How to Use a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Like a Pro

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Are you looking forward to buying an electric smoker but don’t know how to use masterbuilt electric smoker? Don’t worry; read this article to learn the cooking process, cleaning process, troubleshooting guide with general warnings and safety information and more. 

Masterbuilt is well known for providing high-quality electric smokers. These smokers are easy to use, reliable, and available in different designs suitable for professional and home cooks.

For an outdoor grill lover, an electric smoker is a must-have! Using an electric smoker makes the smoking process much more convenient and effortless. It may sound complicated and bothersome at first, but as a long-term user of this smoker, I can say without a doubt that you will miss out a lot if you do not give it a try. So, let’s start with-

How Masterbuilt Smoker Works

Masterbuilt smokers mainly consist of a cooking chamber, stainless steel grill racks, water bowl, wood chip tray, heating rods, etc. 

It works by heating the cooking chamber where air circulates. The heating rods at the bottom of the smoker heat the smoker’s inside and cook the meat.

Electric Smoker Mastery: A Complete Guide on How to Use a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

Now that you have an idea about the Masterbuilt electric smoker let’s move on to the main topic of how you can use this smoker. 

  • First, season your masterbuilt electric smoker before starting. This is the first step
  • Then, add wood chips. Fill the tray with chips, then put the tray back into the smoker. 
  • Then, turn the handle to drop the chips inside the smoker.
  • Do not overfill the tube. Add half a cup of chips at a time; otherwise, it may affect the outcome. 
  • Now, preheat your electric smoker, it is mandatory to preheat a smoker before adding the foods
  • Fill the water pan and place it on the lower tray. Now, your smoker is ready to cook food. 

Still confused? Let me unfold your confusion layer. Keep reading the further discussion – 

Before you start cooking on your Masterbuilt electric smoker, you need to season it. Seasoning helps to remove any contaminants or chemicals left on the smoker during the manufacturing process. It makes cooking more manageable as well as ensures an incredible smoky taste.

Preheating is a must in an electric smoker. After adding the wood chips, preheat for 45 minutes or an hour at a high temperature before adding food. Make sure to add only half a cup of the wood chips at first. 

You can add the other half cup when the previous batch stops generating smoke. The foil prevents heat from circulating, so avoid adding them on the racks.

In this step, you need to fill the water pan. You will find the pan at the lower tray of your smoker. Slide it out, fill it with hot water and slide it back inside the smoker. 

Using hot water instead of cold water ensures the smoker’s optimum temperature and keeps the meat moist and juicy.

After making sure your smoker is ready for cooking, you can start preparing the food you need to cook. You can coat the meat with dry spices or marinate them overnight. Seasoning the meat maximizes the taste and flavor.

Different recipes follow different seasoning ingredients and marinade time. Prepare your meat by following a recipe that you like the best.

Now, load your meat into the smoker if you feel there is a sufficient amount of smoke. Use a spatula with a long handle to transfer the meat. 

  • For easy loading, you can use grill mats. 
  • When opening the smoker, do not stand directly in front of it as it will release a puff of smoke. 
  • After the smoke dissipates, you can load the meat. 
  • You need to be fast when sliding the food onto the racks. 
  • The temperature is lowest at the lower part of the smoker and higher at the smoker’s top. 
  • So, put thicker parts on the top racks and thinner parts on the lower shelves.
  • Now that the meat is in the smoker, you need to make sure the temperature is right for the type, size, weight, thickness of the meat you are cooking. 
  • 225℉ is perfect for getting the best result in cooking meat and fish. 
  • To avoid overcooking or undercooking, you need to set the time as well. 
  • After setting the smoker, shut the door of the smoker and lock it. 
  • Locking the door is essential as it prevents the release of smoke or heat.

Touching the door with bare hands may burn your hand as the surrounding surface of the metal door heats up efficiently. So, always use the built-in hook/handle when opening or closing the door.  

At this stage, you can add more chips or water if you feel the need. Keep observing the wood chips and smoke level. 

