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Master Built 30" digital blue tooth

Buddy55

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Joined Feb 2, 2021
I was given a Master Built digital smoker, model #20072115. The cover for the electronics degraded and is gone, so it does not turn on. Photos attached, (I hope). Yeah, it is pretty filthy. I will be doing a complete cleaning a little later (this weekend). I cleaned the controller with contact cleaner and plugged it in, nothing! Is there a way to test the burner. Oh, one other thing, the controller is no longer available, or with my searches.
Are there other tests I should consider? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
Bud
 

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GaryHibbert

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Morning Bud. Even if it's not working, it's still a good deal.
tallbm tallbm is the man to advise you on this, so hopefully he'll be along today.
Gary
 

normanaj

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Replacing the stock controller with a PID is highly recommended.Like Gary said tallbm tallbm is the guy to talk to.
 

tallbm

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I was given a Master Built digital smoker, model #20072115. The cover for the electronics degraded and is gone, so it does not turn on. Photos attached, (I hope). Yeah, it is pretty filthy. I will be doing a complete cleaning a little later (this weekend). I cleaned the controller with contact cleaner and plugged it in, nothing! Is there a way to test the burner. Oh, one other thing, the controller is no longer available, or with my searches.
Are there other tests I should consider? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
Bud
Hi there and welcome!

What I am about to tell you will sound very counter intuitive BUT it is 100% true, but first let me answer your questions.

Yes, there is a way to test your burner. It involves doing a very simple rewire so the plug feeds power directly to the heating element when you plug it in. WARNING: there will be no control so it will heat up and get hotter and hotter until you unplug it.

No, there are no other tests to consider besides rewiring and plugging in to see if the heating element heats up.


Now on to the fun stuff.
You very likely lucked out scoring this free Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch (MES40). If there is no issue with the heating element then you are in prime position to easily make this smoker into one better then anything Masterbuilt makes brand new!

So the simple rewire I mentioned above is literally cutting the ends off 4 wires and then splicing together with a pair of wire nuts to make 2 new whole wires.... that's it!
The rewire makes the smoker dumb so when power goes to the cord, it feeds to the heating element bypassing all of the electronics that Masterbuilt put in there. This is good because the electronics are of no use anymore without a controller.

Ok, so now that we covered the rewire let's cover next steps.
I suggest you buy an Auber PID Controller. The PID (stand for Proportional-Integral-Derivative) will allow you to punch in a set temp and will cut power on/off to the smoker until it measures the set temp inside of the smoker.

The PID controller works like this:
  • you plug your rewired MES40 into the PID controller
  • plug the PID controller into the wall for power
  • drop the thermometer into the smoker and clip to a rack
  • enter your set temp into the PID
  • PID will take power from the wall and feed to the MES40 plug until the smoker heats up and hits the set temp you entered into the PID
  • PID will then hold within 1-3 degrees of your set temp!!!!!
Now the hard part to swallow... one of these amazing Auber PID Controllers will run you about $150 before shipping. WHAT???
Yeah this is where you think "I could almost buy a brand new MES40 for that price".
You almost... almost could BUT you can't AND there is NO smoker new or otherwise that Masterbuilt makes that will come near the performance of this rewired smoker with the PID controller!!!

The best analogy I can give is like this.
A new MES40 is like buying a car, but you are buying a Ford Fiesta.
What you are doing here is like someone gave you a paint worn 1967 muscle car that didn't have an engine. So for a little less money you put a paint job and drop a 454 engine into it and guess what, you can freakin blow people off the road if you want and what you have is in NO WAY close to a Ford Fiesta hahaha.

I always say the best MES you can get is a free one that you rewire and drop a PID controller onto and you are like halfway there my friend! :)

Here is a super detailed post on the simple rewire for going the PID controller route. Many of us have gone this way and ALL of us are shocked we waited so long to do so hahaha none have regrets.

Finally, if you rewire and go PID route you can hold temps within 1-3 degrees of what you set. This means you can actually smoke bacon, sausage, and sandwich meat loaves without fear of melting the fat out. Total control!!!
You can now do jerky and really low temp smokes for like fish nuggets and such with no fear of over cooking anything.
Also you can actually hit the 275F max temp that the smoker claims but rarely hits on it's own.
Nothing but wins man.

