The Bottom Line
The Masterbuilt GS40 is a large gas powered smoker with the capacity to smoke up to 12 racks of ribs or eight pork butts. The design is basic with a single burner in the bottom and a full height door in the front. The problem with this large, but inexpensive smoker is typical of this style. The thin metals and a loose fitting door won't hold in the heat or the smoke efficiently meaning high fuel and wood consumption.
The lightweight internal components are lightweight and prone to failure within a few years.
- Large capacity smoker
- Lightweight burner
- Door leaks smoke
- Water pan is small and flimsy
- One adjustable 15,400 BTU stainless steel burner
- Four 333 square inch nickel plated steel cooking grates
- 1,333 total square inches of smoking space
- Full height locking door with center mounted thermometer
- Porcelain coated water pan
- Powder coated steel construction
- Made in China
Guide Review - Masterbuilt GS40 Black 40-Inch Propane Smoker
What the Masterbuilt GS40 gas smoker has going for it is its size. This is a large, high capacity backyard smoker that will produce more barbecue than most people will every need. This is an important point to consider. Even though this large smoker is inexpensive there is certainly a get what you paid for element and since most backyard smokers don't need this much space, buying a smaller smoker might be the better strategy.
Many box smokers suffer from the same problem, the door. Built like a refrigerator, this smoker lets out a lot of heat and smoke every time the door is opened. Add this that the door is flimsy and doesn't fit tightly, what the Masterbuilt GS40 provides is inefficient smoking, which means more fuel and more wood for the smoke source.
If you search this smoker with the term modifications you will find a number of suggestions for improvements. This is the first clue that it wasn't built right in the first place. While thicker metals and a better door would do a lot to make this a better smoker it would also drive up the price and that would make it unpalatable for the mass market merchants that typically sell products like this. On the other hand, these little Masterbuilt Smokers have been extremely popular and there is a lot of available information on their use and even collections of recipes specifically designed for them.