Smoker Reviews

This is the page where we will check out and give you our smoker reviews. We will cook with each and give you the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Well, hopefully no ugly!

I have bought a few smokers and wished that someone gave real and down to Earth smoker reviews! It is easy to find comments on the high end units, and heck for all that money they had better be good.

We have many options when it comes to smokers. For many years, I did all my smoking on my trusty Weber Kettle. I made some killer dinners there!

In my restaurant kitchen, I had a great and simple gas fired Chitwood smoker. I loved working with that smoker. A bit much for home, but a great unit.

We will give our smoker reviews on gas, electric and wood/charcoal fired units.

The First in our Smoker Reviews - The Master Forge Smoker

Well this November, we bought our new smoker out of necessity, we wanted a smoked turkey for thanksgiving, our pastrami had been brining for two weeks and our faithful digital unit had a short. So, we bought our new Master Forge Propane smoker. An entry level and simple unit.

We brought the smoker home in the large box and I promptly started opening the box, which reveled more boxes and the dreaded small parts. Undaunted I pulled out my trust screwdriver set. My bride started making some of those pot stickers from Trader Joes.

The assembly was straightforward and easy, no surprises. I did actually look at the picture on the instructions, but that was about it.

By the time, Rainee has the pot stickers on the table; I had almost assembled the unit. 20 minutes.

Rainee’s pot stickers were delicious, but they were not grilled so no review here.

Back to the assembly, another 10 minutes and all done. The only trouble I had was my fumble (repeatedly) of the retaining clips for the door handles. I skillfully managed to drop them into the cracks on the door of the smoker. The was no way in Heck that my fingers were getting in there. But though brilliant crisis management, I figured out that the doors pop right off and I shook the little things right out.

So total assembly time was around 30 minutes. The smoker fired right up and the turkey went in. The game plan was to smoke our turkey for 6 hours at 240-250 degrees. The temperature struggled to stay above 230 degrees. The temperatures were around 40 degrees so the snow was not sticking. The winds did pick up so, I had to create a wind block. So, if you set up this unit place it in a shielded area. We followed our plan, and then we finished off the bird in the oven.

Our round two test was smoking some Buffalo Prime Ribs. We seasoned up our prime ribs and set off with the game plan of smoking at 250 to 275 for 3 to 4 hours. Well, I looked at the outside weather and knew this may not go according to Hoyle. The outdoor temperatures were in the 20s and not anticipated to get above freezing. We placed the smoker in a nice sheltered wind free setting and fired it up. We were not able to get our temps above 225 degrees. But we proceeded with smoking. We smoked the ribs for the four hours, and pulled them off with an internal temp of 125, and finished them off in the oven at 275 to an internal 140 degrees. Well, if you have cooked many prime ribs, they love slow cooking and these were outstanding. Cooking poultry that slow may have been scary, but these Buffalo prime ribs came out great.

Overall impressions

The Master Forge smoker is a good entry-level smoker. I do have some reservations if you are going to use it year round in cold climates. In that case you may want to opt for a better-insulated and/or higher BTU unit. However, the smoker performs as it should under regular climate and does delivers at it’s price point.

So overall we are satisfied with the purchase, with some reservations. If you plan to use your in an area where it get cold or windy, you may look at a unit that provides some level or insulation or protection from the elements. We give this unit a 3 kettle score. It is OK under some applications. Good value for the money if you do not need more insulation and protection.

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