MES control pannel freezes in cold!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by travisty, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member


    I have an MES 30" sportsman elite model from Cabelas, and have been having an issue here in the Utah winter. The 2 times I have done a smoke when it was fairly cold outside, one time 22 degrees F and the other 18 outside, I went out and uncovered the MEs and when I plugged it in there was a "beep" but none of the buttons would respond. After pressing the power button over and over for minutes it eventually turned on but none of the other buttons worked either. [​IMG]

    I decided to remove the control panel and take it inside to warm it up, I pointed the wife's hair dryer at it for about a minute and went back out to the cold. [​IMG]

    It worked just fine now! after an hour or so though I went back out to try and adjust my temp and sure enough it was unresponsive again!

    Anyway: has anyone else ever had this issue with the MES in the below freezing cold, or did I get a dud?

    Originally I was very worried the first time since I had just cured and rested $60 worth of pork belly for bacon and thought id have to waste it, but I got lucky with the heat trick.
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would give Masterbuilt a call, and tell them about it.

    More than likely they'll send you a new control panel.

    I would save the other one for the future though.

  3. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I've been keeping my eyes peeled for these threads.  Seems like the damage wasnt permanent. 
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  4. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In cold weather I lay a folded towel over the control panel to insulate it from the cold and absorb heat from the smoker, this eliminates problems for me.
  5. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Cool sounds like a good idea! for me its just getting the thing started in the first place since its stored in our uninsulated garage.

    I just contacted Masterbuilt about it (amazingly they got back to me within MINUTES!), and they said it should operate fine in the very cold conditions and would send me out a new control panel "right away", so I will also see if that works.
  6. walta

    walta Smoke Blower

    Try bringing the hole smoker indoors once it is up to room temperature take it back outdoors and start smoking before the MES cools off.

    I believe the computer in the MES is programmed to only operate above a certain temp. Maybe 32°?

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That new control should take care of it.

    If they don't normally work in cold temps, we'd be hearing a lot of squawking from MN, OH, NY, PA, Canada, & New England.

    Mine haven't been inside since I got them, & the one is over 5 years old.

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  8. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    So, due to the holidays and other life business, I didn't end up getting back to Masterbuilt for quite a while with my address and info. When I finally did they, again, were very quick to get back to me, and said based on my model number that I would likely get a different model altogether with the same features.

    They shipped the new one out the same day that I sent them the pics of my serial number and cut cord (when they replace the device they just have you cut the cord rather than return the broken machine(guess I have a dedicated cold smoker now))

    Got the new smoker this morning, just days after contacting them about my issues (or technically after I finally got back to them). Their service was very fast and very friendly, and I even got a much upgraded smoker as a replacement!!!

    They have won me as a customer and this level of product backing, and service has convinced me to only ever buy MES smokers going forward. Just wanted to give them some love on here in case you are thinking of going with a cheaper brand, or weren't happy with the warranty process of one you've had.
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's Great Travisty!![​IMG]

    I'm glad they took good care of you!  They have really become a Great Customer Service Company.

    Best of luck with your replacement unit !!


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