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Masterbuilt 40" Electric Smokehouse (2nd Gen.) 20070512

70% Positive Reviews
Rated #16 in Cabinet Style


Pros: Set it and forget it, bluetooth control, most everything fits in the dishwasher, lots of space for big smokes

Cons: smoked flavor can be a bit weak if not using an AMNPS - this reduced my overall rating by 1/2 star

I have owned an MES 40 - 2.5 for about 15 months now.  I have smoked many briskets, racks and racks of ribs, numerous turkeys, pulled pork, salmon, prime rib, etc.  I also own a traditional wood/charcoal Brinkmann offset smoker (serial #1126) made of boilerplate - a real heavy thing and have had this smoker for about 15 years.


I own two smokers an MES 40-2.5 and a traditional Brinkmann wood/charcoal offset smoker.  I find I now use my MES 40 about 5 or 6 times for every time I use my Brinkmann.  I actually use my Brinkmann more for higher-temp smokes (chicken wings, pork steaks, rib-eye, etc.)


  • I read through the reviews and I have not experienced any of the problems with huge temperature swings.  My temperature swings are maybe +/- 5 degrees using a calibrated thermometer.
  • I do not like the new MES app for controlling the smoker via many graphics and you can accidentally mess up a setting if you are not careful - the old app was perfectly easy to use, simple, clear, concise, etc.  I am now used to the new app. but miss the old one terribly.  DO NOT UPGRADE THE APP IF YOU ARE STILL USING THE OLD ONE (red screen).
  • Once I started using an AMNPS 5x8 to help generate smoke, bigger items like brisket, pulled pork, turkeys had a better smoked flavor than just using the chip tray that comes with the smoker...although I can still get a great smoke if I babysit the chip-tray and add a few chips at a time to maintain a great smoke.  But if I am going to do that, I should just fire up my Brinkmann.
  • With the AMNPS - I can set it and forget it - so overnight smokes are a cinch
  • I had to modify the AMNPS with spring clips to raise it from the floor of the smoker and had to open the chip feeder 1/2 way yo keep the AMNPS lit.  (Thanks for your help with this Todd!)
  • The 40" smoker can easily do two-12 pound turkeys at a time and many racks of ribs if you use rib racks.
  • I once left the meat thermometer ouy of the smoker after a smoke - and it rained - ruining the meat thermometer (totally my fault).  I could not find a replacement on the MB website so I emailed them, told them what I did, and asked them to point me in the direction so I could buy a replacement...they sent me a new one for free even though the smoker was about a year old and it was my fault.  So that is great customer service!
  • I would totally buy this smoker again.


It lost 1/2 star due to the weak smoke flavor on big meats without the use of an AMNPS.


Pros: holds temp well

Cons: probe not accurate

I upgraded the wiring to 12G using "range" wire obtained at local electric supply store. Now the heating element (1200w) is much more responsive

and the wood chips burn down completely in 30 to 45 min. at a temperature setting of 225 deg. if you are interested, in upgrade, send me email at


Pros: Ease of use

Cons: Haven't found any yet

I have had 2 of the 30" smokers and found them to be very good. I had trouble with one at my vacation home after a year or more and they sent me a new heating element no problem.

My first 30" quit after many years use and it didn't have the replaceable element so I got the 40"

I have read lots of negative stuff about this unit but I haven't had a problem. I find it is a solid smoker just like my two 30' ones.


Pros: Looks good, roomy

Cons: Holding temps, remote turns off unit

I have two of the 40's.  I don't know why anyone would pay more than the $299 everyday price at Sam's Club.  I have two issues with this unit.  First, if you set up at 225 degrees, this unit will fluctuate 25 degrees either side of this set number making a lot of the time 25 degrees under your set point.  I found this out with an independent probe inside the unit when I couldn't get a butt cooked in 20 hours.  I would prefer the unit controlling closer to the setpoint.  Second, if your unit has a remote control, careful when you lay it down as the battery compartment is not designed very well and the battery will lose contact and actually turn the smoker off, so when you drop by to check it out later you find it is not on!  I solved this by layering some cardboard on top of the battery to hold it tight.  I have read a lot of horror stories about this smoker and am holding my breath as I have 2.  The meat probe has quit working on my 3 month old unit but I don't think it was even close to accurate so I probably won't try to replace.  I recently bought a Vision, kamado style cooker and think I am really going to enjoy this unit.


Pros: Electric, Roomy

Cons: Bad temps, flawed chip loader, faulty wiring, etc...

I was a propane Smoker user for years & decided to upgrade to an electric version... I found the Masterbuilt & decided to give it a try... I liked the fact it retained moisture which helped keep the meat from drying out but after the first few months I had it kick every GFI I used... Learned of faulty wiring, faulty burners the list goes on... I had welded seems on the door that warped the door gasket & was missing a wheel in packaging... I contacted Masterbuilt & they had no qualms sending me the parts I needed to repair it but I am thinking I just spent $400 & I am fixing my own purchase 2 months later... I must be stupid is what I thought but I did what was needed to continue cooking with my investment... I fixed it & once I started putting the work out on it I found the drip tray to be to small & if you smoked a fatty butt you better prepare for it to leak all over like a gutted pig would... So after many days of scrubbing my concrete clean I decided to build a stand & put a bucket underneath it... I drilled a hole in the drip pan problem solved just wish I would have done this first & saved the double labor of cleaning up the messes made prior... Another issue you will be faced with is low smoke from the chip design & the chip loader will break either at the handle or on the end that goes in to the box... The hole at the end of the smoker holder will also buckle up if not aligned right... Last weekend I prepared to smoke a butt & 4 racks of ribs but after about 4 hours in on the butt I prepared to start the ribs so they would all finish within the same time frame I was mortified to find out the heating element had gone out... I was pissed & quickly turned on the oven to finish the butt & cook the ribs... They survived for feasting but wasn't the same... I am done with this POS regardless if they would send me parts or not... I have read reviews after reviews & there is a lot of folks that will repeat the issues I had... Funny thing is I am looking at the newest Masterbuilt design wondering if they have corrected all the bugs we have dealt with on these prior versions... I will look at other threads for everybody's opinions on that... But for my opinion on this model I would not buy it & if I have any inclination the newer models are the same I am out all together with Masterbuilt...   


