2012 Masterbuilt Smokers - NEW 30" & 40" Models!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by luv2q, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. smokeone

    smokeone Fire Starter

    Yea once I figure out the set points I think I can maybe deal with it. The meat probe is a little more of an issue for me at the moment.

    One thing I did not record this time was the temp variance at different locations on the racks. Guess I will have to invest in a fancy new

    remote temp gauge and looks like everyone has a MAV-732?

    I had the drip pan removed and in place and could not see much difference. I will have to play around some more this weekend and let

    the different configurations bake a little longer. I keep letting throwing food on get in the way of testing. 
  2. Im hoping Masterbuilt is figuring this out and working to get it fixed quickly. Was ready to pull the trigger when I saw these at sams but now that all these problems are presenting themselves Im getting wary.
  3. beernuts

    beernuts Smoke Blower

    Even with some of the issues mentioned here it's still a good smoker. I've made some great meals on mine and with the exception of a couple of items haven't regretted my purchase. I bought the Gen 2 version and it's done what I've asked without wrecking the food. That includes below zero smoking. If there are any issues that I see they aren't absolute killers. For the money it's does a good job. Could it be better? Sure. Some of their improvements were a bit marginal but it still does what it should do and that's smoke good food.
  4. pillpusher

    pillpusher Fire Starter

    Well, I smoked some chicken tonight to do some more troubleshooting. Unfortunately, using the AMNPS and putting it over the water pan opening (without the water pan) did still cause a 25-30 degree difference from one side of the rack to the other, even with the AMNPS all the way on the left only covering about 2/3 of the opening. Not nearly as much of a temp variation as with the water pan in, butt a 25 degree difference on a long low smoke can certainly screw up half of your food. So, I tried putting it on the bottom left side of the drip pan. This placement did even out the temps again, but it went out at some point due to poor airflow at the bottom (I'm guessing). Also, drippings fell on the right side of it and basically disintegrated the wood pellets.

    At this point, I'm somewhat at a loss on what to do with this thing. The water pan and "interior" light are completely useless. You can't feed wood chips into the side without the temp jumping 30 degrees (or more with a flare up), and having to do so every 45 minutes. You can use an AMNPS with it, but it either blocks the heat and causes temperature variations from one side to the other, or it won't stay lit on the bottom due to poor circulation or drippings falling on it. I really want to get this thing working properly to where I can trust it, so I'm open to suggestions from anyone that's had any luck with it. In the meantime, I'm saving the box it came in.
  5. pillpusher

    pillpusher Fire Starter

    Smoke, I bought four of these to test the different zones.

    A little more simplistic approach
  6. smokingrk

    smokingrk Smoke Blower

    As BeerNuts explains I agree the unit is not perfect and I'm hoping Masterbuilt is working the issues, but I also have made some tasty meals in the unit by knowing that I need to adjust for temp and manage the smoke.  I'm sure we'll get there just some more experimentation, but that's most of the fun!

    On that note, I received a box from Masterbuilt Cust. Service that was supposed to contain my replacement controller and on opening I received a remote control. Called them and they are re-sending one, so I'm postponing further testing until then, unless I get hungry!

    Sigmo had some good (lengthy) points on temp variations you may want to read ...

  7. smokeone

    smokeone Fire Starter

    Some awesome testing and discussions going on at that thread, thank you for posting the location. Unfortunately I am not as easy to follow or as organized with my results but hope they are useful and understandable.

    I did further testing today and if not for the meat temp probe I am pretty happy. I even ran the AMNPS on the bottom left and burned a full row during my testing. One thing I was doing during earlier testing of the AMNPS on the bottom was throwing chips in the loader and this might have robed the AMNPS of air flow, no idea. Plus I did not follow the lighting instructions closely before.

    No wood chips today, water bowl in place and loader in place  I did open the door every hour or 2 to relocate probes. Great smoke and no problems with AMNPS going out.

    Turned on MES set to 275 and burner cycled off at 273 took about 20 minutes. Temp ran up to 289 and fell back to 271 burner cycled back on. At top end stand alone oven probe thermo read, rack 3 280 rack 4 (bottom rack) 305.

    Next cycle of burner at 271 and eventually dropped to 267, rack 3 270 rack 4 280.

    Ran it this way for about 3 hours and everything was fairly stable. rack 3 279 rack 4 299 another test on another cycle MES read 281 probes rack 3 275 rack 4 300.

