Masterbuilt electric smoker help...

Get answers to your questions about the Masterbuilt Smoker

MasterBuilt 30-Inch Electric Smokehouse Smoker
MasterBuilt 30-Inch Electric Smokehouse Smoker. MasterBuilt

Waleygator Writes:

"Looking for other folks that either own or have used the Masterbuilt electric smoker. I bought one last September and absolutely love it! Since the unit is sealed pretty tightly, condensation really builds up inside. Where most smokers need constant monitoring of the water pan, there's definitely no need here. Also don't use hardly any wood chips, but sometimes want a stronger smoke flavor than I'm getting.

I would like to exchange ideas on different smoking methods with other electric unit users."


September 9, 2007 at 8:33 pm

(1) Rattler says:

I have a similar problem. It gets off to a great start and then just sits there, and the wood just dries out. Here’s how far I’ve gotten. First, I soak the chips overnight, not just for a couple of hours. Second, I keep the vent at the top open. That way the element at the bottom (hopefully) keeps working (otherwise it gets up to the preset level and shuts down). If you find out anything let me know.

May 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm

(2) Ken Giesige says:

I have been told by masterbuilt & others that don’t soak
your wood chips you can call masterbuilt ask for bigger
wood chip tray they send at no charge it takes about 5 min.
there’s a good site for smoking info. about everything about smoking it’s–——Ken

June 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm

(3) Kyle says:

I agree with ken. You really don’t have to soak the chips at all. maybe an hour. Otherwise, it takes too long to get the smoke going. By cutting back I get a lot of smoke. You can also try the traeger pellets. they worked great and a lot of smoke. You only need a 1/4 cup of those. Still looking for a cookbook that goes with this smoker but otherwise, I am loving it a lot.

October 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

(4) Smoker_Al says:

I have been smoking many types of recipes for a long time. I just got a masterbuilt 30″ last Christmas. I like it a lot, but I do have an issue with it. I like to make Jerky and Summer Sausage. Both require a relatively low temperature for at least part of the time. The smoker reaches temp long before the wood starts smoking. In sausage making it is important that the smoke be applied early in the process as well as with Jerky. What I did to improve the performance was wrap the back left corner of the lower rack with a 3 X 5 rectangle of heavy duty foil. This blocks the heat column from hitting the temp sensor directly. The temp sensor is on the back wall about 4 inches up from the lower rack on the left. It’s a little nib sticking out of the wall. This helped smoke generation quite a bit. I like to use damp sawdust as it produces the best flavor. Leave the door open until the wood start to smoke. do not add a whole scoop full at once or may put the wood out. I smoke jerky at about 100-110 degrees.

November 2, 2011 at 1:36 am

(5) mike says:

I just opened my smoker and can’t seem to see anything about adding water? Do I need to? Can I leave this unattended for 8-10 hours if I’m at work knowing all is well?

I’m starting with pulled pork and was planning on cooking at 200 or so for 8-10 hours. I was also going to try leaving the vent half way open?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

November 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm

(6) Dan says:

I use a combo of Luhr Jensen chips ( very small pieces which are made for their electric smokers ) and larger pieces I also use in my charcoal smoker. No need to soak them and i get plenty of smoke. MBES 40 inch with window. Sometimes if i get impatient I will open the vent fully for a bit to allow heating element to kick in a bit longer and get the chips going.

I have seen these “chips” ( more like sawdust ) at a few retailers such as Mills Fleet farm and other hardware stores.

July 7, 2011 at 8:30 am

(7) dvitt says:

Brine the birds first. That lets a lot more smoke penetrate. Also it adds a lot more flavor.

November 18, 2007 at 5:05 pm

(8) Ron Walker says:

I bought the 40″ electric smoker and love it. I have not had any problem with the smoke flavor yet and granted, I have not yet smoked a whole bunch of stuff yet. I found that if you keep the damper on top at least half open, the smoker draws much better that when it is closed. This makes for more smoke moving through your smoke chamber quicker. I also found that the chips bur pretty good this way as well and actually found my temp. going up for quite a while after loading a fresh batch which means they are burning good. Have you tried messing with different woods as well? I really find a big difference in the woods and even thought eh wood is the same, I find certain brands smoke better than others. The chips at Barbeques Galore work really well! Let us know if you have found out anything?

January 26, 2008 at 11:15 pm

(9) Jay Dee says:

I have one and works/smokes great. My buddy has the same one and had the lack of smoke/wood consumption problem. MAKE SURE that the burner is between the bottom of the wood box and the tin tray that is also part of the box. It is easy to have the burner go UNDER the tin tray and then the burner is not directly under the wood box.

April 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm

(10) Mike says:

Just a question, i think i have my MBS set up right with the tin box. Should the tin ash tray be underneath the burner, so when you deposit the ashes it would dump over the burner into the tray? The way i have it set up is the tin tray is directly above the burner so the ashes won’t be poured on the burner? I must be corn-fused. Thanks

June 15, 2008 at 5:26 pm

(11) Bob Smangey-Johnson says:

Well I have to tell you that I like this machine. Got the one from Sam club and have been digging it since the first day. U have not gotten the infamous red ring on the brisket, but the flavor is great. I have wonder about weather to leave the vent open , so thanks for that information. My only problem is the amount of smoke, Seems that I have to change the wood chips hourly to get the amount of smoke that is impressive… maybe the vet will help!

June 27, 2008 at 2:48 pm

(12) craig says:

I just purchased the MBES and cooked some chicken on it for the first time and the wife and kids loved it. I also gave some to my neighbor and he said that it was juice and lots of smoke flavor. They way I got it to make the chips smoke a lot is put the vent at have way and it smokes a lot. Also the water pan, you don’t need a lot of water in it and i use apple juice instead of water, and i think you only need about 1 cup and that's it. I read somewhere if you use charcoal in the first batch of chips it puts the ring on the briskets and other meats. i haven’t tried it yet but i will let you know

July 17, 2008 at 11:08 am

(13) Kevin says:

I have great results with my chicken and ribs. However, my results with a pork shoulder were only okay. I cooked it the length of time that your site gave me and it was still tough. The outside of the roast was really done after the alotted time and I was wondering if I could put the roast in tin foil like ribs. Also, is it better to soak the chips before you put them in. I have done both and have seen a little better smoke from dry wood.

September 15, 2011 at 6:45 pm

(14) fred says:

Kevin.Inject the shoulder with apple juice. Rub yellow mustard then ur dry rub.put in plastic rap overnight.Smoke 1.5hr perlb. After 1st hour mist with cherry Dr Pepper. internal temp hits 200 take out and mop with bbq sauce. Rap up in foil for three hrs. Take off foil and let sit for 15 minutes then GO TO TOWN BROTHER.

July 26, 2008 at 12:20 am

(15) Lillian says:

I am a little disappointed – smoking some salmon and it’s coming out more kippered. I want the dryer smoked salmon so I am adding more chips (thanks for the vent tip) and upping the heat for a bit. Hate to say it but you just can’t beat the old smoke house by the river!

July 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm

(16) Ken Miller says:

I have had trouble with my smoked fish ending up too salty too. I found I was not rinsing my fish brine off enough before loading it into the smoker, please try rising the brine off better, I would like to know if this helps you.

August 2, 2008 at 4:06 pm

(17) Nancy says:

I also just got this smoker and made jerky according to the recipe in the book. There was never really any smoke to speak of until, after 16 hours, added more chips and upped the temp to 200 degrees. Also noticed that having the vent 1/2 open really helped. Once I added more chips and upped the temp, within an hour the volume of smoke was considerable!
After reading the other comments, next time I will soak the chips overnight, cut the jerky meat thicker!
So far, I love this smoker! Any suggestions on where to locate more recipes?

September 24, 2008 at 1:52 pm

(18) Lodge307 says:

I have the MBSE Stainless and have smoked numerous cuts of meat. Experiment with the heat and the top vent. The best pork shoulder will be 200 degrees for 12-14 hrs, take off, wrap in foil and place in a cooler with towels on top. Let rest 2-3 hrs and pull. Low and slow and rest will render the fat out and marinate the meat. rub down with your favorite rub at least 12 hrs before. Apple wood/little hickory to smoke with and apple juice in the pan. Vent 3/4 to fully open. The old addage of low and slow works well with this smoker.
Good luck and happy eating.

October 5, 2008 at 6:40 pm

(19) Joyce says:

Just took my smoker out of the box. Didn’t contain the cover or Manual. Masterbilt web site has some addtional recipes you might try.

October 5, 2008 at 8:17 pm

(20) jim macdiarmid says:

hi, just got the masterbuilt electric smoker. seems as though i have to set the time to get the heater to activate – then re-set the timer for the actual cooking time. is this correct?

October 6, 2008 at 11:55 am

(21) JohnB says:

Anyone tried smoking pork steaks on the Masterbuilt Smokehouse? I’m looking for suggestions for the temperature and duration. I’m guessing the same temp and time would also apply to pork chops as they are about the same thickness.

March 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

(22) Shawn says:

I tried doing smoked pork chops or steaks and they dried out really quick, they work better on the grill.

October 9, 2008 at 6:01 pm

(23) Bob says:

Hey Jim,

Used my Smoker this weekend, just set temp & time and left it alone… did 10 lb ham & 12 lb Turkey, together @ 225deg for 8 hours… was delicious, turkey was better than deep-frying….

October 19, 2008 at 6:54 am

(24) Tim says:

I found out that to get a of smoke at low temps you have to use sawdust instead of chips. It was a little hard to find locally but I found the place that actually makes it. It cost me $14 for 40lb bag of hickory sawdust. That will last a long time for me.

November 1, 2008 at 12:37 pm

(25) Tricia says:

We have had this smoker for 1 1/2 yrs. We do Ribs all the time, everyone loves them. We Rub season them for 12 to 24 hours. Spray them with Apple juice and apple juice in the water pan. WOW!!!They taste just like Ok. Joe’s Bar B.Q. We also did a 8# pork loin rub 12 hours or overnight Cook for 3 hrs and bring in and spray with apple juice then wrap in foil. Cook till the temp is 155.

