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128 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2010
I went to various retail outlets to inspect Webers, Brinkman and the Masterbuilt. I ended up buying the Masterbuilt M7P. I also was not interested in refrigerator size smoker either. An 18.5 inch grill diameter suites me fine.
Here's why:
1. Brinkman - Single not multi-tiered. Harder to work in lower chamber unless you're very tall. Priced over (...)
2. Weber - Way over priced, period. Only had charcoal option not duel; charcoal and/or propane. Height to low.
3. Shop the inet. You can find an M7P for under (...).

I can control the heat better with propane rather than charcoal as I like a cooler smoke under 125 degrees. I bought the M7P strictly for smoking as I have a gas BBQ grill. The M7P water pan could be used as a drip bowl if you do.
Kit included an aluminum pot and mesh basket, I suppose for crab/lobster boils.

Masterbuilt M7P
Pros:
* Xlnt packaging as every square inch was utilized. Amazed how small a box the M7P arrived in. No waste. Go green.
* Nice finish. Over time we'll see if the shine holds. Wish it came in a primer (dull) black instead.
* Every piece was wrapped well.
* All nuts, bolts, and screws plainly labeled.
* Easy to follow assembly instructions.
* Smokes extremely well. I use the water pan as a heat blocker to cool the smoke down.
* King salmon, beef brisket and pork butt come out lip smackin' to die for dee-lishous.
* Breaks down easily so multi-usage becomes a reality. Just lift the sections up and away. That's it.
* Handles remain cool after 5 hours of smoking. BIG thumbs up!
* NO smoke leakage, it all inside the unit.

Cons:
* Looking for a another burner. The flame range is medium to high. When set low it tends to choke. By this I mean you hear a whooshing/roaring sound as the flame turns from blue/green to yellow/orange. By low I mean the flame is licking the chamber bottom 8" away, yet I cannot maintain a blue/green flame.
* Have to make adjustments to the top lid air/smoke vent so it closes completely.

**Note: When installing the burn unit note the positions of the legs. One leg is at the back while two are in front. Mount the unit so the propane hose faces the correct direction - right or left - as it's not long enough to reach around if mounted incorrectly. If U goof, it's a simple four screw removal to remount the unit...a 2 minute job.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2011
I've used smokers for 30+ years--probably 8 of them. Charcoal, electric, pellet, and now propane. Priorities for me are ease of use, smoking quality, product design and execution, and value for the price.

The M7P scores high on all of these criteria, except for a couple of minor shortcomings.

Good News:

Super good packing, easy assembly.
Good construction, bearing in mind you're not getting heavy steel body and porcelain grids at this price.
Easy to use (but see the not-so-good news below).
Excellent range of temperatures.
Can cook with charcoal or gas.
If using charcoal, can start it with gas (BIG convenience!)
Extras (fryer/steamer pan with basket)

Not-So-Good News:

Can't add water through front access (but you won't need to on must smoking jobs).
No igniter (but using a 99-cent butane stick lighter is easy).
Burner control is on the regulator at the propane tank end of the hose -- an inconvenience.
Masterbuilt cover not available -- have to get an aftermarket one.

Summary: Great value and versatility for the price. Pleases this seasoned veteran :-)
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2010
This is an OK unit for the price. Don't expect a heavy duty unit.

One BIG learning -

If you turn on the propane to quickly it triggers something in the pressure regulator and it will severely limit the heat. You will not be able to get it to the right temperature.

I saw this fix online and it worked like a champ:

1. Shut off gas at propane tank
2. Open the pressure regulator all the way.
3. Disconnect the hose from the propane tank.
4. Reconnect to propane tank - leave the pressure regulator wide open.
5. SLOWLY turn on the propane tank while lighting the burner.

Once you do this you can completely adjust the flame.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2011
I had one Brinkman charcoal smoker and two Brinkman electric smokers before I bought this Masterbuilt smoker. The heating element kept going bad on the electrics and charcoal is just too much work.

I got the Masterbuilt and my first couple of smokes were too hot. I could not lower the temperature enough to smoke properly, cooking too hot.

I called Masterbuilt's customer service. Wow. Lady said right off, "Your regulator is bad.". She sent me a new one, got it in about 5 days. Changed it out and this thing is smokin' and I am smilin'.

The build quality is good. I wish it was made in the US, but not much choice if you apply that criteria.

I like this smoker. I like gas better than electric.

