New to MES & needing advice

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by zignot5, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. zignot5

    zignot5 Newbie

    I'm new to the MES world. The smoker is working well, but the temp is all over the place & it leaks a lot of grease down the front feet while cooking. Is this normal?

    Does anyone have any troubleshooting tips for the leak? I've leveled it and tilted it toward the back. I've also tightened the door a little.

    For the temp:
    I put in 2 auxiliary meat thermometers. The one in the meat reads the same as the built in thermometer. The one in the cabinet shows the heat going all over the place. It's up to 50 degrees hotter than what the MES says. However, the meat has cooked perfectly each time.
    Is this normal or can I calibrate something?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    For leaks I would suggest using a disposable foil pan under your cooks,also use foil to cover the drip tray and the bottom.

    As for temps call Masterbuilt they will most likely send you a control unit,to replace the one you have.Yes you get to be the mechanic good luck

    Mine runs 35* F off most time I use an external probe for the CC and also for the meat

  3. The leaking around the front is due to the amount of moisture in the smoker, un less you arent using a foil drip pan. Leaving the water pan empty will stop this.
    The set temp on an electric is going to be the average temp. It will go higher and lower as the element cycles on and off but it's the average that counts. MES are notorious for being off by several degrees so it is good that you have another therm. Have they been boil tested to check accuracy? And some mes models are more reliable than others. Do you know what generation you have? Where is the vent located, top or side? Hinges on the right or left? The more info you can give, the more we can help.

    Smoke it up
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  4. zignot5

    zignot5 Newbie

    Thanks for the advice so far!
    I have an MES 30. Not sure what generation. Control unit is on the top at the back. The vent is on the top at the back about 2" to the right of the control unit. The door has a window & is hinged on the right.
    The 2 auxiliary thermometers have been calibrated and are accurate.
    It has a drip pan at the bottom of the unit that tilts toward the back. Maybe I need to tilt the unit even more toward the back.
    I did put water in the water pan (prob 2 cups) as per the instructions, but will try leaving it out next time.
    I haven't been able to test it much because it has been so cold & too much snow. I'm afraid to let the control unit get wet.
    Thanks again!
  5. From your description you have a Gen1 which is a good unit. Leave the water pan empty and cover with foil. Putting water in the pan causes the cabinet to fill with steam which in turn condinsates on the walls which will run down and drip out the door. It happened to me the first time I used my mes. Once I stopped using the water pan it hasn't happened again.
    As far as the temps, I like to give mine an hour to preheat which will give the temps time to settle in. Try this and see how your temp fluctuations do afterwards.

    Smoke it up
  6. zignot5

    zignot5 Newbie


    Eliminating the water seems to have corrected the leak at the door. Thanks!

    I eliminated the water pan and put in an aluminum pan to catch drippings but there wasn't much in it by the end of the cook.

    The temp is still wacky ,but I'm learning. At 240F the meat was so far ahead of schedule that I had to turn it down to 195F to slow it down. It turned out great, but I'm guessing that the unit is running 40- 50F above what it says. This might be due to the cold weather (32F) I'm cooking in. I'll have to wait until summer & see if it changes how the unit runs.

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