November 19, 2008 at 12:21 pm

(26) Greg says:

Got mine in June and use it about three times a month.Pulled pork is my favorite along with the cornish games hens stuffed with wild rice.Leave the damper at least half open and it draws alot better.

July 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm

(27) Jon says:

The heating element went out on my smoker a few weeks back. The problem was NOT the heating element. I fixed it myself and it cost me about $10.
Here’s what I did…
Using a Dremel with a cutting wheel attachment I cut a rectangular shape piece out of the sheet metal on the back of smoker. The size and shape I estimated based on the location of the heating element (I measured the inside first.) The opening I cut was about 6″Hx8″W. BE VERY CAREFUL TO CUT AS SHALLOW AS POSSIBLE SO AS NOT TO SEVER WIRES!
Once I revealed the box which holds the wiring and connections for the heating element, I cut it open with my Dremel as well. Once open, the problem was obvious. The connector was completely corroded and no longer making contact. I simply cut it off, revealed some raw wire and put a new connector on, which I bought at Lowe’s (got an insulated multi-pack for $3) . I put the metal back in place and taped the back up with that aluminum duct tape. The thing’s worked perfect ever since- and if it goes again, I can quickly open it up and replace the bad connector.
It seems like this is a common problem with these smokers. I wish MB would place an access panel on the back so people wouldn’t have tear the smoker open to fix it…or use heavy-duty or high-heat connectors which wouldn’t fail as much. Again, the problem was not the heating element. If I had ordered a new heating element, it would NOT have fixed my problem.
Now, if your smoker is under warranty, I wouldn’t do this. I bought mine from a family member (though it was like new when I bought it).

August 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm

(28) John H says:

Seems this is a common problem with this brand. Mine went out at a little under 3 years old. Because this is an older model, the service dept told me that the warranty was only good for 2 years, the part is not replaceable, and so they would sell me a new one for wholesale price plus shipping (which is the same as buying one locally at the garden center).
I was pretty much resolved to buy a different brand at a higher price with better features (aka pellet smoker), but read on this and another forum about the problem being a corroded connector, so I decided to rip into the box and try fixing it. The model I had bought had screws holding on the back cover, rather than the factory standard rivets, this obviously had been a factory refurbished model though it was sold as new. So after removing the back cover, and then taking apart the smoking chamber inside the box, I found the decrepit connector, replaced it with a new crimped on connector from our local hardware supply, put everything back together and !Oilah…everything’s working fine again.
I’m still totally irritated at this company’s quality and customer service though, and although I’ve had really good results with the food, I probably wouldn’t recommend this brand again.
The model they tried to sell me they said has a replaceable heating element, and I’m glad I didn’t bite on their offer, because that wasn’t even the problem at all.

November 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm

(29) Rich says:

Regarding the heating element you can buy parts from Masterbuilt


706.327.5622 (local for Columbus, Georgia)
706-660-8022 (fax)

Masterbuilt Mfg., Inc
1 Masterbuilt Court • Columbus, GA 31907

July 18, 2011 at 9:41 am

(30) Wayne says:

Yes !!!!!!
Mb customer service is the worst I have seen!!!!!!!!!!

Ordered two covers for my son in laws as I bought the each one to cover them and only received one. Emailed mb customer ser and still have not heard a word other than a thanks reply for contacting customer ser???????

I own a Bradley smoker and have had not one problem and when I contact Bradley they respond immediately as their reply!!!!!!

December 19, 2008 at 2:22 pm

(31) George Hall says:

I use my MB smoker weekly. The best thing I have found for smoke is to use Traeger grill pellets (Google Traeger) or go to and order pellets. It doesn’t take many to do a great job and do keep the vent open 1/4 to 1/2 way. After you get the smoke you want, close the vent and the temp will stay very stable w/ no more smoke.

December 31, 2008 at 9:26 am

(32) Mike says:

I have had my smoker for about 9 months now. After about the first 4 or 5 months, it would kick out the GFCI breaker each time the burner would kick in. I suspect that the sudden surge may be the culprit. Now I just plug it into a normal 20 amp house plug and I haven’t had a problem since.

As for getting the smoke out of the chips, I find that I must have it set at about 220 to get any real smoke. Below that it just doesn’t want to give me that much smoke.

January 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm

(33) paul says:

I have 2 40″ MBS. I’ve been smoking on them for about 2 years, and think they are great and I’m fixing to buy the new one with the glass door and meat thermometer. I have found that you can get a little smoke ring if you use a mixture of mesquite 60% to hickory 40%. Mesquite burns hotter than most woods. I also use mesquite mixture in winter to bring up the heat faster. My first smoker quite on me, so I bought #2, then I took the back off #1 and found that constant use may fry the wire to the heat element at the connection. Just solder in a new conection and fire it up. I get all of my recipes off the web and bbq shows, thing is they are all for wood burning traditional cookoffs. THe principal technique, temperture,and cooking times apply to the “MBS”. Also if you take a can and cut both ends out of it and place it in the vent hole with the vent open you get a much better smoke draw,and better smoke to your meat. I keep my wood chips soaking the whole time, and fill the tray every 60 minutes or so. Also if you use hot water to soak in you won’t lose as much heat.

January 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm

(34) Eric says:

I have had my MB smoker over a year. I have smoked a lot of different meats, favorite is ribs, pork shoulder (pulled pork), and stuffed salmon. My element failed after 11 months and MB replaced the whole thing except electronic controller. I was very impressed. Has anyone tried using their smoker as a dehydrator to dry fruits and vegetables?

January 26, 2009 at 8:17 pm

(35) Richard says:

I bought my masterbuilt about three months ago.After a little experimenting I have a lot of sucess by removing the wood tray and filling the loading cylinder. If you’re cooking at a temp. over 220 dry wood chips should smoke fine with the vent half open.this keeps you from opening the door to empty the tray. just remove the loader dump and reload.If you are cooking at a lower temp. use a small propame torch to start the chips.The air flow will keep them going.Works for me.

January 27, 2009 at 6:33 am

(36) damon says:

I’ve had my MBS fo about 6 months and have used it almost every weekend. Very easy to use, but don’t usually get the pink smoke ring in meat. I’ll try the can trick in the damper. Only problem i’ve had is the door latch broke at the rivet this weekend, but should be easy fix. Also have trouble getting a good sear on brisket, anyone have any ideas?

February 2, 2009 at 11:19 am

(37) Tom Hammond says:

I had a problem with not much smoke. Here is what I found. I bought a grilled cheese sandwich size cast iron pan. It is about the size that a piece of bread will fit into, square and fits perfectly in the MB electric smoker. Take out the wood chip holder it came with and set this right on the heater element. Ever since I have used this, I can use pellets, chips or sawdust and it will smoke forever.

February 3, 2009 at 5:11 pm

(38) Michael says:

Hi everyone. This is not an ad, let me make that clear. I have a 40 inch Master Built Smoker. I think the best money can buy. I wanted more smoke so I bought a Smoke Daddy cold smoke generator off of Ebay. I mounted it in the bottom of a soup can. Remove the wood tray and slid part of the soup can into the hole. Some trimming of the can is required. Be careful, the metal will be sharp. Now I can have all the smoke I want and the only reason to press the on button is so the display will monitor the inside temp while cold smoking cheese. I can supply pictures which would really help you to understand how I did it. Really cheap but it works.

February 4, 2009 at 9:06 pm

(39) David says:

I would like to see how you made the modification. Looking forward to seeing pictures/instructions.

February 10, 2009 at 10:27 pm

(41) EJ Dilger says:

I have a Masterbuilt model # 2007007 stainless smoker and the element failed. Talking to the Masterbuilt sale rep I was informed the element was not replaceable and a complete housing was needed. I have removed the element and I know it can be replaced. Does anyone know of an alternative source where I can purchase the element?

February 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm

(42) John says:

I used my MBS a couple times and it has done great. Once I smoked some ribs but was not impressed with how they turned out. Next I done some boston butts and they were ok except they were not quit done after nine hours of cooking time.

February 27, 2009 at 7:05 pm

(43) Kenny says:

Bought the unit at Sam’s last summer and was all excited. Tried one brisket and it was too dry. Called company for help and set it up like they said and it was too dry. Flavor was good, but it was tough and chewy both times. I bought meat at local butcher shop, not just store. Anyone have a recommendation on cook time and temp that you know works. Thanks

March 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm

(44) Doug says:

I wonder if any of you who own a Masterbuilt Smoker have had a problem that I have. The smoker heats up okay, but the digital read-out does not show the temperature.

March 30, 2009 at 12:09 pm

(45) Mike says:

I have the 200070206 smoker I do soak my chip
Just enough to eliminate flare ups when smoking if you want a stronger smoke flavor close the vents at the top and try using hicory its the stronger of the smoke flavor I accutally use alot of aple and cherry you can also add more wood when it stops smoking btu you can get to much also.

March 30, 2009 at 12:47 pm

(46) Chris says:

Does anyone know how the MBES compares to the Bradley Smokers? I have a Bradley and it is fantastic (plenty of smoke, consistent product and temp is always there), but a friend bought the MDES and is waiting for its arrival. I just was curious to compare the two.

April 4, 2009 at 2:32 am

(47) Angela says:

My husband and I just love our smoker. We smoke chicken wings every weekend. Then add some hot sauce, place in the oven 30mins – YUM. But we don’t know how to smoke trout, any suggestions??

April 4, 2009 at 4:42 pm

(48) Matt says:

The somke ring is caused by the chemicals in the smoke working with the meat up until the meat reach a certain temperature, which I believe is about 154*F. I would think if you “cranked-up” the heat to 275* for the first hour ( to get the maximum smoke and then dropped back after that, you may have better luck with the ring. But remember this, you can eat under-smoked meat, but you can’t eat over-smoked meat. Ofter the first hour, I’d try to keep the smoke to a light “drift” coming out the vent at the top for the remainder of the time.

