mes accuracy

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by regul8dhbbyist, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Hey guys,

    It's been a doozy of a year already. One of my projects this year will be to get my mes 30 se as accurate as possible and maybe get a mailbox mod.

    So, for my first goal, is it possible to replace the heat controls or thermometer /thermostat to improve the control on temp? What do you use to do this? Any thoughts would be great.
  2. Get a Maverick and use it instead of the factory gauge.

    Happy smoken.

    waterinholebrew likes this.
  3. By "accurate as possible" do you mean knowing what temperature the meat has attained? If so, get the Maverick suggested by David (theMule69).

    If "accurate as possible" means getting the chamber to exactly where you set it, you have two items to consider.

    1. The MES controller works with an on/off action similar to your house thermostat. When the temperature is below the setpoint, the heating element comes on at full wattage, and stays on until the setpoint and temperature are equal. Then the element turns off. This results in some "overshoot". 10 deg f is common. Then the inverse happens. The element stays off until the temperature falls below the setpoint, and the element turns on. The combination over/under shoot results in an oscillation, with (hopefully) as much time over setpoint as under setpoint averaging to the desired temperature.

    One way to deal with this is using a PID controller. Search the forums for "PID" for background information, "PID + MES" for how other MES owners have made the modification.  Here's what I did:

    2. Even with a PID, weirdness can happen. Remember the controller works to control the temperature at the sensor. The temperature for the rack just above the heating element will be hotter than the temperature at the top shelf. You can find various work arounds to help disperse the heat in the chamber.
  4. I've had my MES for about 7 months now and I'm learning more and more as I go. When I originally bought it, I was hoping for that pinpoint accuracy (or close to) that you're looking for. But then I realized, it's absolutely not needed to make great Q and you'll drive yourself crazy trying to get it. You could install a $200 PID from Auber or make your own for $50 with a MYPIN, but in the end you're measuring the ambient temp of the area right around the probe. Like the above poster said, it's hotter closer to element and colder further away.

    I find it much more important knowing that when the MES shows 160 that it actually IS 160. Meaning you need to learn the + or - of the MES setting and the actual chamber temperature. 

    Now, the biggest reason I love my MES is that I can set it and walk away (with the AMNPS of course). I don't need to stoke a flame or anything like that. I enjoy this aspect. 

    BTW, you don't the mailbox mod. Go get the AMNPS from Todd and you're set. It fits nicely at the bottom left of the corner. 
  5. Well, I have neither the time, nor the ability to mess with the pid idea. Even so, I wouldn't mind doing it. but I think the maverick might just be better for where I'm at right now. Thanks guys. Any thoughts on which one? Also, is there one that has multiple probes?

    Oh, and rgautheir20420, thank you for the heads up on the AMNPS
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  6. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  7. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I personally have a Maverick ET-732 & an igrill2 ! Would recommend both... Can monitor food IT & smoker chamber temp ! Thumbs Up
  8. I agree the AMNPS is great. I have it and the 18" tube. 

    The advantage of the mailbox mod shows when I cold smoke. Yesterday I smoked 9# of bacon @ 90 deg. I used  the heat to create the draft, slapped in an 18" tube of Pitmaster in the mailbox and watched it smoke for 7.5 hours. (the smoker is outside my office window).
  9. Holyfeld, that's definitely true when using the pellets for cold smoking. I found that out the hard way with it going out a few times. I now use the dust for cold smoking and it provides beautiful smoke for up to 10 filled simply putting it right where I put it normally. I do love that thing!
  10. kinoz

    kinoz Newbie

    I'm two months into the smoke.  Just bought a Maverick 732.  The 733 apparently has two food probes and no probes for internal smoker temps.  Anyway, what an eye opener!  My MES30 was reading 240 and my Maverick was reading 216!  Changed temps and Maverick was always 20 -25 degrees less.  I'm doing a Beer Can Chicken as I write, and just got done watching the remote for an hour (I have an exciting life).  With the MES set to 260, my temps went from 230 to 239, but spent the majority of the time on 235.  Couldn't figure out why meats were taking forever - now I know why.  Buy a Maverick!
  11. I have an MES 30 (2nd gen) and a Maverick and I've found that the internal thermometer of the MES, at least in my case, is pretty dang accurate.  Seems like not everyone has that experience, but it's been mine.
  12. It was also my experience with my MES-30. My MES-40, not so much. As Deming said, "In God we trust. Everyone else brings data." [​IMG]

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