educate me

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i'm not even sure how to word what i am thinking about electric smokers for home use right now ,
i think i am just spoiled after having used commercial smokers for so long
i can't get my mind wrapped around why its normal to buy a new piece of equipment and then have to spend more money fixing whats wrong with it !! its not even a question about the money as much as it is the principal involved
call me old fashioned if you like, but when i buy something ( ANYTHING ) it works ( without modifiying ) OR it goes back where i bought it.... think about it ,
would you buy a new lawn mower and then expect to have to buy wheels for it ?
Kinda comes down to: you get what you pay for, usually that is. If you are wanting something that works well I would suggest looking at either the Recteq or MAK line of smokers. There are others but I'm most familiar with these two and they are solid performers.
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i'm all about the "little " guy and they are NOT getting what they are PAYING for
they are being sold junk and then expected to make it work themselves
when did this become acceptable ?
I got my MES40 free off of craigslist. Curbside pickup. Added an Auber PID controller and then a mailbox for the pellet tray and tube. One could also consider an MES30 if the MES40 is too big.

So my overall cost is around $200 for the PID and mailbox setup.

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Craig : thank you for the suggestion
but from what i have learned from this thread i will NOT be buying anything electric
You're not returning your kitchen oven because of temp variations are you ? Most don't even agree with a good therm. Some can be adjusted within a narrow window but still may not totally agree with the therm.
Water heaters, furnaces ect (gas or electric) the same way. They all have over shoot.
The MES was not designed specifically for some of the uses many of us are asking of it. Hence the Mods we do to them.
Smoking butts, ribs, chicken and such a little over shoot is inconsequential. Now when you cook some sausages i.e. Summer Sauasge you are flirting with temps where the fat will melt out of the meat mix and collect between the meat and casing. Not a good eating experience. This is where the PID's come in. They will allow for a much smaller window of over shoot, but not necessary if you want to wait it out at a lower setting to avoid the over shoot taking you into the fat out territory.
I know there are better electrics out there that have better control, but they cost more than MES with mods, a lot more.
The MES 30 and 40's are entry level smokers. The design has lent itself very well to being upgraded to a top performer. Most of us understood this fact very well when we bought them.
Many of us see it as no different than buying a car or truck and then adding nicer wheels, window tint, pinstriping, new sound system, bed cover, lift kit, trailer hitch, on and on.
Point is it is a base unit that you can make do whatever you want it to do for a relatively low investment. Yes it has flaws, but what do you expect for a cheap entry level unit of anything.
Many of these flaws may exist in you commercial smoker if you look well enough. Temp swings won't even show on a dial therm if that is what it has.
Gas units have a hard time in low temp smokes. The burners just aren't designed for that small of a flame and not easily blow out. You could be there a long time trying to get the temp just right. There are work arounds, but that puts right back where you didn't want to be with a cheap electric.
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Works for cook temps 200°F+, but not too well for lower cook temps.
So wrong when using a PID controller. My MES40 is pretty dedicated for all the fish we catch starting with 125 temp and increasing up to 155.

Craig : thank you for the suggestion
but from what i have learned from this thread i will NOT be buying anything electric
Seriously? What do you normally smoke? At what temp?

Just found two MES30 units free on my local Craigslist.
Why the hate?
An MES digital out-of-the-box dose not NEED mods to work.
A lot of us just try to optimize our set ups because we are tinkerers and/or ocd.
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i am thinking HARD about buying a small electric smoke but before i do , i have some questions so
educate me !! i know that on the electrics there is a heating element beneath the wood/blocks/chips dust
so what determines when that heating element cycles on and off ? is it the cooking chamber temp ? the wood temp ?
OR does it just stay on the entire cook ? i have no intentions of buying one that uses a meat probe to control the temp

I've had 4 different MES units (Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse).
They are all Digitally controlled.
When you turn it on & set the Temp, the heating element comes on.
When the Temp Sensor on the back wall reads it to be the set Temp, the Element will shut off.
Then it will slowly cool (Because it's very well insulated.
When the Temp Sensor reads the Temp to be 1° below your set point, the Heating element will come on again, until the Temp gets to your set point again.
Etc, etc, etc, etc----------------

Hope this helps,

Bear : that was what i was expecting to be told
but thats not what i have been reading on this thread , from reading this thread anyone reading it would come to the conclusion that a fella would be wasting his money buying this stuff
Bear : that was what i was expecting to be told
but thats not what i have been reading on this thread , from reading this thread anyone reading it would come to the conclusion that a fella would be wasting his money buying this stuff

Many MES owners, and other Smoker owners like to play around & make things perfect. The only thing I did with all of mine was to put an AMNPS Amazing Smoker in it, with pellets or dust to get up to 12 hours of perfect smoke.
I never needed a mailbox, because it worked good for me inside my MES. I never got a PID, because they all were accurate enough for my Smoking.
I think it would be kinda hard to find a Smoker that works as good as the ones I've had for $300 or less, like my most expensive one cost.

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so you spend $ 150.00-300.00 on a smoker THEN have to spend ANOTHER $ 150.00 - 300.00 to get it to work properly ...well i DID ask you to educate me and you sure did that !!!

not hate ..just disappointed
Years ago I got a MES for a couple hundred and we enjoyed it. No mods. Then a year later I spent 20 bucks on AMAZN tray, and we enjoyed the additional smoke. A little after that I spent 60 bucks for a smoke generator and maybe 8 dollars on a drainage pipe for cold smoking that I also use as a mailbox mod. I never needed the mods I purchased, they aren’t required to work properly. I spent maybe 80 dollars over several years to enhance me and my families enjoyment and expanded uses. Not sure why you are disappointed, no reason to be. I’m not disappointed in my friends who spend more money to modify their jeeps than what they are worth off the lot. This is all about having fun and producing good food for family and friends. MES and other electrics do that. Glad you feel satisfied with the education and your gas smoker.
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I bought a mes 30 probably 8 years ago, never did anything to it but added the mailbox mod, never had any real issues with it and personally I like it better then my pellet grill/smoker, the only thing I can say little negative about some of them is the factory thermometer might be off but if you use a independent thermometer to verify temps inside then you could adjust accordingly.
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gentlemen :
i think we can put this thread to bed now , i have all the information i need
its been a very entertaining thread post# 7 was a very enjoyable and informative read
bearcarvers post # 32 was really all the information that i originally sought . it was clear, on point and did not try to sell me on the merits of mods is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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