Masterbuilt headache

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by kryinggame, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. kryinggame

    kryinggame Smoking Fanatic

    Guys/Gals, I'm going to bite the bullet and go with the Masterbuilt 30 inch smoker. I'm really concerned due to the bad reputation.

    Here's my concern, some folks say that the problems are with the older models and have been fixed with the newer models.  Which model number should I look to buy?

    Thanks gang!
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  2. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    First off... welcome to SMF.. please stop by roll call and introduce yourself and tell us a little about some of the toys you have...where you are.. things of that nature.. next.. please edit your post (guys/gals).. I know you meant gals but... and then go here and craig has give some info on the model numbers...

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/...but-a-good-deal-came-up-on-craigslist-tonight.. Again.. welcome to SMF.. your gonna love it here
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  3. not sure what you mean by "bad reputation".  they get great reviews, and are very well thought of here.
     
  4. kryinggame

    kryinggame Smoking Fanatic

     
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It sounds as though you have you mind set against buying a MES.

    It's a very good smoker for the price. 

    Yes some of the older models had problems, but they have very good customer service.

    With all the folks on here with them, you hear very few complaints.
     
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    kryinggame, morning.... If you are concerned about getting a smoker that has had some factory defects, I think you should probably look at a stick burner or a charcoal fired smoker....

    Considering the MES is stainless lined, has an electronic controller and a heating element.... VS  a Weber charcoal smoker for roughly the same price.... Sounds like the Weber is the one for you... Nothing to go wrong... it puts out great Q... using the minion method I have heard 12 hours on one load of charcoal is attainable.... good temp control once you get a handle on it...

    or even an Ugly Drum Smoker for less money and the satisfaction of building it yourself is probably a good choice...

    All that being said... I have the MES 30.... I should have bought the 40 for the additional room.... Go with the 40...    

    Dave
     
     
  7. tjohnson

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

    IMHO - Masterbuilt is a good smoker for the money.

    Yes, they've had some issues, but they seem to have worked out the bugs on the latest models

    I own (3) MES 40's and use the heck out of them

    I also own a Pellet Smoker, because I wanted to try something different

    Todd
     
  8. Serious? you bet.  you have a different view, that's fine, but why would you buy something you think has that many issues?  IMHO, it's the best smoker for the money, and yes, they have superior customer service, at least in my dealings with them.
     
  9. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    They are good smokers for the money.  Emphasis on for the money.

    Not sure if they have worked out the wiring problems.  I know they put better access to the connections but they didn't change the connectors from what I can tell.  Time will tell.

    I still own one and it's going strong for 3 years.  I did change out some of the wiring after I first bought it after reading many post of failed smokes due to smoker failure.  Just decided to reduce my chances of failure at the get go.  Nothing worse than your smoker going down in the middle of a smoke or not going at all when you have a house full of people for dinner.
     
  10. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    MES [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  11. frizzlefry

    frizzlefry Smoke Blower

    Isn't there a thread in the wiki section that lists all the model numbers and their specs / problems?  I searched but couldnt find it.
     
  12. joeypass

    joeypass Newbie

    I have been looking at the MES smokers and also am very concerned about the bad reviews on several purchasing sites. It seems the elements/wiring last about one year and then invariably go out. Access has become easier for repairing the wiring but it does not seem they have addressed the problem directly and have just made it easier to repair.
     
  13. whittling chip

    whittling chip Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I purchased a MES 40 just before Thanksgiving. I've cooked chicken and BB's for a start. Didn't turn out like I hoped.

    I next tried a pork sholder (4.5 lbs) which smoked for 11 Hours! I tried another one a week later which was about the same size and it smoked for 12 hours!

    The problem I had was the temperature. I pulled out 8 different thermometers to find out none read the same reading. I finally used my digital probe and one that I pulled off my New Braunfel's smoker and they were within a few degrees of each other.

    What I found was that the MES unit is off by 25° (lower) compared to the digital temp probe. Also, the meat probe inside the MES is 10° off (lower) than the digital. That wasn't something I was happy about. Because the unit tops out at 275°, with the 25° cooler difference, I am unable to crank it up as high as the unit should go.

    I also learned that I have to preheat the unit for nearly one hour ahead of putting the meat on to let the unit heat up. I had to crank it all the way up to 275° for that time. If you set it lower the unit will keep turning off and it takes forever to get the heat ready to put the meat on. I should mention I use the water tray provided and I fill it with scalding hot water when I put it in the unit.

    I think I have finally "Mastered" the MES as far as the heat control goes. Right now I have a 5.5lb brisket on with a fatty. They have been cooking at 225° for just over 3 hours. I am also using an AMPS with oak pellets.

    Just make sure you get a good digital thermometer or two and forget about what the MES oven or probe says.

    Hope that helps.
     
  14. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What I found was that the MES unit is off by 25° (lower) compared to the digital temp probe. Also, the meat probe inside the MES is 10° off (lower) than the digital. That wasn't something I was happy about. Because the unit tops out at 275°, with the 25° cooler difference, I am unable to crank it up as high as the unit should go.

    If I were you I would contact Masterbuilt Customer service & they will send you out a new controller.
     
  15. whittling chip

    whittling chip Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Al, I didn't think about doing that. I'll give it a shot.

    BTW - I have Model 20070211. Just to let anyone else know that is having trouble with theirs.
     
  16. spg1

    spg1 Fire Starter

    I will admit I was a little worried when I first got my MES 40 hearing all the stories.  But the one time I did have a problem I PM'ed the Masterbuilt guy on this board and he helped me out with no problems.  I would give the MES 40 a look though.  Sooner or later you will have company and you might not be able to fit everything into the 30.  Either way I have been very happy with my unit.  I actually took it out for the first time over Thanks Giving to a RV park.  After turkey day I did some ribs and twice baked potatoes that everyone enjoyed. 
     
  17. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Al what is the highest temp you can get out of a 40  ?
     
  18. Getting back to the original question, I have found my MES 40 to be a great smoker that has worked fine for the past two years that I have had it. The one time I have had to deal with Masterbuilt customer service, I found them to be very helpful and responsive. 

    I mention this because it is easy to be misled by forum posts and reviews that address problems with the MES, as users without problems usually do not post as many comments or questions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011

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