Char griller 980 Vs. Masterbuilt 800: Which Is The Winner?

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Char griller 980 Vs. Masterbuilt 800

*This Char-Griller 980 vs. Masterbuilt 800 comparison will look at the features, construction quality, and performance of the two smokers. 

Smoking with charcoal is one of the most challenging outdoor cooking methods for beginners who aren’t used to managing a wood fire.

Because it requires constant attention, it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening with the food. It’s also easy for the temperature in your smoker box to fluctuate wildly, leading to inconsistent results and ruined food.

But have you ever imagined getting the greatest meal with authentic charcoal smoke flavor without all the fuss?

This is all made possible by the gravity smoker, which functions like a pellet grill. But instead of using wood pellets, it uses charcoal as its main heat source.

The two most promising gravity-fed smokers in this year’s competition are the Char-griller Gravity Fed 980 and Masterbuilt Gravity Series 800.

In this article, I’ll make a comparison between these two gravity smokers to help you determine which one would be the best fit for your outdoor cooking needs.

Char-griller 980 vs. Masterbuilt 800: Overview  


Char-griller 980

Ease of Use

Easy to control, perfect for beginner

Temperature range

932°F (500°C)

Fuel Type


Cooking Rack


Total Cooking Space

980 square inches


Heavy, more difficult to move around

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Masterbuilt 800

Ease of Use

Easy to control, perfect for beginner

Temperature range

932°F (500°C)

Fuel Type

Propane & Natural Gas

Cooking Rack


Total Cooking Space

800 square inches


Easy to move around

Read review

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series is the first consumer-ready gravity smoker on the market. The Masterbuilt 800 is the third generation after the Series 560 and 1050, with a unique griddle option that allows you to cook meat, burgers, and pancakes. This makes this grill one of the most powerful all-in-one grills on the market.

The Char-Griller 980 was introduced a year after the first Masterbuilt gravity model came out, and it has since become the direct competitor of the Masterbuilt gravity-fed smoker series.

You may have wondered if they are gravity charcoal grill smokers, so what is the difference? What makes one of them better than the other?

I will discuss a few differences in this article, but first, let’s look at the main features of both grills.

Char-griller Gravity Fed 980 

char griller gravity 980 charcoal grill smoker

The Char-Griller 980 Gravity-Fed Charcoal Grill uses advanced digital technology and the force of gravity to give the food the classic taste of charcoal while giving you precise control over the temperature when smoking.

The blue and red cooking chamber lid is an eye-catching design element that makes this unit stand out.

The heat detector and drip pan are the most significant improvements to this unit over the Masterbuilt gravity series.

This charcoal grill is versatile: it can be used for smoking, grilling, and everything in between. It also comes with a front shelf that gives you a place to prepare your food.


  • Total cooking area: 980 square inches
  • It has a double-walled steel construction
  • The hopper can hold 16 lbs of charcoal briquettes
  • An easy dump ash pan for easy cleaning
  • Built-in digital control panel with two meat probe ports
  • Features an adjustable rear damper at the back
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capable
  • It comes with a unique blue/red color
  • The front shelf folds down nicely and is larger than other units
  • The slotted design on the shelf and the side makes it easy to keep clean when it rains outside
  • The turbo mode speeds up the fan for hot and fast cooking
  • The second grate is small
  • Due to its weight, this smoker is difficult to be transported.
  • The space between the primary cooking rack and the second shelf is limited.
  • The cooking temperature can’t go below 200℉ like the Masterbuilt 800


The grill’s hood and bottom are protected for 5 years from the date of purchase (excluding the removable ash pan). The ash pan and defective parts are covered for an entire year from the date of purchase.

Masterbuilt Gravity Series 800

Masterbuit 800 charcoal grill smoker

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series 800 is the company’s second model to hit the market after the 560. The 800 is a more advanced version of the 560, with more features and a better design.

In this smoker, the entire lid that covers the top of the grill has been removed to allow for more space in the warming rack.

The main distinction between the two models is the cooking space — the 800 has a larger cooking capacity, allowing you to cook more food at once.

Another feature is the stainless steel front shelf—it is an excellent place to place your meat when preparing it for cooking and is easy to clean and attractive.

But what sets this smoker apart from the other Masterbuilt gravity-style models is the included flat-top griddle, which is not available with the 560 or 1050 series. 

