Gravity feed charcoal grill

Stefan H

TVWBB All-Star
Note from Moderator: I've copied this thread from its original location and placed it here. Stefan's original post was not about gravity feed charcoal grills, but that's where the conversation went. Unfortunately, I cannot delete Post #1 without deleting the entire thread, so I've removed his original starter post and replaced it with this message.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
The Masterbuilt had my attention. Seeing I have 28 bags of briquets and lump and being half the price of the Weber pellet. But then it dawned on me it's charcoal dummy and that's what's banned in the summer, so that won't work.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
I know little about pellet grills and not a lot about coal burners, but that Masterbuilt looks interesting for the price. It seems like it incorporates a lot of the desirable pellet grill features into the coal burner.
 

JKalchik

TVWBB Pro
The Masterbuilt had my attention. Seeing I have 28 bags of briquets and lump and being half the price of the Weber pellet. But then it dawned on me it's charcoal dummy and that's what's banned in the summer, so that won't work.
Even a completely contained charcoal fire? In a gravity fed smoker, the firebox has an airtight chute above, and feeds into the cook chamber. If you're still nervous about sparks & embers (never saw that in my homebuilt GF,) a spark arrester screen would be easy to rig on the stack.

I saw the ad for the Masterbuilt GF smoker. Unfortunately, every Masterbuilt cooker I've ever looked at has been very cheaply built, IMO. Yes, the new Webers are about twice the price, but Weber's fit & finish are far above Masterbuilt.
 

Stefan H

TVWBB All-Star
I don’t think that charcoal is the dark side (nor is pellet grill cooking). They are just tools in the tool chest. Each has its pros and cons. I also find myself sometimes shifting which is my favorite, but I hope I can always have at least one of each type:coolkettle:!:blackgenesis1000::weberq::blackkettle:
I agree with you Jon. I switch between all of them. I use the kettle for Pizza or with a vortex for searing or wings. And then I got a cheap slow n'sear a few weeks ago. They all have their pros and cons. I am going to wait for some detailed reviews on the Weber pellet grill. Maybe this could be an option to replace all of the others down the road.
So we will see.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
That is one very interesting idea! I definitely would like to try it out:cool:.

I can’t believe we haven’t heard more about this grill and concept. I had been thinking that someone would adapt the temp control features of the modern pellet grill to gas, but I never thought how it could be done with charcoal.

Chris,
Could we copy the posts about this idea over to a new thread in the pellet grill section with a header something like “Charcoal pellet grill alternative concept”?
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Even a completely contained charcoal fire? In a gravity fed smoker, the firebox has an airtight chute above, and feeds into the cook chamber. If you're still nervous about sparks & embers (never saw that in my homebuilt GF,) a spark arrester screen would be easy to rig on the stack.

I saw the ad for the Masterbuilt GF smoker. Unfortunately, every Masterbuilt cooker I've ever looked at has been very cheaply built, IMO. Yes, the new Webers are about twice the price, but Weber's fit & finish are far above Masterbuilt.
Yeah, I am not as excited about the Masterbuilt name brand either. I will say that just looking at the pictures it appears to be a cut above some other grills of theirs I have seen. I don't think this is anywhere near as good as the Weber SmokeFire as far as construction and engineering, but I do think it is a very interesting idea that COULD potentially produce some great BBQ. I like that you can apparently use lump charcoal, so I would assume some wood chunks could be tossed in as well. If it works as advertised, you have a very creative alternative to pellet grills that delivers real charcoal & wood bbq and quite hot searing for steaks, etc.

A lot of questions... I hope some others can add insight. I wish I could buy one, but that isn't likely anytime soon. Maybe someone here will take the plunge and give a real thorough and honest review.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB Hall of Fame
The Masterbuilt had my attention. Seeing I have 28 bags of briquets and lump and being half the price of the Weber pellet. But then it dawned on me it's charcoal dummy and that's what's banned in the summer, so that won't work.
Rich, I seriously doubt the powers that ban your charcoal grill will allow the pellet grill. It is still an open fire with wood type fuel. Unlike a gas grill fed by a fuel that can simply be turned off. Though even a gas grill can get out of control and be a hazard in a high risk environment
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
You may be right Larry, as the fire management team has never addressed the pellet issue. They have addressed specifics such as campfires, Tiki torches, fire pits, weed burners, gas grills, charcoal grills, Etc. I see the big difference as with charcoal you lift the lid and you are looking at the fuel source that's burning whereas a pellet grill is encapsulated much better and the chance of hot embers getting out are greatly reduced over a charcoal grill, but still possible.
Time will tell.
That's one of the reasons I'm looking at the GF Masterbuilt it basically does the same thing as a pellet grill for a lot less money and would be great for the winter cooks. If the pellet grills are banned in the summer and I could use fuel I have a lot of.
 
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Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
I guess so, Bob, but I missed it for sure. The fact that it has been out for a while and not getting a lot of attention is a little curious to me. Seems like it does a lot of what the new pellet grills (including my Rec Tec) does but with charcoal.

I suppose in the end that this grill might be viewed as just a complication for a simple process. However, if it can keep a steady low temperature over many hours it would let you barbecue all night without having to give up all your sleep time. I realize you can easily make high heat searing on any charcoal grill, and I have done so on my Green Egg. I do like, though, that this one box can potentially do both.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
The few reviews on WM are good, none yet on Amazon.
It's one of those things you would really need to see in person first.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I like the gravity feed concept but, I’m still not buying one. I have more than enough ways to produce fabulous feasts or totally screw them up without spending any more money!!

Have I said before that I’m cheap?
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
I briefly looked at Myron Mixon’s gravity feed smoker. Looks well built but it is a smoker only. This cheaper built MasterBuilt is like the Weber SmokeFire in that it looks to try and do low and slow bbq AND high heat grilling. Higher heat and allegedly faster response time, too.
 

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