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Can't Stand my MES40!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have had nothing but problems with temperature control of my Sams Club MES40.  Masterbuilt has sent me two control panels and a meat probe and I'm still having problems.  I smoked a 7 pound bone-in pork butt yesterday and it took much longer than it should have.

 

I used my Maverick ET-732 thermometer (which I have verified to be accurate) to measure meat and smoker temperatures.  I left the MES40 meat probe in its holder on the side of the box to also read smoker temperature.  With the MES40 set for 275 degrees, I found that the ET-732 smoker sensor and the MES40 meat sensor tracked within 2 degrees of each other.  The bad part is that these two readings were about 40 degrees less than what the MES40 control sensor thought the smoker temperature was!  I guess it's time to get back on the phone with Masterbuilt tech support.  Since this problem has extended out over a couple of years, I'm not sure they are going to be willing to help me.

 

In hindsight, I wish I purchased a Weber Smokey Mountain.  At least with WSM's, there are no electronics to screw things up!

 

On a side note - Even though it took way too long to cook the butt, it turned out to be the best that I have ever had.  I don't have any of Todd's pitmasters blend yet so I used the pellets that I had on hand to make my own.  I used 50% hickory, 25% maple & 25% cherry and it came out great.  I smoked the butt on a rack in a foil pan and used a 3:1 apple juice & spiced rum spritz.  I dumped the remainder of the spritz (maybe 2 oz) into the pan when I foiled at 160 degrees.  Took it out at 205 degrees and let it rest for about 1/2 hour prior to pulling.  I defatted the pan juice and added it back into the pork with the addition of some Saflaquer's finishing sauce.  The wife & kids agreed that it was the best PP they have ever had.  Sorry no QVIEW but it was too late by the time my crappy MES40 finished cooking the butt.


Edited by SmokingNeophyte - 8/27/12 at 7:07am
post #2 of 6

SN, morning....  So you were checking the temps in the smoker in different places ????   When cold meat is put into the smoker, the cold will be radiated from the meat and cooler or warmer temps will be shown depending on the location of the probes.....  Below the meat, higher temps will be recorded....   Did you have the top vent wide open to insure air flow through the smoker ??  When the element turned off, did you notice the temps lower ??  How far did they drop ??  

 

"On a side note - Even though it took way too long to cook the butt, it turned out to be the best that I have ever had."   

 

That is the goal...  evidently, given a little time and a more thorough understanding of the MES your Q will get even better.....  It is a challenge but even an old goat like myself figured out the quirks of the MES and make some pretty good Q.....

  

The MES is not a $2500.00 electric smoker with interior circulating fans and modulated current to the element to control temp fluctuations...  It is what it is.... and it does a pretty good job of making great Q....  

I think if you give it time and understand it's shortcomings, you will enjoy using it...

 

Dave

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Dave,

 

The noted discrepancy in the readings was not until at least 9 hours into the smoke.  There was no effect at that point of a cold chunk of meat being thrown in.  Both the MES meat probe and the Maverick smoker probes were at the same approximate level and their readings were very close.  The top vent was wide open throught the smoke.

 

I understand that this is not a high end electric smoker but it should be able to hit its maximum temperature.  With the controller set at 275, I was getting pretty consistent readings on the two other sensors in the low 130 degree range.  Also, when the element shut off, both sensors showed the drop in temperature until the element turned back on.  I still believe there is something wrong with the smoker.  It is probably the main temperature sensor which is not user replaceable.  According to Masterbuilt, the entire box must be replaced.

 

Don't get me wrong, I really want to like this smoker and have put a lot of time and effort into it.  But, I believe that there is something seriously wrong with the sensors/control system.  There have been may threads about temperature control issues with this smoker.

 

Anyway, I am going to try an call MB tech support this afternoon and see if they have any suggestions.  I will post the outcome of that call.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokingNeophyte View Post

Dave,

 

The noted discrepancy in the readings was not until at least 9 hours into the smoke.  There was no effect at that point of a cold chunk of meat being thrown in.  Both the MES meat probe and the Maverick smoker probes were at the same approximate level and their readings were very close.  The top vent was wide open throught the smoke. My MES40 is about a year old and the meat probe and my other therms are all within approximately 2* of each other.

 

I understand that this is not a high end electric smoker but it should be able to hit its maximum temperature.  With the controller set at 275, I was getting pretty consistent readings on the two other sensors in the low 130 degree range.  Also, when the element shut off, both sensors showed the drop in temperature until the element turned back on.  I still believe there is something wrong with the smoker.  It is probably the main temperature sensor which is not user replaceable.  According to Masterbuilt, the entire box must be replaced. I hope you meant the two other sensors in the low 230 degree range. If the controller is set at 275, you have quite a temp difference there. Until mine died about a week ago, I had a 50* temp difference to the lower side. Frustrating to say the least. Masterbuilt said it was the element and sent a new one, but it's still dead.

 

Don't get me wrong, I really want to like this smoker and have put a lot of time and effort into it.  But, I believe that there is something seriously wrong with the sensors/control system.  There have been may threads about temperature control issues with this smoker.

 

Anyway, I am going to try an call MB tech support this afternoon and see if they have any suggestions.  I will post the outcome of that call. I tried calling them Friday after installing the new element and got a recording that they were temporarily closed until 9AM (Monday I assume), so sent off an email and have heard nothing...would love to know the outcome for you.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

I spoke with MB tech support today and they feel that the temperature sensor is bad.  They are going to send me a new smoker body but I will have to transfer the door and other parts over to it.  I'm mechanically inclined so it should not be a problem ... just time consuming.  Once again, MB customer service has been very good.  Hopefully this will fix the problem and the smoker will work correctly.  If not, I'm giving up and buying a WSM.


Edited by SmokingNeophyte - 8/27/12 at 5:55pm
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokingNeophyte View Post

giving up and buying a WSM.

 

Cut your losses and get a WSM.   Of course I may be justa bit bias (I only own weber charcoal products) th_wsmsmile0ly.gif

 

Seriously good luck with cust service....

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