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Another Masterbuilt bit the dust - Help, please!!!


Joined Sep 23, 2010
First off, hi to all. I've stumbled upon your site by accident and started researching until now my eyes are about to glaze over.

Problem is, our Masterbuilt electric smoker gave up it's ghost. (Purchased @2 years ago at Sam's). Worked very well, until....

Husband already took out the element after taking some fancy measurements and determination that it's the culprit. I would have hoped that only the connectors are bad, but no such luck.

I understand there is no replacement element available, so what are our options? 

Saw some threads about outfitting a smoker with a hot plate, but I wonder if that contraption will last long, since all the controls are inside and exposed to heat and steam. So, I don't know about that.

Second thought I had was to retrofit the smoker box with some sort of gas burner. Would that work? Husband said that lack of oxygen would thwart that option, but I'm nothing if not persistent until proven wrong :-)

By the way, I just purchased one of those Amazen smoke generators today after reading y'all's glowing reviews. So all I really need is a heat source to be able to do some hot smoking.

If you could steer me towards a workable solution, I'd greatly appreciate it.



Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Mar 24, 2010
I understand there is no replacement element available, so what are our options? 
First off, welcome to the site, Barbara!

Second, I think that it depends on which model of MES you have as to whether or not the heating element can be replaced.  Have you contacted Masterbuilt yet?

Third, if it *can't* be replaced then I'd stick with an electric element for it.  I don't know enough about the controller to know if it would also work with something else, so you might have to get a PID, too, to control it.

You can search through the build threads for info on electric elements and PID's that people here have been successful with if Masterbuilt can't help you.

Best of luck


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined May 1, 2007
The earlier models of the MES do not have replaceable elements... You should contact Masterbuilt Customer Service to see if a new box is available for your model.  They are great people to work with.

Also Welcome to SMF, you should post a little about you and your equipment in the Roll Call Thread.  That way everyone can give you a proper welcome and get to know you...


Joined Sep 23, 2010
Hi again, and many thanks for your replies so far.

Ours is a stainless steel model 20070408, a search for any replacement parts was so far unsuccessful. 

But I think I just found my solution: replacing the burned out  800 Watt element with a 1200 Watt element.here: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/90390/mes-heating-element-mod

Great step-by-step instructions (as far as I can tell as a total layperson).

We're not sure about the wiring upgrade though.

For the time being, I'm looking forward to try out the cold smoke generator I ordered, as this was something I had been missing all along. 100 degrees F plus just doesn't do it for real Black Forest Ham, old fashioned liverwurst, and the like.

Beer-B-Q, will do. 


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 3, 2008
wuerstel  Welcome to SMF!

Your on the right track, there are several companies that offer electric elements that can replace the OEM element.  However you might have to drill a couple of holes or come up with a way to mount the element.

Since you are taking off the back, go ahead and rewire with 12 gauge wire, and beef up the element connectors.

Last but not least is the controller,  since you are doing the other work, you might consider replacing the controller with a PID controller, it is more accurate and has more features depending on how much money you want to spend.  You should be able to restore your MES to better than new condition with higher watt element, beefed up wiring and new controller for about $150-200.  Since your MES is 2 years old and a Sams model, it is therefore all Stainless.  I have the exact same model, and it is still going strong,  did 12 racks of ribs last weekend,  I believe the all stainless model without the window makes a fantastic platform that should last 20 years with some minor maintenance.

You might want to check out this thread for more info on mods and the fixes already mentioned


Smoking Guru
Staff member
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Dec 29, 2009

Welcome to SMF!!!

There are a number of threads on SMF regarding upgrading the heating element in your MES.  You can also purchase a replacement element and bend it to the shape you need.



Meat Mopper
Joined Feb 23, 2010
You can do the upgrade to the heating element and not do the wiring upgrade.(not suggested). Any thing i can do to help?

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