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which MES dilemma

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Not new to smoking, but new to electric smokers.

 

I'm going from a propane smoker to a masterbuilt smoker.  I bought a 40in Mes Gen 2 at SAMS for 299.00 Then I found this group and read and read.  It seems like the GEN 2 has lots of problems, but it sure is pretty and big.  I seasoned it but have not made any thing yet.

Then I went to home depot and they had 20071910 30in Gen 1 with glass for 129.99. A really good deal. It is a lot smaller though.  Its just the wife and me so except for a brisket (which are now 4.00 a lb) I should not have any problems with size.  My dilemma is which one to keep, what would you do and why.

Thanks for looking! and keep on smoking on!

post #2 of 14

rop, evening.....  I have the gen 1 30....   It worked well, then I modded the heck out of it....    Dimmer on the element for reducing the wattage and temp control....  modded the exhaust with a channel inside the smoker for more uniform temps inside....  added a mailbox mod to the intake side and use the AMNPS smoke generator from Todd.... and I tell you what, it is a great smoker now....   It was good when I got it...   

I don't know if I have the skills to repair/replace the defective electronic parts inside the 40...   I know I have the skills to bypass the krappy electronics they install....   

 

All that being said.....   If you get a good 40, keep it....  all of them can't be junk....  

 

If you are looking for American made stuff....   go with Sausage Maker... a sponsor on this site...   cost a little more but that would be my choice...... real folks on the phone and replacement parts to boot...      http://www.sausagemaker.com/smokehouses_meatsmokers.aspx

 

Dave

post #3 of 14
Dave, would love to see some pics of all your mods.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ropdyke View Post
 

 My dilemma is which one to keep, what would you do and why.

Thanks for looking! and keep on smoking on!

 

This probably means nothing but...... had I a choice of equally good MES 30/40, I would spend the extra and get the MES40. I love my MES30, I came from using an old Redi-Smok as my electric and thought a MES30 was sooooo big. I currently like my MES30, but I do wish I had that little extra room. I wish I could cook a whole rack of ribs instead of cutting in half. You'll get better circulation in a larger box. A whole brisket instead of trimming to get it in there. Yep, I'd rather spend the money for a big one. The more you learn the more you'll want to do and something's take room.

 

Personally the glass window to me would be just fluff, its something to clean.

 

My opinion, if I had the choice of equals, I would definitely take the MES40 and spend the extra for the room. if you don't get the 40, I hope you don't look back and gripe like me.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by moses View Post

Dave, would love to see some pics of all your mods.

Moses...  Well ain't that something....   I opened the reply box, clicked on "loading a file" and it takes me to some cloud krap and sky drive in the "NEW and maybe not so wonderful MSN 8.1"...  

Now I have to figure how to load stuff again....   Just got it up and running today...

 

Try searching MES mods...  something should pop up...  Sorry I can't help you out....

 

Dave

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post
 

Moses...  Well ain't that something....   I opened the reply box, clicked on "loading a file" and it takes me to some cloud krap and sky drive in the "NEW and maybe not so wonderful MSN 8.1"...  

Now I have to figure how to load stuff again....   Just got it up and running today...

 

Try searching MES mods...  something should pop up...  Sorry I can't help you out....

 

Dave

 

ROFLMAO! They caught me this week with the new and improved IE 11. Loads of changes, was at some site this week that said it didn't recognize my Mozilla 11..... It auto fixes my spelling which chaps my arse because if I want to use my words and it doesn't I have to go back and re-do the spelling.

 

I have been turning in my bugs to Budd, then learned to send 'em to the bug report. LOL

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the replies.  i don't have any problems spending the money for the 40in, my biggest concern is the 40in has lots of problems.  Mine seems to be ok, but with reading about some catching on fir, shocking people, and inconsitante temps I am not sure if its a good idea to keep the 40in.  I do understand every company has lemons.  Maybe someone who has the 40 could speak up.

 

Also where can I find all the mods for the 30in.

 

Thanks in advance

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ropdyke View Post
 

thanks for all the replies.  i don't have any problems spending the money for the 40in, my biggest concern is the 40in has lots of problems.  Mine seems to be ok, but with reading about some catching on fir, shocking people, and inconsitante temps I am not sure if its a good idea to keep the 40in.  I do understand every company has lemons.  Maybe someone who has the 40 could speak up.

 

Also where can I find all the mods for the 30in.

 

Thanks in advance


I have the 40 and the 30. The 40 has some cold spots and the temp ga on mine is about 20 degrees off. They moved the exhaust port from the top to the side which I dont like. I sometimes use a very small fan 3-4 feet away from the intake to make it draw on colder smokes.What I do like is the size of the cooking chamber. Over all it is a good unit and I have had mine for 2 yrs now with no problems. It even got blown over by high winds and landed on concrete and it is still working.

