New Master built???

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bubblejunkie, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Hello, new to this forum I've owned a couple of the masterbuilt 30's and decided to upgade to the 40 with remote and meat probe. I seasoned it today and gonna try some butts Sat.

    I like the unit except for the Barbi doll chip tray. Gotta be a better setup.

    I thought of taking all the existing chip system out and just putting a 12 inch cast iron pan right on the burner or ????

    I'd like to add chips once to smoke up to 4 hours, admittedly a little lazy when it comes to adding chips.

    I only wanna use chips if that helps. Thanks alot for any help and direction.
  2. I suggest getting an AMNPS
  3. mmain1

    mmain1 Newbie

  4. billhilla

    billhilla Fire Starter

    I bought a Masterbuilt 40" a couple of months ago and have used it quite a bit.  I smoked rib racks last weekend and the wood chip holder held enough to smoke pretty good for 6 hours.  The wood lasts longer than you would think.
  5. AMNPS will that smoke chips? Should other unit be removed?

    The tray in this one is way to small to provide smoke for 6 hours it wouldn't hold a cup of chips.

  6. ldrus

    ldrus Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    1st not sure about the 40 but the 30 had a small chip tray( roughly  3 inches by 4.5 and 1/2 inch tall) if this is your tray  masterbuilt has a retro kit to give you a larger chip tray you just call them with your smoker model number and they will be happy to send you a new tray free of charge.

    2nd   with the AMNPS you dont need to remove the factory smoke box it fits perfectly  and, no it will not burn chips  it burns either sawdust or pellets  wich  both can be purchased from the maker. there is a link to his site on the forum pag   a-maze-n-smoker

    hope this helps ya
  7. if it burnt chips I'd buy one, I wanna be able to buy chips local. I'll get bigger tray or just try cast iron pan I figured someone had tried that already and had a mod or advice on it. I'll post what I do and the results.  Thanks alot
  8. I bought the 40" and got it ready to pre-season and the controller malfunctioned.  When I tried to set the temp to 275, it wouldnt set.  Guess I'll call MB tomorrow to see what they say.  I may try to get the tray retro-fit while I have them on the phone.  Cant wait to get this thing to somkin.
  9. Some posters have questioned the stability of the element mounting points. And vibration being transferred to the element/wire connection point in the back .. As one may give the new CI pan a quick back and forth shake now and again .. You may wish to make sure the element is well mounted. So maybe a removable support ...

    Maybe an electrician could comment on the differences in standards between stove top element construction and oven element construction .. Because CI pans are not light .. And it is almost guaranteed one time you will forget the gloves :). Ouch!

  10. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First Bubblejunkie, WELCOME to SMF and you are now a member of the MES owners club!   M E S      (Making it Easier to Smoke amazing Q!)

    Since you have owned several MES units you are familiar with the ins & out of what the MES is capable of, thus you are way ahead of most SMF newbies.
    That is a surprising statement since you have owned 3 MES smokers.  There are a lot of great features built into the MES, one of them is the external chip loading feature without having to open the door.  The simplicity of the assembly and in the early days that was one of the keys to the MES success.  You need the retrofit kit!  That extra piece of metal between the heat elements and the chip tray inhibits good combustion of the chips.  The retro kit is a larger area for the chips and the only metal between the bottom of the chip tray and the heat element is the tray bottom itself.

    Masterbuilt made a mistake in the chip tray design when they upgraded the wattage of the elements from 800 to 1200 on the 40" and same increased wattage on the 30".    I have some thoughts about why, but bottom line most new MES owners complain about proper chip burn/smoke so the current design isn't effective.

    This is one DIY solution, however I disagree with drilling holes, here is a mod to remove the plate in the tube.  I have the older 40" with 800 watts and larger tray I have NEVER had a problem with proper chip burn and neither did any other MES 40 800w owner, that says the design and air flow is correct.  The only thing broken then is that extra piece of metal and maybe the size of the chips tray.  Again get the retrofit kit.  Bubble you have to understand that having a larger tray does NOT mean you can put more chips in, if you do you will get black smoke which will give your Q a creosote taste, AWFUL!  After you complete the retrofit your chip tray after a smoke will have nothing but ash, not pieces of burnt wood just ash, meaning combustion proper and complete.
    I have been a member of this forum and a MES owner for 5 years, no one has ever taken that drastic step to attempt to improve the smoke duration to burn chips.  Most have worked on contraptions that are external and go through the chip tube hole, there are several on the market.  The AMNS and the AMNPS work inside the MES and are selling like hot cakes because they work better than anything else right now.  Having said all the above, it doesn't hurt to experiment, so go ahead, let us know how it works, take lots of pics.
    I like chips too, however using the MES wood chip tray will at best get you 30-45 minutes of smoke.  You might want to read the chip strategy that works for me here.  I also use chunks about 1"x1", however chunks don't go in until about 45 minutes, they need a hot bed of ash to burn properly.  Personally I don't dump chunks in with the tube, to put them in, I remove the tube and put chunks in with tongs, then re-insert the tube.  The reason is an odd sized chunk can cause the tube to hang up and you might not be able to open the tube or close it due to hanging on a chunk.  Like many MES owners on SMF I use chips for short smokes, and for longer smokes I use the AMNS, getting 4+ hours of smoke.

