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Sneak Peek: UPDATED Review - Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560 Grill + Smoker!

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  • DavidNorcross
    Club Member
    • Nov 2017
    • 1523
    • Virginia
    • Rec Tec RT-680
      Coleman RoadTrip LXX
      Javelin Pro Duo
      More Cast Iron than I care to admit

    #46
    All makes me wonder about the patents in play and if others will work to come out with their version of this cooker. Isn't this how the pellet industry started? Someone like RecTec, Yoder or Camp Chef.

    Comment


    • Potkettleblack
      Potkettleblack commented
      Editing a comment
      Exactly!

    • rickgregory
      rickgregory commented
      Editing a comment
      TBH? This thing is what Weber should do. Think about it... they made their rep with the Kettle. For many of us, they're synonymous with charcoal grilling.
      Wait...
  • Razor
    Club Member
    • Mar 2018
    • 266
    • Pittsburgh

    #47
    I wish manufactures would built stuff the right way and charge the right price instead of cheaping out on things the normal customer might not notice just to appease the beancounters. (My apologies to all the beancounters out there.)

    Sooner or later, whether you want to believe it or not, all customers are going to find the shortcuts. You may get them the first time but do you think you’ll get a consideration when they go to replace your product?

    Comment

    • Polarbear777
      Club Member
      • Sep 2016
      • 1691

      #48
      Top hopper switch failed on my 1050. Was able to bypass but only a month and a failure.

      Comment

      • Huskee
        Pit Boss
        • May 2014
        • 15026
        • central MI, USA
        • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

          Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

          Smokers / Grills
          • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
          • PBC
          • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
          • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
          • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
          • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
          • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
          • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
          • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
          • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

          Thermometers
          • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
          • (7) Maverick ET-732s
          • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
          • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
          • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
          • Thermapen MkII, orange
          • ThermoPop, yellow
          • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
          • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
          • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
          • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

          Accessories
          • Instant Pot 6qt
          • Anova Bluetooth SV
          • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
          • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
          • BBQ Dragon
          • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
          • Weber grill topper
          • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
          • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
          • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

          Beverages
          • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
          • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
          • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
          • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
          • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
          • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
          • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

          About me
          Real name: Aaron
          Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

          Occupation:
          • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

        #49
        Attractive pricing for the average consumer needs to be well balanced with parts that won't fail prematurely. Even though the fixes are easy and quick, they shouldn't be part of the experience.

        Comment


        • Polarbear777
          Polarbear777 commented
          Editing a comment
          Was thinking they should offer a subscription service for warranty parts.
      • Polarbear777
        Club Member
        • Sep 2016
        • 1691

        #50

        Submitted a warranty claim on the switch issue. No response after several days. I guess they are tired of responding to my multiple claims and queries through their contact page. They don’t respond to phone or email either.

        Comment

        • Mojo0209
          Club Member
          • Jan 2017
          • 75
          • Fox Valley, Illinois

          #51
          Personally a lot of these grills and smokers look very interesting until I think about the electric, switches and the what not that can fail. I think for me, kinda like charcoal and gas. My stuff stays outdoors all the time. I don’t mind electric accessories, but I don’t want my grill or smoker out of service for something I may or may not have a work around at any given time.

          Comment


          • Polarbear777
            Polarbear777 commented
            Editing a comment
            I’ve kept my fireboard and fans outside under cover And hooked up to my grill for about two years with zero issues.

          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            Very good points. I was the "I don't need a thermostat and fan and circuit board cooking my food only to have it all fail and leave me hanging" type for many years, was content to use my stickburner and kettles which aren't subject to such things. But, when electronics are working well they make it a complete pleasure to use this cooker.

          • Polarbear777
            Polarbear777 commented
            Editing a comment
            On most of my rigs if the control system fails, I can pull out the fan and set the vents and keep cooking.

            Not so easy with pellets or this cooker, but the control and ability to remotely monitor and set temperatures is hard to let go once you get accustomed to it, especially for long cooks.
        • Polarbear777
          Club Member
          • Sep 2016
          • 1691

          #52
          This thing does cook awesome. If they had just used thicker wire (seems like about 20 gauge or smaller) and more robust electric components (Safety switches that live near the firebox) it would definitely be in the recommended category.

          Comment


          • Andrrr
            Andrrr commented
            Editing a comment
            Part of me thinks this unit is the sacrificial lamb. I think there were a few attempts at gravity fed charcoal grills but this one seems like the first one that kinda broke some ground so to speak. Not too often the first one knocks it out of the park. There will be lots to learn for MB and others in terms of price points, quality and such and I have no doubts that future iterations will be pretty awesome. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences going forward.
        • zero_credit
          Club Member
          • Mar 2020
          • 264
          • Near Chicago, IL
          • Current Pride and Joy:

            Masterbuilt Gravity 560

            Old (sold) Loves:

            PBC
            Weber 22" Premium

            Thermometers:

            Inkbird

            Preferred Charcoal:

            B&B Charlogs

          #53
          Polarbear777 Thank you for all of the education and work you have shared on this smoker. Truly Appreciated!

