MES Expertise

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by rabbithutch, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There are right many folks here who have one or another of the MES units.  I have the MES 40 that Sam's Club had for $300 last Fall.  Based on the posts I've seen in this forum, I think there is a great need for better instructions on using the smoker - Are you listening MasterBuilt?

    The instructions included with the smoker, which are available online as PDFs, are great for parts detail explosion and initial assembly and setup; but they stop far too short of what the owner needs to know about the unit.  Why, for example, does the unit require that you set both time and temperature before the heater will come on?  Why can't you select one or the other or both?  Or, can you.  I haven't been able to make the heater come on without setting both.  Also, it is very easy to accidentally turn the unit off with the remote.  With modern electronics, the CPROM should include some warning and a confirmation punch - like the "Are you sure?" messages on computers - before allowing any change issued by the remote to affect the smoker, IMO.

    These are just a few points.  There might be others and I hope that this thread will prompt responses from MES users about their opinions about their units.

    Because there are so many different models of the MES, it would be great if there were a matrix of models and features, limits, problems, etc. available to SMF members.  I intend to work on setting up a 'straw dog' matrix that I will post in the thread later after I've done a bit more online research and thought about it some more.  I'm not sure that I even know how many different MES models there are so research is required.

    Anybody else out there agree or disagree with the points made in this post?  Anybody know of an existing matrix?  Would making one be worthwhile?
  2. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    rabbithutch, the MES and Masterbuilt selling it is no different than thousands of products sold in US and built in China, which have lousy owners manuals, could they be improved sure.   I can't recall in 5 years of participating on SMF's electric forum more than 2 to 4 people ever complaining about the MES control unit not being capable of operating without running the timer.  Essentially it is a non issue.  At least you have a digital controller that works and has had several features added to it since I first purchased my MES 40 5 years ago.  A meat sensor, remote control, are new features added to the controller (not all models have these features).  In addition the MES since I bought mine has added a viewing window, wheels, higher wattage elements.  That is a lot of product development, which indicates that Masterbuilt is listening and making changes.

    Your best bet is to write a letter to Masterbuilt detailing your suggested improvement and make a case for why it should be included in the MES.  So many people contacted Masterbuilt complaining about recovery time that Masterbuilt quickly added a higher wattage element.

    As for the need of a matrix, ok, I guess, it could be a reference of some sort.  Is the effort required for such a matrix to be accurate worth it?  Do you plan on maintaining such a matrix, because if it isn't kept current in one season it will no longer be accurate and will quickly be forgotten.  I own several products that have a user created wiki, that wiki might be good for 1 maybe two years, usually the creator gets bored and no one updates it and it becomes useless.  I created a whole website around a knowledge base for a game because so much was happening and the Mfg had discontinued development a support was awful, that website lasted one year it required users to keep the info up to date, and like most things the life cycle for games is 1 maybe two years, and people move on.  While I learned a lot, I could have been fishing or smoking meat instead of countless hours designing a website and forum that grew to 1500 members, which quickly faded as other games came out in that genre.   Lesson learned....

    There is a list floating around that has been posted with all the model numbers and the author asked for owners to send info about their MES if the model number was listed, not sure what happened to it, you might start there.
  3. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    I will agree with accidentally turning off the unit with the remote. I've done it a couple times and I completely forgot where my time was at. Also, if you turn it on at the unit, you can't use your remote because it'll turn it off if you try to sink them. 

    It's still an awesome, worth every penny smoker and I love it!
  4. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the responses.

    I posted because I thought other newbies coming to the forum might appreciate the first impressions of a new MES user.

    As for the development of a matrix of features, I agree that I'm not likely to keep it current; so I'll not put any time into it.

    FOR THE RECORD:  I really DO like my MES!!!!!   I posted hoping that someone would tell me where I could find more information.


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