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Cabinet Style item created by bmudd14474, May 25, 2010
Pros - Easy to use, not hot to touch
Cons - temp probes not accurate
NOTE this if for Masterbuilt 20070512 40-Inch Front Controller Electric Smoker I bought this through Amazon in the run up to Christmas. Got a great deal on it. It arrived in less than 48 hours and took less than an hour to assemble.
PROBE: Has worked consistently for the month I have had it. But, I am now realizing that it has worked consistently cooler than expected. I have come to believe that both the cabinet probe and the meat probe are estimate the temp by 25F over. Items have been taking longer than expected. Meat is not as tender as expected. I proceeded to use another meat probe thermometer and found out what was happening. When the unit said my brisket was at 190 F, it was actually at 165 F. Until I figured this out, I would sit and wait and wait and wait (Yes, I knew about the wall). I would then kick up the temp of the unit and finish things off in desperation. And it worked.
Lesson learned -- confirm the accuracy of the unit. Use alternative temp measuring devices.
But besides the temp monitoring the unit is great.
Build: Sturdy and solid. The unit is a bit low when it sits on the patio, i think I will build a platform (refuse to pay for one). Really glad I got the 40" and not the 30" I have put whole slabs of ribs on rack, no problem. Whole brisket, no problem, whole salmon filet, no prob.
Cleaning: I have had little issue cleaning. Mostly I take all the parts out, remove large obvious stains/clumps/ grease and then put them in the dish washer on pots and pans. Wiping down the other parts with soapy sponge works great. Remember, it is a smoker, so I am not expecting spotless clean.
Remote control: Remote works as advertised. It is a replica of the control panel. My only complaint and warning is that if you start it up at the smoker itself and then go pick up the remote and it on/off, you will turn the grill off and will need to reprogram cook temp and time. I try to remember to not hit on/off but the light button which then seems to synch the two controllers.
Cooked so far: 2 briskets, 2 beef jerky, i pork butt, pork sausage (2), cheese, olives, salt, ribs (2), ham
Overall : I love my new toy. It produces much better product that I could ever do on my propane grill. I only wish I had a bigger family to share all the goodness.
Pros - Easy to start up, Takes normal chips, and does a good quality job with little effort
Cons - heat element wont keep up temperature in cold weather
Overall I am very pleased with this smoker. It is very easy to use and smokes great food. The heating element does have problems keeping up in cold weather but gets the job done.
Pros - none so far
Cons - Doesnt Work
I bought this smoker on black Friday at Academy on sale for 199.99. I couldn't pass up such a deal. After starting up the prep phase, i set it at 275 for 3 hours like the book said. I walked inside the house came back out 10 minutes later and the LCD screen was off. I clicked a button on the control pad and it beeped and flashed 468. I called masterbuilt and they sent me a new control panel. 2 weeks later the panel finally came in and I started up the prep phase again. after 5 minutes the smoker shut of and would not come back on. I unplugged it and tried everything... NOTHING. I called masterbuilt and they told me to return it to Academy and exchange it for another. I got my new one last night and am planning on trying the prep phase on it this evening. Hopefully it will work and I can use the smoker.
Pros - Looks great
Cons - The digital controller has failed twice and I have been unable to smoke anything. Would not recommend this unit.
The digital controller has failed twice - once when I set it up, the other after they replaced it and I went to use it for the first time. Remote is a good idea but that didn't work either.
Pros - Very easy to set up and use, Wheels provide portability, comes with a remote to adjust temp and time.
Cons - Keeping smoke consistant and even can be difficult.
Overall, this is a great smoker! I have owned my MES 40 for a few weeks now and I have very few complaints.
Out of the package it is very easy to set up and it comes with wheels so you can install it in your home and roll it out back. As soon as I could, I seasoned mine and then put it to use. The remote makes it even easier, however the range of the remote is about 10 feet. Perfect if your just standing around drinking beer. My only complaint about my smoker is the chip tray and loading system. Occasionally, some chips will not burn and it will stop smoking so I have to use something to put into the loading tray and even out the chips in the tray. It doesn't really effect anything, just requires more planning on my part as to when I need to add chips/ even the tray.
I highly recommend this smoker! It has worked like a charm for me everytime and I have enjoyed some very good Q!
Pros - Stainless steal outer cabinet, internal temperature within 4 degrees of setting, probe within in 5 degrees. Doors does not leak.Top exhaust.
