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Zero Credit Masterbuilt 560 Review + Ongoing Thoughts

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    Zero Credit Masterbuilt 560 Review + Ongoing Thoughts

    I wanted to link this older thread here for new folks.

    https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...ity-560-review

    #2
    Due for another 6-month update.

    I've continued to add accessories as we go along here:

    Grill Rescue Brush:

    https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...no-substitutes

    New Charcoal Grate:

    https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...ld-for-gravity

    Other acquisitions are brisket knife, a attachable night light, a brisket trimming knife, Joule, a ThermoPop, a vertical skewer for doner kebab, a portable storage station (plastic shelving with wheels), stainless steel BBQ trays, pork butt shredding claws, a new meat freezer, apron, BBQ gloves, and an Inkbird. Everything except the claws, apron, gloves, Inkbird, and a grill mat were bought after I arrived here as a paying member. A new LEM electronic meat grinder is on its way, while the KA attachment is being shipped to my mom's house so she is excited. None of that is really related to the MB smoker, but just found it amusing how much I've bought due to reading this forum. Y'all are awesome.

    Now, onto the smoker.

    In short, it continues to turn out great food if you've been following along with the various Show Us posts and other threads. The Grill Rescue does a good job keeping things clean.

    MB has released new parts (new charcoal grate, new porcelain parts for the firebox, and upgraded switches), but I've only been able to acquire the new charcoal grate ~3 months post-release. The other parts are not yet available for existing owners. These parts are available on all new smokers, and they address the biggest issues people have reported.

    a) The early indicators on the new charcoal grate seem positive. It will be a bit hard to measure the difference, but we will see when I am done with a pastrami in a few weeks. I used to get about 8 hours on a full hopper out of lump at 225-250 with the old grate, but I am hoping the new grate can get me a few extra hours given it has reduced the gaps considerably. The shorter cookers I have done seem to generate a lot less waste. I am currently using FOGO, after using B&B lump, and will probably give MB lump a shot when I am done with the FOGO. If none of the three lumps can break 8 hours on a low and slow cook, I'll stuck with B&B. Royal Oak's performance has been disappointing, so I won't use them.

    MB has basically ended phone support now, but will respond to emails within a day. Any orders take about 2 weeks to ship and arrive.

    b) Not too thrilled about the paint peeling, but I guess it is common for smokers, especially when searing at 700, and a combination of cheaper paint/user error.

    https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...p-melted-paint

    c) Added the portable storage mainly because all of the tools I stored under the smoker would get covered in smokey soot/grease.

    d) I continue to be lazy about upgrading the CI grill grates to a third-party stainless steel solution. One day I guess, but the OEM grates certainly are sturdy and do the job.

    e) The switches and firebox continues to hold up well, and I'd guess I'd be around 40-50 cooks at this point after 15 months or so of ownership. Maybe I should start taking more notes.

    Overall, it continues to be a great smoker and grill. I can do steaks and pastrami with ease, and it's a great deal at its price point. While we've yet to hear from Pit members who bought the new cookers with new parts, it does seem like the biggest quality issues have been fixed. I continue to recommend it for folks that want a combination of charcoal and ability to set temps like a pellet smoker.

    Also, RIP to Polarbear777 's MB1050 which met its demise due to a tree deciding to fall on it specifically.






    Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; July 6, 2021, 11:54 AM.

    Comment


    • Polarbear777
      Polarbear777 commented
      Editing a comment
      Well I have a full compliment of spare parts including stainless grates. Waiting because I eventually was much happier running the mb1050 fan from the fireboard, bypassing the built in electronics and I haven’t decided if I want to do that all over again or get something built more robust later.

    • IFindZeroBadCooks
      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
      Editing a comment
      I am definitely super interested in what you decide to do next. 😀

    • DPM
      DPM commented
      Editing a comment
      I bought a 560 in April, and average 2 meals a week. I've smoked ribs, brisket and beef short ribs; grilled burgers, chicken and steaks. I've even roasted nuts (cashews and pistachios). I tend to use briquets for grilling and lump for smoking. If I break the lump into small relatively uniform chunks, a full hopper lasts 10+ hours @225. Pleased so far. A charcoal-fired convection oven!

