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Looking for a better electric smoker. Sugestions?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by cheezeerider, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. Just looking for some advice. I know there are a lot of people here who have the MES 30 and that is what I'm leaning towards. I currently have an electric ECB, and want something a little more reliable and that I can set and forget and run at a low temp for cold smoking. (A-Maze-N will be next) I've done some web searching and found some other models but I don't really trust any reviews that are posted on the manufacturers sites and the ones in review forums mostly seem like  people who probably have no clue what they're talking about and just like to complain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  2. athabaskar

    athabaskar Smoking Fanatic

    I'm really happy with my MES 40. I would suggest that if you do go with the MES you buy the 40 over the 30, but that's just me. I like to load up a smoker with whole briskets and full racks of ribs.
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Chris if you look in our Product Pages under Smokers & More you will see Electric Smokers listed and any reviews you find there are from our members. Its actually a great resource for info if we can just get more people to write reviews. I have the same unit you have but have never used it but I sure have seen lots of posts and threads from people with the MES30 and MES 40 that sure like them and produce some great food with them
  4. tjohnson

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

    I own a 40" MES and for the $$$ can't beat it.

  5. The MES 30/40 are what I'm thinkin', there are plenty of people here that have them and tons of available info too. Thanks for the tip on the product page......should have found that myself[​IMG]   Is the 30 big enough to smoke bigger stuff like pork shoulders and brisket? I would like to go bigger, but since I can get the 30 for $179 (about $200 less than the 40) it may be the smart choice for now.

    Thanks for the tips..
  6. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    I just built my own but most folks on here like the MES smokers and they toss out some amazing grub.
  7. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You should be able to get a pork butt ( I have put 8 in, the top shelf is a little tight) in the MES 30 and a picnic shoulder without any problem.  Can't get a full rack of ribs in, gotta cut em.
  8. I have a Smoker Model #2 and love it. Start it at night and go to bed.  Having been cooking almost every weekend since April and have not had a problem.  [​IMG]
  9. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    cheezeerider, you are NOT going to find a better smoker for the money than a 30" MES.  Insulated cabinet, digital temp control, external wood chip access, internal cabinet stainless.  Your only option is to build and by the time you finish you could easily be over $400.  I faced the same decision build or buy, and while I have most the tools, and old customers who owned sheet metal shops, I decided the best bang for buck, and for me at the time was the 40".  Why the 40" over the 30"?

    After the decision to buy vs build was made, choosing a 40 over a 30 and paying double the price was the next decision.  Rather than look at the money I focused on what I wanted.

    ► Be able to smoke enough ribs for a party of 30-40 people,  we do 2 or 3 big bbqs a year, and ribs is always featured at least two of them. 

    ► I wanted to lay ribs flat or not have to cut or roll them to fit. The 40" model allows you to put a whole rack of ribs either flat or stand on side in rib racks.  I use rib rack when smoking 9 or more racks of ribs.

    ► Overall capacity, Being able to smoke ribs, whole chickens, a whole turkey, brisket, etc, all at the same time, or having a shelf available to smoke appetizers while waiting for the main course to finish was important.

    ► After carefully reading the SMF electric forum at that time almost 3 years ago,  Though most 30" owners were happy with their MES, the most complaints came from 30" owners, it appeared that 40" owners were really happy with their purchase and using their MES.  I still believe this, but it is a gross generalization.

    If your smoked Q is good, you will be asked to smoke for more than just your family.  The MES hasn't made me a better cook, we all know that its the cook not the cooker that makes better food, but the MES makes the cooking easier, so I can concentrate on other things to make a great meal.  I just did my son's wedding rehearsal dinner for 40, while the ribs were smoking I prepared 4 or 5 other dishes, the only thing I had to do with the MES was put wood chips in, the MES  managed the temp and times for me, making the cooking easy.  If I had to tend another smoker always tweaking the temp, the smoke, hot/cold spots, etc  I couldn't have done as much other work required to make the evening a success.

    Last point there are many great products you can buy for smoking your meat, but the MES for the home smoker is as simple as it gets that can deliver quality Q.
  10. Thanks a lot for all of the responses everyone. Deltadude, I agree 100%. although I rarely smoke or grill for more than about 10 people at a time, I think I'll just wait til after winter and save a few extra bucks for the MES 40. I would hate to lay down the $200 now and regret not going bigger.

    One more question though, is there any down side to getting the 40 and doing mostly small smokes as opposed to just getting the 30?

    Thanks again

  11. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Have to agree w/ DD. Seen lots of folks say they wish they'd bought the 40" instead of the 30".

     No difference in doing 1 butt or a full smoker except recovery times

     IMHO ,You are making the right decision to wait and get the 40".

  12. I have a MES 30".....Absolutly love it. Today my Amazing smoker showed up so this weekend will be busy!

    For the money you cant beat the MES from my view point.
  13. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I totally agree with what DD said...

    I have the MES 40" and two A-MAZE-N-SMOKERS a 6X6 and a 6X8. If you can afford the 40" go with it especially if you can get one at Sam's Club for the $299.00 and get the extended 3yr warranty for $39.00...

    If not then go with the 30", you won't be sorry...

    Also If you get the AMNS spring for the 6X8 it is only $5.00 more and will allow you more time if needed...
  14. captsly

    captsly StickBurners

    I agree with all the above. I started out with the Cajun injector 30 inch electric (same as the 30 inch MES). It worked fine, just not enough room for me, and a little slower on the temp recovery time. The newer 40 inch MES has a temperature prob built in ( I don't completely trust it but it is usually within a few degrees of my Maverick), and with the 1200 watt element it recovers quickly. I got mine from Sams for the $299 and the 3 year extended warranty for $39. I use it so much my stick burner is starting to rust!! :)

  15. Thanks a lot everyone for the info and details. Looks like the MES 40 is coming before spring! I really appreciate all the responses. I guesse I can get the A-Maze-N in the mean time so I have something to play with.
  16. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Another point about going with the bigger smoker, its like TVs and boats, you will always want the bigger one.

    I have never heard a 40" owner say he wished he bought the 30", but that comment has been made several times by 30" owners, and many 30" owners have purchased a second MES in the 40" size.

    As for small loads in the bigger smoker.   When it cost only about 10 cents an hour to operate (that is my 40" older 800 watt unit, so may be 12 cents for the 1200 watt.  The cost isn't a factor.  The only difference will be how fast something cooks.  Larger loads take longer, however thanks to the thermostatic control both large and small loads are being cooked at the correct temp.
  17.  That applies too. LOL. I guess bigger is always better. Shouldn't be too hard to convince my wife using that philosophy.