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 w
as 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.