Masterbuilt 40" digital electric smoker, model G2ESU40BSW

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dogboy152, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Hey, all. Been a while since I posted anything, having decent luck with my acorn Kamado. Today farm and fleet had a deal on the above masterbuilt electric smoker for $299. What am I in for with an electric smoker, what should I look forward to with regards to differences?
  2. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If the electric works as it should you will get good food without too much fussing.  You will have reload the chip tray frequently unless you get an add on system like the AMAZN (search for it on this forum) or do smoother type of modification. Read the forums carefully.  If there are known problems with the model you are looking at, just be aware of them and maybe look at a different model or brand.  But overall, electric is very convenient and the results superb less the smoke ring.  My Cookshack and now my Smokin-it 3D  have delivered without any problems. 
  3. Thanks sarge. Did NOT realize I'd be giving up the smoke ring. What can I expect for smoking a brisket? Do I dear it on the grill?
  4. smokedcaveman

    smokedcaveman Smoke Blower

    smoke ring is really just cosmetic. one trick I found for getting a good ring in an electric is bark. yes. tree bark. get some of the bark of whatever wood you're using, break it up and mix it with your chips.

    also search the forums for 'smoke ring' and you'll find a lot of research on it. 

    long and short is it's caused by NO2 (nitrogen dioxide - corrected) being formed during the smoking process. the bark apparently contains a lot of nitrogen rich compounds, which offgas while it's being cooked in the coals/fire. not to mention stick burners or charcoal units wind up with twigs and barky pieces put in.. electric (and propane) usually have chips or pellets, which have a very low amount of bark, if any at all.

    well, the NO2 bonds to the surface of the meat in a process very similar to using a cure (in the same way it preserves the color of the meat) - it binds to the myoglobin and retains the pink color.

    so.. long blather short - add bark. it's got the largest amount of nitrogen-containing material (excepting leaves) on the tree, and enriching your smoke composition should give you that nice pretty ring. (and I will admit, it's hard to look at a slice of brisket and not see it....kinda seems a bit wrong and disappointing..) 

    I'd usually sub out about 1/4 of my chips for bark shreds or chips (I've also gotten good results with the hulls, if you're using a nut wood.. like pecan - bother the local sheller/dealer for their hulls.. they're glad to be rid of them, and they're fairly nitrogen rich as well) 

    as for this particular model of smoker? some of the wiser heads here could tell you more about that particular one.. 

    I'm familiar with the masterbuilt 30" analog model, which I'm currently cooling my heels over waiting for some spare money to come in so I can get it fixed (and modded)

    one thing that's almost universal with the masterbuilts though, is there's some disappointment about the size of the chip tray/pan and the amount of smoke generated. you'll find a lot of guys have added an AMNS or AMNPS (amazen smoker - sawdust, or amazen pellet smoker - pellets) to their MES. I'm actually planning on adding an AMNPS (not sure on tube or tray yet) to my analog electric. 
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  5. Thanks Caveman. I'll be smoking ribs this weekend, so we'll see how it goes. I won't know what to do with the extra time, not watching the temp on the Kamado...
  6. smokedcaveman

    smokedcaveman Smoke Blower

    first few smokes with it, keep an eye on it, and maybe read the forums about the quirks of the particular unit..since, hopefully, you'll have the spare time. [​IMG]  (like with you having the sloped tray to the drip cup, your heat's going to pool in the right hand side of the unit.) pay special attention to BearCarver's posts - he reviewed that model, and suggested changes directly to masterbuilt, which lead to improvements and a whole new model (the 40" with bluetooth actually has the improvements)

    there was another smoke ring thread I read elsewhere on the forum where some guys found that kingsford briquettes contain sodium nitrate as an accelerant - helping it light better, and so have found that adding a few crushed down pieces (so they don't overheat the chip tray) mixed in with their chips have aided greatly in adding that lovely pink ring. 