With other smokers, they always tell you to keep the top vent open at all times. Nowhere in the manual does it say how to manage the top vent. I’d say try is different ways The more the vent is open at the top, the more the burners have to stay on to keep the temp up, thus creating more smoke.

April 21, 2009 at 10:50 am

(49) ron novotny says:

bought mine 15 months, just love it. I have an apple tree, cut branches & put in my wood chipper, put in a cth bag to air dry & use them. Smokes alot. Now my heating element burned up. The only way to replace is to buy the housing & put your old door on it. Cost $188.00 & they are out of stock.

May 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm

(50) macie says:

i just bought a masterbuilt 30′ smoker and it is taking forever to heat up to temperature. i am still in the seasoning phase. it’s been 2 1/2 hours and its not even up to 100 degrees. any suggestions?

May 13, 2009 at 6:47 pm

(51) Lee Vines says:

Very disappointing. Used 6 times, element out. $189.95 + shipping to replace. I am also looking for replacement. Notice how many comments are looking for replacement elements? Bad design. I won’t pay over $200 when new cost $300. Anyone know please tell us!

July 25, 2011 at 8:24 pm

(52) joe says:

Why would you pay 189.95? was it under warranty?

May 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm

(53) Happy Gilmore says:

On users having problems with not enough smoke make sure your chip holder is in properly.I made this misstake myself,the bottom panel will fit in and insulate the wood chips causing little smoke.

May 19, 2009 at 11:59 am

(54) Raul says:

I bought the stainless model 2 years ago and so far so good, the problem with the chips no burning is probably the position of the chips tray its very easy to place the tray in the wrong position. I got great results using the smoker, I always wrap the meat trays with aluminum foil leaving a gap at the ends for the smoke to travel, I zigzag the gap alternating from one end to another that way the smoke doesn’t travel as fast straight out of the vent and sort of lingers in the inside for a while, I also open the vent all the way right after depositing the chips then 10 minutes after I close the vent leaving about ¼ inch open, after experimenting for awhile the result are nothing less than what I used to get with my old wood burner.

May 23, 2009 at 9:17 pm

(55) Gary says:

Bought mine a week ago and experimented with all woods and nothing compares to the Traeger pellets so far. If you are having trouble getting smoke then Traeger pellets (or something similar) is what you want. I had smoke at 150 degrees with no problem with no modifications to the unit and a little goes a long ways. You can check their website for dealers, Ace Hardware is where I got mine.

June 7, 2009 at 1:11 pm

(56) Bruce Brown says:

If you have lack of smoke, your wood tray is installed wrong ! If you can see the element with your tray installed , the tray is installed incorrectly ! Element must be sandwitched between wood tray and wood tray shield or you will get poor smoke ! and vent at least 1/2 open , and then smoke galore !

June 9, 2009 at 9:33 am

(57) BBQFarmer says:

Get a smokepistol and put it on the unit. I had the same problem and I just threw away the wood holder and put the smokepistol up against the hole in the side and it works great. I start the smoker and the smokepistol and don’t have to do ANYTHING for 5 hours except eat.

June 17, 2009 at 9:25 pm

(58) Happy Gilmore says:

Had mine about a month now,love it .Ihardly use my barrel smoker.You have to experament with times and food.I have been cooking in a smoker for years, and every once in a while it does’t come out just right.It takes practice.After seeing the 40″ model Iwish I’d waited.

June 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm

(59) stevo says:

like the above mentioned….make SURE the chip tray is installed correctly. as far as smoke i haven’t had any problems. leave the vent atleast half way open…i have at times opened the door and emptied the tray. this seems to help too….good luck and i love this lil’ smoker

June 21, 2009 at 8:56 pm

(60) Al says:

Just used smoker for first time and made great ribs. I did not notice much smoke flavor though. Smoked hickory chips for 3 hours. Adding chips every 40 minutes or so to keep a heavy smoke. I don’t know why they put the damper directly over the heat source/wood burner. Should have been on the opposite side so the smoke fills the chamber better and more evenly. Suggestions for better smoke flavor?

July 1, 2009 at 1:29 am

(61) Jim says:

Ive had my smoker for almost 2 years. I have had nothing but good results with everything I have put in it. I get a beautiful smoke ring on ribs and butts, without the use of charcoal. I do have one problem however. When I push the start button nothing happens. Others have mentioned their heating unit going out. Could this be my problem, or is it the control panel?

July 4, 2009 at 11:12 am

(62) jimmy says:

to the person that said ther brisket was dry and tough if you will smoke brisket for about 4 hours with heavy smoke then remove brisket and wrap with foil and cook in smoker another5 to 6 hours it will be so tender and juicy it will fall apart every time. my problem is with the smoker i have noticed several talkin about element going out this has happened to me twice in fact last night this is the fourth of july i put on brisket last night go out this morning to get my fully cooked brisket its half raw and ruined the element quit working during the night the first time thi happened i took it apart and investigated it is not the element but the wire going to it it gets too hot and burns in half at the element but you cant get in to it because the back is sealed i will be calling the company monday i only used this one about 10 times hopefully they will replace it they did the first time if not i thinl i will look for another brand of smoker any suggestions

July 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm

(63) Bill Schindler says:

Put in a brisket,1st time,new owner, early this morning, followed the instructions with the wood chips but I have absolutely no smoke. I tried opening the vent somewhat but that doesn’t help. This is the Digital, Electric smoker. It is set to 250, too high, too low. At a loss. The joke is, we moved the oven outside. Any help would be appreciated.

July 15, 2009 at 10:24 pm

(64) Ed says:

I am now on my 3rd smoker from Masterbuilt. The first one, the element went out. The second one trips the breaker on a 15amp dedicated house outlet after 3 minutes of heating. They sent me a new shell last year for free which is great customer service but it took them 8 weeks to get it to me. So here goes with a new shell and old inserts. When this one dies in about a year-seems to be how long they last, I will be going with a different brand.
I have used mine for beef, chicken, fish and pork and have never had a problem with not enough smoke. I loved the quality of food it put out, just tried of using it for a year and it going out on me.

July 17, 2009 at 4:46 pm

(65) Jeff says:

I just got the MBES about 6 wks ago from Lowes. Had it marked down to $199, plus I had a 10% off coupon.
I found it has a real hot spot in the right rear, I measured and it’s up to 20 deg. hotter there. I put a perforated triangle of foil there (on the bottom rack) and it shifted the hot spot to the front right. I put another strip at the front right and it evened it out a little more. Anyone have any more creative suggestions? What I think would work, if someone had a machine shop, would be a perforated sheet of thick SS or alum., with fewer holes towards the right rear corner. The outside dimension of this sheet would be the same as one of the racks. (would replace the bottom rack)

July 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm

(66) Lawrence says:

Hi – just got my 40″ yesterday and smoked a bunch last night. A couple of questions. The book and website say different things about smoking (fish -book 140 degrees; web 220). I smoked fish, chicken and turkey. I put the fish on the top rack. Should I have put it on the bottom? I smoked everything at 220 for 3 hours. I think the salmon got oversmoked. If you cook different things,how do you take them out and not “mess up” everything else?
Thanks for your help

July 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm

(67) Chuck says:

I got my smoker 6 weeks ago. Haven’t used it much, but last weekend the temp control went,said 300 degrees, even though it was set for 225. I am getting another on under warranty, but their reccomendation was to keep the temp/timet box in the house whenever it isn’t being used. We had a spell of 105 temps maybe that is what ruined it. Also do not use chunks of wood, only chips or shavings. I burned a pinhole in the water pan because it got too hot. I hope the next timer is better, they said they haven’t had any trouble with that device, but I am skeptical. Other wise it performs well, need to experiment with cook times for different things. I had better luck with shoulders and loaf than thin, less fatty meat like chops and rib tips. I overcooked a chicken to start with. Just need practice. my wife doesn’t eat much meat either so unsure what to do with all the meat.

July 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm

(68) chuck says:

Regarding Lawrence’s comment of fish, cook temps, and where in the smoker to put them-(7-20) the closer to the bottom, the hotter it gets. check out some of the smoking web sites, like BBQ Pit on youtube-step by step videos. Of course they do everything on a charcoal cooker, but great recipes, adaptable to smokers. Also, has everything anyone could want about smoking meat. From what I have learned: the closer to the heat element on the bottom, the quicker it will cook. Fish will cook pretty fast, and usually apple or cherry wood is more delicate than hickory. For chicken, you want a nice, plump bird. Of course you can do wings with great success. I did 2 pounds last weekend and had them in there 2 hours. Some were overdone. The internal temperature you measure with the digital thermometer is the key (WalMart has a nice one for about 15.00). As I mentioned in my previous post, shoulders, ribs, and brisket take the longest, but have the greater success rate. Every time you open the door, add 15-30 minutes to the cook time. You mentioned chicken, fish & turkey, Small cuts, or whole birds/fish? The recipe I use for shoulder about 7-10 lbs is cook on 225 for about five hours. Mist with apple juice every hour, then pull it out, mist a final time,then wrap in foil and cook another seven hours (total 12 hours.) Take it out and put in a soft-side cooler or whatever you have, for three more hours. It will pull apart easily, all fat rendered off. THe smaller cuts, you just have to rely on internal temps, and watching closer-experiment, read the forums, there are a ton of them!
Good luck!

July 22, 2009 at 7:16 pm

(69) chuck says:

Ironically, there is an article in the local paper regarding cooking chicken, fish, and seafood and brining(a solution of saltwater). It will help leaner meats stay juicer. It has to do with moisture loss. Normally meat loses 30 percent of it’s weight during cooking. Brining can reduce that number to as little as 15 percent. Read all you can about brining. There are a lot of articles on the aformentioned sites and they can be very complex. One of them mentioned pulling the skin of the breast back and rubbing the brine in, then replacing the skin. Soaking too long can be couterproductive, causing toughness. The important facts for poultry always remain-
be aware there is salmonella on all poultry-
all preperation surfaces are suspect. Wash the meat and your hands very well, and the cookin/prep surfaces. Keep the poultry in the fridge after prep, and before cooking, for safety. I use a bleach mixture to clean the racks from the smoker, soaking them before they go in the dishwasher, and the prep surfaces. Didn’t mean to get in the hygiene mode, 30 years Navy Corpsman CPO.
Also, my previous recipe I forgot to add I used a local spice rub before cooking. There are a lot of them on the net, or you can make your own, Otherwise, the taste can be pretty plain (just smoke.) Still, better than the frying pan!
Happy smoking!

