Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker review: a large charcoal grill and smoker with Wi-Fi technology

Smoke your food for longer with an extra large charcoal hopper

Masterbuilt Gravity Series® XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker
(Image: © Future/Alex Temblador)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker is serving up 1260 square inches of cooking space to smoke and grill your favorite meats and vegetables. With a large hopper that can hold charcoal or briquettes, you can slow smoke meats without having to refill for hours. The front folding prep table is convenient as is the Wi-Fi technology which allows you to manage the temperature and timer on a digital display or the app. There is no autoignite feature, the temperature fluctuates a bit, and the grates consistently get covered in ash, but the grill and smoker produce great tasting food. As one of the largest smart charcoal grills and smokers on the market, we can see why customers rave about it.


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    Wi-Fi technology

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    Front folding prep table

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    1,260 square inches of cooking space

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    Can cook with lump charcoal or briquettes

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    Set temperature and timer in app or digital display


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    No autoignite feature

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    No searing plate or cast iron grates

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    Grates consistently need to be cleaned of ash

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When it comes to smoking meats, especially if you want that fall-off-the-bone kind of flavor, you can generally expect the cooking process to take multiple hours. In the past, grillers have had to continuously check a smoker and grill’s temperature, adjust the flame, or add more charcoal when it burns off. But charcoal grills and smokers have now gone digital, as you’ll find with the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker.

This smart grill and smoker can hold lots of charcoal or briquettes in its large hopper, which is necessary since the grill itself is large too – with 1260 square inches of cooking space. Rather than adjusting the temperature by hand (such as opening grates or adding more fuel), you can do it all from your phone. 

I tested the grill for two weeks, which involved putting it together and cooking various meats and vegetables on its stainless-steel grates. From my experience, I was able to get an overall look into what the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Smoker + Grill has to offer and who it best suits. Read on for my full review. 

If you’re not sure if a charcoal grill and smoker is a good choice for you, you can always look at our gas vs. charcoal grills guide or our best grills article for more options.

Alex Temblador
Alex Temblador

Alex Temblador has been reviewing household products since 2020. She has tested everything from vacuums to coffee machines, mattresses, gardening tools, hot tubs, and more. 

Alex reviewed the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker in the backyard of her 103-year-old home in the Dallas, Texas, area.

Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker: Price & availability

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker is not cheap by any means with a price tag of $1499. It’s sold through the likes of Masterbuilt, Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe’s, Amazon, and ACE.

The high price tag likely comes from the fact that this grill is so large and that it’s a smart grill. For the price, one would have thought it’d come with an Autoignite feature, but at least it utilizes fans to stoke the fire and keep it going. A three-year warranty is a great deal and makes sense for a n expensive item such as this.

Score: 4 out of 5

Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker: Setup

It’s not often that I test a product that I can’t set up on my own – but I really struggled to set up the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker without assistance. The grill was delivered in a large box on a wooden pallet. Lump charcoal, fire starters, and a cover for the grill were added.

Putting this grill together was in some ways easier than I expected and in other ways, more difficult. I loved the fact that the grill (primarily the hood and the hopper) was partially assembled, which meant I didn’t have to do as much work. However, like with the other Masterbuilt grill I tested, the instructions were printed in black and white images (with no written instructions) that had very little gradient making them difficult to read and understand at times.

To put the grill together, I had to lay part of it down on the ground, and then later, lift it back up. There is no way that you can do this on your own. You need at least one to two other people to set it down and lift it back up (it took three people for both tasks). This grill is excessively heavy, which I quickly found out when I pulled my lower back trying to lift a part that I needed help with.

A few of the pieces were slightly warped or bent and I had to unbend them on my own. I also found it difficult at times to put screws into various parts because the holes didn’t quite line up as they should. This was very frustrating. Not only that, but at one point, I got a lot of fiberglass from the grill on my arms and had to immediately jump in the shower to wash it off.

Connecting the grill to the app wasn’t too much trouble. I had used the app before, so I knew how it worked. My Wi-Fi connected quickly with the grill.

Before I could use the grill, I had to pre-season it. Because this grill doesn’t have cast iron grates, the pre-seasoning process was a little easier. I basically had to run the grill at a temperature of 250 degrees for 60 minutes and then set the temperature at 400 degrees for 30 more minutes. After letting the grill completely cool down, I had to run the grill for another 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Yes, preseasoning is a cumbersome task, but it helps to prevent the grill from rusting prematurely.

