New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Which smoker to buy - Page 2

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQWillie View Post
 

I've had my 20070910 for about 3 years now. After the first year I rewired her to accept a home brewed PID. I also use the A-Maze-N. Can't beat that combination. I cook small because it's just me and the wife. I added a Mav 733 to monitor temps. It's pretty much a set and forget now. 

 

I started off with a home brew stick burner that I used for years and it turned out some damn decent BBQ but boy was it some work. As I got a little older I need more time for my wife and family so I went to a Weber Smokey Mountain and a Digi-Q, that was nice. Frankly that's the best setup you can ask for when you measure bang for the buck. Turned out some awesome Q. I still have that setup. I have also owed a couple of Backwoods smokers. I love those things they make some yummy Q, but they are a lot of work.

 

Now I'm old and staying up all night tending a fire is just not in the cards so I went electric. I wanted to get my feet wet without investing a whole lot of money. I happened upon a yard sale in the little town of Holliston, MA . There sat a 20070910 new, in original box, unopened. Guy said his son bought it and never used it and it was cluttering up his garage and he wanted it gone. I offered him $10 and he said "Haul it off". I threw it in the back of my Jeep and headed home. Best $10 I ever spent. I spent the next year learning how to cook on it. I was lucky because I had 3 decades of experience smoking meat to fall back on so the learning curve wasn't all that steep. I quickly learned the cons of the MES and how to overcome them. A mod here, a mod there, it adds up. I was really disgusted with the controller so I researched and built my first PID. That did the trick. Now I just needed to get the smoke right. That chip tray just didn't cut it. Then I read about the A-MAZE-N. I could have built one of those, it's pretty simple but those folks worked hard to bring that product to market they deserved a little support. So I bought one. Well that was the finish needed to make a decent electric smoker. 2 years down the road with the mods and I'm loving it. It sits on a enclosed back porch vented to outside and I cook year round. It gets a little cold in Winter but the MES has enough insulation that the cold weather doesn't bother it. 

 

My wife loves ribs and I've learned how to trim them so they fit in that tiny cooker. I give her, her fall off the bone ribs, with my special rub (she likes it with a pop) and my dipping sauce on the side.. Happy Wife, Happy Life. I'm a brisket person and I can trim a brisket to fit. Plus I get leftovers which I vac and freeze. I'm happy and I get to sleep through the night.

 

Moral of the story is it doesn't matter what your using to smoke your meats. What matters is your experience in smoking meat. It ain't the paintbrush, it's the artist. So try as many different methods that you can. Learn from each one.

Love your story and your moral, Willie. I've had the same smoker for over 5 years now. No mods because I'm not as adept as you and some other but I've learned to make my little guy--as I call my MES 30--turned out some incredible Q. The story of how you found and how little you paid for yours is funny. I paid quite a bit more for mine on Amazon because my wife and I rarely go to yard or garage sales. I'd never smoked before but always wanted to. So, from reading cookbooks and online smoking articles and recipes, watching some videos, and after finding SMF, I learned tips and techniques that have helped me become a pretty good home smoker. With almost every smoke I try to do an experiment to learn from. I found out this past week that you don't need to wrap a whole beef brisket for it to turn out moist and juicy with nice bark. My family also loves the smoked foods I bring to the table. After winning a beef jerky making kit in one of A-MAZE-N's monthly drawings, I've been working on turning out professional-tasting teriyaki beef jerky. It's still a work in progress. Todd and Rhonda Johnson, the company owners, are wonderful people who provide among the best customer service I've ever experienced. They do indeed deserve our support and that's why I buy wood pellets and other smoking accessories exclusively from them. 

 

What amazes me about that little MES 30 is that you can turn out Q so good that you no longer have to go or order out BBQ at some phony BBQ franchise place. There are times I'd like to have a larger smoker so I wouldn't have to slice a whole brisket in two to make it fit inside, or so long racks of pork ribs wouldn't touch the walls before they shrink down during smoking, but this little guy works great and I've learned tons and upped my smoking game exponentially by cooking with it. I just smoked a whole beef brisket. Like you, I'm too old to stay up all night babysitting the smoke. But I started the point at 11 am last Sunday, went to bed at 10 pm that night fully trusting my MES 30 to carry on well thru the night, and just happened to wake up at 5:30 am the next morning when the brisket point had been cooked to perfection. I think those of us with a talent and love for smoking are rewarded with good luck. 

 

I don't know if there's an art to smoking, but an argument can be made for it. To me, it's a skill, an intrinsic ability to make a number of decisions throughout the smoke to produce great food. Yes, when you have the MES 20 set up right, it IS set it and forget it. But that's not quite right, is it? There's always a series of little things to pay attention to and to do. It's not a labor intensive as a stick burner but you have to monitor the cook, which I do with my Maverick ET-733. And Willie, maybe I'm biased but when my smoking is on-point, I'll put my smoked pork ribs or brisket or turkey breast against any smoker's--pro or not (OK, I tasted some St. Louis ribs at a BBQ competition I'll never be able to match. Still the best I've ever had). Someday my beef jerky and smoked cheeses will be up there too. They're sure getting closer. And it's all so much fun. 

post #22 of 34
Thread Starter 
Pulled the trigger on an MES30 with the digital controller. My local Walmart was running a deal to promote their "buy online, pick up in store" campaign so they knocked $20 off the already sale price. Tax and all I paid about $140. Seasoning her up now with a Yuengling in my hand. Life is good.
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRev46 View Post

Pulled the trigger on an MES30 with the digital controller. My local Walmart was running a deal to promote their "buy online, pick up in store" campaign so they knocked $20 off the already sale price. Tax and all I paid about $140. Seasoning her up now with a Yuengling in my hand. Life is good.

