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MES Recall

sodak

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Was out looking for information about the MES electric cold smoker and turned up this article from the Consumer Product Safety Board (recall # 13-241):

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2013/Masterbuilt-Manufacturing-Recalls-Electric-Smokers/

Sorry if this is a illegal link

Here is the description from the website just in case:

[h3]Recall Summary[/h3]Name of product:
Electric Smokehouse Smokers
Hazard:
The wood chip tray can fail to slide securely into the smoker, causing the wood to combust and the smoker’s cabinet door to blow open, posing a fire hazard.

Remedy:
View Details

Repair
Consumer Contact:
Masterbuilt Manufacturing at (800) 489-1581 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.masterbuilt.com  and click on Contact on the top right hand corner of the page for more information.  
Report an Incident Involving this Product

[h3]Recall Details[/h3][h5]Units[/h5]
About 11,000
[h5]Description[/h5]
The upright electric smoker is a rectangular, black matte colored cabinet with a stainless steel door with a glass window.  The smokers were sold with a remote control and have a control panel on the top front of the unit. The 20070312 model smoker measures about 32- inches high by 17-inches wide by 15-inches deep. The 20070512 model smoker measures about 40 inches high by 22-inches wide by 16-inches deep. Model number 20070312 or 20070512 is printed on the serial plate located on the rear panel of the smoker. The smokers have a screen printed Masterbuilt logo on the window and on the serial plate.    
[h5]Incidents/Injuries[/h5]
Masterbuilt has received six reports of fires occurring in the smoker causing the door to blow open.  No injuries were reported. 
[h5]Remedy[/h5]
Consumers should immediately stop using and unplug the recalled smokers and contact Masterbuilt Manufacturing for a free repair kit.
[h5]Sold at[/h5]
Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas stores nationwide from May 2012 through August 2012 for between $270 and $430. 
[h5]Manufacturer[/h5]
Masterbuilt Manufacturing Inc. of Columbus, Ga.

I did a search and did not come up with anything from the site.  I have the 20072612 from Sam's Club and had the same issue (minus the door blowing open because I don't but in very many chips due to the fire in the chip tray).  I emailed Masterbuilt to see if the Sam's Club version falls under the recall or if they think it may be a problem for this model also. I will post when/if I get an answer.

Sodak
 

sigmo

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Very interesting!

I'm still trying to visualize what causes the problem, exactly.

When we see a flame in a wood fire, we're actually seeing vapors driven out of heated wood burning.  Technically, the solid wood doesn't actually burn as I understand it.  The heat from the flame right near the wood vaporizes some wood, and that vapor mixes with the oxygen from the surrounding air, and THAT blend of vaporized wood and oxygen burns.  It just looks like the wood is burning because the flame is right up next to it.

This is true of many "fires".  A candle is a classic example.  Heat from the flame radiates to the nearby wax, melting it.  That molten wax flows up the wick by capillary action. Up inside the flame, the heat is so intense that it boils the wax, vaporizing it, and that wax vapor expands outward, mixing with air, and that mixture actually burns, creating the flame.  So it's a self-sustaining cycle.

Anyhow, the upshot is that wax vapor is highly flammable, virtually explosive. And wood vapor is also highly flammable, and, under the right conditions, can form an explosive atmosphere when mixed with the right proportion of air.

Perhaps, if wood chips touch or are near enough to the heating element, they'll give off enough flammable vapor that you end up with an explosive mixture of oxygen and wood vapors in the smoker, and then, if some chips flare up, That can ignite the flammable mixture of wood vapor and oxygen inside the unit, causing it to blow the door open.

That'd be more than a little exciting, I'd say!

One wonders if this couldn't be something of a possibility with many smokers that use a heating element to make chips, pellets, or "pucks" of wood smolder.

I'd like to know more about the exact problem and how it happens.  I'm curious as to how the wood chip tray failing to slide securely into the smoker creates this hazard.  And how are the affected models different from the other models that are "safe"?

I don't use the built-in chip tray in my 1st generation MES 40 (instead using an AMNPS for the smoke), but I'm still curious about the exact mechanism involved.
 

daveomak

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Sodak,   That link is staying right where it is......   It is a safety issue....    member safety, food safety are at the top of the priority list...   Thanks for posting it......  Dave
 

smokinhusker

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Thanks for posting the info! I have a 1st Gen MES (I think that's what it's called).

Please do update when you hear back from Masterbuilt about the Sam's models.
 

chef jimmyj

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I have 2 MES40 1st Gen and I learned day one that if you place more than a dozen Chips (1/4C) in the unit, the smoke generator will Puff Flame. I never blew the door open but surprised the heck out of me when it blew the Chip Loader 3 feet out into the lawn! It puffed and belched flame for about 5 minutes and settled down. I posted on SMF and Todd Johnson responded in minutes as to the fix. I later got an AMNPS and only use chips for smokes less than 1 hour....JJ
 
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smokinhusker

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I have 2 MES40 1st Gen and I learned day one that if you place more than a dozen Chips (1/4C) in the unit the smoke generator will Puff Flame. I never blew the door open but surprised the heck out of me when it blew the Chip Loader 3 feet out into the lawn! It puffed and belched flame for about 5 minutes and settled down. I posted on SMF and Todd Johnson responded in minutes as to the fix. I later got an AMNPS and only use chips for smokes less than 1 hour....JJ
Yep I've had that happen a time or two. I could hear an intermittent noise, then the chip tray went flying. 
 
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Bearcarver

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I heard about this a few months ago----Good of you to post it here, Sodak!!

