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My new Masterbuilt charcoal grill is a piece of shit

A charcoal grill is basically a steel bucket with legs, right? How could you screw it up? Well Masterbuilt found a way. The hand on top of the grill lid has broken in half after being lightly dropped on the ground, and even if I could glue it back together one of the screw sockets has melted so it can't attach to the lid anymore. The grille itself is made of steel rods which are so thin they have started sagging in the middle from the heat of cooking. I have to put it over my knee and bend it flat after every use. All this wear and tear has happened after only 5 - 6 uses.

Part of this is my fault for cheaping out at the store. With Masterbuilt you really get what you pay for.

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  1. I like the title of your post!
    Just curious, beside "piece of shit", what kind of grill was it, the kettle type?
    Are you thinking of getting another kind?

    3 Replies
    1. re: porker

      It is the 18" kettle, and it looks like it has finished shedding handles, screws, bits and pieces so I'll just stick with it for now. I'll just leave it behind when I move out of my current apartment.

      1. re: porker

        Hey, porker:

        I can imagine the company's PR counteroffensive campaign now....

        "Yes, it's a piece of shit, but it's a MASTERBUILT piece of shit!"



      2. Sorry to hear about your grill troubles but your thread title made me laugh out loud.

        1. I agree...shouldn't be that hard to make a competent grill (some of us lack the budget for greatness, so merely competent is fine).

          For what it's worth, I have an Aussie (MECO) Walkabout grill that has turned out to work OK for me...wait for them to go on sale (I think I spent $25-30 at Home Depot, and usual price is $40) since hardly worth list price of $60.

          It doesn't "do everything" but works fine for the usual suspects (chicken, ribs, burgers, sausage, steaks) and with the cover down will even do indirect cooking.

          Sorry you had to put up with a dud...hope you can get your $ back.

          1. Pretty much everything Masterbuilt makes is cheap shit. I believe the company's name is some kind of poor ironic joke

            1. Weber charcoal grills seem over priced until you try one. Sure they look simple but, there is a reason why Weber Kettle grills are a legend. It was a really great purchase for $30 plus sales tax for me.

              I use my grills pretty hard too. In fact, over this holiday weekend I just added 400#'s of charcoal to my personal stash which was down to ~150#'s.

              The Lodge Sportsman grill/hibachi gets a good workout too.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Sid Post

                $30 for a Weber kettle? Assuming bought used, bought "hot" or bought long ago, since a new 18-1/2 inch kettle (basic model) is going to run close to $100.

                Thumbs up on the Lodge Sportsman...fine piece of iron!

                1. re: MikeB3542

                  Plenty of barely used Weber kettles on craigslist for under $50. Lots of people buy them, then switch to gas. Picked up a Weber Jumbo Joe 18" grill. $60 new and built like a tank.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                    That Jumbo SJ would drive me nuts...way too low to the ground (to each his own, I suppose). Great idea though to go for a used unit...Personally, have no space for a kettle (small apartment, no patio) so will have to wait for my situation to change.

                    1. re: MikeB3542

                      I got it because I have lots of 18" grills lying around and wanted to use them. Also, tried the 14" SJ and it was just too small for indirect cooking. The added capacity means more coals, so longer cook times.

                      1. re: MikeB3542

                        It isn't necessarily low to the ground...it's a table top grill. ;-)

                        1. re: JayL

                          IF...there is a table handy where you're headed. Picnic grove...no problem. Tailgate at the ballpark...ruh roh!

                2. Chalk it up to a relatively cheap learning experience and go get yourself a Weber kettle when the POS can't go anymore.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kengk

                    Yes, Webers are the only way to go.

                    Mine survived a lightening strike!

                  2. Their electric smokers are taking a beating on some of the smoking meats forums as well. Seems many have had performance issues in wiring and in their digital controllers

                    They are not expensive and I guess you get what you pay for

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      For a lot of apartment/condo dwellers, charcoal is prohibited so electric is the only way to go.

                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        Electric smoker is fine. Just build it well

                      2. re: scubadoo97

                        To be fair, virtually every brand of electric smoker gets beat up on reviews, forums, etc.

                        I do have a Masterbuilt electric smoker that's been good so far. No complaints given I paid $200 for it three years ago now.

                        1. re: Shazam

                          To be fair a lot of MES owners did have wiring issues and still recommended the unit to newcomers. Why? because it is the cheapest electric smoker out there that if it works is a good deal.

                          I have a 30 inch MES and replace my wires at the onset so it's still working but the number of units that stopped working is still higher than it should be.

                      3. Cheap piece of shit update: The little retaining grille in the chimney starter is starting to deform from the heat. The paint on the edges of the grill cover is flaking off and rust is starting to spread. One of the plastic hubcaps fell off the wheel, and when I tapped in back in it shattered right across the "Masterbuilt" logo. I have taken to leaving the grill out on my front lawn all day in the hopes that someone will steal it so I'll have an excuse to buy a new one.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: RealMenJulienne

                          You're obviously misusing your Masterbuilt grille by using *high heat* charcoal. If you had used the specially-approved soggy briquettes or a 40W lightbulb (and never touched the thing), you wouldn't have the problems you've had. Totally your fault, tsk, tsk...

                          Big ;)

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            You are right, maybe I am being too negative about this. We can make this into a fun game by guessing what will component will rust off/melt down/unscrew itself/spontaneously combust next.

                            1. re: RealMenJulienne

                              Hi, RMJ:

                              That, or take it back and turn it into a suppository for the first person who gives you grief about the return.


                          2. re: RealMenJulienne

                            Front yard isn't a bad location for it. Take off the legs, a little Rustoleum, and you've got yourself a planter.

                          3. One word: Weber

                            Although I hate the saying "You get what you pay for", it is oh so true!

                            1. Theres a bushleague blog called Barbecue Master
                              ( http://barbequemaster.blogspot.ca/201...

                              )which shows a guy winning a Masterbuilt smoker. The guy's name is Fred and he doesn't look too excited about winning. I can imagine a balloon caption with Fred thinking "Yea, woohoo, I just won a piece of shit...."