I'm abandoning ship in favor of another!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by nozzleman, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. nozzleman

    nozzleman Smoking Fanatic

    I have made my last repair to the MES-30, I am tired of smokes gone bad for one reason or another. I just ordered a Smokin-It #3 and I hope it lives up to all the great reviews I read about it before taking the plunge.
     
  2. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Congrats man, can't wait to see some pics of your new toy and the Q it kicks out !
     
  3. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Subscribed for further reviews & details as I may be jumping ship sooner than later as well.  At this point I really wouldn't mind selling everything I currently have and invest another hundred or two to get a better tool for my work.
     
  4. 2010ultra

    2010ultra Smoke Blower

    and that is why I built my own, that way theres only one person to blame lol. good luck on your new purchase!
     
  5. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    I'm fairly crafty when it comes to building my own devices so I'm relatively confident I could build my own electric smoker and have a far better end-product with the same financial investment.  I may have to give this more consideration as well.
     
  6. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If you build it they will come.

    Seriously, publish your results here.  Ought to be interesting.
     
  7. I had my share of issues with my 1st gen MES 30.  Was discouraged from using it and then another project saved the day.  I cast boolits for reloading handgun and rifle ammunition and the same temperature issues of the lead can affect the quality of your boolits.  A gentleman on another forum came up with using a PID to control the temperature of the lead pot.  This worked extremely well and I ordered a kit from him and built my own PID.  Long story short, I thought about the MES and the PID chatter on this forum and that was it.  I gutted the electronics in the MES. ordered a new higher watt heat element from MES, another temp probe to install in the smoker for the PID and made the switch.  Now, with the addition of the PID, higher heat element and adding an MES side smoker I have what I consider the best possible smoker setup you can buy for a total of under $400.  Anything that now needs replacement is readily available and of the quality that I choose.

    Let's see, I wonder how well smoked boolits would be, maybe they would shoot better!  LOL!  Seriously, this is a great smoking setup and I can control my temps to within +/- 5 degrees.  It's making me hungry just writing this!  Just a thought for your MES.  

    Tom
     
  8. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    Tom what size element did you end up purchasing. You got it directly from masterbuilt?? If you don't mind what did they charge you for the higher watt burner. I have been debating on going that route myself just haven't made the jump. Thanks for any info you can provide
     
  9. Hey Jay, I can't remember where I got the element.  I know that Masterbuilt has them, but I am pretty sure I bought it from them.  Seems to me I remember it being a 1200 watt.  I know I found the information regarding the element in one of the posts on this forum.  It was one of the threads regarding PID conversions.  Sorry, I'm not much help for you, but check out some of the PID titled threads and you will probably find the info.  The element itself was not very expensive, but the key is to use the PID to control the smoker and using either an AMP5 or my preference of the MES side smoker.  Good luck!

    Tom

    edit:  Corrected Masterbuilt.  Oops!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  10. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    Ok thanks. I have read several of the PID posts and haven't found the burner yet or overlooked it. I will continue the search. U answered my big question. I wasn't sure if the higher wattage element would mess up the mes 30 but from the sounds of it it isn't a problem. Thanks
     
  11. Hey Jay, I seem to remember that I just Googled the heating element and found a good price on it.  Wish I could remember.  Also corrected my other post to reflect Masterbuilt, not Masterchef.  Major brain fart!

    Tom
     
  12. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Is it really necessary to replace the element with a higher wattage one or did yours fail?  They're known for failing (the earlier ones were a PITA to replace too from what I read) so I assume yours did and that's what started your journey or just felt like adding a higher wattage one?  The reason I ask is because that +/-5deg could be +/1deg with a properly suited heating element.  I'm just guessing since I haven't done the mod myself but based on building & aquarium heaters for instance some people will go larger thinking it's better and it ends up fluctuating temps more and using more energy than a properly sized unit.  Not to say that yours isn't but I'm curious how this existing setup would perform with only a better controller that's capable of working properly.  I don't think my issues stem from the element as I get smoke and everything is fine when the electronics want to work properly so that leads me to believe the element itself may be alright.  Since my unit is brand new (and now I have a spare body/element should I need it) the element should give me good service life and would also greatly decrease the cost of trying to modify this unit to work better.  I'm thinking I may try a new controller setup as you've mentioned before I completely overhaul the entire unit.  Just wanted to pick your brain a little bit on the topic since you'e actually done it.
     