    (and I apologize if I sounded dismissive, mentioning earlier that the ring was 'purely cosmetic' - even though that's true, it bears mentioning that we eat with our eyes first, and it does certainly make the meat more attractive - so if it's desired, it's a component of the meal)

    I hope this is helpful! nom an extra rib for me!
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  7. You bet! Thanks again.
  8. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    I got my Big Red Kamado Kooker by Char-griller before my Mes gen 1 40". It's just a red Akorn. I love it. It's insulated like the Mes. The Mes is more set it and forget it. No steps to build a small fire with unlit charcoal around the lit ones and wood chunks scattered on top of them. Then I put in the grate the pizza stone sits for indirect cooking with the foil pan on top of that then the heavy cooking grate and then the elevated wire grate if needed. No building process with the Mes. I've had to remove everything to get to the coals on long smokes to add more wood which is a PITA. So for long smokes the Mes is great. When the Mes is preheating you can be prepping food etc. vs. building the fire and organizing the assembly process of the Kamado. Having an area you can reverse stack the hot grates, foil pan and food if you have to access the coals is needed. The Kamado is great but I have been exclusively smoking in the Mes since I got it two years ago. For the holidays if your finished smoking, it's a great warming oven for food other people bring that needs to be kept hot.
  9. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    One might try something like Morton's Quick Cure to fake the smoke ring.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  10. smokedcaveman

    smokedcaveman Smoke Blower

    yep. easy peasy - rub with tenderquick or quickcure, wait 15 minutes. rinse off. the wash removes the excess, and leaves just enough there to react with the water to give you a nice ring. (that's why it's not a judging criteria in contests. it's ridiculously easy to fake one up)
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  11. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Hi there and welcome!

    Things to consider with an MES smoker:
    • Max temp is 275F... IF it can actually hit it that max, mine couldn't.  If you do poultry with skin it is highly unlikely you will get edible skin.  The skin will be like leather because it generally needs to be smoked at 325F+ to be edible, it's just a heat thing not an electric smoker thing
    • The electric smoker uses the heating element to smolder the chips/pellets to produce smoke, THIS is reported to not work well at temps below 200F.  This means you have issues producing smoke with doing sausage, bacon, or any cold smokes.  The A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker (AMNPS) helps with this.
    • The MES will swing in temps, mine would swing 35F degrees.  I believe this is on purpose where it tries to stay on and overshoot the set temp keep the wood burning and smoking
    The above was kind of a list of Cons, the pros are:
    • With the use of an AMNPS for smoke generation you would basically have a set and forget smoker for 9-12 hours of smoke and cooking
    • No fooling with heat settings provided you get the temp ranges you are looking for
    • Does well anything you want outside of sausage and bacon
    • Again with the AMNPS you can leave it off and cold smoke items like Salmon Lox and/or Cheese
    I hope this helps, best of luck :)
    smokedcaveman likes this.
  12. Well had my first smoke this weekend on the MES40, with beef ribs.
    1. Ribs were tasty, but the membrane (which I normally trim off, but forgot with the excitement of a new smoker)
    was rubbery. On my Acorn, they usually cook down.
    2.The smoker temp was between 20 and 30 degrees hotter than the probe temp, which I set on the rack during the test run, and verified the accuracy of the probe within a few degrees. Therefore, during the rib session, I just used the probe as a guide for smoker temp and timed everything as per the Acorn.
    3. I just ordered a Maverick dual zone to bypass the above pita. Will this help noticeably? I was fortunate enough to have an accurate thermometer on my Acorn when I got it. What's the chance of a manufacturer actually fitting an accurate thermometer on a smoker?
    4. If I get an Amazen pellet smoker, which would be best for my MES? (Fit/function, etc?)
    Some instructions I've seen on this site are aimed at more experienced folks than me!
    Smoking ribs and a meatloaf for Labor Day. Thanks folks!
  13. redoctobyr

    redoctobyr Smoke Blower

    Well, since there is no feedback yet, I'll offer my $0.02, as a newcomer.

    3) The Maverick should certainly make it much easier to monitor the temps. And to check the probes that you're using in boiling water, and ice water, to check their accuracy. It's tougher to check the sensor in the smoker's wall directly.

    With that said, I have checked the accuracy of my wireless thermometer's probes (within 1F of 32F and 212F). And one time, with no food in the smoker, I clipped both wireless probes right by my Gen1 smoker's sensor. One time that I checked, after things had been running for over an hour, the wireless probes read within 9F of the smoker's sensor. I checked again after about 4 hours, and that time they read within 3F of the smoker's sensor. But to make it a "reasonable" test, I had to make sure everything was reading in the same location. And there was no food in there, as reading next to food can make the sensor read artificially cold, due to the cooler meat nearby.

    4) Typically, it's the AMNPS model that's suggested. That one was designed to fit in the Gen1, it's the 5x8" model. I'm not sure of the generation of yours, but it sounds like it can usually fit somewhere. Even on the bottom food rack.

    Enjoy the new smoker! I just got mine recently, but I have tried making meatloaf. I thought it was good, I'd make it that way again.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  14. Thanks Red! I'll be checking soon, let you know!

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