Clearance around MES40

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by mhoolik, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. mhoolik

    mhoolik Newbie

    Hello guys,

    Newbie to this forum, I’m doing my research, lots of interesting things to learn but still have a few questions.

    A couple of years ago I sold my condo to buy a house so that I can finally have a BBQ J I’ve been quite happy with it but it’s time to move to the next level. I’ve been planning the purchase of a smoker.

    I went through multiple options over the last year. The only thing I was sure is I I wanted something easy to handle for long periods of time. At first, I really wanted propane but then after some reading I figured it might not be the best option. I then figured out the Bradley was the next best thing but I don’t like the fact that I would be stuck with proprietary pucks.

    I then found this forum and it has been great. Really instructive material and it helped me settle for a MES 40 with an AMNPS. I do have some questions however and I couldn’t find clear answers (I might have missed it).

    I live in Canada so the retailers are more limited. I might do a little bit of cross border shopping but at the moment, the item I’m planning to buy is this one from Amazon Canada (Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker with Viewing Window and RF Remote Control, 40-Inch). I don’t think I’m allowed to post a direct link as per the forum rules but it typically sells for $CAD 592. Is this the latest generation (without Bluetooth)? The part number is 20075315.

    I do have an enclosed space on the side of house which would cut the wind but it is surrounded on one side by a wood fence and on the other side by vinyl siding. Does this unit stay cool on the outside (I imagine at 5F in Winter it will)? I would built a proper support to raise the unit and a cover to block snow and rain but want to be sure that the vinyl won’t melt due to heat or the fence catch on fire…. I read the manual and there is cryptic diagram with dimensions but it’s nothing but clear so I’m looking for some opinions here. How much clearance should I have around the smoker?


  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Dave,

    Welcome to SMF !!  [​IMG]

    An MES with an AMNPS is a match made in Smoker's Heaven!!

    However the one you're looking at sounds like a Generation #2 (The one I recommend staying away from).

    If it has a slanted Drip Plate just above the heating element, that covers the whole interior & is higher on the right than the left, that is a Bad design. It also has a small water pan hanging from the left end of that slanted drip plate.

    Here's more on that:

    Masterbuilt Smokers (Bear's Thoughts & Findings)

    MES Generation Number Recognition Pictures & Pics (Digital Units)

    Personally, I would rate the Gen #2.5 as the Best, followed by the Gen #1, and the Gen #2 is nowhere in the running.

    The right side wall, and the right side of the top get hot to the touch, but I don't think you can feel it a foot away from the smoker.

    I would say 2' to 3' from Vinyl should be fine. IMHO

    Hope this helps,

  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I had mine sitting 6" from vinyl siding with no problems.

  4. What Bear said. If there's any malfunction with the unit (i.e., electrical fire), you certainly don't want it snugged up tight to the house, not to mention the likelihood of smoke stains on your siding from normal use.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  5. mhoolik

    mhoolik Newbie

    I will certainly have to re-evaluate my choices then. The Gen 2.5 is really expensive in Canada (at least where I found it). Cross-border shopping to Niagara Fall, NY is an option if I can find a free day. These are the prices for comparison (all converted to USD)
     Amazon CanadaAmazon USAHome Depot CanadaHome Depot USA
    Gen 1N/AN/A$320$323
    Gen 2$441$340$505$306
    Gen 2.5$520$359$520$405

    I will reconsider my placement options as well. The vinyl siding would be on the left side of the smoker (which is cooler I think) but I can easily install a fire resistant panel (cement board or something similar).

    I use my BBQ all year long including in Canadian snowstorms so I'm trying to have a setup to use the smoker as well...
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That Gen #1 for $320 looks to be your best price, and it's a excellent Smoker. It also has the regular RF remote instead of the Bluetooth, which I never use anyway. I'd definitely go with that Gen #1 for $320. I used my Gen #1 for 6 years, and it still works fine---I only Semi-Retired it for the new Gen #2.5, but it's ready to suit up & take the field at a moments notice.

    The main thing is to stay away from that Gen #2. IMHO

    I can't help you any further with the Vinyl Siding factor, except to say if I hold my hand a few inches from the hottest point of my MES, I don't feel any heat.

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017

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