July 25, 2009 at 12:53 pm

(70) Coaster says:

I have the 30 inch mes and after 2 months I am starting to get it. I still can’t get all of the smoke I would like but am looking for a cast iron pan to try instead of the original wood chip pan. Finding the right size is harder than I thought. I found a recipe idea on the net I forget who posted it but it worked great for Boston Butt. I just take the butt and injected a mixture of barbeque sauce and water right through the plastic about a pint or so I guess, although I don’t know if this helps or not. I covered it in mustard and put a rub on it. Then I put it in the smoker at about 4 pm and smoked it to about 150 degress then brought it in the house and double wrapped it in foil. Next I put it in the oven at 230 degress stuck the remote probe in it and set the alarm at 208 degrees and went to bed. At about 5:30 the next morning the alarm went off and I shut the oven off cracked the door and went back to bed. After 2 hours I pulled it out, the temp was still around 175. I opened it up grabbed the bone with my fingers and it pulled right out. I just grabbed it with my big rubber gloves and it fell apart. I put some in a container with some of my barbque sauce and she took it to work. Rave reviews I didn’t tell my wife what kind of meat it was and everybody thought it was beef. I told one of them it was pork and she said she doesn’t eat pork very often but that this was the best, she thought it was brisket. This was about an 8 lb butt at .99 a pound, hope this helps, as you can tell I’m a little lazy and staying up all night waiting on meat to cook is not my thing. Also to clean the smoker I pull everything out of it, shelves, waster pan etc. and throw it all in the dishwasher on high temp pot and pan wash and hi temp rinse it all comes out looking brand new. good luck all

August 4, 2009 at 6:35 pm

(71) chuck says:

I wanted to relate my temperature control arrived in less than the up to 10 working days they said, and remember they also said keep the temperature control unit indoors except when smoking for moisture invasion (???) so I will just sharing

August 10, 2009 at 9:50 am

(72) phil says:

I’ve had my smoker bought from Sams for a few years now and the connecting wires to the element burned out recently. I replaced the connectors and it worked for a couple of months but is now burned out again and the wires are shot. The original wires were just barely long enough to work with. I have it all apart now and I don’t mind fixing it, new wires and all but I’m discouraged to see the coments about replacement elements. Any help here and coments as to why the wires are corroding? I think the element mount to the box is a bad design and allows moisture to get in. I have to use a short #12 wire extension cord to get the smoker outside. Could that be a problem?

August 15, 2009 at 3:09 pm

(73) Deb says:

Has anyone tried wood shavings. For example Luhr Jensen Big /Little Chief wood chips. They are more of a shaving then the chips purchased at your local hardware store.

August 31, 2009 at 12:14 am

(74) Denis says:

Put me down as yet another “Element lasted a year” cant be replaced, soon to be former customer..Poor design if you cant get 40 hours of smoking in a year out of somehing that cost me $300 (40″ stainless) I’ll soon be looking for a smoker thats built to last more than one season…and not built like a throwaway

September 7, 2009 at 7:50 pm

(75) Micheal says:

I’ve had my smoker for about 1 year and I’m on the third unit the heating elements just keep burning out. I love the unit when it works, but this last time I think I’m done with this smoker. A suggestion to master built you have a very good product, you must redesign the unit to keep the element from burning out, this is my third one and its broken, same problem. If anyone remembers Audi in the early 80’s and they’re mishandling of their shifting problem, fast forward 29 years later and Audi is still not where they should be. My next plan for this thing is to turn it door side up and use it for an ice chest, yes a $300.00 ice chest. Also master built should make the element replaceable.

September 15, 2009 at 4:24 pm

(76) Joe Hell says:

Maybe I just got lucky but I have yet to have even the slightest problem with my smoker in the 2 years I have owned it. My only speed bump was that lately I wasn’t getting much smoke…increased air-flow and have had no complaints since. I have used this on a bi-weekly basis for the entire time I have owned it. I would recommend this smoker to anyone and I will surely buy another at some point. I cook just about everything at the same 210 degrees for 1-1.25 hours and have yet to have a bad meal or experience with this. Two thumbs up!

September 28, 2009 at 8:46 am

(77) Dave says:

I purchased the masterbuilt 40″ electric smoker and have used about 5 times, and have been having the problem of my meats coming out way too smoky, ive noticed many people having the problem of not getting enough smoke taste which really blows my mind because mine is way too smoky, im not using very much wood chips at all, anyone have any suggestions?

October 3, 2009 at 2:14 pm

(78) edward says:

Addressing element/wire failure. I might wager that users that expeirence these problems are connecting to power via an extension cord. Ohm’s law illustrates that when voltage drops (caused by line loss), amperage (heat) must increase to deliver required power (watts) to effect the elements purpose. Therefore it is my therory that the increased internal heat of the components caused by line loss, rather than their environmental heat is the cuase of failure.

Have been usuing my 40″ unit for 3 years plus, always plug directly int wall outlet…zero problems.

October 8, 2009 at 6:25 pm

(79) Robert B says:

I have had a problem with the door. The inside door panel separated from the door. You can see the insulation. I have had mine for 4 years and its like pulling teeth out of Masterbuilt to get a replacement door! I have been calling over the last year and nobody can give me a straight answer. In July they said that they would be available in Sept. I called and sent an email and no one has called me back yet. If the unit was $100 I would just buy a new on but I paid $400 for this and I would think that they would have some parts like racks doors heating elements ash pans. I don’t get the glass door on the new units? Seems like a waist! Enough complaints! I have done 12 racks of ribs at once with cherry wood. You need to watch the bottom rack over the heating element that will get hot and could burn a bit. I do 230 deg for about 4 hours with a dry rub. If you have a smaller amount I do the Texas crunch for the last hour. Wrap em, freeze em, thaw em, grill em, sauce em, EAT EM!!!!

October 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm

(80) Gary says:

I have the model #20070508 (stainless/glass window) that I bought back in May. I have cooked several ribs and briskets. My first brisket was a trial run, it was ok but could have been better. Since then they have all turned out very good, tasty and tender.

Everyone has their own way of what works for them when smoking. I have spent hours on the internet reading, researching everyone’s various cooking methods. The one thing that I noticed the most is when cooking a brisket is the cooking time. Most say an hour to a hour and half per lb. Well think about that you have a 10 lb brisket, are you going to cook it for 10 hours or 15 hours, that 5 additional hours might haunt you depending on the occasion of what you are cooking it for.

What works for me is I set the temperature at 225, I base the cooking time on one hour per lb. A brisket is cooked when the inside temperature reaches 190 degrees. I usually watch the temperature and when it gets to about 175/185 and depending on how it looks I then take it off and wrap it in foil for the remaining time. I will let the meat temperature exceed 190, because it isn’t really going to hurt being it is wrapped up. I will also back the temperature down to maybe 210 to reduce the heat.

To this day every brisket that I have cooked has been very good. Back in July I cooked a brisket and took it to a party, it was just my plain jane run of the mill brisket. A few weeks later I had another buddy do a big BBQ where he spent all night cooking 8 briskets. Anyway, the the guy that I took my first brisket to called me on the phone after we left and said my brisket put his to shame, and the guy that was cooking the 8 does all these BBQ cookoffs in town. It made me feel good, but I all by means don’t even want to compete against those guys that do it every weekend.

I season my brisket with Tony’s Creole seasoning (it is a simple all around seasoning). I started putting a little Worceteshire Sauce in the water pan. I started out with half a bottle but really didn’t notice anything. Next time I will use a full bottle and maybe 2 bottles to see what happens. The brisket is always juicy and tender, but I have yet to get the infamous pink smoke ring. I also understand that the pores seal in a brisket when the brisket temperature reaches 140 degrees. I only use smoke chips for about the first 4 to 5 hours, plus I will trim off some of the fat before cooking it, especially if it is real hard in some areas.

Another little tip that I have heard is sometimes once the cooker ages that sometimes the meat will have a bitter flavor from the residue inside. You can poor a can of Coke on a brisket then wrap it in foil and finish cooking it and the coke removes the bitterness and you never taste the Coke.

October 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm

(107) ronda says:

Does anyone have any advice on smoking cheese in my masterbuilt smoker?

October 12, 2009 at 4:00 pm

(81) Robert B says:

Thanks for the brisket post! I have 2 in the freezer that I have been waiting to do. I posted about the door issue and I have a new on on the way it was $112 bucks shipped. I hope its going to fit! They told me that they don’t have the 20070407 replacement body anymore. I hope that I get some more life out of the heating element. My one buddy has built his own smoker and uses a hot plate for the heat source and it works great! I think that I could do the same in the Masterbuilt if I ever lost the element on it.

October 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm

(82) Robert B says:

I have looked into cheese smoking and it is kind of fast like 30-60 minutes If you were going to do a large chunk like 3-5 pounds you may want to cut it down into smaller pieces. I have used a stove top smoker in the past. I have read that its a good idea to let the cheese air out before you smoke it so that it forms a skin and it would be able to handle the heat better. When you see it start to sag pull it off the heat. Be sure to load the chips dry. You want a lot of smoke fast if there wet it will take longer to get your smoke going.

October 13, 2009 at 11:59 am

(83) Geri says:

I just got my smoker and am going to smoke some sausage. The instruction manual does not address the water pan. Do I always need to put water in the pan? If not, when should I use water, when should I not use water?

