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Concerns on MES 130

cnet24

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Hello all,

New to the forum and have some questions regarding the MES 130. I was given this as a gift for Christmas and couldn't wait to use it. After my first use, I have some general questions and concerns and hoping others that have used the smoker for a while can help.

-I originally set the smoker to 225 to smoke a pork butt for my first cook. Using my Grilleye Pro, I noticed an ambient temp of only 190. After a few hours, I ended up cranking the temperature to 275 which gave me a 225 ambient temp. Have others experienced temp issues in this smoker?

-I also noticed there was hardly any smoke at 225. Once I set at 275 it produced smoke but not to my expectation. I've been contemplating picking up the cold smoke attachment but I have read multiple reviews regardings peeling paint and clogged smoke stacks. Does anyone have a positive experience regarding this item? I thought that this would fix my smoke issue, but the quality doesn't seem to be there for the price.

-Perhaps the most concerning seems to be the number of smokers that require part replacements after only a few smokes. Is this something that I need to be concerned with? Should I really expect to need to replace the heating element multiple times, among other parts?

I really want this smoker to work out but I am starting to have second thoughts... thanks!
 

Preacher Man

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I have a MES 30 and what you describe is my experience to a T. I've learned to work around them and actually thoroughly enjoy my masterbuilt even with the flaws.

The temperature discrepancy seems to exist for an unknown reason to me. Without meat, my MES therm and my Maverick ET-733 are almost identical. Add meat and I get a 25°-50° difference. Throughout the smoke, those temps seem to even out. I guess it has something to do with the meat being a heat sink, but that still doesn't satisfy why the MES therm reads higher. Oh well.

I just play with the temperatures however I need to in order to achieve the desired temp. Kind of annoying, but really not that big of a deal.

As for smoke: be done with letting the MES produce smoke and invest in an Amazen Pellet Smoker. There is a maze and there is a tube. Do your research and decide what you want to go with. I have both and prefer the 12" tube because I like a heavier smoke flavor. However, both will instantly fix your smoke problem.
 

smokerjim

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I have a mes 30, these are well known to not have accurate temps, get a good thermometer and test that in boiling water to make sure that's accurate and go by that, these smokers usually will not start producing smoke until 200 degrees so if your setting it for 225 and actual temp is 190 that could be why its not producing smoke until you crank it up, just make sure your chip tray is installed properly. you should look into the amnps pellet tray with the mailbox mod, that is all I use, there is tons of info on here about it, just use the search bar and punch in mailbox mod, don't give up on the mes 30 yet give it some time. they are really pretty good smokers when you learn the adjustments to make. good luck
 

bdskelly

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I’ve owned a number of them. They are wonderful and reliable machines. But don’t trust the thermostat or thermometer. You’re doing the right thing by using an auxiliary. I always used my Maverick or Tapique. I trust those and adjust the smoker to the temp those instruments indicate
 

cnet24

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Joined Feb 24, 2019
Thanks to both of you for the feedback. Preacher Man Preacher Man quick question- how do I use the amazen pellet smoker? Just fill it up with pellets and put it in the smoker? Maybe I just need to research this further to understand how it actually works.

smokerjim smokerjim I've been reading some about the mailbox mod, thanks for the answer.
 

Preacher Man

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Preacher Man Preacher Man quick question- how do I use the amazen pellet smoker? Just fill it up with pellets and put it in the smoker? Maybe I just need to research this further to understand how it actually works.
There's lots of YouTube videos that'll help. Essentially you light it with a torch, get a coal base, then put it in the smoker and let it do its thing.

Here's how mine is positioned:
IMG_20180918_083633.jpg

And you can see how I have a tent over it during smokes:
IMG_20181025_030157.jpg
 

Central PA Cowboy

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Yep, sounds about right. My MES 30 takes much longer to smoke something than what I have read. For instance, a 3 pound chuck took me around 9 hours. So, about 3 hours per pound of meat - assuming it's at 225° at the highest.
 

smokerjim

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Thanks to both of you for the feedback. Preacher Man Preacher Man quick question- how do I use the amazen pellet smoker? Just fill it up with pellets and put it in the smoker? Maybe I just need to research this further to understand how it actually works.

smokerjim smokerjim I've been reading some about the mailbox mod, thanks for the answer.
a lot of guy's including me microwave the pellets 2-3 minutes to make sure they're dry, then fill tray and light with torch and let burn about 15 minutes until you blow out the flame, i've tried using the tray in my mes 30 on the bars on bottom left, just never had much luck that's why I went to the mail box mod
 

Winterrider

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If You go with the tray you will be able to use either pellets or dust. Tube, only pellets.
 

Murray

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My MES has no problem getting to 225F, I have to set my controller to 210-220F(depending upon wind/temp) to achieve 225F. If you can’t get your temperature up to 225F without cranking your smoker to 275F I’d give Masterbuilt a call or email. Just converted to a Amazing Tube and love it.
 

weedeater

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Ditto Murray comments. My MES has no trouble getting to 225F.

Weedeater
 

Preacher Man

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Mine usually doesn't 90% of the time, but it has trouble depending on the ambient temperature and amount of meat I add.
 

uncle eddie

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I am on my second MES40 and don't have anything to add that wasn't mentioned earlier.

I do want to emphasize that the AMNPS works great and is so easy to use that I have never even considered the mailbox mod...but if I got into cold smoking, I would probably have to look into the mailbox mod.
 

chopsaw

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I really want this smoker to work out but I am starting to have second thoughts... thanks!
When I first got mine , I was in your shoes . DON'T count it out . I have a gen 1 mes 30 . 5 years old . I have it set up with a mail box , and just put an Auber controller on it . It's a smokin machine . I use a 12" and a 6 " tube to generate the smoke . It's awesome .
 

river100

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Joined Sep 2, 2017
I have the cold smoke attachment and I love it. It can put out too much sometimes. I read a post somewhere, where a guy said to turn off the power to it after it starts smoking so I tried it. Works great. You get from 4 to 6 hrs of smoke using dry wood chips.
No issues with the paint on it but I've had it for years and they might be different now.
 

Dale_Cheryl

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Joined May 10, 2019
I am smoking a Boston Butt right now. Using an MES 30” SS electric smoker, Apple wood chips, and have an oven thermometer hanging on the rack. After a few hours, and increased temps at the control panel, the internal temperature STILL isn’t above 200 degrees. Also, the first batch of chips burned well, but the second batch has not. Vent is 100% open, and there is almost no smoke coming out or visible on the inside. Help!
 

Bearcarver

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I am smoking a Boston Butt right now. Using an MES 30” SS electric smoker, Apple wood chips, and have an oven thermometer hanging on the rack. After a few hours, and increased temps at the control panel, the internal temperature STILL isn’t above 200 degrees. Also, the first batch of chips burned well, but the second batch has not. Vent is 100% open, and there is almost no smoke coming out or visible on the inside. Help!

I gave up using the built in chip burner 9 years ago.
If you're at below 2000' elevation, get an AMNPS for perfect smoke.

You said "Internal temp still isn't above 200°". "Internal temp" means "Temp of the meat", but apparently you mean "Smoker Temp". You don't say what you have your MES set for.
Dump the water out of your pan. We don't use any in an MES.
All kinds of MES information by clicking on my "Step by Steps" Index below:

Bear
 

Dale_Cheryl

Newbie
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Joined May 10, 2019
MES temp setting started at 225. Now set for 235, readout says 237, but thermometer inside the smoker is at 200. I don’t know if there’s water in the pan; hubby set it up and went fishing.
 

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