Newbie Electric Smoker Questions

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bglassbe, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. bglassbe

    bglassbe Newbie

    Hi all:

    I've spent a fair amount of time on the forums for electric smokers.  Before I take the plunge, I was hoping some of you might be able to give me some guidance.

    I live outside Chicago.  Thus, half the year it's cold and snowy.  I don't have a porch or other covered area. For warmer months, I originally was planning to get an MES 30 or 40, put it on my brick patio, and then cover it when not in use.  However, after reading a lot of posts, it seems that you have to be careful of rain for the digital controls, and summer thunderstorms are fairly common here.  I see some have invested in "sheds" or other enclosures.  For the cold half of the year, I'd have to smoke outside the garage in the front of the house if I wanted to use it in the winter, but I also see some people expressing concerns about using an extension cord.

    Am I better off wheeling the smoker in and out of the garage as I use it all year round (perhaps putting it on a cart) rather than smoking out back on the patio for half the year?  Or is the extension cord a big enough issue that I should instead look into investing in Suncast/Rubbermaid or other type of enclosure and keep the smoker out back all year round?

    I'm excited to make the leap, but now I'm wondering if these are significant issues or if I'm just overthinking things.

    Lastly, am I better off simply going for the MES 40 now instead of the 30?  I'll generally only be cooking for 3 or 4 other than the occasional party/bbq.

    Thanks all in advance for any advice!  

  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Extension cords are fine so ling as you buy a large enough gauge. If you get a heavy duty cord from lowes of HD and keep the distance short you will be fine (I use a 25' cord with no problems). 

    If you can afford the 40" then get it. You won't regret spending the extra money.

    I keep my MES 30" in my carport on a cart then roll it a few feet outside when it is time to use it. If it start to rains I roll it just barely inside the carport and turn a fan on to blow the smoke outside.
  3. I live in the Crest Hill area and I'll admit that my MES30 has been left out in the rain and snow without a cover. I REALLY need to move it back into the garage, but I can confirm that it's still 100% functioning. YMMV, but mine is fine...that's all I'm saying. Take a look at this thread though for some simple handles to add to the side to make it easily carried.

    I have mine attached to a couple small extensions cords and have had zero issues also. The cords aren't heating up or anything of that sort. Just make sure it's a good extension cord, and you're good to go.

    Get the 40 if you're able to afford it. Otherwise, get the Gen 1 30". 
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Below is what my Son got on sale at Home Depot, years ago, when he got his MES 40.

    I never let my MES get rained on, but I never leave my Drills, Table Saw, Miter Saw, or any other electric powered tool or appliance outside without being well covered.

    If you can't afford an MES 40 now, you can't afford to buy an MES 30, and then realize next year that it's too small & have to buy an MES 40. That's what I did, and I only cook for 2. I don't like to cut my Ribs in half, or my Brisket, and I like to put more than 7 pounds of beef sticks in at one time.



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