Finally, finally, I would take that to a spray car wash and spray it clean inside, being gentle with the heating element, and then let it dry open for a number of days. My brother did that with his used one :)

If you made it this far in the post then ask any and all questions you have and we can get you sorted out. I PROMISE you will not be disappointed if you go the PID route :)
I hope this info helps :)
 

Buddy55

Newbie
10
0
Joined Feb 2, 2021
Hi there and welcome!

What I am about to tell you will sound very counter intuitive BUT it is 100% true, but first let me answer your questions.

Yes, there is a way to test your burner. It involves doing a very simple rewire so the plug feeds power directly to the heating element when you plug it in. WARNING: there will be no control so it will heat up and get hotter and hotter until you unplug it.

No, there are no other tests to consider besides rewiring and plugging in to see if the heating element heats up.


Now on to the fun stuff.
You very likely lucked out scoring this free Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch (MES40). If there is no issue with the heating element then you are in prime position to easily make this smoker into one better then anything Masterbuilt makes brand new!

So the simple rewire I mentioned above is literally cutting the ends off 4 wires and then splicing together with a pair of wire nuts to make 2 new whole wires.... that's it!
The rewire makes the smoker dumb so when power goes to the cord, it feeds to the heating element bypassing all of the electronics that Masterbuilt put in there. This is good because the electronics are of no use anymore without a controller.

Ok, so now that we covered the rewire let's cover next steps.
I suggest you buy an Auber PID Controller. The PID (stand for Proportional-Integral-Derivative) will allow you to punch in a set temp and will cut power on/off to the smoker until it measures the set temp inside of the smoker.

The PID controller works like this:
  • you plug your rewired MES40 into the PID controller
  • plug the PID controller into the wall for power
  • drop the thermometer into the smoker and clip to a rack
  • enter your set temp into the PID
  • PID will take power from the wall and feed to the MES40 plug until the smoker heats up and hits the set temp you entered into the PID
  • PID will then hold within 1-3 degrees of your set temp!!!!!
Now the hard part to swallow... one of these amazing Auber PID Controllers will run you about $150 before shipping. WHAT???
Yeah this is where you think "I could almost buy a brand new MES40 for that price".
You almost... almost could BUT you can't AND there is NO smoker new or otherwise that Masterbuilt makes that will come near the performance of this rewired smoker with the PID controller!!!

The best analogy I can give is like this.
A new MES40 is like buying a car, but you are buying a Ford Fiesta.
What you are doing here is like someone gave you a paint worn 1967 muscle car that didn't have an engine. So for a little less money you put a paint job and drop a 454 engine into it and guess what, you can freakin blow people off the road if you want and what you have is in NO WAY close to a Ford Fiesta hahaha.

I always say the best MES you can get is a free one that you rewire and drop a PID controller onto and you are like halfway there my friend! :)

Here is a super detailed post on the simple rewire for going the PID controller route. Many of us have gone this way and ALL of us are shocked we waited so long to do so hahaha none have regrets.

Finally, if you rewire and go PID route you can hold temps within 1-3 degrees of what you set. This means you can actually smoke bacon, sausage, and sandwich meat loaves without fear of melting the fat out. Total control!!!
You can now do jerky and really low temp smokes for like fish nuggets and such with no fear of over cooking anything.
Also you can actually hit the 275F max temp that the smoker claims but rarely hits on it's own.
Nothing but wins man.

Finally, finally, I would take that to a spray car wash and spray it clean inside, being gentle with the heating element, and then let it dry open for a number of days. My brother did that with his used one :)

If you made it this far in the post then ask any and all questions you have and we can get you sorted out. I PROMISE you will not be disappointed if you go the PID route :)
I hope this info helps :)
Thank you for the help. I do appreciate it. Now, to continue being a pain. If the element is bad, would you recommend upgrading to the 1200 watt? I live in Colorado and sometimes try to smoke during the winter. Mostly for Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday (mid january.)
Again thanks for replying so fast. I love this forum.
Bud
 