 

Now for the 30...rock solid good unit. smaller cooking chamber but very even temp throughout. Lightweight. If I am doing a roast or small batches of something, I usually use the smaller one.,but the 30 is limited in size. With both you can cook in one and use the other as a warming tray to hold all the food till the guest arrive, (ive done this several times) Works good for parties and get togethers.

post #9 of 14

Just got into smoking about a year ago found MES at LOWES mispriced jump on it for $79.99. So far I have cooked some Italian sausage, chicken breast, brisket, and some burgers. Everything has worked out well, now I am going for a turkey for the office. I saw the recipe Jeff put out with the bacon butter sounds perfect any suggestions?

post #10 of 14

A golfer can carry ?13? clubs. Why? Not every club works in every situation. :xrocker: 

 

However, if you don't want / don't have room for two smokers or :wife:

 

Like you it's just the wife and me. I had a MES-30 that worked very well. My only mod was to flatten a couple of aluminum pans and lay them on the chip box to deflect some heat and smoke into the chamber instead of sending the smoke and heat straight up to the vent. Many are the good meals I smoked. But every brisket laid on the walls ... and I wanted to learn to do brisket. So I bought an MES-40 Model 20070512 and gave the MES-30 to my son. He smokes with it every other week or so. Great box. However I have nephew who never has quite learned to deal with his MES-30. It may be a consistency issue with MES production.

 

Smokers are like girls. They're all different, and you have to learn them to love them (oh dear, I could get in trouble for this ...). My new MES-40 is taking a bit of learning. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/151864/mes-40-model-20070512-temperature-problems It looks like I have the temperature issue under control. I'm on the road again so I won't do a major (12 hour or so) smoke again until Thanksgiving. I could be mistaken. Next up for me, insulating the heat radiator that doubles as the glass window. I'll keep updating the conversation as I make progress.

 

What I like about my MES-40:

 

1. The heat source/chip tray is opposite the vent.

2. I've never used the water pan (in either smoker) so I put my AMNPS in that space for my long smokes. For short smokes (1-2 hours) I use the chip tray. 

3. Briskets don't lay on the walls.

 

The cost of the controller isn't a differentiator for me as I planned to change the MES-30 (had I kept it) to PID control anyway.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Holyfeld;

 

Thanks for that very descriptive reply.  One question, not sure what brisket lays on the wall means.  Please help me out.

Thanks!.  

  p.s also the mod you made directing heat and smoke do you have any pictures or a link.  sounds good.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ropdyke View Post
 

Holyfeld;

 

Thanks for that very descriptive reply.  One question, not sure what brisket lays on the wall means. 

 

p.s also the mod you made directing heat and smoke do you have any pictures or a link.  sounds good.

 

"lays on the walls" means when using the MES-30, the length of the brisket was longer than the shelf. Even when I purchased briskets under 10# the ends the the brisket would curl up with the ends resting on the sides of the MES-30. Do let me say I was smoking packers. It's possible you might be able to find flats shorter. A way to find out would be to go to Sam's, measure the length of a flat, and see if it fits in the dimensions of an MES-30.

 

My MES-30 had the exhaust port directly above the heater/chip box. Thinking about it, the shortest direction for the heat and smoke to escape is straight up. If you search on "mes-30 temperature mod" you'll find many suggestions on how to even out the temperature in the smoking chamber. Some people used various tiles, some different types of metal (and some of those with holes drilled in them). As for my mod, it was a lazy man's way of implementing the diversion principle. Probably not the best engineered solution, but it worked for me. I literally flattened two 12x9 aluminum pans (great for braising pork butt). It looked like:

 

I knew I was aiming at an MES-40 so I didn't spend too much effort "getting this right".

 

Hope this helps.

post #13 of 14

For what it is worth, I have 2 of the MES 40's. Both are working. The older unit, 750 watts, is the one I use the most. The reason for that is that the heating element

has to work longer and harder to keep the temp in my cooking range with respect to ambient temp. That produces more smoke over time. The other unit, 1200 watts,

is being used for hanging country hams after curing. That seems to work really well. When it gets cold here in North Carolina, I will switch units for cooking.

(the ham will be sliced and packed in the freezer before then)

 

I DID drill out the rivets on the back of the older unit and replaced some wiring based on the experiences of others.

I have not had any problems with my units. Great ribs, chicken, salmon, and pork butts.

hope this helps.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies and help!  What a great group of people!

 

Well after reading everything and my own testing.  My MES 30 was more accurate with my thermometer was less then 10 degree's off from the smoker.  The top right was maybe 15 degrees off.  I put a 12x12 in tile behind the wood box and that helped.  The 40 mes was way of.  It also was 200.00 more.  I also have a vertical gas smoker if I did more.  I did 2 chickens and a turkey Brest and all 3 came out really good.  The turkey breast had a better smoke flavor, that I never got from the gas smoker, ever.  Thanks for everbodys help.  I hope I made the right decision .  Its too bad that the new mes 40 had too many problems.  I think when spending over 300.00 I should only have to mod a little and not have to send a lot of extra money.

 

Thank you all.