Along with the griddle, you can get the most out of this unit by using the rotisserie kit.

  • Easy to use and control cooking temperature
  • In real-time, you may check the weather with the app and the digital reader.
  • Can be used as a flat top griddle (Unique feature)
  • The temperature can drop as low as 150°F
  • It has more space between the first and second cooking racks.
  • The assembling is difficult and confused
  • Small main cooking surface


  • Includes a flat-top griddle insert and cast-iron grates
  • It comes with a Digital Control Panel for temperature control
  • The hopper can hold enough charcoal to cook for up to 10 hours
  • Fold-out cord storage in the back of the side shelf
  • Folding stainless steel front shelf
  • Built-in temperature gauge and meat probe thermometer


The Masterbuilt 800 is covered by a 1-year warranty

Char griller 980 vs. Masterbuilt 800: Feature Comparison

char griller gravity 980 vs Masterbuit 800

There are many factors to consider when choosing between the Masterbuilt 800 and the Char-Griller 980. Both grills are great for smoking, and both are capable of producing delicious food. But some differences will make one grill better for certain cooking styles.

1. Mobility

The Char Grill 980 and Masterbuilt 800 have lockable casters and two large wheels, making them easier to move around.

However, the Char Grill 980 is more difficult to move than the Masterbuilt 800 because of its weight.

And one thing to remember is that the grease tray on the Char Grill 980 is a loosely slide-in tray that can fall out of the grill, so you should take it out before you move the grill around your outdoor kitchen.

2. Charcoal Hopper

Both grills come with a hopper with 16 pounds of charcoal fuel capacity. You can use either lump charcoal or briquettes as a fuel source and light them with a fire starter.

The primary distinction between the two hoppers of both units is…

3. Cooking Grates

The Masterbuilt’s cast-iron cooking grates feature both a smoke side and a sear side for optimal versatility. The sear side of the grates gives you thicker grates that let you cook your meat on more of its surface. They are also close together, making a larger cooking surface available for searing.

Char-Griller 980 uses porcelain-coated cast iron grates, which are non-stick, but the sear is not as good as Masterbuilt’s.

4. Cooking Space

The Masterbuilt 800 features three cooking racks, but the Char griller 980 only has two.

The Char-griller’s 980 square inches of cooking space is ideal for large cuts of meat. This unit has a main cooking area that is 230 square inches larger than that of the Masterbuilt 800.

However, while using the Char-Griller 980 with the top rack in place, there are only a few inches of height above the primary cooking area. This means that you will have to remove the top rack to cook large cuts of meat that are too tall for the unit.

The Masterbuilt 800 offers a total of 800 square inches for cooking, with more space between the main surface and the second grate than the Char-Griller 980.

5. Folding Front Shelf

The Masterbuilt 800 and the Char griller 980 both offer foldable front shelves.

The Char-Broil griller 980’s foldable front shelf is 34 inches wide x 20 inches deep, while the Masterbuilt 800’s is 23 inches wide x 8 inches deep.

But if you try to put a cutting board or an aluminum pan on the front shelf of both units while the meat is cooking, the handle will hit your item and make it hard for you to use that space.

6. Temperature Range

Although both models can reach 700℉ as their maximum temperature, The Masterbuilt 800 is slightly better.

The temperature range of the Masterbuilt 800 is 150°F-700°F. The best part about this is that you can smoke your food at low temperatures, such as 160°F for perfectly smoked salmon.

The Chargrill 980 with a temp range of 200℉ – 700℉. It can only get down to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Both devices feature a PID controller that adjusts the temperature in 5-degree increments.

7. Griddle Option

Masterbuilt 800 has the upper hand in this match thanks to the griddle, where you can cook pizzas, burgers, pancakes, and sausages.

This allows you to cook a variety of foods in a single appliance.

Final Verdict Of Masterbuilt 800 Vs. Char-Griller 980

Between the Masterbuilt 800 and the Char-Griller 980, I’d go for the Masterbuit Gravity Series 800 because it’s more versatile and sturdy.

It can grill, sear, and smoke and function like a flat-top grill. The Char-Griller 980 is only for grilling, searing, and smoking, and the building materials are less sturdy than the Masterbuilt 800.

The Masterbuit 800’s cooking temperature also gets lower, making it ideal for a slow-cooked barbecue.

Further readings on milliepham.com:

5/5 - (2 votes)

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