• Hello. I have been smoking a couple years using the Big Green Egg. Although it does well it is cumbersome to keep temperatures below 180 so I have been researching electric smokers. Although I would love a pk 100 it is not in the budget. I have been looking at the char broil and master built digital electric smokers but see a lot of people say the temperature is off and other issues. Just looking for some thoughts from the community about a good electric smoker under $500.00 and what they like and don’t like. Thank you

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Green Mountain Grill Masterbuilt

    @astatler I have the MasterBuilt 30 special edition, and it works great. I’ve never had any issues with it and the temps stay very stable and there is only a couple degrees difference from top to bottom. All in all I love mine, and it works incredibly well.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    @astatler A lot of guys use the master built on here. I’d say that it has a better reputation than some other equally priced units. Now, it might still have some issues but probably less.

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    @astatler I have had 2 charcoal smokers over the years and the last one was a brinkman propane , when the burner started to go I bought the msaterbilt 30 this last spring and have no issues of any kind with it

  • Team Blue

    Jonathon I’ve been a strong supporter of the Masterbuilt products for years despite numerous failures. I’ve been seriously let down by the company lately. I’m on hold with the company as I type this. My vote is Pit Boss for a sub $500 smoker!

    UPDATE: I was on hold for 13 minutes 16 seconds before they had a message that said they were closed. (biting my lip)


  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Joe Hell Yikes, that’s not good…so @astatler if you are still interested Joe knows what he is about here so you can take his advice. Tex_77 mac0217 parker230 tarp craigrice raider2119 Any input from any of you?

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    Jonathon I am happy with my mb 30 for the amount that I use it in @joehell’s case he uses his a lot I see a pk 100 in his future !

  • Joe Hell man no good. Thank you. I’ve heard a lot of people having issues with newer models. Every time I think I found a good candidate I here of problems. Maybe I go the pellet direction or stay with the BGE. I use an Auber controller on it but still hard to keep at Low temps. Might just save for the PK 100 . Thank you for info

  • Team Blue

    craigrice I’m happy with every MB30 that I’ve had but they never last more than 2 years. This current MB40 didn’t work right out of the box. Temp was all over the place. They sent a new control panel which didn’t work then sent a replacement cabinet which seemed to do the trick. My most recent issue was similar to the first but this time the temp spiked HARD and I lost an entire load of premium ribs. They were completely scorched with a set temp of 220 and less than 2 hours in the smoker. I’ve been in contact with one of their reps and John McLemore II since early December with promises that customer service will reach out…zilch. I can’t get anyone to return my messages.

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    Joe Hell that is not good but I believe that you use your smoker more than the average consumer that they were intended for, I have looked at the pit boss also and I can see advantages and disadvantages for sausage production in general they are a good grill/smoker

  • Team Blue

    craigrice The three MB30’s that I’ve owned got some a fair amount of use but the current MB40, not so much. In fact, I hadn’t used that one since last June or July. At most it had 4-5 good months after the initial repair. We have a cookshack at the shop…not a fan of that one either.

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    Joe Hell that is why I said that I see a pk 100 in your future ask @johnathon how much that the one they have in their test shop gets used

  • Yearling

    I just picked up a Camp Chef XXL vertical pellet smoker for $500. I have been using a Bradley electric for years with no issues, but decided to make the switch to the XXL because of the bigger smoking chamber for sausage making. I think the pellet smoker will do a better job of getting up to temp when it’s Minnesota cold out. I plan on making some snack sticks in the next week or two. I will do a follow up review if anyone is interested?

  • Team Blue

    craigrice I’m thinking I need something far larger!

  • Smoking-it #2 here. Does everything pretty good, wish the cabinet was a little bigger. They didn’t make anything larger than the #3 when I purchased mine. Still works flawless after 9 years.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    @astatler for what its worth im not sure i should be commenting as i have not owned the mb30, pit boss, or bradley. However i have read alot of posts that pit boss evently start on fire. With that people usually put them by the outside walls of their house starting the house on fire as well. And with Joe Hell having isses with masterbuilt i would shy away. If i can suggest anything with worth i highly recommend saving up for the ProSmoker pk100. I know its a chunk of change off the top but i think you would buy one of those compared to 3 other brands if people are replacing every two years. Now this may be easier for me to say since my ProSmoker 100SS was $9200, the PK100 is just a drop in the bucket but i dont know what your finances are. Good luck on what ever you decide.

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning Sous Vide Community Moderator

    @astatler I would definitely look into a pellet cooker, there are a ton of brands at all price points, I’m big believer in you get what you pay for though. On you BGE, you said you have a controller, I assume that means to control a fan to maintain temps? I’m in the market for a fan, but the controller I will be using is a Fireboard.

  • I normally use my RecTec 700 pellet smoker for anything above 180 I can control the temps within 1 or 2 degree’s but anything below that doesn’t lend itself to sausage making… I used a recently acquired MB30 and it worked but I wasn’t to familiar with time and temps…I did notice the sensors are on the back wall and the units ambient temp was a horse of a different color in comparison to what it said it was running at…I’d have been up the proverbial creek had I not had an external two probe sensor…so I just worked with what I knew and came out great…necessity is truly the mother of invention…? I think if I were to make a fair amount of sausage, I’d pick up a good surplus commercial all stainless refer and build my own pid controller for it and control it to the gnat…you can build one for $60… tough call but doin right is important all the way around…

  • Team Blue

    Larry Eck I’ve only uses my Rec Tec 680 to make sausage with fantastic results. I’ve been working on improving lingusia for 2 years now & I’ve scored with my 4.3 version. My summer sausage with high temp cheddar was killer too.
    linguisa 4.3
    summer sausage wcheese5 1.11.19.jpg

  • @tmeiners82 awesome. Let us know how it goes.

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