    I really don't think it is that difficult to come up with your own effective method to burn chips for a longer duration, I haven't bothered with it, but now that I'm not working I intend to do some experimenting.  Check out some of the ideas here, they might inspire you.
  11. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Just remember, If you drill holes are add /remove or alter factory parts in the MES You have voided your warranty.
  12. Upgrade is on the way I'm gonna grab some chucks and try your method for the first smoke. Thanks alot.
  13. Well I steped in it,  decided I couldn't wait and cut up brand new machine, lol not smart, unless it works.

    I cut bottom of chip tray out and just added a cast iron tray. I  think I'll be ble to add enough chips to only add once maybe twice, I'll closely moniter that.

    Anybody see any potential problems??  The ability to add chips from the outside stays the same they just fall into cast iron square.

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  14. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It is kind of hard to see what you did?  How about some better pics, try to make sure they are oriented correctly before uploading.  Maybe after some clear pics we can tell what you did?
  15. Its working now I'll take more pics later, basically just got rid of factory bottom tray and cut enough of the box out of the way to slide CI tray where factory tray was.
  16. Heres some better pics of what I think is gonna be a great mod, filled chips to start never needed to add, smoked for 4 hours before wrapping. I started smoker, got to temp (220) then added ambient temp meat after the smoke started. Not sure how others do it??????

    Anyone see potential problems?  Thanks alot got another forum to be addicted to. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  17. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the extra pics.

    They look good....

    What is the tray made out of?

    Where did you get the tray?

    Approx. how much chips did you put in your new tray when you started the smoke?

    What kind of chips, hickory, oak, apple?

    How long after you started you added the chips and started smoke did it take to get smoke?

    Would you consider the smoke steady, or did a bunch of wood ignite at once, did the chips ignite at a steady proportional rate?

    30 minutes after you started your smoke, describe the smoke coming out of the MES?

     Was it very white, thin light color, some what dark, or very dark?

    What did the smoke smell like?  Did it have a slight acid smell, or have a clean burning smell like firewood when it is burning correctly in a fire place?

    How long did your initial load of chips last?

    Would you say that the two horz. rods are sagging due to the weight of your new chip tray or is that about the same sag prior to cutting out the bottom?  If the sag is from the weight of the tray, you may consider adding a vertical support under the chip tray it could be as simple as a cut fire brick wrapped in foil.

    Some tips, you might read the new MES owner tips here.

    Foiling your drain pan & water pan makes cleanup a lot easier.
  18. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Interesting mod...I too am curious as to where you purchased the CI Box and how much it weighs...I have an AMNPS and am totally happy with it, but I always like options...JJ
  19. If you are getting steady thin blue smoke for long periods of time (say 2-4 hours), then your mod is a definate winner. Perhaps not better than using an AMNPS, but still a winner.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  20. Tray is made of cast iron found it brand new in garage made by charbroil I believe, came from lowes, it had a lid I didn't use.  I added maybe 2 cups of chips to start and never added again seemed to smoke fine the whole time at times it was hard to tell it was smoking chips burned kinda slow and steady. I used straight hickory usually mix with apple or cherry but didn't have on hand today.

    I used all the original screws in the cross bars so the weight of the tray is well supported if it looks like that will be a problem I'll brace burner but doesnt seem to sag at all. I've been in and out all day smells very good to me not real strong neighbors are jealous. I added chips when cooker got to 220 then added meat bout 20 minutes after that or when it started smoking.

    I feel like I woulda had to reload factory chips tray 6-8 times to get the same amount of smoke I got with this tray, time will tell I'll keep track and get it dialed in, I've done these many times with bigger tray and always added 3-4 times I think.

    Meat tastes fantastic when I wrapped it I'll let you know what it tastes like after pulling it.

    I just added some onions and potatoes and it is still smoking but very little, chips seemed to last way longer than needed I 'll adjust amount next time. I personally never intentionally smoke past the 3 hour mark doesn't seem to make sense.

    Yea I shoulda wrapped everything but at 330 am I wasn't awake while getting everything going.

    Box measures 4 3/4 x 7 3/4 x 1 inch deep I filled the tray about level with chips I soaked over night and this is whats left after about 7 hours.

    Meat look ok??? [​IMG]

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