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New MES clone

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by nanuk, May 12, 2018.

  1. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I recently bought a "Master Chef" MES clone. I believe it to be MES130/B model.
    It has the identical interior, with the vent in the right rear corner.

    I have read all the tips and such, and have only a couple questions.

    Has anyone cut a new vent in the LeftRear corner to improve the smoke distribution/heat?

    is it worth the effort to get a PID and MOD the wiring to allow the PID to control the heat?

    I'm going to be doing the prelim pre-seasoning/curing this week coming up.

    ETA: this is the model, just rebranded: https://masterbuilt.com/product/mb20071117-digital-electric-smoker
  2. pc farmer

    pc farmer Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That looks like a 1st gen smoker, one of the good ones.

    I would leave it the way it is and see how you like it. I would pick up a AMAZIN tray thou. I never use my chip try.
    cayotica likes this.
  3. mosparky

    mosparky Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

  4. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Oh, yeah... a smoke generating tray is on the list for sure!

    As well, a cold smoke mod using the long aluminum piping....
  5. Okay I’ll bite what is a PID and how about a picture of your clone.
  6. RF?????
  7. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    PID is one of the self adjusting controllers to keep the set temp close.
  8. If you wire in a pid can you get the MES to burn hotter?
  9. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    pics will be up shortly.... I think.
  10. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I dont' think it can go hotter, as the heat is predicated on the power input.... but if you build an insulated box to put your smoker in, you "Should" be able to increase heat, IF you bypass the "OverTemp" protection.

    Do you really NEED to go hotter?
  11. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your's (uh, example) looks just like mine.
    Basically a Gen 2.5 innerds. (The swimming pool pan is the tell tale.)
    I did a single Salmon smoke in mine, then corrected everything I felt I needed to to make it work for me.

    I put a stack on mine so it will help draw the smoke and moisture out. I got started by noticing Al had a can on his vent.
    But mine grew into a section of 3" single wall, snap-lock pipe.
    The chip feeder system could not perform at my cold and warm temperatures I like to smoke at. It took me a while, but I found an old steel case I converted into a "mailbox Mod".
    I connected that with 8 feet of corrugated Aluminum dryer vent tubing, and a 3" adjustable elbow.
    I removed the entire chip feeder/chip pan fabrication. My chip pan was a good 1/4" above the element, and that gap kept it from being able to heat the chips to combustion when the element was on. 3 screws outside the chip feeder, and 1 (IIRC) on the back inside wall. Nothing but the element in there now, and the water pan for heat distribution.
    All of the smoke comes from the mod via the aluminum tube around the back of the smoker. It corrects the heat and smoke problem of the as-is design. It allows the control to run the element, and the mod box to supply a steady stream of smoke.
    I have certain needs for cold smoking, less than 100 degrees. So I needed a way to control the element in the ambient to 100° range. But the Auber solution was a bit to pricey for me. I found something that gave me a 2 for one I can use for doing Sous Vide with an older analog crock pot, or, with a bypass modification, the same Inkbird Control can run my smokers element in the low range, or up to 210° in the warm smoking range. (Where I do most of my fish/salmon smoking.) So it gives me a +/- 1 degree control from ambient to 210°.
    Flip a switch and the bypass is off and the smoker functions as original.
    Finally, I got one of the AMNPS trays to burn pelleted wood in my mod box and that was the perfection to my new smoker.
    I also removed the damper in the smoke outlet, and installed it on the door to my mod box. I cut the pattern into the mod box so I could adjust the air intake. But I just run it wide open.

    All of that makes my smoker do everything I wanted. But I knew going in there would be many changes. It was expected.
    While this is my first "store bought" smoker, it has 50 years of me smoking with electric smokers behind it. All home built.
    I like mine, and I like it a whole lot better after personalizing it.

    If you do decide to get an Auber PID, they can be programmed to do steps in a smoking session. Like where Bear's method calls for stepping up the temperature for salmon smoking, an Auber control could do that Automatically, without timing and watching it, or manually stepping up the temperature with the controller on top.

    Enjoy your new smoker, and any, or no, modifications you choose. ;):)
  12. My mes smokes beautifully but only smokes, if l want to crisp up the outside or carmelize the sauce l have to finish up on my grill.
  13. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have the sportsman elite gen 1 30 . Had it 5 years . Use it all the time . Only thing I added was a mail box mod , and a 12" amzn tube . I still use the chip loader for some cooks . Farmer gave good advice ,, use as is . Take time to learn it , and go from there .
    Good luck and enjoy .
  14. mosparky

    mosparky Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    If using a PID you can make it run hotter. That is VERY ILL ADVISED !! The insulation in the box will only take about 300 deg then it may start to smolder. Precautions should be taken to avoid such a situation. It can become a fire hazard.
    SonnyE likes this.
  15. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not advisable.
    There is an over temperature Snap-Disk thermal switch on the back wall that opens the Neutral to the heating element.
    It is a safety device to prevent a run-away condition, or fire resulting from the smoker overheating.
    In my bypass surgery on my MES 30, I kept that device as designed in the circuit. My Bypass merely bypasses the relay that the OEM control operated, and gives me plug connected control.
    Which is what an Auber or Inkbird controller needs.
  16. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think going the PID route is a matter of what you intend to smoke.
    I went that route because I wanted to do sausage and bacon AND my smoker had 35F temp swings but never hit 275F max temp. My rewire and use of a PID solved all of this. So depending on what you want then the PID route may or may not meet your requirements :)

    Technically you can run the MES hotter with a PID controller but the stock safety switch will cut off the smoker when a certain temp threshold is met. I replaced my safety rollout limit switch with one that maxes out at 350F so I could do chicken smokes at 325F. As other's mention the MES was not really designed to run at such temps so I only chance it for my super fast chicken smokes and that is it. I would recommend you do what is safest.

    Best of luck.
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  17. What do you mean by clone? Is it from a different manufacturer?
  18. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Often, especially from overseas, they will run a production, then label the units. So you can buy what looks like, and very likely is, exactly the same as a Branded unit.
    Thus, a Clone.

    Mine is labled a JMSS, and is a Lowes Exclusive. (John McLemore Signature Series exclusively at Lowes)
    His looks just like this MES unit. But does not say Masterbuilt on it.
    But when you get to looking at them closely, there are no differences. Same factory, different boxes.
    Welcome to World Trade.
  19. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I plan on doing some mods without altering the factory.... then when I get a handle on it, I may do more.

    One thing I worry about is the vent being in the same corner as the chip burner.

    Does the mailbox mod and stack cause enough draw to disrupt the smoke flow inside to cover every inch?
    If not, could an extension tube be made for inside to get the smoke to center or just past?

    ETA: the chip loader tube goes in a ways. a small wrap of foil will stop any smoke from coming out early, and leaving the end, just about near the middle.

    I "THINK" it is a MasterBuilt factory, then rebranded to a specific brand name... sorta "No Name"
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  20. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    OK, an attempt at fotos.
    the front of the box

    info on box

    a pic of the advertized guts... (grease tray INSIDE???)

    actual unit top before complete assembly.
    NOTE: Top Right Rear vent.

    bottom of the unit showing the important stuff.
    The chip tray is being used to hold the door open.
    Grease tray is not installed but just sets on back.

    As I said in my OP, I think this is a MES rebranded to our local Canadian Tire franchises.

    Dang thing did NOT come with ANY chips.... I'll need to source some to season/cure.

    Then first smoke is going to be BearCarver's beef loaf. I made a small batch.