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Possible MES 40 Heat issues?

cobble

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Joined Oct 21, 2010
Hi guys,

   I've had my MES 40 for 3 weeks now, and I was preparing to smoke a pork butt tomorrow. I had some time to kill so I wanted to make sure my probes were honest. I have a wired polder probe thermometer, and a Redi Check wireless thermometer. I brought a pan of water up to a rolling boil, and each thermometer went to 214 and stopped there. 212 is boiling, but whatever, they agreed.

I threw a potato in the oven for an hour to soften it up. I took it out and let it cool off for 10 min or so. It was still uncomfortably hot to hold, but I put it in the MES and speared it with the probe from my Redi Check.I set the MES to heat up to 263 and walked away. Not sure if it matters, but the speared potato was on the 2nd rack from the top, on my right side of the MES (If you're standing in front of it, facing it) The probe stuck out of the potato by maybe an inch or two..

After about 40 minutes, the MES beeped and registered 263 on the unit itself. The Redi check probe registered 200, and the MES case probe (Hanging in its holster) registered 222. There are a few variables here. I had the MES plugged into an extension cord (Heavy gauge) which itself was plugged into an adapter. The outlet I have in my yard is a twist-lock outlet, for a pool, so I bought a small conversion cord, I could plug it directly into another outlet on my house, but I'd still be using an extension cord. I'm using the extension because my deck gets windy, and with an extension cord, I can just run it into the shed and keep the wind off. I CAN plug it in directly if extensions are an issue, but then wind is a factor. Any ideas here?
 

biaviian

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Like any mass-produced smoker, you can't rely on the internal thermometer (this goes for the meat probe as well). A big reason why you are seeing a higher reading on the attached probe (versus your thermometer) is because the prob was about 1/16th of an inch from the metal side and the holster. Most people have reported a different between the MES reported temp and the actual temp and have accounted for it when setting the temp. This is necessary with any mass produced smoker...electric or not.

With that said, I have only noticed a 5-6 degree difference so your 63 degree difference is a bit extreme.
 
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pawoodswalker

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I'm in the process of smoking sausage right now and my MES probe says 150 and my accu check digital says 162. Not sure which one to trust so I'm going to take the low one to 156 and call it good. I do know that the right side runs hotter and have read about placing a 12 x 12 ceramic tile on that side. And I also installed the new large chip tray "what a Difference in smoke".
 

Bearcarver

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Out of the 3 you reported, the best one to believe is the RediCheck.

The MES could easily be way off, and the MES Meat probe I have is very accurate, but only when it is inside meat---Don't ask me why, but it is.

Bear
 

cobble

Smoke Blower
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Joined Oct 21, 2010
Could the extension cord be the problem, or is my heating element probably bad?
 

SmokinAl

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Unless you are using a small gauge extension cord I don't think that is your problem. You should be using a heavy gauge cord as short as possible. I suspect it's your controller, this has been a problem with MES units. On some units the controller reads higher than the cabinet temp (your case) & on some units it reads lower. The guys that were lucky enough to get the ones that read lower just keep them. They can get their smokers at or above 300 degrees. In your case I would contact Masterbuilt & they will send you a new controller.
 

cobble

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Joined Oct 21, 2010
Well Al, dont ask me how, but I think I got the temp issue sorted out. It's holding steady at 223 now. There's a new problem though. I put it on about an hour and a half ago. 6.5 lb pork butt. After putting it on, I went back to take a nap. I just went out to check on it and found amoke billowing out of the vents. The AMNS jumped rows on me. I've got the 6x8 and roughly half of it was burned through.  Did I just ruin the meat by oversmoking it? Should I stop adding smoke for the rest of the cook?
 

Bearcarver

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Well Al, dont ask me how, but I think I got the temp issue sorted out. It's holding steady at 223 now. There's a new problem though. I put it on about an hour and a half ago. 6.5 lb pork butt. After putting it on, I went back to take a nap. I just went out to check on it and found amoke billowing out of the vents. The AMNS jumped rows on me. I've got the 6x8 and roughly half of it was burned through.  Did I just ruin the meat by oversmoking it? Should I stop adding smoke for the rest of the cook?
Al's not on line right now, so I'll reply with my opinion:

I doubt if it hurt anything, but I don't know how long it was doing that---probably wasn't real heavy for very long.

Heavy smoke from an AMNS doesn't seem as bad as heavy smoke from chips & chunks (IMO).

I would keep smoking, but I would just load the outside rows, and light them. That way they can't jump through anywhere.

Actually I usually load the outer 1 1/3 rows, because it wouldn't burn through in the first 1/3 row.

Bear
 

cobble

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Thanks Bear.

I'm roughly 3 hours in now, and its looking pretty good so far, though not dripping as much fat as I'd have expected, but with another 6 hours or so to go, there's time yet. I'm going to go put the probe in shortly
 

cobble

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3 hours and 15 minutes into the smoke. Just put the probe in the meat. 141 degrees. This pig is safe!
 

SmokinAl

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Sounds like everything is good now Eric. Keep us posted.
 

cobble

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Joined Oct 21, 2010
Been on for 7 hours now. In the last hour, the butt has only gone from 170-175.
 

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