Buddy55

Newbie
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Joined Feb 2, 2021
Thanks to everyone who is trying to help me (I am a bit of a challenge ).
I just got done with burnt end last weekend. This was the second time. The first was good, this attempt was soo much better. I have two smokers now. My go-to is a master built analog. I have learned a lot with it, but just could not pass this up.
Bud
 

tallbm

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Joined Dec 30, 2016
Thank you for the help. I do appreciate it. Now, to continue being a pain. If the element is bad, would you recommend upgrading to the 1200 watt? I live in Colorado and sometimes try to smoke during the winter. Mostly for Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday (mid january.)
Again thanks for replying so fast. I love this forum.
Bud
Ah I thought you posted about an MES40, I see it's an MES30 (as in the title haha).
I think someone put the 1200watt burner in an MES30 once with no issue other than the element tends to make one side of the smoker hotter than the other but hell what smoker isn't like that already.

I personally would not invest in the 1200watt element until I got everything else up and running to see how it performed. With the size of the MES30 the 800w element may work just fine.
Also due to the size restriction you may do all that element swapping work just to find out that the capacity is so small that you cant really take advantage of the 1200w ability.

With a PID controller and the amazing insulation of an MES I feel like you will be able to get up to temp without many if any issues. Simply close the vent on the top while you start to get the heat built up and then open it up once you hit your temp and the PID should keep it at the temp you want. The analog smokers have zero insulation so that one will struggle in cold temps but the MES shines when it comes to box construction and insulation.

Finally if you decide you want to upgrade from the MES30 to a free or super cheap used MES40. You are another simple rewire away on the 2nd unit so that your PID controller can be switched between them at will. Some guys like to have a dedicated sausage, bacon, turkey, and cold smoker separate from their main smoker. This could be an option for ya.

Keep at the smoking, I bet 3rd attempt will be a charm!!!
 

Buddy55

Newbie
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0
Joined Feb 2, 2021
You mentioned cold smoking. At what temp do you 'cold smoke'? Is it even on?
How do you get the 'smoke? Is there another smoke generator outside or away from the smoker?
And would you not to use the same smoker for both?
I often read about cold smoking, but never considered until you mentioned it.

Also about the PID controller, I have mine about half finished.
I was thinking about installing it on the analog smoker to get better control. But maybe not.
Yes, I know. I am an electronic geek. I have a door bell that plays several different tunes, about 6. For Christmas, New Year, birthdays and any other holiday. OK, more than 6. It was a BAD plan. My kids and later grandkids would stand at the door, pushing the button. My wife would go crazy and yell because there was only them at the door. She was unable to handle it well. Although they are having a wonderful time. Their doorbell or any other doorbells would not do that.
I loved it.
 
Last edited:

Buddy55

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Joined Feb 2, 2021
OK. I have taken some time and read about cold smoking. It looks interesting I will have give it more thought. Maybe not meats or sausages, but cheeses, salts, maybe spices and herbs. I think I saw a design for a smoke generator I could use
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Dec 30, 2016
You mentioned cold smoking. At what temp do you 'cold smoke'? Is it even on?
How do you get the 'smoke? Is there another smoke generator outside or away from the smoker?
And would you not to use the same smoker for both?
I often read about cold smoking, but never considered until you mentioned it.

Also about the PID controller, I have mine about half finished.
I was thinking about installing it on the analog smoker to get better control. But maybe not.
Yes, I know. I am an electronic geek. I have a door bell that plays several different tunes, about 6. For Christmas, New Year, birthdays and any other holiday. OK, more than 6. It was a BAD plan. My kids and later grandkids would stand at the door, pushing the button. My wife would go crazy and yell because there was only them at the door. She was unable to handle it well. Although they are having a wonderful time. Their doorbell or any other doorbells would not do that.
I loved it.
I personally run my smoker to do regular and cold smoking. I don't have room for multiple smokers. I have no issues doing either with my PID MES40 setup.

Cold smoking is done where temps will be below 70F degrees. So in climates like Texas or Arizona, etc. there are only a few times of the year when cold smoking is even possible due to high ambient temps. So as long as your meat isn't freezing and you are under 70F temp you can have the smoker on/off to get that range of 33F-70F. When I cold smoke It's usually 38-40F outside and inside the smoker but the pellets and MES insulation end up with temp in the smoker of like 60-68F. I often have to put a tray of ice in the smoker to keep it from getting to 70F and above. In Colorado you have actual cooler seasons to cold smoke and may even have to run the smoker on like 40F if it's so cold outside you need to generate a draft for the smoke to circulate while cold smoking.

