Disappointed with Masterbuilt

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jerkin, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. jerkin

    jerkin Newbie

    Haven't been on the forum or done any smoking for a while but finally saved enough money to upgrade to a better smoker than my old $50 Brinkmann that has no heat control.  I went ahead and ordered one of the MES 40 new generation smokers on Amazon earlier this week.  I was busy for a few days then when I had some time I got back on the forum to do some reading.  I was shocked to find all the problems people have been having with these smokers as Masterbuilt was always one of the more popular smokers on the forum in past years.

    After spending an hour or two reading several different threads yesterday I decided I did not want to waste my hard earned money on something that was going to give me fits and luckily Amazon hadn't shipped yet so I was able to cancel my order.  A few hours ago I thought I would call Masterbuilt and relay my disappointment to them.  The thing that bothered me the most was their care free attitude.  I told them about cancelling my order, why I did so and how their previously great reputation was on a downhill slide and the customer service representatives response was "Well ok, thanks for calling".  That's it.  I told her that I suppose I wasted my time since if she didn't care then I shouldn't either and we hung up.

    I was sort of surprised at their response and thought I'd let you guys know.  I'm off now to do some research on other manufacturers and see how much more money I need to save up before I can place an order for a better built product from a company that cares about what they are selling.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you're looking for an electric smoker you may want to look into the Smokin-it smokers. Reading through the posts here I was very tempted to purchase one until I decided to build my own. There's some great posts in the Smokin-it group section here.
  3. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you are looking for quality along with excellent customer service, Google "Cookshack".  I have two of there smokers and consider them the Cadillac's of smokers.  You can check their forum out for reviews.

  4. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    The first thing to ask is how much are you looking to spend?  Does it have to be electric? 

    Not sure what you really expected to get from customer service since in fact you had not purchased it.  Now had you actually purchased it and then got it and had issues maybe they would have had a different attitude. 

    When I purchased my smoker, propane, I didn't realize the mods I would need to make to it in order to make it a better unit.  Now that I made those mods it works good.
  5. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There are many great smokers out there as the above posters have said.  I just thought i'd say something about my Masterbuilt 30 electric.  I am nothing but pleased. I got it for Christmas from my daughters [so i can smoke stuff for them too LOL].  I had an issue with the "brain box", the digital control box.  It was a cold winter day and i just got the unit a week earlier and got it ready and all.  I went out to start it up for smoking 10 pounds of polish and it didn't start or even light up. Had to make the polish in the oven that day.

    I called Masterbuilt and they appoligized and sent me a new one [digital control] right away. They were very nice people to work with.  I talked to a meat cutter i knew that had the same one and he asked me if i left the controls on during the cold days [10 above 0]. I said i did.  He said the gel in the digital freezes up and to just take it in with you after use during the very cold temps. I took the old one inside for awhile and put it back on [only took a second] and it worked. So i called Masterbuilt and told them what happened and they said thank you for telling them because they did not mention that in the guide book. I told them we smoke all year long up here and i didn't read it in the manual as well.

    They told me to keep the new one in case it goes bad down the line and thanked me. I have had no issues with the unit and am very happy with it.  I knew a guy who bought the cheaper electric from them [non digital and not insulated].  His electric burner went bad after two uses. They were in the process of getting new burners for the units so instead of sending him a new burner they sent him a whole new smoker.

    So i think everyone has good smokers and some people have complaints on a lot of them. Also as in every buisness not all employees are the best and when you get a rude or non responsive one it is a good idea to convey a complaint where it counts. I'm going to continue to tell folks that ask me about my smoker to go buy one.. It comes down to a persons budget and volume on meat that person expects to do in any particular smoker. Reinhard
  6. I have the old generation MES 40. It works great. I do use a AMNPS in it for smoke. SET IT AND FORGET IT!

    Happy smoken.

  7. jerkin

    jerkin Newbie

    Yeah, if I could find one of the older ones I might still buy it but they have sort of turned me off with having problems with these newer units for a few years now and not fixing them.  Smokin-it and Cookshack are on the list along with Smokin Tex.
  8. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think you'll be happy with any of the 3 you are considering. I'm a SI#3 owner (a clone of the others) and quite happy with it. I would prefer digital but cannot justify the $$ right now so maybe in the future a plug & play PID instead to really zero in on temp control. Good decision on the MES IMO....Willie
  9. I've got the Old Gen MES 40 and couldn't be happier with it or the customer service at Masterbuilt. Yes I know they are built in China and that's the chance you take in getting one. I had a few problems with mine after 18 months and Masterbuilt did everything to remedy the problems by sending replacement parts, all at no charge. The chamber temp is cooler than the set temp but I've learned the differences and compensate for it. It works great for jerky, sausage, etc and I've added to the smoking toys with a home built propane smoker with a sfb for charcoal, wood or electric. 
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    MES is still the best electric smoker for the buck.

    The first one I got was fine (MES 30).

    Then I bought one for my Son (MES 30), and it had problems. I called Masterbuilt a couple times, and the girls they had there didn't have a clue!!!

    My Son took his back to Cabelas & an MES 40 followed him home.

    Then I had trouble with my digital control, and I mentioned it on this forum. Then a Tech-Guy from Masterbuilt (Darryl) replied to me on this forum, and he sent me a new digital control immediately.

    Since that I got an MES 40, and it has worked beautifully for 2 years now.

    MES is still having trouble with the new model, but I can assure you they are working hard on it. I know that for a fact.

  11. stripernut

    stripernut Fire Starter

    I've had a Smokin' Tex for about 5 years, and it has been a reliable cooking machine.
  12. chiefwej

    chiefwej Smoke Blower

    You can still find the gen 1 MES 40. Some places online even have them deeply discounted.

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