Best place/price on 30" MES

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by basstronics, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. basstronics

    basstronics Fire Starter

    Im pretty sure I want the 30" Masterbuilt Electric smoker. I want one with the meat probe and remote.

    Now sure if I want the window version or not.

    Anyone know where the hot deal on one of these are?
  2. Sam's usually has the MES 40 for about $300.

    It has the window which allows you to peek without opening the door and

    the 40 has a lot more room to put whatever you are smoking.
  3. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    MES is a good choice for smoker Basstronics.  MES   Making it Easy to Smoke your meat.

    Thin Blue Smoke's recommendation is a good one too "Sams Club", they really stand behind what they sell, during the intial 30-90 days, and Masterbuilt has treated those who have bought the MES pretty good too.  Unfortunately Sam's only sells the 40" MES, and you might be thinking, "man I didn't want to spend that much do I really need a 40"?

    I asked my self that question when I made that decision 5 years ago, here are some of the things that helped me choose a 40".

    1st I wanted the ability to smoke a whole slab of ribs without cutting or rolling it, and have it lay flat on the smoker shelf just like the big boys, the 30" you can't lay a whole rack of ribs it is a little narrow, 40" you can.

    2nd we do 2 or 3 large bbq's a year, 20-40 people, one of those is on the 4th of July and ribs is always on the menu, with rib racks that stand the meat on it's side on 4shelves, I can do up to 16 racks of ribs.  I also have done up to 6 pork butts + chicken and other goodies all at the same time, way more than a 30" can do.

    3rd, don't worry about overkill, the MES 40 only cost a couple pennies more per hour to operate.

    4th, you will have the capacity with a 40" to cook for a party when you need too.

    5th, if you are cooking for a large group (not using your smoker), you can use the MES for a warmer to keep food hot.  You can do this with both the 30 & the 40,  however I have packed a 28lb turkey into my 40  image 1   image 2, that monster would only fit vertically I didn't want it touching the walls.

    6th, 40" it is more versatile, owners are hanging bacon, sausage, chickens, even hang ribs as well as other meat.

    7th, I'm 60, I can easily move the 40 by myself, it just is a bit awkward.

    8rd your aka name implies a bass fisherman, if your a boat owner, then you know like TVs, boat owners always want a bigger boat, and so it is with smokers, if you buy the 30 you will soon start wishing you had the 40.

    Good luck on your quest,  you will be happy with either the 30 or the 40, but more of your friends will be happy if you buy the 40 [​IMG]
  4. basstronics

    basstronics Fire Starter

    Well best price on the 30" is $277 shipped. $300+tax for the 40" isnt out of the question. The only problem I have is not being a member of Sams and not knowing anyone off hand who is. Ive been to Sams once with a friend who used to have a pass. I ended up leaving empty handed.
  5. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    I became a member of sams again just to get my mes 40. It was about $320 shipped. Best purchase I've made for a long time. I'd be glad to save you the $30 member fee to get you one. Send me a PM if you're interested.
  6. I've got the MES 40 and do not regret the purchase. Got it a Sam's, through a friend with a membership, and now I'm going to have to join so I can buy another! 
  7. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    Become a Member at Sams, Buy your smoker, LOAD up on meat and supplies, and the membership just paid for itself..
  8. basstronics

    basstronics Fire Starter

    Ok you guys got me talked into the 40"

    Now to find someone I know that is a member of Sams. I dont know of anyone off hand. I would like to go locally and just pick it up.
  9. At least check out the smokin-it line I have the model1 but would love to get the model 3

    I love mine but like everyone said you will want bigger!!! Welcome to SMF

  10. I don't know about their smokers. Even size#3 kinda small comparing to MES40. But their grill is so sexy!!!! Ordering one right now. So thank you for sharing this link.
  11. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The smokin-it line has some well built smokers, all stainless, insulated, built to last.  However because they are a small mfg sourcing for materials isn't cheap, they built a quality box, but to keep cost down they are SMALL, correct me if I'm wrong but NO digital controls, no external access to wood chips without opening hatch, and the small one cost $279.  THE video shows him cooking 1 rack of ribs, so even if you used the other rack you get 2 racks of ribs.  $279 for such limited capabilities sounds like a lot.  Even capntrip says he would like a bigger smoker, and remember smokin-it's largest model isn't nearly as large as the MES 40 and is $200 more.

    I know that there are some MES 40 all stainless models, however I can't tell you who is selling them.  I have one, it was purchased from Sam's, it is what distinguished the Sam's version of MES compared to other Retailers 5 years ago.  However the next year only the inside was stainless.   It is hard to believe smokin-it is using actual 18ga stainless, it is serious overkill, lots of restaurant/commercial kitchen equipment isn't even made with stainless that thick.  There is a book I think it is call Ashrae that contains the standards/specs for building all kinds of sheetmetal and stainless equipment, going from memory the sizes of the smokin-it boxes would only require 24 or 26 ga.  Like I said they are well built.

