Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker With Window Review

masterbuilt 40 electric smoker with windowWe’ve already reviewed the Masterbuilt 30 Inch Electric Smoker – in this article we’re going to take a closer look at the 40 inch model. You’ll probably know by now if you’ve done any research on home smokers that Masterbuilt is the manufacturer of some of the top selling smokers and grills available today. But does the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker with window (model: Masterbuilt 20070311) live up to the hype and is it as good as the rest of their products?

First let’s look at the differences between the two models – they’re certainly similar, but there are a few key differences that might sway your purchasing decision in one direction or another.

Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker With Window Vs Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt 40 Inch Electric Smoker
  • Price – the prices vary depending on where you buy, but the 40 inch can cost in the region of $500.
  • Wattage – 1200 watts
  • 975 square inches of cooking space – this is definitely a good selling point if you have a large family or you entertain on a regular basis.
  • Built in wheels and handle for easy carrying. This is particularly useful if you house your smoker indoors and just bring it outside for smoking your food.
  • Large front window with internal light means you don’t have to open the door to see your food cooking (resulting in loss of temperature).
  • Built in internal meat probe – it’s probably not 100% accurate, but even if it varies by about 10 degrees either side of the actual set temperature that’s pretty good for a smoker. Some people still prefer to invest in a separate meat probe though to double check that the temperature is right.
Masterbuilt 30 Inch  Electric Smoker
  • Price – the 30 inch is a much more affordable cost in the region of $200 (again this depends on where you buy)
  • Wattage – 800 watts
  • 730 square inches of cooking space. Still a large capacity for an average size family, but not quite wide enough for a rack of ribs (which you have to cut in half to fit) or big enough for regular entertaining.
  • No wheels or handles. The smoker isn’t heavy, but it is awkward to lift.
  • No front window so you have to open the smoker if you  want to see the food cooking – or trust that your smoker is doing its job!
  • No meat probe included – you will need to invest in one of these separately as they are important for checking internal temperature of the meat to ensure it is properly cooked.

Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker Features

Remote control – this lets you control cooking temperature, meat temperature and cooking times from up to 100 feet away.

Extra large window in the stainless steel door – you can watch your food cooking without having to open the door

Smoke your food at temperatures between 100 – 275 degrees. The in built meat probe and thermostat make slow cooking easy and you can be sure your food reaches the right temperatures – no guesswork involved!

Large capacity – 4 meat removable chrome meat racks with up to 975 square inches of cooking space means you’ll always have enough space for extra food for visiting friends and relatives. This is significantly bigger than the smaller Masterbuilt 30 electric smoker which is also very popular, but is slightly too narrow for certain cuts of meat (e.g. a rack of ribs would have to be cut in half).

Side wood chip loader – this makes it convenient to load wood chips without having to open the door. Just put in the wood chips and slide the loader into the side of the smoker. Some people ask if it’s possible to use wood chunks or wood pellets – according to Masterbuilt support only use wood chips for best results. It is not necessary to soak the wood chips before using.

What we like about the Masterbuilt 40 smoker

  • Glass window in the door – some people prefer to  see what’s going on in their smoker (you’re always going to want to check the progress), and you can do that without opening the door and letting heat out and temperature drop. Some people fear that a smoker with a window will leak smoke, and maybe that does happen with some smokers – not with this one though. Smoke leakage is minimal, and the smoker holds its heat very well.
  • The Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker might be big, but with the wheels and handles it’s easy to transport. Some people prefer to keep their smoker indoors during the winter e.g. in a garage or shed and just bring it out for cooking. If you intend to do this you’ll want it to be easy to move because a smoker, although not usually heavy, will probably be pretty big and awkward to move especially if you want to lift it. With this digital smoker you won’t need to be a bodybuilder to move it to where you want it to be!
  • This has been on the market for a few years now (5+) so it’s not one of their newer models – according to reviews it’s more reliable and solidly built than the newer 40 inch smokers, and that’s why it continues to be a big seller.

This is a Generation 1 smoker, but the 2nd Gen smoker that came after it has since been discontinued by the manufacturer due to a range of problems such as leaking smoke, variation in internal temperature (fluctuated up to 40 degrees either side of the set temperature) etc.

