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A purpose-built electric smoker might not be the most useful tool in a pro grillers arsenal but it sure is handy for those who just want to smoke the occasional meat or fish.
That is where Masterbuilt comes in. Masterbuilt electric smokers are exactly the kind of “set it and forget it” machine that any beginner smoker will be looking for.
So if you fall into that category of beginners, here’s an article on Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Tips and Tricks so that you can go from zero to hero real quick.
Let’s jump right in:
How To Turn On Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
First things first, you need to know how to turn your electric smoker on. Whichever model you have, the very first thing you need to do is to plug it into your wall.
Please note that depending on your model, Masterbuilt electric smokers can go up to 1000 watts of power and you will want to make sure your power outlet can handle it.
Now, to turn it on we simply need to use the controller unit on top of the machine. This unit might look different on different models of Masterbuilt products but they all will have 5 buttons. Power, set temperature, set timer, plus, and minus.
Simply put, to turn the device on, you are going to press the On/Off or power button. The 7-segment 4-digit led display will light up showing all zeros and the power led will also turn on.
And your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is On!
Tips For Using Masterbuilt Electric Smoker For The First Time
Obviously, your smoker is just a tool. The freshness of the produce you put in it and the marinade quality will mostly dictate how the end result is.
From cooking process to cleaning and from controlling temperature to troubleshooting guide, all you will get in this user guide of masterbuilt electric smoker in detail.
Even then, there are a few things that you can do to your smoker to set yourself up for a successful first smoke. Anyway, here is the short guide to use your smoker –
Seasoning is a must: Getting a brand-new smoker means it is going to be completely unused and thus filled with factory contamination. That is why seasoning an electric smoker is a must.
All you need to do are
- Set the temperature to 250 degrees F and set the timer to 2 hours and let it rip.
- After the 2 hours are over, give all the surfaces of your smoker a light coat of high-temperature cooking oil (grapeseed, vegetable, or canola).
- Then finally, you are going to run the smoker again until it burns through a full pan’s worth of wood chips.
Preheating is always a good idea: Before adding your meat, make sure your smoker is at an appropriate temperature. This can be done by preheating your electric smoker.
You need unwavering reassurance that your device is in fine working order. You also want the meat to get out of the “danger zone” fast.
Of course, smoking is a lengthy process, so your meat will take a while to reach a safe internal temperature once you start the cooking procedure.
Leave those vents open: Right next to the controller unit, you will see a rotatable vent. You will want those wide open. This is because air circulation will ensure your smoker is filled with only fresh smoke and not old cold ones.
Get multiple thermometers: Multiple wireless digital meat thermometers will help you keep an even closer eye on whatever you are cooking. Knowing the temperature to an accurate degree is one of the key factors to get great results.
Do not open the door: Smoking is a very long and lengthy process and it is very tempting for beginners to open the door and take a peek at the food.
Try to avoid this as opening the door will let a lot of smoke escape and bring down the temperature inside your smoker. It might not ruin your food but you will definitely need longer to finish smoking.
Use the correct Temperature: Masterbuilt Electric Smokers have a high range of temperatures and you will want the temperature to match the food you are cooking.
For example, masterbuilt smoker chicken quarters will need to smoke at higher temps and beef might need a longer and slower process.
How Do I Get The Best Results From My Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you are probably not going to get the absolute best result on your first time using the smoker.
Half of the fun of one of these machines is the trial and error throughout the first few times. Do not be disheartened and never ever be afraid of a little experiment.
Here are a few tips to get your results good faster:
- Prepare your food in advance
That can be anything from marinating, leaving in the fridge, brining, seasoning, or dry rubbing. Make sure to give your piece of food enough time to accumulate flavors.
- Know how to control the temperature
This will take some figuring out, but typically, your smoker will overshoot the set temperature by about 5 or 10 degrees. So always set the temperature just a bit below your target and continue from there.
- Never over-smoke
Oversmoking your food will give you a nasty flavor and it will become so tough to the point of basically being inedible. Always use proper temperature and time settings.
- Consider investing in a cold-smoking attachment
Cold smoking can be a fantastic way to give produce like cheese a whole new flavor. But it can’t be done out of the box using one of these smokers.
- Soaking your wood chips is not a good idea
It is a popular myth that just seems to be peddled from newbie to newbie. It is definitely not something you should do as wet wood chips do not produce smoke. They produce steam. Also, using a chip tray is a must. If you already have one but are getting damaged day by day, you should upgrade the wood chip tray.