    #3
    Thanks for sharing. Please continue. We'd value your comments at our review on the free site as well. https://amazingribs.com/ratings-revi...ty-series-560/
    Last edited by Max Good; July 6, 2021, 12:58 PM.

    Comment


    • IFindZeroBadCooks
      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
      Editing a comment
      Done. I posted some comments.

      Edit: Dammit, Discus ate my long comment.

      Edit: added comments now!
      Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; July 6, 2021, 05:07 PM.

    #4
    Agreed. As easy to use as a pellet cooker, easy to clean, cooked great food with as much or as little smoke as I wanted by adding appropriate amounts of wood in layers in the charcoal hopper. Also, the mb1050 could load up three sheet pans worth of food at once.

    Comment


      #5
      Here is a link to my calibration and temperature tests.

      https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...sts#post862733

      Comment


        #6
        If you are noticing your smoker is slow to come up to temp and has inconsistent temps across the grates, it is time to clean your manifold.

        I don’t see this listed often but simply removing your manifold and cleaning out the ash will make it much easier for the fan to work and restore consistent temps.

        I just did this today and removed about 2 inches of ash out of the manifold and knocked off the rest of the ash from the outside. I can see how the fan was struggling recently. Please wear gloves as it is messy and the manifold has sharp edges!

        Happy smoking!
        Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; August 31, 2021, 05:47 PM.

        Comment


        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Great tip!

        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          It also lets you tighten up some screws! 💪

        #7
        zero_credit
        thanks for all your wisdom. tried to look up FOGO on the web and in the FAQ, but no dice. What is it?

        Comment


        #8
        FWiW, at least in the MB560 given the hopper design and fan, I am coming down on pretty indifferent with quality lump having used B&B, FOGO, and Masterbuilt at this point. I don’t consider Royal Oak quality.

        I plan to just use Masterbuilt lump for a while as I can get a good mix of lump sizes, it is easily available, and price point works. I was expecting the sizes to be smaller and more consistent with the idea that they would fill the hopper more consistently and get more time out of a cook. However, I definitely get giant pieces like I would with a bag of FOGO so designed for the MB560 seems like marketing spin for sure.

        I am now mixing in Blackbear coconut charcoal (about 2 pieces per hopper load) which I think helps but I haven’t really been able to quantify the extra burn times yet.



        Comment


        • jpietrantone
          jpietrantone commented
          Editing a comment
          I really liked the Masterbuilt lump that came with my 1050. Seemed to do better than the B&B. However, I seem to use Kingsford the most due to availability.

        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          jpietrantone I read somewhere that MB is reusing Kamado Joe Lump which they also own as MB lump. So it makes sense that it is good stuff. I was kinda annoyed when MB was giving away free stuff with a 2 bag purchase just after I stocked up at Walmart.

        • jpietrantone
          jpietrantone commented
          Editing a comment
          zero_credit Thanks for that info. I didn't know that MB owned KJ lump. Makes sense though that their lump was so good since they just started selling it recently.

        #9
        Just to mention. I did run lump in the mb1050 when I had it and I didn’t like it. I got less total burn time than with B&B briqs and I did find out that B&B char logs gave me the maximum burn time. I think it just comes down to density and packing factor being very different. (More fuel mass fitting in the hopper).

        Of course you should chain smoke and just toss more fuel in to keep it running so it doesn’t matter much. Sometimes I ran it all weekend and made a bunch of stuff in sequence (especially when everything was closed and I was making and freezing a lot of meals)

        Comment


        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          Yup. Totally agree on char logs being the best on the burn time as that echoed my experience too. Just never was a fan of the ash or long startups.

        #10
        Oh and the ash pan is big. I never had to worry about it filling up mid cook, though I suppose if you ran it 36+ hours with kbb it might, but then again easy to dump mid cook so…

        Comment


        • Polarbear777
          Polarbear777 commented
          Editing a comment
          Good point, I always layered the wood in the hopper. I only really tested with KBB early on, and I didn't do multiple sequential cooks so never had a full ash basket.

        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          I have always thrown my wood in in the ash bucket. Maybe I run it next time with wood chunks sprinkled throughout the hopper. I guess it makes a difference?

        • Polarbear777
          Polarbear777 commented
          Editing a comment
          The way I figured it, mixing in the hopper guarantees it burns. In the ash pan it may not. Didn’t really mess with it since the hopper wood worked great.

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