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Cajun Injector - a 30" MES with extra features (Pics) - every MES owner should see this

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by optheory, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. optheory

    optheory Newbie

    It appears as if the Cajun Injector model of the MES has a few extra features that the normal 30" MES (I'm talking about the black, no window version) does not have.  Perhaps these things are just differences and not really 'features' per se but at least they stand out.  Are they a big deal? Not really.  At least I don't think they are.  I purchased this for my mother from Cabela's for $179 on sale (for some reason it's not listed on the website).

    Let's get to the pictures...


    So for NEW FEATURES it lists a built-in probe, different racks, and best of all TWO OVEN MITTS.   I like how it lists 'food temperature probe' and 'meat probe temperature display' as two separate features.  This list could have easily been condensed into three points.  Anyway, let's open the box...


    Right - sorry this picture is dark - the side loader is described as a 'chute' for pellets.  This is my only complaint.  I want to use chunks.  I like the idea of instructing Mom with, "Every so often you just put one of these big lumps of wood inside - that's it."  Oh well.


    On top is the probe alone with the pop-out display panel.  It took a lot of presses to that panel out but it flew open eventually.  


    I pressed a button on the panel and the whole plastic assembly rocked back - it looks like it wasn't sealed properly at all.  Anyone think it's worth taking it back for that?  Hey that's cool though, you can see the insulation on the inside.


    Well this is interesting, no?  It leads into the middle of the tray, not just bunched up one end like the twisting-style MES loader.  DIFFERENT to the normal MES, that's for sure.  This is smaller than the normal MES container because it lacks the overhead room needed for the twisting loader.  Now that I'm looking at pictures of the other MES smokers I probably should have taken a picture of the tray removed.  Actually, this retrofitted version of the tray that MES is offering for free is exactly what I have here.  It's a full tray.


    This is what the top rack comes with.  Hangers and all sorts. It has the option of the normal rack, which is in the box.

    So there you have it!  The Cajun Electric is currently $179 at Cabelas on sale.  Any thoughts on this?  Did I make a good purchase?
  2. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    You did good.

    These are very similar to the MES 30''. The first versions put out by Bruce foods under the Cajun injector name where just that 30'' MES.  I know for a fact that the Cajun injector smokers are no longer made by masterbiult. After Bruce foods went with the pop up controller on top and the different stile wood chip loader design.

    I would like to see the heating element and the back of the unit with a model number if you can take some picture and post them.
  3. optheory

    optheory Newbie

    Right, I can confirm it is made by Bruce Foods. That's what the label on the back said.  I wonder then, how this handles compared compared to the Masterbuilt because it all looks so similar.  The element from what I remember is shaped exactly like the Masterbuilt.  I'll be sure to get up some pictures soon.  Anything else I should put up?
  4. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    Is there a drip pan that is inserted in side the unit and a rear dip pan like the MES.
  5. I recently shopped for an electric smoker myself and I'll share my experience in case it may be of help you.  I short, if you can return the Cajun and buy a MES, I would suggest that you do it.

    I don't live near a Sams or Cabelas so I couldn't easily take a look at one of the MES models first hand. There was a BBQ shop near my home and they had a Cajun Inector smoker on the floor for me to take a look at. I thought the Cajun looked fine. The chute method for feeding the chips (one big difference from the MES) seemed like another OK way to do things and I did not see it as a negative. However, the controller box on the top of the unit was broken on the display unit. The button/latch holding it in the down position was stripped so the controller would stay only in the open position. I understand that display units take a bit of a beating but this is what I saw. Lastly, I asked about the availability of replacement parts and the BBQ shop staff said that they do not sell any replacement parts and do not know where to get them. I checked on the Cajun website and it was not obvious that repair parts would be easily available. At this point, I decided to get an MES because I didnt' want to take the chance that repair parts might be hard/impossible to get for the Cajun some time in the future.  Also, this forum had so much info on the MES and very little on the Cajun. I am not bashing the Cajun, only sharing my experience in shopping for an electric smoker and why I decided on an MES. It also  helped that I found a new all stainless steel MES for sale on Craigslist at a discount from the price of a new one.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  6. bigolboysbbq

    bigolboysbbq Fire Starter

    Mine did not have that extra rack and I purchased mine from Academy. Though I paid 129.00 for mine that might be why it didn't come with it. I am seasoning it right now actually and my door seal leaks a little already. Check that out while you are seasoning it. 

    Let us know how that rack works out I am interested in getting one if it works good. 
  7. optheory

    optheory Newbie

    So it's official then.  This is NOT an MES model.  If I could edit my first post, I would - but I can't see that option.
    There is a drip pan inside that goes on the very bottom, but no rear drip pan.

    I appreciate your advice here.  It would be terrible to have a completely broken smoker a few months from now with no option to repair it.  I called the number on the website, they gave me a customer service number.  I called that number and spoke to a woman about replacement parts - she said that they sell them directly.  To get an idea, I asked how much a replacement display was - it's $27.  I also asked about the display's housing being able to be removed as seen in the picture and she said this is normal and is made like that for being able to be easily replaced. It's kind of strange that they didn't at least secure it with a couple screws at least.  Perhaps I'll send them an e-mail with that picture asking them if that's normal.

    Here's some pictures:


    The model number is 22174 01940 - I don't think there's much correlation between that number and MES model numbers.


    Picture of the element. According to the label it's 650 watts.


    And the tray.
  8. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    The cajun injector brand was purchased by bruce foods a few years back from Reese Williams and  They went from using the MES smoker to a cheaper made unit.  The thing that would kill the deal for me is 650 watts.