Cons - None so far
After FIVE, repeat Five Generation 2, 40" smokers, I finally have what appears to be a very reliable, accurate smoker. Masterbuilt replaced unit after unit of the poorly designed, poor quality 20070512 smokers that failed on so many levels. I was finally advised to forget the Gen 2 units and get Masterbuilt to send the 20070311 model. Best move ever. This one has an all stainless steel cabinet. The controller is mounted in the top rear, maybe not as convenient as the front mount on Gen 2 but so what. This one has a light inside the cabinet. The exhaust vent is on the TOP where it should be. Very important, my AMNPS works in this one. No matter what I did or where I placed it in the Gen 2 it would not stay lit. Todd from A-Maze-n products which makes the AMNPS device, could not get one to work in his Gen 2 either. He also told me to go for the Gen 1 unit and that the Gen 2 is a piece of junk. I have made 2 pork shoulders and 3 St Louis ribs so far. I put the pork shoulder in at 10:00PM, filled the AMNPS, put temp @ 225 degrees and went to bed.The 9 pound shoulder was done by noon. the AMNPS smoked for almost 12 hours. The smoker did everything it was supposed to. Masterbuilt has one of the best customer service department I have ever dealt with. they will work with you and replace parts as needed. Maybe Masterbuilt will come out with a Generation 3 smoker, up the quality, and take the best from Gen 1 and Gen 2 and make a spectacular smoker.
Smokin In Nye
Pros - Set and forget controls
Cons - Smoke at low temps terrible
I have had my MES for about 6 months now, and after adding a pellet burning tray I'm finally in love with it. I had problems getting decent smoke at lower temps but I've heard that's the most common problem with this unit. Using a pellet tray I've been turning out excellent cue. The controller on top is kind of flimsy but works fine, and I mostly rely on the remote anyway. Drip pan at the bottom with drain hole is a pain, if it's not lined up perfectly it clogs easily and drippings get all over the door sill. The light inside is almost useless, unless you're loading or unloading in the dark. Also, I've noticed that the meat probe can be inconsistent, so I expect a 5 degree margin of error and use a manual meat thermometer for accurate internal temps. Hope this feedback helps.
Pros - Easy to use , very nice, seems to hold temperature very well.
Cons - temp probe never worked and wood chip tray lasted less than 15 uses, i sent them an e-mail, lets see how they respond.
see above - model number 20070411
Pros - Easy to use.
Cons - none so far.
Got my Masterbuild electric Smoker at noon and season it ASAP and later that night I made my first spare rib for the next day and BOY where they good!
The remote control is a most up here in the mountains of Maryland.... YES we have mountains in Maryland even if most Marylanders don't know that.
I love grilling and smoking. I'm the BBQ KING in this family trying to teach the grandkids the secrets but it is hard they have their iPods and Game stuff glued to their faced all the time, when they are not stuffing it with food.
The ease to use Masterbuild electric Smoker is that any novice can start using it as long as they can read a recipe and follow them. The internet is full of them and then we have the http://www.smokingmeatforums.com that helps a lot.
WE bought this at QVC and we (read me) Love it. But the others love to eat what comes out from it.
I too, love that I don't have to open to add chips and the remote control let me see the temp in the meat with the probe again without have to open and let out all the heat and smoke.
So here is the final thought to all that are "thinking" to buy one; EASY to use, Easy to use..... Oh did I say it's easy to use this electric smoker from Masterbuild. And everything that comes out from it is heavenly good. You will never forgive yourself that you have not got this one earlier.
SO, let me tell you what you have to do....... GO AND GET IT TODAY!
Pros - Ease of use
Cons - Time will tell
I recently purchased the 40” MBS from Sam’s Club (10OCT13). Sam’s appeared to have the best price when everything was considered.
Here are a few observations regarding my experience with this smoker thus far. Be advised I did read all of the reviews I could find before making this purchase. It actually took me nearly a year to make pull the trigger since I wanted to get more information on the new and improved 40”. I am very particular about most things over $100 and I wanted to improve my chances at success.
Initial observations while unpacking, in my humble opinion MB did as good of a job at securely packaging the smoker as they probably could have. I did have a slight scuff on the outside of the front door of the smoker but overall, great job packing and securing the smoker. I did find a small 2d finish nail inside the smoker and I can’t imagine where that might of come from!
Putting the smoker together was pretty much effortless, as most of the smoker was already assembled. A couple of wheels used to move the smoker (great idea MS), a handle to grasp while moving it, and a few pieces of trim were about it. All screw holes were tapped nicely and secured well.
The initial “break in” for the smoker went as advertised, however, I screwed up on two fronts. First, I missed a piece of packing Styrofoam that melted inside. There is a bunch of packing material inside this stove so take one last look inside before you go into the heating/curing phase. The foam does stink! The second mistake I made when curing the smoker, I had the air vent closed when I finally added wood chips near the end. This limited the effect of the wood curing and it also made the smoke “billow” from the three small vents on the chip “feeder” due to what I will assume was back pressure. I could not understand why it acted like it did until I read something online and the light finally came on in my brain housing at that point. I did have one small “air/smoke leak” at the upper left corner of the doorframe area, but, after curing, the issue has disappeared but has left about a quarter size heat discolor mark.
