Master Built Smokers

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by exhaustedspark, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. I first joined this forum because i was looking for info on the Master built smoker as i wanted to get some knowledgeable opinions on the unit. For me $300.00 plus after shipping is a lot of money. That was the only Negative i had at the time. Then while reading the posts i saw that most that wrote were about Fixing, Changing and or Modifying the unit. I smoke cheese and sausage. The temp range i need is 85* with smoke to 170* for finishing off the sausage. Todd's Amazn smoker Or the big Kahuna as tested by Jeff seems to be the answer to the low end temp. I myself have been convinced by the owners of the MES that it as bought is not sufficient and needs fixing.

    Now my questions to those that have one.

    1; why is it worth buying?

    2: What do you like about it?

    3: Do you only use it for hot smokes to cook bacon, Briskets etc. ??

    I have noticed a Great loyalty to the product among the members that do have one even though they did modify it. 

     I am serous about the question as i am always willing to change my mind.

  2. smokinal

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

    There are plenty of guys on here with MES's that use them right out of the box without any mods. I owned one for over 2 years & it produced great smoked food without any mods at all. I used wood chips & the only drawback is you have to refill them every 30-45 minutes. I never put the tile in the corner to even out the heat, although this is hardly what I would call a mod., your spending a couple of bucks for a tile & placing it in the smoker.. I just put the thickest pieces of meat to the right rear of the cabinet. Every smoker has temp. variances within the cabinet. I bought the AMNS so I could do all night smokes without having to continually fill the chip loader. The reason MES has a good following here is because they are very easy to operate. Masterbuilt has very good customer service, and a newbie to smoking can be smoking food like a pro almost immediately.
  3. Thank you for the reply AL.

    Happy smoken
  4. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Now my questions to those that have one.

    1; why is it worth buying? Price and Quality   (ALSO SEE BELOW)

    2: What do you like about it?   Ease of Use, Dependability, Quality of build.

    3: Do you only use it for hot smokes to cook bacon, Briskets etc. ??    Hot Smokes and Cold Smoking of Cheese and Sausage and Bacon.

    Here is my Reason for Purchasing the MES,  I have had both Bradley 6rack digital and the MES 40",  My Experience with the Bradley was terrible...

    I would say go with the MES 40" if it were me...

    Get one at Sam's with the 3year Warranty. In the long run you would be happier...

    My Bradley Experience:
    • Purchase Bradley 6 Rack Digital $599.00
    • Shipping: $ 56.00
    • Purchase Bubba Pucks $ 24.99
    • Purchase Bradley Pucks: $ 19.99
    • Total Cost: $ 700.97
    • Use Twice, took 14 hrs to cook a butt on first try and had to finish in Oven
    • Took 23 hrs to cook butts on 2nd try completed in Bradley.
    • Never could Get Bradley Temp Over 200º.
    • Sold Bradley on Craig's List For $350.00
    • Net Loss $350.97
    My MES Experience:
    • Purchased MES 40" @ Sam's $299.99
    • Added 3 year extended Warranty $39.99
    • Buy AMNS: $29.99
    • Buy AMAZING DUST: $4.99
    • TOTAL Outlay $374.97
    • Absolutely NO PROBLEMS...  
    With MES 40" The Ability To Use Smoker PRICELESS.

    Personal Opinion: BRADLEY IS P.O.S.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  5. I have an MES 40" and love it.  I have the newer version with the handle and wheels.  The only thing I have been doing is using the AMNS and the AMNPS that I got from Todd.( I would recommend it but to each is own)  I did use wood chips the first few times I used it and it worked just fine. I haven't had any issues with the wiring but it if worries you, you can buy an extended warranty when you purchase your smoker. Masterbuilt does have great customer service and there is even a tech on this site that can help you out.  I love the fact that I don't have to check on it every hour or so like I did my GOSM Cooker. I haven't done any cold smoking yet.  I am planning on doing a bacon smoke in the fall just to try it out.
  6. Yea i looked once at a bradley and the cost was all i had to see. [​IMG]

    But the cost of the MES even though around half as much is not chicken feed. I know the build for the hot box is of to the side and that seems to be something all mention. The uneven temp that is .
  7. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I got the 30 MES for 169 delivered from amazon about a year ago..It is still working.

    I bought the amazen at the same time.

    Never have used the chip unit.

    Take a look at all the food and sausage I have made with it...Lots and lots.

    Never one failure.  Had to clean the sensors a few times.

    When I got the WSM and Guru combo I removed the chip tray stuff and cut it into a cover for the element and put a couple pieces of slate on it.

    It works fime.

    If thats too much too spend a UDS and have fun!!

    Have a great day!!

  8. Doing just that. Thanks for the info and thoughts.

    By the way what is the GURU combo?? Also Why did you opt out of using the Chip tray?

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  10. As i wrote earlier i came to the forum to find out about the MES.

    As you said Please Lighten up. My opinions have been based on what you and others wrote. I did not insult any ones daughter for gods sake.

     I am building a Uds If what i do can be called building and i am still interested in a Commercial smoker.

    This forum was started by Jeff for different thoughts and ideas and opinion's regarding products, Recipes and techniques.. Lately from what i am reading this is a forum that has been taken over by 2 products that are off limits if someone has any thing to say that does not show these products in a positive light. Todd mentioned that i hijacked the thread so i thought i would put out the question for myself and any others that want info regarding the mes as it is a well known company.

