Seriously, Masterbuilt?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by tombigbee, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. Maverick probe was close to center of smoker, and had been recalibrated and was dead-on. This differential or close to it remained steady for 7 hours.

    Anyone know if the replacement controller available from Masterbuilt customer service is really a fix, or more of the above? My smoker is a MES 40, Gen 1
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Tom, welcome to the SMF!  Thank you for joining!  Would you please go to Roll Call and introduce yourself, and also include your location in your profile?  You are in the right forum to get answers to your questions.  Once again, thank you for joining!
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It's not a fault of the controller:

    OK----If you leave it alone, the right side will be hotter than the left, because the heating element is in the bottom right, and the top exhaust vent is in the top right, so much of the heat wants to go straight up the right side & out the vent.

    So if you look at that aluminum plate covered with foil (below), I have above the water pan. That thing is about 8" wide X 11" deep, and I have a piece of metal bent into an inverted V under the left side of that plate, and that V raises the left side higher than the right. That causes the heat to hit that plate & slide over to the left. I put my Maverick smoker probe in the left side (not shown), and the MES sensor is on the right. If the right side is a higher temp than the left, I raise the left side of the plate a little more. If the left side is higher than the right, I'll lower the left side. 

    The AMNPS sits on the support bars on the bottom left, and that's an upside-down half foil pan above it protecting it from drips.

    That's about all I ever had to do. I have  it like that for years, and I can adjust easily if needed.


  4. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    25 degrees may be attributed to location of the mav sensor, although masterbuilt is not necessarily known for extreme accuracy. Masterbuilt sent me three controllers and there was never a difference, but mine was off about 45 degrees. The mes temp sensor is built into the back wall on the right rear. Looks like a small button. Maybe try putting your mav sensor as close to that as possible as it tends to be a bit hotter on the right side.
  5. Hey Bear, what is that you're cookin' in the pic you posted in this thread? Looks good!
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's one of my Best Prime Ribs.

    Here's a Step by Step on the whole smoke:
  7. I stand corrected......sort of.

    Received the AMNPS along with a supply of pellets, and did a trial smoke last night, no food involved. Worked perfectly as you guys said. I loaded 1 1/2 rows and got excellent smoke for about 5 hours with the MES40 Gen 1 set on 215. Never threatened to go out, and at times I might have been getting just slightly more smoke than needed. So, I closed the top vent down to about 1/3 open, and it was just right.

    Now, back to the temp issues with which I started this thread, maybe a little harshly so with respect to Masterbuilt.

    Refer to the pic in my first post in this thread. I called MB customer service to relate this issue and hopefully get a replacement controller to be certain it was not the problem. I received a long lecture from the lady there covering physics, dynamic air flow, sensor placement, and the theory that if my food was being cooked OK in the MES why was I on the phone with her to begin with. No replacement controller was forthcoming. However, she did ask that I place the Maverick probe close to the MES sensor , try it again, and call her with the result.

    I did exactly that in the trial smoke mentioned above. I had the Maverick probe 1" from the internal sensor, without it touching anything.

    Jeepers. Now, the Maverick consistently read a temp 5-10 degrees HIGHER than the MES digital read-out. Keep in mind that the Maverick probe placement could not have been over 10" or so different in the 2 tests, with wildly differing results. This one has me stumped. For the record, on my Gen 1 MES40, the temp sensor is half way up on the LEFT side when facing the rear of the smoker with door open. I did not have the water pan in, and had the AMNPS sitting on the bottom rails, left side as well. I also noticed that many times the MES digital reading was several degrees higher than my set temp of 215. Does the AMNPS put out enough heat to raise the temp like that?

    Chew on this one and let me  know your thoughts, please.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's strange ----My MES 40 sensor is about 10" above the water pan & to the right of center. You can see it in the pic above---There's a clean circle around it from cleaning it.

    There are many differences in temps in different areas of the smoker. That is why I put my Maverick probe on the left side, and use that plate of aluminum to even out the heat between the MES temp on the right & the Maverick temp on the left.

    Also depending on when you look, there could be a bigger difference because the Maverick probe is more sensitive than the MES sensor, and tends to move quicker than the MES temp. The Maverick will also coast farther after the heating element starts & stops.

    Hope this helps.

  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Tom, morning...... If you have a therm where the meat sits..... use that reading to adjust the temp. controller.... If you check the oven in your kitchen, you will also find a difference... that stuff happens....

    When smoking meat or cooking meat in an oven, there are temp differences all over the oven...... I have finally come to the conclusion, in my MES 30, to use the exhaust temperature for making adjustments...... If the smoker reads 170, and the probe on the meat shelf reads 190, and the exhaust reads 210...... I go with 210...... the meat is sucking up BTU's and cooling the area around it.... and the smoker temp may be influenced by the cooling effect of the meat..... If the exhaust reads 210, then it has to be at least 210 somewhere in the smoker.......
  10. I have a 30", so take from this what you will, but yes I have found if my probe is sitting on the left side over top of the AMNPS, I get temp readings way higher than set, like 30* higher.  One time I had a butt going set at 230 and the probe was sitting to the left before I had it in the meat, I came back in a couple hours to check IT and checked my therm and it was reading 260!  But MES was saying 235, so I moved the probe to the right and it evened out pretty close.  My AMNPS will also raise internal temps during cold smokes 5* every half hour just with its own heat

    I went to the mailbox mod and once I got that dialed in I couldn't be happier, all those false readings are gone and I can do warm weather cheese now.
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I go by the Maverick temp near the meat, but not too close, especially while the meat is cold.

    If you go by the exhaust temp, and the heat is coming straight up from the element on the right to the exhaust on the right side, without baffling it like I showed above, that exhaust heat could be much higher than the temp at the meat. So yes, like you said, "That has to be 210* somewhere in the smoker", however you want to know what the heat is at the meat----not "Somewhere".

    Just my 2 Piasters.


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