Why do so many people here use the MES?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by light-it-up, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. light-it-up

    light-it-up Fire Starter

    I've read so many reviews that said this unit is junk, stops working after a year or less, has wiring problems, etc. that I'm trying to understand why so many here use them. Fill me in before I spend too much on another brand!
  2. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Because they are reasonably priced compared to getting a CookShack, SmokinTex, etc. Have ample interior room, 4 racks and are quite easy to operate.

    I just noticed last week my 30" MES has stopped working and I have to tear it down to find the problem. I am sure it is just electrical connections corroded, but I have had it 5 or 6 years now.
  3. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  4. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This may help. Consider the 40' from Sams Club @ 299.00 add the 3 year warrantee and you will be set for under 350 for 3 years. Much better choice than the 30'. Easy to fix also.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck!
  5. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm not sure either, I wouldnt use one.  its an oven than smokes, not a smoker imho.
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There was another guy that said that same thing. Sure the MES has a few problems, and the little girls in their office don't know anything about the units, but I wouldn't trade my MES 30 in for anything but an MES 40. The reviews you read must have been from the Million Dollar Bradley Site.

    ronp and sparksnsaaben like this.
  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    If what you say is so Then a lang is a big bbq pit  and a gasser is a crawfish boiler  and a uds is a garbage can . Having had a New braunfuls sfb and a ecb and now using an MES40 i'd have to diagree w/ ya . it's a fine smoker and it produces some fine food . Just because something doesn't fit your definition of what you think a smoker is doesn't mean it's not a smoker.
    ronp likes this.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Jim was just teasing.

    Some of his favorite members are MES lovers.[​IMG]

    ronp likes this.
  9. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I have had the mes40 for a couple of years and use it fairly often. Have had zero problems and have done everything from one brisket or butt to 54 lbs of meat at one time.
    ronp likes this.
  10. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    this improved site wont let me quote "bearcarver".

    I was just having some fun,  an Atalnta bbq guy and chef calls both gassers and electrics ovens that smoke.

    i wouldnt buy/own one, but I have some buddies that use them with decent results(not MES but cookshacks)

    lighten up francis
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  11. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I can rem. when we finally had enough credit and money to buy a new car 1983.  The "buy American" was a still a strong sentimentl, 10 years later as today almost all the parts were mfg over seas and buy American was just a sales slogan.  Well we checked out all the American cars we could afford and most were lacking, not just in our test drives but features, power, models available, etc. Not only the test drives but all car reviews pointed to one economy family car, Honda Accord.  The car of the year 5 years  in a row.  I told my wife we would be foolish to not at least test one.  We went to the local honda dealer, test drove a honda accord and drove home with it.  There just was no comparison.  Features, economy, comfort, drive ability, bang for buck, etc.  We put 250,000 miles on that car and still sold it for $1000, we only paid $9,300.

    The MES is very much like the Accord, lots of features, performance, a great cabinet, the product does what it promises to do, and is fairly reliable.  All products have failures, of course we all hope we are not the one stuck with a lemon.  Masterbuilt according to most MES owners on this forum has been excellent with customer service.  So even if you had a problem with your MES, most likely Masterbuilt would do a good job in helping you with the problem.

    To answer Light it Up's question, why so many SMF member are buying an MES when so many reviews say its junk?

    Because Light-it-up, your not reading all the reviews, you are only looking for the bad, which there is some but, according to the reviews the MES is an excellent product.

    I did a spot check on reviews at several locations:
    .      Amazon	Sams	Cabelas	  Bass P	Google Shopping		Totals       65 Rev   5 rev	 7rev      30"		 404 reviews5 star:  (29)   (4)	 (4)      (21)   	  (277)			335	65%4 star:  (14)   		  (4)		  (59)			77	15%3 star:  (5)		 (1)	  (0)		  (19)			25	5%2 star:  (8)			  (3)		  (18)			29	5%	1 star:  (9)    (1)		  (8)		  (31)			49	10%515
    As you can see 85% gave the MES a favorable review and 15% did not. 80% gave the MES a very good or excellent review.  This is very far from being junk.   SMF members who own the MES are pretty honest and decent folks, not afraid to tell it like it is, we pride ourselves on making great tasting Q, bottom line with only a few exceptions most MES owners here really like their MES and use it frequently.