    Why you feel the need to attack or be so defensive i do not understand.

     I do not expect everything to work perfect. However if i buy Todd products i expect them to work the way he says as from the looks of things they do.

    Thank you

  11. tjohnson

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


    For what you want to smoke, you could very well make a plywood smoke house, and use a hotplate with a cast iron pan for heat and smoke generation.  Not sure of the cost, but I bet you could make something for $100 or so.  Make it the size you want with racks for hanging sausage.

    A UDS is another option.  I've never made one, so have no clue what the cost is.  I know there are a number of good threads on SMF, showing you how to build one, and where to get the parts

    Masterbuilt and my company have in no way taken over this forum.  If you look at my posts, I very rarely pitch my little gadget.  Darryl drops in on SMF every once and a while to check things out, and reply to some posts.  I've never seen him pitch any Masterbuilt products either.

    I bought my first MES 40 after lurking on this site, and was well aware of the issues with older units.  I purchased the 3-Year Extended Warranty, but have not needed to use it.

    IMHO the MES 40" is the biggest bang for your buck out there, with the features like Digital Controller, Remote Control, Wheels, Glass Window, All Stainless Interior. Wide Racks and a 1,200 Watt Heating Element.  Compare these features to other smokers, and you'll have to spend a few more bucks.

    I own (2) of them and use them all the time.  In my fast paced world, they work well for me.  I got a call from a customer today who owns (5) different smokers, and his favorite is the WSM, but for simple "Set it and Forget It Smoking", he uses his MES 30.  He wants an AMNPS for cold smoking and long overnight smokes, where he does not have to tend a fire.

    Hope this helps!

  12. kielbasa kid

    kielbasa kid Smoke Blower


    I am on my 4th smoke box in 50 years and the MES 30 is the best for me. I wrote "for me" because I realize the propensity for some to trash the opinions of others.

    I purchased mine for $160, free shipping from the River Country Store. I have had boughten and homemade smokers that were much larger but I for one, see no reason not to lop the rack of ribs in half. Presentation means bubkes to me. Simple!

    For cold smoking, I use my converted pressure cooker smoke generator that keeps pooping it out for 12+ hours with free orchard trimmings, run through a friend's garden shredder or roadside chips provided by work crews. No further purchases necessary. Simple!

    The element is 1500 watts. The box will exceed 400 degrees. The Maverick's wires should not exceed 400 if you want them to last. So I use the door. Simple!

    Clean-up is a cinch. Two nutless bolts with combo slot/phillips heads, remove the element and cleaning the stainless steel interior is a snap with a stainless steel scrub pad, dipped in hot water. I also use a spatular to scoop out the baked drips and scrubbings. Simple!

    The thermometer on the door is off by 30-33 degrees according to the Maverick probe. So rather than use a probe for cabinet temp. I subtract 30 from the door to focus on what I am actually running at. Only the brain dead cannot do the simple math to run a tight ship. Simple!

    The temp difference between the middle and the top shelf is 3-4 degrees. Not worth sweating over. Simple! 

    I rigged free sausage bars doing a conversion, seen elsewhere on this forum. Simple!

    The MES ANALOG 30 has solid construction and none of the digital system that some have had trouble with in the past. Simple!

    A new 1500 watt element is $29.95 at River Country Store. Simple!

    The controls are set & forget. The insulated box holds the temp forever IN MY OPINION! Simple!

    I did stove cement a wood-stove rope gasket around the door and now it's as tight as a frog's a$$.  Simple!

    I'm a newbie and my opinions are my own and possibly worthless to others in the grand scheme of things but I am only a forum newbie, while I am a grand-daddy to smoking. Simple!

    Oh! BTW...I never use MSG, nitrates or nitrates.[​IMG]

  13. kielbasa kid

    kielbasa kid Smoke Blower

    Make that "ADD" 30 degrees to the doors temperature  to find what you are actually cooking at. I've been up mowing and sweating since 4 a.m. Break time!

  14. I have the MES 40 and don't find temperature variances inside the MES40 box a notable problem. I tried the "tile mod" but I didn't notice any notable difference. Perhaps temperature variance is a bigger issue for the smaller MES 30 units, as there is less room inside the MES 30 box and some of the meat will necessarily be closer to the heat source. Regarding other MES mods, I think modding a MES is a lot like some car owners that mod their cars. Sure, a modded car may be better than stock, but a stock car is OK too. The only exception with MES smokers is the mod (really a repair) for those MES units with the small wood trays that do not smoke well and need the upgrade kit. The AMNS is also a nice mod (really an accessory) to the MES.  Just my thoughts on this subject. 

    Overall, I love my MES 40 out of the box and would buy it again if I needed to replace it.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  15. Thank you all for the replies. I have a feeling that i am going to be eating my words and getting an Mes.

    My post have been to short and rude regarding the Mes and i do apologize.

    And yep i will be getting a Amazn also.

    It sound like it completes the pkg.

  16. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I didn't read all the above posts but did want to say that I have a MES 30 and an AMAZN and love them.  Some of my friends that have tried my Sausage, Briskets, Pulled Pork, Cheese, Almonds, ABT's or anything else have LOVED it.  One friend actually claimed he saw god the first time he tried my ABT's..........nuff said.......
  17. tjohnson

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

    I like the MES so much, I just bought my 3rd one!

    My other 2 are still working fine, but got such a good deal that i could not pass it up!!!


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