          Comment

          • Huskee
            Pit Boss
            • May 2014
            • 15026
            • central MI, USA
            • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

              Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

              Smokers / Grills
              • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
              • PBC
              • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
              • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
              • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
              • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
              • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
              • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
              • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
              • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

              Thermometers
              • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
              • (7) Maverick ET-732s
              • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
              • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
              • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
              • Thermapen MkII, orange
              • ThermoPop, yellow
              • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
              • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
              • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
              • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

              Accessories
              • Instant Pot 6qt
              • Anova Bluetooth SV
              • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
              • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
              • BBQ Dragon
              • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
              • Weber grill topper
              • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
              • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
              • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

              Beverages
              • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
              • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
              • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
              • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
              • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
              • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
              • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

              About me
              Real name: Aaron
              Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

              Occupation:
              • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

            #54
            Our updated review of this cooker is finally live.

            Max and I worked hard to address the quality issues many of our readers experienced, that I eventually faced as well. We contacted Masterbuilt many times, had some disappointments, some beneficial interactions, and he and I spoke at length many times before deliberating on how to adjust the review.

            The main review, here, has been updated as of today 7/20/2020. We dropped our Platinum rating to Silver.

            Faults notwithstanding, we still feel this is a groundbreaking cooker. The quality issues, while alarming and shouldn't be part of the experience only a few months in (much quicker for others), aren't impossible to get around. We hope Masterbuilt chooses to use some higher quality components for future versions. But, the fact remains it's a $500 cooker, not a $2100 cooker, so we feel we're being as fair and transparent as possible in our re-deliberation and re-reviewing.

            Comment


            • bbq_sector21
              bbq_sector21 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thank you very much for updating your review and informing us of your long-term experiences with this cooker. As someone who was considering purchasing this unit or the larger version, this is very helpful information.
          • Polarbear777
            Club Member
            • Sep 2016
            • 1691

            #55
            Silver is about right. They still haven’t shipped replacement switches to me but I don’t really need them. If you have some expertise it’s not that hard to keep it running and when running is a joy to cook with. They could have at least used better switches and wire greater than 20 gauge.

            I’ve run it through dozens of long and short cooks now and the firebox brick seems to be holding up ok, even though it looks awful in there.

            Comment


            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              Agreed
          • zero_credit
            Club Member
            • Mar 2020
            • 264
            • Near Chicago, IL
            • Current Pride and Joy:

              Masterbuilt Gravity 560

              Old (sold) Loves:

              PBC
              Weber 22" Premium

              Thermometers:

              Inkbird

              Preferred Charcoal:

              B&B Charlogs

            #56
            Huskee Well done. Appreciate the update! What are you going to do with yours? Keep it I hope?

            Comment


            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              For sure. (and thanks!)
          • rickgregory
            Founding Member
            • Aug 2014
            • 693
            • Seattle, WA

            #57
            thanks for the update. I can't see spending the money on something, though, that breaks like this, regardless of price point. They obviously designed this to the $499 price point vs just saying "OK, we'll use better wire and switches etc" and increasing it to $599 or even $749.

            I and I think others would seriously consider it at that price. Decent pellet grills start there, after all

            Comment


            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              I've said many times in conversations with my colleagues that they'd have been better off, in my personal opinion, making this a $600 or $700 cooker and used better parts. I am with you there. But, still, if you can change a fuse then you can bypass the switches if they go bad ("not that I officially endorse bypassing safety switches").
          • Bkhuna
            Club Member
            • Apr 2019
            • 488
            • Merritt Island Florida

            #58
            NEVER EVER buy the first run of a model. Stick with companies that have a proven track record. There are exception of course but in general, you get what you pay for.

            I would never again consider a Masterbuilt product.

            Comment


            • BBQPhil
              BBQPhil commented
              Editing a comment
              From my experience as a design engineer, if you see a weakness in one area, there's a high likelihood of weaknesses elsewhere. The product is a window into the thinking and methodology of the company, its priorities, and its values.
              Last edited by BBQPhil; August 1, 2020, 03:36 PM.
          • DavidNorcross
            Club Member
            • Nov 2017
            • 1523
            • Virginia
            • Rec Tec RT-680
              Coleman RoadTrip LXX
              Javelin Pro Duo
              More Cast Iron than I care to admit

            #59
            This review process has been great to watch and read. Thank you

            Comment

            • Uncle Bob
              Club Member
              • Feb 2019
              • 378
              • Salado, Tx
              • Summerset TRL44 gas grill and side sear
                RecTec 590 Stampede
                Weber Performer
                Cajun Grill Preaux
                EcoQue Gen 3 wood fired oven
                Camp Chef Somerset IV 4 burner propane stove
                Oklahoma Joe's Bronco
                Oklahoma Joe's Bronco Pro
                Oklahoma Joe's Judge
                Golden's Cast Iron Grill
                Ooni Koda 16

              #60
              A couple of oft repeated situations are reinforced here. One is the disappointments that emerge when a product prioritizes being built down to a price instead of up to a standard. The second is how this adjustment to the rating and the thorough explanation of the whys underscores the integrity of the product reviews on this site. Particularly noteworthy considering the undue poop storm over the Smokefire dance earlier.

              Comment


              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks Uncle Bob!

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