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Experiment results

iceman6409

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Joined Apr 11, 2016
Hey everyone.  I would like some opinions or information.  I got an old Cabelas Premium Electric Smoker from my best friend.  Being new to this whole smoking thing I have been asking many questions so please forgive if you have seen my previous posts but I have new questions.  The smoke has a 1650 heating element.  I plug the thermostat cord into a 3 foot 12gauge cord and then into a standard outlet on the outside of my house.  There is a thermometer installed on the hood of the smoker and it always reads right around 200F, even after hours being on cooking something.  Never went above 200 though.  So I changed out that thermometer for one I know is correct and I get the same result. 

That being said I put an oven thermometer and hung it off the top of the three racks.  I put some apple juice in the bowl and plugged it in.  Checked the temp about 45 minutes later.  Both the hood thermometer and the oven thermometer hanging on the top rack read basically the same, about 200F give or take a degree or two.  So I moved the oven thermometer to the middle rack for another 45 minutes.  That temperature read right around 225F.  Perfect.  That told me where I should be having the meat when smoking.  However my question I can't seem to get the temperature to go any higher than that.  I know that most of you will say 225F is perfect and leave it alone and do everything at that temp.  I get that.  But what if I have a need to raise that temp higher for something like chicken wings, or whatever.  I am basically stuck right?  If so it is of no issue to me at all.  I can get 225F which is what we all want anyways.

I searched diligently for a replacement heating element and have some up completely empty for that smoker.  I emailed Cabela's and they will tell me that it is a private made part and cannot give any information on it. 

So all in all should I be happy with what I have?  For the most part I think I am. I would be curious to know your thoughts.  Thank you in advance.
 

SmokinAl

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What are you using to control the temp, or do you just plug it in & you only have one temp setting, on or off?

It seems to me that a 1650 watt heating element should get you to 300 degrees easily.

Maybe someone with that smoker will be along to give you a better answer.

Al
 

iceman6409

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The thermostat cord appears to be the Masterbuilt one.  That means I can dial anywhere from low to high but cannot choose a specific temperature.  So far I have always had it dialed as high as it will go.
 

dirtsailor2003

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I think it may be the nature of that smoker. It has low medium and high settings correct?

I saw a thread on another site where the guy had the same problem. On high it never got hotter than 225. There may be a limiter built in that doesn't allow the element to go higher.

Are you using the water pan with water in it? If so run it dry and see if you can get any hotter. Wrap the bowl in foil for easy clean up. Or remove the water bowl altogether. You may gain some temp.

I very rarely smoke at 225°, 250°. I have gone rogue and smoke most things at higher temps. 285°-325°. Some beef roasts I smoke at lower pit temp 180°. Sausage, jerky, fish below 180°.
 

GaryHibbert

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With that size heating element you should be able to get a lot hotter than 225. My MES 30 with the older small element will get to 275.

Now I'm very electrically impaired but it seem to me that you might just have to replace a faulty thermostat.

Hopefully somebody can tell you if that might be the case.

Gary
 

marctrees

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Iceman - Outdoor temp ?  Wind?  Rain?  etc? excessively cooling the unit?

Indicator light on controller showing when element is on?

Peek quickly inside and see if element is red like "All" the time, or not.

Easiest in the dark.

If you set it to High, and it's coolish outside, your element should be on close to constantly.

If the indicator light, or element are cycling alot, that will limit the heating ability.

Investigate to see if there's a high limit temp switch physically separate from the control,  probably not though. 

Some thoughts anyway.

Lastly, If you have a smart Electrician buddy, he should be able to troubleshoot in a few minutes.

Check those things and report back.

----"I searched diligently for a replacement heating element and have some up completely empty for that smoker.  I emailed Cabela's and they will tell me that it is a private made part and cannot give any information on it." 

 It looks like Masterbuilt  ?made that? for Cabelas?


