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Decisions Decisions. Which ES to purchase

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by lucindy, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. lucindy

    lucindy Newbie

    Okay, I saw the MES forty inch in sam's but after a little research, it sounds like it falls apart.  I also heard about a Bradley electric smoker that I can get for around 400.  I will be using the smoker frequently and I just don't have the funds to spend a couple of thou on a top of the line smoker but I need one that is dependable and won't konk out.  Any suggestions?  (and websites)

    Thanks a heap.
  2. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    I think all smokers have there little quirks.i just got my mes30 for x-mas and with some advice from smf,and getting some smokes under my belt with it i have found it to be a great electric smoker.I don't know about the bradley cause i don't have one,but i have heard good and bad things about them,one bad thing i heard is you have to buy there wood pucks which is spendy. I guess its a personal choice. heres s their sites.



     See what one you like the best!
  3. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Would you be kind enough to share where you saw that  the MES 40 falls apart?

    I have not seen one bad review about the 40.

    The early 30s had some issues, the newer ones seem to be good.

     Have a great day!!  Craig
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  4. caveman

    caveman Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF Lucindy.  Stop over in "Roll Call" & introduce yourself so that you can get the SMF welcome you deserve.  Now, as for an ES, I personally use the 22.5 Weber Smokey Mountain, & I swear by it.  (Literally.  I stand next to it, have a beer & then I swear 'cause I don't have meat to put on at the time.  Ha!)  No, really, ES user's will chime in with advice here soon but I am a charcoal man myself.  Just wanted to welcome you into the fold & wish you well with your purchase & smokes.  Please come back often & post qview of your masterpieces so that we may [​IMG]  & be in awe!!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  5. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    I have both a MES 40 and a Bradley....the Bradley is collecting dust. Just too small and tough to keep above 210 degrees for me.Nothing but good to say about the MES 40 provided you add an AMNS to it for extended smoke time.
  6. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I have a MES30 that is more than four years old.  It has had some problems over the years, but it is still going and doing great smokes for me.  If I were buying a new one today, and if I were a SAMs club member -- I would definitly go with their MES40 with its various features.  But then, I am not an early adapter -- e.g. still using my decade+ old analog JVC 33 inch TV -- and will probably keep my old MES30 until it cannot be fixed anymore.

    In addition, note that the Bradley requires that you use their wood pucks.  If you do a search here, you can find where someone has done a cost comparison that includes that in the equation.  The pucks are a lot more expensive per hour of smoking than other smoke sources (sawdust , wood chips).
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  7. SmokinAl

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

    For the price, MES is king around here. I have a MES 40 that's 2 years old & never had a problem with it. I use it at least once a week year round. I also have a WSM which is a great charcoal smoker if you decide you want to go that route.
  8. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    MES 40" owner since 09 and i love it.

    Key word is electric , As w/ any product that uses electrical components there will be some glitchs .

     I have seen whole cases of circut boards w/ one bad resistor that caused major problems that took a long time to diagnose and repair .

     It's going to happen  w/ any electrical product.

    It's what the company that sells the end use product does about the problem that counts.

     Masterbuilt customer service is top notch and seems to really care when someone has a problem w/ one of their units.

     When you call mes if you get a CSR that doesn't seem to know enough ,Don't get frustrated, just hang up and call back.

     Everyone has to learn and sometimes it takes time.
  9. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There are a TON of MES owners on here that can give you info on the product. 
  10. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic


    I would recommend that you check out a Cookshack.

    They are very good quality smokers that hold their value.

    I bought a Smokette 9 years ago never had a lick of trouble with it.

    Last year I went to their AmeriQue for more capacity i use it once or twice a week.

    Last month I reluctantly sold my Smokette almost for what I paid for it new.  

    They are an American company selling American made products.

    Their customer service is second to none.

    If you should have a need to call for customer service the phones are answered promptly by someone you can understand who has used the smokers.  

    Issues are resolved promptly and I have never heard of anyone being put on hold.

    Check them out

  11. You don't need a window (that turns black with use) or an inside light.  Check out the price difference ($159 at walmart).  It's the same smoker without the window, light, and temp probe.  You can get an external meat thermometer (Run the probe through the vent in the top of the smoker) for $25.  I've been using this setup for over a year and really like it.  I bought mine on a black friday sale at Bass Pro Shops for $99.
  12. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I would also check out the SMokinTex units. I have had mine for a couple of years and am very happy with it.  No matter what smoker you buy you need to know going in what it's limitations are.  Some folks say you cant get a smoke ring with an electric yet I do all the time. Some say you cant get a good bark but that is not my thing so it does not bother me. I get an OK bark. The biggest advantage to ANY electric is the set it and forget it program. You are not tending fires or worrying about keeping on top of the temps for the most part.

    If I was to do it again I would (and still may) add an MES - the reason being is you can use it with higher temps. My SmokinTex tops out at 250 and I think that is also true of the Cookshack unless it changed since I did my research.  I just would like to get up to 300 for poultry sometimes

    What ever you decide, you will find lots of help here. If you choose a particular model go to the top of the page and do a search for that smoker.  Like - MES as an example - it will take you to a page with lots of threads on that unit and will be a great help for you in figuring out the pros and cons of a smoker

    Good luck   
  13. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Here is my opinion,  I have had both Bradley 6rack digital and the MES 40",  My Experience with the Bradley was terrible...

    I would say go with the MES 40" if it were me...

    Get one at Sam's with the 3year Warranty. In the long run you would be happier...

    My Bradley Experience:
    • Purchase Bradley 6 Rack Digital $599.00
    • Shipping: $ 56.00
    • Purchase Bubba Pucks $ 24.99
    • Purchase Bradley Pucks: $ 19.99
    • Total Cost: $ 700.97
    • Use Twice, took 14 hrs to cook a butt on first try and had to finish in Oven
    • Took 23 hrs to cook butts on 2nd try completed in Bradley.
    • Sold Bradley on Craig's List For $350.00
    • Net Loss $350.97
    My MES Experience:
    • Purchased MES 40" @ Sam's $299.99
    • Added 3 year extended Warranty $39.99
    • Buy AMNS: $29.99
    • Buy AMAZING DUST: $4.99
    • TOTAL Outlay $374.97
    • Absolutely NO PROBLEMS...  
    With MES 40" The Ability To Use Smoker PRICELESS.

    Personal Opinion: BRADLEY IS P.O.S.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  14. lucindy

    lucindy Newbie

    What is an AMNS?
  15. lucindy

    lucindy Newbie

    I did check out cookshack and they looked great and I do try to purchase the US of A products.  Alas, the price is just so high.  I know the MES is from China.  Someone asked me where I heard about the problems with MES 40 (made in China).  I can't remember the web page but it had a long list of complaints.  That made me hesitant.  I appreciate all the comments.
  16. lucindy

    lucindy Newbie

    Thanks so much.  I am really interested in brisket.  For veggies and fish, I use a small stove top smoker that is so easy to use and is just great for salmon and trout.  And yes, the only reason I want electric is because I don't have time to tend fires although that can be the most fun.
  17. lucindy

    lucindy Newbie

    So I can get a 3 year warranty?  That would help ease my mind.  And again, what is AMNS.  Thanks to everyone for your support on this.  Ultimately I would like to get a restaurant grade smoker but I need to get my feet wet first and my funds are limited.
  18. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That was me... I have looked for a mes 40 complaint page several times.   Only have found the early 30 complaints.

     There is a lot of MES users here and nobody has gripped about their 40.

     You would do good with the MES.

     Good luck and have fun!!

  19. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    AMNS is the a-maze-n smoker!!! you can find the link on the righthand side of the page