I never had that happen to my MES 40 Gen #1, but I never put many chips in it, because I realized early on that trying to get consistent TBS from an electric smoker is a losing proposition. Amazing Smokers have been making my smoking life easy for 4 years now.

Bear
 

sulvento

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Just got off the phone with Masterbuilt.

They said It is ONLY the models (listed) that were sold at Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops between the specified dates.
 

HEMAN

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Welp... I recently picked up this exact model last month on OfferUp. Guy never used it.. the internals were all silver and clean still. Few smokes went fine.. but then most recent one did blow the door off and loader out. Small fire, but I managed to put it out. Hope ing MB will honor the recall stuff as it was purchased second hand. Covid has their call center closed, so I am going to have to work with them via email for now.
 

bill1

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This sounds like a pressurization issue. Were the exhaust vents closed off when this happened? A heated volume the size of a MES 40 should always have a 0.5-inch hole towards the top of the unit that always stays open to prevent rapid pressurization.

I note the last commercial smoker I bought had the sliding blocking leaves on the exhaust adjustment modified so that it couldn't be closed all the way...had never seen that before.

As I recall, the first rule of laboratory chemistry is Never Heat a Closed System.
 

HEMAN

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This sounds like a pressurization issue. Were the exhaust vents closed off when this happened? A heated volume the size of a MES 40 should always have a 0.5-inch hole towards the top of the unit that always stays open to prevent rapid pressurization.

I note the last commercial smoker I bought had the sliding blocking leaves on the exhaust adjustment modified so that it couldn't be closed all the way...had never seen that before.

As I recall, the first rule of laboratory chemistry is Never Heat a Closed System.
I did think that was the case also and I tried adjusting. Vent was opened all the way. And I was able to duplicate the issue. Going to try and clean the chip loader and trays best I can and do one more test.

I tried contacting Masterbuilt, but their call center is closed and their email support doesn't understand this is not a warranty request, but a recall issue.

Decided to purchase a smoker tube as backup, will try it out over the water tray. Anyone know if this will smoke on its own from there or will I need to manually light it?
 

Bearcarver

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I did think that was the case also and I tried adjusting. Vent was opened all the way. And I was able to duplicate the issue. Going to try and clean the chip loader and trays best I can and do one more test.

I tried contacting Masterbuilt, but their call center is closed and their email support doesn't understand this is not a warranty request, but a recall issue.

Decided to purchase a smoker tube as backup, will try it out over the water tray. Anyone know if this will smoke on its own from there or will I need to manually light it?

Any of the Amazing smokers have to be filled & lit manually.
Then once lit properly, the tray will give you up to 11 hours of perfect smoke.
I don't know offhand how long the various tubes will burn, because the tube isn't the right one for my MES. It's more for bigger smokers or smokers being used a high altitudes, above 2,000'.
Your profile doesn't mention where you're smoking, so I don't know what your altitude is.
I couldn't care less if my Chip burner has a problem, as I have seen no use for it in the last 9 years.

Bear
 

bill1

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...Anyone know if this will smoke on its own from there or will I need to manually light it?
It might start of its own if you put it direct on a red hot element, but then it can go out easily if the thermostat cycles off too soon. And that doesn't do your element any good either. Best to start it at an end via typical vendor instructions--that way it burns linearly down its length too. Elegant. Get it going nicely, then put it in your MES, close but not on, an element.
 

HEMAN

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Any of the Amazing smokers have to be filled & lit manually.
Then once lit properly, the tray will give you up to 11 hours of perfect smoke.
I don't know offhand how long the various tubes will burn, because the tube isn't the right one for my MES. It's more for bigger smokers or smokers being used a high altitudes, above 2,000'.
Your profile doesn't mention where you're smoking, so I don't know what your altitude is.
I couldn't care less if my Chip burner has a problem, as I have seen no use for it in the last 9 years.

Bear
cool thanks for the info. I'm in SoCal.. so probably fairly close to sea level but no where near 2k altitude.

It might start of its own if you put it direct on a red hot element, but then it can go out easily if the thermostat cycles off too soon. And that doesn't do your element any good either. Best to start it at an end via typical vendor instructions--that way it burns linearly down its length too. Elegant. Get it going nicely, then put it in your MES, close but not on, an element.
cool thanks!

I'll update everyone soon as I get more details.. I've fixed everything and starting fresh smoke soon...
 

Bearcarver

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cool thanks for the info. I'm in SoCal.. so probably fairly close to sea level but no where near 2k altitude.

That's Great !!
Then all you need is the AMNPS (5 X 8 Tray), and you have to keep the Pellets and/or Dust Dry.
As soon as I remove mine from the bags they come in, I put them in Screw-cap-type Jugs to keep Humidity out (See Pic below). I have some for 9 years that still burn fine.

Bear
DSC01239.jpg
 

bill1

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Wow, Bearcarver, that's quite a selection. But it appears, based on your juice selections, that you need to plant a pomegranate tree of your own. Then in a few years you can let us know the smoking flavor profile of pomegranate wood. :emoji_sunglasses:
 

Bearcarver

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Wow, Bearcarver, that's quite a selection. But it appears, based on your juice selections, that you need to plant a pomegranate tree of your own. Then in a few years you can let us know the smoking flavor profile of pomegranate wood. :emoji_sunglasses:

LOL----Yup, I used to drink a lot of that when I needed the "Electrolytes". Now since I don't do much, I had to cut back on them. Probably wouldn't grow to good around here. LOL
Now I drink a lot of Lipton Diet Ice Tea, with Lemon.

Bear
 

uncle eddie

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EDITED - pulled the cover and although mine looks identical, the model numbers are different.

Falso alarm.

OP - thanks for posting tho!
 
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