Masterbuilt propane smokers

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by smokie bill, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. ive taken mine to the powerwasher a few times...once it gets too gunky in there its powerwashin time! then a quick spray down with some pam and reseasoning with hickory and cherry wood.
  2. Good idea!  Do you tape off the propane burner?

    I have to admit, I LOVE the aroma of the well used smoker in the garage....
  3. on my XL, i just unscrew the 4 bolts holding the burner assembly on...put it in the house and go to as for the garage for me...just sits on the patio and attracts hungry ppl! lol.
    ba cyclone and celloyd like this.
  4. ba cyclone

    ba cyclone Newbie

    That was my direction, until I had a flare up at the end of my last smoke that quickly turned into a grease fire on the inside of my smoker.  [​IMG]

    So I am thinking maybe a clean-out once in awhile might be a good idea.  I still don't like the idea of it...but it might be safer.
  5. ba cyclone

    ba cyclone Newbie

    Ha ha, no kidding...especially on those super hot days!  Gets me thinking...MAN when am I gonna do another smoke and WHAT can I do?!  [​IMG]
  6. ba cyclone

    ba cyclone Newbie

    Thanks for the tip, TurnandBurn.  I was trying to visualize what I was going to do with the burner assembly.  I was thinking cover in foil and tape off too, but I far prefer your direction!
  7. I would just like to thank everyone on these forums for their time and effort and for providing a ton of valuable information, especially for us rookies.  There is a wealth of information here for everyone, from the beginner all the way up to the advanced experienced smoker.

    I used that information to start modifying my 30" Masterbuilt Propane Smoker.  My first problem was the temperature.  The consensus seemed to be to use a needle valve to better control the flow of propane.  I purchased the recommended valve from Adventures in Homebrewing (Item ID #35-1423) for $7.99.  A lot of people were cutting the rubber hose and using barb connectors, and this apparently works just fine, but I just didn't feel good about cutting the hose.  Instead, I took the needle valve, the gas hose with regulator, and the whole front panel of the smoker with the gas adjuster knob, down to the local plumbing supply store, and asked them to give me what I need to connect all this stuff together.  They found all the right parts for me in no time, and the cost, including thread tape was $10.86.

    One thing I learned at the plumbing supply place is that the normal thread wrap tape (typically in a blue plastic case) is no good when dealing with gas.  They say it will break down with time and leak.  They have another tape made specifically for use with gas, which came in a yellow plastic case.

    Here's what the final results looks like, and it works very nicely. (Passed the bubble soap test with flying colors)

    Unfortunately they did not have a brass elbow that fit and I had to use an iron one, I hope it doesn't rust out on me...I will pick up a brass one and keep it on hand just in case.

    The next problem I had, which many on this forum have had also, was the wood chip pan with the slots.  Like most, I went with the frying pan option and found one for $8 at a consignment shop.  I cut off the three raised plates on the factory chip pan and set the frying pan on that.  When I tested it out, I seemed to have some trouble getting the wood hot enough to smoke nicely when operating at low temperatures.  To help with this I got out the ole dremil tool and cut most of the bottom of the factory chip pan so that now the flame would have direct access to the frying pan.  The factory chip pan is still needed to support the frying pan up above the burner or it would sit right on the burner, which I do not think would work too good as there would be no air space in between.  Here is a picture of the pan modification.

    That seems to work much better and the wood burns much better.  But now I had another problem.  The water pan sits in a rack that has a large hole in the center, so that the water pan sits below the level of the rack by several inches.  This puts the water pan so close to the frying pan that I was only able to use small wood chips and could not use larger wood chunks, which I like better.  You can see what I mean in this picture.

    While I was scratching my head, my wife offered a simple solution, which I think will work nicely.  She said just sacrifice a regular rack and replace the special one with the hole in the center  with that.  We will rarely use all five racks for meat anyway.  Here's the idea...

    Plenty of room for big chunks now...  My test run went well, with good temperature control and good smoke.  I almost forgot, I followed the advice of many on this forum and bought myself an ET-732 temperature probe setup.  With the needle valve I could maintain a temperature of 225-235 with no problem.  I was more than a little surprised at how far off the factory door thermometer differed...  While the ET-732 was reading 225, the door was showing only about 170.  Has anyone else seen this amount of discrepancy on these units?  It seems a little too much and I am wondering why...

