MES40 old generation vs WSM

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by dietz777, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. dietz777

    dietz777 Fire Starter

    I have narrowed it down to two models that are totally opposite from each other, I am new to smoking and have gathered a lot of great insight from these forums. As far as reliability, longivity, and the easiest version to use what do you guys suggest?
  2. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Both are great smokers. Me I like the flavor you get with charcoal so I LOVE my WSM. Also you never see a Weber Kettle rust - same with the WSM. The enamel coating that Weber uses will last for as long as you own the smoker, you may have to replace the racks if they get left dirty or get rained on, but the body will last forever. No electronics, valves, or knobs to worry about breaking, just light fire and enjoy!
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have the Old Gen MES and love it. I can't make your choice easier because if I Could go Charcoal, live in an Apt, I would get the WSM but add a Guru or other temp controller to get more Set and Forget. MES super easy to use, Cheaper to operate, less mess to deal with, easily controllable and easy to load for smoked Sausage. WSM more authentic Q flavor, no parts or electronics to break and gets Hotter to do Chicken one step or Hot and Fast cooks. Pick based on what you will cook most often...JJ
  4. dietz777

    dietz777 Fire Starter

    Great advice from both of you, I will mainly be cooking brisket, pulled pork, ribs and chicken. That is about it until I get comforatble and start trying things like jerky or sausage. Which is better for those options?
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would say the MES is better for jerky & sausage, but what both JJ & JRod said is all very true.

    I would only add, "If you have time & are fairly mechanically inclined, get the WSM.

    If you want an easy to operate smoker with an On-Off switch, get the MES."

    However go for an "AMNPS" for the MES.

  6. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have a BGE,MES 30 and a WSM.

    There is a bunch of threads about this topic.

    I have answered this a few times and will again now.

    I have a medium BGE...I could never make it hold low smoking temps,ever. It is a marvelous machine.

    But for me..... smoking with it was an impossible thing. Too much work... 

    The BGE works better than anything for all things except smoking in my eyes. Perfect steaks and pizzas etc....all things done in an oven and grilling.

    I have a MES 30 that has worked great with the amns dust burner.

    I have made tons of great smoked goodness with it.

    I also have a WSM...It is my go to is perfect. out of the box.

    If you want one smoker... get a WSM  I have the 18.5.

    Go to my profile and look at the threads I started...

    Of course this is my opinion...YMMV.

  7. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm with Craig on the WSM.  If you could only have one smoker it would have to be a WSM in my opinion.  Mine is a 18.5" old style (smaller water pan, no factory thermometer, etc... bought in 2005).  Out of the box, the WSM is a excellent, durable, and easy to use smoker.  Add a BBQ Guru or other "power draft" (a computer controlled air flow device) and you have as close to set and forget as it can be with a fire pit smoker.

    On the other hand, like others have said,  the MES and other similar electric smokers excel in other areas such as the smoking of sausage.  You can hang sausage/snack stick/etc... and get much lower temps than most people can achieve in a WSM with the easy of digital settings in an electric element smoker.  There are a lot of MES smokers that the display temp is off from the actual temp, but once the off set is known it's pretty easy to allow for it (example, display shows 255* but actual pit temp is 225*, so when you want to smoke at 225* set the MES for 255*).  Also depending on where you live (apartment, condo), you might be able to use an electric smoker with a pellet/sawdust tray but not be able to use a charcoal smoker due to the fire pit.

    For the reasons above, I want to convert a food warmer to a large electric insulated smoker cabinet.  I have a donor cabinet, just need to get off the fence on if I'm going to leave the insulation "as is" or go down the nightmare road of pulling the cabinet apart and hacking out all the foam (remember my cabinet was made as a warmer and not a fridge so the temps of 225* are not outside the realm of normal for this cabinet - settings go to 200* on the unit).  Sort of like a oversized MES with a PID controller.

    As to taste difference in the meat from either.  I'm not sure as if you use one of Todd's pellet trays or tubes in the MES you can produce some mighty fine meat.  WSM works better with fist sized chunks of smoke wood as opposed to chips or pellets and also produces mighty fine meat with a great smoke ring.  The pellet trays and tubes do not work with the WSM (trust me, I and others have tried.  It just does not work unless you are cold smoking with no fire in the fire ring).

    In summary the WSM is pretty foolproof for a charcoal smoker, and the MES is pretty foolproof for an electric.

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