All of us MES guys use the A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker (AMNPS) tray or tube to burn wood pellets for perfect Thine Blue Smoke (TBS)!! The tray will burn with no effort for up to 12 hours. The tube does like 3 and is slightly heavier smoke. With an electric smoker and an AMNPS tray you can truly set and forget. I do all my briskets and pork butts and such over night and let my wireless thermometer alarm wake me up when it is time to check for tenderness/readiness in the morning lol. I love it!
Plus 40 pounds of pellets last FOREVER for producing amazing smoke flavor. Wins all around.

I use what is known as a "Mailbox Mod" with my AMNPS inside of it. The mailbox mod is basically a mailbox with a 3inch duct and joint hooked to it that hooks into the MES feed chip hole. The smoke from the AMNPS flows up and into the MES and out of it. Simple.
This completely disconnects smoke from heat generation so you can mess with them independently. Some people can put the AMNPS inside the smoker but many MES30 guys have issues and have to go with the mailbox mod.
I also cold smoke salmon a couple of times a year and having the mailbox mod helps me control heat from building up in the smoker from the pellets since it is a contraption outside the smoker.

So you are a building a PID aye? Make sure you have an SSR that is able to easily handle 15 amps. I think mine is a 40 Amp simply because it was the least expensive that could do the job and well overpowered for my MES40's 1200w burner lol.

Yeah I think the masterbuilt analogue smokers are 1400w burners so an SSR beefy enough to handle it will handle any master built smoker you will come across.
Your PID would be able to work with any of the smokers in that case which is nice!!

Word to the wise. Avoid project box outlets, switches, fuse holders, and other components that are inexpensive and made in China. I've gone through at least 15+ of those various parts in my setup. It's infuriating for them to melt down on you though they are supposed to be rated for the job.

I started cannibalizing 16 awg outdoor extension cords for my controller outlet plugs. I bought a 100A marine breaker switch (goes in boats) for my on/off switch. I bought an American made fuse holder, and so on because I got tired of my personally built controller's cheap Chinese components melting down all the time. As you can tell with by a 100A marine breaker switch I was so pissed off I bought something that could not possibly melt down with the amperage my system was pulling hahaha.

Basically I would suggest you build a self contained PID controller so you can bring it in and out of the house and move it amongst your various electric smokers.

Here is an image right after I installed the 100A switch in my homemade PID. The pictures does not show my updated outlets. The project box outlets that have plugs hooked into them are now gone and I now have relief grommets with cannibalized outlet cords in place of those outlets. No more melting down outlets for me haha.
full?d=1507248245.jpg


Here is a link to the AMPNS tray that you can get at Home Depot. It honestly is a no brainer for up to 12 hours perfect unassisted smoke generation and is truly an amazing product:


Keep the questions coming.
I hope this info helps :)
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Dec 30, 2016
OK. I have taken some time and read about cold smoking. It looks interesting I will have give it more thought. Maybe not meats or sausages, but cheeses, salts, maybe spices and herbs. I think I saw a design for a smoke generator I could use
For me it's all about cold smoking salmon lox... mmmmm so good! I have also smoked salt but I just do that off the he side on a rack when I'm doing a small smoke. Salt doesn't care about the heat but I try not to cross contaminate with steam, oil, etc. rising up or drippings coming down so it's usually off to the side of a half used lower rack :)

If I could get cool enough temps here in TX I would cold smoke me some chocolate and give that a try. I heard it's awesome but temps don't cooperate enough for me to try hahah.

FYI, when cold smoking if there is no draft then the smoke does not circulate and exit the smoker. When oxygen is gone the smoke becomes stale and horribly nasty flavors develop so I built a cold smoker assist contraption after another member posted their contraption. I took their inspiration and came up with this, no more stale cold smoke issues :)
full.png


I figured you would enjoy this simple homemade contraption. It's cardboard rolled into a tube around a tin can. There is a computer blower fan blowing upwards to create draft. I set this over my vent hole and plug it in and boom the upward draft sucks air up and out of the MES preventing smoke from lingering and getting stale :)
 
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