Hello, new member but not new to smokers. I have followed the progression from charcoal Brinkman to LP Brinkman to LP Smokevault, to now a new Masterbuilt Electric Sportsman 40 Bluetooth. I am giving the MES40 its trial run this morning and thought I would give a few pictures and impressions so far.
I found the MES40 Sportsman and the optional base easy to unpackage and assemble. That is where I ran into trouble and I may can make things easier on the next purchaser. The instructions to attach the smoker to the base will not work as written. First there is reference to removing two screws on each side from the front bottom of the smoker. There is only one on each side that aligns with the holes in the base. But that is good enough. However neither the original or the ones that come with the base are long enough. You will need to purchase two 6mmx10 bolts 3 to 3.25" long to attach the front of the smoker to the base. In the back the instructions tell you to use the new leveler bolts that came with the base to attach the rear of the smoker. These are too short. However the levelers that came with the smoker itself are long enough. Thread the leveler bolt thru the hole in the base and screw on the adjuster. Then screw the bolt into the bottom of the smoker till the head of the bolt is about a quarter of an inch from being tight. Then using a level on top of the smoker adjust the adjuster down against the top of the base using a 1" open end wrench till the smoker is level. Then hold the adjuster with the wrench and tighten the bolt head into the smoker using a 15/16" socket till all is tight.
I then decided the smoker needed to be more maneuverable and decided to put it on casters. I ordered 3" angle casters from accesscasters.com. In hindsight these would have been much easier to install without the smoker on the base but I wasn't going to remove it again. So I laid it over against a padded work bench and proceeded to complete the install. You will need 1/4x20 1/2" screws and nuts to complete the install. The legs of the base have a foot on the bottom and it will require drilling a 1/2" hole in the bottom of the foot for the caster to mount flush with the foot.
The Bluetooth app on an Android phone works very well, though not quite the range I had hoped for. Inside the house it seems to have a range of about 40-45 feet from the smoker. Outside in line of sight it is 90 feet plus. This is with a Samsung S4 phone. The app is very simple and available on the Google Play Store for free. I understand it is also available for iPhone but have not tried that. Pairing the smoker with the phone was simple. Just start the app and it walks you thru the process. You can easily turn the smoker on and off, adjust temperature and time, and monitor both smoker and meat temperature as well as time remaining.
The new coil, wood tray and water pan design works very well. It was 29 degrees this morning when I turned it on and it took 34 minutes to bring the smoker up to 230 degrees. Obviously my LP Smokevault can do that in about 4 minutes but that isn't necessary for this machine since you can add wood thru the loader without having to open the door and loose heat like the Smokevault. It readily lit the wood and has easily lit the wood each time I have added. There has been no problem maintaining smoke at 230 degree setting. However I do find the glass door a waste since you can not easily see thru it due to smoke and moisture on the glass. I would have preferred the machine have a all stainless insulated door.
So one quick open of the door to let you see the total interior in process. The larger water pan seems to be doing a much better job of catching drippings than the older design. Interior looks surprisingly clean so far. A big chicken and ribs for two. Should be eating ribs for lunch and chicken for supper.
Edited by Skeeterbait - 3/7/15 at 9:40am