MES 40 Problems

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dvuong, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    I have a 2nd Gen MES 40 that I got from Lowes a little while ago.  I've tried smoking ribs, turkey, and chicken in it a few times but have noticed some temperature issues:

    1) Temperature doesn't heat to set temp.. Seems to be about 25 degrees cooler than what it's set to.

    2) Hot spot on right side of smoker.  Only way to counter that is to rotate what I'm smoking but then that requires me opening the door up and then it takes forever to recover.

    3) The controller pad at the top is bubbling!  I keep it covered at all times when not in use and out of direct sunlight.  I also never place hot pans or trays on top of the smoker.

    The past few times I've smoked, I would have to just take things out of the smoker and finish in the oven because it would just take too long or one side would overcook while the other remained undone.  Ribs I've tried smoking using 3-2-1 method would just be dry. 

    I haven't been happy with this smoker at all and I'm frustrated because it's passed the return window.  Would appreciate any help here or is this just a loss I have to cut?
     
  2. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    Look up the MES owners group in groups above, lots of info. The first thing you need to do is get a Maverick or similar dual temp probe. MESs are notorious for bad temp sensors. You need to know the actual temp where you are cooking. During the foil part of 3-2-1, it helps to put liquid in the foil, I use apple juice or beer or apple beer(my fav). You'll hear alot about the temp probes, this is a common problem. Hang in there, help is on the way! David.
     
  3. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    Thanks for your reply David.  I'll check out the MES group as you suggested. 

    I also did add liquid to the foil when doing my 3-2-1 ribs and it still turned out dry, mostly on the side that was over the heating element.  Things just weren't cooking evenly.

    I use a Thermoprobe TW8060, which is a dual probe monitor.  Very heavy duty and accurate (and pricey!!!)

    I wouldn't have much of a problem if the overall temp was hotter than what I set at because it's easier to adjust for (and better for crisping poultry), but when the temp is 25 degrees lower and the control pad only goes up to 275, that's a problem.
     
  4. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    What temp are you smoking at? I have a MES 30 and set at 225(actual temp 240-250) for just about everything. I don't think you need higher temp to smoke ribs or anything else. If you can get to 225 on the rack you're using, I would think that would be high enough. Don't know about hot spot on right side. I usually don't use bottom rack because it's so close to heating element and haven't had a problem, although I do turn my ribs when I pull them for foiling and unwrapping.
     
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would use those problems to try to get them to take it back. Then get a Gen #1 MES 40 instead.

    Tell them You paid for a smoker that goes to an actual 275°.

    I know how to even out the temp left to right in a Gen #1, but a Gen #2 is completely different. That slanted drip plate in the Gen #2 traps the heat on the right side.

    Bear
     
  6. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    I wish I could take it back but it's past Lowe's return period. :(
     
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would call Masterbuilt, and tell them the problems you have including the fact that it only goes up to an actual 250°, because you paid for a smoker than goes to 275°. Sometimes they fix you up. They may at least send you a new control panel.

    Bear
     
  8. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    I'll give that a shot...  I just hope to be able to find a time that I can call when I'm not at work and at home!  Seems like they only operate M-F, 8-5 EST.  I'm on the West coast.
     
  9. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    Bear has steered you in the right direction. I've never had the need for Masterbuilts customer service, but I hear they're pretty good. Maybe wouldn't hurt to let them know you got the advice here on the forum, I would think they know how big this is and don't want any bad P.R. Please let us know what happens. David.
     
  10. mjeffcoat

    mjeffcoat Fire Starter

    Masterbuilt has great customer service. Seems they realize where the shortfalls are and try really hard to keep their current owners happy.
     
  11. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    I just called Masterbuilt this morning and they told me that temperature variations will occur because it is taking the temperature from the wall of the unit and that's how the unit is supposed to operate.  Thankfully, I've done enough research on SMF to call BS to that and told them that meat cooks using the ambient temperature of the cooker and not at the temperature of the wall.  I then told her that I've looked around SMF and that there have been many complaints about this issue so mine is not unique.

    After hearing about SMF, she seemed to budge and said that they will send out a new controller unit on Monday.  Are these easy to replace on the Gen 2?

    If I had known that the Gen 2.5/3 was coming out, which seems like people are happy with, I would have waited.  ARGH!
     
  12. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    They are easy to replace takes a few minutes.
     
  13. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    Does the whole
    Does the whole top control panel come off?
     
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I never had to replace a Gen #2 control, but I've heard it is very easy.

    That won't change the side to side variance in heat, but at least you should be able to get to 275°.

    If you remove the little water pan from the big stupid slanted drip plate, some of the trapped heat can get up through the water pan hole and make its way up through the left side of the smoker.

    You can put the water pan on the floor below the water pan hole, or better yet, set a foil pan there instead to catch any drips.

    Bear
     
  15. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    With so many problems, you'd think MB would issue a recall.
     
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I was told they fixed most of the control problems, and the design has been changed to the better in the new Gen # 2.5.

    My Gen #1 has uneven heat from left to right, but my heat deflector I use in the bottom right fixes that real good.

    The Gen #2 can't be fixed in that same way because of the slanted drip plate in that design.

    Bear
     
  17. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    Too bad I didn't have the means to replace my Gen 2 with the 2.5!  They seem pretty pricey...
     
  18. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    Glad to hear they are sending you a new controller. I haven't had to replace one, But if you have questions, I'm sure people here(like Tropics) have and will be happy to guide you thru it.
    "After hearing about SMF, she seemed to budge and said that they will send out a new controller unit on Monday." May the force of the forum be with you. LOL. I knew the heavy hitters would come to your aide, Aint this place great? Good luck, David.
     
  19. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yes the front panel has screws on the sides and I think on the under side I can't get to mine still to much snow.
     
  20. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    Yeah, the forum has been great!  It's almost like she was afraid of SMF or something because the minute I mentioned the name, she stopped asking questions and said she'd send out a unit right away. 
     

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