1. 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.

lack of smoke upgrade kit

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bobbygee, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. bobbygee

    bobbygee Smoke Blower

    Masterbuilt posted a message on facebook regarding folks who own the ESQ-30 smoker ,now have the option to receive an upgrade kit which addresses the lack of smoke issue alot of us have regarding newer electric smokehouse digital smokers.Hopefully Masterbuilt will roll out the mode for the rest of us..here is the message on facebook....

      If you have a Digital Smoker Model ESQ30, please take a moment to read the note we posted today about the upgrade kit. We have also posted an instructional video with easy installation instructions for this kit on our website (http://www.masterbuilt.com/videos.html).
  2. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    This is great.

    My son had bought one of those from Cabelas.

    It wouldn't even smoke at 225˚.

    He took it back to Cabelas & an MES 40 followed him home (works great).

    This upgrade kit basically changes one like he got that didn't smoke, to the way my MES 30 is, that I got 4 months earlier, that does work. It ends up with the full chip drawer, without an extra piece of metal between the element & the chip drawer.

    Darryl must have had something to do with this fix. He's a great Tech!

  3. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    Kudos to Masterbuilt for listening to the customers!

    One thing not mentioned in the video is the fact that the chip loader also has a plate on it to make it half size.  I'm not sure if that is just a screw-on plate or not -- but it would need to be removed to allow one to load the full box.

    The MES in that video is a lot cleaner inside than mine:-}}
  4. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good move by customer support, good news gets around fast. So does bad news...
  5. it doesnt look like they intended it to be a full load like the older ones (which i have) that you dump the entire cup onto the heating element.

    i think they were going for ease of cleaning vs amount of smoke. wich means the the first couple hours you would have to do double

    time to achieve the amount of smoke you desire. what i do like is the window. sometimes i wish i could see into mine

    but alas im good just opening it. i do however need to get a new digital. left mine in the sun now you have to push down on it to read

    the display or setting the temp
  6. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The chip box looks to be twice the size, but the chip loader still has the stinking divider in it.  I would take the divider out, so you could dump across the entire chip box.  Still, you should only dump about a cup at a time, or all you'll do is make good creosote!!!

  7. bobbygee

    bobbygee Smoke Blower

    After reviewing the mod video,I decided to tinker with my 40". I removed that piece of metal inbetween the heating element and the chip tray by removing the 2 screws on the left hand side and prying off the rivits on the right with a screw driver and hammer.Without that metal the tray was just sitting ontop of the element and was very loose fitting.I then I took a pair of tin snips and cut out that metal so all is left is 2 "C shaped" pieces that are about 5" long.I secured that back in the smoker using 1 screw in the front left and front right side of the smoking chamber(I didnt secure the back) .

     Works like a CHAMP!!.I now have nice consistant smoke at 225 degrees and the chips burn down to white powder.This is how it should have worked from the beginning.I still be using my  A-MAZE-N-SMOKER  for long smokes, but for quick 2 hour session, I can use the smoker as intended.  
  8. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great job fixin' it. That extra piece of metal was the main culprit!

    I like when you burn a chunk in the drawer. Then you open the drawer, and the chunk still has the same shape, but it's all white powder

    Touch it and it collapses.

    BTW: Being from Limerick, can't you just set the meat outside for awhile?

    Just kidding!

  9. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic


    Can you post a picture of what you did?  It would help other folks. 
  10. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I tinkered with the chip loader & pan, and decided to leave it alone. Now I've got an idea to fix mine with a larger pan!!!

    I watched the video again, and noticed there is no heat deflector that sits between the new chip pan and the burner, and the new chip pan is twice as wide.  Does the new chip pan sit directly on the heating element?

    I'm interested in pics to see exactly what you did....Please?

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  11. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    That new replacement (in the video) is exactly like my 14 month old MES 30 looks inside--Full drawer, and the only metal under your chips is the drawer bottom itself, except my chip dumper isn't blocked off at all..

  12. bobbygee

    bobbygee Smoke Blower

    Hey Bear I get the nuc power plant comments all the time....I can see that stacks from my house.If I had a set of long enough jumper cables, I could get free electricity..

    Hey Todds I like your idea of a larger chip tray but that would require some work....I'm going to start a new thread with pics of my mod..
  13. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    I got a power line right in back of my house (sizzles when it's humid out). I tell people I can lay a pair of eggs on my window sill to fry them up.

    I used to drive a lot on 422, by the power plant, and see that white smoke for miles. I had to drive that route one time that there was a tractor trailer flipped, and his whole load of Kotex were spread out on 422 for about a mile & a half! Everybody was cracking up (laughing, not cracking up their cars).
  14. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When is Masterbuilt going to make the conversion available for their 40" units?

  15. Is this for the 30" with window?  It sure looks the same inside (before mod) as both of mine which I purchased in August! I can't find any info on a model ESQ30.
  16. mbtechguy

    mbtechguy Newbie

    Hey Guy's,

          Without going into great detail, we did have some issues with the ESQ30 (Window, and non-window) not producing enough smoke.  As you all know, the change to the chip box/chip tray was made at the same time that we increased the wattage on our elements.  Although this new design was tested thoroughly, the production unit's did not perform quite as well as anticipated.  While achieving our goal to reduce heat up, and recovery time, the "lack" of smoke issue arose.  Adding to this, was one of the hottest summer season's we have had recently, which, with the increased wattage, reduced the cycle time even more, not allowing the chips to ignite in some instances.   While we do have a limited amount of retro-kits in stock, we are working hard to receive more asap.  I am currently at the factory, to ensure timely delivery.  Everyone at Masterbuilt is dedicated to producing the safest, best performing products on the market, and providing superior customer service.  We do listen to our customers, your suggestions, and I hope the improvements to our products show that.  I try to visit this site weekly at a minimum, and you are welcome to mail me anytime, and I will get back to you asap.  Tks.  Darryl

    During the time we were developing the "retro-fit kit", I worked with several customers directly to verify the design, and I would like to post one of their comments below:

    "Today was the BIG event for the Retro-Fit. Went wonderful. At a set temp of 200 degrees I had smoke within 5 minutes (130degrees) and full smoke within 8 minutes. 7 and 1/2 hours later I foiled the ribs with bbq sauce. Another 1/2 hour and the meal was ready. The meat fell off the bone and the flavor of smoke was wonderful. Sorry, no pics, we ate it all. I did add about 2 inches of water in the pan so the meat would stay moist during the process and used dry chips twice.

    Thanks for making us happy! Joe"
  17. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Let me add that whatever Darryl says, you can take it to the bank.

    I'm speaking with experience here---I had some Great Service, and it was caused by Darryl (MBTechguy).

  18. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic


    Hi and Thanks for your participation here.

    My MES30 is 4+ years old, hence it does not have the access panel to get to the connections for the heating element.  I've told myself that if and when those connections fail again, I'm going to attempt to jury-rig some sort of access panel.   Is the connection box as found on the current models available as a part?  How about heavy duty wires and connectors?
  19. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for jumping in Darryl!!

    It's great that your guys are listening to us and making the right changes to Masterbuilt Smokers!

    When is Masterbuilt going to make a "Retro Fit Kit" for the 40".  It seems the 40" with a 1200 watt element also heats up too fast for the chips to burn properly.

    Todd Johnson
  20. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I assume the Retro-Fit works for my 20070910 model.  I just received one as a replacement for the 20070106 that "died"  after less than 7 months.  I did notice the smaller wood chip holder, and I'm hoping lack of smoke won't be an issue.  So, will the Retro-Fit work for mine?