October 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm

(84) DW says:

I have a Masterbuilt Smoker that I bought at Sam’s Club three years ago and I love it! I soak about four handfuls of hickory chips overnight and I will also put a dry chunk of
hickory directly into the chip pan just before I close up the smoker to smoke the meat. put a handful of chips in the smoker about every half hour to hour until I use them up.

I have the vent open about halfway, and the meat always is smokey and has a small smoke ring on it.

October 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm

(85) Brad says:

When using wood pellets such as Traegers. Do You soak the pellets in water or put them in the smoker dry?

October 26, 2009 at 8:20 am

(86) Tom says:

I have reviewed the bad posts on this site and other sites selling the same product. There are 4 complaints that are reoccurring. 1. The door latch is cheap and will not last. 2. You cannot replace the heating element if it quits working without replacing the box too! The heating element is made into the box and is not replaceable. 3. The inside of the box is not well insulated where the electrical wires connect to the heating element. This can result in the wires shorting and tripping the breaker (or worse a fire!). 4. The warranty for this product is only 90-days which should be at least a year if not longer. This tells me that the company has little faith in its own product and the life expectancy is short.

HOWEVER, there is GOOD news. I called Masterbuilt’s customer support and asked about the above complaints. They indicated they had experienced some “quality control” issues with the manufacturer (i.e. in China) and changed manufacturers because of the problems! The new unit (that replaces this one) is very nice and has been out approximately 2 months. Home Depot in my area just received their first shipment 2 weeks ago. The new unit is model #20070110. The latch has been upgraded and the front door is stainless steel with a glass window and the unit has a light inside the smoker with a meat temperature probe – a definite improvement over the previous model.

October 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm

(87) Jim says:

Tried smoking trout today with my new electric model. They were done after 1 1/2 hours at 225 and the manual recipe resulted in the fish being way to salty. I did wash and dry them before going into the smoker. The new unit worked well. It took 1 hour to build up the temperature to 225 and smoked beautifully.

November 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm

(88) Ron Eli says:

My last comment was in Oct 2007 when I got my MB smoker and I have enjoyed it until now!! The last time I used it was last fall for some delicious Turkey and everything was fine. I unplug my control and keep it inside like I was advised. So I invited people for Thanksgiving and brined the bird. When I was ready to smoke the cooker would not warm up. Not much for trouble shooting in the book and calling the Co. for over an hour got me nothing but a busy signal on all three numbers including the fax number. I checked all the wiring and even took the connecters off and cleaned them. I am familiar with heating elements and if they burn out it will generally alway happen when they are heating. I ran into the next town and bought a hot plate and am trying to use that for heat. I did not do that much smoking in the two years I have had it and the element looks fine and the control board says it is heating but if temperature is not up withing the hour I will have to try and roast a brined bird to save the day!!

December 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm

(89) Ron Eli says:

Ok I had a problem with my TWO YEAR OLD smoker and tried to contact Masterbuilt customer service for help. Here is what I finally got in e-mail form: You decide how fast I will go out and buy another Masterbuilt Smoker!!

It sounds as if your heating element has burned out or there is a problem with the internal wiring of the smoker. In either case, for liability purposes, we aren’t able to repair or individually replace heating elements. All of our stainless steel units have been discontinued, so unfortunately we no longer have the replacement body kit that you need available; we sincerely apologize. At this point, the only replacement option is to upgrade to a newer model. Our smokers (both 40” and 30” in size) are typically available on, at Bass Pro Shop, Cabela’s, Menards, Lowes, and Home Depot. Thanks for your e-mail, Mr. Eli, and have a great day.

Customer Support

Masterbuilt Customer Service


December 28, 2009 at 8:04 am

(90) Simon says:

Got one of these for Christmas (Masterbuilt model 20070910 Digital Smokehouse;) used it yesterday for first time in 28F weather and snow. Pre-Seasoned unit as per instructions; took about an hour for it to reach 275. Maintained temp well with unit empty and vent/chimney fully closed.

Then used unit to smoke a pair of 5 lb corned beef briskets. Used pre-soaked hickory chips from Wal-Mart. Took a long time to get consistent smoking, but it did well once the smoke got started. Then I added a handful of chips every hour for five hours.

Had the process temp at 225F with the chiminey/damper at 50% to encourage smoke circulation. The unit STRUGGLED to get to and maintain 225 (seemed to stall at about 218F) – but it was cold and the wind was swirly and it was snowing (unit was plugged in on covered porch)

After corned beef smoked (heavy on the hickory) for 5.5 hrs, they were transferred from the racks to foil pans and covered/sealed tightly with foil, and placed back in smoker for 3.5 hrs at 225F. The damper was closed at that time, and then the unit started cycling on and off like I’d expect (not struggling to get to and maintain the cook temp.)

The corned beef? Oh, baby. Came out fork tender (pull apart with your fingers.) Family said they might never eat another corned beef unless I smoke it. Best damned corned beef any of us have ever eaten.

I’m concerned about some of the things I’m reading above about heating elements going out and doors working, but mine worked fantastic right out of the box.

December 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm

(91) Darrell says:

I have the MDES model 20070910. I have the same smoke issue as everyone else seems to be having. I am leaving the damper all the way open,but I still don’t seem to be getting much smoke, do I need to run the temp up? if so will I be drying out the meat?

January 1, 2010 at 10:14 am

(92) Andy says:


What worked for me was to remove the chip tray altogether. At BBQ temps (+/- 225) the chips are too far away from the burner and therefore never get hot enough to smoke with consistency.

I fashioned a chip tray out of aluminum foil a bit smaller than the metal one it came with and put it directly on top of the plate that seperates the heating element and the smoke chamber.

This way, the chips heat up and smoke like crazy. I only fill the chips for the first 2/3 hours so I don’t over-smoke.

January 4, 2010 at 12:28 pm

(92) Nelson says:

I’ve had this smoker for 13 months now. Used it about once a month. So far I’ve only smoked baby back ribs and pork butts. Last one was yesterday with 20 degree weather. I have no had ANY issues at all and the results have been tremendous! Every single time the pork came out very tender and tasty. Hopefully the heating element going bad is due to using extension cords. I never used one. The door latch seems solid to me. I also keep it in my garage when not in use. It is very easy to clean. All it really needs is handles so it can be moved more easily. In my opinion, $200 is a steal even if it only lasts me two years. The results are worth every penny. I had never smoked before in my life and had always been intrigued by it. This smoker makes it very easy. The new 20070110 seems to be of even better quality. Get a probe thermometer to make things even easier on you. It is all about meat temp, not how long it takes you to get there. Monitor closely and you’ll have great results every time.

January 8, 2010 at 12:18 am

(94) Krik says:

I’m still learning on this smoker. To me it smokes too fast, but maybe I just grew up on those Little Chiefs. My big question: should I be putting water/liquids in the pan????

January 14, 2010 at 6:41 pm

(95) Rob says:

I see a common thread here and wonder if there is amanufacturing problem. No way can you put my ash tray in wrong but there is a metal plate between the heater elemnt and the ash tray. seems to me the heater should be right up against the tray that holds the chips so that they start smoking as soon as the heater comes on. Thats why there is such a wide swing in temp. My meat comes out right but the smoke is labor intensive since I have to man light the chips

January 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

(96) Andy says:


You bring up an interesting note.

I got my model 20070910 (Black 30″) at Christmas. I believe I have the same smoke tray as you. There is a plate and an air gap between the element and the chip tray. This makes smoking chips difficult.

I was at Cabela’s the other day and noticed the same model on display and it was noticeably different.

The chip tray was much larger, and sat directly on top of the heating element. I played with it a bit and noticed on this one you could install the tray incorrectly as noticed by others here.

I also noticed a change in the inside of the door. On mine, the grease deflector “lip” is angled down to the center of the door (like a V shape). The model at Cabelas was just a straight horizontal lip. If you look at the image on masterbuilt’s website, it shows what appears to be the model I saw at Cabelas.

It appears as though they are making changes on the fly and I’m unsure which model is the current one.

I’ve had success getting mine to smoke by doing some modifications as mentioned in post 107.

January 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm

(97) Southern Smoker says:

Ready to do my first smoking tomorrow. Have a Butt in the fridge…it’s all rubbed down and just waiting to be put in. I got my smoker for Christmas and I am hoping that I can avoid some of the problems that I have been reading about. Thanks for all of the advice and insight.

January 18, 2010 at 7:14 pm

(98) GA Bob says:

OK. Hello to all. Bought mine last week at Lowes. Floor model marked down to $125. Been using a Brinkmann H20, but burned it up. Seasoned the thing Friday night for 2 hours. Got the temp up to as high as 300 on my instant read thermo. Got a lot of smoke with damp chips, but not as much as I would expect for that temp.

Today, rubbed three bone in, skin on, chicken breasts with my DIY garlic flavored olive oil, then rubbed them both sides with my DIY BBQ rub. Let them sit for 3 hours.

Started the smoker up set to 250, put DRY apple wood chips in and waited for the smoke to start. Opened the front and put in the 3 breasts with a digital thermo with cable run through the vent, reduced heat to 190. Got the temp to hover around 230 on my instant read, but the internal thermo was set to 190. Added more, damp chips at one and two hours. Got great smoke. Cooked chicken until digital read 165. Took it out, wrapped in foil for 30 minutes.

Absolutely the very best chicken I ever cooked. Never opened it. Never added water. Don’t trust the internal thermostat. Check it with your own. Start with dry, then add wet chips later.

It may die tomorrow, but it was the easiest cooking I’ve done in a long time.

January 30, 2010 at 12:24 pm

(99) Devin says:

Does anyone have a rec for smoked turkey.Dont like the one in the masterbuilt owners booklet.Should i cut it up or smoke whole.Have had this smoker for 3 years now.Wire burned off behind heater.Repaired.Door seals are going bad and foam at top of door has expanded and pushed plastic end cap at top of the door up.Need new door.Please email answers or questions.