    One more mod I plan on making is to the rotating vents.  During my test runs I would often see smoke coming out of the two lower vents (one on each side).  I was unable to close them off more because of two tabs on them that prevents closing them past a certain point.  Here is what I am talking about...

    I plan on hammering these tabs down flat so I will have complete movement of the vent closure.  Even if I closed both bottom vents completely, there is still plenty of air flow from the holes in the bottom of the box where the burner fits in.  I haven't tried this yet so I can not say how it will work, but I think it will.  Edit: I just realized there is a much better way to solve this vent problem... Simply move the rotating cover to the outside of the box without hammering the tabs.  Now they no longer restrict the amount of closure and you still have the tabs available to make adjustments. 

    That's it for now... I still plan on improving the door seal with a gasket, as I noticed quite a bit of smoke escaping from there during my testing.  Thanks again to all who contribute to this forum, it's a fantastic source of information!  Once I get this thing all set up, look for me in the recipe and techniques section!

    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
    thatcho and celloyd like this.
  8. I had an MES 30 for 4 or 5 years and when it finally gave up the ghost I went to Bass Pro and bought a Masterbuilt 2 door propane. I was given a heads up by the salesman that the design of the chip tray was a problem. I lined the chip tray with a double layer of extra heavy duty foil to keep the chips from catching fire. Well I got called out and when my wife went to take off the 2 pork loins, The foil had burned through @ 225 degrees, starting the chips on fire and MELTING the controls off the front of the smoker. I had only had the smoker for just over a month. Masterbuilt "customer service" was a joke. I talked to Bass Pro and they said "bring it back, we'll give you another smoker, or your money back and we'll deal with Masterbuilt". I took it back and got a Landmann Smokey Mountain which has worked great! Good job Masterbuilt, you saved a hundred bucks and lost a customer for life!!!!
  9. I ditched the MB chip right away,, And went with a cast iron skillet. I have a buddy lookin into gettin into smokin. So I went out lookin at models I thought he would like and I ran into a Master Forge unit about the same size as mine that I woulda jumped on in a heart beat. the shelves are the same as a regular oven that u have to lift the shelf to get it out, it has a vertical stack in the center. And the chip box is huge compared but has a vented lid.
  10. I just bought an 8 inch cast iron pan from Walmart. How do I put it over the burner? My last smoke I had to tip the chip pan over to keep the burner going. Is this a common problem?
  11. Some have used the old chip pan to hold the skillet, I used an old grate i had on hand and some pipe couplings for stands to keep it above the burner openning
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  12. ribsrule

    ribsrule Newbie

    Hi Guys...

    A while back I bought a 30" single door MB Smokehouse, propane. It's been fine as I have done a few of the suggestions from the forum. However, it just starting turning itself into a soot factory! I never had any burner problems but now it's just a big orange flame...very little of the blue flame. The regulator is not adjustable like some of the other cooker burners I have. I've tried duct taping some of the air holes in the supple tube to try and control the mix. That doesn't seem to work. Am I correct in assuming big orange flame is too much air? Anyone have any ideas?

  13. Actually, I think you have the issue reversed, I think it is too rich and needs more air. Check your burner to make sure there are no restrictions, Just my thoughts
  14. ribsrule

    ribsrule Newbie

    Thanks for the reply...will do.
  15. phxsmoking

    phxsmoking Fire Starter

    ribsrule likes this.
  16. I have a pair of chnnel locks that work great for grabbin the skillet
  17. youre link is most likely gunna be deleted. no offsite links allowed bud. just lettin ya know. youre better off PM'ng it to him.
  18. I have the one from Home Depot & while cleaning it this morning I saw a way to raise the charcoal pan without any permanent mods.

    I used 3 three eights bolts 2 3/4" long (had on hand) with 6 nuts & installed in existing holes on pan. Raised pan 1 3/8 "above chimney.

    Will try & shorten or lengthen bolts as needed. Using a cast iron skillet to hold wood chips set in pan.

    Have to smoke something to see if this helps.
  19. ribsrule

    ribsrule Newbie

    Thanks for the info...I'll check it out and hopefully get my flame back to where it should be.
  20. no peek n

    no peek n Smoke Blower

    I Just don understand why all of the Mods, Just use the chip tray that came with the MB XL, leave the vent in the tray open , set the chip tray over the burner like intended, and set the cast iron skillet over the chip pan, that is at the perfect hight for the burner and pan, toss in a few "Chunks" of wood and be done with it...stop over thinking the XL...


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