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Is this what the inside of the MES is supposed to look like?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by casualsmoker, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. casualsmoker

    casualsmoker Newbie


    - found everyone's posts here extremely helpful and it convinced me to go get an MES a few months ago.

    - followed all of the instructions.

    - have smoked roughly 10 times now up to maximum temps of 220 for a max of about 6 hours (3-2-1), other than the initial steps it describes in the instruction to burn off the factory oil and prime it.

    - decided to do some rewiring and add a PID because I wasn't too fond of the temperature controller

    - just opened it earlier today and this is what I found inside (I'm not an engineer (my wife is).  Neither of us think that the inside should look like this and the pictures of the insides of other peoples MES who have done mods leads us to think so too

    - what the picture doesn't show is that the whole inside smells like burnt plastic and it hasn't even been turned on for 2 weeks

    Any thoughts?


  2. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I've had mine open, and it did not look that burnt.  Nor was the connection box in that spot.  How old is your model?  Maybe still under warranty?

    Here is a link to one picture of a series in my photoshack albums where I was describing my last connection repair.

    http://i311.photobucket.com/albums/kk451/dale5351/Masterbuilt smoker repair/img_1897.jpg

    I must say that since then I have learned things here that would definitely help me improve things the next time it happens.

    And just to make it easy -- here is that picture.  Use the link if you want to see the other pictures.

  3. john-z

    john-z Fire Starter

    Oh crap! Now i am going to have to remove the back of my 40"er to chk that out. That don't look right to me.
  4. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My 5 year old MES looks much better inside the panels.....
  5. You sure that it is burnt and not just smoke.  since it is insulated with foam, and foam is not the most fire stable product around, I really doubt that this is from a fire.  More likely it is from a leak around the element and since that area is cooler, natural convection will take place a draw smoke in there.  Much like how a draft is formed in your house.  With in the manual it states leakage will occur around joints and seams and this is normal.
  6. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper


    I was looking at the pic of your foam and it looks like you MES has a different foam than mine and other on the board. I would call masterbuilt and send them a pic of this and see if they respond. Looks like your foam has not been sprayed in. Do you have a newer MES?
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Not sure, but like Jacobs said, it looks like some smoke seeped through to make those stains.

    Doesn't take much gap for a little smoke to get through.

    Just a guess though,

  8. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The foam in my 30" MES is sprayed or poured around the chassis of the MES laying face down, it is molded almost perfectly and looks like the manufacturer trimmed a little for a better fit when putting the rear panel on. Haven't needed to open the 40" yet, so no idea there.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  9. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    That is good to know. I don't know if Masterbuilt is using the same overseas manufacture as the earlier MES. They did go threw a redesign when the current models where made and the one i have. I also don't know the fire proof rating on the foam insulation. This could be the case on your smoker. I have never see one with the foam that discolored before. I do have as email contact at masterbuilt. I will can send them the picture of casualsmokers to see if they can give me a determination on the cause.
  10. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    OK sent a email to Masterbuilt. We will see if they can answer our questions. By the way i was thinking about your MES model and if i recall there should be a gasket between the back of the heating element and the inside back wall of the smoker. Take a look at the gasket on your smoker and see if this is missing or gone. Look at step 6 in the following picture to see the gasket i am talking about.

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  11. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    My MES does not have such a gasket.  It is an older model, without the built in access panel (see picture above).  There is a metal plate that is screwed into the little metal box that you see there, and the grounding wire goes onto a center terminal on that plate.  Also, my heating element is a simple rectangle, not the back and forth design shown there.

    Also, in looking at the picture that causualsmoker posted, the "burnt" area is lower and to the side than where my heating element is connected.  Makes me wonder what model he (or she) really has?
  12. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    Dale5351  That picture is one of the new 40'' MES. I think casualsmoker has the newer 40'' MES with the window. I was looking at the pictures of the stand he built for his MES http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/96563/simple-cart-stand#post_520873    That is way i think it could be his gasket leaking causing the burnt spot in his foam. On the older MES 40'' there was no gasket behind the heating element. The 30'' you have only has a 500 watt rectangular design heating element and the old MES 40'' came with a 800 watt back and forth design element. The newer 40'' has a 1200 watt same back and forth design heating element. I found this out when i did the 800 to 1200 watt heating element upgrade to my 40" MES.

    Hope that helps..
  13. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The good news is he found out about the condition of his MES, and it is easily repairable.

    The bad news is he found out the condition of his MES and he has to repair it.

    What I'm saying is ok it happened, if the MES is under warranty work on Masterbuilt and get a replacement.  If the MES isn't under warranty then repair it.  It really shouldn't be that hard, 

    Either get a new element or clean up the old one and its contacts if the element is still good.  Cut out the burned out foam.  You can buy a can of insulating foam at Home Depot, and replace the burned out or damaged foam.  Reconnect the element, rewire with 12 gauge wire.  Make sure the element terminals are not touching metal and securely mounted.  The foam is really only one extra step added to the rewiring many owners have already done on their older MES units.

    The MES is still a great smoker, some MES units require more attention than others to keep them running.  Hell I just bought a new Whirlpool dishwasher, it was best rated by users at Sears.  I saved about $110 on the price buying it on Labor Day sale, refused to pay Sear's delivery charge so picked it up (they were out of stock), installed it, it didn't work!  Called Whirlpool they sent an independent appliance repair guy who said pump motor was bad (first one he ever saw out of the box bad).  We just moved into this house and dishwasher needed replacing, also we would be having guest for our son's wedding and didn't want to deal with a bad dishwasher.  Well guess what we had to do dishes by hand the whole weekend of the wedding (ME NOT HAPPY!).  The following week took the dishwasher back to sears they agreed to pay shipping and had a replacement next day.  When I un-crated the replacement whirlpool the rear wheel was laying in the bottom of the box and pieces of the destroyed mounting bracket.  I call and have a 3rd Whirlpool delivered the next day.  I never gave up on that Whirlpool when most of 49 people gave it 5 stars there had to be a reason, I am very happy I stuck with Sears and that Whirlpool model, it does a super job cleaning.  It was just my turn to get something defective, fortunately I was dealing with the right company.    So after telling you that,  there is a lot of people that rate the MES both 30" and 40" very high, and yes there are some that have had problems with either their new MES or almost new MES, but in the end Masterbuilt is a good company selling a good product that produces excellent BBQ.
    texacajun likes this.
  14. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    Dennis your exactly right about the MES

    Masterbuilt is a good company and they put out a good product.

    The best part is they stand by there product as I have found out first hand.

    Now there is even a Service rep for Masterbuilt posting on our Forum.

    I would highly recommend anything Masterbuit makes just for he simple fact they stand by their products.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010