Masterbuilt Gravity Series® XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series® XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker arrives in a box on a pallet.  (Image credit: Future/Alex Temblador)

Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker: Design

If you can’t tell how massive the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker is by the dimensions alone, then perhaps the weight – 361.5 lbs.— will give you a better sense. This extra large grill and smoker is for those who want to cook a lot of food at once, whether it be for a large family or large gatherings.

With 1260 square inches of cooking space, you could essentially cook 20 chickens, 16 racks of ribs, or 33 burgers at one time. Not only do you have the bottom main grates, but it comes with four additional racks that can slide in and out. While some Masterbuilt grills have cast iron grates, this one is only outfitted with stainless steel grates.

The hopper is placed on the right side of the grill and is quite large in that it is able to hold 12 lbs. of charcoal or 18 lbs. of briquettes. Below the hopper is a chamber that holds the ash tray and an area where you place a firestarter to light the charcoal.

Because the hopper takes up the right side of the grill, there is only one side table outfitted with a towel rack and hooks to hold your tools. Masterbuilt was smart to add a front table that can fold down. It’s actually my favorite part of the design. I much prefer to prep my food in front of the hood of the grill. Speaking of the hood, it’s designed in such a way that it glides up rather than pulls back. It took some getting used to.

The grill has four legs with wheels and a shelf along the bottom. I wouldn’t store anything on the shelf because the fan that feeds air into the hopper faces that bottom shelf and often sparks will fly through the fan. You don’t want anything to catch on fire under there.

Below the side table is an opening to the grease trays. They can both be removed and cleaned after each use.

Masterbuilt Gravity Series® XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker

When the ash door opens, it automatically shuts off the fan.  (Image credit: Future / Alex Temblador)

On front of the hopper is the digital control panel which has buttons that let you connect the grill to Wi-Fi and set the temperature and timer. There is also a pause button that will pause the fan—which is best used when you open the hood. You can also plug in the meat probes and see the temperature on the screen. Below the control panel is a heat and air intake that you slide open or shut.

As for the app, it’s really a simple set up. It shows the temperature that the grill is at and allows you to adjust the temperature and timer. The app also notifies you when the grill didn’t properly catch fire or when the timer goes off.

There is one notable safety feature that should be noted. When the hopper lid or the ash door is opened, the fan will turn off which will hopefully prevent the user from being harmed by flames.

Score: 4 out of 5

Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker: Key specifications

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
Model noMB20041223
Cooking surfaceGrate
Cooking surface area1260 square inches
Side burner?No
Rotisserie compatible?Yes (not included)
DimensionsH 52.2 in x W 60.3 in x L 33.2 inches
Weight361.5 lbs.

Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker: Performance

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker is the biggest grill I’ve ever tested and at first, it seemed a bit intimidating to use. Thankfully, I quickly discovered that it functions in the same way as most other smart charcoal grills and smokers.

As a single person, I don’t require as much cooking space as this grill and smoker provides (1260 square inches), though I can see the benefit of having all the space. The four grates were easy to remove and place at different levels. They could also be pulled forward or pushed backward depending on my need.

I was surprised that this grill and smoker only has stainless steel grates, and no cast iron grates or plates. Cast iron may require more care, but they provide a really great sear, and I tend to find that food is less likely to fall between the grates because they’re usually thicker. Unfortunately, quite a few of my vegetables slipped through the slippery stainless steel grates. 

I grilled and smoked a variety of meats with this grill including chicken, sausage, salmon, and chuck roast steak, as well as vegetables like brussell sprouts, cauliflower, corn on the cob, carrots, asparagus, and sweet potato.

I usually filled the hopper about halfway with lump charcoal. Only about half of that charcoal would actually be used. I was very impressed with how the charcoal didn’t continue to burn and waste away when I shut down the grill. It did a great job at conserving the lump charcoal. 

I never used briquettes, so I can’t say if it would do the same with that kind of fuel. If you ask me, it’s better to use lump charcoal. Not only does it burn hotter and lights faster, but it doesn’t have the chemicals that briquettes do. Who wants to breath burnt chemicals or eat it on their food?

This grill and smoker does not have an autoignite feature, but it was fairly easy to start the grill. I would open the ash door and place a firestarter in the compartment there and light it with a fire lighter. From there, I’d close the door, open the heat and air intake slides, and then set the temperature and the timer on the digital display or in the app. The fan would then pull in air to fan the flames and light the charcoal. 

