Masterbuilt 20078715 30″ Electric Digital Smoker Review
Cabinet smokers are meant to be a thing of convenience. They are the sort of thing that you set it and forget it. At least until the wood chips need replacing. A smoker that uses an electric element adds to the convenience, as you don’t have to worry about the fire going out or the gas bottle running empty.
The Masterbuilt 20078715 30-Inch Electric Smoker was designed to make your smoking efforts as easy as possible. This unit is an upgrade with some minor redesign features from their older smoker cabinet. This includes an easy to remove front drippings pan, as well as four stainless steel cooking grids.
The built-in electric element allows you to control the temperature down to as low as 100-degrees Fahrenheit, or as high as 275. The body and door of the cabinet are also very well insulated, which allows you to control the temperature consistently.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
For an electric smoker cabinet, the Masterbuilt 30-inch Electric Smoker is very affordably priced. If you are looking for an entry-level cabinet with quality insulation and an electric element, this is a good place to start.
However, there are some minor quality issues to bear in mind. As you might expect with an affordable smoker cabinet, the door is indeed a little bit leaky. Still, this doesn’t affect the consistency of the heat control. This is thanks in large part to the quality insulation in the cabinet body.
The blue LED digital control is also easy to read. The thermometer readout is even relatively accurate, which you can’t always say about an inexpensive smoker of any stripe.
The electric element is a little bit of an issue when it comes to overall lifespan. It has a reputation for dying or burning out every two to three years. A replacement costs upwards of $50, which can be a little bit frustrating.
Still, this is something to be expected with all electric elements. Even an electric stove element has a limited lifespan. The trick to getting the most out of an electric element is to reduce its exposure to things like greasy drippings, water spills, and excess marinade.
When it comes to installation and assembly, there isn’t a whole lot to do. You should be able to get everything unboxed and ready to go in a little over half an hour.
The Masterbuilt 30-inch Electric Smoker is meant to be a true “Slow and Low” smoker. It can indeed be dialed all the way down to 100 degrees and held there thanks to the superior amount of insulation built into the cabinet body, walls, and door.
The four stainless still cooking grids also give you a lot of real estate to smoke with. With all four installed, this might just be the perfect cabinet for smoking a large number of fish fillets.
At the same time, it’s also got enough space to handle four spatchcocked (Butterflied) whole chickens. With a little careful placement, you can get half a rack of ribs on each shelf.
One minor miss with the Masterbuilt 30-inch Electric Smoker is the lack of hanger hooks in the ceiling. Some of the competitors in this range offer them, which is nice if you like to make your own smoked ring or link sausages. With a little bit of butcher’s twine and some nimble fingers, you can tie sausages from the top rack, but it’s not the same as if you had traditional hanger hooks.
All told the four stainless steel wire cooking grids provide a grand total of 721 square inches of smoking space.
The drippings pan might seem like a standard thing you would expect with any cabinet smoker. Yet it bears mentioning that Masterbuilt redesigned the front drippings pan on this unit, in response to customer feedback.
The blue light LED digital controller is also something that you rarely find in similarly priced cabinet smokers.
Ease to Clean
The Masterbuilt 30-inch Electric Smoker isn’t hard to clean by any stretch of the imagination. The redesigned drippings pan does a very good job of catching any greasy discharge. From there all you need to do is give the grates a gentle scrub down with a standard grill brush.
The initial purchase does not include any sort of cover. However, Masterbuilt does offer one as an accessory. If you are going to be storing this smoker outdoors, you should really consider ponying up the extra money for the cover. It will go a long way toward limiting water from affecting the electric element when it’s not in use.
The warranty on the Masterbuilt 30-inch Electric Smoker is a real miss. They only cover it with a basic 90-day program, which isn’t necessarily the greatest testament to the quality. I suspect this is related to the fickle lifespan of the electric element.
Quality is always an area of concern when it comes to entry level cabinet smokers. As you might expect, there are some quality peccadillos with the Masterbuilt 30-inch Electric Smoker, like the leaky door and limited lifespan of the electric element. However, they are on the minor side, when compared to some of the serious faults you will find with other smokers at this price point. Just dig a little deeper into your pocketbook and buy the accessory cover.
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to smoke fish fillets like salmon or trout, you might want to put the Masterbuilt 30-inch Electric Smoker near the top of your list. It’s just not the perfect choice for smoking full racks of ribs or hanging linked sausages.
- Affordable price point for its size
- Very well insulated
- Large, redesigned drippings pan
- Four stainless steel cooking grids
- Very efficient
- Capable of cold smoking temperatures
- Grids are a little small for large meats
- Door seal is leaky
- Electric element burns out in time
- Inferior warranty