Old VS New MES 40

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by lou f, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I am back on the Forum after a few years, since now I am retired and have more time for this. I just purchaced a new MES 40. I had my last one for about 8 years and I smoked it to death. For those of you who are interesed, I figured I would share some comparisons from the old to the new.

    I do not like the new chiptray redesign. I was getting very little smoke at 130-140 Degrees, so I ordered the retro kit.

    The wheels are nice.

    I like the window. You would think it would be hard to keep clean, but I found that if you wipe it down with a wet paper towel after the smoke, it comes clean pretty easily.

    I heard about the temperature disparity so I tried a few things. I put an oven thermometer in the smoker, set it for 250 Deg and checked the temps. When the smoker stabilized at 250 on the readout, the thermometer read 248. Not Bad.

    I am also doing my first butt today. (Sorry, no Q-view this time) I put the meat probe in and also put in another probe from a digital thermometer that has proved accurate over the years. The two probes were about 10 Degrees apart at the start but as the temp approached 160 Deg, they are within 2 degrees apart. Not Bad.

    This is a chart of the two probes, you can see the Butt entering the Plateau:



    After all these years of owing an MES, I still don't get what the purpose of the water tray is. Most professional smokers I see do not have a water tray. I decided to try a little experiment today and smoke my butt without the tray. We shall see.

    Also, I never foiled a butt before, they always seemed to come ot great without it, however in the spirit of trying someting new, I foiled at 160 degrees.

    Well, hope all your smokes are great smokes,

  2. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Welcome Back to SMF, Glad to have you with us.

    This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

    Many of our members have years of experience in smoking meat.  They are more than happy helping Newbies learn the art.

    We have members who cure there own Bacon, Hams, Jerky, Snack Sticks, Make Their own Sausage, etc. if you want to learn,
    this is the place. 

    Don't be afraid to ask questions of them and follow their advice. You won't be sorry, you will be making great Q in no time at all...

    Just remember, when curing your own meats follow the instructions included with the cure to the letter, this is not something to experiment with.  

    Never use more cure no mater if it is Tender Quick or Cure #1 or Cure #2 than the manufacturer says to use, this can be very dangerous.

    Tender Quick and Cure#1 or Cure #2 are not interchangeable, neither Cure #1 interchangeable with Cure #2 or vise versa

    Sign up for Jeff's 5-Day eCourse.   Click Here

    Tips For New Members.
    1. Go into your profile and Under Location put where you are.
    2. City & State or Area & State will do. This will help members when answering your questions.
    3. Go to ROLL CALL thread and tell us a little about Yourself (A Name We Can Call You) and Experience & Equipment.
    4. Do Not Post  your other questions and smokes in the Roll Call Forum.
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    8. When posting about your smokes be sure to post plenty of Qview (Pictures) Our Moto, "No Pics, Didn't Happen".
    9. Get a good Probe Thermometer, Don't Depend on the Built in Thermometer in your Smoker (They are notorious for being off).
    10. A good choice for a remote dual probe thermometer is the Maverick ET-732
    11. Remember, We Always Cook by Temperature and NOT BY TIME...
    12. Don't Take Chances, Always Follow USDA Safety Guidelines When Handling Meat.

    13. If you are wanting to get into curing meat, there are many members here more than happy to help and give good advice.

    14. If you are unsure of a procedure ASK, don't ASSUME, It will make your Smoking experience much more pleasant...
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    [​IMG]    Glad to have you with us!
  4. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Welcome back Lou!

    I recently bought my first MES 40, and so far I really like it.  I put a ceramic tile over the heating element as I read here that it helps even out the temps in the unit, serving somewhat as a deflector.  I think the mass also provides for a heat sink -- although I have no data to support that.  I used the water tray, with water the first time.  Since them I just line it with foil and leave it empty.  I'm not sure that the water adds that much, other than to help stabilize temps, and I think the tile helps with that.  In my WSM I stopped using water and have a clay saucer, and it does the same.

    My temps compared to my thermometers run pretty close, like yours have.  As for the chip tray, I have not used mine at all.  First couple of smokes I used my AMNS, and then I bought the AMNPS which I used for the first time.  I can't see using the chip tray at this point.

    So did yo like the foiled butt compared to the non-foiled?
  5. samaridad

    samaridad Fire Starter

    Thanks for rhe info on the meat probe.
    We would like an update how did your foil work out and no water in the tray.
    Welcome back
  6. hiram

    hiram Fire Starter

    I use the water tray and put my meat in right out of the fridge. The reason being the longer the meat stays moist and doesn't develop a crust the more smoke it absorbs. It naturally takes longer to cook the meat but the extra smoke absorption is worth the trade off. Four hrs of smoke on a butt is enough because it's pretty well absorbed all the smoke it's going to and BB ribs at 2 hrs. The only time I foil wrap a butt is when I FTC for 4 hrs at the end of the cook, the reason being the foiling during the cook softens the bark too much and gives it a braising taste to me and lessons the smoke taste.

    I found the MES probe to be off as much as 12 degrees compared to a digital one but as noted in the other post as the temps climb they come together within 2 degrees. I don't use the chip tray I converted my smoking unit from my Bradley to the MES because I like loading 12 pucks for 4 hrs of smoke and walking away, it's worth the 3.60 to me not to have to fiddle with the chips and temps to get the smoke. I would like to try a AMS and probably will when the the hot smoking model comes on the scene .

    These are my observations and can't be taken for fact, different things work for different people, what works for me might not work for you or you could say I'm full of crap, that's OK none of us is perfect
  7. pote05

    pote05 Meat Mopper

    How does the Ceramic Tile work for you??? Just a Tile bought at a Hardware store or something special???
  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    IT'S HERE!

    A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER is on the market.

    About 100 sold so far

    Check out some of the posts on SMF

    SMF Members get $10 Off

    Use Coupon Code = SMF$10


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