Cook with precision. Propane smokers make it easy to cook at any temperature you so desire, all without the need to constantly babysit your smoker for hours on end.
Product Review: Masterbuilt Propane Smoker
Price Range: Various Prices
- Built in Temperature Gauge
- Wood Chip Tray and Water Basin
- Vertical Smoker Design for Easy Access to All Racks
- 4 Smoking Racks = 717 Square Inches of Cooking Space
- Count upon the dependability of a propane smoker with this Masterbuilt Smoker. Rather than offering one signature feature or some amazing gadget, the Masterbuilt Propane Smoker is made with quality all around. What you see, is what you get. This makes for an ideal smoker model for anyone just getting into the world of smoking. Also, the ease of use of the Masterbuilt Smoker makes it a great choice for anyone wanting a smoker for regular use around the house, rather than for just impressing friends and family.
- Low and Slow is the ideal way to smoke. Propane smokers make this incredibly easy. Masterbuilt should really be applauded for offering an affordable smoker at less than hundreds of dollars, that is well insulated. Many of the more affordable smoker models on the market contain leaks where heat escapes. That is not so with the Materbuilt Propane Smoker. I have only encountered tiny leaks that mean practically nothing, overall the smoker is solidly built. Now I can smoke my meats at a consistent temperature without fear of massive heat loss.
- Rest confident knowing you will not need to babysit your smoker. With propane, smoking is an act of calibration, not guesswork. Masterbuilt makes this all the easier by offering rough temperature settings as to how hot you want your smoker to be. Ideally, I like to keep my smoker in the range of 220°F-250°F for my red meats. Over a period of ten hours, this will ensure the flavor of the meat is preserved and the meats remain moist. Now, I am required to refresh the wood chips and the water in the liquid basin throughout the smoking process, but that should be expected when using any smoker.
- Assembly of the Masterbuilt Propane Smoker is quick and easy. Within an hour I was able to put everything together without any major issue. Instructions provided by Masterbuilt are spelled out in clear English, and pictures are also included.
- No major space commitment is needed for the Masterbuilt. Overall, the smoker weighs about 50 lbs. once assembled, making it relatively easy move around. The Masterbuilt Smoker occupies a corner of my patio inconspicuously, and does not standout like a sore thumb or hog a whole lot space.
- Be aware of the wood chip holder and the water basin. I would recommend replacing both of these features of the Materbuilt Propane Smoker as they are seriously lacking. The included wood chip holder looks to be a serious fire hazard, and I would recommend replacing it with a cast iron skillet. For the water basin, I replaced it with an aluminum bowl from the kitchen we hardly ever use since it would hold a larger amount of liquids.
- The temperature gauge on my model was not perfect. Based on testing of the smoker with a digital thermometer, I found the temperature reading of the built in thermometer to be off 15°F. To me, this is not a serious concern. I can always adjust temperatures in my own head while cooking. However, some people report stories of their temperature gauges always being incorrect and causing them to rig up a new thermometer.
Masterbuilt Propane Smoker vs. Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
Ease of Use
- For ease of use, the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker wins out. Even though propane burns clean and dependable, electricity still takes the cake for the easiest to cook with. Temperature setting on the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is as simple as pressing a button. Some fine tuning does go into the Masterbuilt Propane Smoker to get it at the precise cooking point one desires.
- Something just does not feel as manly about electricity though. Taste tests between the two models are difficult to determining the winner. While some may claim electricity has no flavor, I do not full buy this. Flavor comes from the wood chips being used, not the fuel source. Many people think charring meat is a good thing, I personally do not and that is why I like both these models so much. Still though, something about electric smokers feels fake.
- In terms of extra features, the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker offers better services. With the Masterbuilt Propane Smoker I had to replace the wood chip holder and water basin. These components were just fine in the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker. Furthermore, the built in thermometer of the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker works a whole lot better than the Masterbuilt Propane Smoker.
- Overall, I find both these smokers to be quality models. For anyone wanting a purely propane smoker, the Masterbuilt Propane Smoker is a good choice. However, the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker also stands as one of the best choices on the market for a smoker dedicated solely to home smoking.
Masterbuilt Propane Smoker vs. Weber Smokey Mountain
Ease of Use
- The Masterbuilt Propane Smoker is much easier to use and calibrate. Propane is a far more precise and easy to control fuel source than the required charcoal burning in the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. Low and slow cooking will take much more work in the Weber Smoker versus the Masterbuilt.
- Choose between either the bullet design or a vertical smoker. With a bullet design, it is a bit more complicated to monitor and control your meats, especially if you decide to use both smoking racks in the Weber Smoker. The Masterbuilt’s vertical design makes monitoring and checking all pieces of meat in the smoker a simple process.
- The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker definitely wins out in terms of the water basin and wood chip holder debate. Truthfully, the water basin in the Weber is a work of art. Masterbuilt really dropped the ball in this field.
- Mastbuilt’s Propane Smoker stands as the better choice for someone just beginning in the world of smoking. While charcoal smoking may be nice, it simply is difficult to jump into for anyone just starting off. In my opinion, the major difference between the two comes down to ease of use and taste preferences for charcoal/propane.
Value for Money?
- The Masterbuilt Two Door Propane Smoker serves as one of the best choices for anyone wanting to buy a propane smoker. At an affordable price point, this model has been really well built as reflected by its great insulation. While some features of the Masterbuilt may be lacking, this model can be rigged by even the most unskilled of technicians in only a couple of minutes. Overall, I give the Masterbuilt Propane Smoker a total of 4/5 stars.