MES max safe temp?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jkc64, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. jkc64

    jkc64 Meat Mopper

    I have a MES30 & a MES40, the 30 does a good job I can set it at 275 and it will get there and more. It does have the usual swings but with a mav to montor it with I am happy with it. With the MES40 (stainless with window 1200w) I can set it for 275 and I'm lucky to hit 240. I am going to buy one of the auber pid units to bypass the factory controls. I still don't know what probe to get (RTD vs thermocouple) any thought on this are wecome. I was interested what the max safe temp for the smoker might be. Masterbuilts default max is 275 but I know that with a pid I can go much higher but I don't want to damage the box or insulation. Just interested what others might have done without issues 300,325,350? I will have very little need for these temps in my smoker but for chicken and hot and fast smokes it would be nice to know the limit to have a broader range of options.

    Thanks for looking and any thoughts.

  2. jkc64

    jkc64 Meat Mopper

  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I can't tell you for sure how high is safe, but I wouldn't worry about 300*, because some of them are off that much & actually go to 300* on a Maverick when set at 275* on the MES.

  4. I have a MES40, I thought about trying a custom controller to get more stable temps, but the question is "stable where?".  The upper left near the vent is MUCH cooler than the lower right at the heater. Even trying to stablize at 275F somewhere in the middle of the box (where the factory temperature sensor protrudes), the immediate area around the heater will be see temps much hotter than that while it's cycling on.

    I suspect that the MES40  insulation is expanded polyurethane; from what I've read it is not really intended for 300F type temperatures. I'm actually happy that my box doesn't get to 275F (more like yours, I think 250 in the middle of the box), to avoid insulation damage.

    I know if I prod the outer backside of my MES, the pushback from the insulation is different in the area around the heater; maybe it's already been cooked.

  5. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Just to let you know that masterbuilt is well aware of the low temp issues from the bad controllers. They have sent me an email verifying they are aware of the issue. They may send you a replacement controller although they sent me one and it did the same thing. I went to an auber PID and have rock solid temps but I have never tested the limits of the chamber above 280. The gen2 mes units do have the poly foam insulation and not sure what temp limits are. Its a shame that so many folks are having problems because masterbuilt can't supply a decent temp controller.
  6. njfoses

    njfoses Meat Mopper

    I use an auber pid with an rtd probe.  I started with a thermocouple model and did not have great luck with it.  The rtd probe is a bit slower to react to temp change (similar to my mav 732) but is much more stable and accurate.  I have smoked at 290 and did not have any issues i could see.
  7. jkc64

    jkc64 Meat Mopper

    Thanks for the replies, I figure 300 should be ok. My MES30 will get to  300-307 doing a dry burn I just didn't know if anyone else had gone beyond that.Knowing how companys error on the side of caution it would most likely be good to 375 or more but set 275 as the safe limit out of caution. 300 would most likely be the max I might run it on select items and for short cooks. I tried to read the probe info and did a google search for rtd vs thermocouple but it was above my head. I like the KISS method for a lot more than just food.[​IMG]
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    jk, evening......  I don't understand......    You are not smoking food at 300 degrees.....   you are baking it......    Put it in the oven before you burn up the controls on your smoker.....   

    Slow smoked meats are usually done at 180-250......  you can smoke it, put it in the oven to finish.....

  9. jkc64

    jkc64 Meat Mopper


    I agree but I am looking for info for the sake of knowing the closest answer I can get. I would like to be able to smoke my chicken then at the last bump it up to 300 or so and try to crisp the skin without having to fire up another piece of equipment. As to burning up the controls  they are pretty much useless anyway that's why I am going with the PID. I am also interested in trying some fast cooks like they show on pitmasters and my MES40 will not go above 240ish as it is now and doesn't get that high most of the time. I smoke my butts at 225-230 but I like to smoke my ribs higher. I could put the ribs in my MES30 but I have to cut them in half, that really is not that big of a deal but why when I have a bigger option(MES40). I do respect your opinion but sometimes I ask questions just to know the answer even though it is not practical.  I once was in some beginner computer classes even though I am A+ and NET+ certified and the instructor asked me why I was there, my answer was and is " I don't know what I don't know".
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My thoughts exactly!


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