Gen 2.5 worth upgrade?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dvuong, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    I have a Gen 2 MES40 that I got from Lowes over a year ago.  I've had decent experience with it but seem to have some trouble with the temps.  The smoker runs about 20 degrees below set temperature and I've used a very reliable temp probe to compare.  It always seems to be a guessing game too.  Sometimes it's 20 degrees below and other times, it's 30. It's frustrating playing this game!

    I recently heard about the release of the Gen 2.5 BT version.  I'm wondering if it would be worth it to upgrade.  If so, should I get it from Cabelas or Sams?  I don't have a membership to Sams but it seems like the price with/without membership is the same.

    Would appreciate your thoughts.  Thanks!!
  2. Hi, You have already invested in your smoker. You have used it enough t know it runs 20-30 degrees low. Just adjust for that. Use  a additional temp probe so you know the box temp.  Just get your temps a little closer and keep them well over 200 degrees. Good Q does not care about temp swings or exact temps. Most of what you smoke you smoke to a internal temp anyway. I would not cook a cake in it. I would reserve that for the kitchen oven.

    Speaking of your kitchen oven stick a probe in it and watch it for a hour. Then report back.   Jted 
    daricksta likes this.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Gen 2.5 is a 2.0 with the Bugs and bad design elements removed. There will almost always be a difference between the temp the electronics say it is and that measured with a probe at the cooking rack. This is because you and the MES are measuring the smoker temps at different locations. The Temp at the rack is what counts and what you adjust to. If you like to have the latest version of your toys and got the $$$, go for it. But you will be fine with what you already have and know...JJ
  4. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I agree with jted,get another probe just for temp of the CC.I also agree with Chef JimmyJ the probe should be as close to cooking level as possible.I hang my additional probe from the ceiling,in the CC using a magnet from Harbor Freight.This is definite the less costly way. IMHO


    Pic of probe hanging

  5. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    The problem with the temp being 20-30 degrees lower though is that I will never have the option to smoke at 275 if I wanted to. 
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Try taking out the water pan and if the high temp is important, the slanted drip pan. Clearing the space between the coil and the meat will improve convection. Masterbuilt puts the smoker temp sensors too low and close to the coil...JJ
  7. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Also as Chef JimmyJ pointed out try cleaning the sensors on the back wall.try setting the temp to 275 and let it run for 1 hr.

  8. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    I have a 40" Gen 2.0 that is still usuable, but parked since I bought the new 40" BT Gen 2.5.

    Having had the 2.0 for 2+ years, I know what you are talking about in regard to the temp showing 20-30 degrees lower than it is as mine did the same thing. Not having a Maverick to check shelf temp at the time, I bought an oven thermometer and placed it on the shelf and found the shelf temp to be 25-30 degrees hotter thn the controller said it was. For example if I set my controller at 215 degrees, many times the smoker would run 195-200 degrees and never reach the 215 degrees on the controller, however the oven thermometer on the shelf would read 225-230 or so degrees.

    To sum it up, I did exactly what the others here have told you and that is to allow for the difference and go by the shelf temperature and not what the controller says the temp is.

    There is a 10* diference on my new 40" BT and the shelf temp but in the opposite direction of my old 2.0. On my new BT, if I want the shelf temp to be 225*, I have to set the controller to 235*. It has been really consistant with this 10* difference and setting it 10* hotter than the shelf temp has worked to perfection every time. As Chef Jimmy J said ..."  Masterbuilt puts the smoker temp sensors too low and close to the coil", thus the 10* difference.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  9. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    What made you decide to purchase a Gen 2.5?
  10. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    A couple of reasons are  ...

    1. My 2.0 was 2+ years old with tons of use on it so I knew it wouldn't last forever and the new BT was getting great reviews as being better.

    2. I wanted the new 2.5 BT with it's improvements over the 2.0 and I could afford a new one, so I bought one.

    I need to sell my 2.0. Right now it is mounted on a Masterbuilt Stand with rollers that I put on the stand. I am going to put my new BT on that stand and put the BT legs on the 2.0.