Refill the water pan and then add the additional ½ cup of chips if the smoke level is not enough. Avoid over-smoking as it may give you a burnt taste.

The temperature may rise when you add chips, but no need to worry. It will go back to the normal temperature automatically. So you do not have to fix it manually.

Don’t Forget to Clean – Here Is The Cleaning Process 

Now that you are done with cooking, don’t get lazy in cleaning the smoker. Regular cleaning will give you a more comfortable cooking experience. Follow these steps to clean your smoker quickly.

  • Unplug and Cool Down The Smoker
  • Clean The Removable Accessories
  • Scrub The Smoking Chamber
  • Wipe Out The Inside of The Smoker
  • Pat The Smoker Dry

Simple, isn’t it?  Keep reading to get more clear instruction – 

Before you start cleaning, unplug the smoker and let it cool down. Turn off the smoker by pressing the power button. 

If you do not unplug properly, electricity may run through the cord even when the power is off. Situations like this may cause burns or electrical shock. 

  • In this step, you have to take out the removable accessories such as racks, water pan, chip tray, etc., from the smoker. 
  • Remove debris and dirt particles from them with a damp towel. 
  • You can use a dishwasher to clean these accessories.
  • If your smoker gets too greasy, scrub it with soapy water using a sponge or stiff-bristled brush. 
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaning tools as they might scratch the inner surface of your smoker.
  • After scrubbing, wipe the interior smoker chamber with a clean, wet towel. 
  • The seal inside the door needs to remain effective for next time use. 
  • So take extra care when wiping the inner parts of the door.
  • Finally, run over the entire smoking chamber with a dry, clean paper towel or rag. 
  • Then let the smoker sit for some time with an open door for complete drying. 
  • Wipe the exterior of the smoker regularly to keep it clean/

Important Facts About Using Masterbuilt Smoker

Let’s find some essential facts about the electric smoker. These facts will help you use Masterbuilt smoker easier.

  • Wood chip loader and tray reduce the chances of flare out of the woods. You must ensure that these two are in the right place when using the smoker.
  • Wood chips are essential in masterbuilt smokers as they create a smoky flavor by producing smoke. If you want intense smoke, use dry chips, as they burn faster. For less intense smoke, you can soak the chips for at least 30 minutes before using them.
  • Always check on the grease level on the grease tray. You have to empty the grease tray regularly before it gets full with grease. Don’t wait until the last minute.
  • You should open the smoker door only when necessary. Closing the door will solve wood flare-up and longer cooking time problems.
  • Clean the wood chip tray before and after every use to avoid wood ashes buildup. 
  • To ensure the meat is perfectly cooked, you can use a thermometer for testing the inner temperature.

How To Use Control Panel and Remote Control

To get the best out of your smoker, you must use the control panel and remote control properly. For this, you need to be familiar with the following tasks. 

Replacing Batteries: First, remove the battery by sliding the belt clip on the left. Then pull out the battery cover by pressing the tab down. You need to install two AAA Alkaline batteries.

For proper installation, check the positive and negative signs on both the case and battery. Replace the cover of the battery. 

Testing Frequency Range: First, turn the unit on. As you move, use the remote to turn the light on and off. If the light stops turning on and off, it means the remote is not inside the frequency range. You need to test the frequency range both before and after use.

Setting Temperature: To set temperature, first press the power button. Set the temperature using +/- when the LED display blinks. Press on the set time button again to lock the temperature.

Setting Timer: Use +/- to set hours and minutes. Pressing set time will start the cook cycle by locking minutes and hours. The heat will turn off automatically when the time expires.

Using Meat Probe and Light: For precise reading, insert the probe into the center of the meat. Pressing and holding the probe button will show the inner temperature of the meat. You can turn off and on the light by pressing the light button.

Reset Control Panel: You can reset the control panel when it shows error messages. Turn off and unplug the smoker. After 10 seconds, plug it in again. Turn on the smoker to complete the reset process.

Also Read: Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Tips And Tricks To Become A Master Of Smoking

Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Troubleshooting Guide

When running an electric smoker, you may face some issues, but you can quickly solve them if you know some troubleshooting guides.