  13. You guessed it.  My element died and after I learned that a higher output element is used in the newer MES 30, I decided to replace mine with the new higher wattage one.  I live in Minnesota and it gets damn cold here and I like to smoke in the winter also, so I wanted the extra output.  That is when I decided to marry my PID to the smoker as well as my lead pot.  By using the correct connector on the thermocouple you can unplug and move the PID to wherever you need to use it.  As long as you install a thermocouple in whatever you want to control it becomes literally "Plug and Play".  Hope this helps.

    Tom
     
  14. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    My element currently still works but I did 17 lbs of pork butt the other day. It was 10 F and windy and I couldn't get my smoker temp over 200 f. That's why I am debating on the larger element. I'm sure the 800 watt element that comes standard in the mes 30 is fine in the summer. But in Vermont we have 5 months of cold weather and if I can't use it in the winter it is useless to me. And I like to make things the best they can be which occasionally takes some modifications
     
  15. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Yeah, makes perfect sense.  I live in the foothills of Colorado and it gets a little bit chilly here too.  I also smoke in the winter and my element had no problems at all keeping temps and not even needing to run constantly to do so but it is also the newer version with the upgraded element you speak of.  In fact it seemed that my temps were spiking even more the colder/windier out it was.  Although I'll need to smoke again in warmer & calmer temps this summer to confirm.  I had temp control issues but my extreme spikes in temps came when I added a pellet tube from AMNP or whatever it's called.  I plan to do more testing in the next month or two before I make any changes.  Even though I reload I have no intentions of doing my own projectiles so my purchase would be strictly for the smoker where it will remain.  I'm hoping I can keep my costs & efforts lower by doing this.  

    Now to find an inexpensive but quality controller that works with all this jazz.  I think I found a list someplace a while back that sources Amazon for most of the parts I may need to revisit.
     
  16. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    I think the newer ones are much higher and I've found that I have zero problems doing 12-15lb of butts.  Coldest I can think of was one miserable night when it was getting WELL below zero with about 30-40mph winds (gusting over 50mph) and freezing rain/snow throughout the night.  I kept having issues with temps getting TOO hot surprisingly and the few times I added wood chips & the miserable time when I foiled were about as bad as it would get weather-wise and I would say that the element was the least of my concerns that smoke.  Before that I never understood why so many people only smoked in the summer months.  That particular smoke may have made me a fair weather smoker.  lol
     
  17. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    I have a new one. Bought it in November 2013. I spoke with masterbuilt customer service today and all mes 30 come with there 800 watt element. They also informed me that the mes 30 is only wired to handle the 800 watt element. But with a PID u eliminate all there wiring anyways so not an issue for me. The funny part was she recommended I check smokingmeatforums.com to find information on my build. It's unfortunate that they as a manufacturer know the info exists but they aren't using it to better there product
     
  18. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    At this point I'm debating on getting the PID and wiring to the 800 watt element and if I don't get the results I'm looking for then I will upgrade the burner. Time will tell I'm still in the research phase
     
  19. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    This is exactly what I was thinking.
     
  20. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member



    Evening.... I have the 800 watt element in my MES.... I wired a dimmer in line with the element.... control the wattage so it never turns off and the temps are consistent... There is a thread about that somewhere on here.... with a controller in the heating loop that would be good.... I have done several mods to the MES and it is a very good smoker now.....

    Dave
     

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