     I have a 800 watt mes and cant wait to get the 1200watt.

    i know the recovery times on the 800 watt  are slow so i can't imagine the time it takes for a 650W.

    I can see in the Picture you posted of the label, Made in China.

     Mes is probably made there also ( never have checked)
  9. optheory

    optheory Newbie

    Hold on. What is it about this unit that's cheaper than the MES? Also, according to the big list of model numbers for the MES, most models were 650 watts. If cabelas had the MES 30 inch on sale like they did a few weeks back I'd exchange it. Do you think this is much worse than than the MES?
  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I have not seen a MES digital unit that was 650w.

     The 30" oare 800 and the new 40" is 1200w.

     Maybe the analog models are 650w.?
  11. optheory

    optheory Newbie

    Well I had an interesting turn of events today at Cabela's. 
    Actually the analog ones are a wopping 1500 watts!  Imagine that.  This is where I found the supposed MES models with the 650 watt elements.  There seem to be quite a few listed there.

    Anyway, after much consideration I took it back to Cabela's and switched it out for an MES.  Part of me wishes I would've kept it due to the extra features, but I didn't like the idea of a 650 watt element and some cheap materials that the model was obviously built with (that being said, the MES is only a bit better in this regard).

    Keep in the mind that the following weren't based on actual use - just observations from handling both.  The CI does look like a really cool option.

    Pros of the Cajun: 

    - Meat probe!  I think it's great that it's even built into unit itself.  Major convenience.

    - Hangers for sausage and ribs.

    - More shelf space. Yes, it does actually have more space.  There's a small shelf right next to the smoker tray that sits on the two metal rods.  At Cabela's they had both models up for display - I took the little shelf to the MES and it fit just fine in there.  So if I wanted to I could just buy the replacement, and put it in my MES for a bit more room.  Pretty cool.  You could fit a couple more chicken thighs on there.

    - Wheels on the back for easy moving. Again, small convenience.


    - As mentioned above, some parts seemed quite cheaply made as you handled the unit.  At the back of my mind there were doubts as to whether or not this would end up working as it should.  I'm sure it'd do fine though.  I spoke to a lady at Cabela's who had one, and she loved it.

    - No back drip tray.  Both the CI and MES used the same bottom drip tray - but I'm fairly certain that splash back in the CI would drip into the actual hosing in between the cracks. But perhaps the same thing would happen in an MES and it's not a big deal? Not sure.

    - The door seal could've been a bit better.

    - General lack of information available on the smoker.  For me, this is just a personal gripe.  I have to *know things* about what I buy.  The MES has a huge user base, with all sorts of documented info, modifications, and easy fixes available.  

    If this smoker were for me personally, I probably would've kept it and made it my project to improve it in many ways since it had some neat features.  But, considering this is for my Mother - I went with the more, I felt, safer option for long run.

    Also, the MES was $10 cheaper than the Cajun after I had a chat with a worker there.  The asking price currently is $199 BUT it was $169 just a couple weeks ago.  I thought would take a stab in the dark and ask if they'd honor the previous price - which I wasn't expecting them to.  To my surprise, they did.  So I got the protection plan and paid $16 at the checkout counter - but I'm not sure if it was even worth it.  It only lasts for a year.  Any feedback on this would be appreciated.

    Anyway, Merry Christmas everyone!  I don't know why I'm still up!
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  12. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    Well that makes more than one person on the SMF that has gotten a CI and taken it back for a MES.

    I think you made the right decision. The CI is a basic copy of the MES. You know what they say about copy's.

    There never as good as the original.
  13. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I read a lot of reviews before buying the MES 30. Many complained about the wiring issue,but followed with  "It's easy to fix if you have the 10 as the last two digits".

    Didn't see a lot of good or bad about the CI unit. Bought mine on Amazon for $169 delivered. They sent the newer model as requested. Most folks here said get the 40 if you can afford it.

    I bought several things to make my smoking experirnce better. A Maverick temp uinit and an AMNS. So now I have a little over $200 in it.

    I have been very happy with this outfit. It does a great job.

    Yes.. they are made in china..what isn't?

    I called MB to get the free chip part even tho I have never used the original. I live kihda close to them and asked about picking up a 40 cheaper if I stopped by there.

    Was told they don't have new units there,but would make me a great deal on a returned/repared/scratch and dent unit.

    All of the smokers are sent from china to the selling comanys warehouses not to MB.

    Now the big news!!!

      I have been very active for many years on message boards, yahoo groups and newsgroups. Been in some wild flame wars.

        SMF is absolutely the coolest board I have ever been part of. The manners here and the willingness to help is astounding.

                   I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    Did the Cajun model have an access panel on the back to reach the wiring for the heating element? 
  15. smitty20

    smitty20 Newbie

    The bad news:  A friend borrowed my MES a month ago, and when I went to get it back lat night.....I opened it to find out, he left uncleaned and under an awning that didn't quite keep the rain out.  So the inside was covered in mold and mildew.  Disgusting.  He thinks he can clean it, I'm not so sure, so....

    I looking at the CI to replace it.  $99 BF deal at Academy is tough to beat.  Here's the thing though, I just bought my AMNPS and was very excited to use it for the first time....Being that the CI is built very similar, will my AMNPS work in it as well?  Any idea?  Thx.
  16. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    I would contact TJohnson on the forum. The A-MAZE-N is his baby.


  17. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The AMNPS will work in any smoker! You can even cold smoke with it in a cardboard box!