November 3, 2015
The first of its kind A remote controlled electric smoker. This Masterbuilt smoker has some truly innovative features. The smoker comes standard with 4 chrome-coated racks and a 1200-watt heating element. The side-loading wood chips feature is easy and incredibly convenient.
My favorite feature (besides the remote) is the meat probe thermometer and thermostat. This feature is amazing slow cooking without the worry of undercooked poultry or meat is a beautiful thing. On top of that there is the window and internal light that allow me to monitor the goodness from my chair on the patio. The remote control is exceptional. It is a radio frequency (RF) remote that is able to adjust temperature and time settings. The remote can even adjust the light that’s inside the cooker. Overall, this electric smoker, with its 975 square inches of cooking space is just the thing I was looking for. The door is stainless steel but the rest of the smoker is painted steel. So far, I don’t have any issues with that.
The main features of the product, or the features Masterbuilt recognizes in the product description are above average, with a few exceptions. The heat from the MES drops drastically if you have to open the door for a few seconds but, the smoker returns to its preset temperature incredibly quickly so that is not an issue. I was concerned at first but now, not at all. The side-loading of the chips is genius. I’ve owned smokers in the past that made it nearly impossible to add chips without burning your hand. Great feature.
The LCD displays look nice. Certainly a nice touch to the appearance of the smoker. The controls are fairly simple to learn and to operate but, I would recommend reading the manual at least once because there are a couple tricky aspects to using the remote and smoker together. The initial assembly of the product was simple and quick. Like most products, you sometimes run into a quick 5-10 minute hurdle with the install. These are mostly due to conflicting images on the instructions or over-thinking the process.
The drip pan needs to be emptied frequently. Also, be careful when moving the unit if you haven’t drained the pan recently because it could leak out of the front through the seal on the door. This usually isn’t an issue if you’re aware of it and keep it drained.
The wood chip tray is nice but, it is a bit small and has to be dumped every round of cooking. I assume this is due to its size. This is not really a big deal because the removal, dumping, and replacement of the tray is a quick and simple process. The unit itself is insulated very well and the seal on the door is solid.
There are a few features with this electric smoker that I’d like to point out. First is the build quality. If you move the unit around a lot, say from the patio to the garage on every use, there’s a good chance the wheels will squeak after just a few moves. While this doesn’t affect the quality of the product you’re smoking, it is still a bit annoying. The remote is awesome but there is one feature that I see as a flaw in the design, the on/off on the remote. This does not just turn off the remote, it turns off the smoker. If both the smoker and remote are on, the RF remote can’t be turned off. So, you could be smoking something and if you aren’t aware of this minor feature, you might just want the remote off and you’ll end up turning off the smoker in the process. This could be a real bummer.
AlSO, to add to the build quality, there are certain areas on the exterior that are held together by small screws. While moving the smoker, I’ve noticed it will occassionally bend in certain areas. Not a significant bend but, it’s enough to make you keep an eye on it as you’re moving it.
This electric smoker is an excellent product and I would recommend it to anyone. Most of the “defects” are avoidable if you’re good to the smoker and are aware of them. Be kind to it and it will be kind to you. Happy Smoking!