Top positive review
664 people found this helpful
BEWARE - It can become addictive!
on December 16, 2015
Let me tell you a little about this electric smoker. Ours is over a year old now, so it has some use behind it.
It only needs minor assembly out of the box. - attaching handle, feet, etc. It does have wheels, so you can move it around a bit. They are small plastic coaster type wheels, so don't expect to be rolling it over rough areas or for long distances. The door has an adjustable latch on it, so as the seal gets squished a bit, you can make the latch tighter. I like having the glass door on the front, but I do have to admit that once you get some smoke rolling, and if you have moisture in there (from the meat or if you add it in the pan), the door is going to smoke and steam up pretty quickly and you won't be able to see inside for long. There is a light, but it is on the outside, and just reflects off the glass when the door is closed.
The racks inside are adjustable. I recommend taking the ones you aren't using out, so you don't have to clean them after using them. They scrub up pretty easily with soapy water.
I had quite a mess inside after the first few uses. Then I figured out how to make clean up easier. If possible, put your items in a disposable aluminum pan. I was worried it would keep the meat from getting smoky enough, but it wasn't a problem at all. You can also add liquid right to your pan if you want. (For instance I put apple juice in the pan with turkey breast to keep it moist.) The pan contains all the drippings and makes clean up a breeze. Also, wrap the drip deflector, water pan, and grease pan in foil! This is a huge help. Then instead of scrubbing after use, just toss the foil. I do not clean the walls of the smoker, as you want them seasoned. To easily clean the glass, use Weber's grill cleaner and rinse after with water. It makes clean up easy!
There is a built in meat thermometer that works very accurately. With the included remote, you can check on your meat temps without ever leaving your chair. We've had no problems with the remote.
After a year of moderate use, the temperature set button is not working on our front panel. They do sell replacement panels for the front, but the problem is easily remedied by simply using the remote to set the temp.
The wood chip tray works pretty easily. It does not hold a very large quantity at a time. So you do have to tend to your wood chips during your smoking. They will burn up within the first 30-45 mins if you are using dry chips. You can make them last longer by soaking them in water first. We usually keep the chips burning steady for the first part of cooking to add lots of smoke, and then let them die down near the end.
Masterbuilt does sell a lot of replacement parts for the unit. They sell a replacement heating element and it isn't very expensive. I've heard that is one of the first things to go. We bought an extra one with ours, but haven't had any issues with ours. It seems to hold the heat pretty well. Don't forget you will get fluctuations because there is air coming in from the chip tray and exiting out your vent. I've used it in temps of 30 degrees outside and it still worked well.
And the finished smoked product? EXCELLENT! We have not made a meal in this smoker that we did not love! There was not one piece of turkey left over on Thanksgiving day. We have mainly used it for meats, but have also smoked veggies in there as well. I've done some cheating as well. Take one of those rotisserie chickens from your local grocery and warm it up in the smoker, add some smoke, and get good smoked chicken in the time it takes you to warm it up.
I think the smoker has held up nicely. I like that replacement parts are available when something does go wrong. AND...the food tastes great! Beware, smoking your meats can become very addictive.