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MES 30 - OR - MES 30 Stainless with Window ... ???

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jdietrich, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Hi Guys - 

    After years of smoking thoughts, I'm going to "De-Flower" myself & pick up my first smoker.  I can hardly wait! 

    After sorting through the entire internet on the best smoker for me, I have come to the conclusion it will be the Masterbuilt Electronic Smoker 30".  Many thanks to all the remarks on your website!  =:-)

    Now the Decision comes down to the MES 30 black OR the MES Stainless with Window.  The only difference I can determine is that the stainless has...

    1) Window  (Is it really necessary? Or is it really Nice?)

    2) Light (Nice option?)

    3) Thermometer in system.

    The difference between the 2 is $175.00 vs $250.00 (unless someone knows where to pick it up cheaper....???).  

    I could go either way, pending ur thoughts.  THANKS!!!

  2. tjohnson

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

    I have a 40" w/Window and it's handy.  Can't say it's worth the additional $75 on a 30"

    The light gets dirty and useless

    My Polder Thermo was $20 and I trust it more than the built in on the MES

    Save the $$$

  3. Thanks Todd !!

    I'm going to purchase the cheaper version.  I was thinking that the window would be a pain to clean, but didn't even think about the light. 

  4. DONE!!! Order placed for the 30" black MES, along with a Maverick ET-7 thermometer!! 
  5. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Should have waited for more replies!

    Window or no window, down the road you could be doing what I've been doing---Kicking your own butt for not holding out for an MES 40.

    And I will definitely get a window in mine.

    Sorry, I had to say it,

  6. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    You will now be ready to smoke!!!
  8. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    That's alright--You'll love it, but.........................

    I never thought I'd be making my own Bacon, Canadian Bacon, Dried Beef, etc, etc, when I bought this MES 30.

    It's all good JD,


    BTW: You didn't say where you were from. Your name rings a bell in this area. One of the best smoked meat stores in this smoked meat PA Dutch area is "Dietrich Meats", about 15 miles from here. You should be a "Natural". [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  9. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    Bearcaver i agree with you i like my 40'' with the window. I found that the window keeps all the meat gazers/peepers away from opening my door. It gives me some peace of mind that everything is smoking good(color,amount of smoke produced inside the unit). And yes the light has gotten covered with creosote and i have to clean it like the window if you want to use it every smoke.
  10. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    My son has the 40" with the window. He lets his build up a bit--Then uses a razor blade. He says it's easy.

    I want the 40" because I don't have enough room in my 30", and I am one of those peepers/gazers too for all the reasons you mentioned, and a couple more.[​IMG]
  11. tjohnson

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

    The 40" Masterbuilts are not currently available at SAMS, and last year were not available until January down south and February/March, up here in Minnesota.  All the retail outfits have the 40" marked up near $400 for the very same thing at SAMS for $299.

    I say the 30" for $175 leaves you some extra coinage for more toys.  If you grow out of your 30" MES, then sell it for $100 on Craigslist and get the 40".

  12. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You will be happy with your decision and the money you saved.  The exception would be if you decide that you need a 40".  Rem smokers are like boats and TVs you will always want a bigger one.

    I have the older 40" sams all stainless no window, and have learned to trust the MES, it cooks the meat just fine without me peeking.  Just get a remote probe to monitor inside cooking temp and another to monitor meat temp.  In addition I also use a dial oven temp set so I can quick peek by opening the hatch 1/2" and verify cooking temp if necessary, you never know batteries die, probe wires get burned and fail, etc, the backup of the dial has saved me a few times.

