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Masterbuilt Smokers (Bear’s Thoughts & Findings)

Bearcarver

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Hi Bear,
Thoughts on this smoker... It has 2 vents on top.

I haven't seen much on that one yet:
I'd like to see the layout of the inside for air flow.
The Broiler with 2 vents is a good idea, but that's also another thing to have problems with.
IMO that one is hinged on the wrong side, but that may be just me & not a big deal.

That price of $299 sounds good, but like I say, "I'd like to see the interior first".

Bear
 

Paul6506

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I haven't seen much on that one yet:
I'd like to see the layout of the inside for air flow.
The Broiler with 2 vents is a good idea, but that's also another thing to have problems with.
IMO that one is hinged on the wrong side, but that may be just me & not a big deal.

That price of $299 sounds good, but like I say, "I'd like to see the interior first".

Bear
Thank you Sir,
I also wanted to see a picture of the insides. I will keep looking for one.
 

Bearcarver

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amazon" style="max-width:120px"> View attachment 451992 amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Same one from Amazon.

OK---Now I'll say this:
The inside is the best interior they have in their collection. (Like My Gen #2.5)
However these 2 ads are showing $649 for it, instead of $299. I thought $299 was too cheep for that one, but I also think $649 is Too Much.


Bear
 

Bearcarver

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adidasno21

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Hello MES fans, I'm considering this used 40" MES ... but wasn't sure about the water pan. From what I've read here, vent on top left, with a left hand hinge are good, but it the waterpan setup appears like the earlier models.

So my question is, should I get this one (and possibly replace the water pan), or should I hold out for a unit with the oval shaped water pan?

REF, this unit (model# 20075315) is advertised that it was purchased new in 11/2019 (so a bit over a year old).

any help is appreciated

1610385517830.png


1610385541210.png
 

Bearcarver

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The water Pan isn't the problem. The water pan is just one of the ways of distinguishing which one it is.
The one you are showing is the Generation #2, but if you're willing to do some changes, it could be made OK, if everything else is Good.

If you get it, you should get rid of the slanted Drip plate completely, including the little water pan. Then put the bottom Rack in, and put a Foil pan (9" X 12") in the center of that bottom rack. That's actually all it needs. The slanted Drip plate is the biggest problem with the Gen #2. It blocks air flow & forces the heat to stay on the right side of the smoker.
It really isn't that much to do. I used to say you had to get a big water pan, but a foil pan on the bottom rack should take care of the drippings, and you can change it now & then, instead of having to clean it.

Bear
 

Smoken Rock

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Masterbuilt Smokers (Bear’s Thoughts & Findings)

Before I start, I want to say the following are my findings & my opinions. Not all Smokers are alike, and not all people look at things the same way. Some may have success where I haven’t & some may have had problems where I haven’t. However after posting & reading many threads & posts about the MES smokers over the years, I believe many people will agree with much of my findings below. I’m hoping this information will help some of you when you have to decide which MES Smoker to purchase.

Note: How to tell which Generation is which:
MES Generation Number Recognition Pictures & Pics (Digital Units)

MES 30, Gen #1:
Back about 6 years ago, I bought my first Masterbuilt Smoker. It was an MES 30 Gen #1, all black exterior, with the squared corner Digital control box on the top back of the smoker. It worked Great, and I loved it, except for the size. Most of the time I only cook for the two of us, but I didn’t like having to cut Rib Racks and Briskets in half, and I really hated only being able to smoke 7 pounds of my Bear Sticks at one time.
The only trouble I ever had with that smoker was when one of the Digits on the control Read-out stopped working. By that time it was no longer in Warrantee, but Masterbuilt sent me a replacement control box, Free of charge. They said they wanted to look into it to see what the cause was. Other than that the only weakness this one had was the right side was nearly always hotter than the left side, and I had always said the top Vent should be in the left side of the top, instead of the right. I figured then that would balance the heat from right to left.
I ended up selling this smoker cheap ($50) to one of the guys who works for my Son, after getting my MES 40.

MES 40, Gen #1:
Then about 1 year later, I got my MES 40 Gen #1, all SS, with Remote Control & Glass window in the Door. This thing worked Great for 5 years, and I smoked an awful lot of Great tasting food with that Smoker, until the Heating Element connector corroded off. It was easily repaired with a new connector & a little solder. The only other problem I ever had with that smoker was the right side being hotter than the left side. I was able to level that left to right heat difference, by adding a piece of Aluminum in the bottom right side, above the heating element. I could raise & lower the left side of that sheet to push heat over toward the left, and I always said the top Vent should be in the top of the left side of the smoker instead of the right, and that would probably fix that heat balance. The main problem here is both the Heating element and the Top Vent are on the Right, so the heat wants to run straight up the right side, unless you use a deflector. This Smoker still works Great.

