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How to Use a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker? An Easy Step-by-Step Guide

by Outdoor Cooking Pros October 30, 2021

How to Use a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?

If you’re keen on adding a new electric smoker in your own backyard, chances are you’ve already heard about the perks of a Masterbuilt smoker. Although it’s recommended among other smokers for being energy efficient, does it have enough functions to make the smoking process easier? Let’s find out in this step-by-step guide made by our resident chefs.  

Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Parts and How They Work

What makes a Masterbuilt smoker unique from typical cooking chambers is the use of a normal heating element. Instead of charcoal or propane, this electric smoker uses wood chips to create enough smoke and cook meat. 

Its wood chip loader is a heating element that increases smoker temperature, making the water pan steam to tenderize the meat. Unlike most electric smokers, its smoking process doesn’t require you to check from time to time. You can just set the cooking temperature and do other things without worrying if it’ll leave the meat moist or not. 

If energy efficiency is among your biggest worries during cooking time, our experts can assure you that Masterbuilt smoke meat faster to keep your electric bills low. 

Besides burgers, pork butts, and fish recipes, the heating elements of this Masterbuilt smoker allow cold smoking of cured meat and cheese through a smoke generator kit.  

Masterbuilt electric  smoker

Masterbuilt electric smokers are also known to have vents. Upon closer inspection, our team noted that this feature is the one responsible for its proper heat circulation. 

How to Use a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 

Step #1: Season the Smoker 

The pre-seasoning process of the smoker is often the most neglected part of smoking meat. Like any other cooking chamber, a Masterbuilt electric smoker needs to go through smoker seasoning to remove undesirable substances present on its surface. 

First, coat the smoker’s interior with vegetable oil. If your smoker has a glass door, spray on top of it as well. And no matter what, don’t use machine oil for this because it’s not a healthy option to consider. 

Next, make sure that the smoker’s water pan is empty for additional safety. After that, plug the cold smoker into the electricity and click the power button to have it running. Adjust the temperature setting to 275 degrees and let it heat for at least three hours. Typically, you can find these instructions in the Masterbuilt electric smokehouse manual. 

After you set the smoker temperature and you’re on the last 45-minute mark, that’s when our smoking experts would suggest throwing half a cup of wood chips in the smoke tray. 

The half cup of lumber in the wood chip tray is the last process of seasoning and cleaning process of the smoker. Once it reaches the third-hour mark, you can turn it off and let it cool down. 

Step #2: Prepare and Load Water

Next on how to use a Masterbuilt electric smoker is refilling your water pan. If you don’t have your own water pan, you can use the main grease tray. It may seem like a basic step, but the water will keep the meat moisturized and control humidity inside the electric smoker.

Prepare and Load Water

At the bottom of cooking racks, don’t forget to load your large drip pan meant to catch all the excess oil when you start cooking the meat in the smoker. 

If you don’t have a drip pan, you can make a disposable one out of tin foil. We recommend placing it near the edge for an easier cleaning session later. 

Step #3: Preheat 

Whether you’re using Masterbuilt models or not, it’s part of every smoker instruction manual to preheat your cooking chamber for at least an hour or around 45 minutes. If you have already scanned through the Masterbuilt smoker instructions, you’ll know it needs more heating time than propane smokers. 

When you set smoker temperature, put it in the highest required heat depending on the type of meat you’ll be smoking. The preheating procedure also includes filling the wood chip smoker box, which we’ll discuss in the step below.  

Step #4: Load the Tray With Wood Chips

Another interesting feature of the Masterbuilt smoker is its distinct wood chip smoker box. Unlike others, Masterbuilt smokers have a tube-like wood chip loading tray with a handle. Our kitchen chefs are delighted with how easy you can pull it open and fill it with wood chips. 

Load the Tray With Wood Chips

And while adding more wood chips may seem enticing, it doesn’t necessarily indicate how much smoke your electric smoker will produce. In some cases, overflowing wood chips can hinder smoke production. 

When running a Masterbuilt electric smoker, adding half a cup of wood chips at a time is enough to keep the flames and smoke going. Going for dry chips is something we recommend as well because most electric smokers don’t heat well with soaked ones when cooking meat. 

Step #5: Place the Meat on the Smoker

After the wood chips are lit, it’s now time to place your meat into the electric smoker. However, before you get into smoking and open that smoker door, be sure to lay the meat on the grill mats. Doing this would help you load the meat easier. 

To avoid being suffocated with the smoke when you open the smoker’s door, our kitchen experts recommend standing on the side. The location of the meat depends on what type of food you’re dealing with. 

