Known for quality and innovation, Masterbuilt’s cooking products set the standard. Masterbuilt has long been a trusted name in smoker technology.
-How long will the smoker last?
This smoker is designed for beginners to novices, but it also has a lower price point, which means eventually it will have to be replaced. With constant use, the smoker should last around five years.
-Does the smoker work easily?
The smoker is super easy to work with a plug in start and simple dials. The temperature dial is easy to read and set. It is the easiest to use smaller cuts of meat with that particular smoker, bigger chunks may take a while to finish.
-How durable is the smoker?
The smoker has a powder-coated steel outer body that is nearly indestructible and scratch resistant.
-How does this smoker compare to others?
For its price point, this is a good smoker from a great name. If you have the money to spend on a bigger smoker, that could be a great idea. However, if you smoke small amounts of meat this should be a great investment.
-Can the smoker be transported?
This smoker is small enough/light enough to be transported. However, it does not have wheels for quick, easy moves. It does need an electrical outlet to be plugged in.
-Is it difficult to work?
This is one of the easiest smokers to work. It is simplified, but still gives a good result.
-What meats is this smoker best for?
The smoker is best for small cuts of meat, like a brisket or short stacks of ribs. Definitely one for small families, not large gatherings.
-What are some common problems with this smoker?
This smoker would be too small for some people who make larger quantities of meat. The temperature also only goes up to 275, so poultry is not a good idea for this particular smoker. You cannot use an extension cord with this smoker.
-Are there are any accessories I should buy for this smoker?
As always, buying a cover would be a great idea to increase longevity.
It’s an electric smoker, with a push-button digital thermostatically controlled Temperature. Also with a side loading wood tray. It’s got a black powder -coated steel body. When you open the door you find it has 4 racks for smoking inside. You can smoke chicken, turkey, ham, beef brisket. For your cooking convenience, it has a push -button digital, control panel. 24- hour timer with an automatic shutoff so that makes it easy to barbecue. Also it has a thermostat which controls the temperature. It’s also insulated for energy-efficient cooking, which means that you can save on electricity. This grill has set it and forget features, to make it easier to make smoked foods. For your clean up after cooking, there is a drip pan that comes out so you can clean up faster. There is also a grease pan that’s real mounted. My thought on this smoker is that its for people who don’t have a big family and are just starting out trying their hand at smoking barbecue.
The Masterbuilt smoker is a wonderful product for the price. Whether you’re new to smoking, or an experienced smoker who wants a less hands on, labor intensive smoke, this is simply the best you can get for the $$.
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1. Digital thermometer: If you’ve smoked much, you know keeping the smoker at the right temperature is often what takes the most attention. As an electric smoker with a built in thermometer, you can set your preferred temperature and then just focus on keeping the woodtray filled, the contents mopped, and you’re good to go. (You will still want to use a digital thermometer on the meats themselves to check their internal temperatures, but that’s a different matter.)
2. Well insulated: Unlike a traditional side smoker, bullet or most other form factors, the masterbuilt is nicely chunky and really doesn’t care overly what the outside temperature is at (within reason)
3. Capacity: Four racks (though with chickens, big roasts, shoulders and ribs you may only end up using two at a time. Still, I’ve loaded it up 30+lbs of meat at a time which for a product that often drops under $200 when on sale, is not bad at all.
4. Economy: It runs on electricity and with small amounts of wood relatively speaking. Rather than going through large amounts of wood and charcoal, you have a much more affordable smoke, which if you want to smoke regularly (or smoke small batches) is great.
5. Customer Support: You’ll find repeated reviews of this online, but Masterbuilt’s customer support is second to none. Its hard to find companies that stand behind their products the way Masterbuilt does. If something is defective, they will fix it with little to no questions asked.
So why don’t I give it a 5 stars?
1. Size: Masterbuilt has a 40″ version, but it is very hard to find. Really, if they made the 40″ the standard, that extra little bit of space would allow you to use all four racks more often even with larger cuts.
2. Temperature Range: The Masterbuilt only goes up to 275. This is excellent for red meats which will often cook between 220 and 250 and fish, but not as good for poultry, where you want it up to 350 to get the fat in the skin to render (and avoid chewy skin).
3. Power: The Masterbuilt’s electric heater sometimes doesn’t seem to have quite enough oomph if you really load it with meat. I’ve had a hard time keeping the temp up when its full. There are people online who add their own heating elements to help boost it.
4. Needs direct plug: Masterbuilt requires you plug directly into an outlet. So, given the relatively short electrical cable that means you need to install an outdoors outlet if you believe them. I did use it fine with an industrial extension cord, but talking to their customer support, they felt it might be a reason for problem #3 above.
So, what do you have? A great form factor for a smoker, with good capacity, that maintains a set temperature, with multiple racks for different products, and that gives a consistently result. On the other hand, they have a slightly larger product that is only distributed much more limitedly, and they have odd limitations on the product based on max temp and wattage to the heating element. Given the price difference between the Masterbuilt and its nearest competitors, perhaps these limitations are forgivable. I still regularly recommend it to friends, and have many, including some who run a couple of well respected restaurants loving the products that come out.
Things I’d love to see from Masterbuilt as aftermarket products or even just upgrades:
1. External smoke box that attaches to the wood feed hole, so that you can do cold smokes for sausages, cheeses and salmon and other products.
2. A higher wattage heating element that can be swapped out for the standard one.
3. A higher max temperature so I don’t need to take the chickens and game hens out 30 minutes before done and toss them in the oven to crisp the skins.
Regardless, to come full circle. If you want to dabble in smoking and are intimidated (which is easy), this is a perfect smoker to make things easy. And if you are experienced in smoking and just want to have either a more affordable smoke so you can do it more often, or a less labor intensive one, once in a while, this is the perfect supplement to your existing set up.
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