    Set temp at 230  rack 1 240 rack 2 230

    Set temp at 225 rack 1 220 rack 2 225 rack 3 230 rack 4 230

    Last test I added small amount of chips with loader and temp increased 15 degrees across the board until chip smoke died. MES was full of smoke and could not see probes for about 30 minutes and opened door to read probes.

    I had a bowl of water on rack 2 with the MES meat probe and my 2 stand alone probes laying in it. The MES meat probe consistently reads 20* low. The cable was badly crimped in several places at the factory so maybe this is the issue with the probe.

    A couple of things I noticed with the MES case. The bottom outside edge of the door where I normally push to close the door while latching hit 140* window glass was 175*. The small panel on the back side above the power cord was reading 150*. Not sure what is behind this door but was surprised it was getting hot. 

    Ordered a ET-732 from Todd so maybe I will be good. The wife says stop spending money! Need to figure out how to work in a Food-Saver so I can cold smoke some cheese. Not sure if zip locks will do here.

    If you made it this far I am shocked! Looking forward to trying a all night er with another Butt and a brisket!

  8. smokingrk

    smokingrk Smoke Blower

    OK so I was a little disappointed mid-day not having a replacement controller, so I went to the store and bought the three inch elbow and embellished the smoke outlet (air damper) to move smoke away from box. I tested the scenario with drip pan out, did not work out too well, temps varied all over, across racks. AMNPS was on top drip tray, worked OK.  Test was not exactly scientific some good points came out.

    Next like SmokeOne, I placed drip pan back in no water, placed AMNPS on bottom floor (under drip pan), moved wood loading tray out and turned so that I could see heating element from the outside (making sure there was about ¾”airgap), and finally I pulled out wood burning tray about same ¾” air gap.  Used Masterbuilt Meat Probe (MBMP), and two Mav 732 as temp measuring probes.  Placed the MAVBBQ probe on bottom rack, MBMP on second rack (from bottom) alongside MAVFOOD probe.  The temps pretty much tracked within 5 degrees, regardless of smoker temp setting. AMNPS continued burn with no issues. 

    By moving the MAVFOOD probe to third rack (from bottom), recorded temps about 15 degrees higher, moved MAVFOOD probe to the top rack and now a consistent 20 degrees higher than first and second racks (from bottom), first and second rack temps continued to track within 5 degrees. As the element shut down based on having reached the set temp, the temps started to level between all probes and they read within 5 degrees. 

    Based on this data and I believe seeing the 1st GEN had vent on top(?), my assumption is that there is not enough convection with the size (and placement) of air damper.  My next test will be to obtain another air damper assembly and cut out the entirety of the center leaving only the “adapter” for the 3” pipe install (easiest way to install 3” pipe that I can do quick)  and will use a damper to regulate.  This does not solve the controller set temp issue but if we find a way to regulate temp inside at the top of the smoker (top two rack area), it should be easy to set the temp on the controller to get desired result (worst case).  Additionally this may help air circulation for AMNPS

    Another way to look at this is if we want smoke a brisket some baby backs and a pork butt, we can place the pork butts on bottom rack, bb ribs on second from bottom, and brisket on top rack.  This would get 225-235 for bottom 2 racks and 245-255 for top racks, almost perfect! Glass half full...

  9. smokingrk

    smokingrk Smoke Blower

    SmokeOne, two things in common today - I also ordered another Mav-ET-732 from Todd today,was going to buy only additional probe but figured there are four racks for all different things, why not.  AND...My wife was asking me when I was going to stop spending $ on the smoker project.  Did not know how to reply other than, when I stop getting all these ideas from SMF! Enjoy.
  10. smokeone

    smokeone Fire Starter

    Do you notice a differance with the 3" elbow vent mod?

    I called and explained some of my issues with MB. Normally I get a girl that does seem to know a few things about the MES. Last call the girl sounded more like sales than support but my point is she was insistent that there is a mod for the 12 that would help with air flow and was sending me the mod. I explained that I thought she was confused and the mod was for the 11. She said she would send it need it or not. So I guess we will see. They owe me a call back on the difference in the meat probe temp. I will call again monday! Sounds like I am closer with my MES than most so hate to start over.

