Masterbuilt Smoker Retailers

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by brickguy221, May 30, 2015.

  1. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    What retailers besides Sams Club, Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, and Amazon, sells Masterbuilt Smokers?

    Can a person order-buy  one directly from Masterbuilt and if so, in taking into consideration the complaints from other retailers poor quality at times, I was wondering if a Smoker purchased directly from Masterbuilt be of better quality? 

    It appears that the majority of complaints are from Smokers purchased at Sams Club. If Sams Club were to sell more Smokers than anyone else, then that would be understandable. Not saying they do sell more, but is it possible that they may?

    Is it possible that Masterbuilt would build 2 identical Smokers using all of the same parts and the Smokers operating the same with one being a better built Smoker going to all retailers except Sams and the other a poorly built Smoker with same parts going to Sams only? I am not sure that I can believe they would do that.

    However if the Smokers going to Sams were built to say Sams specifications and not Masterbuilt specifications with some difference between their Smokers and the ones other retailers sell, then yes, it might be possible. I have no idea what is true and what isn't true about the quality of Smokers that Sams sells, I am only throwing this out here for debate to see if a true conclusion could be reached.
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  2. The smokers are being built and shipped to the retailers and you are getting what you pay for.  When you spend little money on a smoker you will get something that is cheap and may (more often than not) fail.  I made the mistake to buy a MB smoker and it failed after 5 smokes.  Into the trash it went and I got a Smokin-It #2 and have done probably 150 smokes on it and all is well.  I never have to worry about it....or MOD it to make it work right. 

    Do more research.  If you want a quality Electric smoker spend the xtra money and get a good one.  Smokin-It, Smokin-Tex are damn good ones. 

    My .02

  3. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Last I looked Lowes sells the basic MES 30 & 40 Gen 2 models.
  4. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    I checked out both the Smokin-It and the Smokin-Tex Smokers and I will have to admit that both seem to have top rated reviews. Almost all 5 stars on both with the Smokin-It being rated a bit higher where I looked anyhow. In reading reviews for MES, Smokin-It and Smokin-Tex Smokers, it appears the Smokin-It and Smokin-Tex Smokers may be the better Smokers.

    However, I don't like not being able to see inside of those Smokers when they are smoking like I can my MES. I can look thru the glass door on my MES and get a feel for what is taking place inside of it such as condition of meat, how much smoke, and etc whereas it is all guess work and hope on the Smokin-It and Smokin-Tex Smokers of what is going on inside of them, in my opinion anyhow. Were it not be for that, I would definitely take a hard look at the Smokin-It and Smokin-Tex Smokers.
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  6. Look at the smoke pits major BBQ places use and tell me if they have/need windows?  I can tell what my smoke is doing by watching the vent hole.  I know what my meat is doing by watching the Temp probe read out. It's not guess work at all.   With the SI or ST units you don't have to worry about smoke production (or lack thereof) like with the MB units.  You very rarely if EVER see an optional smoke generator inside an SI or ST.  Obviously your choice but I just don't agree with your reasoning for not looking into them further because they don't have a window.  They are 5 star rated for a reason [​IMG]
  7. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    For the experienced "smoking person and smoking places", what you said here could very well be true, but for those of us "Green Horns .... sigh  [​IMG]" still in the learning process, I believe there would still be some guess work and hope involved until that person is well educated in smoking.
  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Like Masterbuilt, Both Smokin-It and SmokinTex smokers are made in China., most likely in some of the same factories. Because of this, both good and defective units will come off the production lines. PadronMan got a made MB unit (he didn't specify which one) but I've been enjoying my MES 30 Gen 1 trouble free for the past 3 years. I could also link to reviews for both Smokin smokers where users complained about problems with them as well. The electric cabinet-style smokers which seem to get uniformly top ratings are the Cookshack, which just happen to be made in Oklahoma. Since they are made domestically they got far more than the Chinese-made smokers when you get past the entry level models.
  9. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Wow that got side tracked quick.

