Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 15 minute Repair

Discussion in 'Food and Recipe Forums' started by Breedy, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Breedy

    Breedy Busted

    Nov 14, 2007
    I picked my Masterbuilt Electric Smoker up at Cabela's in Wheeling 3-4 years ago with a boat load of coupons, gift cards and other savings and was out of pocket very little. It had worked well but had a difficult time with low temp smoking in the summer months (more on this later). It stopped working this past November when I was smoking a pork shoulder. The digital display functioned fine and the heating light would come on along with the "click" of the thermostat, but the element would not heat. A quick Google search showed a faulty connection to the heating element to be a like cause.

    I wasn't about to drop ~$250 on a new one as I was considering replacing my gas grill this year with charcoal and figured I would get something with a smoke box if I couldn't repair my electric smoker.

    I know a couple of guys here have the same or similar model and a how-to can be found over at Smoking Meat as well. I used that as my guide but didn't find a step by step guide. So here is my attempt.

    What you Will need

    Basic mechanical knowledge
    Drill and 7/32 bit
    Philips Screw Driver (short handle)
    Wire Crimper
    3 butt-end Connectors (18 gauge)
    3 Section High Temp Wire (8-10 inches; 18 gauge)
    2 High Temp Spade Connectors (18 gauge)
    1 High Temp Circle Stud (gauge)
    Sheet metal Screws
    Emory Cloth or fine Sandpaper
    Metal File

    The high temp wire and connectors are easy to find. Head down to your local second hand appliance store and tell them what you need. They should be able to hook you up at a much lower cost (possible free with the promise of future brisket) than buying new.

    To start Remove the screws holding on the digital display and the external drip pain shown below.


    Next take the 7/32 Drill bit and drill the heads of the rivets, they are soft aluminum and come off easily


    With the Panel removed you will see the box holding the heating element on the bottom left. It is held on by two screws accessed from the interior.


    Note the location of the Temp Probe. Being black the smoker gets fairly warm in the sun which accounts for the problems in the summer.

    Remove everything from the interior of your smoker including your chip loader. The Smoker box shell is held on by 4 screws, two on the left and two on the chip loading chute.


    Left side of Smoker Box Shell; you may need a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the nuts on the opposite side to unscrew

    Gentle grasp the Smoker Box Shell and rotate it forward and out of the smoker, remember to remove chip loader :whistling:


    The two screws noted in red hold the Element box on, the center green arrow is the ground contact point.

    Up to this point I still wasn't 100% why it wasn't working, but once the box was off it was pretty obvious.


    I cut the wires a couple inches or so back from the box and removed the element.

    The corrosion was pretty severe and required a very light filing and polishing with Emory or fine sandpaper


    Once the terminals were all cleaned up I put on my high temp wires and connectors. At this point I dropped my camera and busted it :angry: . I secured the connectors to the heating elements with a little Silver Solder to make sure they didn't come loose and replace the element. Trying to line up the screw holes was a bit of a pain and having a seconded set of hands would have helped.

    After that you take your butt end splices and crimp the new High Temp wires to the old ones. I just used some I had lying around the house as the amount of insulation in the Smoker wouldn't require any sort of high temp connectors. The back has always stayed cool to the touch so I wasn't that concerned. With everything rewired a quick test should everything working as it should. So I began to reassemble everything in reverse order, a note of caution. The heating element gets warm pretty quick, so either be careful holding the nuts on the left side of the smoker box or let it cool before you stick your hand in.

    To finish it off, take some self threading sheet metal screws and secure the back panel back on replacing the screws for the lower hooks and digital read out.

    All in all it took me about 15 minutes and was completed with parts that I had lying around with the exception of the High Heat stuff.

    The brisket is in as we speak.

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