While using my MES 40 (model 20070710) this past weekend to smoke some ribs, it went temporarily dead after about 3 hours of smoking. The controller display went completely dead along with the heating element and the inside light. I confirmed that there was power at the outlet. I unplugged the power cord and then plugged it back in after 1 minute and the MES was still dead. I unplugged the power cord and then plugged it back in 1 hour later and the MES powered up again as normal. After about 1 more hour of smoking, the MES went dead again. It did not power up after a quick unplugging but it did power up again after another 1/2 hour or so of being unplugged. I called Masterbuilt support about getting a replacement controller. The support person said that it did not sound like a defective controller and that the MES's overheat sensor might be causing the problem. She said that the sensor is not readily accessable and that the whole smoker box would need to be replaced. I bought the MES from Cabelas' last Oct 2010, but unfortunately I can not find my receipt, which is required to get a replacement box, so I may be SOL with any warranty help.
My question is this. Has anyone else had a similar problem (intermittant and random dead unit) that was solved by replacing the controller? I thought I would ask as I would gladly pay for a replacement controller myself if there was a good chance that it would solve my problem.