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MES 30" Blues

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
30" MES #20070910
I'm not absolutely sure this is the EXACT model I own, but it looks exactly like it in every detail.

I've had my MES a little over three years.Right after the warranty expired, the digital controller malfunctioned so I had to order a new one.
 
Last Friday, I was cooking two Boston Butts. I had the temp set at 240, after about 5 hours, I had to make a trip to the store to pick up more suppliers for a pot luck we were having at our local Sheriff department that night, The internal temp of the meats were at 168, so, just in case, I cut the temperature down to 195 so they wouldn't accidentally burn them while I was away.
 
When I got back, the controller was still at 195, but the temps on the meat had dropped to 154. I was running out of time, so I ran the temp up to 230. A half-hour later, the temp was at 151.
 
I opened the smoker and the wire shelves were slightly warm to the touch, but the temp on the controller was still at 250.
 
I took the meat out and wrapped it. An hour later, It wasn't quite tender enough to  pull, but it was a hit at the party anyway. They ate everything but the bone. Good thing, because there were 40 people there and the only other meat brought was some dry, cold, Walmart fried chicken. No offense Walmart, but your chicken sucks.

I don't know whether the controller is at fault, or the heating elements, but the rubber at the top of the door has a small gap (not enough to let very much heat escape) but I probably need to replace it too.
 
I think it's time to buy another smoker. All in all I have been happy with the MES. but I am cooking more now and I think I need something more reliable. Except for the few problems I have had, I like the way the MES cooks.
 
I started reading some Masterbuilt reviews on their FaceBook page and I'm having second thoughts.
 
I can't justify $4K for a decent smoker, but I fear Masterbuilt have advanced past their level of competency. I certainly want something that will last for more than three years without replacing costly parts.
 
I want something that seals tight. I live in the country and if there is one crack anywhere, the dirt daubers will get in there a fill it up with mud.
 
I prefer the electric smokers because they hold a constant temperature and you don't have to deal with fire or storing wood. The chip tray on the MES worked great. I don't mind spending in the neighborhood of $1K, but really, it's just a hobby for me.
 
Saturday, I had another party to cook for, so I cooked two racks of ribs and a drunk chicken using Jeff's rub on a stainless steel propane crematorium. It has five or six burners on it, and using only one, if you try to get the temp below 275 the burner goes out.
 
Everything I learned about outdoor cooking, I learned from Jeff. BTW, buy his book BEFORE you buy your smoker, because it's the only resource you need to learn how to cook and smoke meat.I know it's pricey. These days you rarely get what you pay for, but I'll make an exception for this book.
Bill Scott
 
post #2 of 13
Check out the Smokin It electrics. Lots of folks really happy with them and a nice value for the money. I've had nothing but quality issues with my masterbuilt 40 since december. They are currently sending me a fourth one (that's right 4th) as these things just have serious electronics issues. Also have you considered a pellet muncher?
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Geerock. Just ordered the Smokin-It Model #4 Big Daddy. Thanks for the lead.

 

By the way. Finally got a response from Masterbuilt. They said the heating element has gone bad and cannot be fixed. They offered to sell me a new unit for $129 + Shipping and Handling!!! Is that great customer service or what? th_violent5.gifThat thing is headed for the land fill. I'll hang onto the little control unit in case someone is looking for one. I don't think I will recommend Masterbuilt anymore. Some of these guys just haven't realized the power of the Internet yet. Oh well, you get what you pay for I suppose.

post #4 of 13

Just a thought but you could always use it for cold smoking now if you have room to keep it...

post #5 of 13
Damn Bill, I didn't know they had a model 4 yet. Knew they were considering putting a big boy out there but didn't know it was available yet. Very nice size for the money. Best of luck.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Cold smoking. Never thought about that, but how would you get the smoke into it? Do you suppose through that little chip door? Thanks, Smoking B, never thought of that.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've been looking for a long time. I was even looking about financing something like that Little Red Smokehouse, but my wife went ballistic over me spending that much money on 'a smoker',  so I had to figure out a way of getting this one past her.

 

I found a website where a guy built one for $250, using 48 cinder blocks, 3 pieces of 16 gauge steel, a sheet of 4' by 80" expanded metal and a big pile of sand to make a 7' by 5' platform to sit it on. Then I took her out into the backyard and showed her my plans. Before I got halfway though the list, she whipped out her checkbook faster than Wyatt Earp at the OK Corral.

 

Selling is easy if you know what your customer doesn't want. sausage.gif

 

Bill Scott

post #8 of 13
Bill
Better not let her see that last post. You'll be sleeping with the smoker. Anyway.... a nice rack of ribs and she's gonna love you again.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Scott View Post

Cold smoking. Never thought about that, but how would you get the smoke into it? Do you suppose through that little chip door? Thanks, Smoking B, never thought of that.

The AMPNS works great as a cold smoke generator...$40 toy I use all the time
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks Smoke-Inator.

 

Don't worry Geerock, this is one place she will never look. LOL!

post #11 of 13
I'd hang onto it for a cold smoker, add the AMNPS and you are in business - if you have the room for it.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

The old Masterbuilt has been on my back porch for years. This new one is going into the garage. I'm tired of scraping off the dirt dauber nest. I will put the old Masterbuilt in there too. I have one of those ancient cast iron smokers. I have no idea how old it is. It had flowers in it when I  bought this house 7 years ago. I'm thinking about using that as a firebox and feeding the heat into the old Masterbuilt through the wood chip port, I've got a welder friend who will help me. It'll be fun seeing what happens.

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Scott View Post

The old Masterbuilt has been on my back porch for years. This new one is going into the garage. I'm tired of scraping off the dirt dauber nest. I will put the old Masterbuilt in there too. I have one of those ancient cast iron smokers. I have no idea how old it is. It had flowers in it when I  bought this house 7 years ago. I'm thinking about using that as a firebox and feeding the heat into the old Masterbuilt through the wood chip port, I've got a welder friend who will help me. It'll be fun seeing what happens.

 

If you go that route make sure you show us some pics - I'd be interested in seeing how it turns out  thumb1.gif  Just make sure you don't add much heat or you won't be cold smoking...

 

If you decide not to go that route an AMNPS will work great as already said by others...

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