MES 40 Gen #2:
Then a few months after my Open-Heart Surgery, I was asked by Masterbuilt if I would be willing to test their new Smoker, if they would send one to me. They said there was mixed reviews on it, and since I was well versed on the Generation #1 Smoker, they would like me to test it out, and give them an honest review of it, comparing this Gen #2 to my old Gen #1. They would also like any suggestions as to what I would do to improve it, if anything. I agreed to do the testing, and it was delivered that week.
I put it together, and swapped positions with my Gen #1 on my Smoking Porch. It had a problem with the control, but I managed to get it up to temp, and did all kinds of tests, mainly for balance of heat from left to right, and some from different heights. After a few days of testing, I notified MB, and told them what I had found. They were going to send me a new controller, but I told them not to bother, because the heat differences were too much for me to want to use this Smoker, and I’ll just go back to using my Gen #1.
However I told them I would still give them my suggestions to improvements that could be made:

#1 Get rid of the slanted Drip Plate with the small water pan hanging from it.

#2 Replace that Drip Plate with a full width Water Pan, similar to what is in the Gen #1 Smoker.

#3 Remove the Top vent in the left side wall, and put a top vent like the Gen #1 has, but in the left side of the Top, instead of the Right.

#4 Leave the door hinged on the left side the way the Gen #2 is, instead of the right side, like the Gen #1 is.
They thanked me for my testing, reporting back, and for the suggestions, and told me they would send me one of their new model, that would have some of my changes included in it. I wasn’t too sure that would ever happen, but sure enough, I got it a couple weeks ago.

MES 40 Bluetooth, Gen # 2.5:
So the one they sent me is the MES 40 Bluetooth “Elite”, all black with the Glass in the door. It has 6 racks in it instead of 4, and it’s without the legs. (Legs wouldn’t work good with my setup anyway)
Every one of the suggestions I made above is incorporated into this smoker, and it seems as though they have served their purpose. I did various tests, mostly temperature balance test, and I couldn’t believe the results. After recording 126 temperature readings overall, I can say that this one outperforms all others in the heat balance department by far, including my Gen #1. The initial over-run is easily eliminated in a very short time, and when I did the testing at my most used Temp of 230°, I found the MES digital read-out to be about 15° lower than my Maverick readings. That’s closer than my Kitchen oven was when I checked it, and I don’t find it a big deal to set my MES at 215° to get my meat to be Smoking in a Temp of 230°.
Now here’s the part I really like. After putting a Maverick Smoker Probe on both the Left & Right sides at the same time, I set the Temp to 215°, because I wanted an average of 230° on rack #3. In a very short time the heat stabilized, so that the MES Readout cycled from a low of 213° to a high of 217°. These temps come from the MES heat sensor, which is in the center of the back wall of the smoker. At this same time, the heat on the Left Side was cycling from a low of 228° to a high of 232°. And as hard as it is to believe, the right side was also cycling from a low of 228° to a high of 232°. After watching & recording it for hours at different Temps, I watched this cycling for about 20 minutes. Then tiring from the hours of watching & recording, I took an hour break, and went in the house to my recliner. Then after that hour, I went back out to see what it was doing, and it was still cycling with those exact same temperatures. I had seen enough to make this report, and this is the report I gave to Masterbuilt.
I couldn’t believe how this Smoker cycled from 228° to 232° for hours, making that average the 230° I wanted, and both sides were the same Temp without using a makeshift heat deflector to balance it out. IMHO, A heat cycle range of 4° is Amazing!!!
I did not hook-up to Bluetooth, because I don’t have anything to do it with, and I have no problem going out there to the smoker to make my settings & changes, and I like to check on how much smoke I’m getting at certain intervals anyway. However, my Son said he might have something I can use & he’ll install the App.

So those are my findings over 6 years of MES use.

Hoping this helps some of you,

Bear
I’ve a problem with my 20075515 electric smoker. I can set the control panel properly. Red led for heat comes on. No voltage to element. Note: I’ve also checked Ohms reading OK. I’ve cleaned the sensor probe and bimetallic disk inside smoke box. Still no voltage to element
 

Bearcarver

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I’ve a problem with my 20075515 electric smoker. I can set the control panel properly. Red led for heat comes on. No voltage to element. Note: I’ve also checked Ohms reading OK. I’ve cleaned the sensor probe and bimetallic disk inside smoke box. Still no voltage to element

Sorry,
I don't fix them. I just know how to use them.
I recommend you check in with tallbm tallbm ----He's my Goto Guy for fixing them.

Bear
 

tallbm

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I’ve a problem with my 20075515 electric smoker. I can set the control panel properly. Red led for heat comes on. No voltage to element. Note: I’ve also checked Ohms reading OK. I’ve cleaned the sensor probe and bimetallic disk inside smoke box. Still no voltage to element
Hi there and welcome!
I bet your connectors at the safety rollout limit switch have corroded away or at the heating element (if you didnt relaly check them there).

Halfway up the back of your smoker there will be a panel if you are lucky. That will lead to the safety rollout limit switch which is the "bimetalic disk" you see inside the smoker.
If you dont have a panel you have to pull the back off to get to it. If this is the case I suggest you cut and make a panel to get to it again because it is useful to have easy access to it.

Let us know what you find there :)
 

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