The Masterbuilt range of electric smokers are among the most popular electric smokers among BBQ enthusiasts. The fans of the Masterbuilt electric smokers range from BBQ newbies who have just started getting into smoking as well as more experience smokers who move on from charcoal and gas smokers to the Masterbuilt electric smokers for the pure convenience.
Masterbuilt’s latest electric smoker is the new Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch with window. This is a cabinet-style smoker that looks pretty much like a small refrigerator or a wine cooler at about 40 inches high. Masterbuilt also has a slightly smaller version, the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 30 inch. If you only plan to cook for small groups, the 30 inch version is a good choice as well.
We picked the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch with Window as one of our top 3 electric smoker picks because it is an amazing how many features that Masterbuilt managed to pack into the smoker for the price. Masterbuilt has put a lot of thought into the features that have been added.
These features have not been added just to add another bullet point on the box or brochure. All these features add together to make smoking a simple task that anyone can do while producing great tasting food.
Please take note that our featured model is the older version of the 40 inch Masterbuilt Electric Smoker that has a smaller window and the controller is located at the back of the unit. The newer version has a larger window and the controller is located at the front edge right above the front door.
Other than the 2 main differences above, both versions of the 40″ Masterbuilt Electric Smoker are about the same. However, the newer version have numerous issues including a potential fire hazard issue caused by the design of the wood chip tray. Because of this, we do not recommend getting the newer version.
However, Masterbuilt is releasing a newer version of the 40″ Masterbuilt Electric Smoker that is expected to be made available on 30 June 2015. We will review this newer version in due time.
What we like about the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch with Window
The most important feature of an electric smoker is its ability to maintain internal temperature. This is the feature that allow an electric smoker user to set the smoker temperature, insert the meat that is to be smoked and more or less forget about it until it is ready to be eaten. A good electric smoker has good insulation and temperature control to maintain the temperature over a long period of time and thus ensuring that the meat does not get dried out or under cooked.
For a mid-ranged product, the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch does a great job at maintaining temperature. The walls of the cabinet has good insulation. There is very little heat leaking from the around the door or the window at the front. The good insulation also means that it is possible to use this smoker in the winter months. The smoker comes with a 1200W heating element that is able to keep to cooking temperature at a maximum 275 °F.
A pretty unique feature of this electric smoker is that it has a huge glass window on the front. Together with the light in the smoker itself, users can now see how their smoked meat is turning out without opening the smoker front door. A common beginner mistake is to open the smoker door unnecessarily and thus releasing all that built-up heat and smoke. On the other hand, don’t expect to see too much as the smoke does obscure the window after awhile and you do need to clean up the grime after each session. It does give the beginner smoker a little assurance than not being to see anything at all.
The smoker has quite a big capacity and you should be able to stuff in about 35 lbs of food in there. This is sufficient food for a good sized party of 20 – 30 people. It comes with 4 trays that are removable so you can adjust them to maximize the cooking capacity of the smoker.
For those who love gadgets, you will be happy to find out that the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch even comes with a remote control. The remote control allows you to control the temperature setting as well as display the temperature inside the oven and also the meat probe thermometer. The remote works from as far as 100 feet away. This means that you can set up the smoker and then go back inside the house and watch TV with a nice cold beer while having full control over the smoker temperature. How cool is that?
The smoker also has a well designed control panel with a digital display mounted on the top of the cabinet. The panel provides full temperature control and setting as well just like the remote. The controls are simple and we managed to figure it out without referring to the manual. The display is large and bright enough to be viewed from a distance.
While an electric smoker is mostly set up and forget, you still need to add wood chips from time to time. For the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch, this is about every 2 to 2.5 hours. The great thing about the design of the smoker is that you can add the wood chips via a special wood chip loader mechanism on the lower right side of the smoker. Just pull out the chute, load it with the chips, push it back in and give it a 180 twist to unload the chips into the burner. This means that very little heat is lost when replenishing the wood chips.
When you are done for the day, the smoker can be easily pushed around as it comes with 2 rear wheels. Just tilt it slightly to the back and wheel the smoker to wherever you want to store it. Just remember to remove the drip pan before pushing it though.
What we didn’t like about the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch with Window
The biggest worry that we have about the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch is the 90 day warranty period. The other smokers in our top 3 picks have at least 12 months warranty and one of them actually has 24 months warranty.
Unfortunately, electric smokers do have more components that are susceptible to break downs compared to either gas or charcoal smokers. The heating element is one of them. Due to its more modern design, the Masterbuilt electric smoker has a couple more – the electrical control including the thermostat and temperature control plus the remote control.
We do not know how difficult or expensive it is to make repairs to the smoker so it is rather worrisome. Going through the other reviews of this smoker on the internet reveal both users who were both ecstatic with Masterbuilt’s customer service as well as really disappointed ones who swore never to buy another Masterbuilt product ever.
Despite the fears of a breakdown after the warranty period, we still highly recommend the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch. The features of this electric smoker is unmatched by any other electric smoker at this price point. Many beginners who are new at smoking have achieved great results with the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch.
The window really helps the beginner to resist the temptation to open the door unnecessarily and thus ruining a good cook. The temperature control works perfectly with very minimal heat loss.
More experienced cooks will appreciate the ease of smoking without the constant need to maintain or control the temperature.Click Here for Pricing and Reviews on Amazon