This is a reply I shared with Frank who was interested in the Mod for extra racks I am doing (actually have done, just waiting on the extra Racks to get here for the pics so I can show the complete mod from start to finish), it consisted of so much I wanted to share it here in the proper Forum.
This is what I have learned in regards to the MES 30 Sportsman Elite Analog Electric Smoker, so far !
There will be more to come if I get some concrete answers soon in regards to this post.
Also will be following up in this Forum with a Mod for another 3 extra racks pertaining to this model I have, and yes I will be sure to have pics.
I have learned some things about the smokers, particularly the MES 30 models, I saw in the forum where someone was wondering what the difference was between models that have different model #'s but appear to be same, I am not saying this as concrete yet as it would seem documenting it would be kinda hard.
It could be that the diff model #'s are attributed to a specific name model sold to certain retailers, like there is the pro, the elite, and the regular version, I am only speaking of the analog versions as this is where my research has been, but there seems to be some evidence that the different models may have diff rack supports and rack placement within the cabinet.
I will share with you what I know for sure right now and have communicated to Master Built personally, by the way, fantastic people at Master Built Support, and if you're planning on getting parts, they are cheaper there rather than buying at Cabela's and other retailers, but after much research and looking at pics I found the one I wanted, Cabela's had it, in this case local purchase and no shipping made it cheaper and they are running a sale and it only cost me $142 bucks, but when I got to the store, the picture on the box was not the same as the "3 racks expandable to 5", so I wound up having them open the box right there in the store and it was the one I wanted with the expandable number of racks, this is what I communicated to Master Built, I told them with all due respect it was like bait and switch, even outside of that it is sort of false advertising, I made sure they understood I bought it, liked it but this was wrong, she said she was going to address it, the issue I saw for them regarding this is people like me, not really like me because I got them to cut the box open before I bought and then showed them the issue, most people would just assume it was not the right one and keep searching or give up and buy another because they could not find the one they saw and liked for one reason or another, the people at the store were rather confused as well lol, but no attitude or nastiness, just discussion about it at the store and with Master Built on the phone.
There also seems to be a lot of reviews out there with pics of older units, that the racks are totally different ( like the older ones had the 3/4 square mesh racks that would be perfect for meat and or jerky, even veggies ), they are from the 2007 era according to Master Built, and they are no longer manufactured, not only no longer manufactured but a different manufacturer, I saw a thread in here where someone was asking how to get them before I learned this, well they are not made anymore so the only place you will get them would be older used units original racks.
So when you look online, the pic you see if you see one is the picture of 4 racks pretty much evenly spaced to the top, that is not the unit I have, here is one from walmart, same model as mine, but not an elite, but the racks supports are different, it only has 3 racks, and supports for just 3 racks, yet is the same model though not a sportsman elite
And here is one from Bass Pro, same model, is an elite, has 4 racks but there are no other support locations for any more, and they are all the way to the top of the inside of the cabinet, 4 evenly spaced racks
Same model, yet different rack and rack support configuration
The way I differentiated this in the listings, is the total sq in space was larger for the one I have, and it lists on some of the listings the increased area after adding the additional 2 racks, now the one I have has 3 chrome racks, that is another difference, at least with the 4 rack model that I see pics of all over, but the one link shows only 3, the difference there was it was not expandable and was not listed with the optional 2 rack upgrade option since it only had 3 period.
Like I said, the one I have is a 3 rack out of the box, but there are 2 empty spots you can buy the MES 30 Rack Accessory kit to expand it to 5, the rack supports already support 5, you just get 3 out of the box.
And unlike the pics of the 4 rack version ( evenly spaced to the top ), the "only" 3 rack version stops short in the cabinet as well, the racks stop about 2/3's the way up from the bottom in the cabinet also
But the one I have supports support 5 racks from the factory, again you only get 3, and again the racks only go about 2/3's the way up the cabinet inside.
Even the Master Built Site only shows 3 racks, without the extra spots on the supports for the other 2 racks
So I am not sure, but figuring that this is a new model design using the original model number and name, and everyone including Master Built are using the wrong pics on listings or antiquated pics of older models which are still wrong.
All that said, I have completed the Mod, but waiting for my extra 3 racks I ordered from Master Built to come in before I post the Mod, this way I can show start to finish with pics of the process, so people will be able to see the end result which I cannot show without the extra racks.
And again, not sure if everyone that is purchasing a MES 30 Sportsman Elite are getting the same design layout with the ability to add the 2 extra racks, some listings mention the racks and some do not, but that is how I differentiated regarding the one I wanted, I wanted the total of 5 racks with the optional purchase of 2 extra racks by buying the "Rack Accessory Kit" here :
I plan on calling Master Built and discussing this with them again and try and figure out if it is just a new model and no one is updating interior design pics ( which most listings do not show a interior unless it is the incorrect versions different from the one I purchased ) or if this is possibly a special model design for a particular retailer(s).
I should be receiving the racks this week and as soon as they come I will remove the Mod and then take pics, take pics of the Mod Procedure I used, and then post them in the Forum here under Electric Smokers :
I will also copy this post and include it with the Mod post so maybe it could clear up some things for people looking at them, because, if this is what is in the box for all those listings then no one is seeing what is really in the box, rather a incorrect pic of a old model line that is no longer manufactured, or possibly as stated, outside of the fact that the pic on the box is wrong, a special model for some retailers, if you look at one that says "3 racks and upgradeable to 5 racks w/ purchase of Rack Accessory Kit then this will be the same smoker I own and am speaking of regarding my purchase at Cabela's and the upcoming Mod :
I will go ahead and post this in the Forum for under Electric Smokers tonight, maybe get some feedback while I am waiting on those last 3 racks, cannot wait to see it myself with the 8 racks, it will be awesome for Jerky and many other items I would want to make large amounts of, it says it will handle 60 lbs of meat, looking forward to finding a way to see that happen
Edited by N4YNU - 7/31/16 at 9:51pm