Masterbuilt propane smokers

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

  1. I have used my GS40 with charcoal the first and only time I fired it up.  I placed cold coals in the bottom of a 10.5 inch cast iron skillet.  I put about the same amount of coals into a fire starter hand held pan to get the coals good and hot.  I soaked my apple chips for 24 hours, not by plan, just ended up taking me that much longer to get everything ready for smoking.  I only had kingsford charcoal right now so that is what I used.  It seemed to burn faster than some of the other's I have seen reviews for. 

    When the coals in the coal bucket were good and hot (grey and red), I poured them on top of the cold charcoal in the cast iron skillet.  I then, placed my soaked apple chips on top of the hot coals and placed the skillet inside the existing chip bin.  It is a perfect fit. 

    Smoke started immediately and I lit the propane burner, which is directly under the original chip holder and put it on low.  The temp stayed around 230 to 270.  I ran it for 6 hours and the coals had just about burned out.  When I got to the 4 hour mark, I had to start turning the propane up little by little to maintain the heat.  I am ordering some of the coals that I saw on a forum on here to see if I can get longer life but I do not remember the name or where I saw them so I will have to look again. 

    Wanted to add that I have placed pictures of my first smoke as well as the finished assembly of my Masterbuilt GS40.  If you look close at the photo of the entire smoker while cooking, you will see my cast iron skillet with the coals and chips in it below my water pan.  It would be nice to see some pictures of a drip pan that can be used that does not block heat or smoke. 

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  2. no peek n

    no peek n Smoke Blower

    sent you a reply, but no way to send the Pic, so here goes
  3. markusm

    markusm Fire Starter

    I had problems with chunks, and even chips, not smoking well with the skillet sitting in the original chip pan when smoking ribs at around 225. Some people suggested just sitting it right on the ring at the bottom of the smoker, but I followed another persons modification and drilled 3 holes at the outer edge of my 10" cast iron skillet and used bolts/nuts as adjustable legs to keep the skillet about 1/2 to 3/4 inches above the ring. 

    Now the entire skillet is heated directly by the flame and I have no problems. Try it like it is 1st, you may have no problem with it... I've seen a few people's pictures that have the skillet on the chip pan and say they get good results that way. I'm considering having someone cut, flatten and tack weld the "support legs" on the stock chip man to cover the slots and get rid of the skillet all together. 
  4. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey,  I think you copied my adjustable legged cast iron skillet mod.  Glad to hear it's working for you.   Assuming you live far from me, to bad for I would be more than happy to weld up your stock chip tray for ya.

  5. markusm

    markusm Fire Starter

    Ahhh... I couldn't remember who it was. And yes, it's working great, definitely appreciate the advice on that. And no worries on the welding, all I have to do is bring it to work with me. I'm just not in a real hurry to get it done, and not 100% sure I want to. I have 3 cast iron skillets I got pretty cheap at Big Lots (Just bought 3 different sizes to try out initially), so I may leave the pan as it is for when I'm smoking at higher temps for chicken breasts etc... it actually burns chunks just fine with the temp around 300 or so with the skillet on the stock pan. (it burns up chips in about 15 minutes or so)
  6. zmann44

    zmann44 Newbie

    Question: thinking about getting one of these propane vertical smokers. How do you feel about using it on a deck? Is the flame and heat source too close to the deck? Thanks.
  7. johgre078

    johgre078 Smoke Blower

    I will never use mine on a deck or to close to the house. I know a guy that his grill caught fire from grease and his house went up in flames.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
    steve k and adams like this.
  8. Thanks and Good to know Johgre078.  I use mine on the aggregate concrete patio, about 10 to 12 feet from the house.  I would like to build a smokehouse or wood smoker along the edge of the property and have it look like a shed. 
    adams likes this.
  9. johgre078

    johgre078 Smoke Blower

    That's something I wanted to do also but since I'm 73 I think l will stick with my smoke hollow 44. Hope you will get it done.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
  10. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Check out this pic I found:

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  11. steve k

    steve k Fire Starter

    I use the cast iron, with a cover and 1/4 holes drilled in.  I guess foil might work, but the cover isn't a huge expense, and can even be found used.  A lot of people don't know how to use cast iron cook wear (seasoning the pan with oil after use) and get rid of it when someone gives it to them 'cause the food sticks.  Lots of it online like ebay, etc.  Farm and Fleet sells Lodge stuff pretty cheap, and that stuff will never wear out. 
  12. Hey Zmann,

    Love my prop-vert. Heat source wise, most of the burners are high enough that heat is not an issue below. If you're concerned, a paver block below will block the heat.

    The biggest issue is grease dripping. Most of these leak like a russian sub, and oil spots are a pain. I would highly reccomend a BBQ mat on a deck unless you want spots.

    Purist might snub us gas guys, but my Q beats them all every year in our neighborhood bragging rights.

    DM me if you have questions or need mod ideas.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
    elsos likes this.
  13. I have a similar but older single door style... I bought mine at sears about 6 years ago..
    It has taken a beating outside, two hurricanes, storms, lts of snow & ice...

    I'm new to smoking, and this unit is very easy to use & maintain...holds temp..very well
    This weekend weather permitting... I Plan to smoke some corned beef

    I like how you can add or change the smoke method... Type of liquids, woods, etc...
    I'll post some pics if I can take some :)
  14. Just came taste tested well :)

    Son & I. Approve ! Appox 6 pounds... Cut in half
    Hickory woods chips, 50/50 mix of water & lager beer for the liquid, s&w smoked about 185 to 200 f. For about 4 hours

    I'm going to let it cool, And have the butchers slice it on the slicer..they do that kind of thing for good customers :)

    My first pastrami
  15. I had the same problem that you had with putting the skillet directly on the chip pan.  I am not sure if you are interested or not, but I used an idea that someone came up with to use a Wok Grill and turn it upside down and sit it on top of the original chip pan.  I then place my skillet directly on the Wok grill.  Since I am currently in love with Charcoal, I put charcoal in the original chip pan, directly over the propane flame.  I use the propane to light the charcoal and then turn it down or even off depending upon what level temp I can get with the charcoal.  On cold days, I have to leave the flame on low but today, I was able to maintain an easy 225 to 275 with just the charcoal. 

    You can see the red from the charcoal shining through the Wok Grill if you look close.  I get great smoke this way.  And I save a ton on Propane.  I was able to get 5 smokes out of one 20lb tank. 

    I am going to have a local propane company deliver 100 gal tanks.  They will deliver it, set it up for me, and then bring and exchange tank and swap them out when needed.  I might have them give me 2 tanks, that way when one is empty, I can have them exchange it without me having to go without propane for how ever many days it takes them to arrive.  It is the same price as paying the local ferralgas company to refill the 20 gal tanks but I do not have to carry them anymore. 

    Here is the wok grill I bought on amazon. 

    Happy Smoking

  16. smokeyjman

    smokeyjman Fire Starter

    12x12 step stone broken up perfect height over burner edges to allow burner to breathe. Thats a 12" lodge skillet. Debated on cutting off handle so it would fit with the middle of skillet over middle of burner. The i wouldnt have a grab if i catch fire and need to pull out or just to pull out and reload. It doesnt really affect much being off center as the chips and chunks and charcoal burn at any location in the skillet.
    my windscreen plenty of room for factory water bucket and chunk clearance with skillet hovering burner
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014

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