diff between 30" and 40" MES

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bnb, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. bnb

    bnb Fire Starter

    So I have been looking at the 40" MES at sams club and then I saw a 30" MES at homedepot for a lot cheaper. What are the big difference between the two?
  2. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Cu ft of cooking space. Thats about it.

    BUT, I can tell you that, the extra real estate makes it easier to smoke in several ways. Besides just the amount of food, you can cook a full rack of ribs without having to cut or curve or roll one. The gap between shelves is greater, so less likely to be a problem when cooking certain foods. The 30" has had many complaints about the wood chips burning, not sure on this I'm just guessing after reading SMF for 20+ months. The 40" used to be all stainless, but that has changed. With the increase in wattage in both models, how they actually work in the customers backyards remains to be seen, but so far both 30 & 40 inch owners are happy.

    In the past there has been a number of 30" owners opt to buy a 40". I don't recall any 40" owners feeling like they need a 30". Like boats and TVs, bigger is better.

    Having said all that, there are many many very happy 30" owners, and above is not intended to be a knock on them.
  3. denver dave

    denver dave Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    You can never have too much space in your smoker. Once the neighbors and relatives get a taste you will always have company when the beast is smokin. This can be good or it can be bad.[​IMG]
    If you have the money, I would go for the 40".
  4. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What Dude said.
  5. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    Besides what deltadude said the 40'' available from Sam's has a window and light on the inside of the unit. I would like to by a 30'' and due some side by side comparison on smoking times and actual sq feet difference.
  6. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    So the MES 30 and 40 both have the same size heating elements?
  7. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would be sure to check the model # on the 30" to make sure it is the new model and not a left over with the 850 watt element.  That could be why there is a big difference in price.
  8. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    well...this is what my MES 30 says on the back.

    Voltage: 120vac

    Amps:  5.4a

    watts: 650

    Hertz: 60

    MODEL:  20070106

    Serial #:  GA040923

  9. txmike

    txmike Fire Starter

    Last week I picked up the MES 40 w/window. I love it. If you go with the 40" make sure it's 20070710 model. This one has replacable heating element and controller. I paid $300 at Academy; unfortunately Academy does not offer an extended warranty. I think someone stated that Sam's Club offers and extended warranty.
  10. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    MODEL:  20070106 is the old model and to replace the element you have to replace the entire body assembly.

    Model #20070910 is their newest ‘standard’ 30″ electric smoker, and it does allow for easy replacement of just the heating element. It’s hard to find on their website, so just search the web for the model #.

    30″ Electric Smokers
    Old Model #20070106:
    For heating element replacement, you must replace the entire body – and the customer can do this. The cost for the new body is .00 plus shipping and handling.

    Model #20070110: smoker with window and meat probe
    The heating element alone can be replaced by the customer.

    Model #20070910: standard 30″ edition (Newest Model)

    30-inch Electric Digital Smokehouse UPC 0 94428 25980 5 / Stock

    The heating element alone can be replaced by the customer.

    40″ Electric Smokers

    Model #20070710: smoker with window and meat probe

    40-inch Electric Digital Smokehouse with Window UPC 0 94428 26274 4 / Direct Import
    The heating element alone can be replaced by the customer.
  11. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    damn..that stinks.  so this model 30 inch I have  only has a 650 watt heater element?  That sucks

    I guess I am going to hit sams club and buy the new 40 inch. 

  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    If you get the one with the 1200 watt element, then you might have a reason to play with adding a PID.

    A PID wouldn't help anything that is "underpowered", like your 650 watt MES 30, or the MES 40 with the 850 watt.-------IMHO.

  13. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    those are my thought two bearcarver..why the hell would anyone put such a small heating element into a smoker this size.  So...on that note.....could I ADD another 650 watt element to this MES that I have..to take the total watts up to 1300...and then control the extra 650 watt element with the PID to help keep temps more stable?  Couldn't I mount the extra element right through the sidewall of the MES....or does anyone have another small element that would work to mount right through the sidewall?

    I have seen some heating elements where they come in a "straight stick" and then you can bend it to fit your needs.  WHere would I find such a beast?