I would recommend Masterbuilt.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2009
I just used mine for the first time. It went together pretty easily. Today was probably the worst day for smoking and it worked quite well. Despite the weather alternating between sunny and rain/sleet with a high of 40 I was able to keep it right at 200 degrees with relatively little tweaking, especially considering this was my first time smoking. The only exception was a brief spike when it ran out of water. It was pretty gusty and I did initially have a hard time keeping it lit until I set up a little wind break. I think that was more a case of me picking a bad weather day but it may be a concern in someplace that is often windy. I was able to smoke a 5lb pork loin in 5 and half hours and it tasted great! As good as any restaurant. I highly recommend this smoker.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2014
I'm brand new to smoking, and so far this is a very easy smoker to use. Assembly should be easy for anyone who has ever used a screwdriver and can read. I had to get a new regulator and venturi, but customer service was great. Amazon does not always have these in stock, but other suppliers sell these for less than $100. Do not buy it for more. Target sells them online as well for under $100. Some tips that may help:

1. Get a new thermometer. The stock one blows, as it typical of ALL grills, smokers, etc. The oil thermometer is pretty accurate though and can be placed in the top vent to give a read on the top rack. If you got the scratch get a dual probe oven/meat thermometer. If you want to save some money, get a River Country thermometer, and it serves as a good back up if the batteries in your digital dies. They are relatively cheap and accurate. I have the 3 inch one and can read it from about 20 feet away. I drilled the 13/16's hole (used a 7/8's step bit) about 1/2 way down the middle chamber. I use a decently priced leave-in meat thermometer.

http://www.amazon.com/River-Country-RC-T3W-Professional-Thermometer/dp/B004DK92ES/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1408232091&sr=8-2&keywords=river+country+thermometer

http://www.amazon.com/DTP482-Programmable-Probe-Thermometer-Timer/dp/B00046YFHE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408234528&sr=8-1&keywords=CDN+DTP482+Programmable+Probe+Thermometer%2FTimer

2. Line the chip tray with foil, and pack the slits with foil. The slits can cause flair ups, saves clean on up, and will help preserve the tray..

3. Wrap the water pan in large foil, it saves on clean up.

4. Move the water bowl on top of the bottom rack. This will increase the space you have to put chips or chunks in the wood tray. Chunks will not fit, and putting chips in is a pain, while smoking if you leave the bowl where the directions say. You can get a new rack pretty cheap online to put on top of the water bowl so you can still have two levels for large groups. 1 level is enough for a family or couple.

5. I've found that to get the chips/chunks smoking you need to crank it to around 300 uncovered. Cover the wood with foil and put about 3 slits in it. Chips started smoking at around 180, while chunks started at around 275 then I dialed it back. I prefer chunks as 3 will last around an hour, while chips burn pretty fast. If you are partial to chips, 2 cups at the start should hold for a while.

6. The water bowl is plenty big. Unless you are smoking (less than 250) for more than 8 hours you should never need to re-fill it. I was concerned about the access, but so far it's no concern.

7. Get a wind break. Gas smokers are prone to being blown out by wind. I use my other grill gas grill with it's cover on for one side and put 2-16" pavers on the other 2 sides. No blow outs!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2014
I didn't want to be some "pit master" or anything like that. I wanted to smoke some meat, make it easy as possible and be able to impress my friends somewhat. Not only did I want to be able to smoke, I wanted a unit that boils/fries too. And I wanted it to be propane because I tried charcoal once and it was a pain to keep a constant temp., you had to watch it like a hawk, either adding to taking away charcoal all the time. Not for me, I wanted to set it and be done with the adjustments. Did I say I didn't want to be a pit master? So the Masterbuilt fit the bill for me. It's not without a flaw or two like its a pain to change the wood chips and the temp gauge on the top stopped working on the 2nd usage (but you shouldn't be using them to begin with, buy a real one). But with propane, I can smoke (somewhat) like a pro.... and I can impress my friends (and myself). This smoker is well worth the money and I would buy it again if I had to. But I'll repeat myself, I am not trying to be some grand smoker, I just want good food and this does it for me. I also purchased the Dinosaur BBQ cookbook (also on Amazon). It's more than a cookbook, it aims to educate the reader on how to smoke and grill correctly. Using both items, I can turn out some high quality meats.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2010
Mild gusts of wind will blow out the burner so you have to constantly have to monitor it while smoking on anything other than a calm day. My first try at smoked trout turned out very good however.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2011
We bought this unit specifically to smoke Kokanee salmon. Unfortunately, this unit burns too hot, and the burner is too susceptible to wind. We have tried adjusting the regulator control valve on the gas cylinder tank and air shutter valve, and still can't seem to hold the temperature below 200 degrees for any length of time. We end up sheltering the smoker in the garage, then the garage smells like smoke. Even the manual does not list temperatures below 200 degrees. So if you are looking for a unit that smokes at a low temperature, pass on this smoker. Save yourself the frustration.
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2008
First off - the product is good.

Shipping was slow.

Product came damaged - I called Masterbuilt for a replacement part - was told since I bought thru Amazon they considered that as 3rd party and were not supposed to warranty it. They did however 'make an exception' and send me the part. So if you do buy and have to call them don't say you got thru Amazon
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