Like pellet grills, a fan helps keep the specified cooking temperature. On the 560, it blows air upward, into the underside of the charcoal hopper to maintain the warmth going and flow into it into the principle cooking space. When you have the temperature set excessive sufficient for searing, you’ll see flames too. There are switches on each the hopper lid and the facet door, each of which cease the fan whilst you’re loading or performing upkeep. It’s a security characteristic, however it additionally implies that you received’t get blasted with smoke, embers or ash once you’re attempting to maintain the grill going. There’s one on the principle grill lid too, and whereas that one doesn’t cease the fan totally, it does alert the controller that you’ve got the 560 open. There have been some reports of points with these switches failing, which implies the grill all the time thinks one of many three doorways is open and the fan doesn’t function usually, making it unusable. In over a dozen cooks, I haven’t skilled this, and the issue doesn’t look like widespread based mostly on consumer opinions. Nonetheless, it’s value noting as you think about shopping for a 560.
On the left facet of the 560, there’s a shelf with the grill controls. Masterbuilt has simplified the issues right here, supplying you with a lot much less to scroll by means of than a Traeger or Weber pellet grill. As an alternative of getting to navigate by means of a menu with a rotating knob, every merchandise has a devoted button. There’s a separate one for grill temperature, probe temperature, timer and telephone pairing. Apart from connecting to your telephone, you choose every possibility after which set the temp or time by rotating and pushing the dial. A vivid blue show is your information on the grill, or you are able to do all of this contained in the Masterbuilt app. Lastly, the 560 accommodates as much as 4 meals probes directly. It solely ships with one, however you’ll be able to add more in the event you want them for $20 every.
Inside Masterbuilt made some design selections to actually assist with cleanup. With a pellet mannequin, it’s a must to vacuum out mud and ash each few cooks to maintain all of that particles off your meals. And, in fact, to maintain the grill working effectively and safely. With the 560, there’s nearly no ash or mud to fall to the underside. The one factor you’ll have to scrub is the grease assortment pan. It’s a smaller bin that’s straightforward to take away, and it sits in a bigger angled tray that additionally slides out for cleansing. Each of those are simply accessible from the again of the 560. So far as the charcoal goes, all of that falls right into a steel bin on the backside of the hopper. And from the facet door, that container could be rapidly eliminated, dumped and returned in a matter of seconds — even throughout a prepare dinner.
The 560 is able to temperatures from 150 to 700 levels Fahrenheit. That vary offers you the flexibility to tailor your cooks to your preferences. Favor to smoke ribs at 185 for the primary three hours? No downside. Must preserve one thing heat round 165? It could do this too. Masterbuilt says the 560 can attain 225 levels in seven minutes and 700 levels in 13. I discovered these figures to be largely true, nonetheless, they don’t issue within the time it takes for the charcoal to completely ignite. And that may fluctuate based mostly on ambient situations, the state of your charcoal and the way rapidly your hearth starter ignites the hopper.
Throughout a couple of cooks, I double checked temperatures with the Smoke X2 and located the 560 was inside three to 5 levels of what I had set more often than not. The vary was increased proper after the preliminary preheat cycle, however it leveled out after a couple of minutes. Throughout opinions of Traeger and Weber pellet grills, I sometimes skilled a variance of round 5 to seven levels between the built-in thermostat and an exterior thermometer.
Getting the charcoal lit takes some observe. In case you’re utilizing recent charcoal, this received’t be an issue. But when what you will have on the backside of the hopper is leftover from a earlier prepare dinner, it’s going to take an additional couple of minutes to get issues going. I discovered that Masterbuilt’s suggestion of a food-safe hearth starter retains frustration to a minimal. A paper towel works, however not practically as effectively because it burns so rapidly. It additionally helps to slip the grate on the backside of the hopper backwards and forwards to knock off any extra ash from these lowest briquettes. Within the occasion the grill doesn’t totally gentle, it’s going to beep and flash an error message on the show. You possibly can merely reset the temperature and check out once more. Sadly, you don’t get the error within the app, so that you’ll wish to keep near the grill till you’re positive the hearth goes. More often than not ignition took below 5 minutes.
Masterbuilt says you should utilize lump charcoal or briquettes within the 560. This offers you some selection in manufacturers and sorts of wooden which are obtainable to prepare dinner with. In my expertise, charcoal alone solely produced a modest quantity of smoke on the 560, however the firm says you’ll be able to add wooden chunks or charcoal to the ash bin on the backside of the hopper to spice up it. Because the embers from the burning charcoal fall, they trigger any wooden items or further briquettes to burn slowly and produce extra smoke. Masterbuilt additionally says you’ll be able to combine wooden chunks within the hopper together with your charcoal, as long as you don’t add greater than 1.5 kilos of it. Throughout my checks, I bought the perfect outcomes with each: some wooden within the hopper and sporadically including some to the ash container.