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MB Gravity Series or Pellet Smoker?

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    MB Gravity Series or Pellet Smoker?

    So I've read up on all of the issues and concerns on the gravity series smokers by Masterbuilt.

    I already have a Dyna Glo offset charcoal smoker that I love, but no longer have the time to babysit the fire now that I'm chasing a 2 year old around. I was set on getting the 1050 from Masterbuilt until seeing the issues

    Would you recommend the gravity series knowing the issues they currently have or getting a pellet smoker? I've always been a big fan of charcoal, but I no longer have the time to cook as much as I would like.

    Almost forgot, I want to keep the cost below 800.

    #2
    I’d get this over most pellets but that’s me. I replied to your note on the other thread.

    Comment


      #3
      Have you considered a Weber Kettle, Slow N Sear, and a temp controller? That way you will not have to constantly monitor the cooker and you still get the charcoal flavor. Even if you bought the 26" Kettle instead of the 22 incher, you would still be below your $800 limit.

      Comment


      • Dadof3Illinois
        Dadof3Illinois commented
        Editing a comment
        I have to agree with everyone here. I have a weber 26 with a FireBoard Controller and pit viper fan that will cook at 225 for 8 hours before I need to knock the ash and add charcoal.
        I had a pellet cooker and didn’t like it’s level of smoke. Added a smoke tube and still didn’t get enough smoke. So I sold it and now have aPBC in its place. My Weber 26 gets the majority of the work and I’m cooking for between 6 and 10 people throughout the week.

      • jpietrantone
        jpietrantone commented
        Editing a comment
        What all can you fit on the Weber 22 or 26 using indirect heat? I would like to be able to fit a couple racks of ribs and a medium sized butt or Chuck roast.

      • RonB
        RonB commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't have a 26, but I can easily fit two racks on on my 22. If you use a rib rack, you should have no problem fitting both ribs and something else.

      #4
      Have you tried a Fireboard w/Drive, BBQ Guru, or Thermoworks Signals and Billows with the Dyna Glo? That and some minion method bars for your charcoal box might make it more satisfactory for hands off cooking. You still have to get the charcoal going, but after that maybe nothing other than pull the food when it's done or add charcoal for really long cooks every few hours?

      As far as pellet grills, I've had a few over the past several years. It will be noticeably more subtle smoke than what you are currently used to. If you don't think that will bother you I'd probably recommend Camp Chef in the $800 and less range. The Woodwind WiFi is really nice. If WiFi is not important at all to you (it can replace the need for a wireless thermometer - but you sill want to double check with an instant read), the 24" Slide N Grill is pretty much the same thing without the WiFi and Stainless door. The Slide N Grill models have a lot more room inside, they cook chamber is taller and has an almost full size upper shelves and enough space both levels are very usable.

      I was intrigued by the MB Gravity too and was considering buying one until all the problems started showing up. So, instead I bought a SmokeFire which also has reports of issues but Weber support behind it. I still have my Woodwind though. When the MB's work you hear good things about them.
      Last edited by glitchy; July 22, 2020, 12:41 PM.

      Comment


      • glitchy
        glitchy commented
        Editing a comment
        I've run 2-3 bags of pellets through it and probably cooked on it 10-12 times. No problems so far (knock on wood). I'm using mine mostly as a high temp grill and less as a smoker. However, I did do a chuck roast on Sunday with a drip pan under it.

        I have the hopper insert and have removed the safety guard from the hopper. That seems to help with the feed issues. I'm also very careful with grease if I'm not cooking at high temps to burn/vaporize it quickly or it can clog the slots on the bottom.

      • glitchy
        glitchy commented
        Editing a comment
        Mine did come with the original auger assembly design. I am pretty much waiting for issues to arise reaching high temps soon. They redesigned the assembly for this issue and will not send it to me until I have problems. I do plan on giving them quite the earful if I do encounter the problem after waiting 90 minutes to ask for it once already to be told no.

      • jpietrantone
        jpietrantone commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh that sucks! I would not be happy either.

      #5
      With small children running around and needing most of your attention get a pellet smoker. And I would add get one with a proven track record. You will probably use it more often since your time is rightly devoted to more important things but you still want to cook. When you want the flavor of charcoal then turn to your charcoal grill.

      Comment


      • jpietrantone
        jpietrantone commented
        Editing a comment
        Which pellet smokers would you recommend for less than $800? I was going to research Camp Chef and GMG.

      • Donw
        Donw commented
        Editing a comment
        I haven’t compared pellets in that range since I’m happy with my Yoder, but I know you will get plenty of answers from other members who know them inside and out. Grilla seems to be one line plenty are happy with besides the two you mentioned.

      #6
      I own a MB560, and I'd still recommend it after the issues. I came from a PBC and a Weber (both since sold). It is a fun and enjoyable experience to use, and the WiFi works very well once I added a $8 antenna. It has significantly more space and bells and whistles than a 22" Weber (shelving, 4 wheels, easier clean-up, WiFi etc.) without needing to invest the extra in accessories and a much easier learning curve. Two things I think you might also want to consider is a) that a lot of folks here have the disposable income to invest in a heirloom 2k smoker, whereas I would consider your budget to be $500 for the MB560 and $300 for upgrades/fixes to the MB over time or $800 for the MB1050 and b) the comp for the MB560 is gravity-fed smokers that are over 2k, so I'm willing to invest quite a bit to maintain this one, given the challenge in replacing it.

