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I recently bought a Masterbuilt 2-door propane smoker. During my first smoke session, I had several problems with my Masterbuilt smoker. They were:
- The thermometer didn’t work after 200 °F
- Smoke came out everywhere
- Wood chips burned out fast
My first stop was The Smoking Meat Forums. If you haven’t registered, I highly recommend it the site has a lot of information. I searched through this forum for solutions for each of the issues I had. Based on the research, I tackled my problems in the following order.
Masterbuilt Smoker Modification 1: Wood Chip Pan
Most of the posts in the Smoking meats forum solved their issue with the chip pan by replacing it with a cast iron pan. I didn’t have one and didn’t want to spend 20-50 bucks on a new one just for wood chips. I found TT Ace’s post-initial setup and used the Masterbuilt vertical propane smoker. I highly recommend this post for first-time users of a Masterbuilt propane smoker. I took the pan suggestion from the forum and added foil, like the picture below.
This solved my problem. The chips last 2-3 times longer now, and I don’t see any temperature flair-ups. This was an easy fix that I could implement before my first smoke.
Masterbuilt Smoker Modification 2: Thermometer
My thermometer on the smoker generally stopped at some point in the 200 °F. That, coupled with the fact that you need to know the temperature next to the meat, made me look for a new thermometer. Again the Smoking meat forum pointed me to the answer. For smoking, you need 2 thermometers, one for the smoker and one for the meat. All the reviews pointed me to the Maverick ET732 Long Range Wireless Dual Probe Smoker Thermometer. So far, this thermometer has worked well. I have only used it for the smoker temperature right now.
Masterbuilt Smoker Modification 3: Sealing
The first forum I came to in my research was sealing your Masterbuilt smoker. Adding the steel sheets to each side of the smoker was too much work for me. The forum did point me to sealing the gaps in the door and where the top and bottom connect to the sides. For the top and bottom sealant, I ended up with some RTV silicone from a local Ace hardware. I sealed the outside where the top and bottom connect to the left, right, and back panels. I then sealed the inside of each door. The top door looked like the one below.
The bottom door looked like this picture.
I then let the sealant cure for 24 hours. In the meantime, I ordered the Nomex Masterbuilt smoker kit from BBQgaskets.com. I applied this after washing everything with vinegar and lemon juice. below is an image of the final product.
I would recommend that you make sure that the extra gasket does not fold into the smoker. My bottom gasket was burnt when I fired the smoker to 400 °F. The gaskets still seal perfectly, but the bottom is burnt.
Overall the changes have made a world of difference. I now know the correct temperature of the smoker. My wood chips last longer and smoke better. The temperature in the smoker is much easier to control.