Customer Review

264 of 292 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Step 1: Assembly and Step 2: Smoking, May 25, 2011
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This review is from: Masterbuilt 20070411 30-Inch Top Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller (Lawn & Patio)
Step 1:

I thought it would be cool to do a step by step assessment of this product. Sometimes I love something the first week and it sucks week 2.

OK, for the unpacking and assembly of the unit. 15 minutes. No screws missing, good instructions, no misalignment of screws. No "what the heck is THIS for?" Well packaged. Good assembly instructions.

Seasoning. Cooked for 3 hours at 275. Took about 30 min to reach that temp. Added wood at about 2.50 hours. Everything went perfectly. Smoke started within 3 minutes (dry hickory chips).

Reviewers note: I own a Masterbuilt electric turkey fryer. I only use it to steam fish, lobster and other seafood. It works great with turkey. It is just I cannot stand the smell of the oil. Most people cant smell it. I can. Buth the unit works perfectly.

BTW, the BBQ guy, John McLemore pushes his recipe book everywhere in the purchasing process. Normally, I find this stuff worthless, but John works up some really good recipes, from Low Country Boil stuff to smoked Prime Rib. $19.95 at my pals at Amazon. Worth the investment.

This weekend, doin ribs.....wish me luck y'all! Will report back.

Step 2: Smoking

I did two slabs of ribs. The unit worked perfectly. The remote control is awesome! I was controlling things from 80 feet away, checking on temp etc. I used MUCH less wood chips than I did my trial run and the taste was fabulous. Less is more when it comes to how much wood to use. I used two tray fulls of hickory. You can always add more flavor later with hickory sauces or salt, but if you use too much smoke.....yuck. Takes some experimenting, and what is so cool with this unit is that it is soooo easy.

Warning: the remote has an on/off button. I thought it was just for the remote. But if you press it, it turns the UNIT on/off in addition to the remote. The instructions never told me this.

Cleanup: the only thing I clean up is the drip pan, water pan, the racks and the glass. Have to do this anyway with any other grill, except the glass. I squirted windex on it and voila, good as new.

Con: the only one besides the remote issue is the drip tray. You have to make sure the unit is tilted back enough to let the grease drain into the pan. Otherwise it leaks through the front. I put a 2" piece of wood on the front legs rather than try to tweak the adjustable wheels. Worked fine.

All in all, a very impressive, easy way to get into smoking!

Step 3: Smoke the heck out of it!

I have tried everything from potato salad smoking to pork loin to brisket. Unit totally dependable, remote control works flawlessly (see above) and the glass IS easy to clean with Windex. Look, I watched from afar, never thought I could smoke food. This makes me look good.


I have had the smoker for several months now, and just like S&P's downgrading of the US, I must downgrade this unit. For some reason, I cannot get rid of an acrid, metallic smell to the smoke. To test, I burned the same hickory chips on my gas grill and in this unit. The gas grill smoke was true to the wood, but this Masterbuilt keeps on giving a combination smoke/metallic odor. I read somewhere someone else noticing the same thing. While it functions perfectly, I can't stand the smell it gives off. Selling it off and buying a Weber Smokey.
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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 45 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 16, 2011 2:10:36 PM PDT
The acrid, metallic smell to the smoke is a BIG thing. Thought of buying it until I read that update by 'The Big Guy'.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 2:22:35 PM PDT
The Big Guy says:
Thanks, is the thing. I have all members of my family smell the smoke of the Masterbuilt vs. the Weber Smokey Mountain and all agree that the smell is acrid, regardless of the type of wood I put in. With the smell of the Weber, the smell is accurate to the wood. Oak is oak, cherry is cherry. I am not a Texas Pitmaster by any means, but ya know, the smell lingers long after the taste is

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 8:41:12 PM PDT
Gramma Cheri says:
Could the acrid smell be coming from something that wasn't cleaned out of the unit? I've had an older version of the MES 30 for about 4 years now, and have never had that problem. I do get the leaking out the front sometimes, hadn't thought of tilting it up a bit. I have always cleaned the main box to get any drippings and such out of it, not till it's back to metal, but just to get any crustyness out of it.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2011 2:15:22 AM PDT
The Big Guy says:
No, unfortunately, the odor was right from the start and continued after many smokings.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2011 8:52:04 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 28, 2011 8:52:24 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2011 9:21:21 AM PDT
Terri says:
The big guy, thanks for the information. I was thinking about cleaning the interior with Bar keepers friend and or TSP cleanser
with a final baking soda clean prior to conditioning the unit .
what does masterbuilt say about conditioning the unit ? Most metals
are coated with oil and I was woundering if this oil residue what you smell. thanks again terri

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2011 12:34:09 PM PDT
The Big Guy says:
Hi terri, no the smell started from the very beginning. Good news is that is has tapered off some and the smoke is smelling more like the wood, as it does in my Weber Smoky Mountain. I use the Masterbuilt on windy days when I cannot control the temperature very easily in the Weber. Enjoy your smoking!

Posted on Oct 21, 2011 7:46:38 AM PDT
I own the same unit. If I remember correctly, the owners book says to only clean the inside with water. Maybe the window cleaner could be the taste you are getting?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2011 8:03:25 AM PDT
The Big Guy says:
Thanks for the idea, but no, the smell is more metallic. I also have a Weber Smokey and did side by side comparison. The smoke from the Smokey smelled more like the wood I was smoking.

Having said that, the taste of the meat on both smokers was pretty much the same. So go figure. You can't beat the convenience of the Masterbuilt, however!

Posted on Nov 14, 2011 8:09:04 AM PST
EKester says:
Awesome review, if only everyone wrote reviews like this! Thanks, Big on to check out the Weber Smokey
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Location: Dallas, Texas

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