      If I had to consider a pellet grill, I'd look at the Grilla Silverbac (https://store.grillagrills.com/colle...erbac-original $650), but the taste profile would be substantially different.

      Personally, my choice was either the MB560 or the OJ Bronco ( https://www.oklahomajoes.com/bronco-drum-smoker ), and I went with the MB560 because of the ease of replenishing the charcoal (it was annoying getting a huge faceful of smoke when having to add new coals).

      Comment


      • ofelles
        ofelles commented
        Editing a comment
        Compelling argument $$ wise. It is easy to discount the MB as junk if you can afford (and are willing to pay) for the high end models. IMHO there certainly are advantages to them longevity wise. The lower cost cookers provide an entry level way to enjoy the units and not have to sell the kids or piss off SWMBO.

      #7
      I have a camp chef dlx pellet grill which I use 2 to 3 times a week for smoking and roasting. I use a kettle for both indirect and direct grilling mostly for the charcoal live fire thrill. The pellet grill in general gets complaints for the mild smoke output however this is an easy fix with a smoking tube. I look at it this way it is better to have less smoke for those who are not a fan of smoke with the ability to add more through a smoking tube. Roasted whole chicken on a pellet grill is my favorite item to cook and as far as set it and forget it goes a full hopper of pellets will last for 10 hours. I don't think one style of grill is feasible for all types of cooking but for the low and slow as well as roasting you can't go wrong with a pellet grill. The camp chef will keep you under your dollar figure.

      Comment


      • jpietrantone
        jpietrantone commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the info! Do you know the difference between a DLX and a SG? How much of a smoke difference does a tube give?

      • Whiskeyman53
        Whiskeyman53 commented
        Editing a comment
        The grills are constructed the same with the SG having more rack space. I believe that the hopper might be larger in the SG. Every year technology increases with the grills but how much is to much? As for the tube it depends on how full it is and what brand and type of pellet used, it does add enough ssmoke to make it comparable to a so called "true" smoker.

      #8
      I bought the MB 1050 about a month ago, and while I agree it isn't built to last 20 years, I really love it more than any other grill I've owned. If you're willing to spend a little more time cleaning your pit and potentially making some mods, it's worth it. It's helpful if you like to tinker in general.

      I've done pizzas at 700 and done 15 hour smokes at 225 beautifully. Just keep the grease buildup in mind before you take it up to sear.

      THAT SAID, I would wait for a 2nd or 3rd generation if you want something that's more likely to last...
      Last edited by Porch3000; July 22, 2020, 08:38 PM.

      Comment


        #9
        So I think I'm down to either the Camp Chef SG24 or the Masterbuilt 1050. I love the idea and ease of a pellet grill but am scared to not have the same smoke levels that I'm used to. I would have already bought one if not for the issues.

        Has anyone used the Camp Chef smoke setting of 10 and a smoker tube? Any idea how that would compare to a charcoal fire with wood chunks?

        Comment


          #10
          jpietrantone This would be my recommendation. The best set and forget rig without compromising smoke level. I've had a couple quality pellet grills and even with smoke tubes they just produce too mild of a smoke flavor for me. I've got both my 22 and 26 set up this way. The 26 provides a lot of capacity. More than you would think.

          Comment


          • jpietrantone
            jpietrantone commented
            Editing a comment
            glitchy Thanks for the advice! I think that's what I'm going to do. I personally hate the basket that came with my smoker and this one will fit. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3RRI15..._1nCgFb5K4HVN8

          • jpietrantone
            jpietrantone commented
            Editing a comment
            glitchy I'm just outside of Chattanooga, TN. I have looked on those types of websites but have only really found junk that people want too much for or nice setups that they want almost the same as new.

            What's your thoughts on a Weber smoky mountain or some type of drum? With the controller would those be pretty set and forget?

            The issues with holding heat real well in the offset has me concerned that the controller may not work too well. It cranks out great food, but you really have to work.

          • glitchy
            glitchy commented
            Editing a comment
            I’ve never really looked at WSMs or PBCs for that matter. I’m tall and have some back issues, do the things that cook at ground level have been easy to look right over. I also like cookers that can do more than just one thing, I usually lean towards those that grill too. Those are definitely just personal preferences. Lots of people love them and make great food on WSMs. I will say anything you can find insulated will run longer hands off the without, but you don’t have a much cold to deal with.

          #11
          jpietrantone Where are you located? Have you checked FB marketplace or Craigslist for any used cookers like a Weber Summit Charcoal or Ceramic Kamado grills? A lot of us run ATC’s on them, but you can lock them in pretty tight for hours without anything and always add that later. There’s also the Broil King Keg too. There’s a million options out there many of which might be considerably more hands off than your current rig.

          Which dyna glow do you have? If you need the pit bull, it must be designed to move a lot of air through it. Is it like a barrel style offset?
          Last edited by glitchy; July 23, 2020, 07:02 PM.

          Comment


            #12
            I bit the bullet and got a 22.5 inch WSM ordered with a DIGIq controller and pit viper blower. I think this will provide me with exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks for the help!

            Can't wait to get cooking on it! Ended up having $300 in Lowe's gift cards sitting in the cabinet and got the smoker for $439. Think I ended up with a good deal.

            Comment


              #13
              So today is the first cook on my WSM 22 with the pit viper. It was maintaining 250 really well for the first couple hours then jumped up over 275 pushing 280. I have closed the damper on the pit viper partially and slightly closed the top vent to bring the temp back down. I'm sure it's because it's the first cook.
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