2012 MES 40 vs. Old Model MES 40

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by tjohnson, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. suya

    suya Fire Starter

    I have read and learned so much from this site that I thank you, my family thanks you, and my neighbors thank you all! I bought the new 40" MES right before New Years eve and smoked 8 racks of ribs for my first smoke. Thanks to all the reading and advice from this site, I came out a hero.

    Having said that, with all the reading on this site, I swear I read a very informative thread started my some thermal engineer where the subject of temperatures in the smoker was addressed. My key takeaway from that thread was, to accurately gage the temperature in the smoker, it would be wise to put a cup or bowl of oil in the smoker, then insert the probe into the oil then use that reading, otherwise, expect wide swings in temperatures in different locations in the smoker.

    Please understand that is statement is being made/semi quoted by someone who has about two weeks of smoking experience and is making his first post :)

    If I find that thread again, I might post the link here.  
  2. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When measuring the temp in the smoker, I used corks, to keep the temp probes off the metal.

    Air temp can, and most likely, will be different that the surrounding metal parts

    A 20° variation from one side of a shelf to the other, is HUGE, considering they are only 15" apart.

    My guess is the radiant heat from the offset element is causing the right side to be hotter
  3. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    Same issue as the 1 gen MES. Looks like a heat deflector of some kind is in the works for you Todd.

    The only thing I can come up with on the temp difference's between the meat prob and the controller. Is that

    the controller is programed this way. The rocketing temp is the biggest issue. I hope this can be resolved with

    a controller reprogram also.
  4. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It would seem beneficial for the controller on a MES to be calibrated by the user

    Yesterday, I had to set the controller on my New 2102 MES to 205°, to maintain 225° on the 2nd rack
  5. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    I like that idea. This would be a great upgrade instead of all the other bells and whistles they seem to have added to the 2 Gen. To much eye candy.
  6. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Got my replacement 2012 MES from SAMS Club the other day, and decided to break it in, before spending any time assembling it.

    Temps still run 20° - 25° hotter than the sett temp on the controller, but did not get as hot as the last one.

    Actual temp when I set the controller to 275°, was 309°. 

    Still less that 329° that my last 2012 MES ran up to, before I shut it down.

    I had to remove the water pan for the temps on each rack to level off
  7. suya

    suya Fire Starter

    Going to need to exchange my MES 2012 smoker also. There were already a few problems that were going to lead to the exchange, but tonight, based on this thread, I stuck a third party probe into my smoker as I was doing some ribs. With the smoker set to 225, I was getting readings of up to 260 on the top rack! This explains why the brisket I did last week was done so early.
  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This last 2012 MES I got from SAMS had a crack in the door frame, along the bottom

    I'll call Masterbuilt today and see what they want to do

    Controller is 20° - 25°+ Off

    Set 205° = 225° on the 2nd Rack

    Set 225° = 250° on the 2nd Rack

    Set 250° = 275° on the 2nd Rack

    Set 275° = 300° on the 2nd Rack
  9. I have looked at the old model MES 40 several times and have decided that is probably the best one for me since I am new to the smoking lifestyle. I do have a couple question though. Do the old models seem to have the same issues with the temp variance?Also is this gonna be a good starter smoker or would you guys recommend something else?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  10. smoker21

    smoker21 Meat Mopper

    Great review Todd.  I was wondering if the new MES 40 was just another pretty face [​IMG].

    I do have 2 questions.  The drip pan that seems to run into the water pan, how much heat does it hold back from the rest of the unit?  And how does the grease get to the bottom with it in the way??

    Thanks .


  11. smokeone

    smokeone Fire Starter

    I'm not sure the drip deflector really holds back heat but the jury is still out on heat distribution and management with the 512 MES.The deflector does not cover about 1" in the rear and 3" in the front. The Drip pan only catches what misses the deflector and water bowl. The grease tray will not hold much but has not been a problem for me so far.
  12. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good answer SmokeOne!

    I have better luck with the water pan out

    I did test the unit with the drip pan out, and the temp variations was wild.  The right side was extremely H-O-T!

    So, you'll need to keep the drip tray in

    Personally, I would use a disposable pan on the first rack, and allow the drippings to fall into this pan

  13. smoker21

    smoker21 Meat Mopper

    Thanks SmokeOne and Todd.  As with everything these days, I'll give them a few years to get more the bugs out.  Until then I'll hold on to my 2010 MES 40!

  14. smokingrk

    smokingrk Smoke Blower

    Great thread, comparison, and data, Todd, I wish I had seen this earlier.

    As for the drip pan I also tried without and temps were all over.

    I did notice change for the better with food load (in smoker) on 3rd rack from the top (middle), with drip pan in,

    temperature differences were only about 10 degrees from the food rack to top rack consistently

    (one probe in middle rear of each rack). 

  15. grasshopper

    grasshopper Fire Starter

    OK drip pan in. On the 2012 40" model (side vent). Where do I put my amps as I thought the best place was where the drip pan went.? 
  16. smokeone

    smokeone Fire Starter

    Last test I did with the AMNPS was with the water pan in place. I put the AMNPS on the drip pan far left side.Keep away from burner or the pellets will ignite. Be sure and follow Todds instructions for lighting, DON'T RUSH HIS PROCESS. Side vent wide open and loader normal position. This worked for me the last time around. Let us know what you find. I want to add the 3" vent elbow mod but don't have it yet. I think that will help as well.

  17. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I had good luck placing the AMNPS on top where the water pan goes

    The right side of my MES 40 ran hotter with the water pan in, so I removed it and all evened out

    So, why are some 2012 MES 40's running hot and others not running hot?

    I'll run another test tomorrow
  18. grasshopper

    grasshopper Fire Starter

    I used a dryer a elbow and earth magnets, works great. Hope this helps

  19. smokingrk

    smokingrk Smoke Blower

    Grasshopper, Did you remove the existing vent assembly ?
  20. grasshopper

    grasshopper Fire Starter

    Nope it fits right over. There is talk about condensation on the elbow.? Not using the smoker much as it is 20 below this morning in Minnesota. Also I used epoxy glue on the earth magnets. 

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