    As Ron pointed out some of the bad experience with the MES just could be user error.  I think also that when Masterbuilt broadened its number of dealers selling the MES, there was a lot of dumping of old inventory to make way for new.  Unfortunately there wasn't a backup on parts, so some who bought these in-between units had some difficulty getting a replacement element. Other than the element, wiring, and controller there isn't a whole lot to go bad.  The MES either works or doesn't and according to the numbers above 85% work.  I would guess it would be a lot higher, I tend to only review if I have issues, or if I had a great experience with a product.  Most of the time I don't bother with reviews, and I would guess that a lot of happy MES owners are silent.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
    ronp likes this.
  12. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I absolutely LOVE mine. That is all. [​IMG]
  13. light-it-up

    light-it-up Fire Starter

    Excellent post DeltaDude, thank you!

    And always good to hear form the guys who I know are using this gear all the time. I'm going to Sam's today to check out the 40 myself.
  14. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Can't speak to the 40, but I have had my 30 for 3-4 years without a problem.  I honestly just don't have the time to set and tend a wood burner.  I like the electric because I don't have to make runs for propane.  Just plug it in and it's ready to go.  The shelves, waterpan, and drip tray go into the dishwasher. (not the outside grease catcher).

    I don't think you can go wrong for the money.  I think this summer I am going to do a pre-emptive strike and redo the wiring though.
  15. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I knew I wanted an MES the first time I laid eyes on it. My schedule doesn't allow for me to spend hours smoking but the methods I've developed using the MES has allowed me to keep a freezer full of sweetly smoked meats as well as gifts for the holidays and a fresh mess of ribs whenever I have a cravin. You can truly set the thing and walk away if you are using a smoke generator. A lot of times I just use the chip tray for the first 4 or 5 hours then let the unit do it's thing. I have quit using the gas smoker completely  but  I love my Oklahoma Joe when I have the time..... but the MES is the backbone of my smokin arsenal. Hard to mess up a smoke with it... easy to clean... very efficient to operate and a lot of bang for the buck. Fits my lifestyle.
    sparksnsaaben likes this.
  16. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ck out the "quote' icons in lower right of post, the single is for a simple single quote, and right next to the left is a icon with 2 "quote" marks, this is for multi quoting.....
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  17. dave54

    dave54 Smoking Fanatic

    I've had mine for a year now and haven't had

    a single issue with it ,plus its great for cold smoking
  18. bigmvm

    bigmvm Newbie

    I've had a 30" MES for a couple of months, now. I bought it after reading everything I could find, both good and bad, on this and a few other forums. Even knowing that I may have to do some electrical work on it, later, I have no regrets. It does a great job and is absolutely perfect for a beginner, like me. If I have any regrets, it would be that I should have gotten the 40". The 30" is a little too small when I smoke for family get togethers, and I want to do ribs. We have about 25  family members, including girl & boy friends.
  19. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Just an FYI,

     Sams clubs that have the MES 40 are advertizing it in house for $269.

     it is still $299 on line.
  20. Greetings:

    This is my first post here.  I have read every forum that has any info on smokers and yes, there are always a few people on every one who have had problems the MES.  I've been using my Alton Brown terra cota diy smoker for years.  It served me well, but it crumbled to bits a few weeks ago.  I suspect it was a victim of the really cold winter we had around Atlanta this year.  I decided I needed to buy a new smoker.

    I decided on electric because I will be taking it to a condo we have on a lake in the mountains and fire just isn't allowed on the decks and patios.  The MES is definitely one attractive looking unit and the double-walled construction and digital controls make it even more attractive.  The little wood chip chute is also pretty cool...even if it may be a little gimmicky.  However, I had written off the MES not because of the failures, but because it seemed almost impossible to repair them.  Everyone who had an element go out reported that it was not a simple plug-n-play repair and required a new cabinet housing.  Then I saw someplace that the new models with the viewing windows have heating elements that can be replaced.  When I logged onto the Masterbuilt website, I did not even see pictures of the units w/o windows.  Instead, they show the updated digital models with the viewing windows and a new analog model. 

    The 30" analog model stands on legs that elevate it which is nice if your back hurts.  It is double-walled and insulated, has an analog thermometer in the door and a drip tray underneath.  It does not have a window and since it is analog, no digital display.  However, the online video demo of that unit sold me.  There is no doubt I can replace the element on that model if I need to.  The internal design suits me well.  The manual says the temp can be adjusted from 100-400F, which I find appealing.  I went to my local Bass Pro Shop last night and picked up one for $169.  It was actually the last one.  Online research revealed that QVC also has it for $149, but I did not have time to order.

    The Masterbuilt site has a nice video of this unit and QVC also has a pretty long video clip of this from one of their shows.  Hopefully I will be able to post a positive review next weekend.  If it works well, I'm probably going to buy another for our full-time residence. 


    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010

Share This Page