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New MES @ TSC $75

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Went to Tractor Supply to get turnip seed. This is what I left with. I had a 10% off coupon that was begging to be used, it covered our TN tax. I just recently built a mini UDS but for the price I wanted to try this. I've had my eye on the BT40 at sam's but could justify the price when I'm still learning the UDS.


If you have experience with this model, I would appreciate hearing what you have found to be its strength and weaknesses. 




post #2 of 15

All I can tell you right now is that it's an analog model which operates differently from the digital electric models. I think the insides are different, too. But for $75 you can't go wrong.

post #3 of 15
If you wanted VERY precise temperature control, you could always add a PID controller. It'll do pretty good exactly as is, but, like everything in the world, there's always room for improvement. Good buy though!!! Woulda done the same.
post #4 of 15

I've been using mine for almost 3years.  The thermometer is way off and trying to dial in the temp controller knob is almost impossible.

I added a PID controller with Chinese parts from ebay. 

I added a few more 1/2" holes in the bottom to improve air flow

Also added a 3" vent stack since the only exhaust was the poorly sealed door.  The poor venting made meats somewhat bitter because the moisture couldn't be removed

The door now has a silicone seal that I bought from home depot.

I control the temps with the PID and a Maverick ET33? for easy indoor monitoring.



post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Good information. During the seasoning I dropped in my maverick probe and was surprised the door therm seemed to be within 5 to 10 degrees of my calibrated maverick. It is so small though it would be hard to really read it any closer anyway. I have a PID I used in a forge sometime back, I may need to find it. My UDS is fine but I'm hoping this one will be good for times when I can't check as close. Looking forward to trying it with some meat. My neighbor grabbed one as well.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Right now testing a homemade pellet burning tube. I had saved for years the perforated metal tube from working on the hydraulic system on one of my old tractors. Pleased I finally found something to use it for. Seems to be working good. Burned great for a couple of hours in free air and looks like it is happy in the MES. More smoke coming out around the door than the tiny exhaust hole. I wonder if that isn't how it is supposed to breathe. 


I think about 5 hours. Maybe too much smoke?


Edited by damascusmaker - 8/18/15 at 10:21pm
post #7 of 15

That smoke does look to be heavy.


As for that model. My FIL has one and has had some temp control problems. If you stay on top of monitoring it with your Maverick you should be fine. 

post #8 of 15
I used that exact model (purchased from green mountain for $99) for 5 years. Just upgraded to the 2.5 BT version a month ago.

Enjoyed everything I smoked on it . Used an Plug-n-play PID controller (the heating element is 1500W on that model) and an AMNPS.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

What kind of temp control issue have y'all seen from this model? I haven't put any meat on it yet, but so far I'm only seeing about 10 degree swings on my Maverick. Admittedly I haven't monitored it real close. 

post #10 of 15

Since it is controlled by a simple analog dial it isn't very precise. You might set it on what worked previously and end up at a different temp. A PID controller (or close monitoring) is probably the way to go. 

post #11 of 15

Check this thread for answers about that model

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Doing bacon wrapped hotdogs for practice. Filled the pellet tube half way and seem to be getting a more reasonable amount of smoke.


Thanks for the helpful links.





post #13 of 15

Looks good from here 


A full smoker is a happy smoker 


post #14 of 15

I SWEAR I can smell 'em!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

They were great! Wish y'all could have been here to have one or two.

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