If you face difficulties in turning on the power light, you may check the connections and household fuses. Improperly plugged into the wall, loose or no connection of controller wire to the smoker, problems in house fuse might be the reason behind this.

Inadequate wood chips may not produce any smoke; in that case, you have to add more wood chips. Heating time may exceed 60 to 70 minutes if the smoker connects to an extension cord or the door is not closed correctly. 

To solve this problem, use an alternative to an extension cord such as a wall unit and tightly secure the latch after closing the door.

A misplaced drop pan or excess accumulation of oil/grease can cause the lubricant to leak from the smoker. Try to move the drip pan to adjust the hole with the lower unit’s drain hole and properly clean your smoker to avoid these issues.

Also Read: Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Instructions (Using, Cleaning, Maintaining & More)

Preseason Instructions

Seasoning an electric smoker is quite different from seasoning a charcoal smoker. You need to keep in mind the following steps to ensure proper seasoning before first use. 

  • You need to make sure that all the pieces of smoker equipment are in the right place. Never pour water into the water pan. Rub the internal surfaces of the smoker with oil.
  • Use the nearest socket to plug in the electric smoker. Switch on and set the temperature 275℉. 
  • Set the timer for three hours, and then during the last 30 to 45 minutes, add wood chips about half a cup. 
  • Now that pre-seasoning is complete, switch off the smoker to let it cool down.

How to Use Wood Chips Loader

Let’s find out how you can use the wood chips loader step by step.

  • Soak the wood chips in water beforehand for 30 minutes.
  • Before turning on the smoker, add 1 cup of wood chips to the wood chip tray. Never use more than 1 cup of wood chips at the same time. Avoid using wood chunks. 
  • Slide in the loader into the smoker.
  • Turn the handle to drop the wood chips inside the wood chip holder of the smoker.
  • Check the wood chip holder periodically to determine the burning status of the wood chips. 
  • Always keep the smoker door closed when adding more wood chips. Otherwise, the loader may get hot despite the handle not being hot.

How to Assemble Masterbuilt Electric Smoker – Assembly Process

Setting up the smoker is not that hard. Select a clean, flat surface for assembly. Position and attach the wheels at the bottom of the smoker with the help of Phillips screws. 

Insert stabilizing screw head into the keyhole to mount and position the control panel at the top of the smoker. At the back of the smoker, you need to attach the rear handle using Phillips screws.

Place the accessories such as cooking racks, wood chip loader, drip pan, and water bowl inside the loader according to the manual’s instructions.

General Warnings and Safety Information

When handling an electric smoker, ensuring safety should be the first priority. Follow these precautionary tips for safe cooking.

  • Never use an electric smoker in an enclosed area. Use it in an open outdoor place.
  • Avoid bumping the smoker.
  • Never use a damaged cord/plug when operating the smoker.
  • When plugged in, never move the smoker.
  • Wear protective gloves when removing foods from the smoker to avoid burns
  • Make sure all the surfaces of the smoker are cool before storing. 
  • Take special care when using a long extension cord. Keep the cord dry and above the ground to avoid electric shock risk. 
  • Do not allow kids or pets to go near the electric smoker.

Carbon Monoxide Hazard and Warning

Burning wood chips produces carbon monoxide. It is a colorless and odorless gas that can kill people in a minute. 

Never burn wood chips when you are inside the house or in any enclosed areas. Always use a well-ventilated outdoor area.

For ensuring proper safety, always read the manual’s instructions before and during using the smoker.

What is Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

An electric smoker is a cooking device used for cooking foods with the help of electricity. Masterbuilt electric smoker is easy to use and perfect for beginners. It is well insulated, which helps to maintain a constant temperature inside the smoker.

You can find these smokers in a wide range of different configurations and designs. The digital electric smoker lets you control the cooking time and internal temperature of the smoker.

How often do you add wood chips to a Masterbuilt electric smoker?

