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Should I buy a MES30 even if I have a propane version?

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by Faarg, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Faarg

    Faarg Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    So, I just recently got into smoking and am hooked. 100% hooked. I ended up going with the Masterbuilt propane as my first smoker but didn't put a lot of thought into the purchase. I like it but I will most likely upgrade at some point to a "real" smoker. But, for the interim I'm gonna have a lot of fun with my current smoker.

    But, one thing that I've noticed, is that I want to smoke two things at one time and temps, etc. don't always align with the two smokes. So having a second smoker isn't a bad thing -- come on guys, you 've been there before.

    So, here's where I'm at. I recently learned of a really good deal on a used MES30 like the one below:



    Should I get it? I'm leaning towards a heck yeah right now. I know that there are several posts on here about how to tell if it's a version 1 or version 2 or 2.5. And @Bearcarver has given several great posts on how to tell them apart. But I'm not sure that my decision will be based on version number. Just more of an issue of how I'm gonna slide this smoker in beside my grill and current smoker without too much hassle from the wife.
  2. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    I have one of each, it just depends on my mood that day. plus the propane is good for hotter smokes and the electric is good at lower temps.

    Faarg likes this.
  3. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Barry covered it but I went from MB gasser to MES and will never go back. I prefer the accuracy of the MES. Gasser always needed fiddling. Some guys might enjoy that but I wanted set and forget. MES is also insulated and I smoked all winter long with no issues. No way that would happen with the gasser. You will need an AMNPS for the MES.
    Faarg likes this.
  4. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Reluctantly, I say no.
    I would recommend you get a larger electric like a MES 40, or maybe jump into something like a Smokin It.
    Obviously you are liking your Propane Smoker. So instead of stepping sideways, step up into a larger unit.

    I say this reluctantly because I'm the kind to get the right sized tool for the job. I can't ever see me filling even my MES 30. I mean, I sure haven't come close yet, anyway. 2-3 racks max for me, often a single rack.
    But, for me, a smoker is a smoking device. Not an oven.
    Faarg likes this.
  5. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I agree that the MES 40 would be much better, but if you're getting a really good price for it, go for it !!

    After all it is a Gen #2.5, which is the Absolute best MES so far.

    Tell your wife, "Bear gave you permission".

  6. Faarg

    Faarg Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the info. I was hoping that it was the 2.5 but wasn't quite sure. The part that was making me think that it wasn't was that I thought that all 2.5s were bluetooth and had the bluetooth logo. And there is no sun shield on the control panel. But there seem to be hundreds of different variations of the MES.

    So I told the wife that Bear told me to get it and she said ok. Well, that and she may not have to worry about me burning down the house on overnight smokes.

    One thought that I've been having for brisket (and other meats) is starting off the smoke in the propane so that I have a shot at getting the smoke ring and then moving it to the MES for the nighttime portion of the smoke. My only concern is that I really don't want to transfer the meat but people do it all the time when they wrap so it shouldn't be a major issue.
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yeah, They screw around with switching parts from one to another.
    I see it doesn't even have the slots that a sun shield would snap into.
    The other important Gen #2.5 things are all there:
    Top Vent on the back left of the top, instead of back right.
    Split level water pan, and not the full, slanted drip plate (like the Gen #2 has).
    Hinged left.

    Note: I never sleep when my MES is running, but mine is on my wood front porch, on a wood platform, in front of an all wood front wall, under a wood ceiling, on an all wood log house.

  8. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    You woodn't want to risk it, wood you?

  9. Faarg

    Faarg Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    He's got some impressive wood.
  10. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    SonnyE likes this.
  11. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oh, that's bad.
    I do sleep during my overnight runs.
    But my MES lives on bricks, by a block wall, in my "outdoor Kitchen" area, and I have insurance. LOL! ;)
  12. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    On Bricks & a block wall would be much safer than wood, but I'd rather not collect on my insurance.
    I hope you were joking that having insurance would make it OK to run a Smoker overnight, while sleeping.

    I know some MES units have lit up in the past, and I try to let "MES Newbies" know that is a possibility.

  13. Faarg

    Faarg Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    I had wanted something like the 40 because I have had to squeeze in my briskets (all 2 of them) at the start of smokes. But ended up finding this one for $60 and it had only been used once so I couldn't resist.
  14. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    $60 for a Gen #2.5 MES 30 !!!!

    That's a hard deal to find without a gun & a mask!!!

  15. mike243

    mike243 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I cant say I have ever tasted a smoke ring but I do get them with the pellet grill,get great taste with my 40mes without 1 lot of work for presentation imo
  16. Faarg

    Faarg Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    I just finished my second smoke with the MES (Boston Butt) and very happy with the results. This second cook taught me one thing -- I was overly concerned with mild temperature fluctuations before. On my propane smoker I kept tweaking the gas flow until the smoker was basically pinned at 225 (or something nearby). And this would have me tweaking the valves a few times each hour. However, with the MES, the temperature fluctuated from 218-243 the whole time (as the MES turned on and off the heating element) and the Butt came out perfectly. So maybe I need to stress less with the propane smoker and focus on a general range rather than a precise temp.

    I'm sure that this is basic for most of the people here but it was an "aha" moment for me this weekend.
  17. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    That sounds pretty good.
    I try to get the top & bottom of the cycle to have the Temp I want in the middle of the cycle.
    Like 225° would be about 218° to 232°, or 213° to 237°, and sometimes it's even 223° to 227°.

    Faarg likes this.