Saturday I decided to smoke some ribs.To be more accurate, 2 varieties of ribs which (spare ribs and country ribs) were the choice meat for that days smoke. I was nervous using such different thickness' of meat but putting the country ribs on the top rack (where it is warmer) and the spare ribs on the middle rack I felt it would be OK. Guess what, the country ribs basted the spare ribs the whole smoke time and WOW, not only were bot sets of ribs done at the same time, the spare ribs were amazing. I will say I need to adjust my dry rub a bit as it was a little too much of a kick for some of my guests, otherwise they all loved the ribs.
Now to what I found with the MES.
1. Unit heated up to 220 degrees in 10-15 minutes
2. 2 built in temperature sending units (meat probe and smokerbox temp) were within 3 degrees of each other and I found my accurate Admetior oven thermometer was not as accurate at the lower temps and I choose to trust the MES temps since they practically matched my infrared laser temp gun (withing 3 degrees).
3. Unit is unbelievably good at completely burning the wood chips into a fine ash
4. Unit holds the smoke for a very long time. In fact, I used 4 trays of wood chips for the 5+ hour smoke and feel I could have easily cut that down to 3 trays without issue.
5.You must turn the unit on by the remote control otherwise it will be out of synch with the unit and your unit will turn off when you turn your remote on.
6. Checked the interior using the temp gun and found everywhere I checked the temps ere withing a couple of degrees. Mind you , I had to do this fast because of heat loss but I always aimed at the back of the unit in different areas to help provide a more accurate temp measurement.
7. The 2 built in temperature sending units are fast reacting
8. The ability to get back to temp if you open the door is not an issue as it only took 2 minutes to go from 150 to 220 after I had the door open for an extended length of time.
9. Drip guide on the door could be widened a bit and extend out another 1/2 inch which would help steer the drippings a little better
10. Unit does not leak and all drippings went onto the angled floor tray and down the center hole into the external drip tray. However I will always use a mat underneath since I do not want to harm my deck in case it ever does leak.
11. Unit stays at most, warm to the touch on the outside which explains the great insulation the MES has. In fact, after done smoking I shut the door, turned the heating off and it still was at 115 degrees after 2 hours. WOW
12. From now on I will always wrap all the drip trays with foil for easy cleanup.
13. Window was easily cleaned with a paste made of baking soda and water
14. chip tray is large which is great for super long smokes
All in all I am very happy with my purchase and put faith into MES and this model!
I give it an overall 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. Missing the 1/2 star for some things I listed above but give it 5 stars for it's ability to smoke well!