    MES New Owner Tips:

    ► Season it. (Many spray the inside with PAM)
    ► No extension cords.
    ► Spray your racks with PAM prior to smoke (makes cleanup easier).
    ► Use alum foil on the water pan and drain pan, again for easier cleanup.
    ► Manual says preheating isn't necessary, I preheat, it will make getting up to initial set temp faster, and temp recovery when opening hatch faster. I preheat to 270º. Cold ambient 45º and lower 2 hours, 1 hour for warmer temps and as little as 30 min. in summer.  Note newer higher watt units may need less preheat stage.
    ► Add boiling hot water to pan, this will allow you to get up to set temp faster.
    ► Start the smoke with a few wood chips. The manual says 1 cup max, a hand full is too much. 1st chip dump just a few chips, 5 to10 chips, 10 min later add a few more chips, 20-30 min even more chips. At this point you will have a bed of hot chips and ash, and chip combustion should be good. Your goal is TBS (thin blue smoke). When its right you can smell the sweet smoke, it won't smell bitter or be cloudy white. Dark smoke is nothing but awful.
    ► Do not adjust vent leave it wide open.
    ► Use external probe for sensing meat internal temp, you can run the probe cord through the exhaust vent. *You may want to run 2nd probe inserted into a wood block or potato with 2 to 3" tip exposed to verify the internal MES cooking temp.
    ► Once your meat is loaded, avoid opening the hatch. New models can recover to set temp faster, but every time you open the door extends the cooking time. Thus spritzing isn't really necessary in a MES due to the water pan keeping the smoking environment moist enough, to not dry out the meat.
    ► If you do have to open your MES plan your moves so you can keep door open time to a minimum.
    ► When your done cooking, the proper way to shut the MES down is to turn off the controller then unplug.
    ► If your MES seems to struggle getting to either the preheat temp of 270º or is taking extraordinary long times to achieve cooking temps after meat is loaded try doing a RESET..
    Proper RESET = cycle the MES off with the controller, unplug electrical cord, count to 10, replug elect. cord, turn on MES with on/off, reset the temp & time.
    If you tried a reset, and 20-30 minutes later there is little change do the reset again.
    ► Cleanup is easy with a Brillo pad to scrub the tough stuff,  throw grates, water pan & drip pan into dishwasher (do not use oven cleaner). Some have complained about the spot welds on the drain pan rusting, I hit those spots with a touch of PAM then store the cleaned gear back in the MES.
    You do not need to clean the inside cabinet, most experienced smokers consider that just seasoning. With a hot damp rag, wipe out the inside bottom and any excessive gunk on the walls. Again with hot damp cloth, wipe the door gasket, and the door frames (for better seal).

    Current MES Mods are shown here.

    Congrats on you new MES purchase, and welcome to the MES owners club.   MESMaking it Easy to Smoke
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  13. shawnfate

    shawnfate Newbie

    I just got one today at sams, trying it now.[​IMG]
  14. Just picked up a mes 30 for 157.00 at walmart.com. 12.95 to ship and in stock. Have not found a better price anywhere. Looking foward to posting often and getting all the tips i can. 
  15. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I got to tell you that for the extra $ the 40 with the window is well worth it. The window cleans up with rubbing alcohol very easily. Also you have more space. I'd be willing to bet you end up getting the new 40 at Sam's when they start selling them again. According to Masterbuilt that should be this spring. They will have the all stainless 1200 watt model with remote. I hope the price is still $299.
  16. I got the MES 40 with window and find that the window is a great feature. The need to clean the glass periodically is a small price to pay for the ability to see what is going on inside the smoker. It is well worth the extra cost in my opinion. 
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  17. The 40's are in stock at sam's now online. Got my 30 from walmart in 2 days...off to season this baby and start smoking a few racks tomorrow. The smoker looks great and setup is very easy.
  18. hokie

    hokie Newbie

    Hey I am new to the fourm. Our local sams has the new MES 40  the one with the remote and window for 298.00. I just bought one today. The model # is 20070211. As I read here wlmart.com has the 30  for 159.00 I think.
  19. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You got the good one Hokie. It's worth the extra $.
  20. gungaden

    gungaden Newbie

    Got my mes 40" at sams two days ago, doing salmon today and a brisket Monday. Let you know