January 30, 2010 at 11:45 pm

(100) Chuck says:

I got my MBES for Christmas this year and so far I love it. My mom got it for me from Bass Pro on Black Friday. I believe it was $339 on sale for $199. I have to agree with the lack of smoke flavor but I’ll be opening up the vent more to increase the airflow and keep the burner going. It’s 10:45pm right now and at midnight I’m putting on my pork butt in hopes it’ll be done around 11am. The last one I smoked should have been done at 9 hours but it took almost 11 hours to finish it for some reason. I have been using an extension cord but will be plugging directly into wall in the future. I’m using hickory chips but have actually thought about pellets. Now that I read this forum I will definately be switching. FYI they have an awesome therometer at Bed Bath and Beyond and I bought one for my girlfriends father for Christmas but haven’t made it back to get one for me. It has a remote to keep in the house with you so you can monitor without having to go outside. Pierce your meat with the therometer, leave the therometer on top of your smoker and take the remote portion inside with you to monitor temp. It’s awesome at $40 but if you have one of their 20% off coupons its only $32.

April 22, 2010 at 9:33 am

(101) ron stanley says:

I bought 40 “. Used it 4 times. Heating element quit. I called customer service for help. They gave me promises, but never fulfilled any. Customer service is a rip off. $330.00 wasted. Will not back up there product. They should be recalled.

May 2, 2010 at 10:37 pm

(102) LP says:

I am also experiencing the “no smoke” described by others and I tried the approach from post 107 placing the wood chips directly on the plate above the heating element and still no smoke. The food (fish in this case) was cooked but very bland since there was no smoke flavor. After 4 hours at 220 the wood chips were drier but the same brown color they were when I put them in. I have a new unit with the glass door & light. I have tried ribs, chicken and fish so far and it all cooks OK so the unit is getting up to temperature but there is no smoke.

May 3, 2010 at 1:19 am

(103) MotoChef says:

Well I just got the time to clean out the smoker and install the new door and of course the heating element crapped out. So I got the drill out and removed the 30 pop rivets off the back. By the heating element inside the back of the smoker there’s 3 screws. The middle screw is the ground and the other 2 are the mounting screws that mount to a small aluminum box in the back that houses the 2 blade connectors. That is the where the issue was. I replaced the connectors one had rotted away and the other was fine. Looking at the back of the unit the left connector was falling apart. If you try to rewire this be sure that you make good connections. I’m thinking about making an access door to that box in the back. I did a bench test after I got it all together and used a lazer thermometer to check the heat and that area by the box gets up to 180 deg. Be sure to use high temp wire. After I got it going it hit 230 deg in 20 minutes! I hope I get another 4 years out of it!

May 3, 2010 at 1:30 am

(103) MotoChef says:

LP! Be sure that you have the bottom of the chip well sitting directly on the heating element. The bottom lip of the pan should hang under the element..

May 10, 2010 at 10:13 pm

(104) loren hatch says:

its a great smoker I read everyones input about the smoke problem went and bought a 3 inch 2foot section of stove pipe cut flanges in it and an area for the damper hdle and then when storing use a small coffee can for covering the pipe works great.
Used silver magic maker to show damper positions.
Did 4 racks of ribs for Mothers day and the family wnt wild boughtthe smoker for $100.00 at a outlet store wish I would have bought another fro the Lake house and one each for my adult children to use have had ohter electric smokers before and this one is the best in 6 hours of cooking ribs 2 different time the water pan never ran out of water the smoke flavor was perfect and the temp stayed at a consistant 225 degrees sprayed with PAM before using and cleanup was a breeze. If anyone wants pic just email me be glad to share

May 13, 2010 at 9:37 am

(105) Andy says:

There’s a few things to know about the lack of smoke issue. One is that there are different versions of the same smoker with different chip tray arrangements. This makes it difficult to pinpoint the problem since we don’t always know the version someone is working with. Another is that there are ‘work arounds’ that you can do to help generate smoke.

I found that pellets do the best job smoking. I’ve used my smoker 6-7 times since I got it and the smoke generated has been enough to coat the entire inside of the smoker dark brown, almost black. (In my opinion, it’s now seasoned and I will not clean anything other than the grates.)

Next, you can actually light the pellets or wood chips in the cylinder loader with a hand held torch prior to dumping them into the chip tray. Allow them to flame up. When the flame dies out and the smoke starts, dump them in as you normally would. This ‘jump starts’ the smoking process. If your smoker has a damper on it, open it half way. The heat from the element will be enough to keep the chips/pellets smoking.

Unfortuantely, when barbecuing, there are always things you need to do that you didn’t expect you would have to. I don’t think there’s a smoker out there where you don’t have to figure out it’s problems/shortfalls. For me it’s half the fun –

I plan on using it this weekend. I will take images of what works for me and post them here.

(106) MotoChef says:

This is what works for me:
Ribs 230 4hours last hour in foil
Bone in Pork Shoulder 230 for 12-13 hours It falls a part! The bone should slip out.
Anyone got time & temp on Brisket?

May 17, 2010 at 9:37 am

(107) Gretchen says:

To get the smokey flavor, preheat your smoker at 275 degree for 30-45 minutes, then set at your recipe temp.

June 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm

(108) TIM FITZGERALD says:

The water tray is some what confusing in the location recommended under the bottom of the lowest shelf. Everything drips in the water contaminating it and nothing hits the drip pan on the bottom of the unit simply because the water tray is covering it! Can the water pan be located on the top shelf therefore not getting any grease in the water???? Your advise would be helpful to a satisfied customer.

June 24, 2010 at 8:52 am

(109) Andy says:


You want the water tray close enough to the burner to be able to steam and keep the meat moist. I’ve actually stopped using the pan since I usually cook pork and that’s got enough fat to not dry out. For leaner cuts I use a spray bottle full of fruit juices and/or vingegar. I give the meat a quick spray down every hour or so.

You can also use a smaller pan or you could fashion a small pan out of foil and just discard when you’re done.

June 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm

(110) MotoChef says:

The grease is supposed to drip in to the water pan. It flavors the steam. Its a mess to clean but its a small price to pay for the end result.

July 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm

(111) Nick says:

I can’t seem to get the smoke needed to give any of my foods that authentic smokey flavor. I have been using soaked wood chips, and leaving the damper half open.

The issue I have is that I’ll get great smoke with the first batch of chips for about 45 minutes, then I’ll add chips, and it takes about an hour for those chips to start to smoke. And eventually towards the end it almost stops smoking all together.

My foods have a fain smokey taste, but nothing like I want, or expect.

Anyone have any ideas?


July 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm

(112) MotoChef says:

Larry take the back off of the smoker(drill off the rivets) Check the contacts in the lower box by the element. You may need to splice in a piece of wire with a new end slip connector. I have had mine for 4 years. The are very simple design and easy to trouble shoot once you get the back off.

July 22, 2010 at 9:19 pm

(113) Lee says:

Can anyone tell help me with smoking salmon & trout?
1. How much wood chips should I be using?
2. What temp setting & for how long to smoke.
3. How often do I need to add wood chips or do I.
4. Should I use the water pan?
5. Best rack to put 1″ chunks & full filets with skin on.
6. Do I need to pre heat?
I understand the internal temp of the fish should be around 145….but what should I set the smoker temp at?

I’m a first time smoker with the 30″ unit.
Thanks for your help…’s greatly appreciated.

August 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm

(114) Rob B says:

Go to the Masterbuilt website they have recipes up now and they have fish too..

August 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm

(115) Allen says:

Anyone thinking of replacing the wires to the burning element, you should be using Teflon insulated wire. This type of wire is used in spacecraft due to it’s ability to withstand VERY high temperatures. Also a solid core wire would last much better than stranded wire. I use this type of in the tube amps that I build for guitars where it’s got 500v going through it and at very high temps and it works just great

August 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm

(116) MotoChef says:

Just a tip about the connector for the control panel. I was sitting in my living room at about 9pm and I caught out of the corner of my eye that the smoker was on! Not running but showing the time at 00:00 and the temp. I shut it off and a few days later it was back on! I unplugged the power and cleaned the control connectors connections with WD40 and scraped the blades on the control panel side (male) with a jewelers screw driver and smoker side (female) with a sewing needle. It has worked fine ever since. As for the question about preheating the smoker before you put in your food items. Don’t do it. You will loose cooking time when you open it and when you place cold meat into the unit. If you fire it up with the meat in the unit it will reach your set temp and the food will reach that at the same time.

August 31, 2010 at 1:45 pm

(117) Michael says:

I have one of the 40″ digital smokers with a non-functioning element. Purchaes in summer 2008, died in late 2009. The company is offering a discount on a new model to replace the one I have. Why would I chance buying a second one, when there is no support on the first?

I think the lack of support from Masterbuilt on this model is unpresedented for an appliance, let alone any consumer product costing over $300. Why not send the consumers with the defective products a new one, or at least charge a nominal price ($50 – $100) to replace it.

Before I throw the thing out, I plan on removing the back and checking the wires. Another option, you can buy an electric smoker heating element with an outlet plug. You will loose the control panel and be stuck with one temp, but at least you can save the shell and racks.

September 3, 2010 at 9:15 am

(118) Andy says:

I smoked a small pork shoulder the other day using a new technique that some with burned out elements may appreciate.

My element is currently working, but I was looking for even more intense smoke flavor so here’s what I did:

I took a small cast iron smoke box that they sell for use on gas grills. It’s maybe 6″ long by 5″ wide and a few inches deep.

I then loaded in about 5 pieces of pre-lit and hot charcoal and put it in the box, with a handful of hickory chips on the top.

I put that box on top of the metal box that houses the ‘chip loader’. I closed the smoker and opened the vent half way.

I have a digital instant read thermometer that I use to check the air temp (Don’t trust the one that is part of the unit) and the amazing thing is taht little smoke box maintained 230F for about an hour and a half without ever adding and charcoal to the box!!

Not only that, but the smoke coming from the vent was unbelieveable.

After about 1.5 hours I added 2 new pieces of charcoal and some more chips on the top and it proceeded to smoke like crazy again. It climbed to 250F biefly then settled back to 230F and stayed there another 1.5 hours! There’s no doubt this smoker is well insulated.

