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Which MES to buy?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey gang. Been doing some research on MES electric smokers based on their popularity on this forum. Currently I have a BGE that I use infrequently. It's a great unit but the time required for set up and tending limit my use of it. Looking for something a little, well, less clingy. The idea of an electric smoker intrigues me. Looked at "upper" end brands like Yoder but not convinced my BBQ game justifies a $1500 purchase. I think I woud smoke some more if I didnt have to work so hard!

The problem is that there seems to be a mind numbing number of MES smokers out there. I just looked through Texascajun's thread on the model #s and I think I threw a clot.

Other than the fact that it looks like the MES can knock out some good BBQ, the price point is appealing. Here is the question, what's the group's consensus on the best MES offering based on functionality, dependability, and price point? That might be the top of the line unit, and maye not. Just looking to get in at the right angle if you know what I mean. No. I am not a finance guy. Just channeling Gordon Gecko in Wall Street.

Any advice you can offer woud be great. Appreciate the help.


Jack.
post #2 of 8
I have the 30" Gen 1 model with the stainless steel front and window. I use the AMNPS all the time now as well for hot and cold smokes.

My only regret is I wish I had the 40" for more room.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
About 15 pages deep on the MES owners thread. Seems like Gen 1 has a bunch of loyal supporters. Have the AMNPS too. Thanks Catch.
post #4 of 8

For a bit less than the cost of a MES, you can purchase a stoker (like the Pitmaster IQ-120), and make your Egg very un-clingy. 

That said, I have a MES 40 Gen II, with the mailbox mod and AmazeN pellet tray and pellet tube.  I also have a WSM-14.5 and a mini-WSM which I sometimes use a stoker with it.  Both approaches make smoking as hands-free as possible.  I like the flavor of wood/charcoal smoke a bit more than electric for beef and pulled pork.  For poultry, the electric rocks. 

post #5 of 8
I have a 1st gen 30. Only problem is the wires burning off the element.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Addertooth, I have given some though to trying to salvage my BGE use. Keeping the egg at a specific temperature is actually pretty easy. The harder part for me has been smoke management. Getting the right amount, for the right duration, and right type of smoke has been the real challenge. Sure it's operator error but it is what it is.
post #7 of 8

With a BGE, I would be very tempted to use the minion method, with a few fist-sized chunks of wood just outside the central spot where hot coals are dumped at start time.  Wood makes the "best" smoke with a high heat.  If you start with too many hot coals, but have to throttle them down by cutting off air, you end up with a large-cool fire, which can produce less thin-blue smoke, and more billowing-white smoke.  If you use sticks of wood, as versus chunks, you can end up with part of the stick being at the right temperature to make thin-blue smoke, but further down the stick (away from the hotter coals), producing white smoke.  The BGE is an awesome cooker, but like most tools, requires significant familiarity to get the most out of it.  Good luck with your choices; there are no wrong answers.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Good advice Addertooth. You hit the nail on the head. My smoke management with the BGE stinks. Literally. Too much harsh smoke. The reality is that I don't smoke often enough to effectively manage the BGE. When I do get a chance, I'd rather have predictably "good" results from an electric smoker, rather then a less predictable chance at "better" results. Appreciate your suggestion re fist sized wood. Will definitely give it a shot before throwing in the towel.
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