In 2015 another even newer model was released (to improve on the one that was discontinued) and you can find a review of that here. This one still continues to be one of the top selling 40 inch electric smokers.

What we don’t like about the Masterbuilt 40″ Electric Smoker

  • It’s expensive – at approximately $450 there are cheaper smokers on the market, and it’s nearly double the price of the 30 inch model. The outside is entirely made from stainless steel though which is said to hold the heat better. Also if you need the size, it stands to reason you’re going to have to pay more for it. More size = bigger wattage & more robust smoker. Many users have stated that it was worth forking out for the bigger model and some even ended up upgrading to the Masterbuilt 20070311 after finding the 30 inch electric smoker wasn’t big enough. If you’ve got a big family or intend to entertain a lot this is definitely the better choice.
  • I’ve seen a few people state in their reviews that the  built in meat probe isn’t 100% accurate when tested against other meat probes. This problem seems to only arise occasionally because for the most part, the user reviews for this smoker are outstanding. However it’s something to be aware of and there’s no harm in double checking temperature, especially if you’re already a BBQ fan who owns a separate meat probe (they only cost about $10-$20).

Masterbuilt 20070311 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the size and weight of the 40 inch Masterbuilt smoker?
25.6 x 19.3 x 41.3 inches and 67.7lbs (shipping weight is 74.2lbs)
What is the top temperature for this smoker?
275 degrees fahrenheit
Does it come with a remote control?
Yes, you can use the remote to control cooking times, temperature etc. from up to 100ft away.
What is the difference between the old and new generation models?
This is a 1st gen model so is the older model. There were alot of problems with the 2nd gen model (which has been discontinued). This continues to sell well because it just works, and many people have had theirs for years without experiencing any problems. This one is one of the most reliable models Masterbuilt have produced – especially in the 40 inch range.
I've heard that models with a window have a problem retaining heat
It might be with some smokers, but not with this one. There are no reports of the Masterbuilt 40 electric smoker with window losing heat.
Can I use this indoors?
Unfortunately, no. This smoker is only suitable for outdoor use.
Is the Masterbuilt 40 inch smoker suitable for a beginner?
Yes, every Masterbuilt digital electric smoker is suitable for beginners because they are all very easy to use. The only thing you need to decide is whether you really need a smoker with a large capacity – otherwise there is also a 30 inch digital electric smoker which is cheaper.
Can I use wood chunks or pellets with this smoker?
It is recommended that you only use wood chips for best results. You don’t have to soak the wood chips before using.
If I buy this is a gift will it arrive in plain packaging?
Probably not – it will likely be packed in a Masterbuilt box which will reveal the contents. A few customers have said that theirs did arrive in plain packaging, but I think for the most part you should expect the box to indicate what’s inside.


Final Verdict: Should You Buy?

If you’re looking for a high quality electric meat smoker with a large capacity the Masterbuilt 20070311 40 Inch Smoker is well worth checking out. It’s not the cheapest on the market, but if you want something with a bit extra cooking space then you’ll definitely need to invest a bit more than the average price of about $200-$300. If you’re just cooking for your immediate family then you could probably get by with the smaller 30 inch model, but for regular entertaining the 975 square inches of cooking space on 4 racks is a worth while investment. 

Masterbuilt is a reputable company and they do offer excellent customer service, but unfortunately the warranty is only for 90 days. The good thing is that with a quality smoker like this, problems are rare (but not unheard of). I certainly wouldn’t let that put you off, but it is something to be aware of when purchasing. The good news is that Masterbuilt electric smoker reviews (from actual users) are very positive about this brand and they are very happy with their smokers, particularly this one.

Although this is a 1st generation Masterbuilt smoker 40 inch (it’s been on the market for a few years now), most smoking enthusiasts would recommend this over the newer model as it really is one of the most robust and reliable smokers Masterbuilt have made – the 2nd gen smoker that came after it has already been discontinued due to a range of problems, but this one keeps selling! If you’re looking for a Masterbuilt 40 electric smoker with window give this a try, you won’t be disappointed!

Image Credits:

Featured Image: Wicker Paradise | Flickr


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Masterbuilt 20070311 40 Inch Electric Smoker
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