Clarification on ceramic tile in MES 40

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by hillbilly69, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Hello MES owners.  I am about to attempt my first smoke using a ceramic tile based on information I have received here.  If someone with experience with this would confirm that I have everything in the right position I would be most grateful.  I am a new MES owner and I don't want to take any unnecessary chances.  Thanks in advance.

  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I tried what you're doing there years ago, and it held the heat under the tile & nearly caused an explosion!!

    Through experimenting I ended up going to the below set-up.

    That aluminum plate above the water pan is supported on the left side with a piece of folded aluminum.

    By sliding it left & right, raising & lowering the left side, I can adjust how much heat I divert to the center or away from the right side of the smoker.

    This keeps the problem of "all the heat" going up the right side & out the exhaust vent, yet it doesn't trap & hold the heat, like laying something flat over the heating element does.


    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  3. Thanks for the reply, Bear.  Because time was getting away from me and I needed to get the ribs on the smoker I went ahead and tried the tile.  It DID NOT work the way I had hoped it would.  You were absolutely right about the heat being suppressed to a point that it is not a good thing for the smoker.  Luckily there was no explosion but I did hear an audible pop.  Went to check and it blew the top seam at the back of the smoker.  One side was a little more severe than the other but it popped both sides.  Here is a picture.

    I wanted to pass this on to you because from what I can see you have a voice that people listen to here.  I know a lot of people are using ceramic tiles but perhaps you can pass on my experience to others so they don't make the same mistake.

    Now I have to figure out the best method to try and repair the back of the smoker.  Any ideas?
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would use some self-tapping screws where needed.

    The old backs used to have to be removed to fix wires, and the method was to drill out the rivets, and replace them with self-tapping screws.

    BTW: That time years ago that I tried the ceramic tile, mine was popping & spitting puffs of smoke out the top vent, like Apaches sending smoke signals, but it didn't blow the seams---Maybe because I had my vent 100% open.

    Thanks for the pics & report of what happened.

  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I tried it too. It melted some of the insulation and warped the back cover. I used it 6 times and scrapped it...JJ
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hillbilly, afternoon..... Were you trying to reduce the hot spot in the rear right corner of the smoker ???

    I found a solution to that....

    Moved the exhaust to the center of the smoker with a "tunnel"....

    Fill the water pan with gravel or sand..... and leave the chip tray in place to help diffuse the heat from the burner....

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I had thought about doing something like that, but I decided since the heating element is more on the right side, it would be better to push the heat to the left before it rises, instead of letting it rise on the right side, and then move toward the middle to get out the exhaust vent.  

    Probably the next MES will have the same vent as the Gen #1, but it will be located on the top surface of the left side, instead of the right. This will cause the heat to have to cross through the smoker to get to the vent.

  8. Thanks for all the replies and suggestions.  Great advice indeed. 

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