Masterbuilt Gravity Series® XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series® XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker comes with a temperature probe and has stainless steel grates.  (Image credit: Future/Alex Temblador)

I found that the charcoal lit a lot faster than it did when I tested the Masterbuilt AutoIgnite 545 Series, which did have the autoignite feature. With that grill, I’d often have to use two or three firestarters and do the start up process a few times for it to light (not to mention, I’d have to completely clean the hopper out each time, which I didn’t have to do with the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT). Sometimes, it would take two firestarters for the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT to catch fire, but never any more than that.

As mentioned, the fan is designed to “fan the fire” and get the grill and smoker to the desired temperature. Once it does that, it’s supposed to adjust so that the fire doesn’t get hotter or cooler than the set temperature. I wish I could say that it did a perfect job, but it didn’t. Often, the grill would get 50 degrees hotter than what I had it set at (so for instance, it would reach 300 degrees when I had the grill set at 250 degrees). This wasn’t a big deal to me, but I know that for someone who wants to slow cook a slab of meat, having the grill remain at 250 degrees (or perhaps a 10 degree difference) is very important.

In case you’ve never used a charcoal grill and smoker, let me explain: it grills and smokes at the same time. There is no switching between the two. Smoke is created from the charcoal which seeps into the food that you’re grilling, providing a smoky flavor and moist meats. I really enjoyed the smoky flavor that this grill produced. If I wanted more smokiness, I could have added different types of wood to get different smoky flavors.

The grill cooked my food at about the speed I’d expect of a charcoal grill and smoker of this size. If you want something cooked fast, you go with a gas grill, running the risk of drier foods. This Masterbuilt took it’s time – 1 hour or so – to cook my meats and vegetables to perfection. Even when I moved some of the vegetables onto the warming racks, they continued to cook because the heat output was significant.

I never had to add charcoal to the hopper during a cooking session, though I did open the top of the hopper once to see if I needed to. Flames and sparks shot out but the fan turned off immediately—a nice safety feature. If you need to add charcoal, it’s best to do so quickly and with care. At 5'5", I'd probably have to get on top of a ladder to safely pour the charcoal in because the hopper is so high up. 

Masterbuilt Gravity Series® XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker

Chuck roast steak and sweet potato fries.  (Image credit: Future/Alex Temblador)

My biggest issue with this grill and smoker is how much ash it created—and not in the ash bucket where I would have hoped all of it would have gone. The grates were covered in ash after every cooking session. I’d have to clean it off before using the grill again. However, the grates would then get covered completely in ash as soon as I started the grill. Even as I cooked, ash continued to cover the grates. I found myself having to constantly clean ash off the grates before I cooked, as I cooked, and after I cooked. It’s likely that my food was covered in a fine layer of ash too.

I’ve never seen this happen with any other grill and smoker that I’ve tested. Yes, there is sometimes a little bit of ash, but this was noticeably excessive. I have no idea  where the ash came through. I thought it might be the heat and air intake slides, but those have to be open to light the lump charcoal and to allow the air to flow through the fan. They’re only to be closed when you’re ready to shut down the grill. Perhaps it wasn't the heat and air intake slides because ash would still settle onto the grates when the slides were closed. 

The grill takes a decent amount of time to cool down. Cleaning it afterwards is a hassle but necessary. At least stainless steel grates are way easier to clean than if they were cast iron. Drippings and food would fall through the grates into the drip tray so I had to clean that as well.

I went back and forth on giving the performance a 3.5 or a four-star rating, but ultimately knocked it to 3.5. The temperature shouldn’t fluctuate so much and there shouldn’t be that much ash coating the grates and inside the hood. I’m also surprised that there is no cast iron sear grates or plate provided.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Masterbuilt Gravity Series® XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker

Salmon and carrots were cooked in the Masterbuilt Gravity Series® XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker.  (Image credit: Future/Alex Temblador)

Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker: Maintenance

Keeping the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT clean and maintained is not the most fun task but it’ll ensure that the grill has a long lifetime. After each cooking session, a user will need to clean the grates, the inside of the grill, and the temperature probes. As mentioned above, the grill gets covered in a lot of ash. Speaking of ash, you’ll need to empty the ash tray when it’s completely cooled down. You’ll also want to clean the drip trays of grease.

When not in use, the grill should be stored in a dry area. If you must store it outside, you should utilize a waterproof (at least a water resistant) cover. Water can contribute to the grill rusting, so you want to prevent this as much as possible.

Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker: User reviews

There aren’t a lot of reviews of the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker, and that’s because it’s still fairly new on the market. The reviews I did read were overwhelmingly positive. Customers pointed out how massive the grill is and how great it works. They were thoroughly impressed with the quality of materials and how they seemingly will last for a long period of time. Not to mention, most reviewers liked the technological upgrades of the digital display and the Wi-Fi capabilities. 

Should you buy the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker?

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Score Card
PricePrice reflects the fact it’s an extremely large Smart grill and smoker; sold at various online retailers★★★★
DesignLarge cooking space and a large hopper; Smart technology integrated into a typical charcoal and smoker grill. Assembling requires two people.★★★★
PerformanceResults in juicy and seared meats and vegetables, despite fluctuating temperature and lots of ash debris.★★★½

Buy it if...

You don’t want to refill a hopper with charcoal as you smoke

The hopper can fit up to 12 lbs. of lump charcoal or 18 lbs. of briquettes—which is quite large. It’s likely you won’t have to refill the hopper during a cooking session, especially since the FuelSaver design optimizes the use of charcoal so it doesn’t burn quickly.

You want to manage the temperature and time on your phone

You don’t have to stand by the grill to manage the temperature or the timer because this particular Masterbuilt has Wi-Fi technology. You can watch and manage the temperature and timer on your phone, especially after setting it on the digital display of the grill.

You like to have a lot of space to set your barbecue tools or to prep your food

While most grills come with at least one side table, I really loved the fact that this grill had a long front table that can be folded down or pulled up. I found it to be a better place to prep food and set down my barbecue tools.

Don’t buy it if…

You dislike having to do a lot of clean-up maintenance

Charcoal grills require plenty of clean up – remove the ash, clean the grease pans, clean the grates, and so on. But even among charcoal grills, this one required even more cleaning than usual. I had to constantly clean ash off the grates, before, during, and after a cooking session which was quite bothersome.

You want the grill to have autoignite capabilities

I tested the Masterbuilt AutoIgnite 545 recently and liked how the autoignite feature ignited the charcoal without me having to use a fire lighter. The Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT does not have that capability, which means you have to use a fire lighter or matches to light the fire starter.

Your home size is only one to three people

This is a very large grill, which means it’s better suited to families of four or larger. If you plan to use it for large gatherings, it may be worth the investment. Otherwise, if you want a daily charcoal grill and smoker, go for something smaller.

How does the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker compare?

Like I’ve mentioned over and over—the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill is exceptionally large. If you want something similar but don’t have the space to accommodate the XT or don’t necessarily need such a gigantic grill and smoker, go for the Masterbuilt AutoIgnite 545 Series. It may only have 545 square inches of cooking space, but it boasts autoignite and Wi-Fi features and a design similar to the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT. I’ve tested it and can say that it doesn’t produce as much ash as the XT.

The Big Green Egg is a charcoal grill and smoker that does a great job with building and maintaining heat thanks to the ceramic structure. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have Wi-Fi capabilities and it’s much smaller than the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT. At least it comes with a lifetime warranty.

If you like kamado-shape charcoal grills, there is always the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe, a smart kamado-style grill that connects to an app and even has an autoignite feature. With only 250 square inches, unfortunately, it can’t cook as much food at one time as the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT.

How I tested the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker is the second Masterbuilt grill and smoker that I’ve tested this year, so I felt comfortable with cooking on this grill and setting it up in the app. I assembled the grill and cooked a number of meats and vegetables over the course of two weeks in May to get a full understanding of how the grill works and the pros and cons of its design.

Find out more about how we test.

  • · First reviewed: May 2024
Alex Temblador
TTR Contributing Editor

Alex Temblador is a Dallas-based award-winning author and freelance writer that has covered home, design, architecture, and art in publications such as Real HomesGardeningetcHome & GardensDwellArchitectural DigestTech Radar, Tom’s Guide, among many others. She recently bought her first home, a green Sears & Roebuck house that's over 100 years old, sits on half an acre of land and features a stunning wraparound porch, original hardwood floors, pocket doors, and a butler pantry. Alex loves to test products for Top Ten Reviews, GardeningetcReal Homes, and Homes & Gardens buying guides and reviews which has helped to expand the richness of her first-time homeowner life. The Mixed Latinx writer can usually be found working or relaxing in her outdoor spaces.