- Use drip pans and aluminum foil
Drip pans will hold the grease and wrapping aluminum foil around your grates will make cleanup a lot easier.
How To Set The Temperature On A Masterbuilt Electric Smoker – Temperature Controlling Tips & Tricks
Setting the electric smoker to a certain temperature is pretty easy. You once again need to locate the controller unit on top of the device near the vent.
You will see the set temperature button. Once you press it, you need to use the plus and minus or the up and down buttons to navigate to your desired temperature.
Then you press the temperature button once again and your electric smoker is set. It will slowly start climbing the temperature.
Here are a few tips on controlling the temperature easily:
- Set the right temperature on the controller.
- Play with the vents to know how to recirculate the smoke properly.
- Change the fuel quantity and type to get finer control.
- A water pan inside the chamber will help you keep the moisture level high and temps in control
- Keep an eye on the weather conditions as they will definitely affect your smoking methods.
- Set a good wireless thermometer inside the chamber to keep an eye on the temperature. Also, make sure all your thermometers are calibrated properly and accurately.
- Keep the smoker door closed through the whole process as opening the door midway will bring down the temperature.
Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Not Getting Hot Enough
Your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is specced to get up to 275 degrees F. That is usually the max but you should try sticking to around 200-220 degrees F for most types of meat and fish.
However, if you notice your smoker not getting hot enough, do not worry as it is a very common problem and can be solved pretty easily.
Here are a few things you can try out for a fix:
- Always double-check if your smoker is actually plugged into the wall and turned on.
- Go through all the preheating steps before you put your food in the smoker.
- Clean the temperature controller regularly as dust, dirt, or moisture in the unit can stop it from regulating the temperature.
- Open up your vents a bit more.
- Check the firebox to see if there is adequate fuel.
Unfortunately, if none of these steps work, your controller might have given up and you need a replacement. Contact customer support, Masterbuilt has fantastic support and you will be up and running in no time.
Should I Use A Water Pan In My Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?
Yes, you absolutely should use a water pan inside your Masterbuilt Electric smoker. The water will evaporate into steam and this steam will keep the surface of the meat moist and stop the insides from drying out.
Do You Add a Water Pan To a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?
Yes, adding a water pan inside your electric smoker is always a good idea. You need to put the pan just above the firebox below all the racks. This way the rising steam from the water will surely touch every rack of food inside the smoker.
How Much Water To Put In A Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?
Ideally, you will want to fill up the water pan entirely with water. This is for longer cooks as time goes on the water will evaporate and you will need to ensure there is enough water. Check after 3-4 hours to see if your water pan needs a refill.
However, for really short cooks, you can use ½ cup of liquid, water or otherwise, at a time. Temperature control is more necessary during short cooking and more liquid means more thermal mass and more thermal mass means your electric smoker will have a harder time heating up.
Where Is The Vent On My Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?
As you all know from high school physics, heat rises. So obviously the vent on the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is on top of the whole device. You can locate it on the far right top corner of the top surface right next to the controller unit.
Masterbuilt Smoker Vent Open or Closed (When to Open or Close)?
Even though there is no open flame inside an electric smoker, the airflow-to-heat relation remains the same. Meaning more airflow will increase the combustion and thus increase the temperature.
Much like open fire, the combustion process also needs oxygen and thus the more open the vents are the higher the temperature can be.
So whenever you are trying to preheat and let the smoker raise the internal temperature, you will need the vent wide open.
Once the food is inside and the desired internal temperature is set, you can try closing the vents fully but I’d advise against it.
If you are a beginner, it is very easy to fill the chamber up with too much smoke and over-smoke your food. So leave the vents partially open.
You can also experiment with different vent open positions as this experience is crucial for you to be a smoking master.
Can I Use Aluminum Foil In My Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?
As I said earlier, it is a good idea to wrap your grates and drip pan in aluminum foil to make cleanup easier. That means yes you obviously can use Aluminium foil inside your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker.
However, while wrapping your grates you will need to ensure that the foil does not block the gaps in your grates. Those gaps need to be there for your food to have maximum exposure to smoke.
Whenever you use foil inside your smoker, be careful that it does not block the upward path of the smoke and you will be fine.
So, as a beginner smoker who just bought his first Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, these tips should come in really handy in your journey towards becoming a pro. Soon, you will impress your whole family and have your friends over for the best brisket or ribs they have ever had!