MES 30 VS ......

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by gen0, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. I have been leaning towards an MES30 , now my friend tells me he can buy at a local hardware store a Smoke Hollow  for less than half the price,.  I have no doubts the MES is good but... is it twice as good as the smoke hollow?   

      They, the local hardware store, is selling a 40'' ( more or less) Smoke Hollow for less than I can buy a MES30 on Amazon. 

        What do you think??
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2014
  2. GenO

     Do your due diligence. Look around The web, read about the different features on the models you can afford, decide what smoker you want, check prices. This is a investment in a hobby.Yesterday a poster posted a link to a Masterbuilt 40 inch Gen 1 in  black with out a window for 237.00 delivered. That's not a bad price. After 63 years if I have learned one thing it  is that usually you get what you pay for.

     That's just my opinion,   Jted
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  3. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Smoke hollow has a good reputation. Or at least not so many complaints. If I am not mistaken their controller is same style as on electric skillets and griddles.

    The down side? No massive forum like there is for masterbuilt. You might feel lonely.
  4. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just looked at the page you linked to. On the whole this is very similar to a Masterbuilt electric analog smoker. The MB model is for sale on Amazon for $120. Are you saying you can buy the Smoke Hollow locally for $95? I don't know anything about SH except what I've read in the reviews. And from the reviews on Amazon I noticed that SH had 44 reviews while the MB had 1,793. The SH was rated 1/2 star higher but then it has about 75% fewer reviews. Both companies appear to offer great customer service. So, you might take all this into consideration.

    Personally, I own the MES 30 Electric Digital Smokehouse Generation 1 and really love it. I prefer the digital heat and timer controls. I also like the pull-out wood chip loader since every time you open the smoker door you lose both a lot of smoke and about 40-50 degrees of heat depending on how long the door is open. However, I also never use wood chips anymore. Wood pellets are much easier to use because a tray of them will smoke for hours on end. With wood chips, you have to add them every 20-30 minutes which is too much work for me.

    No matter what you buy, 40-inch is great for smoking larger cuts of meat and for smoking a lot of meat at one time. The 30-inch is fine for my needs but the extra interior space of a 40 would be nice.

    Keep in mind that you just really research both companies and products carefully because you'll be using the one you buy for years to come. Buyer's remorse is never a good thing. I researched smokers and Masterbuilt as more than met my expectations.
  5. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's indeed a great price. I just checked out Smoke Hollow. gen0 is looking at the equivalent of a MES 40 analog smoker. However, both smokers are very similar in design so it comes down to which one is better-made and which company provides better customer support. From the reviews both seem to be on a par with each other. But that's only for the analog models; I don't know if Smoke Hollow has any electric digital models.
  6. If I were you, I'd probably get the Smoke Hollow about and add a homemade PID to it. Now you've got a 40" electric smoker that's accurate to a few degrees for under $150 [​IMG]
  7. The big hang up is the temperature control.  I really don't care how accurate it is since I will be using a couple thermometers to follow along with what project I am working on.

      The question I can not seem to find is, will the smoky hollow control allow a cold smoke? does it dial down to the 60 - 65 F range? 

       If I can buy a 40 inch smoky hollow for the same price as a MES30, which my friend on the upper west coast claims he saw, I may be tempted to go for it. Not that I need a 40 but bigger is better? 
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  8. It will definitely not get down to that temp and maintain it. Most analog smokers have a "Low" range of something like 200-250 maybe even higher. The MES has a low setting of 100 even and that's only because it's digital. You'll need a PID controller to get it that low and to cold smoke you'll need to add some sort of vent to the top of there will be zero air flow and you'll have a real hard time getting an AMNPS to stay lit.
  9. I actually have a digital temp controller I bought for another  project.   I will need to check the amp rating but it only cost $30 or so from Amazon and came highly rated.   So if it does not draw too many watts/amps I could make an analog into a digital pretty easy. Hmmm
  10. Have a link to that controller? $30 sounds like a nice price for a controller.
  11. jsdspif

    jsdspif Meat Mopper

    the smoke hollow reminds me of a propane one I had before I got my MES 30 . It looks as though the SH you have to open the door to add wood chips ?? That's how my old one was and the chip pan was a very small square . It only produced smoke for about 10 minutes or so . I ended up putting a cast iron pan in there for wood chips . The smoke hollow I think is double walled but no insulation , where I think the MES has insulation between the walls all the way around and you don't need to open the door to add the wood chips . I'm going to guess people will comment "get an amazen smoker tray " which a lot of people like , but I always seem to have a hard time with mine . I ended up getting the masterbuilt cold smoking accesory and I really like it . As far as the insulation it probably wouldn't make a big difference if your in a warmer climate or only smoking in warm weather as long as the smoke hollow is double walled , but if you're using it when it's 5 below zero ( like I have with my MES30 that is in my garage ) you may have a problem , especially if you open the door . With mine , I don't think (temperature wise ) my unit cares what the outdoor temp. is . Maybe if there was a wind blowing on it when it's really cold may have more of an effect on it , but I've never noticed it . I usually don't have to open it while using it but when I have I haven't noticed any adverse reaction . The SH does have more room , but how much do you need ? there was just a post made with the guy that has 2 butts and a full packer brisket in his , and I think more than that could fit. I did notice some reviews for the SH at home depot and one of them stated the heating elements were burning up , and they spoke of setting the chip pan on the heating element which doesn't sound good to me ( maybe he was the one with the elements burning up ) .There sure is a large community of the MES owners .
  12. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm not sure that Smoke Hollow has a 40 inch electric.. They do have a 41 inch and 44 inch gasser. I saw no 40 inch on their web site. 
  13. yes, you are correct. my friend went back to the store and looked closer in hoping to answer my questions.   The $99 was gas and the $159 was electric.

       that pretty much sealed the deal for a MES30.
  14. I'm not sure we allowed links so first the info.................from Amazon...AGPtek Digital All-purpose Temperature   controller. they have 6 or more units from various manufactures, this is rated over 4 stars and mentioned in other forums that deal with dry curing.

      $20 .... if my ( hopefully soon to arrive) MES30  controller  happens to die, you can bet I will be going with something like this.

       Besides dry curing conversions it seems beer makers, of the home brew type, use this controller also. 
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2014
  15. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We insert links all the time, gen0. It's very helpful for enabling the people to see what is being talked about and to comment on it.

    I just use the controller that came with my MES 30 digital. If it ever goes out I'll decide then whether to order a new one from MB or go "after market".

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