Pros: Good Value, digital controls are nice, remote temperature monitor is a plus, I also like the included remote meat thermometer

Cons: Temperature variations can be drastic, I dont think that it maintains high teperatures very well, the vent location

I've had good luck with my smoker. I like the fact that you can replace the heating element in it if it goes out. I really like that you can remotely monitor the heat from inside the house and change it as well. You can also measure the temperature of the meat from the remote.

When it comes to value I don't think you can beat this. Does it have some issues sure. Suposedly, Masterbuilt had a lot of issues with quality control and has fixed those issues. There are significantly less bad reviews over the last year than the previous year.

Time will tell, but I hope MB builds a GEN 3 and puts the smoke vent back at the top, fixes some of the lessons learned from this model and makes a really good yet affordable smoker.

Of note, it was 20 degrees outside when I was trying to smoke my meat, so that could of been the temperature variations. (my variation waived by at least 10 degrees frequently)


Pros: Easy to setup and use

Cons: Glass leaked a little, need to keep glass clean

This is the first smoker i have ever owned and really do not have much experience with any other, but so far this has been great.  Love the way you insert the wood chips, and are able to watch your meat cooking.  Directions to assemble were easy to read , but there was little directions on how to use.  Like for myself i have never smoked before and i had to come online and read about different temps for different meats, how much wood to use, etc. Luckily, I found and everything came together.  One thing is that the glass leaked a little when i put water in which my first smoke, that really didn't bother me, but i have read reviews where people just hated that (they should have gotten the smoker without glass). So far so good, i would recommend this smoker. 


I have only smoked about 5 lbs of chicken thighs (this was my very first smoke). and they came out EXCELLENT and that came from my best or worst food critic (my wife). Smoking is not as hard as i thought is would be.  I am going to do some ribs and a whole chicken this weekend.  My ultimate goal is to do a smoked turkey for Thanksgiving.


Pros: Very easy to use, easy cleanup

Cons: Must open the smoker to change out wood chips

I have this smoker and I am generally happy my result and I'm really happy with it's ease of use. Plug it in, set the temp, add some wood chips, add some meat, and away you go. It does a great job of smoking without having to constantly check things.
When I have time, I still prefer the flavor of smoking on in a charcoal or wood smoker, but I find myself using this smoker a lot because it is so easy to use and the results are still tasty. Another added benefit of this smoker, it saves me the expense of buying charcoal, or at least it's a great alternative when I'm out of charcoal but still want to smoke something.


Pros: Nice looking unit.

Cons: Very poor quality, high failure rate, leading doors, temperatures way off..

I have had a total of four of the these, all returned for various reasons. Two of them failed during the seasoning process. One unit worked ok for a while then during smoking, the temperature shot up to maximum then quit working altogether. the final one/s internal temperature was off by 40 degrees (too low). the get 235 degrees, I had to set it at 275 degrees. Two of the units leaked juices  out of the bottom corner of the glass and formed a puddle on the ground. The temperature probes are far from accurate. An AMNPS will not work in these units, too much air turbulence.They are made in China which might explain the poor quality. Hopefully Masterbuilt will come out with a generation three and correct all of these issues. 


Pros: 1200W Heating element. Large Chip Tray. Easy Cleanup

Cons: No remote internal temp reading available w/ remote or console

As the title says, so far, so good with this smoker. I'm new to smoking meats using a cabinet style smoker and the MES 40" Gen2 seems to get it right for us newbies and perhaps more seasoned smokers as well. The assembly couldn't have been simpler as the instructions were consise and well written. Once assembled, the breakin period was 3hrs and I would highly advise following the instructions to the letter. The included lighting is great for grilling after dark as this is winter, I've already tried it and it works. The unit does clean up easily with hot water and Dawn dishwashing liquid. The window probably won't as I did try windex to no avail. Small price to pay. 


So far, I've done Duck, Chicken and a Brisket successfully. Checking internal temps might be problematic as I did have some issues getting a correct temperature using the meat probe. I did back check with an external meat thermometer so keep one handy just in case you have doubts. 


The Remote control has great range and fortunately, works from my lounge recliner quite well. The meat trays inside the unit give ample room for just about any size meat except Brontosizes. You can always vary the amount of trays as 4 are provided.


Great unit for a Beginner and perhaps even a veteran that wants to do other things as they're smoking their meals. I found myself wandering around with nothing to do for hours as I've been used to checking the charcoals in the temps in my Charcoal griller. Wound up preparing the rest of the meal, finishing my emails and watched some TV.   



Masterbuilt 40" Electric Smokehouse (2nd Gen.) 20070512

Black Body, S/S Door

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