The Masterbuilt Pro Dual Fuel gas powered smoker is marketed as being also a charcoal smoker. The reality is that this isn't all that dissimilar from the Masterbuilt GS40 Gas Smoker. At the bottom is a 15,400 BTU burner which directs its heat at a metal pan that sits under a water pan. When using gas, the metal pan (or fire disk as they call it) is filled with moistened wood chips to produce smoke.
When working as a charcoal smoker, this pan holds the charcoal. This isn't a stretch of the imagination and works relatively well considering the limitations of airflow control and lightweight construction.
- Large capacity smoker
- Lightweight burner
- Doors leaks smoke
- The water pan is small and flimsy
- Wood chips can combust when using propane
- One adjustable 15,400 BTU stainless steel burner
- Four 180 square inch nickel plated steel cooking grates
- 730 total square inches of smoking space
- Full height locking door with center mounted thermometer
- A secondary door to access fire bowl (for wood chips to charcoal fire)
- Porcelain coated water pan
- Powder coated steel construction
- Made in China by Masterbuilt
Guide Review - Masterbuilt Pro Dual Fuel Smoker
Since the unique feature of this smoker is its dual fuel capacity I will start with that. As a gas smoker, it is a very straightforward design and works as expected.
One problem frequently reported with this method of smoking is that wood chips in the fire disk can catch fire once they have dried out completely. This will spike the temperature and quickly eliminate the smoke source. The best method to resolve this is to place the wood chips in foil packets with holes punched in them and throw these in the fire disk periodically.
To use this as a charcoal smoker, the instructions state to fill the fire disk with up to 8 pounds to standard charcoal, douse with lighter fluid and then light with a match. Leave the door open and wait until the charcoal burns down to white coals. Put in the water pan, fill with an inch or liquid, add the cooking racks, and then load in the food. Sounds like a vertical water smoker. The issue is that this is not a well-controlled environment as far as airflow, so maintaining temperatures are not as precise as it is with the adjustable gas burner.
The truth is that this is a propane smoker that happens to be able to run on charcoal, only not as well. You would be better served with a gas smoker that is only gas. The charcoal feature is not something that most are going to use that often, and if they are, they should just get a good vertical charcoal smoker that is designed for that fuel only.
As with most other Masterbuilt smokers, the quality of construction on this unit is limited. There is no insulation to hold in heat and the door does not close tightly, so smoke and heat escape everywhere. At around $180USD this isn't a very expensive but for just a little more you can get the Masterbuilt GS40 Black 40-Inch, which is just propane and is a lot larger (though similar issues with the door and construction).