MES 40 questions

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jnorth, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. jnorth

    jnorth Fire Starter

    I'm looking at picking up a MES 40 from Sam's Club and I had a few questions I couldn't quite find the answers from in older posts.

      Weather resistance;  I don't have a garage or a shed I can easily move it in and out of but I can stuff it in my airstream for the winter.  will just putting a cover over it for the summer be sufficient?  It doesn't rain that much up here (~11" or so a year).

      Cold Smoking;  I haven't done any cold smoking yet but I would like to.  It sounds like getting an AMNPS is the way to go for cold smoking.  If you are using them (MES 40 and AMNPS) together for cold smoking do you just not turn the MES 40 on at all?

      Temp Probes; I noticed allot of people also use the Maverick ET-732.  Is the built in probe on the MES 40 faulty or does the Maverick just have more desirable features?

    Finally, I'm planning on mostly smoking sausage and bacon though I'm sure I'll branch out to pretty much everything else.  Does anyone have anything particularly useful for those things?


  2. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First Welcome to SMF and the electric forum where us MES owners like to hang out.

    Weather protection, there is a cover that is sold by Masterbuilt that fits the MES.  Sam's used to supply a cover, I don't know if Sam's MES still includes the cover.  I used to store my MES outside, however it was stored under an eave so it wasn't in direct sunlight or rain.  I just would pull it away from the house when I used it.  In the winter I had an additional tarp I put over it for additional protection.  However I live in Sacramento Calif area, and our winters are mild compared to most parts of the country.  We have since bought a newer home, and it has sort of a gazebo which is really a bbq hut, my weber gas grill and MES are inside under cover there from sun & rain.

    Cold Smoking, if you are doing stuff like cheese you need no additional heat, the AMNPS is all you need, for the smoke alone.

    Temp Probes, using an remote temp probe is usually an extra precaution for cross check purposes against the MES digital / sensor.  If you check your MES sensor against another temp probe and it reads +/- 5 º, then the MES digital readout would be accurate enough.  Note just test the MES sensor/digital readout every couple of months to make sure it is still +/- 5 º.

    Do either a search using SMF's search or google site search on MES and sausage or bacon, there are several threads regarding that topic.  Some have posted mods that make it easier to smoke sausage and bacon (mainly rack improvements for hanging the meat).
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have only had my MES since Christmas but I have had it outside on my 4' wide front porch with overhang for 4 months uncovered and no problems so far, it is a little dusty. I plan on getting a cover as soon as I have some extra money. I think you will be fine if you get a good cover, I understand the Masterbuilt one is crap, really thin material. I am looking at these...

    When I Cold Smoke Bacon and Cheese all I do is light the AMNPS, place it on the bottom rails, pull the chip tray and loader out about 1 inch and let it smoke with the MES off...Does an awesome job. The Pellets do raise the temp inside the smoker by about 20*F over time so Qt size Milk Containers of Ice and/or night time smokes are necessary for Cheese during the summer, at least in the Lower 48... I understand Dust burns cooler but have not tried it yet.

    The Maverick is a great Therm and is more accurate then the MES probe most of the time. Mine is off by 5 degrees, some people have seen them off by 20+. In that situation call MES and they will send a replacement Probe. The Mav also has a about three times the range of the MES remote and keeps the MES honest. Many of us have multiple pieces of meat going at any given time and the extra Probes come in handy.

    Do a search for MES modifications. Some guys have made great Sausage hanging rods from wood dowels and 1" angle iron. There are also some assorted Bacon hooks that guys have bent up.

    I think you are going to love your MES! Good Luck...JJ
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  4. msuman

    msuman Fire Starter

    My MES temp probe is about 5deg higher than what my maverick reads.
  5. I live in the Bay Area of CA (Pittsburg) and I too do not have a good place to store my new MES 40 that is covered.  I bought this cover :

    You need to be sure to select the proper size...  the link someone else posted is for the 30", this link should take you to the 40"

    Two days after mine arrived we got really heavy (OK, heavy for us) rain and hail and my unit stayed dry.

    I think I will throw another tarp over it in the winter and bungy cord around it.   Keep in mind, either way, I would suggest you "air it out" occasionally as moisture will always work its way in, even if just from the moist air coming up from the bottom.
  6. jnorth

    jnorth Fire Starter

    Thank you all.  Now hopefully all the snow will melt soon so I can get everything all set up and going.
  7. jnorth

    jnorth Fire Starter

    Well, I picked up the MES 40 the other day but unfortunately one of the two wires in the smaller cable to control panel is broken right at the connector.  It looks like the crimp connector in it didn't get crimped down properly.  Worst part is that it is the cable coming out of the body, not the one from the control panel so I can't just get a new control panel.  Oh well, I wasn't going to be able to smoke anything this weekend anyhow.  I'll see what Masterbuilt customer service has to say on Monday.
  8. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have had two covers for my 6 year old Sam's Club MES 40.  The first came with the MES, it was part of the deal from Sam's club, that cover was crap and didn't last a year.  I called Masterbuilt and they shipped me a replacement.  If the cover they are shipping today is the same I got 5 years ago it is a very good cover.  I won't say it is water tight though because I always put an extra piece of plastic over my MES, which used to live under the house eave facing north.  Having said that during the spring, summer and early fall it would get some incidental rain and it appeared to remain dry.
  9. You might want to just return it to Sam's and get a new one!
  10. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks like everybody has you sorted so I  will be brief .My MES is under the patio roof but otherwise open to elements no problems despite torrential rain here.

    I just use AMZPS with the MES off for cold smoking cheese .The pellets lift temp a fair bit so  I followed the lead here & load up water pan with ice.MES is pretty well insulated . Put AMZPS  at very bottom on rails next to chip tray for best results.

    Haven't bought maverick I have other brands sold way down here but only use them at end of process but thats just me & what  I cook,no brisket or butts.

    I bought fitted bars for hanging stuff,but dowel will do for sure.

    There is a huge amount of info here on both bacon & sausage. There are some real artists when it comes to sausage just a matter of looking through posts.I would start with NEPAS &Solaryellow.

    Bacon is a big topic! I have only done about 6 batches but I learnt everything from here. Soak to rebalance after cure then fry test 2 essential things that I am glad I  paid attention to. GOODLUCK MICK
  11. My MES is in a cabinet the BF built for me. I don't have a covered porch etc to place it out of the weather. I have read not to expose the digital control to direct sunlight or let it get soaking wet since common sense tells you both will cause damage. As a side note, I do know of someone that didn't unplug there smoker and during a thunderstorm, it got zapped. I always unplug mine.
  12. I keep mine outside, covered, and under a grillzebo.  I would really like to get it and my BBQ more built in as noted above.


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