Temp Troubles

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jgruberman, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. jgruberman

    jgruberman Fire Starter

    I just got a digital MES40 and seem to be having some inconsistencies with temperature, wanted to run it through here and see if people had any clarification/thoughts.

    Other than the control panel outside the unit, I have all of the probes and following thermometers sitting on the middle rack in the unit and the unit set for 255.

    -The control panel on top of the unit says 259
    -The units meat probe says 242
    -A Maverick digital probe says 242 and 240(meat and grill probes)
    -An analog oven thermometer says about 212(no adjustment methods)
    -An analog grill thermometer says 270(not calibrated)
    -A final grill thermometer says 250(which I calibrated in boiling water yesterday)

    So... My temps are all over the place. Master built has already agreed to send me a new control box and heating element... But with all of the different numbers, I don't know if the new parts will help.

    Does anyone have any clarification on something I'm doing wrong or suggestions on a surefire way to check the temp correctly?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
  2. jgruberman

    jgruberman Fire Starter

    I can't edit my own post since I signed up through Tapatalk so for more information...

    I put a NEW digital thermometer in boiling water and it said 210.

    Put the 270 thermometer from above in the water and it says about 240... So 30 degrees wrong in the smoker brings it into agreement with the others at 240.

    The 250 analog thermometer from above I put in the same water and it says about 215... So 5 degrees off would put it around 245 in the smoker so that's reasonably in agreement.

    Is it safe to assume that the inside of the smoker is at 240 and the control panel is 15 or so degrees off(and Masterbuilt was correct in replacing those parts)?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think you have it figured out. The MES controllers are notoriously inaccurate. I would go by the Maverick pit temp probe. The reality is the new controller you get may be off by more than 15 degrees. 

  4. jgruberman

    jgruberman Fire Starter

    But I take it that when I have the temperature figured out, I can just adjust the controller to 240(if I want it at 225 and they are 15 off) and smoke easily at 225?

    I presume the smoker itself is great once I get the temperature issues figured out?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
  5. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Can't seem to find how to delete my own post so I backspaced/erased it under edit and wrote this message.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  6. jgruberman

    jgruberman Fire Starter

    Thanks Kurt. Any other suggestions for using this smoker? Maybe look into an AMNPS?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
  7. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Yes. Calibrate what you can in boiling water at your altitude put all your therms on the center of a rack in the smoker and pitch everything over five degrees of your calibrated therms. Otherwise get a log to note how far off they are (That's too cumbersome for me.)
  8. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    You'll see how the smoker temp coasts above your set point and drops below to average your desired smoking temp by your Mav. So remember the smoker temp when it gets to your desired mav temp. Then you can adjust the smoker temp fifteen degrees lower on warm ups and when you open the smoker so you can adjust the temp down so it shuts off and coasts to your desired temp and reset the smoker to the mav, eliminating huge temp over shots anf have to wait for it to drop.
  9. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ok so here is my 2cents. I don't own a MES but I do own 3 other smokers , all cam with a built I. Thermometer . All worthless .. Go with the maverick
    The built in this nits are usually way off ( like 50 degrees) IMHO
  10. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Yes. The smoker has four racks with their own temps being vertical one above the next. The back wall has a toggle controller sensor at a certain level on the back wall. I use the top two racks first and they are cooler than the sensor since the sensor is closer to the element. Clipping your tried and true calibrated chamber Mav probe next to your food is the most accurate temp reading. Set your controller so it averages the Mav probe next to your food. Play with your original controller and element before swapping out. All the steel around the heating element (chip loader, tunnel, housing etc.) is a thermal mass that contributed to temp swings possibly +/- fifteen degrees. We all get temp swings with Mes smokers amd these digital controllers they come with. Its an oven. Try your Mav in your oven and note the highs and lows to see where it averages on the oven setting.
  11. I have worked on kithcen equipment for a long time. Do not let thermo's fool you. If you put a probe in a brand new unloaded refrigerator you have set at 38 f you may find large temp swings for cut in and cut out. It is the same for anything on the hot side of the kitchen. 

    My point being always put a  load on the device such as buckets of water or sand bags in heated spaces. These loads act as "batteries" if you will, and help stabilize the cabinet temp. 

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