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