How to tell??

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by rhoades, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. So in the market for a masterbuilt electric smoker, from what I've read the generation 1 smoker is the best one, so how do you tell the difference between a gen 1 and a gen 2?
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The easiest way to tell is the Generation 1 has the digital controls in a slanted box that mounts to the center-back of the top.

    The Generation 2 has the digital control built into the top front edge, above the door.

    There are a few other ways, but that is the easiest way.

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  3. chiefwej

    chiefwej Smoke Blower

    Also if you are looking at MES40's:

    Door hinge is on right, vent on top right = Gen.1
    Door hinge on left, vent on side = Gen.2
    The last two digits of the model number is the model year. 011 is 2011 (Gen.1) 2012 or later = Gen.2.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  4. Ok so how big of a difference is there between the 30" and the 40"? How much more meat can a 40" hold, or I guess how much meat can a 30" hold?
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Big difference!!

    I started with an MES 30, since it's just me & Mrs Bear.

    However I soon learned I could only put 7 pounds of Beef Sticks in & I had to cut my Rib Racks in half, etc, etc.

    Plus not enough room between racks for full size Butts.

    After a year I got my MES 40 & an AMNPS, and I've been a Happy Camper for 4 years so far!!!

  6. chiefwej

    chiefwej Smoke Blower

    The 40 doesn't take much more space or use much more electricity. It does cost a little more up front, but I'm very happy that I started out with a MES 40. You can fit a full 17 pound packer brisket on a shelf. So you could theoretically smoke up to four full packers or four pork shoulders at a time. I haven't tried it, but if you plan on having 100 of your closest friends over for some BBQ you'd be all set.
  7. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  9. You will be happier if you get a MES 40 gen1 and a AMNPS. The AMNPS makes life so much better and you can repeat what you have done over and over. You can also sleep while you are doing it.

    Happy smoken.

  10. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  11. chiefwej

    chiefwej Smoke Blower

    AMNPS is a very simple and ingenious pellet burning, smoke generator tray. It was designed to fit perfectly into the MES Gen1. 5x8 inches and it sets on the two bars to the left of the heating unit in the bottom of the smoker. The location allows it to draw heated air and fill your smoker with perfect thin blue smoke for hours with no attention required. No moving parts, no electricity, it just works. Quite ingenious
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You can't go by that. 

    The Model #20071014 is made in 2014, but it is a Gen #1. It is an MES 30, but I'm sure any new MES 40 Gen #1 will use the same last two numbers (14).

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  13. chiefwej

    chiefwej Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the clarification. I didn't know they were still making Gen.1 units. That's great news. So the only thing the last two digits show then is the year it was manufactured.
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes---It's still the year.

    I didn't know for sure that they were still making Gen #1 until (Riverrat ??) posted the 20071014 unit, but since so many people were still buying them, I figured they must be making them.

  15. Bear,  I have a question about the last two digits of the model number. I have 30" perhaps the most popular model. Of all the 30" MES models the 2007910 is very popular. It is still sold and featured on the MB on line catalog and other places (Amazon).  I think it is a current model. I think that the last two digits of the model number could be the year of first manufacture or the year of conception not necessarily the year of manufacture? Could this be true? This is almost splitting hairs but it is good to know the MB folks have recognized popular and good selling model and continue to produce it.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I can't tell you for sure if the 910 was made in 2010 or still being made today & using the same 910. I never looked into it, because to me it never mattered.

    At the present time, The important thing to me is to get the Gen #1, which has the Digital controls in a box mounted center back of the top. When it was made is not important IMHO.

  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Let's put it this way: I've got a MES 30 Gen 1 and I just smoked two racks of baby back ribs on Sunday. When I put the racks on the shelves, the ribs were so long they were butting up against the walls on both sides. It was some tricky maneuvering in a hot, smoky smoker to position them at an angle to keep the pressing of the meat against the walls down to a minimum. Of course the meat shrinks during the cook and the problem goes away. But then after I finish smoking I've got to clean the dried meat and sauce from those walls on both sides.

    The MES 30 fit my budget and since I primarily cook for only up to 3 people, I don't need a larger smoker. In addition, the MES fits perfectly on a hand truck for wheeling out and into my garage. However, when it came to those ribs or a large brisket, having a few more inches of clearance on both sides would have been great. If I were in the market for a new Masterbuilt, I'd choose a 40-inch model.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  18. I like you don't normally need a 40 and agree it would be nice to have a larger unit. At the time the 30" was at my price point. I personally don't mind cutting slabs in half.

     My question to Bear was not to be argumentative. I was just wondering if the 910 units sold in 2014 were made in 2010 according to the belief that the last 2 digits of the model number is the year of manufacture or just a style number.

     It is not a big deal to me either since I have a Gen 1
  19. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We have some similarities here regarding why we purchased the 30" models. Like you, For me, it's more of an intellectual exercise in finding out how the model numbers work. Finding out MB assigns special model numbers to retailer-customized product lines was interesting. But back to the size of my MES: it's otherwise large enough to cook just about anything else I put in there. I will choose a brisket flat with the size of the smoker in mind.

    I thought it was sacrilegious to cut racks of ribs in two, against the BBQer's code or something,  Do the cut ends dry out more than the entire slab would otherwise? Probably not; I've cut long skirt steaks in half to fit and they cooked up just fine. I suppose then the ribs would cook up like they normally wood. But as I said, after the racks have cooked awhile they shrink away from the walls.

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