   Marc
 
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iceman6409

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Joined Apr 11, 2016
Hey Marc,

Thanks for replying.  When I did the test it was definitely cold out as I am in Western NY.  Temps were probably around 40F give or take.  Low winds.  I can verify that the indicator light does indeed come on however I have never sat and watched it to see if it goes off and on nor have i thought to look at the heating element to see if it turns red.  However I will do that very soon.

Also the Vimeo link is indeed the one I have however with it being so old and spending a lot of years outsode at my buddy's camp it is now a very pale light green in color lol.
 

marctrees

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Iceman -  OK, very good feedback so far.

Your 40f  and ?some breeze? if I understood you, are contributing factors to your coolness, but we ain't done troubleshootin.

Re vimeo link - So now we know Masterbuilt should have parts if needed. 

Continue to communicate further info, we will get this figured out.

I luv fixit projects, it's what I do.   Marc
 
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iceman6409

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Joined Apr 11, 2016
Hey Marc,

By breeze I mean very little if any that particular day, just so you know.

I have seen the Masterbuilt thermostat cord available somehwere.  Is it POSSIBLE it could be that cord or are we thinking more the heating element itself?
 

iceman6409

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Joined Apr 11, 2016
I contacted Masterbuilt to see if they make the heating element and they said no.  This friggin heating element does not exist if I would like to get a new one.  That part cannot be this hard to find
 

marctrees

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It is uncorrectly WAG'sing  to think you need any parts, yet anyway.

There are very logical step by step troubleshooting procedures to follow, roughly detailed in my post above.

TOOOO long to type, I type like a chicken.

Check your PM   Marc
 

remsr

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It sounds like a manual system so my guess is that the thermostat is bad, if it was the element it wouldn't heat a all. If it is an electronic controller my guess is still going to be the controller. All these electric smokers consist of is an element an on off switch and a thermostat to control the element which is actually a kind of a switch with variable settings from low to high if the high side is defective it wouldn't get any hotter than maybe 200 which is about half of what A 1650 w element would be capable of. My MES 40 has a 1200 w heating element and easily gets to 300 degrees when I set it for 275.
 

marctrees

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Oct 1, 2016
It sounds like a manual system so my guess is that the thermostat is bad, if it was the element it wouldn't heat a all. If it is an electronic controller my guess is still going to be the controller. All these electric smokers consist of is an element an on off switch and a thermostat to control the element which is actually a kind of a switch with variable settings from low to high if the high side is defective it wouldn't get any hotter than maybe 200 which is about half of what A 1650 w element would be capable of. My MES 40 has a 1200 w heating element and easily gets to 300 degrees when I set it for 275.
REMSR - Don't forget his outdoor temp is 40f.    Marc
 

remsr

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Mark,
I did a rack of ribs today in my MES 40" it was 24 degrees with a 17 mph wind chill of 9 degrees and other than me being cold my smoker didn't know the difference. If weather was a factor the temp would fluctuate a bit, but it don't it's always 200 degrees indicating that it's getting to the heat it's capable of with a bad heat controller and holding well.
Randy,
 

remsr

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Joined Jun 8, 2014
There is no way to know for sure what's wrong but if it was me I would try replacing the heat controller. If it's electronic with all sorts of functions like digital readout you will need to get a replacement from the company that built it. But if it's a simple variable control you should be able to find a replacement at any place that seals electric components.
 

marctrees

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Joined Oct 1, 2016
REMSR - I am a Electrician by trade, retired.

We have enough info to tell us there are no electronics involved here.

There ARE very basic "Simple" for some, ways to know for SURE, we will as a community of Carnivores figure this out, I GARANTEE.

It is WAY to early, actually never will be the time, to throw money at the problem.

Lessn, Iceman is of means and would prefer to just buy all new stuff (even IF available)  

I think the control is PROBABLY a Masterbuilt standard, but that element, for that round chamber, I dunno.

That IS an option, if it is the "lesser pain"

He will get back to us.       Marc
 
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