Masterbuilt MB20041220 Gravity Series 1050 Review
The Masterbuilt MB20041220 Gravity Series 1050 impresses on several fronts, and apart from the initial cost to purchase, we wouldn’t find any flaw with this charcoal grill. It sports and innovative design that eliminates some of the biggest issues people have using charcoal.
- Designed for ease of use
- Multi-function digital control panel
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection
- Great value for money
- The cost is slightly high
- With charcoal grills, you have to buy coal regularly
The Masterbuilt MB20041220 Gravity Series 1050 is a spacious, gravity-fed charcoal grill and smoker. It cooks with the big flavor of charcoal, yet offers the set-and-forget electronic temperature con troll of a pellet smoker. As designed, it is easy to use, it keeps a steady temperature, and keeps you safe, thanks to a plethora of features to enhance your safety and comfort.
It offers a generous 1050 square inches of cooking area, meaning you can prepare great meals for your family and throw BBQ parties with ease. All that thanks to a large hopper that holds 16 pounds of briquettes, so you won’t have to be checking it from time to time.
Outside the physical design, the Masterbuilt MB20041220 has a controller that’s both WiFi and Bluetooth, a handy feature that lets you mingle with your guests while at the same time keeping an eye on the cook.
About the Masterbuilt MB20041220 Gravity Series 1050
- Fuel Source: Charcoal
- Temperature Range (F): 150-700
- Number of Cooking Racks: 2 Sear/Smoke Reversible Cooking Racks + 2 Warming Racks
- Cooking Surface (Square Inches): 1080
- Hopper Capacity (Pounds): 16 Pounds Briquettes
- or 10 Pounds Lump Charcoal
- Weight (Pounds): 202.9
- Footprint (W x D x H Inches): 61.02 x 33.07 x 52.17
Rather than housing and burning the charcoal all in the bottom of the grill, the Masterbuilt 1050 stores it in a 10lbs hopper on the end. The charcoal is fed by gravity, it burns at the bottom of the hoper. The flames and heat are forced by a fan horizontally into the grill, where they enter a huge diffuser, creating an even heat that subsequently rises to the grates.
There’s a digital thermostat that controls the fan feeding air to the fire to maintain the temperature. The vertical charcoal path ends with ash falling from the fire into a bucket for easy removal.
What we like
A Digital Grill
The Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 comes with an easy-to-use control that lets you navigate from 225 to 700 degrees, in under 15 minutes. With the precise temperature control, it will let you do the job with four cooking styles: Slow and low, BBQ, Smoke, sear, and roast.
A couple of simple touch options let you select the options you need, so you are set free to chill and barbeque. At the same time, it maintains the temperature that you have set for the task at hand.
That’s not all!
You have the option to connect the grill to your phone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth via the Masterbuilt app and monitor the grill’s progress. This means you can step away from the heat, but the grill will still run as specified without much physical input. It is best used outside, and something like the Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer comes handy for being insects away at night.
A Built-in Probe
Masterbuilt’s Digital Charcoal Smokers come with one unique feature that sets them apart from the rest of the competition. With traditional food thermometers, you need to open the lid to check the temperature and, in the process, you release some heat; in turn, the process slows down.
The Masterbuilt MB20041220 has an all-new Master Thermometer Probe that lets you check the internal thermometer of the food you’re cooking throughout the cooking process with a simple display.
You can also install up to three more probes depending on the use.
What’s more, this Masterbuilt Digital Charcoal Smoker is equipped with reliable digital controls that let you set the precise temperature for cooking.
It can reach 225oF within ten minutes and 700oF in no more than fifteen minutes.
Digital Fan Control
Yet another useful feature.
The purpose of the fans is to control the airflow from the fan that goes into the cooking chamber. With this feature, your food cooks at your indicated temperature and maintains the moisture in the meat as it cooks.
A GravityFed Charcoal Hopper
How about a grill that doesn’t need you to keep pushing the charcoal into the fire? Well, the Gravity Series 1050 comes with a GravityFed charcoal hopper that holds lump or briquette charcoal to give you a cook time of almost eight hours. Also, there’s absolutely no need to remove the charcoal after every use.
Corresponding GS 800 AND GS 560 grills are slightly smaller capacity to hold coals.
Handy Extra Features
In addition to the GravityFed charcoal hopper, this grill comes with reversible smoker/sear grates, which gives you the option to smoke or sear. These triangular grates can be flipped for change from smoke to sear to get awesome sear marks on your steak.
Also, it comes with foldable front shelves that give a smaller footprint when not in use. Otherwise, this shelf gives you extra space while working to put a pan, and everything else, by becoming a makeshift countertop. It eliminates the need to bring a table beside the grill for barbequing.
What is the difference between the Masterbuilt 560 and 1050?
The Masterbuilt 1050 gives you a heated area of 1050 sq. inches, while the smaller 560 offers 560 sq. inches of heating space. This is a lot of space for professionals or those who entertain large numbers regularly.
If you entertain small numbers, the smaller Masterbuilt MB20040220 Gravity Series 560 costs less, and offers 560 sq. inches of heated space but delivers the same grilling efficiency as its larger siblings.
What we don’t like
With the excellent grilling function of the Gravity Series 1050, you’re going to pay a premium. A charcoal grill costing around $700 is not cheap at all, but the features it offers easily justify the cost.
Also, if you don’t need all the 1050sq- inches of heating space, Masterbuilt offers smaller models of the same that cost much less.
The Masterbuilt MB20040220 Gravity Series 560 is one such grill, it costs half as much as the Masterbuilt MB20041220 Gravity Series 1050 but packs the same digital grill features and every other function available on the larger model.
Also, additional accessories that are bought separately can be pricey as well. They are optional, though, including tongs, grilling mats, spatula, oven mitts, and others listed below:
Recommended Accessories include (in order of importance):
- Tongs – 2 pairs of extra-long (one for use with charcoal)
- Grilling mats – for small food including vegetables and easy cleanup
- Spatula – to use for a burger and other soft foods
- Brulee torch – for lighting your grill and quick searing in small items
- Oven mitt – to remove hot pans, kabobs, or shelves if needed
- Grill Brush – metal brushes are losing popularity but I still use them (with care)
- Metal Kabobs – a set of 4 or more
- Rib Rack – to increase your capacity for a party or possibly a catering business
Should you buy the Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050?
The Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 impresses on several fronts, and apart from the initial cost to purchase, we couldn’t find any flaw with this charcoal grill. Everything from the design, ease of use and the little time required to get up to speed, and the digital features that offer seamless versatility of being able to smoke low and slow – as well as sear equally well- are what make this grill a standout above the rest.
Again, at around $750, it’s excellent value compared to gas grills of similar size such as the Weber Genesis E-435 which costs twice as much, especially when you factor in the versatility.
Not to mention charcoal-grilled food that just tastes better, but the hassle of lighting, getting the grill up to temp, and cleaning up the resulting ash can be a significant deterrent. Now, with the Gravity Series, 1050 Masterbuilt has taken care of all that.
That said, regardless of your grilling experience, the Masterbuilt MB20041220 Gravity Series 1050 expands your barbecue capabilities, and menu, and it does so with smart digital options and looks great while doing so. It’s our newest Editors’ Choice for charcoal grills and smokers.