If you plan to smoke red meat or poultry, it undoubtedly belongs to the top rack. On the other hand, consider smoking fish on the bottom rack as it has the lowest temperature inside the electric smoker. Last but not least, don’t forget to put the built-in meat probe on the thickest part to monitor its temperature. 

Step #6: Adjust to Desired Temperature

Even if you fully learned how to use a Masterbuilt electric smoker and its manufacturing process, your smoked meat won’t taste good without proper temperature handling. Based on the maximum temperature recommended for your meat, include an additional ten degrees on top of it. 

Adjust to Desired Temperature

This smoker has a heating range from 100F to 275F. For cooking fish or any meat, it’s safer to set the temperature around 225 degrees. 

Step #7: Let the Meat Cook

While the meat gets soaked with the aroma of the smoke, it’s important to maintain its moisture. Although the smoking time depends on the variety of meat in the electric smoker, the majority of these dishes will take hours to cook and leave their surface dry. 

Besides the water pan in the smoker, you can spray it with water or oil before it's completely done cooking. Besides that, it’ll give you a chance to enhance the flavor as well. 

Step #8: Load More Wood Chips and Coat Meat With Mop Sauce 

Another Masterbuilt electric smoker tips our team could recommend is adding more wood chips during the process. There’s no need to worry about increasing the heat because this smoker has a reliable thermostat. The additional wood pieces will only produce more smoke for your meat.

You shouldn’t forget to brush the Mop barbecue sauce on its surface for another layer of flavor. This procedure can be done 45 minutes before pulling the dish out of the smoker. 

Step #9: Unload the Meat if it’s Ready 

Right after applying the sauce, it should take almost an hour or two before you can pull out the dish. Generally, our team would recommend checking the internal temperature through the probes. For your safety, it’s best for any kind of meat to reach at least around 145 degrees. 

Unload the Meat if it’s Ready

Step #10: Let the Smoker Cool Down 

Once the smoking is done, you can freely take it out of the chamber. Although it can be enticing to eat straight away, give it another 30 minutes of resting before taking the first cut into its flesh. While waiting, let the smoker cool off from all the heat as well before the clean-up.

Step #11: Clean the Smoker 

How to Clean the Smoker 

Believe it or not, proper cleaning is a huge part of learning how to use Masterbuilt electric smoker equipment. If you add foil on the drip and heat deflector during the smoking, we assure you that you’ll have an easier time cleaning. 

When it comes to this procedure, it’s best not to miss a spot. Wash off all the food remains and dirt from the inner door, smoking rack, water bowl, grate supports, and drip pans using a detergent solution[1]. After that, wipe them down with a wet cloth along with the walls of the smoker.

And while ashes from all the smoke can be shaken off the chamber easily, you can use a brush to remove them from the edges. It can be dangerous to clean this, so our resident chefs suggest checking if all the chips and ashes have cooled down.

Accessories You Can Use With a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

For cooking equipment that’s often out in the open, getting a custom-fit electric smoker cover is a no-brainer. It’ll safeguard your kitchen tool from the changing weather conditions and help it last for a long time. 

On top of that, buying a smoke generator to aid your Masterbuilt smoker is a marvelous idea. Given that it’s an electric smoker, its smoke production isn’t over-the-top. So if you want more smoke, this is the device you should get.


1. Do you soak wood chips for a Masterbuilt electric smoker?

No, do not soak wood chips for a Masterbuilt electric smoker. Besides being completely unnecessary, electric smokers like these tend to heat poorly with wet lumber. These soaked chunks will only eliminate moisture before smoke is produced, so dry chips are more suitable for smoking food in this type of chamber.

2. How often do you add wood chips to Masterbuilt electric smoker?

You should add wood chips to Masterbuilt electric smokers every four to five hours. One cup of wood pieces should be sufficient for this cooking duration. No matter how tempting it is, don’t open the lid while doing this as well. You must do it repeatedly until the meat’s done cooking. 

3. Do you add water to a Masterbuilt electric smoker?

Yes, you should add water to a Masterbuilt electric smoker. Long hours of cooking will leave your food dry inside the smoker, so it’s wise to keep a water bowl inside to enhance its moisture. Water can also be a great way to control the temperature and make humidity circulate inside the chamber.


Now that you know how to use a Masterbuilt electric smoker, you’re now fully-geared to the next level of your cooking adventures. Although it’s overwhelming to operate such heavy-duty kitchen equipment, our cooking experts recommend always keeping your manual on standby to help you troubleshoot when things get rough.

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