The Master Forge Vertical Gas Smoker is an average cooker, built OK for an OK price. Most gas smokers are pretty generic, but get the job done and we far prefer them over electric smokers. This one has a 15,000 BTU stainless steel burner, push button electric ignition, and porcelain coated wood chip box and water pan. Four adjustable racks are said to hold 25 lbs. each provide 784 square inches of cooking surface.
The double door design is an attractive feature which lets you tend the wood and water without disturbing foods in the smoke box. Master Forge is Lowe’s exclusive BBQ brand, but this model is made by GHP Group in Morton Grove, IL for Master Forge. GHP makes Dyna-Glo Grills and offers basically the same model with the Dyna-Glo logo on the door. The Lowe’s model adds a fold down side shelf, two black plastic wheels, and replaces the Dyna-Glo top damper with an adjustable chimney.
Vertical Gas Smoker
Made in USA:
Looked Closely At It
We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources.
19.13 Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.
784 square inches
Large(about 38 burgers)
Sold only at Lowe’s, Master Forge offers a lot of grill for little money by using inexpensive materials, construction, and components. While researching products we often cruise the web and look for comments by owners. Many owners raised concerns about construction, customer service, availability of parts, and the fact that the brand is only a few years old and still unproven in the market. On the other hand, many Master Forge owners love their grills and are eager to post praise. Additionally, a leading consumer rating service named the Master Forge 5-Burner Grill a top pick for large model gas grills. So what’s the deal?
You get features out the wazoo: side burners, sear burners, warming/steaming stations, LED illuminated knobs, halogen lights in the lid, towel racks, fold-out tables; one model even has a built-in bottle opener! But the steel is thin, and some parts just look and feel cheap, like the plastic control knobs and the thermometers. As always, we strongly recommend you not rely on dial thermometers, and that you purchase a good digital thermometer to get accurate oven temp readings. Manufacturers would serve us better by replacing cheap dial thermometers with bottle openers. Nonetheless, overall quality is in line with other low cost grills. This is an important point. It’s not useful to compare Master Forge to high end brands like Weber. Compare them to Brinkmann. However, if you’re looking for economy and are considering other low cost grills, Master Forge may sweeten the deal with all the extras. Then ask yourself how long do you think it will last? Will you be replacing it in 5 years? The bargain price may not be such a bargain in that light.
Lowe’s, like Wal-Mart and other big box retailers, carries popular brands and also has private label products made for them. This operation is managed by a division of Lowe’s named LG Sourcing. Lowe’s seems to have offered various grill lines for several years under various names like “Perfect Flame” and made by various companies like “BBQtek”. Currently, Master Forge is manufactured by Sagittarius Sporting Goods headquartered in Taiwan. We have to wonder how the happy Master Forge owners mentioned above will feel about their grill in a few more years, particularly if Lowe’s changes their BBQ line again. Any Perfect Flame owners out there care to comment?
We compiled a list of questions and called Lowe’s to speak with a product manager. There was no Master Forge product manager. We ended up talking to someone in Public Relations. She wrote down our questions to present to the right person, but wouldn’t allow us to speak directly. The following day she sent an email that said nothing of value and answered none of our questions. If this is the way they handle media inquiries from the world’s most popular barbecue and grilling website, we shudder to think what their customer service is like.
Published On: 12/1/2014
Last Modified: 2/24/2021
Max Good, Full time grill tester - Max Good, AmazingRibs.com's Vice President of Product Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max bottles his own barbecue sauce recipes and now sells them around the country.