    For sale, the unit will be the 40" MES Gen 2.0 Smoker with a Masterbuilt Cover and Masterbuilt legs with rollers. .... Does anyone have any idea what kind of price I should put on it?
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  11. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    Okay, so I just tried the smoker again (smoking a tri-tip).  I preheated the smoker to 200 and it got to 200 but then dropped back to 190 and never seemed to quite get back to 200.  Once I put the meat in, the probe I have to measure ambient temperature has been stuck at 180 even though the controller was bumped up to 210.  The probe is on the same rack as the meat (2nd shelf).  

    So... this is normal?
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    We need more info... All these effect the actual temp at the grate the meat was on...JJ

    Was the Water Pan installed?

    Was it full of water?

    Did you have a 9 X 13 or larger Drip Pan on a shelf under the meat?
  13. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    Water pan was on the floor of the smoker but there was no water in it.  

    I had one of those 1/2 size foil steamer pans on the bottom shelf under the meat.  

    Vent was in full open position.

    Chip tray was pulled out about 2 inches. Chip loader was removed.

    AMNPS was sitting on top of the hole of the slant tray.

    It was windy but I had the vent facing away from the wind.
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You got it all right, but I still got to point the finger at that Slant Tray. It is a bad design and the most likely reason for the big temp deviation. You might give Todd Johnson a call at A-MAZE-N, he had 2 of the first Gen 2 MES's and tried a variety of mods to get them working properly...JJ
  15. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    How much can you sell your current smoker for and how much will it cost to upgrade?  The 40 BT is pretty sweet. 
  16. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    I'm not in an area where smokers are in high demand so I probably wouldn't be able to sell it.  I'll probably end up giving it to a relative.  

    Sam's Club has one for $320 but since I don't have a membership, I'd have to purchase one for $45 and after taxes, it'd cost me a little over $400 to upgrade. :(  
  17. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    On the Gen 1,  the heat rises from the heating element on the back right side of the smoker, like all MES's (especially with the deflector plate that is attached to the chip tray that slides under the element.)  The Gen  2.5 does not have a defector plate attached to the chip tray that goes under the heating element. Probably the same with Gen 2.  Heat will always travel up the back wall temp sensor because all vents are in the back of the smoker (top or side.) So, how do you get heat to the left front of the smoker evenly?  The Gen 2.5 has the sensor in the middle back wall, then the top vent on the back left, pulling heat across the smoker along the back wall to the opposite corner of the smoker.  I'm not sure on the Gen 2, if it's the same as the Gen 2.5.  Heat doesn't need to be blocked.  It needs to be deflected anywhere off the back wall somewhere between the heating element and sensor as it goes to the top vent, depending on the generation of the smoker. It can be a 1"X4" piece of foil on the Gen 2 off the slant drip tray, so it touches the back wall for 4", deflecting rising heat around the sensor. Unless you deflect the heat off the wall before it hits the sensor, your MES controller will always be higher than the MAV temp on the rack where the food is when cooking on the top two racks.  If you cook on the top two racks like most do and your MES controller reads 275*F (max temp) and your second rack reads 200*F and you want 230*F, then you need to deflect heat off the CC sensor to call for more heat to get your temp where want at the top racks.  This will also get higher temps at the (bottom) third and forth racks for chxn.  Bear's anticipation method on when to adjust the controller and his deflector are a must for all MES. At the second rack from the top the deflector on my 40" GEN 1 shown below gives my calibrated therms, the MES controller and MES built in meat probe the same temps within 2*F.  I put in the deflector after it has been preheated when I put in the food.  I smoke at 230*F on the second rack from the top (and that's what the controller and all other therms read.)  All my therms measure the same but the cycle can be +/- 10*F to average 230*F.  It's an oven with smoke!

    It's a steel cookie sheet cut to the shape of the water pan wrapped in foil that is resting on the lip of the water pan.  Heat rises up all sides and the middle (except back wall where the sensor is) so it doesn't go straight up the back right corner past the sensor out the top right vent.


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