Masterbuilt propane smokers

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

  1. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Holes for the skillet?  If the ring is 7" diameter, the radius for the bolts would need to be something greater than.  It would also depend on what size bolt with what size diameter head?  If you get the bolts too close to the ring then you will need to shave one side of the bolts head, a flat spot. 

    Measure twice, drill once, is the golden rule.

    Also the skillet's height is adjustable but I believe it can be as high as having a 1" + gap above the ring, down all the way, touching it.  If you use longer bolts then you can have a greater gap,  but too tall and you might encounter problems removing the skillet without hitting the water pan.

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  2. markusm

    markusm Fire Starter

    I guess what I meant was as far as the "triangulation" of the holes so that it doesn't want to tip from one side to the other, did you measure those out, or just kinda guess an "it's close enough" kinda thing?

    And for the gap, about how far do you think you have it above the ring? A guestimate is fine, just so I have a starting point to go by. 
  3. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I get home I will measure the length of the bolts.  Yes I just roughed eyed them in a 3 point position.  Keep in mind that the configuration of the skillet's bottom might dictate where you can place the holes.  I would simply go as far outward on the bottom of the skillet as you can.  This is assuming you don't get a skillet that is too big in diameter.  Yes, I will also measure the skillet diameter as well as what the maximum gap is above the ring.
  4. markusm

    markusm Fire Starter

    Just the height above the ring would be fine thanks. I actually have an 8" a 10" and an 11.5" cast iron skillet so I can figure that part out. 

    Thanks very much for the tips. 
  5. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    3/4th gap. Skillet is 10.5" diameter. Sounds like your 10" skillet would fit the best. The 11.5" one may fit if it has a short handle.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  6. The obvious question would be, in my opinion, why should it be necessary to do back flips to compensate for a seriously crappy design by Masterbuilt? I did the revisions, smoker didn't perform, bought another brand, end of problem! Coupled with the fact that Masterbuilt consistently fails to address this problem with their customers makes this "problem" a non-starter!
  7. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


     The majority of the posts in this thread are positive, giving additional tips to tweak their units to perfection.  Because we do not live at the same altitude, same weather conditioned enviroments, the smokers will act differently, thus you need to be ready for tweaking. 

    What revisions did you do?  What particular "problem" are you referring to?
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  8. The problem (as I've previously described) was the slotted chip tray. I double lined it with Extra Heavy Duty foil as recommended by the salesman at Bass Pro, the foil failed, caught the wood chips on fire and melted the controls off the front of the smoker. Masterbuilt totally failed to provide a level of customer service that approached (or acknowledged) the problem, even though the smoker was 5 weeks old. I returned it to Bass Pro for a full refund and bought a Great Smoky Mountain. End of problem! I've owned 2 MES smokers prior to buying the Masterbuilt Propane, My issue is more with Masterbuilt's complete failure to provide customer service to a long term user of their products. As info I also own an offset New Braunfels traditional smoker and a Weber charcoal grill. This is not my first rodeo.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  9. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Interesting that when I got my Masterbuilt gasser, I took one look at the slotted chip tray and said "no way".  Maybe that's why I went for the cast iron skillet. 
  10. smoke n brew

    smoke n brew Newbie

    I tried the cast iron pan thing to no avail. The only thing that seemed to happen was a huge waste of propane, and less than controllable/predictable temperatures. I used the factory water pan frame, and dropped in a 13x9x2 pan and hold lots of water.

    On the bottom where the fire ring is, I put a piece of fire brick on the left and right side on the bottom sheet, and put an old BBQ grate on top of that. My smoke pan is a cake tin covered in foil with the exception of the vent hole, and now the whole burner is open, yet covered by an open grate.I now can slide the smoke pan in or out of the fire easily and I can easily get an hour or more, of the wipsy smoke we all talk about. Btw, my door leaks smoke, and I couldn't care less about it to be honest. I get consistent results whether I am smoking chicken hindquarters, beef ribs or tri tips, and my temperature control windy or rain, or snow, doesn't matter to me as I have more than enough heat to overcome Mother nature.
    mjwilliams1120 likes this.
  11. matt-n

    matt-n Newbie

    I personally just use 2 layers of heavy duty foil over the stock pan it comes with. I found the skillet was hard to get the wood smoking and keep a temp of 225. I plan to add baffles on the sides of the smoker to force smoke to pass over the water before entering the chamber this summer.
  12. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do like the two brick and grate idea.  Might give it a try, just to see. 
  13. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I use the cast iron skillet on top of the stock chip tray and I think the key to getting the chunks to smoke in the cast iron pan is too put them on when preheating the smoker...Then on e you get some nice TBS and your desired temp, throw your meat in there. The cast iron seems to hold heat well enough that I never seem to have a problem getting the next chunks to start smoking without having to crank up the heat. I have plenty of room for the chunks too because I have removed the stock water tray and either put a 13x9 water pan or the bottom shelf and in most cases don't use a water pan at all.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  14. thatcho

    thatcho Meat Mopper

    Wow all the cast iron pan mods. I highly recommend just getting Todds pellet tube smoke generator. Works great
  15. Hey CMAYNA, i hav masterbuilt xl i also use Todds amznps tube 12in w/ great results and use 10in skillet for same reason, skillet seams to help maintain temps but i elevate it ovr burner with an old gas grill sideburner grate 
  16. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dustem88,  Where do you position the tube in your gasser?  Though I'm having good results with the AMNPS, I like tinkering and might try the tube as well.  Hmmmmm.
  17. I haven't had many problems smoking fish in my master built propane smoker but it was hard to regulate the temp. It takes close to 3 hours. I just added a needle valve SK I am hoping it helps even more. But cmayna has a point, I am provably baking it with a smoke finish. It still passes the taste test.
  18. Went and found an 8" cast iron pan at walmart the other day. Going to give it a try tomorrow with a nice pork loin.  I use chips, do you still soak them before throwing them in?
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  19. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Personally I would assume keeping the chips dry and probably would start out with just small handful to see how they work out.  Are you going to have the skillet elevated above the burner's ring?
  20. Yes I was going to put it right in the original smoke pan. Was a suggestion that seemed to work in another thread.

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