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Brand new to smoking....Advice needed

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I am brand new to smoking meat (never done it before) and after doing some research online I am considering buying a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 30 - Digital.

Question...would this be a good smoker for someone just starting out like me or is there a better one to recommend? I am looking for one the is easy-to-use where I just have to plug it in, bring it up to the right temperature, put in the pre-season/marinated meat and then just add wood chips & water at certain times.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated....

Thanks,
Chris
post #2 of 12

That's the one I bought a few months back when I first started too.  It is a great smoker.  I'm glad I got this one instead of the analog version.

I know many have had problems getting smoke with the analog model.

 

Make sure you get the Gen I model if you can  - the one with the digital controls at the top back of the unit, not on the top front.

 

Welcome!

 

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you....
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisw2012 View Post

Hi everyone,

I am brand new to smoking meat (never done it before) and after doing some research online I am considering buying a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 30 - Digital.

Question...would this be a good smoker for someone just starting out like me or is there a better one to recommend? I am looking for one the is easy-to-use where I just have to plug it in, bring it up to the right temperature, put in the pre-season/marinated meat and then just add wood chips & water at certain times.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated....

Thanks,
Chris

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisw2012 View Post

Hi everyone,

I am brand new to smoking meat (never done it before) and after doing some research online I am considering buying a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 30 - Digital.

Question...would this be a good smoker for someone just starting out like me or is there a better one to recommend? I am looking for one the is easy-to-use where I just have to plug it in, bring it up to the right temperature, put in the pre-season/marinated meat and then just add wood chips & water at certain times.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated....

Thanks,
ChrisI own the MES 30 Gen 1, model 20070910 https://masterbuilt.com/30-inch-electric-digital-smokehouse-black-top-control.html. This is the Gen I version but quite a few guys have the Gen II with mixed reviews. I love my smoker but there are a couple of things to be aware of--like keeping two critical sensors on the back wall clean. I think MB makes the best vertical smokers for the price out there. Some guys buy the analog versions, others the propane or dual-fuel gas, whether it's the 30-inch or the 40-inch. I saw the MB also makes a 7-in-1 smoker that is very similar to the Weber Smokey Mountain. Masterbuilt is a great company which stands fully behind their products. There's even a MB guy now posting in the Masterbuilt Resources thread.
 
MB reportedly has an updated MES model coming out soon. You might wait for that or go ahead and buy, in my opinion, the Gen 1 is a great smoker and I highly recommend it. It's very easy to use. Wood chips typically need to be added about every 30-60 minutes, which is why I only use wood pellets with a smoker designed for pellets. I don't use water anymore due to advice I've received here. I foil over the water pan instead. With my next smoke I think I will experiment with water in the pan just to see if the meat comes out any more moist and tender (it's turned out both without water) and if the water has any impact on how long the wood pellets stay lit.
 
After you buy your smoker and are ready to use it you can get more specific "how-to" advice.  
 

Edited by daRicksta - 9/22/14 at 3:53pm
post #5 of 12

If you cannot find a generation 1, then I would recommend passing on the Masterbuilt. Read all you can on this brand within the pages of the electric smoker forum.Some of Masterbuilts smokers have problems.  The Generation 1 seems to be the most reliable. But there are fixes for those problems you will read about. 

post #6 of 12

What do you know about the Generation II of Masterbuilt Electric Smokers? We purchased one and it is defective.  I kinda would like to get another because members here like it while my husband is adamant about returning it without a replacement. 

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyGT View Post
 

What do you know about the Generation II of Masterbuilt Electric Smokers? We purchased one and it is defective.  I kinda would like to get another because members here like it while my husband is adamant about returning it without a replacement. 


You should just return it as you now have a chance to do. The Gen 2 is purported to have problems. 9 out of 10 posts about gen 2 smokers are about  the problems of the Gen 2 smokers. If I had one and had a chance to return it I would. Do a search for Gen 2 Masterbuilts and see for your self.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisw2012 View Post

Hi everyone,

I am brand new to smoking meat (never done it before) and after doing some research online I am considering buying a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 30 - Digital.

