Masterbuilt 20078616 Electric Bullet Smoker Review
If you are looking for a nice little smoker that won’t break the bank, then there are a few options to put near the top of your list. Most use charcoal or propane to fuel their fire. There are even some new smokers coming on the marketplace that can tap into municipal natural gas lines.
Yet for some these smokers are a little too large to be feasible. Especially if you have a small deck or other limited outdoor cooking space. Small charcoal smokers can be very hard to control the temperature. They either rocket too high, or you have to constantly open them up to reload. This leads to wild swings in temperature and clothes that smell like a brushfire. Propane flame smokers tend to be easier to control the temperature, yet you often notice a slight tinge of gas flavor in the meat.
The Masterbuilt Electric Bullet Smoker steps aside from these problems by using an electric heating element. The essentially large resistor in the bottom heats up, which in turn start to burn the wood chips, which then also produces smoke and heats the water pan. The net result is a moist smoke that imparts superior flavor as it creates succulent meat.
The cooking grates, wood trip tray, water pan, and drippings pan are each coated with a layer of porcelain enamel. This gives them non-stick properties that you don’t find, even in some of the much higher-priced competition.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
For the most part, the Masterbuilt Electric Bullet Smoker is well built from quality materials. The porcelain coating on the cooking grates, wood trip tray, water pan, and drippings pan is relatively unheard of in smokers this size or price.
There are two minor knocks on it when it comes to quality. The first is the poor, and inaccurate thermometer in the lid. Which is sort of expected. Most small smokers have inaccurate thermometers, due to the volume of air inside.
The second flaw is the lack of insulation. It’s basically fire glazed steel, without any type of heat retention incorporated. This isn’t surprising considering the price point, but you may want to rethink using it in cold or wet weather.
The six-foot-long cord is nice, and what you would expect for a 1,650 Watt electric element. Just make sure you have a rated outdoor outlet within range of where you want to smoke.
The Masterbuilt Electric Bullet Smoker is relatively easy to assemble. With some basic mechanical sympathy, you should be able to put it together in a little under an hour.
The Masterbuilt Electric Bullet Smoker has a surprising temperature range. In the right conditions, you can dial it down as low as 225-degrees. Yet when you crank it up to full power, it can roar all the way up to nearly 400!
Its primary purpose is to serve as a classic, small smoker. If you need to grill something in a pinch, you can remove the drip pan, water pan, and wood chip pan to let the meat take direct heat from the electric element. Just try not to use this trick with fatty pieces of meat or things with excess marinade, without putting something in place to protect the element. A lot of drippings striking the electric components could damage them.
As a smoker, it does a pretty good job of smoking smaller pieces of meat. There isn’t enough room on the cooking grates to make a full brisket flat. Still, with careful placement, you can get a pork shoulder in there. You might need to cut a rack of spare ribs down into three or four rib portions.
The Masterbuilt Electric Bullet Smoker doesn’t have a lot in the way of insulation. It’s basically just a bare metal body. If conditions outside are cold or wet, it can really impact the efficiency of the electric element. If the air temperature outside is under 40-degrees, it might struggle to consistently hold a temperature over 200 degrees. Setting it up in a sheltered area, or wrapping it in an aftermarket grill blanket might help.
The two porcelain coated grill grates provide 395 square inches of cooking space. This is enough real estate to prepare a meal for a family of four. A full chicken or a pork shoulder can realistically fit, with careful placement.
There’s not enough hanging room to cold smoke ring or link sausages. Still, you could lay a large ring of fresh country sausage on each grate.
The porcelain coating on the cooking grates, water pan, drippings pan, and wood chip tray is pretty rare for a small smoker in this price range. It might not seem all that special, but the protective non-stick coating will inevitably extend the smoker’s lifespan.
Ease to Clean
There isn’t a lot of cleanup required with the Masterbuilt Electric Bullet Smoker. The porcelain coating on all the cooking components and grates helps prevent things from sticking. Just keep in mind that the coating layer on the grates is a little thin. If you do need to give them a good scrape down I would recommend a stiff nylon bristled brush, rather than a scratchy wire brush or steel wood.
The Masterbuilt Electric Bullet Smoker comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
Small smokers have a reputation for being cheap and die easily. The Masterbuilt Electric Bullet Smoker has quality pretty much everywhere you want to see it. The lack of insulation can be a little bit frustrating in cold weather. Still, you would have the same problem with just about any small smoker in this price range.
If you are looking for a small smoker that will last long enough to see a return on your investment, I would recommend putting the Masterbuilt Electric Bullet Smoker at the top of your list.
- Porcelain coating on key components
- Designed to be durable
- Convenience and control of an electric element
- 400-degree maximum temperature
- Lacks insulation
- Inefficient in cold weather
- The thermometer isn’t accurate