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New MES, anything I should know?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dieselrealtor, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. I picked up the last 30" I could find around here, Lowes regularly 179, display model they agreed to mark down to 150, hard to beat.

    I did a wipedown, washing the racks & internals, on now at 125 to burn off anything inside.

    Should I oil the interior for the 3 hour seasoning/cookoff period or just smoke for about an hour at the end?

  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    spray it down w/ some cooking spray or wipe w/ thin coat of oil and run it up to 275° cook it for an hour and turn it off . It's ready to smoke.
  3. vernski

    vernski Fire Starter

    Here's what you should know, they are made in China and will not heat below 32* unless you use a hair-dryer to heat the unit up. This is the 30" black ones i don't know about the other sizes good luck....Vernski
  4. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome to SMF dieselrealtor, and congrats on your new MES!


    MES New Owner Tips:

    • Season it. (Many spray the inside with PAM)
    • No extension cords, unless it is 12 ga or heavier
    • 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.
    • 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, you will find a hand full is almost too much. 1st chip dump just a few chips, 5-10 min later a little 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 you extend 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 raise to 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 temps.
    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, and throw grates, water & drain pan into dishwasher. 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 stuff back in the MES.
    You do not need to clean the inside cabinet, most experienced smokers consider that just seasoning. With a hot wet 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.
  5. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    That's an odd one.

    I can't remember anyone else having to use a hair dryer to start their MES 30. Mine worked fine all last Winter, and it got way below 32˚ in PA. Since you got yours from Cabela's, did you try to take it back? You obviously got a lemon.

  6. I started mine up this morning at 22 degrees and again tonight when it was 20 degrees out and had no issues.
  7. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    No problem with heating here in CT either, although it does take a bit longer.  So here's one more tip for you...... I add some lump charcoal in the chip tray in colder weather and start it with a propane torch to help the electric element get up to speed.  Just a single layer in the bottom so that you can still turn the chip loader to add smoking wood.

    I must have missed the lesson on the hair dryer, too, although I have heard of the controller not operating in sub freezing temps on another forum....maybe that's the hair dryer thing.
  8. vernski

    vernski Fire Starter

    Well Bear it is obvious it is defective but I'm not the only one in the forest with the same malady when I called Masterbuilt about it. And their fix was the hair dryer.Cabela's passed the buck to Masterbuilt witch should offer to replace the defective part. but of course won't until enough pissed off people complain about the problem. The hair-dryer solves the problem for now as far as they are concerned but they did acknowledge I wasn't the only dude. It also says in the Masterbuilt manual to call them not the retailer for obvious reasons as they could loose the outlet...Vernski
  9. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    How long did you have it when you noticed this problem?

    More than 90 days?

    Personally I would have asked them why a hairdryer wasn't included in the box with the smoker.
    [​IMG]        Since 1961, it has been our ongoing mission to provide outdoor enthusiasts like you with the finest quality gear and the highest level of customer service in the industry.

    If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, we will provide a refund or exchange the item within 90 days* of purchase.
    With Receipt:Items returned within the guidelines that are accompanied by a receipt will be refunded at the original purchase price, plus applicable sales tax, in the original payment method.
    Without Receipt: Items returned within the guidelines without a receipt will be processed at the lowest sale price plus applicable sales tax. Such items may be exchanged for the same product or returned for merchandise credit in the form of a Cabela's gift card.



  10. galenabob

    galenabob Newbie

    I have the same smoker.  I have used mine for two years with zero problems...  I would recommend that you heat that baby up to 275 load it up with smoking chips and let it go for a couple of hours to season the smoker. 

    I liked the ideas about spraying the grates with pam for easy clean up.  My wife will appreciate it...
  11. pintobean

    pintobean Smoke Blower

    I seasoned mine by smoking everything in sight for 4 days straight! [​IMG]
    mrrmobile likes this.
  12. keela07

    keela07 Newbie

    I too started mine up this morning. Not sure what the temp was, but the high for today is going to be 17. Worked like a champ! I was also told that it wouldn't start to smoke until about 200, it was smoking well before that too. My first time using it so hopefully everything turns out good!
  13. hokiescott

    hokiescott Newbie

    Vernski, next time this happens try soaking a rag in hot water and rubbing the thermostat with it for about 15 seconds, then leave the warm rag on one of the shelves for a few minutes with the door closed and see if it doesn't fix it. It works for me.

    For others, there are a lot of MES 30s that give an EAAF error when below 32 degrees. The heating element tries to turn on, then clicks off immediately displaying EAAF. The solution is to get the thermo over 32. You can also light a candle in there for a few minutes to get it above 32. Hope this helps. 
  14. vernski

    vernski Fire Starter

    Well it was a few days past the 90 day return policy at Cabela's and I'm not blaming them for the factory malfuction. Masterbuilt should stand behind their product and issue a fix for it. The MES worked flawlessly till it got below freezing and the things I could have done are a mute point at this time. I should have looked for the point of origin when I bought it....Vernski

    PS if yours work at below freezing temps I'm happy for you, Butt this one don't unless I heat it up !
  15. mbtechguy

    mbtechguy Newbie

    Hey Vernski,  Please send me your address via PM, and I'll send you out a new controller asap.  The controller is programed, and there is possibly a issue there.  Regardless, we'll get this issue worked out asap.  I will be at the Factory this Thursday/Friday, and we will do some testing to verify this. (It's very cold here, so maybe we can duplicate)  Thanks, MBTechguy (Darryl)
  16. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Situation now seems to be in good hands.

  17. rvillere

    rvillere Newbie

    I have had the same problem with the error message and found a simple solution.  Put hot water in the drip pan and place the pan on the top rack. that heats the unit up real quick no further issues.
  18. vernski

    vernski Fire Starter

    My thought on this malady is that the unit should work at any temp, I can use a hair-dryer or hot water as you did the bottom line is I-you shouldn't have to do that. And happy to note that Darryl the MBTechguy is on the issue to figure out the cause....Vernski
  19. papagreer

    papagreer Meat Mopper

    That is great that you frequent this forum. Good to know if I have problems with my MES 40, there is someone here to help. Oh yeah, Hey Darryl!!'

  20. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    Kinda like having a slow leak in a tire. You can put air in it every time you want to go somewhere, or you can get it fixed.

    Darryl will make it right.

    He just puts his cape on & swoops in to save the day.