Question...would this be a good smoker for someone just starting out like me or is there a better one to recommend? I am looking for one the is easy-to-use where I just have to plug it in, bring it up to the right temperature, put in the pre-season/marinated meat and then just add wood chips & water at certain times.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated....

Thanks,
Chris


 Chris, Since you are just getting into the smoker hobby You might take   PaRRot-HeaD's advice as well as daRicksta advice as Especially daRICKsta advice about the 20070910 unit. It is relatively inexpensive as good smokers go It has a guarantee and good after purchase service. If you look you can find them any where from 139.00 at Wally World when they are on sale or the everyday price from Amazon for under 180.00  delivered. There are others  that are better but be prepared to drop some cash. If you just want to get your feet wet buy the gen1 20070910 smoker. Remember there will be some other things you will need to buy to get started.  jted

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyGT View Post
 

What do you know about the Generation II of Masterbuilt Electric Smokers? We purchased one and it is defective.  I kinda would like to get another because members here like it while my husband is adamant about returning it without a replacement. 

 

Very few members like the Gen #2.

 

I would take it back & get a Gen #1 MES 40. That's the one that most MES owners love. The best Electric smoker available at that low price. IMHO

 

Mine is 4 years old & has never let me down, while turning out Awesome Q.

 

 

Bear

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 

 

Very few members like the Gen #2.

 

I would take it back & get a Gen #1 MES 40. That's the one that most MES owners love. The best Electric smoker available at that low price. IMHO

 

Mine is 4 years old & has never let me down, while turning out Awesome Q.

 

 

Bear


Without question I would have bought an MES 40 if it had been in my budget. But seeing has how it was my first smoker I wanted to start out relatively inexpensive. But there are tradeoffs for me to consider: I like the size of the MES 30 because I can bungee cord it to a hand truck and easily move it between my garage and my front/back yards and also place it atop a sturdy table. I also rarely cook for more than 3 people. On the other hand, the 40 inch would be more than wide enough to handle large beef briskets and racks of spareribs without them pressing against the side walls. But I would need a MB cart to permanently set the MES 40 on top of so I could wheel it around since it would be too big for the hand truck I use. Still, if I had it to do over again with a higher budget I'd buy the 40-inch, as I said at the beginning of this comment.

post #11 of 12

Most new smoker types are folks that want to experience some good Q. After the thrill and experience is over the smoker goes  into  the shed  or garage to only come out once in a while. only you can weigh the need verses budget verses the rate of use. Other things will come into play like how many racks of ribs or the number of buts you want to cook. Most all the smokers will have a max load capacity. You can buy larger electric smokers and even American made large electric smokers. They will cost you a chunk of change but it is all about you and your needs and wants. Isn't most hobby's about your needs verses wants. When I was young my wants were my needs. I am glad I out grew that stage of my life.   I just want you to do you home work and make a good choice. If you buy the wrong smoker you may get frustrated and never experience the feeling of producing great Q.  Jted 

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jted View Post
 

Most new smoker types are folks that want to experience some good Q. After the thrill and experience is over the smoker goes  into  the shed  or garage to only come out once in a while. only you can weigh the need verses budget verses the rate of use. Other things will come into play like how many racks of ribs or the number of buts you want to cook. Most all the smokers will have a max load capacity. You can buy larger electric smokers and even American made large electric smokers. They will cost you a chunk of change but it is all about you and your needs and wants. Isn't most hobby's about your needs verses wants. When I was young my wants were my needs. I am glad I out grew that stage of my life.   I just want you to do you home work and make a good choice. If you buy the wrong smoker you may get frustrated and never experience the feeling of producing great Q.  Jted 


This is a great observation, Jted. For the first year I had my smoker I didn't use it as much as I had planned for different reasons. This past year we had the longest stretch of warm-to-hot sunny weather here in western Washington than we've had in years. I've done a lot more smoking and this year I feel like I finally know what I'm doing. What's great is to have a mental vision of how you want the Q to look and taste and when it turns out exactly that way, you feel like you beat Myron Mixon as grand prize winner of a BBQ competition.

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