigger cast iron chip pan) I get pronounced hot spots along the sides about 6-8" up. I'm thinking something as simple as pieces of aluminum flashing on the inside of the chamber, just along the bottom foot and ideally with at least a small airspace between it an the wall would redirect some heat toward the center and even things out.
    I have tried it with some scrap aluminum pieces and it definitely eliminated the hot-spots I detected on the exterior of the unit.

    I also considered putting a large rectangular plate with holes in it on the lowest rack to try to re-direct some of the hot air flow towards the middle and away from the edges. Something like a diffuser plate used in offsets.

    I was ready to do an insulation mod too, but I started to worry about worsening hot-spots so I've put that on hold in case I need to mod the interior of the unit first.
    (and frankly my unit is working pretty good as is so I don't want to make it worse)
    smoken gator likes this.

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