Rebuilding vs Buying MES

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by kumatae, May 12, 2015.

  1. kumatae

    kumatae Fire Starter

    Gentlemen of Smoking Meat Forums,

    I have a MES that I've used for past 4 years. I use it relatively often with my AMNPS - mostly to make beef jerky, ribs and pulled pork. Haven't been using it as much now that I've built a mini-WSM and having too much fun with charcoal. Anyways, I keep my smoker covered outdoors under an awning in so cal so it rarely gets wet. I've had to take the back panel off to address some issues like how the wires were fried that connects to the heating element. So I've cleaned and added new connectors. This only lasted few more months and they were constantly being fried out. Now the control panel only shows some of the numbers and heating element is no longer heating. So I'm thinking I need new connectors, control panel and heating element. Is it worth it for me to do replace all of this or just buy a new/used one on craigslist. I see a new one with windows for $100 right now. I was just thinking I give up the MES and get an 18inch WSM but I love me some smoked beef jerky! Thanks.
  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I personally would go another direction unless you can be assured the considered MES is 'generation one'. WSM is considered a Cadillac of units by many. I would advise going with the 22" once, cry once. I use a dehydrator for my jerky....low & slow for a few hours is perfect for me. Sorry couldn't be more help but do your due dilligence to avoid disappointments......Willie
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I would be hesitant to try and rebuild the MES if it requires all new electronics. I'm not sure what the cost would be but I would think getting all new parts would be $100 or more. If you are just looking for something to smoke jerky in you could get a little chief for $100 and be good to go. No need to worry about your repairs not lasting.
  4. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you want to go with a charcoal smoker, yes, the WSM is the best of its type. I agree that if you go in that direction go with the 22". I own a 22.5" Weber One Touch Silver kettle charcoal kettle grill. I bought that instead of the 18" because it gave me more flexibility in the amount of food I can grill at one time. The same thing would apply to the WSM.

    I have no idea what replacement electrical/electronic parts would cost for the MES but you didn't specify if you own the 30" or the 40" and which Generation. I agree that if you want to stick with a MES, the most cost effective way would be to buy a new MES 30 Gen 1 at the best sale price you can find. I don't know why your smoker developed so many electrical problems but I guess some production runs of MES units were snake-bit and faulty coming off the production line. I've had mine for 3 years and, while I don't use it as often as other people here, it's still working great. But I keep mine covered and in my garage when not in use.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015

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