MES Recall

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by sodak, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. sodak

    sodak Newbie

    Was out looking for information about the MES electric cold smoker and turned up this article from the Consumer Product Safety Board (recall # 13-241):

    Sorry if this is a illegal link

    Here is the description from the website just in case:

    Recall Summary

    Name of product:
    Electric Smokehouse Smokers
    The wood chip tray can fail to slide securely into the smoker, causing the wood to combust and the smoker’s cabinet door to blow open, posing a fire hazard.

    View Details

    Consumer Contact:
    Masterbuilt Manufacturing at (800) 489-1581 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at  and click on Contact on the top right hand corner of the page for more information.  
    Report an Incident Involving this Product

    Recall Details


    About 11,000

    The upright electric smoker is a rectangular, black matte colored cabinet with a stainless steel door with a glass window.  The smokers were sold with a remote control and have a control panel on the top front of the unit. The 20070312 model smoker measures about 32- inches high by 17-inches wide by 15-inches deep. The 20070512 model smoker measures about 40 inches high by 22-inches wide by 16-inches deep. Model number 20070312 or 20070512 is printed on the serial plate located on the rear panel of the smoker. The smokers have a screen printed Masterbuilt logo on the window and on the serial plate.    

    Masterbuilt has received six reports of fires occurring in the smoker causing the door to blow open.  No injuries were reported. 

    Consumers should immediately stop using and unplug the recalled smokers and contact Masterbuilt Manufacturing for a free repair kit.
    Sold at

    Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas stores nationwide from May 2012 through August 2012 for between $270 and $430. 

    Masterbuilt Manufacturing Inc. of Columbus, Ga.

    I did a search and did not come up with anything from the site.  I have the 20072612 from Sam's Club and had the same issue (minus the door blowing open because I don't but in very many chips due to the fire in the chip tray).  I emailed Masterbuilt to see if the Sam's Club version falls under the recall or if they think it may be a problem for this model also. I will post when/if I get an answer.

  2. sigmo

    sigmo Smoking Fanatic

    Very interesting!

    I'm still trying to visualize what causes the problem, exactly.

    When we see a flame in a wood fire, we're actually seeing vapors driven out of heated wood burning.  Technically, the solid wood doesn't actually burn as I understand it.  The heat from the flame right near the wood vaporizes some wood, and that vapor mixes with the oxygen from the surrounding air, and THAT blend of vaporized wood and oxygen burns.  It just looks like the wood is burning because the flame is right up next to it.

    This is true of many "fires".  A candle is a classic example.  Heat from the flame radiates to the nearby wax, melting it.  That molten wax flows up the wick by capillary action. Up inside the flame, the heat is so intense that it boils the wax, vaporizing it, and that wax vapor expands outward, mixing with air, and that mixture actually burns, creating the flame.  So it's a self-sustaining cycle.

    Anyhow, the upshot is that wax vapor is highly flammable, virtually explosive. And wood vapor is also highly flammable, and, under the right conditions, can form an explosive atmosphere when mixed with the right proportion of air.

    Perhaps, if wood chips touch or are near enough to the heating element, they'll give off enough flammable vapor that you end up with an explosive mixture of oxygen and wood vapors in the smoker, and then, if some chips flare up, That can ignite the flammable mixture of wood vapor and oxygen inside the unit, causing it to blow the door open.

    That'd be more than a little exciting, I'd say!

    One wonders if this couldn't be something of a possibility with many smokers that use a heating element to make chips, pellets, or "pucks" of wood smolder.

    I'd like to know more about the exact problem and how it happens.  I'm curious as to how the wood chip tray failing to slide securely into the smoker creates this hazard.  And how are the affected models different from the other models that are "safe"?

    I don't use the built-in chip tray in my 1st generation MES 40 (instead using an AMNPS for the smoke), but I'm still curious about the exact mechanism involved.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sodak,   That link is staying right where it is......   It is a safety issue....    member safety, food safety are at the top of the priority list...   Thanks for posting it......  Dave
  4. Thanks for posting the info! I have a 1st Gen MES (I think that's what it's called).

    Please do update when you hear back from Masterbuilt about the Sam's models.
  5. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Me, too! And I am glad of it more and more every day. Simpler is better.
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have 2 MES40 1st Gen and I learned day one that if you place more than a dozen Chips (1/4C) in the unit, the smoke generator will Puff Flame. I never blew the door open but surprised the heck out of me when it blew the Chip Loader 3 feet out into the lawn! It puffed and belched flame for about 5 minutes and settled down. I posted on SMF and Todd Johnson responded in minutes as to the fix. I later got an AMNPS and only use chips for smokes less than 1 hour....JJ
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  7. Yep I've had that happen a time or two. I could hear an intermittent noise, then the chip tray went flying. 
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2013
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I heard about this a few months ago----Good of you to post it here, Sodak!!

    I never had that happen to my MES 40 Gen #1, but I never put many chips in it, because I realized early on that trying to get consistent TBS from an electric smoker is a losing proposition. Amazing Smokers have been making my smoking life easy for 4 years now.

  9. sulvento

    sulvento Newbie

    Just got off the phone with Masterbuilt.

    They said It is ONLY the models (listed) that were sold at Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops between the specified dates.

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