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Best Electric smoker

ffpickle

Newbie
3
10
Joined Sep 8, 2015
I know Masterbuilt is the one to buy. BUT is there any model I should shy away from?? We are fix to buy one from Bass Pro Shop or Cabelas. What do yall recommend?? My budget around 250. Thank for your help
 

Kevin DeShazo

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
568
2,026
Joined Nov 7, 2018
My vote is the MES, I have a 40" that I love. Also if you have an Academy near ya, take a look there.
 

Lonzinomaker

Meat Mopper
281
110
Joined Mar 8, 2018
Look for a used MES to find out if you really like using an electric. And if you can find a used Cookshack, Smokin Tex or Smokin-It for under $200-300 (depending on model) -jump on it.

The Smokin-It smokers are more than your $250 price range, but they are also twice as nice as the MES. I could never get good ribs in my MES, but my #1 and #3 Smokin-It smokers make the best ribs my friends have ever had.
 

ravenclan

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
657
333
Joined Sep 8, 2009
I wouldn't say the best but it is the most reliable. No moving parts and minimum electric parts. Mine lasted 15 years of hard smoking and more over night smokes then I can count or remember.
1612991187848.png
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,193
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Joined Dec 30, 2016
I know Masterbuilt is the one to buy. BUT is there any model I should shy away from?? We are fix to buy one from Bass Pro Shop or Cabelas. What do yall recommend?? My budget around 250. Thank for your help
Hi there and welcome!

There are 2 types of Masterbuilt electric smokers. The Digital known as an MES and the Analog.

Digital has a digital electronics panel, is insulated, and only goes up to 275F degrees. It also comes in 2 sizes, the smaller 30" and the larger 40".

Analog has no digital electronics of any kind, it only has a dial on the plug to control heat. It has I think a high limit of 400F degrees but I cant remember.

Let us know if it is an Analog unit or a Digial (MES) unit. If a Digital MES unit then are u looking at a 30" or a 40".


Now, I have done this electric smoker song and dance for a little while now. The best you could probably buy off the shelf or order would be a Smokin-It "D" model (like 3D, etc.) but u will pay out the nose for it.

Personally I think the best electric smoker is a used MES 40" (MES40) you get off Craigslist.org or Facebook for like $40-$50, wash out at the car wash and do a simple rewire to it. Then use a $150 PID controller + the A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker (AMNPS) tray with pellets for smoke. All us electric guys use the AMNPS + pellets or dust anyhow because it's freaking awesome!

So for roughly the same cost that you are going to spend for new you can get a full setup that out performs any brand new Masterbuilt you could ever buy.

If this is all gibberish to you then don't worry about it and go with what will make you happy because that is what matters the most :)
 

poacherjoe

Smoking Fanatic
313
415
Joined Nov 7, 2019
Another vote for Smokintex ,Smokin-It and Cookshack . Look around on Ebay and Craigslist and save some money.
 

clifish

Smoking Fanatic
609
359
Joined May 25, 2019
I bought a once used MES30 of CL for $30 off CL and added the amazn and the below $40 pid and it holds temp perfectly

amazon" style="max-width:120px">
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Dec 30, 2016
I bought a once used MES30 of CL for $30 off CL and added the amazn and the below $40 pid and it holds temp perfectly

amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Yep that will do the trick up to 230F for sure.

It always baffles me why some of these controllers can support the amperage/wattage requirements (15A 1500w+) but the max number it can have punched in doesn't go up higher hahaha.
 

clifish

Smoking Fanatic
609
359
Joined May 25, 2019
Yep that will do the trick up to 230F for sure.

It always baffles me why some of these controllers can support the amperage/wattage requirements (15A 1500w+) but the max number it can have punched in doesn't go up higher hahaha.
why only 230F? this claims 572F I have held higher temps than 230
 

tallbm

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Joined Dec 30, 2016
why only 230F? this claims 572F I have held higher temps than 230
Description here is where I got it:
1613011982847.png


Could be a bad description, was just going off that though. If it goes up higher then its all good :)

Seems the
WH-1803B
model is the 572F you have that would do the trick :)
 

bigfurmn

Smoking Fanatic
625
398
Joined Feb 25, 2016
I have a MES40 and a tube amazein. Has done everything I ever asked it to do. I like it a lot.
 

tjdcorona

Meat Mopper
242
29
Joined Jul 5, 2015
Hi there and welcome!

There are 2 types of Masterbuilt electric smokers. The Digital known as an MES and the Analog.

Digital has a digital electronics panel, is insulated, and only goes up to 275F degrees. It also comes in 2 sizes, the smaller 30" and the larger 40".

Analog has no digital electronics of any kind, it only has a dial on the plug to control heat. It has I think a high limit of 400F degrees but I cant remember.

Let us know if it is an Analog unit or a Digial (MES) unit. If a Digital MES unit then are u looking at a 30" or a 40".


Now, I have done this electric smoker song and dance for a little while now. The best you could probably buy off the shelf or order would be a Smokin-It "D" model (like 3D, etc.) but u will pay out the nose for it.

Personally I think the best electric smoker is a used MES 40" (MES40) you get off Craigslist.org or Facebook for like $40-$50, wash out at the car wash and do a simple rewire to it. Then use a $150 PID controller + the A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker (AMNPS) tray with pellets for smoke. All us electric guys use the AMNPS + pellets or dust anyhow because it's freaking awesome!

So for roughly the same cost that you are going to spend for new you can get a full setup that out performs any brand new Masterbuilt you could ever buy.

If this is all gibberish to you then don't worry about it and go with what will make you happy because that is what matters the most :)
I agree- Ive had an MES for 10 years- it finally died and theres no replacement parts, so .....in search of a new smoker
 

cmayna

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
3,354
1,036
Joined Jun 23, 2012
I agree- Ive had an MES for 10 years- it finally died and theres no replacement parts, so .....in search of a new smoker
Which MES do you have that has finally died?

As Tallbm said. A dead MES40 rewired and controlled by a PID.......... Maybe your MES could also be brought back to life.
 

bill1

Smoking Fanatic
964
356
Joined Apr 25, 2015
...Could be a bad description, was just going off that though.
The 230F limitation is typically the insulation on the wires going to the temperature probe. You can use them slightly higher, but the probes may not last as long. You definitely want to use a very generous bend radius on the probe wiring after these probes have gone overtemp a few times.
There are similar controllers with teflon or even fiberglass insulation that go much higher. The main market for these is controlling refrigerators or boiling water/wort mixtures so this temp range is totally adequate for that market.
 

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