  11. smokingrk

    smokingrk Smoke Blower

    One NOTE for above comment - initially I had set smoker controller for 250 and the top racks reached 300+ while reading on controller was still at 232 (element still going), so for all 2nd GEN 40"MES owners be careful, as we've read before the temps can get way above 300 mark in top racks.  I noticed two cracks on my door top (plastic, while cleaning window), now wondering if the cracks happened from seasoning session, since my thermometer was hanging from the second (from bottom).  Top rack temps must have soared! 

    SmokeOne - the 3" stack mod fit over the existing air damper (that I had set to fully open).  The only thing it does right now (that I could tell)  is move smoke/moisture away from smoker sides, that after use have already discolored the black finish. AND it looks nice!.  Not a significant issue and inexpensive.  However as I stated if I get another air damper to experiment with, I will remove the center material so that we have a full opening and use a damper on the 3"  or 4" stack top. This should adjust top rack temps.  If you get an air flow MOD from MB send picture of what they sent out, I'd be curious, since I have not really followed discussion on 11 (1st GEN) models. I should receive a replacement controller this week maybe that will correct the temp control issue.  
  12. smokeone

    smokeone Fire Starter

    greenhat4 or anyone who has had the controller off the 512 I am curious how difficult it would be to replace the meat probe. I think the wire of mine was damaged on the assembly line. It was badly kinked and may be the cause of my 20* variance.
  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The 3" elbow mod does more than you think....

    A side wind blowing onto the side vent will cause the MES to back draft

    Since the unit relies on convection for draft only, a slight wind will keep it from drafting

    I'm curious what mod they have to increase airflow thru the smoker????

    Only thing I can see that will work is a fan

  14. fuzzyfishin

    fuzzyfishin Fire Starter

    I removed the vent assembly and installed a 3" alum.elbow. The increased airflow realy imparted the smoke to roll around my mes 40. I have the mes smoke generator. The smoke yesterday was what I hoped for. Had 20mph winds. Also put a cover over the elbow, leaving some space in the 20mph winds. Worked great.
  15. smokingrk

    smokingrk Smoke Blower

    Good point on the 3" elbow on side winds.  Cooking a fatty now and up here it is windy today about 15 mi/hr.

    I do want to see if MB has a mod, otherwise I will try what fuzzyfishin did. 

    Intersting point though, last night i tested temps with no food load in the smoker. 

    Today with Fatty in there the MBfood probe is resting on top rack reading 256 while the MAV BBQ probe on the second shelf from bottom (middle) is reading 250. 

    AMNPS id oing fine. 
  16. smokingrk

    smokingrk Smoke Blower

    Has anyone else encountered this issue?

    Remember on an early post I had a code on my remote…it happened while cooking my first Fatty!

    See Pics below – the first is the code and SET TEMP that it thought it was set to. 

    Did not do a thing other than press MEAT PROBE button to check top rack temp.

    I was able, again, to set  temps above the 275 into the 500s etc.

    Turned it off and back on and the unit keeps the last SET TEMP so I was able to fool it to continue. 

    Once I set to below the 350 temp it went back to normal operation. 

    So my next next guess is that Masterbuilt has a firmware issue on the controller, remote or both. 

    To recap we have a control issue and now I believe a potential software issue - maybe both related?

    I will try to call MB on Monday and ask to speak to someone technical. 

    Was not worried before, now I really caution at least all with 40 MES 2nd GEN models ending with 2612 to watch controller SET TEMP when monitoring the Meat Probe. 

  17. smokingrk

    smokingrk Smoke Blower

    When you removed the vent assembly did you use an adapter for the 3" elbow?  I'd like to try, but when I looked at removing I was wondering if it was a larger diameter after the assembly is removed.
  18. beernuts

    beernuts Smoke Blower

    The three inch diameter elbow fits right in the vent without having to remove it (the vent).
  19. russg

    russg Fire Starter

    My Christmas present.   Going form 30 to 40 makes a big difference.

  20. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Just received my replacement cabinet, opened the box, and found out there is no control panel.  I received just the cabinet....no door, no wheels, racks, handle, vent, nothing.  Now how the hell can they send me a replacement with no control panel when they know that the last one allowed the heat to get to over 330 degrees and that the control panel went dead?  Also I have to take the entire old unit apart and put in those parts into the new cabinet.  If I was going to build a new smoker I would have.  I will start this next statement with.........IN MY HUMBLE OPINION.... so far the new Masterbuilt 40 product stinks.  Service ain't much better.

    I see in the post before this one that the price is $299.98 somewhere.  Right now I wouldn't give you a hundred for a new one.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013

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