I had the thermostat on the smoker set to 200F just in case I started to lose heat quickly, but it never came on in over 6 hours of smoking! Meatr came out fantastic, nice smoke ring too.

All in all it was not much more work than it was by using the chip tray and the results were better.

September 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm

(175) MotoChef says:


Let us know what you find! I had a burned out slip connector.

September 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm

(176) robb says:

If the element is kaput,
Can you mod/hack the unit with a hotplate and still use the controls?

September 13, 2010 at 7:22 pm

(177) g rock says:

I purchased my masterbuilt 40 last week and have already done ribs, pork butt and brisket. I used a second digital thermometer inside the unit and found that the temp that the masterbuilt was giving was within a couple of degrees so I’m guessing that it’s pretty accurate. As for the smoke issue, I had plenty after soaking the chips overnight. A cup and a half of hickory and apple chips along wih some pellets lasted over an hour and I reloaded a couple times and was able to get the smoke ring on the brisket and pork. So far so good and I purchased the 2 year extended warranty for repair / replacement for 50 bucks to handle any problems with longevity. I have been smoking for many years now and this is the first electric one I’ve tried but am real happy so far. Hope this helps others in choosing a smoker, but I’m real happy with the results so far. Keep on smokin’!!

September 15, 2010 at 9:38 pm

(178) MotoChef says:

Rob I think you could if its rated the same but the element is just a hunk of metal with 2 blade connectors. I had a burned out female connector.

G rock! Brisket how big of brisket for how long and temp please!?

September 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm

(179) g rock says:

Brisket was a 10 plus pounder that I pumped with apple juice blended with good ol’ McCormick’s Montreal CHICKEN seasoning. I cook brisket at 250 and allow for about 70 to 80 minutes a pound. (I know, everyone is saying too high but a lot of guys that have been doing this a lot longer than I have cook brisket anywhere from 250 to 275.) You are looking for an internal temp of about 180 as it takes brisket a long time to break down and get tender. If you cook with a probe you will hit around 140 to 150 and it will seem like the temp is stuck as from there it takes a good amount of time to start rising again as everything begins to tenderize. Be sure to keep it smokin’ for the first two to two and a half hours (apple and hickory wood blend is my choice) and be sure that you keep liquid in the water pan. When she’s done, wrap it in heavy duty double layer foil, put it somewhere to rest for at least an hour to an hour and a half and don’t let it lose too much temp. I either put it in a cooler and wrap it, or in the oven that I have previously warmed and then shut off when I put in the meat to rest. Don’t cut until everyone is ready to eat. Due to a windy day, I had a little trouble keeping the temp up at times on the masterbuilt so I would break up some briquettes every now and then, got them going with a torch and tossed em’ in the loader and got things back up to speed. Anyway, it’s good eatin’ and happy smokin’. Good luck.

September 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm

(180) g rock says:


couple of other things……. be sure that you get a brisket that will fit as the masterbuilt does not have a ton of depth. Put fat side up. And you may have the edges (points) of your brisket cooked real well due to the odd shape of the waterpan in the maasterbuilt. You need to put the meat right above waterpan also so be sure to check the temp at that level if you can, it is different from the upper areas of the oven.

September 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm

(181) MotoChef says:

Thanks for the info! Great details!

September 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm

(182) Jack says:

We also have a Masterbuilt and we did smoke some pork chops almost 2 inches thick, last weekend.

I used a McCormick rub, Savory Herb, on them, rubbing it in real good on both sides, then smoked them at 245 Deg for
3 hours. They came out superb tasting but a little dry. Next time we will soak them in a brine solution overnight and then
do the rub and smoke them st the same time and temp.

September 19, 2010 at 6:03 pm

(183) g rock says:

Try doing those chops at around 210 – 220 and put them right over the waterpan. Have a spray bottle with some apple juice or cider and throw a quick spray on them a couple of times during the smoke. As for your issues with smoke, I don’t get why so many are having trouble with getting smoke as I have used soaked chips as low as 170 on this unit and have good smoke. Wait a minute or two and when you see smoke coming out of the chip loader just open the vent until you get just to the point where smoke stops coming from the loader and you will have the best turbulence and exposure for the smoke. If for some reason you are still have trouble with smoke go to dry pellets, they smoke like mad to the point where I went back to soaked chips for a more mellow and longer lasting smoke. All the best and Happy Smokin’

September 18, 2010 at 10:51 pm

(184) Jack says:

I’m finding out one thing about Low temp smoking. My wife wanted to smoke some turkey legs, low and slow. I set the temp at 225, soaked the chips and put them in. No smoke, no smoke, no smoke. I then put dry chips in and off they went, great smoke. I’m finding out that if you use a low temp, you can forget about soaking your chips, all that does is add moisture to the air in the smoker. I don’t know where the cut off point is yet, but I have smoked some pork at 245 and they came out great.

September 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm

(185) g rock says:

I must have one of the few Masterbuilts that actually does what it says it will do. Just for the heck of it,and to see what the limit of low temp smoking is, I put overnight soaked hickory chips in the loader yesterday when the temp hit 130 after putting in some ribs for dinner. In less than 2 minutes they were smoking great. I can’t imagine that anyone would need to smoke lower than that. That wood box has to be directly above the element with the lower flange underneath. The two flanges that the unit slides into can be adjusted a bit, also, if you need to but mine sits just about a quarter inch above the element and thats the way it came. I have a brisket in there now that will be ready in a couple more hours after putting it in around 6 this morning and she’s holding temp real well all day. It drops about 8 degrees when I add more water to the pan and spray the brisket down, but comes back up soon enough. I also verified the Masterbuilt probe temp with a Maverick digital and it’s within a degree or two all the way up the scale. So far, I couldn’t be happier with this thing. All the best.

October 9, 2010 at 9:43 pm

(186) jerrybs says:

G rock man you have the touch I did exactly as per your post. Only a little hotter 160, but never got smoke.
Your comment about “the wood box being directly over the element and as close as possible,”made me go look at how I had it set up. I can ‘t see any way to install the wood box but one way. What am I missing??? Trying ribs now at 225, maybe the hotter temp and dry chips will work. I do have great smoke btw.

October 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm

(187) 2sidepancake says:

Smoker works great. Very easy to operate. Halved two chickens, Brined for a couple hrs. loaded a 50/50 mix of apple & maple wood (soaked in beer for about two hours)
Set timer for 4 1/2 hrs at 225 degrees. Never open main door during cooking. Takes smoker about 25-30 mins to reach 225 thus the extra half hour. also add wood chips about every hr, the secret being to only add a PINCH OF WOOD at each interval. 5 or 6 chips max. use themometer to check for doneness as outside ambient temperature & other factors can lengthen cooking time. Salt & pepper to taste & serve with your favorite side dish.

October 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm

(188) Eddie says:

I just got masterbuilt smokes just fine did some pork spare ribs used hickory and apple chips cooked ribs for 6 hrs at about 225 deg ribs were not as moist as I would like them and the wife thought the smoke flavor was too strong I did add chips every hour like I read to do. If anyone has advice it would be much appreciated

October 11, 2010 at 10:38 pm

(189) g rock says:

jerrybs – The tray that the chips fall into is set up to go directly over the element and the lower flange that is under the tray goes below the element. You’re right…there is only one way to get it right and the tray should be sitting within a 1/4 inch or less above the element. You’ll see that it sits on two flanges that allow you to slide the tray / wood box into and, if for some reason it doesn’t allow you to get the tray right above the element you can bend those flanges down to get the tray lower. If you really have trouble getting smoke go to wood pellets.

Eddie – 6 hours at 225 is a lot of time for ribs that’s probably why they were dry. Three to three and a half hours (use water pan for liquid) is plenty with smoke for the first two hours should give you a mild smoke flavor to satisfy the Mrs. When you are at the end of the 3 to 3 1/2 wrap them in heavy duty foil with a little apple juice / cider, or other liquid of your choice for about an hour or so and you will have have fall off the bone moist ribs. Happy Smokin’

October 13, 2010 at 10:59 am

(190) g rock says:

I just read on another forum where people were having trouble getting smoke from the masterbuilt that they weren’t dumping the chips into the smoke tray. They were just leaving them in the loader to smoke and thought that the tray was for the ashes after they burned. This would explain why some were having trouble getting smoke as the loader does get hot, but not nearly as hot as the tray. I’m finding it hard to beleive that anyone would do this, but maybe that’s the issue that some of you are having when you aren’t getting smoke. All the best!

October 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm

(191) Rob B says:

I believe it! When all else fails read the directions!

October 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

(192) Dan B says:

My model 20070407 that I have had for about 2 years suffered the element failure. One of the tabs and connector disintegrated. Called and was told unit warranty 90 days, element warranty 1 year. They will not sell me an element, but did offer me the latest version with window, meat prob and new 1200 watt element for $275.00 including shipping.

October 27, 2010 at 7:45 am

(193) Dougs says:

I have recently purchased a masterbuilt smoker and I too have issues with getting smoke out of it. The only thing I have made so far is jerky. I have been using wood chips and if I turn the temp up to 215 then it will start to smoke…but not very much. If I turn the temp down to 200 I have no smoke. I have read all these comments and if I would know all of these problems I would not have bought one of these smokers. I have even tried sawdust and I have very little smoke. Any suggestions?? Also does anyone have any great jerky recipes?

