NEW MES Question!! (Help, I don't know what I'm buying)

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by sknittel646, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. sknittel646

    sknittel646 Newbie

    Hey everyone!

    I'm looking at joining the MES club and I'm not really sure what I'm looking at... :)  I've searched high and low for the best deal on an MES and I seem to have found a good deal at Lowes BUT I'm not sure if this is a good model.  I've tried to figure out if it's GEN 1 or GEN 2 but I'm evidently not smart enough..  So let me ask you all--- is this worth the buy?|1&facetInfo=
  2. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's a Gen 2 which has had mixed reviews, most will say to go with a Gen 1. Gen 2 controls are on the top front & Gen 1 is on top back.... Here's a Gen 1

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What he said------[​IMG]

    The good one is the Gen #1, with:

    Controls in a box (center back of top).

    Hinged right.

    Top Vent on back right corner of top.

  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    WHB got the right MES for you to get.... $149 is a good price...
  5. johnnyb54

    johnnyb54 Smoke Blower

    Sknittel646' that's the unit I recently purchased from LOWES. I did look at the Gen 1 unit on Amazon but for me I wanted the additional space that the 40" offers. I have read that the Gen 1 units are more reliable then the Gen 2. In order to give myself peace of mind I purchased the 4 year full replacement extended warranty from LOWES for an additional $60. Since Masterbuilt now only gives you a 90 day warrenty I figured for the $60 one coil or other MES problem the warrenty would pay for itself. Plus having their servicemen come to my home to make the repairs if any are needed to me was a no brainier. I am only going to be using the MES for snack sticks, bacon and sausage. I have 3 Big Green Eggs that I use for my brisket, ribs and pulled pork . In order to get the smoke flavor that I'm looking for I am using a Pro Q cold smoker in my MES. As noted in this forum and on others the MES has trouble burning the wood chips at low temps around 120-170. Hope this helps and good luck with your purchase.
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Let me explain better. ITS THE DESIGN !!

    Even if the Gen #2 works as it should, as far as electronics, etc, It is still a Bad design.

    I would hate for you to be another one telling us I wish I knew about it before I bought it.

    Get the Generation #1.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  7. Sorry. I don't understand how the design differs that much. 

    I had a MES-30 Gen 1. Currently have an MES-40 Gen 2. Yes, the temperature control is horrible in the Gen 2. Took care of that with an Auber PID controller.

    Otherwise they're both boxes with a heating element in bottom right and chip tray above the heating element. Differences:
    1. Gen 1 has the exhaust vent top back right corner above the heating element. Gen 2 has the exhaust on the left side top.
    2. Gen 1 has no internal baffling. There are many threads about how to disperse the heat in a Gen 1. Gen 2 (at least in the 40) has a shelf that runs across the unit with the top right higher than the bottom left.
    What makes the Gen 1 a better design?
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Actually big differences:
    I've stated this many times.

    The Stupid slanted drip plate you mentioned (shelf) is the biggest problem of the Gen #2. The heat comes off the element, and rises to the drip plate. Since the drip plate is higher on the right than the left, the heat runs to the right while trapped under the plate. Then it gradually leaks around the front & back of the drip plate, but mostly on the right, because of the taper of the drip plate.

    This is not easily corrected, like the heat difference in the Gen #1, unless you were to remove the slanted drip plate completely & redesign the guts in the bottom of the Gen #2.

    This is one of the things I pointed out to Masterbuilt, and one of the things they changed in their new  Gen #2.5.

    Also the Top vent on the side is not large enough without grinding it out. I told Masterbuilt that too, and they put a top vent like the Gen #1 vent in the top left of the Gen #2.5, like I suggested.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  9. Bear,

    Thank you for the information. Some how I've missed the threads where you made these comments.

    Any idea if the shelf in 2.5 can be retrofitted to the 2.0? I'm not having a problem with the exhaust vent. 

    Have you heard when are the 2.5s due out?
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The Gen #2.5 is already out, if you can find one for a decent price.

    I would imagine if you wanted to do some drilling and screwing you could remove the slanted plate from the Gen #2, and insert the big water pan from the Gen #1, or some kind of metal shape similar to the Gen #1 water pan. That would make the Gen #2 better, and able to use a heat deflector like I use in mine. The left side is a better place for the top vent than on the right like the Gen #1 has.

    I didn't bother with that, because I just tested the Gen #2, and went back to using my 5 year old Gen #1 MES 40.

  11. My friends at say ... Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available.

    I was trolling around to see what the new shelf looks like ... Only one generic picture on Amazon for the Masterbuilt 20075315. So I went to the Masterbuilt website. Thought maybe there'd be something visible in the video on And here's what I won!

    If I didn't like the width of the 40" ...
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah there's been a video up for a couple months on their home site.

    Pretty cool unit !!  Not a lot of reviews yet.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  13. johnnyb54

    johnnyb54 Smoke Blower

    Bearcarver, just a quick question. I'm not sure what the problem is with the heat shield. On the MES I just purchased from LOWES the slanted plate pops right out.

    The plate rests on 4 holders and is easily removed. A pan of water or sand can then be placed on the bottom rack and act as a heat deflector. As for the the exhaust vent I have only seasoned the unit and did a 8 hour test run to check on temperature control (smoker temps monitored with a Maverick ET-733 that was checked against a Thermapen). I had no problem controlling temperature and by using my Pro-Q cold smoker in the unit I had nice TBS for 4 hours.
  14. soflogator

    soflogator Fire Starter

    Hi Bear,
    I picked up the new 2.5 MES 40 with bluetooth at Bass Pro Saturday. Paid full price but got last one in stock. Seasoned it Saturday night and followed your directions for rub (except did not have Worcester so substituted A1) for prime rub. Smoked yesterday and results were excellent. Don't feel like I can do a proper review until I have more use. I posted pics and comments on the "Beef" thread for anyone who might be interested. Thanks for reading.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That could help, if you want to put a big pan on the bottom shelf & use up that position.

    You didn't do the real test.

    Get two accurate digital wireless therm smoker probes, and put one a few inches from the left on shelf #2, and put one a few inches from the right on shelf #2.

    Then take your heat up to 230°.

    Now take reading & record both sides' temps every 15 minutes or at least every half hour.

    It's very important for both sides to be at least close to the same temp.

  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Gator!!

    So far I've heard very little in reviews of the new #2.5, but what I have heard has been positive!! [​IMG]

  17. I called MB tech support. Talked with a nice person. I figured if there was a difference in the drip deflector (which also affects heat flow), and the drip deflector just popped out (ala johnnyb54), I'd ask if I could buy the new drip deflector. The person I chatted with said the drip deflector for the Masterbuilt 20075315 (MES 40 gen 2.5) was the same as the drip deflector for the Masterbuilt 20070512 (MES 40 gen 2.0, my version).


    I'll be smoking baby back ribs this weekend. I'll do the above test as I can use both probes on my iGrill for monitoring chamber temperature since I'll be smoking 2-2-1. I have checked my probes in boiling water. One dead on at 209 (I live @ 3000') and the other reads 206.

  18. Can you post a link? There's a bunch of threads in the beef forum.

  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You have to learn that the girls in the MB office may be nice, but they don't know what they're talking about. The Gen #2.5 doesn't have the big slanted drip plate with the little water pan in it.

    It has a much bigger water pan with a split level bottom. Then there is some kind of a short slanted cover just above the chip dumper & heating element.

    Go to their website----Choose "Videos"-----Then go down the left column, and click on "Bluetooth Control Panel", and watch the short video.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  20. johnnyb54

    johnnyb54 Smoke Blower

    I just finished doing the heat test that Bearcarver suggested. I set the MES for 230, checked my Mavercks in ice water against my Thermapen.

    As you see there are + - 2 degree from my Thermapen. Set the probes in the smoker as Bearcarver suggested.

    The local weather was 54 and very windy. Set the MES to 230 with the vent opened all the way and started taking readings. While the MES was heating up the difference between the probes was 20+ degrees difference. After the unit hit temperature I waited 15 minutes for the unit to stabilize. The probes read
    Left side 222, Right side 228 and the MES temp gauge was 235. I am not concerned about the big difference in temps while starting up as I always wait for my smokers to stabilize at least an hour before in put my food in.

    Waited 15 min. for the next reading.
    Left probe 219 right probe 225 MES probe 238, MES meat probe 235

    After another 15 min.
    Left probe 225 right probe 232 MES probe 244 MES meat probe 239

    Another 15 gone by
    Left probe 216 right probe 221 MES probe 231 MES meat probe 226

    15 more
    Left probe 226 right probe 232 MES probe 242 MES meat probe 325

    Last 15 test
    Left probe 218 right probe 223 MES probe 237 MES meat probe 229

    As you can see the biggest delta between the probes was 8 degrees. At any given time the biggest difference I saw was 9 degrees for a minute or two, that was in between the 15 minute duration. I can live with this difference in temp as my Big Green Eggs have a hot spot in the back while using my plate setter. I would strongly suggest not going by the MES units temperature probe as there is a big discrepancy between my calibrated probes and the MES probe. The MES meat probe was attached to the side wall for all the above readings.
    The only reason I can think of is Bearcarvers unit may have had a 800 watt heating coil while this model has a 1200 watt coil. I would think the 800 watt coil would be on longer to bring the unit back to the set temperature causing the one side to heat up more. But seeing as I'm not a scientist and I'm only a grease and oil man, what do I know.

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