Based on other reviews I read online, I fired the unit off a day or so later to make sure she still came up to a selected temp, and all worked well. After that test, I also wiped a thin film of pam on the inside and the window, again based on other users indicating it helps in cleanup. Also based on other user reviews, I laid aluminum foil on the lower drip pan and the drip shelf. I have read that flavor gets better with aging but then again, if I can minimize clean up, I am all for it. Putting foil on the pan and shelf were “no harm done” options in my mind…
My overall opinion at this point, I give it 4 stars, I am very pleased. Why not 5? I am doing a brisket and ribs as we speak so lets see if the smoker makes it through this trial with no issues. Outside air temperature in 45 degrees right now so it will be interesting to see how well the smoker maintains the cooking temperature without a lot of effort (225 degrees cooking temperature). Reviews indicate the unit is well insulated so this should validate that claim…
Early indications were that the smoker was cycling the heater fairly often but the wind has picked up some; so I have moved the smoker into the garage out of the wind. Every little bit helps I guess. Thinking about it, I may try to build a wind block /semi-enclosure using insulation board sometime down the road as we always have winds where I live in Colorado… Anyone “been there, done that” yet?
Later the same day… Cooking has been progressing and everything is looking good. I do have a very small amount of residue coming from the lower right corner of the window trim. Not sure what it is as it does not look like “cooking juices”. Wiped off easy enough and suspect it will diminish as the cooker cures. Not a big deal right now. Temperature has stabilized with the heating element coming on at -5 degrees from the set temperature. When smoking has pretty much died down I have closed the air vent down maybe 1/3 and it seems to control the heat loss quite a bit.
As I am cooking a brisket, which I started earlier this morning, the recipe I am using calls for it to go in foil at 165 degrees, followed by another 3-4 hours in the smoker. Timing worked out so that at that point I place the ribs into the unit. I spent probably 1-2 minutes with the door partially open, juggling things around and returning the foil wrapped brisket; during that time I lost quite a bit of heat. It took a good 10 minutes for the unit to get back up to the needed 225 degrees. I have to think of a better routine to minimize that loss. Any suggestions?
The other thing I have discovered is that when the recipe cooking instructions tell you to place a small amount of wood chips in, small means small. First load I tried was roughly a third of the “chip dispenser” which really “took off. The smell was overwhelming and seemed acidic. I ended up using 6-7 chips (literally) at appropriate intervals (when the previous chips appear to stop smoking) and it seemed worked a heck of a lot better than using a larger quantity. For this food, even half a tray load was way too much. I have been doing 3 “cycles” of adding the wood. Not sure what the smoke taste will be using this technique but I will update you in this review when it is all said and done.
By the way, when I did open the smoker to juggle the meat, the aluminum foil has been a real winner; the drippings have created a pretty good layer of junk that would have been tough cleaning off of the bare drip areas. Highly recommend using foil…!
Later the same day… Be advised that the timer is not just a timer per say. When time set on the timer elapses, the cooker shuts down the heating element. This might seem fairly obvious but just to let you know that if you have various cooking cycles going on, such as in my case doing a brisket and ribs, you will have to be prepared to reset the smoker. Next time I will jot down notes regarding cooking times, just to keep myself honest. Another major “ut-O”, my smoker was unknowingly on the same circuit as my large air compressor and I was blowing out my underground yard sprinkler system getting ready for winter since we are having freezing temperatures now. Anyway, “popped” a circuit breaker during that process and it obviously also shutdown the smoker. I’m thinking it was off for a good five, maybe even ten minutes until I checked the smoker and saw it was off.
Finally, meat is done and I can’t wait to check the results. Ribs were excellent but could have used more smoke flavor. Brisket was a little bit of a disappointment; nowhere enough smoke and a little dry in some portions. Guess my 6-7 chip x3 cycle is a failure. I will definitely increase the number of chips next time around but I still like the idea of 3 cycles. Anyone help me out with this one? What has worked best for you in order to get that great smoke taste?
Cleaning…! The foil was a definite winner; I will continue to use this option. PAM, on the grills was a definite winner. I will continue to use this option. I will probably use a little more PAM on the inside window to facilitate cleaning.
Overall, this unit worked as advertised and any issues with it cooking were a result of my ignorance using it. As far as the smoker is concerned it probably rates a 5 star rating, except for the small leak/seepage from the lower right and upper left corner of the glass seal, but they fixed themselves as the oven was broken in. I would recommend this unit and I would buy it again.