October 27, 2010 at 1:41 pm

(194) g rock says:

Dougs (and anyone else)

Another smoke problem..?..? a couple of points to make….. first, keep in mind that you do not want heavy white smoke coming out of your smoker. It makes the meat bitter from the creosote and is a big mistake that inexperienced smoke chefs do. I think that so many of the posts that I have seen have mentioned they “have a little smoke”. A thin, blue smoke is what you are looking for, that type will actually add true smoke flavor to the meats and not the bitter white smoke that so many people strive for. I actually was not too happy with the Masterbuilt because it gave TOO MUCH smoke so just recently I purchased a great smoke box from A MAZE N PRODUCTS. It fits perfectly on the bottom rail of the Masterbuuilt and produces a great thin blue smoke that lasts for hours. Just this past weekend I was able to produce the best meats yet out of my Masterbuilt. Had some relatives visit out of Wisconsin and I did brisket, ribs, and fattys that were a huge hit. The box is inexpensive and you can use it on your grill also. Great gadget. ALSO, I have used a hatchet to chop down regular size chunks to smaller size that fit in the loader and these have smoked well also. And I stopped using pellets because they smoked too much but maybe a few at a time will work for you. All I can say is maybe masterbuilt has different element wattatge on different models because I get smoke (too much) as low as 130. Best of luck!

October 28, 2010 at 10:32 am

(195) dennis q says:


October 29, 2010 at 8:40 am

(196) ron says:

Send your letters to the Better Business Bureau. After talking with customer service with no response I sent all my emails to BBB & boy did I get some results. It is time in inindate BBB with Masterbuilts flaw in customer service.

November 4, 2010 at 1:04 am

(197) lars says:

Have have a masterbuilt now for 2 years element burned out. What a crappy product

November 7, 2010 at 1:59 am

(198) scott says:

Hi all. If you wan’t more smoke you need to cold smoke your meat. Meat stops accepting smoke in to it’s cells after 120 degrees. If you don’t know how to cold smoke meat slow down your process time. If you raise the temperature of the smoker gradualy the meat will absorb more smoke. Lets say babyback ribs. Start with the temperature at 180 degrees smoke for 3 hours then raise the temperature to 280 degrees and cook until you reach the desired inside temp>

November 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

(199) Betty king says:

I was wondering if anyone knows whether you can sit the smoker on top of a table to use it? If so should the table be metal or wood? It would eliminate bending over.

November 14, 2010 at 10:50 pm

(200) g rock says:

betty king,

I have mine up on two tiers of cinder block so that I don’t have to bend so much. I would guess that, as long as the table is sturdy, it would be fine. There is no issue with excessive heat from the bottom so thats not a problem.

November 22, 2010 at 11:37 pm

(201) MotoChef says:

I got a chance to check out the new glass door unit and the smoker tray is half the size of the SS door unit I got in 07. I can’t see how this unit can work with a tray thats the size of a cigarette pack! My fix would be to get an aluminum tray that you can slip on the burner and smoke with that. A weber grease tray might work. My unit is still working but thats because I have been fixing it! My next unit is a cook shack sm066. Its about $1500 but its made in the USA and I use mine all the time. If your having issues I would contact the BBB and let them know. These things should work for at least 3-4 years! I have a Weber Gas grill that’s 20 years old and works like its new. I can get parts for it too! I have got a lot of use from my smoker but it would have been dead 2 years ago if I didn’t clean the control unit plug contacts and remove the back and repair the contacts to the heating element. Keep up the pressure on them! If they’re selling garbage then spread the word to Bass Pro and Cabelas. Post reviews on the their sit and under the masterbuilt products. If it has a poor review people will not buy it.

November 26, 2010 at 12:00 am

(202) mn farmgirl says:

Thank you to all that have left tips/ideas they made my smoked turkey yummmmy……I did try the traeger pellets and they worked awesome!! I am a believer!

November 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm

(203) g rock says:

I have the Masterbuilt 40 with window and really have had great luck. I just purchased 2 new masterbuilt 30′s with window from Bass Pro Shoppes as a door buster for black friday christmas gifts. I looks like masterbuilt has been listening as the new units have rear wheels and a handle for easy mobility, a REPLACEABLE element (the replacement kit is available for $39), AND remote control / monitoring device. You don’t even have to leave the ouse to check the temp or adjust. And, get this, priced for Black Friday by Bass Pro at $179. Also, all the 40 inch units now come with 1200 watt replaceable elements….up from the 800 watts in the older models.. The 40′s will be available with the wheels and remote nationwide very soon (they are spotty right now)…and in ALL stainless.

December 1, 2010 at 9:16 pm

(204) dave says:

just got a masterbuilt smoke house 30″ electric i live in Minnesota how well do they work in the winter?

December 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm

(205) g rock says:


It depends…. I have the 40 and when I’m using multiple racks and it gets a bit cold I simply load 3/4 of the chip tray with lump charcoal and fire it up with a propane torch to help it get up to temp. I’ve used it down to around 35 degrees. I use lump charcoal because it burns hotter and longer than charcoal briquettes and you don’t get the chemical taste. You can use any small metal tray or even an iron sandwich pan for the lump. The other thing you have to watch out for is the wind. That can definitely give you problems with holding temp. Also, if you have to open the door, do it quickly or you will be dropping and lot of heat real fast.

Best of luck.

December 5, 2010 at 9:01 am

(206) Ron says:

Just bought my MBES and seasoned it yesterday. Temp was right on and will try it next weekend.

December 5, 2010 at 9:13 am

(207) ron says:

about how much water should you put in the pan?

December 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm

(208) JT81 says:

Just a quick comment on the use of extension cords, I know there have been people saying not to use them, due to line loss etc etc… but there would be absolutly no problem using one as long as you use one rated for the correct amperage. The element only draws 650 watts around 6 amps, unless your using one of those dollor store extension cords there should be no problem, use at least a 14 gauge cord with a 15 amp rating and youll be fine. Line loss for a 40′ 14 guage 15 amp cord is only -0.04 dbm which results in barely any loss at all

December 7, 2010 at 7:50 pm

(209) Paddy says:

I bought the smoker and smoked a couple of 4# turkey breasts for Thanksgiving. It took about 2 hours to smoke the breasts. I used apple chips and filled the water bowl with apple juice. The chip bowl was filled 2 times, and the smoke took a little time to start, but was quite sustainable after it heated up enough. The boneless breasts were moist and juicy. You definitely have to have a good outlet and use as short of an extension cord as possible. It takes 1500 watts, and can only use the power you give it. A 12 gauge extension is a must have if you use an extension cord.Also, the colder it is outside, the longer it will take to heat up, so I put it in my garage and make sure it is not near anything flammable. I was so pleased with the smoker that I am buying 1 for my inlaws for Xmas. I suppose a gas or charcoal smoker might be more powerful, but this is a great little smoker if you use a little common sense.

December 11, 2010 at 11:56 am

(210) ron says:

About to put some ribs on..catfish skinning pliers work very good in taking the membrane off the ribs…

December 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm

(211) WJP says:

Easy smoker to use. I’ve done turkey, briskets, meatloaf, burgers, venison. No problems with smoke. No need for pellets, or soaked wood (soakign wood is buy and large a waste of time). Don’t overload the wood tray. Make sure the tray is on the lower flange.

Take care of your smoker. Clean it after use. If you store it outside, Wrap it in a good canvas cover, keep snow, ice, water off of it. During the winter, store it indoors if possible.

December 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm

(212) Bruce says:

I also have issue with my electric smoker model number 20070910. Just got off the phone with MB and they are sending me a new smoker box. They said my box was too far from the heat source.

December 19, 2010 at 2:44 pm

(213) Dale says:

I got the retro smoke box kit from MB, installed it and can’t be happier about the amount of smoke produced. I did my first pulled pork and my family turned into a pack of wolverines. A good sign for someone who can’t cook.

December 26, 2010 at 12:11 am

(214) Dale says:

I hate to keep on talking, but I did a beef brisket on Christmas day and it knocked our socks off. Yummmm!

January 2, 2011 at 1:58 am

(215) Kirk says:

Leave vent closed on top for smoking, open it for beef jerky etc

January 3, 2011 at 9:23 am

(216) Andy says:


Where did you locate the retro smoke box kit? I have one like yours with the smoke tray too far from the heater. I have rigged up a work-around but if they have a permanent solution that would be great!


January 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm

(217) Ron says:

One thing I’ve learned about the Masterbuilt smoker is if you add a couple of busted up charcoal briquets you get the smoke ring in your briscuits and smoked pork. Also helps add a stronger “smoke” flavor. I don’t soak my chips at all, granted I go thru more chips for a smoke but it’s well worth it. Now when I smoke I always add a little charcoal in with the wood chips and everyone raves about the product that comes out of it. I now own the 30 inch and the 40 inch smokers. Would not trade them for anything!

January 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm

(218) Sparkie says:

Used my 30″ MSB for the first time smoking lake trout from Reindeer Lake CAN, salmon from Cub, and fresh cajun sausage from Byerly’s. The fish were soaked in a brine for two hours, then put on a rack in the fridge for 12 hours. Pre-heat the smoker to 160 deg F, apple juice in the pan, soaked cherry wood in the smoke tray, and 3 hours later the most impressive smoked salmon I’ve ever had! It’s 12 deg F in MN, and the smoker had no trouble reaching and maintaining the desired temp with plenty of smoke the entire three hours (adding once after 2 hours). Make sure the wood tray is inserted properly over the heating element – I suspect this is the reason for many complaints. Can’t wait for baby back ribs next weekend.

April 10, 2011 at 2:07 pm

(219) Sparkie says:

Just an update on the MSB 20070910. Had excellent results in cold months with getting smoke. Figured burner was on most of the time. It is 75F today and am smoking pike, chicken, and pork ribs at 190F. It took perhaps 20 minutes for smoke at the vent (1/4 open) but is now a steady waft of blue / grey smoke. Using cherry and mesquite chips soaked for 4 hours.

So far this model has exceeded all expectations. Very happy with results no matter what has been smoked.

January 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm

(222) John says:

I make homemade sausages and when smoking foods at lower temperatures the heating element doesn’t stay on long enough to smolder the wood chips. I found that placing a single burning charcoal briquette in the chip loader with a few dry wood chips will put out plenty of smoke without significantly raising the inside temperature of the smoker. DO NOT rotate the loader to dump the chips and charcoal into the chip pan. Just pull out the loader when the smoke subsides and place more chips or another piece of charcoal into the loader cavity.