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New Smoker

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Picked up a 40" Masterbuilt Electric 2.5 Model today. 45 minutes from opening box to final assembly, a little surprised and pleased how every bolt and screw lined up perfectly. I just started the pre-season process and am watching it on my iPad (I hope the app has more features than appears). One thing I have noticed as it is heating up is the attached meat probe (attached to the right hand wall) is reading about 30 degrees higher than the smoker reading. I'll move it a couple of times during this process to monitor for hot spots. I'll be happy to answer any questions about the smoker but will not be throwing any meat at it until Sunday. I have also turned the manuals into PDF's if anyone has an interest. 

 

post #2 of 12

If the meat probe is in the holder it will tend to read higher like on my MES 30.

Probe needs to be suspend in air for better comparison.

While your heating it up , check the probe in boiling water and confirm what it reads.

Should be close to 212 degrees.

 

You will find a lot of useful information on this site. 

Lot of ideas on different foods and ways to prepare them.

 

Have fun and share your results.

 

Larry

post #3 of 12

Good luck with this new model. You're among the first to own one. Thumbs Up Let us know how you like it. The placement of the meat probe for accurate reading is always an issue with Masterbuilts, perhaps with most smokers but reading 30° does seem strange so some troubleshooting is called for. Of course that will change once it's inserted into meat.

 

But then again that's why I use my Maverick ET-733 and don't pay attention to the MES control panel temp display except as a reference.

post #4 of 12

How would I caption that image?

 

"High hopes!"  I had them too.

 

And I hope for your sake it all works out.  I've been struggling with my MES 40 for months now trying to get it all worked out.  My temp controller reads 20+ degree's higher then real internal temp.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post
 

Good luck with this new model. You're among the first to own one. Thumbs Up Let us know how you like it. The placement of the meat probe for accurate reading is always an issue with Masterbuilts, perhaps with most smokers but reading 30° does seem strange so some troubleshooting is called for. Of course that will change once it's inserted into meat.

 

But then again that's why I use my Maverick ET-733 and don't pay attention to the MES control panel temp display except as a reference.


Once the smoker reached 275 degrees the meat probe varied slightly but never more than 8 degrees different. I have the Maverick ET-733 in my Amazon Shopping Cart but have not pulled the trigger. It gets some bad reviews on that site but an awful lot of good ones here.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaellman View Post
 

How would I caption that image?

 

"High hopes!"  I had them too.

 

And I hope for your sake it all works out.  I've been struggling with my MES 40 for months now trying to get it all worked out.  My temp controller reads 20+ degree's higher then real internal temp.


I'm curious as to what you use as your control temperature to determine that the smoker is 20+ degrees off.

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


I'm curious as to what you use as your control temperature to determine that the smoker is 20+ degrees off.

Three different thermometers.  

 

First, Maverick ET-732

Second, Thermoworks ChefAlarm w/ Pro Probe (calibrated at Ice Bath 32')

Third, OXO Chef's Digital leave-in Thermometer.

 

All three were showing a difference of less than 5 degree's when stable and 20 degree's lower then internal probe.

post #8 of 12

 

example of probe placement for testing...

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaellman View Post
 

Three different thermometers.  

 

First, Maverick ET-732

Second, Thermoworks ChefAlarm w/ Pro Probe (calibrated at Ice Bath 32')

Third, OXO Chef's Digital leave-in Thermometer.

 

All three were showing a difference of less than 5 degree's when stable and 20 degree's lower then internal probe.


You have done some serious testing, good info. It's somewhat disappointing to read that so many smokers have such poor temperature controls. Looking at the equipment you used and your reference to the internal probe I'm assuming your testing was done on the internal readings of your food product. Do you also believe that the internal smoker reading is off significantly as well? I moved to an electric smoker from propane just for better temp control. 

post #10 of 12

In attempts not to hijack your thread, my woes of smoker hobby can be found here:  http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/179121/struggling-with-smoking-hobby

 

However, no matter of my issues, congrats on your new smoker and I hope you the best!

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwheels View Post
 


Once the smoker reached 275 degrees the meat probe varied slightly but never more than 8 degrees different. I have the Maverick ET-733 in my Amazon Shopping Cart but have not pulled the trigger. It gets some bad reviews on that site but an awful lot of good ones here.

So you're saying that with the control panel display reading the interior temp as 275° the meat probe read 257°? That's still an issue because if the meat probe is reading eight degrees lower, that's the difference between medium rare and medium which would lead you to continually overcook your food depending on what IT you had targeted.

 

You should turn on the MES without turning on the heating element and do the boiling water test with the meat probe and perhaps the ice water test as well. I have no idea if the temp readings on the new MES units are more accurate than the old ones (which lacked accuracy) but it's always a good idea to have a Maverick ET-733 or ET-732 or some other brand name known for its accuracy just to double check. I also use a really good thermocouple instant read therm as another source for accurate temps for smoking as well as for in the kitchen.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post
 

So you're saying that with the control panel display reading the interior temp as 275° the meat probe read 257°? That's still an issue because if the meat probe is reading eight degrees lower, that's the difference between medium rare and medium which would lead you to continually overcook your food depending on what IT you had targeted.

 

You should turn on the MES without turning on the heating element and do the boiling water test with the meat probe and perhaps the ice water test as well. I have no idea if the temp readings on the new MES units are more accurate than the old ones (which lacked accuracy) but it's always a good idea to have a Maverick ET-733 or ET-732 or some other brand name known for its accuracy just to double check. I also use a really good thermocouple instant read therm as another source for accurate temps for smoking as well as for in the kitchen.

Yes, the chamber stayed within a degree or two of 275 while the meat probe was off by around 8 degrees (267). I have an additional cheap meat probe thermometer that I have used on my old smoker and a very good instant read therm pen. I think I will follow the advice of many of you and move to a Maverick or an iGrill2 to better monitor my smokes. Thanks for your input.

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