MES 40 temperature help!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by mbarys, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. Hey all, Happy Labor Day!

    I just got my MES 40 a couple of weeks ago and have done a pork butt which turned out great and some wings. Today I'm in the middle of doing my 3-2-1 spare ribs and the temperature is all whacked out!

    My Maverick is showing anywhere from 175-200 while my MES shows anywhere from 225-283! Way off the mark! Right now I jacked it to 275 and it's reading 283 on the MES, but the Maverick is showing 210. Any ideas? I just turned it off and unplugged and will go back out in a minute to turn it back on hoping it resets.

    Any words of wisdom would be great!


  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Probe location is important. I was having a similar situation and found the tip of the BBQ/Smoker temp probe was touching the meat. You will also get drastic differences in the first hour or so until everything heats up and evens out. Water in the water pan has a cooling effect as well. The mes measures temps a few inches above the heating coil and we usually put the BBQ probe on the same shelf as the meat with plenty of stuff blocking the heat. Make sure the top vent is wide open so you get a good draft which helps natural convection even temps out as well...JJ
  3. Thanks for the quick reply. I see the probe in the back. No meat on that tray. The Maverick probe is on the shelf with the ribs and I have no water pan. I'm using the amnps so that's resting on the water pan tray. Vent is wide open!

  4. Also as a test I'm going to put the probe in boiling water to see what it registers. Everything is a little weird as the meat probe built into the MES is showing 260, but it is in the holster touching the side.
  5. OK. Boiling water test was 212. I also had my pool filter plugged into the same outlet. Unplugged it and now with MES set at 270, I'm hitting 235 right now. Better!
  6. I wonder if the AMNPS has something to do with the temperature being off. I did a brisket Monday and the temp on my Maverick never went above 220 while the readout on the MES could be as high as 285. If I just turn on the MES with nothing in it and just the Maverick probe, they are pretty consistent. It's as soon as I add the AMNPS smoking it gets all wacky. Anyone else experience this?

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Everything JJ said above, plus the AMNPS shouldn't have much to do with temps, unless you are cold smoking or you have the AMNPS real close to a sensor.

    To sum it up, since you tested your Maverick & found it accurate, just ignore the MES reading like most of us do, unless you hang your meat on the little MES temp sensor..

  8. Yeah, I'm going by the Maverick now, but it concerns me that I never get past 220 on the Maverick during cooking. But I guess I'm paranoid. Everything I smoked this weekend turn out awesome anyways!


  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would put my Maverick in the center of the second rack from the top (empty).

    Then set it to 275*. See where it goes & where it settles in at for an hour or two.

    If it is between 270* and 300*, I wouldn't complain.

    If it doesn't go above 270*, I would complain, because I paid for a smoker that goes to 275*.

    Anything above 275* is a bonus, but I would worry about it going over 300* and staying there.

  10. bgosnell151

    bgosnell151 Smoking Fanatic

    sorry to pick and choose out of your post, but I thing this is an important safety note.  This is something that I hadn't really thought about until a conversation with SeenRed.  I was trying to find a way to cook at a higher temp to crisp the skin of my chicken.  Which partially happened when I had a flare up in my AMNPS, accidentally.  This is important as it not only could hurt your MES, but could be a fire hazard.
  11. Well last night I did the test. I jacked it to 275 and the Maverick stayed around 280. I added a foil pan, and it stayed. I added the AMNPS smoking, and it was good. I then added my pork butt and dropped it to 225, and it stayed around 244 all night. Maybe it was a fluke. One thing I did do differently was made sure I opened the door quickly, added the things and closed it. The last couple of times I had it opened for a minute or two lollygagging getting the stuff in. Maybe it couldn't recover? Or maybe I always need to start it at 275 get it all the way up and then add my stuff quickly every time.


  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    A lot of guys run the MES full bore, add the meat then back it down to the long term cooking temp once it settles down...JJ
  13. That's what I do. Mine runs 25-40° cooler than what the temp is set for, depending on what I have in there. It makes sense that the temp dropped and settled lower after adding the meat because the meat was cooler and has to get heated all the way through. 
  14. I agree. This is new and even though it's electric, it takes practice to master your craft and to get it the way you want!
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like your good to go then.

    I often jack mine up before I introduce the meat but not to 275*.

    If I want 225*, I'll preheat to about 250*.

  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup, if it goes above 300* and stays there, I would worry.

    If it just coasts to 300* after the element shuts off (set at 275*), and comes back down to 275*, No Biggie.

  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    How long do you have that smoker, Alesia?  Was it like that from new?

    If yours runs 25* to 40* cooler than the setting, that means you can only get it to 235* to 250*, when set at 275* (The Max).

    If you don't have it too long, I'd tell them you want another one, because you paid for a smoker that would go to 275*.

  18. rbpinney

    rbpinney Newbie

    Hey Matt,

    I had some problems with my MES 40" this weekend as well.  I've had it for a couple of years, and am used to the oven temp and the temp setting being different.  There's tons of posts and some really good research that's been done.  Basically, set your temp a little higher and monitor with another thermometer.  Ok.  I'm over that.

    This weekend, my MES stopped heating.  The temps were wacked out just like yours, maybe a little worse.

    My problem was that it was in full sunlight, with the sun shining on the back.   After a couple of hours, I pulled my brisket and ribs and finished in the kitchen oven.  No harm.  The brisket had been in building the bark for a few hours.   The ribs were wrapped in a pan anyway.

    I shut it off and after the MES was in the shade and cooled off, I fired it up and it worked fine.

    The lesson I learned was to keep it out of direct sunlight when smoking.

    Hope that applies to you and answers your question.

    Happy smokin'

    bgosnell151 likes this.
  19. bgosnell151

    bgosnell151 Smoking Fanatic

    That is great info... thanks very much for this.  I didn't even think of the that being a possibility at one point when my Mav read BBQ temp being 245 when I had it set at 275.  Mine was sitting in the sun.  I wasn't in any rush for my chicken to be done, so I didn't worry about it.
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I posted about this problem a couple years ago.

    All I do is lean a piece of plywood in front of the glass in the door.

    It's not really that the smoker is in the Sun, but kinda.

    The problem is when the Sun is low enough to shine on the MES sensor on the back wall. It heats up the sensor, and the sensor signals to shut the element off.

    Depending on how your MES is situated, all you have to do is rotate it, so the Sun can't shine through the door. Mine can't be turned, hence the plywood.

    Here's the Link:

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013

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