New MES Problem (Bear Needs Help!)

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bearcarver, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Need help fast!
    I read just about every MES thread there is, and have seen this problem before, but I never saw the final "What-to-do". I'll try to explain:
    Since I love my MES 30, I bought my son an MES 30 for Christmas. He finally took it out of the box yesterday, set it up, and did the 3 hours at 275* break-in.
    It worked good, but then he turned it down to 225*, put some wood chips in it, and 4 chicken breasts.
    No Smoke!
    He ran the temp up to 250*----No Smoke.
    He opened the door, bringing the Smoker temp to 150*, and let it go back up to 250*----No Smoke.
    He called me, and I went down there.
    His is a newer model than mine. His has the near part of the chip loader blocked off, and the chip drawer is smaller. After checking his smoker out, I found that there is a metal floor under the chip drawer. Mine does not have this. My chip drawer has nothing between it & the element.
    His has the bottom of the box below the drawer, and the side rails of that box are folded below the flat bottom. Then the drawer slides into that box. So we removed the drawer, and put some small chips directly on that metal plate, and ran it from 160* to 250*----No Smoke!
    It appears to me that the side rails of the box that the chip drawer slides into are either against or nearly against the element, causing the bottom of that box to "NOT" be against the element. Then the drawer slides into that, which puts another piece of metal between the chips & the wood, but the chips wouldn't even smoke with the second piece of metal (the drawer bottom) removed.
    What to do???????
    Bend the middle of that plate down to be against the element (bend the drawer down too?)???
    Or could it be an air problem? We had the Exhaust Vent open all the way, the whole time. Are there intake holes in this unit???
    There was nothing wrong with the chips---Same ones I use in my MES 30.

    Please help, before he takes it back!
  2. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    If you pulled out the chip loader even a little or completely out that would add significant intake air. The seals are leaky enough that intake air shouldn't be a problem if the vent is open. Sounds like a design problem. Certainly let Masterbuilt know of your problem. A new smoker should produce SMOKE
  3. reichl

    reichl Meat Mopper

    If its not smoking, I would get the tray closer to the element. The tray isn't getting hot enough to smolder the chips. If you don't feel comfortable tweaking it so the element is touching or close to touching the tray just call masterbuilt. My guess is they will probably send you a new tray. Note that I don't have the new model of the MES so I am speaking from my experience with the older model.
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have the older model too, and it is hard to get it to smoke at lower temps, because it takes awhile for the bottom of the drawer to get hot enough to smolder the chips. Now they go and put another sheet of steel between the element & the chips in the model I got for my son.
    The part that really confuses me is the fact that we couldn't get it to smoke with the drawer out, and laying the chips directly on the thin metal that is normally between the drawer & the element. The element on mine is 1/4" from the bottom my drawer. The element on his is much closer to that metal piece that we laid the chips on, and we ran it from 160* to 250*, without smoking. I'm very confused about this. It's not the heat, because his new one takes the smoker up to 250* faster than mine does.

    Anything else we could be missing ????


    Confused Bear
  5. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have the new chip loader but it is the 1200 watt version.. I have never had an issue getting smoke one time i did notice I was not putting the chip tray in the right slot and it was too low maybe that helps.
  6. hannibal

    hannibal Smoke Blower

    I read your post and took interest because I have a similar model that I just picked up. I did notice on mine that if the chip loader is not all the way seated, there seems to be a lot of smoke going out around the chip loader instead of making its way through the smoker.

    I readjusted mine and almost instantly, the smoke started to build up inside and come out the exit port up top instead of around the loading tray.

    Good luck.
  7. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Besides calling Masterbuilt I don't know what to say.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah, it was in the right slot, but like I said, we even removed the chip drawer, and put a few chips right on the plate above the element, and ran the heat from 160* to 250*----didn't even turn the chips black.


    The chips aren't even turning black, let alone not smoking, so there is no smoke to escape.


    Yeah, I'm going down there tomorrow to look at it with my son, but that's probably what we'll end up doing.


    Thanks anyway guys. Really weird, isn't it.

  9. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I usually have to toss some dry chips into mine to get the smoke going. I keep some soaked ones in there, too, because if I use all dry, then they will catch fire.

    If dry chips don't make any smoke at 270*, then you definitely have a problem with that unit.
  10. marty catka

    marty catka Meat Mopper

    I've got the 800 watt 30" MES and did have problems getting smoke at low temps, <200 degrees. Made a makeshift chip drawer out of aluminum and set it right down on that metal plate just above the element and now I get smoke no matter what.

    Maybe if you post some pics of how yours is set up, we might be able to offer some better help. Or maybe you got a bad unit. Under warranty, Masterbuilt will back it up.
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks guys----This problem has been solved ! !
    I called Masterbuilt----What a joke!

    Here are the answers I got from a young lady:
    After telling her my son's new MES 30 ran all the way up to 300* in 25 minutes, without making the dry wood chips smoke, she said:

    A: We should have soaked the chips.[​IMG]
    B: We should not use an extension cord. [​IMG]
    She thought a short "8 gage" extension cord would effect the smoking, even though it ran right up to 300*

    I told her My MES 30 starts smoking at 85*, and very few people actually soak their chips. I also told her we opened the door for awhile to get the temp' to come down to 160*, so we could run it back up to 250* to give it another chance to make the chips smoke, and it still didn't make them smoke.
    She said that's because we opened the door. I asked her if there was any techs around that knew anything about their smokers. She said no.
    I said thank-you & good-bye.

    I called again later, hoping to get a different person, and got another of the same on the phone.[​IMG] She didn't know any more than the first one did, but she said she would have somebody give me a call. Nobody called.[​IMG]

    Meanwhile my son drove to Cabela's to see if all of the new MES 30s had the same chip drawer setup. They did.

    He looked at the MES 40s, and they had a similar chip drawer setup like my older MES 30 (which works great), so he came back home with a brand new MES 40. Cabelas said they would refund the money we paid for the MES 30, even though we bought it in November, and he didn't try it until day before yesterday.[​IMG]

    I'm glad that's over!!![​IMG]

    Now my son has a great smoker![​IMG][​IMG]


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