Keep adding wood chips for half of the cooking time or until your meat achieves 140℉. The addition of wood chips of about one tube every hour is perfect. In case your wood chips burn too fast, presoak them in water for about 30-60 minutes.  

Where does the water pan go in a Masterbuilt electric smoker?

The water pan goes over the heating element of the electric smoker. You can find the water pan on the lower rack of your smoker. Slide-out the pan to empty and fill.

Why is my Masterbuilt electric smoker not smoking?

To produce smoke, make sure the tray is clean and near to the heating element. Opening the vent will produce more smoke. 

Wood chips with limited moisture are also another reason for no smoke. Try purchasing wood chips with measurable moisture for working effectively.

Can you put aluminum foil in an electric smoker?

Aluminum foil speeds up the cooking time, lessens cleaning time, and gives you the perfect juicy meat. There are maybe a few health concerns regarding using foil, but they are not a significant threat to your health as long as you do not use foil in every smoke. 

Never cover the racks with metal foil as these foils trap heat and can cause severe damage to the smoker.

Do I need to add water to my electric smoker?

You need to add water to your smoker as water helps control the smoker’s temperature. Adding hot water can speed up the temperature. In addition, water adds humidity to the smoker, preventing the meat from drying out.

Do you put the meat directly on the rack in an electric smoker?

It is not recommended. Hours and hours of intense direct heat can permanently discolor cooking sheets or other cookware.

Can you leave a smoker overnight?

It is never safe to not observe the smoker for a long time. However, if you have to, make sure the pallets/chips are clean and of good quality. Move the smoker away from home to be safe and set the temperature low.

Can I use pellets in an electric smoker?

It depends on the type and brand of electric smoker you are using. Some electric smokers recommend using wood chips only. You can find pellet smokers from Masterbuilt to use pallets. 

How do I control the heat in my smoker?

You can control the temperature using the vents and damper. The dampers at the bottom help oxygen to enter the smoker and increase temperature. You can release the heat by opening the vents and dampers at the top.

Do I open or close the vents on my smoker?

If the temperature rises above 250°F, close the vent to reduce the temperature. If the temperature falls below 225°F, open the vents to enter more oxygen inside the smoker. It will increase the temperature.

Does an electric smoker use a lot of electricity?

Electric smokers are cheap to operate as they do not use a lot of energy. The majority of smokers use the energy of 800 watts per hour. These smokers do the job correctly without spending a lot of electricity.

Can you use a Masterbuilt electric smoker in the winter?

Using an electric smoker in winter can be challenging. Cold weather, rain, snow, and wind can hamper the smoking process. 

Closing the door, using an insulating jacket, smoking in a partially sheltered area are some solutions you can adopt. Masterbuilt electric smoker insulation blankets are excellent in maintaining a steady temperature.

Can I use my masterbuilt smoker in the rain?

You should not use a masterbuilt smoker in the rain. The rainwater can cause severe damage to the electric components of the smoker.

Can you put wood chunks in an electric smoker?

Using wood chunks in an electric smoker is not a good idea as they might produce too much smoke. Masterbuilt recommends using wood chips in their electric smokers.

Can a masterbuilt smoker be left outside?

If you want to store your smoker outside, you need to use a cover to keep the smoker protected from heavy rain and snow. An electric smoker needs to remain dry to function correctly.

Can I use my Masterbuilt electric smoker in the garage?

Using an electric smoker in covered areas, including the garage, can cause serious damage. Use your smoker outdoors only.

Do I need to clean my smoker after every use?

You need to clean the grates and other removable parts after every use. For the whole smoker, you can clean it twice a year. 

Where should I place my electric smoker?

When using the smoker, place it in a well-ventilated open area. For storing the smoker, you need a sheltered place away from your living space. We do not recommend storing it indoors as it might make your home smell.


An electric smoker makes smoking meat or fish very easy. Masterbuilt electric smoker is perfect for beginners and for those who want to feed many people without compromising the taste.

I hope this article helped you learn the basics of how to use masterbuilt electric smoker. Now you can easily get the most out of your purchase.

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