MES 800 or 1200 watts?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jue03, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Which is better? Is 800 watts enough? Is 1200 watts too much?
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    800 is fine for the MES 30, but not enough for the MES 40.

    1200 is fine for the MES 40.

  3. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I finally got to see a MES 40 2nd Gen at Lowes and that's a big honkin' smokehouse--to me anyway. I'd love the larger interior space but no way would it fit on my hand truck so that I easily wheel it back into my garage--and then I'd have to move stuff around in there to get it to fit into the space where I store my MES 30 1st Gen. But, since I typically cook for 2-4 of us (depending on who's home for dinner) I don't need the larger smokehouse.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  4. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The gen 2 has wheels and a handle. No hand truck necessary. One of the few good things about it.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No matter what, you don't want the Gen #2.

  6. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ditto on this POS from what I've heard and I didn't think the 40 was that big after seeing one at Home Depot
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's what I've heard about the gen 2: only a few good things about it. I'll happily stick with my gen 1 but wish that had been designed into it first.
  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Agreed. Was it in this thread that a guy said his heating element went out and he got a new one shipped to him from MB for $40 (don't know if shipping was included)? He said it was an easy off/easy on replacement. Also, the AMNPS fits right where I want it inside the gen 1. I'm very happy with my Smokehouse.
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't remember where that was. but $40 aint bad.

    The AMNPS fits right where you want it because I was helping Todd at the time, and he asked me how much room was between the left wall & the chip burner assembly in my MES 30. He then made the AMNPS with about 1/4" to 3/8" extra space in case the MES 30s not all being exactly the same. So the AMNPS was actually built with the MES 30 dimensions in mind.

  10. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I love reading this behind-the-scenes R&D stuff about the AMNPS. Were you physically with Todd or did you telecommute or something? Gary (Scarbelly) had told me he also worked with Todd as a consultant and tester (still miss that guy). It's great to know that by dumb luck I bought the MES 30 that was "custom made" for the AMNPS! One of the first things I saw in the Gen 2 was that the AMNPS wouldn't fit nearly as well.
  11. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Fire Starter

    I bought a MES 30 the end of last year. The control unit failed on the third use. I called customer support and was told they would send me a new heating element and control unit. The heating element showed up the next week.

    The control unit was apparently not available (to masterbuilt) sinve i didn't get it within a month of being told they were sending it. I bought one online for $20 and replaced it and the smoker worked again. A few days later they called to let me know they had them in stocj and would be shipping me one. I let them knoe I had already bought one and they sent me a free rib rack and cooking gloves.

    Second time using it with the new control unit it starts tripping the gfci every time the heating element kicks on. Once again useless (on the 4th of course). I'm replacing the heating element before trying to use it on this Saturday.

    Temperature also swings 30+ degrees between heater on and off (not to mention the known inaccuracy of the installed temp probes).

    At this point I have very little confidence in their product and would not recommend buying their electric smokers to anyone.

    sent from here using science.
  12. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've seen that there are lemons in all products. I've had mine (1st generation) for over two years now and it's been trouble-free. Admittedly, I've only used it about 6 times but everything works well--including the control unit and the heating element, and cooking temps are steady and the temp display is accurate to within 2-3 degrees. On my unit, after the temp reaches the preset target it stabilizes, dropping only when I open the door but returning to the target temp fairly quickly.

    Have you had problems with that GFCI in the past? What else was plugged into the same circuit? I get GFCIs tripping in my house if I have a space heater running and then plug in an 1875 watt hair dryer.

    I've found many times that, as I said, there are lemons in every product line, but there's also what the users did that they didn't include in their reviews or comments. I love my MES 30; it remains one of the best BBQ purchases I ever made. But--it IS the First Generation, not the Second.

    Oh, they still sent you that cool stuff and still would have sent you a new control unit had you waited just slightly longer. I consider that excellent customer service.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like a typical Generation #2.

    I just helped Todd test all of his babies. We communicated with email & over the phone. I believe there were a bunch of us, including Scarbelly and BeerBQ----Both Great guys & Both gone now.

    The first AMNS was just for dust. It was 6 X 6, and wouldn't fit on the bars in the MES 30, which is why he changed the width of the 5 X 8 AMNPS to just fit there.

    Todd is Really a Great guy!!

  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Bear--you better be sticking around for a long time to come. Scarbelly and BeerBQ don't need to reunite with their Bear buddy just yet.

    I won't go into specifics but Todd, through his amazing customer service and just because who he is, has won me as a customer for life. I've never experienced anyone else who goes the extra TWO miles for their customers. I love his AMNPS, I love his wood pellets, I got my Maverick therm at a great price through him, I mean--if Todd is looking for yet another lucrative and rewarding career he could conduct corporate training seminars on winning lifetime customers by providing both great products and great customer service.
  15. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Fire Starter

    I've read of the same issues with other Gen 2 MES's.  Nothing else is plugged in the GFCI (it's the same outlet I used the smoker on previously as well).  The customer service was great (except the not bothering to let me know the control unit was on backorder until they were getting them in).  The customer service rep who called me said there were working on trying to fix the temperature fluctuations and alluded that they might replace the control unit once they got them working properly.  The temp readings are often off on smokers so I don't consider that a real issue and just use my 733 to monitor temps.  

    That the control units and heating elements have such a high failure rate that you can find plenty of instances of each (I see someone complain about one or the other frequently on the Facebook MES Smokers group I'm on) is my main concern.  It is my understanding that the problems are pretty much a Gen 2 issue only.  Maybe they'll get the bugs worked out soon and they'll be great smokers, but right now I just don't consider it reliable (and I'm happy to have a charcoal smoker in the backyard this weekend in case it won't work when me and a buddy plan on smoking some food this weekend).
  16. How do you know if its gen 1 or gen 2 ?
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  18. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I should have figured when you said you bought your MES 30 last year it was a Gen 2 but I still see Gen 1's for sale on Amazon and such. Once Bear posted that yours was a Gen 2 that made it clear why you have such controller problems and why it keeps tripping the GCFI.  And yes, customer service should have told you that the unit was backordered but at least you got a free rib rack and gloves out of it, although I don't see how a rib rack would fit into my MES 30 Gen 1 unless they're much smaller than the rib rack I used on my Weber 22.5 inch One Touch Silver.

    I apologize if I came off as too flippant about there being lemons among all products. I read a lot of product reviews (and I write them, too) and I'm amazed at how many bad experiences with products or restaurants or whatever people have while I have greatly enjoyed the same products and restaurants and such. Conversely, I've also posted negative reviews of things that have overwhelmingly positive reviews. I feel I really lucked out in buying the MES 30 Gen 1 because usually I like to buy the most recent model of something so, like you, I have the Maverick ET-733.

    Hope you can resolve those problems with your MES. There are guys in these forums who've written that Masterbuilt replaced their smokehouses for free when their units couldn't be fixed.

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