Originally Posted by Marctrees
OK, so I've done 14 hours more Googling, and see the Masterbuilt digitals ?it seems? will do this for me.
I thought, when I first posted, the "digital" was just readouts of air and meat probe temps.
Now, I'm seeing it DOES control the temp.
So, it sounds like all I need.
I did read about Auber controls extensively, and it seems to me they add more control parameters, BUT, from what I understand, the stock Masterbuilts are more than adequate, unless I want to get into fussy fancy programmmed temp ramping, etc. the stock Masterbuilts is all I need.
PLEASE comment on that.
Also, from reading, It seems SOME Masterbuilts are better than others.
I don't mean the size, I mean the auto temp control system.
Something about reliability or accuracy, I read, don't recall.
But, isn't there just ONE (no choice) CURRENT NEW model available???
Yes, different sizes, but same control system.
I do not need large capacity, PLEASE advise if I am on the right track.
Thank you all, Marc
I'd start with an insulated cabinet, digital MES 40 and use the controller it comes with before leaping to the PID.
I would get a Maverick dual probe therm or similar for food and pit temp monitoring from the get go so you can get your pit temp you want at the rack levels your food is on and set the MES accordingly.
I smoke sausages at 150*F the first hour, then 160*F the second hour, then 170*F the third and keep it there till the IT of the sausage gets to your desired temp (155-160*F) or whatever.
I have the Gen 1 Mes 20070311 and in thirty seconds I removed the chip housing/tray with the three screws holding it in place, eliminating metal around the heating element to get shorter heating/cooling cycles. It can be reinstalled in a couple of minutes if you want it back in place but I have never used chips in my Mes. The Gen 1 or Gen (2.5 Bluetooth) Mes units with large oval water pans are what you want not the Gen 2 with the slant drip tray that the baby water pan hangs from.
I use the A-maze-n pellet smoker to generate smoke in the mailbox mod in the pics below.
Chip housing/tray in bottom right corner as installed by Masterbuilt.
Removed three screws in thirty seconds and housing/chip tray.
$15.00 mailbox with 3" hole cut in it with tin snips at top back with 3" vent coupling inserted into mailbox hole and sealed with 700*F RTV silicone. Its strapped to a tomato cage for a stand and coupling is inserted into 3" Mes chip loader opening. Easiest mod! Or
2' extention. Add as many as you want for length to condense heavier volatiles and creosote out of your smoke to get a drier higher quality smoke.
Aluminum 3" dia. Flex pipe
Mailbox bottom mounting holes.
Temporarily covered rear mailbox holes with refrigerator magnets at 3" cut opening end. I ended up sealing them permanently after a month of testing. Plenty of air comes into the mailbox at the door hinge and from front four mailbox mounting holes. No need to drill in the door for air holes unless you want to.
Made a rack to put in the mailbox to elevate the pellet smoker so it's ventilated from underneath. I did this mod primarily for safety reasons since I'm not using it as intended by the manufacturer. Pellets can ignite from drippings being inside the smoker food chamber, and from being too close to the heating element and I benefit IMO with higher quality smoke
Since electric and propane smokers have separate sources for heat and smoke, there's no need to cook the smoke generator with your food. It's just convenient to put the smoke generator in the product chamber. If you have to manage your smoke generator, and it's in your product chamber (because it may or may not stay lit,) or you're done applying smoke to your food, I'd rather open the mailbox than let all the heat out of the smoker.
When I'm done applying smoke I pull out the mailbox mod pipe from the smoker and put the chip loader/dumper in that hole shown in the pic above (laying on the deck), reducing air convection and drying the food. I plugged the chip loader/dumper's three air holes with RTV silicone. Wow! I just thought of an easier idea of putting a large sheet of aluminum foil over the loader hole and using magnets at the corners to hold it there. The exterior of the smoker is hottest at the loader opening so magnets may not be a good idea close to the opening. I have large sheet refrigerator magnets I could use but they would smoke/melt.
The fifteen minutes of cutting the opening in the mailbox, inserting the coupling and sealing it and putting magnets over the unnecessary mounting holes has exponentially increased the quality of my smoked foods.
When I see commercially smoked hams, bacons, Lox etc. just on the Science Channel "How it's Made", it's all piped in smoke. If this smoking method sucked then people at home wouldn't even try it based on reviews let alone on a commercial level.
If I didn't use pellets for smoke, I think burning wood embers would be my first choice of smoke flavor on food in any traditional smoker before chips or chunks on charcoal.