    To answer the first question, most major outdoor retailers sell Masterbuilt products (Cabelas, Bass Pro, Academy, Gander Mtn, Etc). I have heard of people buying them direct but I have not looked into it. A quick call to Masterbuilt customer service should answer that question.
  10. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    I will agree with you about Cook Shack Smokers as they are #1 hands down in quality and performance from what I ahve both heard and read. The only down side to them is their price. They are real expensive. A person can buy 2 of almost any brand for the price of one of Cook Shacks smallest smokers. One of my Sons keeps pushing me to get a Cook Shack Smoker. Their cheapest one is approx $850 and it only has 2 shelves and the next size is approx $1200 and it has 3 shelves. Would eb nice to own one, but too high dollar for this retired old man on fixed income ....  [​IMG]
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    One of the members here, Old Sarge, got a great deal on a scratch-and-dent Cookshack Amerique for something like $800-900 and loves it. But that's the just it about true American-made stuff (as opposed to having clothing made in the Mariana Islands and having the "Made in USA" label being affixed to it)--materials, wages, everything costs more than it does when low or almost non-paid Chinese children make it under typically exploitive and even abusive factory conditions. OK, I know not all Chinese factory workers are children but too many of them are. Cookshacks are made in one factory in Oklahoma whereas Masterbuilt, I believe, uses several Chinese factories along with other electric smoker companies. It's dirt cheap to make these smokers overseas which is why I could afford to buy an MES and why the overall quality is inferior to Cookshacks. With all that said, my little MES 30 Gen 1 has been a great and reliable smoker. If I was in the market for a newer, larger smoker I'd probably buy a Masterbuilt again because it's what I can afford.
  12. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

     Same here daRicksta ... [​IMG]

    That's why I am looking hard at the Bluetooth although I am currently surviving ok on my Generation 2 using an oven thermometer on one of the shelves to go by, to tell me when to turn the smoker temp up and down. [​IMG]
  13. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Always work/stay within the family budget.  If you need to save up for what you want, then start saving. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is never good in the long run. For me, it was a one time shot using a tax return to help. And as long as the food comes out smokey and good, it matters not what you use, unless it rapidly becomes more of a problem than a pleasure to use. While some smokers mentioned above are more substantially built than others, you pay a price for them, even if imported. And if one of them fits your budget, go of it.  Smokin-it has a Facebook page with a social store that gets you a 5% discount; Cookshack through PayPal lets you stretch out payments over 6 months with no interest. You want to purchase  as much quality and reliability as you can afford.  If it is out of your price point, don't get smoker envy. Use and enjoy what you can afford.  Just do your research, check out the forums on smoker sites, and enjoy life.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Watch out for those oven thermometers, Brickguy. Make sure the one you're using has been calibrated. They can be very inaccurate. And that problem is compounded by the temps varying inside the smoker from side to side, front to back, and rack to rack.

    Last Christmas I used a single probe Food Network probe while roasting a ribeye roast for dinner in our kitchen oven. I was looking for an I/T of 135° and the therm displayed 125°.  I double checked it with a CDN thermocouple instant read therm and the display showed 140° or so. I pulled the roast and let it rest and cut it open. Perfectly cooked. But the thing is had I gone by the FN therm I would have ruined the roast by overcooking it.

    When using your smoker, always use the best therm you can afford. Also, don't assume the MES temp display is accurate because many times it won't be.
  15. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    I've been using this Taylor thermometer since early last fall with no problems and it is not expensive at all. I bought 2 from Amazon for $5 each which included shipping. Gave one to my Son...

    I agree with you about the MES temp display not being accurate which is the reason I bought the Taylor Thermometers. My MES temp display is so inaccurate that it is not even close at times being off as much as 35-50 degrees. Installed new controller and results remained same. Changed heat coil and results still the same.Masterbuilt then said I needed a new cabinet, so thus my switching to the oven thermometer because for the price of a new cabinet, a person just as well buy a new smoker.
  16. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That FN therm I made was made by Taylor who also sold the same exact therm under their own brand name. Taylor has had a reputation for quality but I also bought a fridge therm that turned out to be woefully inaccurate as well. That's why I stick to my Maverick ET-733 for smoking and to my CDN and my wife's ThermoPop for the kitchen and for grilling.

    With my MES 30 Gen 1, there have been times when there were wide temp swings and the displayed temp was 20-30 degrees higher than on my ET-733. But the past couple of times the temp swings have been minimal and the controller display temp has been pretty close to the ET-733. Not sure what changed but I make it a point to make sure the two temp sensors on the inside back wall are clean before every smoke.

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