Masterbuilt GS40 XL Propane Smoker (Intro)

Since buying our home six years ago, I've been cooking primarily on a small charcoal smoker attached to our back deck. I stripped the components out of what was originally a natural gas grill (no longer functional)until I had an empty cast iron box. Over the years, I've honed my cooking skills on that make-shift pit as best I could.

Though that old box has served me well, it has one major Even with some creative positioning, I am still only able to smoke three racks of ribs or two pork butts at a given time. Thus, I've long been searching for an affordable large capacity cooker.

My ultimate goal is to purchase something like a Lang 60 or 72, but that dream will have to wait for a more fiscally fruitful period in my life. With budget being the primary factor in my search, I had to get creative. As I debated the merits of what type of cooker to purchase for myself, I made it a point to keep an open mind and not eliminate any specific type of cooker. I simply needed the biggest bang for my buck.

While searching the Internet for viable options, I came across the Masterbuilt GS40 propane smoker. I had used a vertical propane smoker for the first time last summer. My brother in-law had purchased a Smoke Hollow smoker and we used it to smoke ribs for a summer cookout. I was really happy with the smoker's ease of use. It held a steady temperature for hours and cranked out an impressive amount of smoke from just a few handful's of chips. However, it too lacked the cooking space that I was looking for. The chamber wasn't quite wide enough to accommodate full racks of ribs. The Masterbuilt GS 40 smoker featured an extra large cooking chamber that easily accommodates ribs and most whole briskets.

I spent a great deal of time reading reviews on this smoker in comparison to others. While I found a fair amount of complaints, they all seemed to be about relatively minor issues: thermometer, chip pan etc... Overall, the feedback was pretty positive. One thing everyone seemed to agree on was that the Masterbuilt GS40 provided a whole lot of cooking space for not much money.

After weighing a lot of options, I finally decided to make the purchase. I picked the smoker up on sale at Bass Pro Shop for $179.99. I've now had the smoker for a week and used it three times. My inaugural cook was four pounds of chicken wings. I followed that up with three racks of spareribs and a smoked meatloaf this weekend. So far so good. I've been very happy with the food.
I'll get into greater detail about the smoker at a later time. After I've had some time to thoroughly test it, I'll post a review. Before all of you charcoal / hardwood purists jump all over me for cooking with propane, I ask you to please refer to my opening paragraph. I have cooked on charcoal for years and will continue to do so. However, I'm not averse to making things a little easier on myself (on occasion) by working with user friendly propane.

Stay tuned for the review....and more photos.

12 Response to "Masterbuilt GS40 XL Propane Smoker (Intro)"

  1. Good intro, I too have cooked on charcoal, propane, electric.... first choice charcoal, but for ease of use, propane. Will be picking up one of these XL's on our next winter in Florida. Like the 24" width. Most vertical smokers are only 18" and I really don't like cutting ribs in half. This puppy will definitely suit my needs.

    Anonymous says:

    How many half pans can fit at a time??

    Derek says:

    8 total. Two fit easily on each wire rack.

    What are the dimensions of the cooking racks, and how many racks were included?

    Unknown says:

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    This seems to be a very good electric smoker. So far so good. I've been very happy with what you are doing here. Thanks!

    We should try this model out when it is nice to apply.

    Wow! Looks so good!
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    This smoker is great and the electric ones are even better.

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