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Product review: Masterbuilt propane smoker

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  • Product review: Masterbuilt propane smoker

    Product review: Masterbuilt propane smoker

  • #2
    www.amazon.com/Masterbuilt-20051311-2-Door-Propane-Smoker/dp/B004W4NDPY/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t

    My daughter surprised me with this propane smoker for my birthday on Sunday. It’s fairly good sized as smokers go with five racks. Took quite a while to get it assembled but that was special time the two of us could spend together while the grandbaby was sleeping. Before I fired it up I went on line to see if there were any gliches. Good thing I did. Several sites offered good tips for getting this thing ready for some serious jerky-making. First, the doors are pretty leaky so I followed suggestions and sealed it with high temp silicone (look for it in the furnace and chimney sections of hardware outlets). I smeared the doors with margarine and squirted a thick bead of silicone on the smoker box where the two meet. Clamped the doors shut and left it to set for several hours. Note that silicone will not cure in the absence of air so it’s necessary to open the doors after a while and let the stuff continue curing. The chip tray is kind of hokey. It has slots in the bottom which can allow chips to fall through to the propane burner and start a fire. Several on-line sources suggested replacing it with an 8" cast iron skillet. I tried one but it seemed way too small. I opted to cut the handle down on a 10" skillet so it would fit into the box. Otherwise I would have been adding chips every twenty minutes. The stubby handle (which the factory pan didn’t have) makes it easy to remove and add new chips. The factory chip pan had struts attached to hold it above the propane burner. For this I picked up a “wok grill” from a camping store and it has worked out great. It’s sort of a flat topped pyramid affair made of stainless steel and punched full of holes. Invert it and chip pan sits on top held above the burner an inch or two. The factory water pan is way too small. Some folks suggested throwing it and its holder away and simply using a 9x12" cooking pan instead. Bought one with stamped handles on each end and it slides into the racks perfectly! It’s larger size means it will help control the drippings mess that accumulates at the bottom of the smoker.

    So I broke her in last night and it worked wonderfully! I have a small leak at the bottom of the main door but that should be easy to fix. Picked up a recipe for spicy goose jerky from Ducks Unlimited website and I made a large bucket from one and a half honkers. Good lord! My buddy and I ate the whole thing in one sitting. I used a mixture of apple and lilac chips. Delicious!

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    • #3
      I think you know what they are. Unfortunately, I only cook on a regular grill with wood. Can you tell me if this is a list of good vertical grills? I'm going to buy my first one of these, but now I'm thinking about the one you wrote or one of those.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Carolina View Post
        I think you know what they are. Unfortunately, I only cook on a regular grill with wood. Can you tell me if this is a list of good vertical grills? I'm going to buy my first one of these, but now I'm thinking about the one you wrote or one of those.
        I have no experience with any other models. One thing to keep in mind: it can be tricky adjusting the heat with propane smokers. If you buy one of these I suggest tossing the flimsy wood chip tray and replacing it with cast iron skillet. Have someone cut the handle down so skillet fits inside. Also, always soak the chips/wood for at least a day. That way they don't catch fire so easily. And finally, set the smoker up in a spot sheltered from wind so burner doesn't blow out. I built a three piece portable wind shield made of non flammable mud board. I can send photos ... once I'm out of hospital. If the burner does blow out, be VERY careful lighting it again. Open the door and let it air out a bit first.

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