  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You could do just about anything you want, but why take a small smoker, that barely has enough room for meat, and pack it with heating elements. If I were you, and I wanted to play, I'd get the bigger MES 40, or just build one from scratch. The MES 40 with the 1200 watt element is closer to over-powered than under-powered, so a PID would at least make sense in that one. It sounds like anything you buy will not be satisfactory, and you got your heart set on a PID, so what the heck----build your own. You can get all kinds of help on this forum for building your own.

  15. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    You are lucky you didn't buy a $600.00 Bradley 6 Rack Digital like I did and find out later that they only use a 500 watt element.

    I sold it July 4th and got $350.00 out of it. I had only used it twice.

    When the 1200 watt MES 40" units came out this year, I bought one just as soon as my Sam's Club got one in.  I couldn't be happier than I am with it...  And with the 3 year extra warranty it was still cheaper than the Bradley...
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  16. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    well  I may do just that.  I have advertised my MES 30 inch..and have a couple calls on it this morning.  If I sell it...I'll be getting the MES 40 with 1200 watt heater for sure!

  17. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm sorry I am going to disagree with the statement that the MES 40" is underpowered with a 800 watt element.  For my climate area 800 watts is plenty, provided a few simple procedures are followed.  If you do a heat calc on the BTUs necessary to bring a box to 300º F the size of the MES 40" you will find that 1200 watts is way over power.  Even 800 watts is slightly over power, that is why the 6 rack Bradley is only using a 500 watt, based on simple heat calcs.  The problem is we all don't live in Calif.  Some have to deal with extreme cold, or extreme meat loads, which will require greater BTUs of heat to accomplish the mission.  So Masterbuilt listened to MES owners complaints about recovery time and time to get to set heat time in colder climates.  Rather that up the element by say 200 watts to 1000 they put in the largest element 1200w they could and still have it safely operate on a 15 amp circuit.  Only time will tell if the bigger is better approach works without causing increased unit failures.  What we do know is that everyone who has the newer higher watt units seem to be happy so far.

    For us older unit owners, preheating will make the difference in how the MES not only performs over the whole cook, but improve temp recovery when the door is opened.  In the summer I preheat for 1 hour, when the outdoor ambient starts to drop I go to 2 hours.  If the temps are close to freezing or below, I have preheated as long as 3 hours with the controller set to 270º.  The manual says that preheating isn't necessary, and I tried using the MES without preheating.  But I noticed it took over an hour and sometimes 2 or 3 hours to get up to heat depending on outdoor ambient or size of the load.  I also noticed that after 3 hours of use temp recovery was really fast.  So I concluded that once all the metal is thoroughly heated, temp recovery would be faster.  Normally with preheat recovery is 5-10 minutes instead of 30+ minutes.  Naturally when the outdoor temp is cold it takes longer to thoroughly heat all the metal and insulation.  It's basic physics, heat always goes to cold.  So if you put meat in at the room temp of your kitchen say 75º, and the metal temp is 50º or colder a huge amount of heat is going to whatever is colder, your meat is still cooking but not as efficiently as say in the summer when the heat doesn't have to over come huge amount of heat loss.

    Having said all that, when my older MES 40 heat element connections finally fail, I will rewire with heavier gauge wire and connectors, and either replace the element with a 1000-1200 element, or I will use the 800w and add a 2nd stage 300-400 watt element, that will only be on when the internal temp drops 15º or more. 
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks DD,

    I really didn't explain myself very well.

    My point (above) was actually that I felt a PID would be a waste in a MES 30 with a 650W, and an MES 40 with a 800W, but a PID might be helpful in toning down an MES 40 with a 1200W. I hope that is more accurate.

    I really should not have used the word "underpowered"----More like "Not overpowered enough to need reigning in with a PID".

    Thanks again,

  19. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I have the older 40" The best thing i can see about the 1200W is in recovery times.

     I believe in smoke big or don't smoke. If the MES is plugged in it will be FULL!

     When i put 40 /50 lbs of cold meat in the 40 it takes dangerously long to recover. The 1200 would reduce the recovery time.
  20. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    I don't get it. Even my two slice toaster has more wattage than these things do. My toaster oven even more.

    If I ever went electic, (not very likely) the first thing I'd do is get some elements from a garge sale toaster oven or two or something along those lines and put some balls in the thing. Then I'd add a PID controller to kept temperature under tight control.

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