Most guys would christen the smoker with the beer, not season with it :beercheer: Which MES 30 did you buy? $140 is a great price. 

post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 
I got the 20070910. Ran it at 270 for about 4 hours last night. Seems to work as it should. I do like the fact that my AMPS slides right in and works great with it.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRev46 View Post

I got the 20070910. Ran it at 270 for about 4 hours last night. Seems to work as it should. I do like the fact that my AMPS slides right in and works great with it.

For $140? Outstanding. You chose the right model, the same one I own. I didn't have your patience so I paid $190 for mine off Amazon over 5 years ago. Don't know if you read my other posts, but over that time I only had to replace the controller once (not sure if I'll ever switch to an Auber PID) and as of last week it's working like a champ.  

post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
I have an Auber dual probe on my big smoker already. I figure if the controller goes out on the new smoker, I'll just buy a couple new thermocouples and move the Auber back and forth between the two. It can't be too difficult to just wire the heating element direct to a plug.
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRev46 View Post

I have an Auber dual probe on my big smoker already. I figure if the controller goes out on the new smoker, I'll just buy a couple new thermocouples and move the Auber back and forth between the two. It can't be too difficult to just wire the heating element direct to a plug.

I'd need to look at a few how-to videos to do that. I was never very good with doing that kind of stuff. That's why I opted for the replacement MES controller. 

post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post
 

I'd need to look at a few how-to videos to do that. I was never very good with doing that kind of stuff. That's why I opted for the replacement MES controller. 

 

Your post helped me get off my butt and make a rewire post like I had mentioned I would a while back.  I had some time so here you go.  I hope it is useful and can be easily followed :)

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/267069/mes-rewire-simple-guide-no-back-removal-needed

post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TallBM View Post
 

 

Your post helped me get off my butt and make a rewire post like I had mentioned I would a while back.  I had some time so here you go.  I hope it is useful and can be easily followed :)

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/267069/mes-rewire-simple-guide-no-back-removal-needed

 

 

Great Job on the write-up!

post #30 of 34
http://www.bbqfocus.com/masterbuilt-20070910-30-electric-smoker
post #31 of 34
My $.02 is to take a look at Craigslist and see if you can find a cookshack. I was able to snag a SM 008 (current model is SM 009) for $160. These things are built well, have relatively few issues and work real well for an electric. Doesn't need a single mod and I'd really efficient with chunks. I don't use mine as much any more, but plan to take it with me next month on a fishing trip to cook for 8 people. It will fit 4 butts easy and takes up less space than most other electrics I've seen.

May take some time for one to pop up, but they are worth it if you can find one.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TallBM View Post
 

 

Your post helped me get off my butt and make a rewire post like I had mentioned I would a while back.  I had some time so here you go.  I hope it is useful and can be easily followed :)

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/267069/mes-rewire-simple-guide-no-back-removal-needed

This looks really helpful. I'm going to set some time aside to study it. I think I already have some of the required tools, and Lowe's is just up the road for what I'll need to buy. 

post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQWillie View Post
 

 

 

Great Job on the write-up!

Thanks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post
 

This looks really helpful. I'm going to set some time aside to study it. I think I already have some of the required tools, and Lowe's is just up the road for what I'll need to buy. 

 

I hope it helps you out. The rewire is actually quite a simple job.  The pain in the butt is having to pull the back off to get to the saftey Rollout Limit Switch to replace those connectors with Hi Temp Stainless steel ones.  Changing the heating element connectors is simple due to there being a panel, but most often there is no panel for the rollout limit switch.

 

Best of luck and if you have any questions feel free to ask :)

post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TroyO View Post

I'll let you know how it goes... I've got that smoker and a PID kit and AMZNPS on the way. It will take some tinkering but I couldn't find anything else for ~$200 that checked all my "boxes".

I've been doing a lot of research into using the AMNPS with that smoker (as it's the one I have) after about 5 years of use, my analog controller went out - going to be getting a replacement for that from masterbuilt - they might have some flaws, but for the most part, their customer service is really pretty good.

 

as for the smoker itself - mine held temperature well (it's not got a windbreak, but it's in a kinda sheltered spot) and the going up to (manual says) 400F is great for doing baked stuff, you can get a bit of smoke flavor. tips for use, though - take out the chip tray and water pan. the water pan doesn't hold enough water to make a difference, and the chip tray is ridiculously small. (20 minutes or so) nab a 9x13 stainless steel cake pan and an extra couple of racks - slide one in where the chip/water pan rack goes, and set the other one on top of that rack holder. drop the cake pan on the rack for a drip tray - it doesn't interfere with the heat at all.

 

(according to the research.. will need testing) but apparently for using the amnps you're going to want to pull the puny little drip pan underneath the unit and that'll allow you enough airflow to keep the amnps to keep going without snuffing itself. 

 

also, for the amnps - make sure you've got a nice 'cigar-type' cherry burning in the end. some guys actually use a little hunk of charcoal to light first and help the thing burn. you can find a lot of videos on youtube (several done by forum members) that show the best ways of lighting it. (it's actually sold me on one as well, but I might go with a tube rather than the tray, because those work in higher elevations/lower oxygen environments, which, unmodified, the 20070210 could wind up being.) just don't let anything drip on it or it'll go out.

 

if you're using it for a camp oven, just don't run any smoke in it, and your stuff still comes out with a nice wood fired flavor

 

for ~200$, you've gotten a pretty good smoker (with only a bit of tweaking) and with you getting that PID, you're gonna have a good little setup. it might not be insulated, but I've done smoking in the winter (granted, it is texas. but still, freezing is freezing) and until my controller failed, had no problems with it holding temp

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Electric Smokers