Hello from the garden of Eden

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Original poster
Jan 31, 2014
My name is Bart and I live in Eden, Utah, elevation approximately 5400 feet.

I've been trolling the site for a couple of months trying to get ideas on what smoker to buy and finally joined the forum.  Thanks to all of you who have posted such useful information, making my decision a bit easier.

I'm a rookie to smoking although I'm fairly adept at grillin'.   I ordered my MES 40 (20070311) the other day and it should be here Monday, the day after the Superbowl.   By the way, although by searching the web I've seen past deals that were better than mine, I think I got the best deal out there currently for the model I just bought.   Current low was on Amazon for $347.  After a couple of weeks of searching I saw that Gander Mountain had it on sale for $314 with free shipping but with a $10 upcharge for oversized shipping.  At checkout I saw the line for "promotional code" and wondered if I could find a code on-line.   I found a $30 off of $300 purchase and applied it, giving me a total delivered price of $296.

I've gone though many propane grills, the latest ones I own are a large Brinkman (I'm all about bang for the buck, I'd like to afford the best, but budget dictates otherwise).   I've had good luck grillin on it, adding smoke packets to flavor my grilled salmon, steaks and ribs. 

After a year long patio/awning project that I completed last fall, I added another Brinkman with the built in smoker in the cabinet.   I had very good luck with it, making very good St Louis style spare ribs and the best chicken wings I've ever had.

The success I had inspired me to get a bigger, dedicated smoker, thus the quest and the purchase of the MES .

After reading many posts I decided to go with the 40 over the 30 for capacity.  The ability to smoke full racks of ribs was the deciding factor.   Every year we have a family reunion camping trip that is attended by 40 - 60 people.   My goal is to do the cooking for that this year and my hope is to smoke 15 -18 racks of ribs (with the assistance of rib racks) plus some chicken thighs.   I'm hoping that if the ribs are left out overnight, covered in our trailer, the temperature of the meat will come up to about 55 to 60 degrees (the overnight temperature of where we camp), making it easier for the MES to get up to smoking temp with this much meat (any thoughts or input on my plan would be appreciated).

I know that people have had some issues with the heating element on the MES and many people have modified them.  I plan on viewing these posts to get ideas.  Any suggestions on what to do and read about would be appreciated.

I also plan on posting my thoughts on electrical extension cords for electric smokers (I've read that it is discouraged by Masterbuilt (and possibly others).

Best regards,

Bart Smith
Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything.   
[/h1][h1]  [/h1][h1]Gary[/h1]
Thank you Gary.  Looking forward to many hours of smoking and cruising the sight for ideas.

Coming from East Texas I'm sure you know a thing or two about meat.  Here in Utah we're more known for green Jell-O  
 ( a google search of green Jell-O and Utah will explain the unfortunate truth), however, there are some of us here who crave the mouth watering flavor of some smoked protein.

Last edited:
Bart, Welcome to SMF, from Midvale, Utah. Looks like the Utah contingent is slowly growing. I don't know what is worse-just plain green jello or the green jello with shredded carrots!

Anyhoo-thanks for coming out of lurker mode and joining the SMF family. Take the oppurtunity to sign up for TulsaJeff's weekly newletter and the 5 day smoking basic ecourse-you can find both at www.smoking-meat.com.

Enjoy the Smoke!
Hi Dutch,

Nice rig you got there.  

Anything on wheels peaks my interest, especially if it makes something you can eat.   I've always liked classic cars, I had a real problem at one time, 14 classic cars in various stages of restoration, including 3 Thunderbird convertibles.  A 12 step program helped, I'm down to 2 classics and 6 cars total.  

Anyway, a mobile smoker is the bomb, you're obviously serious about your obsession.   I would come to the conclusion that you may perhaps be in the commercial business?

If I had to choke down green Jell-O, I think I'd have to go with the one with the shredded carrots, might help to cancel out the sugar, or at least make me feel like I'm getting a serving of veggies.    Airy fairy (what I call Jell-O with Cool Whip and various fruits and even cottage cheese) is a whole another level of Utahn-ness (outsiders are probably thinking we're speaking our own language).

Yep, all ready signed up for the newsletter and the 5-day e-course, cool stuff indeed.

New smoker won't be here in time for the Super Bowl, but I picked up two jumbo packs of wings and 2 jumbo packs of chicken thighs tonight, gonna smoke in the Brinkmann grill on Sunday.    We're gonna have about a dozen guests over for the game, I'm going to try something a little different.  I think I'll mix some Famous Dave's Texas Pit (just a little zippier than regular BBQ sauce) with some orange marmalade, see if I can get kind of a Chinese spicey orange chicken thing going on.

Thanks for the welcome,

Hey Bart

Welcome to the forum.  You’ll find great, friendly people here.  You’ll also find a ton of info—if you have a question, just ask and you’ll get about 10 answers—all different  LOL  Don’t forget to post qviews  ANY jello with shredded carrots is DISGUSTING

Hi Gary, thanks for the welcome.

For the Super Bowl I smoked a big batch of wings and chicken thighs.   We got a shot of the cookie sheets full of the wings and thighs before the smoking, but by the time they were done the party was starting and we didn't take time to take any Qviews.  Next time though.

My MES40 20070311 arrived yesterday just as I was leaving for work.  I got home after midnight and of course I had to stay out in a 35 degree garage putting it together.   It's out on the front porch as I'm typing this (2:05 AM), seasoning.

I have to admit, I was somewhat disappointed with a few things on the build quality.  Granted, I realize this is a Chinese built unit and is built to a price point and the issues I had are mostly cosmetic in nature.

I would imagine that other Masterbuilt owners have probably had the same issues.  The stainless on top has an area that has some scratches and looks like the finish has a different brushed texture to it.  The plastic on the top of the door has a couple of small scratches/gouges in it.  Probably the most annoying thing is where the window is supposed to meet the stainless on the front of the door.  The latch side and the top side of the hole in the stainless door are wavy so the window insert does not meet and fasten to the stainless smoothly, there are gaps where the stainless doesn't touch the trim on the front of the window.

I'm sure this won't affect the performance though and I imagine after a year or two the unit is going to be a dirty smoky mess anyway.

Looking forward to smoking some meat this weekend.


Last edited:
I know what you mean Gary.

I ordered this on-line from Gander Mountain though, we don't have any of these stores locally.

I was picking nits with the marks on the stainless and the plastic on the top of the door.  These are probably things that can happen in a manufacturing plant where they're banging these things out and not being careful.

The biggest issue was the waviness in the door where it meets the window insert.

I seasoned the unit last night/very early this morning.   I went out and looked at it today and it has actually improved tremendously.   It appears that the heat from the conditioning has expanded the metal or something and the fit is much better.  Along the top of the window there used to be about a 3/16 inch gap all along the top, that has completely closed now.  Along the side where it was pretty wavy, it is now almost all completely sealed with only an area about an inch long that now has a very small gap.   The heating cycle has really tightened everything up.

I understand that you don't have an MES, but perhaps my experience will help any new owners that have the same issue.

Thanks for your time and response Gary.  Have a good day.

SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads