To begin our Masterbuilt Bluetooth smoker review the specific smoker model we are reviewing here is the 30 inch Masterbuilt pro with Bluetooth. Most of the information in this review is relevant for any of the electric cabinet type smokers by Masterbuilt. In the review we will include a review of the bluetooth and android app as well. I have had this particular smoker for about 2 years now and have owned at least a half-dozen different smokers over the years.
So let’s start with why I selected this particular smoker. After some online research I decided to purchase an electric cabinet type smoker. I rarely get to use a smoker anymore because it’s hard to carve out a whole day on one of my few days off to use it and an electric cabinet smoker requires very little attention after you get it started. So off to the home improvement store to check out what they have available before coming home to order it off Amazon. But what’s this? This Masterbuilt smoker has bluetooth, sold! I liked the glass door and light to but bluetooth yeah! So I bought it on the spot.
The assembly was fairly straight forward.
Outside: Legs, handle, adjust the door latch, snap on the plastic button cover, then pull some plastic.
Inside: insert shelves, water pan, drip tray and download the app. and fire it up.
As with any new grill or smoker I let it get good and hot for a while to burn any foreign substances off, then let it cool completely. Now she’s ready to cook.
The controls on the top are also very straight forward. Press the set temperature button then the arrows to move it up or down. Then press the set button again and your temperature is set. The timer works the same way with an extra button push in the middle to go from hours to minutes.
A word of advice: Do not set it up for a timed cook unless that is what you are doing, it will turn off on you at the end. My experience has been that to smoke something properly it will take longer then you think so, you will end up adding time at the end anyway. So just set the timer on your phone.
For the first cook on any new grill I like to use chicken, it’s cheap and absorbs smoke well. So after filing the water pan, I set the smoker to 250 degrees (270 is max) and the timer for 2:30. I let the smoker pre-heat and it took around 30 minutes so I had to reset the timer back up to 2:30. Placed the chicken in beer can style and inserted the built-in temperature probe. Placed some hickory chips in the wood chip tube slide the tube into the smoker then twist. This dumps the chips onto the smoking tray. Within a few minutes the chips will begin to smoke. From this point on all we need to do is add more wood chips every hour.
After the first hour the steam and smoke combination made the glass door very hard to see into, even with the built-in light on. Good thing all the necessary readings are on the app and on the digital readout on top of the smoker.
The top of this unit remained cool through the entire process I wouldn’t set my beer on it but a coffee cup with the mop sauce can sit up there without worry.
It was a very successful first cook. The chicken was moist and delicious but the skin was rubber. Lesson learned, finish chicken on the high heat of the grill. I also wasn’t happy with the smoke flavor. This is why we do a test cook. From here on out I mix apple and hickory chips 50/50 and use it on every smoke.
To ease in cleaning the racks, drip pans and ash tray slide right out. At first I cleaned the inside walls and door as well but what a pain that was. Cleaning the removable parts is simple and takes about 20 minutes as for the rest of it, I now just call it seasoned.
For the next cook it was brisket and it turned out better than I could have expected. Next I made a pork butt and it was the best pork but it was ever able to smoke.
Through all of the cooks the smoker held a steady temperature with little to no attention besides adding the wood chips every hour. This smoker was amazingly easy to program and use. Providing you have the patience for barbecue it will put out some excellent food. It does have its drawbacks which I will get into after the bluetooth section.
Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smoker review – The Masterbuilt Android App.
First you download the app (we use the android version) then the pairing is very straightforward. Just hold the set temp button until it beeps a few times and enter the password on your phone. Then name the smoker on your app and you are set.
In the app you can set your cooking temperature, monitor your food temps, set up a timed cook as well as set timers. There are even pre-named timers like add wood chips. All of these functions work well when the bluetooth is connected and most of the time it will automatically reconnect when back in range or the app is opened.
A problem arises when the bluetooth does not reconnect. I have opened the app a couple of times to find it has lost the temperature setting. It’s easy enough to fix but it will freak you out for a minute. Also, the alarms are pulled real-time from your smoker so if your out of range they will not go off. The easy fix is to set the timer on your phone not in the app but you would think this basic function would work.
Where the bluetooth really shines is for monitoring your food temperature remotely. As your cook goes on you can easily know where you’re at in the process just by picking up your phone.
So is the bluetooth option worth it? For me the bottom line is monitoring the food temperature in real-time makes the bluetooth worthwhile. There are better thermometers to do this out there that you can purchase separately but this gets the job done just fine and the probe is already inside the cabinet, no wires to run. You are basically paying $100 extra for the bluetooth and a good digital bluetooth thermometer will run you around that much so if you already have one skip this option.
The good, the bad and the bottom line of our Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smoker Review:
Small racks mean you will have to cut slabs of ribs in half.
You need to slide racks out to mop leaving a mess on the ground in front of the smoker.
The Bluetooth does not reconnect all the time.
Short 4 foot power cord.
Could use bigger wheels.
The inside is a pain to clean.
The glass window and light are kind of useless.
Just about everything else.
The Bottom Line:
If your new to barbecue or just have a lack of time to do it the traditional method this is the type of smoker for you. The first brisket I cooked with this was the first brisket I ever cooked and it was tremendous. I don’t think that they can make a smoker easier to use and it seems to be very consistent which allows you to play with flavors instead of fighting with temperature control. If you already have a good remote thermometer you can save a few bucks and avoid the bluetooth option and get basically the same great results by ordering this one:
Here is a video Masterbuilt Bluetooth smoker review (not by us) that we found on Youtube
We would love to have your input on our Masterbuilt Bluetooth smoker review feel free to leave your reactions in our comments section.
As always our Masterbuilt bluetooth smoker review in unsolicited and un-sponsored which is to say. We went to the store and paid full price for our smoker and received nothing from Masterbuilt or anybody else in return for writing this review.
About the author: Mike is the owner of 4thegrill.com, a Certified Food Safety Professional and KCBS member.
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