    As for Sam's membership, good luck on finding a friend with a membership.  I DID NOT have a Sam's membership when I decided to buy the MES, plus our local Sam's didn't even have the MES, I had to order it and pay shipping.  The smoker was $269 then plus $24 for shipping and I bought a 1 year ext warranty.  Still the price was below what other retailers charged for the MES 40 and theirs were NOT stainless, plus Sam's included the rain cover which other retailers didn't, that alone covered the Sams membership.  I still have the Sam's membership, you have to figure out what you save on and know your pricing.  Sam's to compete in Sacramento has started offering smaller sized packaging compared to Costco (I have both memberships), this can be very helpful compared to Costco's oversized quantity packaging.  Since they are close to each other I check both out for pricing on meats, however Costco here has the better meat.  What Costco doesn't have is packages of fresh chicken wings, and Sam's does.  I try to do chicken wings 5 or 6 times a year, for larger parties.
  12. basstronics

    basstronics Fire Starter

    I picked up my Masterbuilt 40" today from Sams Club. I also bought the 2 year warranty for $30. I figured this is cheap insurance after hearing some of the stories.
  13. You will like the Masterbuilt. I got my MES30 December of last year and have smoked every weekend except one since I got it. I have had zero problems with the Masterbuilt other than the temp gauge on the smoker being about 25 degrees off.
  14. Even though I wasn't impressed by smokin-it I have to admit after some research i am yet to find a single bad review about it. It is small compared to MES40 but I never load my MES40 anyway. I always use top two levels and very rare third and never forth.

     Long story short I placed an order for model 2.  Auber PID should work perfect with this smoker.
  15. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    FYI Bass Pro Shops in Denver, CO has the MES 30" with window on sale for $279 until April 1st.
  16. russg

    russg Fire Starter

    I saw them this past wkend at Sams for 299.00.

    charleston sc
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  17. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congrats Basstronics on your NEW MES 40!  Check below for New MES owner tips...

    Ahakohda's statement about only using top two shelves, are true.  I only used the 2nd shelf the other day on pork butt smoke.  However, this is important difference between the 30 & 40, that distance from the heat source is important, it allows you to basically keep the meat right there no fuss no muss.  If your smoker is full every shelf has say 2 racks of ribs on it, you would have to rotate the shelves to insure even cooking. 

    Again good enjoy your new smoker.  Remember, its the cook not the cooker that determines the quality of Q.  However having the right tool for the job sure makes the job go easier.

    I post the tips below for newbies, it attempts to answer some of the common questions that are asked, hopefully it helps.

    MES New Owner Tips:

    Collected from input of many MES owners, some may seem a bit dated due to new MES with higher watt elements but work as a general rule.

    • Season it. (Many spray the inside with PAM)
    • No extension cords, unless it is 12 ga or heavier.
    • Spray your racks with PAM prior to smoke (makes cleanup easier).
    • For easier cleanup, use alum foil on the water pan and drain pan.
    • Manual says preheating isn't necessary,  preheat, it will make getting up to initial set temp faster, and temp recovery when opening hatch faster.  (These instructions were for older MES units with lower wattage elements,  however the value of preheating applies to all units.) Preheat to 270º.  Cold ambient 45º and colder as long as 2 hours, 1 hour for warmer temps and as little as 30 min. in summer.   Preheating help establish a stable cooking platform without the dramatic temp swings in first hour of smoking. (Experiment with preheating and see if it helps.)
    • Add boiling hot water to pan, this will allow you to get up to set temp faster.
    • Start the smoke with a few wood chips. The manual says 1 cup max, you will find a hand full is almost too much. 1st chip dump just a few chips 8-10, 15 minutes  later a little more chips 10-12, another 15 minutes 12-15 chips.  This should produce a nice bed of hot ash with good chip combustion.  12-20 chips every 30 minutes should work from this point on. Your goal is TBS (thin blue smoke). When its right you can smell the sweet smoke, it won't smell bitter or be cloudy white. Dark smoke is nothing but awful.
    • Do not adjust vent leave it wide open.  Unless using the AMNS, (follow AMNS instructions).
    • Use external probe for sensing meat internal temp, you can run the probe cord through the exhaust vent. *You may want to run 2nd probe inserted into a wood block or potato with 2” to 3" tip exposed to verify the internal MES cooking temp.  (Newer MES models have the built in probes. verify they are +/- 5º accurate).
    • Once your meat is loaded, avoid opening the hatch. New models can recover to set temp faster, but every time you open the door you extend the cooking time. Thus spritzing isn't really necessary in a MES due to the water pan keeping the smoking environment moist enough to not dry out the meat.
    • If you do have to open your MES plan your moves so you can keep door open time to a minimum.  (I’ve decided to not stress and plan for open door times by adding 20 minutes per door opening, although best is to keep to absolute minimum).
    • When your done cooking, the proper way to shut the MES down is to turn off the controller then unplug.  (Sounds simple but the controller has been known to get stuck if not shut down properly.)
    • If your MES seems to struggle getting to either the preheat temp of 270º or is taking extraordinary long times to raise to cooking temps after meat is loaded try doing a RESET..
    Proper RESET = cycle the MES off with the controller, unplug electrical cord, count to 10, re-plug electric cord, turn on MES with on/off, reset temps.
    If you tried a reset, and 20-30 minutes later there is little change do the reset again.
    • Cleanup is easy with a Brillo (or similar) pad to scrub the tough stuff, and throw grates, water & drain pan into dishwasher. Some have complained about the spot welds on the drain pan rusting, I hit those spots with a touch of PAM then store the cleaned stuff back in the MES.
    You do not need to clean the inside cabinet, most experienced smokers consider that just seasoning. With a hot wet rag, wipe out the inside bottom and any excessive gunk on the walls. Again with hot damp cloth, wipe the door gasket, and the door frames (for better seal).

    Congrats on you new MES purchase, and welcome to the MES owners club.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012

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