Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker Review

Many strides have been made in the realm of smoked meat in recent years, and the electric smoker is without a doubt one of the more promising ones. The premise of being able to make smoked meat on the go wherever you want is quite an alluring one, and so many companies tried their luck at gaining a foothold in the market. One product that has gained a considerable amount of traction is the Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker (model Masterbuilt 20073716), one of the few smokers available that is actually compact enough and suitable for travelling. What follows is review of what this smoker has to offer.

Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker Specifications & Features

  • It measures 23.42 by 23.62 by 15.94 inches and weighs a total of 21.6 pounds. Objectively-speaking it’s a little bulky, but considering it needs to have enough space to accommodate decent amounts of meat it’s a forgivable design choice. Carrying it could prove somewhat awkward, though it should be mentioned that it’s possible to buy a special bag for it separately at a price of $40. It’s not necessary, but if you have the money to spare it will make things a bit easier.
  • It has a 1400 watt heating element with two chrome-coated racks with a surface of approximately 12 square inches each.
  • There is a temperature gauge on the door as well as a water pan and a removable wooden chip tray.
  • The heat controls are quite simple, being limited to three settings: low, medium and high.
  • The smoker also has some metal legs to stand on and they can be folded for transportation purposes.

Who is the Masterbuilt portable electric smoker suitable for?

Portable Smoker Carrying Bag

According to the manufacturer’s, this model was designed to be used when camping, on a road trip, tailgating or just traveling in general. For this it’s perfect, as it’s one of the only smokers small enough to carry easily, especially if you purchase an accompanying travel bag.

Needless to say, you can use it at home as well without going anywhere if you’re looking for a smoker that’s small and easy to use and store.

How to use the Masterbuilt portable electric smoker

Thankfully, using this smoker is somewhat simpler compared to the methods of our ancestors.

Step 1. Begin by laying down some tinfoil under the unit and over the bottom rack to prevent any grease from splashing down on the water pan and chip tray.

Step 2. Following that you will need to fill the wood chip tray with, you guessed it, wooden chips.

Step 3. Preheat the smoker for about half-an-hour to forty-five minutes, depending on the temperature you’re going for; in about thirty minutes it goes up to around 225F. After that you can place your meat on the racks.

Over the course of the smoking process you’ll probably have to empty the tray and refill it a couple of times, about once every two or three hours.

Once the meat is done and cooked you simply need to turn the smoker off and let it cool down before cleaning it. The racks can be easily removed which makes the cleaning process simple and straight forward.

What I like about this smoker

Now that we’ve examined the technical aspects of the smoker it’s time to see whether it lives up to its manufacturer’s promises.

  • Starting with the positive aspects, its size is actually quite compact when compared to other electric smokers, despite being a bit bulky. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the smallest models on the market right now, meaning it’s actually one of the few that are realistically viable for traveling purposes.
  • As reported by the many people who have bought this smoker and reviewed it, the smoke produced is very clean, steady and doesn’t stink up the whole place to the point where neighbors call the fire department
  • The removable racks and trays also really make the cleaning process a breeze.
  • Long story short, it’s a quiet, hardworking and unassuming-looking unit that can keep on going for a while and get the job done without demanding much attention or maintenance.

What I don’t like

  • The warranty only covers your purchase from manufacturing defects for a period of 90 days. Additionally, it also states that they don’t cover the unit for rust, nor do they cover the paint finish “as it may burn off during normal use”. While some paint burning off isn’t exactly a cause for concern (its pretty normal for smokers) I would still consider the warranty a bit short.
  • Some people have also mentioned that their models aren’t as well insulated as they could be, making them slightly less effective for use in very cold and windy weather. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it in adverse conditions though – it just means that items might take a bit longer to cook (or just use it in a sheltered place).

Got questions? Here’s a quick FAQ:

Can I use it to cook a turkey?

Yes, it can smoke a turkey up to 15lbs.

What size are the racks?

There are 2 racks, each are 12 inches x 12 inches.

Can I use pellets in this smoker?

No, for best results use only wood chips.

Can I fit a rack of ribs in this smoker?

Yes, as there are 2 racks. You will probably need to cut it in half though.

Can this smoker be used indoors?

This smoker is only suitable for outdoor use – if you used it indoors it would fill the room with smoke.

Is the temperature adjustable? 

Yes, there is a rotating knob that allows for the temperature to be adjusted.

Is there a waterproof cover available to buy?

The carrying bag (which you buy separately) will keep the smoker safe from rain.

Is the smoker just for travelling?

No, many people also use it at home and some never travel with it at all. This is one of the cheapest smokers available if you’re looking for something that’s small and compact, and easy to store.

Is there assembly required? 

It comes fully assembled – all you have to do is put the racks in place and then you can start using it straight away.

 

Final Verdict

Ultimately, while the Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker does have a few minor flaws, it does accomplish the mission it was designed for: being a compact and effective meat smoker to be used either at home or while traveling. Also, if we take a look at all the reviews from the people who bought it, it becomes quite apparent that the majority are very positive, with very few negative comments.

It only costs about $99.95 at the moment (one of the cheapest smokers on the market) which I believe makes it safe and sensible choice for those who want a small, affordable, solid and portable electric smoker that can last a long time with proper care and maintenance.

Where to buy the Masterbuilt 20073716 Portable Smoker

I’ve had a look at a few different retailers and find Amazon to be a good choice. The price is reasonable and you get fast, free shipping. Also you can check out the user reviews before buying to see if this is a good fit for your needs.


Review Date
Reviewed Item
Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker
Author Rating
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