Beginner Looking for advice on Propane Smoker

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by ryand0818, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Hey Everyone,

    Looking to get my first smoker soon. After checking out all of the pro's and con's of the different kinds I have decided I am going to start with a propane model. I checked out amazon and found the "Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Smoker" for 179.99. I was wondering if anyone else had any other better suggestions (less than 200 dollars) rather than that particular smoker.

  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    The biggest one you can find Masterbuilt or GOSM would be my advice
  3. thats a good can get a Masterbuilt XL for about the same price. or look on bass pro online and you can sometimes get the XL for $159.99 with free shipping to the store.
    ryand0818 likes this.
  4. Ok thanks. Looks like this one has 700 sq inches of cooking space. Is that good?
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hello, Ryand ,[​IMG] to the Family. Hope you decide to call this home for all your BBQ needs.

    There are a lot of Members with the Masterbuilt Smokers. They'll bee along soon and give you the low-down on them. You can do a search for reviews on a lot of smokers on our search link at the top of this page.

    Now, if you would, stop by our Rollcall and receive your proper welcome. Also, please edit your profile to include your location. Helps in many ways.[​IMG]

    Have fun and as always . . .
    ryand0818 likes this.
  6. thanks for the welcome! I posted on Roll call and added my location
  7. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use the Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24".....propane and I can do anything I want in it!  My 2 cents!

  8. Thanks for the info Kat. Any pros or cons with it?
  9. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Actually....I don't have any at all.  Some folks do fuss a bit with some of the smoke leaks thru the door.  Well...smoke has to go somewhere!

    I can cold smoke...then go all the way up to 350*....and that is the highest temp I have tried.  It will go higher...I am just too [​IMG].

    I have done 6 butts at one time, and have had 2 turkeys over 16 pounds each in it last year.  No complaints from me!

    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
    ryand0818 likes this.
  10. kueh

    kueh Meat Mopper

    One important question is ...... What are your smoking needs?

    Meaning " How much food are you really going to be smoking? and how often ? "

    Sent from my GT-N8010 using Tapatalk 2
  11. i just recently went through the same decision processing as you are doing.  I narrowed it to a few units and agonized over which features I'd most appreciate.  I ended up with the masterforge from lowes.  I picked it because it is a 2 door with a sturdy shelf on the side and wheels for easy movement.  I have had some time with it and there is 2 things i wish were a little different,  First, the shelf which is very useful, should be on the other side.  And I wish it was wider.  Truthfully, I think almost any of these smokers in this price range are all going to serve their purpose,  If you're just starting out like me, then this may be just a stepping stone
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2013
    ryand0818 likes this.
  12. I went with the XL simply for the excessive room....never know. Always better to have more and not need it...:sausage:
    ryand0818 likes this.
  13. Yeah I have narrowed it down to certain features now. I really like the double door option you get with the smaller model...but I wonder if anyone can attest to how useful that actually is in terms of not letting heat out. I feel like I do not need the size of the XL to start, but maybe sometime in the future I will. I plan on cooking for groups of like 5-12, so it would not have to be for that many people. Thoughts?
  14. Also wondering if I should be getting anything to mod the wood tray...I saw some people put a cast iron skillet over the heat to hold the wood. Does that just apply if your using wood chunks or do you use that for wood chips too? Is there any other mods that you would recommend for the masterbilt two door or xl?
  15. thats what i was trying to say, if you can get bigger for the same price, why not?
    the only thing i have done to mine is added an 8" cast iron pan. and i use chunks and chips and pellets in there. i use it other than the pan, i havent done anything, it doesnt lose enough heat or anything for that matter thru the door to justify any use of gasket or oven rope. 
    ryand0818 likes this.
  16. Ok thanks. What do you sit the cast iron pan on? I see that some people just seat it on the original wood tray and others use a burner trivet
  17. i sit mine on the original chip pan because it has 3 deflector type pieces that are it sits perfectly. not directly on the heat and not too far from it. and that cast iron holds that heat in perfectly, so it doesnt take long for a chunk to start doing its thing.
    ryand0818 likes this.
  18. Oh ok thanks for the advice. Do you line the skillet or the original chip pan with foil? also, do you use the original water pan or do you use a larger aluminum pan from the store?
  19. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't really see any reason to have the two door setup. The amount of heat loss from opening the door isn't much of a concern with a propane smoker. I should mention that I have the GOSM wide body. The propane smoker recovers heat rapidly. I would much rather have the additional space. Having good temperature control is important too. Being able to set it and forget it is nice. I had to add a needle valve to my GOSM (9 yrs old) in order to get the temps down to 130* and up to 500*+.  I also quite using chips and use the 18" or 12" AMNTS from Todd for my smoke generation.  Ilike a dry smoke chamber and have my water pan filled with sand and covered in foil. Makes for a better thermal mass.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  20. i dont use a water pan at all. dry chamber for me always. i use a cookie sheet for a drip pan under the food, and i used to use foil in the cast iron pan when i thought maybe id use it in the kitchen also, but since ive decided its a dedicated addition to the smoker, no more foil liner. 
    ryand0818 likes this.

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