Avoid Temp Swings in MES (By Bear)

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bearcarver, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Right, but if I'm not mistaken your big move to 250° was only about 15° from where you were, or you would have had to move your alarm up even higher, because you would have had a bigger over-run.

    Bear
     
  2. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Correct as always. But with your posts and those of others today I have a better understanding of how it all works. I won't be complaining of temp swings anymore.
     
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thank You Sir!!

    I Appreciate the Kind Words!!

    Bear
    Thanks Gary!!

    And Thanks for the Point.

    Bear
     
  4. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    I misspoke regarding the chip loader.  I mentioned when it's all the way in all the air is coming into the smoker through the grease trap opening.  I just saw the three holes in the chip loader.  I won't be removing the water pan.  The pic below shows the template I'll use to make a deflector out of an old cookie sheet.  I'll foil the deflector and as always the water pan.  I can easily shorten the narrow ends.  It's a start.  There's an inch between the template and the door so heat can rise up anywhere on the door.


    -Kurt
     
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You'll be alright with that inch in the front, but just don't close the right side off entirely---It will cause problems.

    That's why I like my deflector plate----I can put a Maverick probe on each side of my meat above, and adjust the slant of the plate to keep the heat balanced from left to right.

    Bear
     
  6. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    I modified the template, transferred it to the cookie sheet, cut it out and wrapped it in foil.  I'll try it directly on the water pan but I can put it on a rack with the beveled edge toward the door so it can breathe around the water pan if I have to.



    -Kurt
     
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Do you know what you've done, Bear? You've knocked the shovel out of the hands of quite a few guys who claim the MES units all have defective controllers. It turns out that, based on their design, those older controllers are performing as they were intended to. I was one of the big complainers about the temp swings and it turns out I was helping to cause them. I now understand that the controllers operate exactly the way you, Jted, and others have described. It all makes sense now.

    This is why I continue to champion my little MES 30 Gen 1 as being the best electric smoker in its price range.
     
  8. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Disagree.  I've had mine swing temps hours after the preheat phase and some would argue that a better controller/heating element wouldn't have that swing during the preheat phase either.  This is the same symptoms of using a heater rated at too many BTU's for the space you wish to heat.  When it kicks on it blows right past the set temp before shutting down and if your thermostat is set with improper duty cycle settings it can cool beyond your desired set point before kicking back on again.  He's given us a band-aid fix workaround but the problem is still Masterbuilt's.
     
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You have to re-read what I said. I said the biggest over-runs are during the pre-heating, because that is when the biggest run is----Like from 0° to 230° (or whatever).

    Then if you don't adjust it with my method, the downward over-run will be big too. and a number of up & down over-runs will be caused each by the fact that the one before made the next one a long run too.

    Now if you neck the over-runs down by using the method I described, you won't have a big over-run, and therefore it won't be causing the one after, and so on.

    The part I was trying to avoid having to explain in my Original Post is the following:

    If you change the setting in the middle of the smoke without doing a similar thing you will start the over-runs again.

    Once you have it settled down, at lets say 230°, and you want to got to 240°, you should set it for 235°. Then when it shuts off at 235° and coasts to lets say 238°, then you reset at 237°, and work your way up to 240° with those small moves. This is what keeps the over-runs small, instead of the up & down swings getting out of hand.

    It's really hard to explain, but if you understand what I'm explaining, and your Smoker doesn't have some other problem, this should tune down those wild swings.

    BTW: Mine shuts off at exactly on the set Temp, and starts up either one or two degrees below the set temp. All other smoker heat movement is Over-run (Up or Down).

    Bear
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  10. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I disagree with you. My MES works exactly as Bear has described which is the way it was designed and it's done so for 3 years. After a certain time of cooking the temp stays rock solid on my set point, perhaps raising a couple of degrees but then returning to my set point. I constantly monitor it with my ET-733 and I see this happen with every smoke. Anyway, as far as I'm concerned the most important temp is the finish IT.

    But here's the thing: I don't know if Masterbuilt has a problem. Bear's MES units are different from mine and yet ours perform exactly the same. Others in this thread also post MES controllers also operate the same way. Now, I can't speak to the Gen 2 smokers because I own a Gen 1. From what I've read the MES 2.5 controllers are even more stable.

    I'm not knowledgeable of how heater thermostats work so I can't comment on your statement.
     
  11. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    I'm not sure I worded my response properly if you felt it was directed at you or your posts.  No need to reread because I agree with your fix 100% as a workaround.  What I was disagreeing with what the other post saying that the equipment was fine.  It is not.  If it was then your workaround wouldn't be necessary.  So, as this device is currently constituted I'm not saying anything negative about your work around.  My point was that if the device was engineered properly to begin with a band-aid fix wouldn't be necessary because it would simply reach desired temp (or at least MUCH closer to it) and then stay there.  The problem lies in the pairing of the heating element with the factory controller.  There is essentially no heat anticipatior to prevent the overrun to begin with and then the cycle is set low enough that it then allows it to dip too far below set temp before it kicks on.  Of course all of this is easier for the hardware to manage once everything is up to temp because the requirements are much lower.  Basically they need a heating element that warms quicker and a controller that anticipates heat overshoots to cancel calling for heat before the desired temp is ever reached.  It's a clear cutting of corners from a financial standpoint by MB because we're talking about technology that is found in $20 heating thermostats.  If they put a little bit more R&D and cost into those parts this could be a stellar device that didn't require such inputs to reach & maintain the preset temp.  That's all I'm saying so don't misunderstand it to have anything negative to do with your post because your post is indeed the solution assuming we never get proper hardware for these devices which is likely.  My post was in response to someone saying that your post somehow proves that the device was designed properly when it doesn't change the fact that it was poorly engineered or we wouldn't need your post to begin with.

    Does that make more sense?
     
  12. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Then how can you disagree when this is half of my premise about the hardware with the heating element being the other half?
     
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes, I know what you're saying, but if you want something that will anticipate, you need a PID.

    A big part of the over-run on the way up is because everything around the element that's metal heats up well above the air temp where your sensor is. Then when the element shuts off, that heat makes it's way around the whole smoker, including the heat sensors, raising the temp reading. My method of shutting the element off before it gets to the set temp is utilizing the heated up parts around the element to finish the run to what you really want your smoker to be at.

    The small over-runs after using my fix don't bother me, because even in my meat curing fridge, the air temp runs from about 29° to 45° in order to keep the meat temp at exactly 37°.

    Bear
     
  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Because I'm disagreeing with you solely on your assessment of the problem with the MES controller. To me, the heater analogy is irrelevant, especially since I also don't see that behavior with the heaters I use in my home.

    I also know that there have been problems with individual MES units. All I can speak to his my own experience and similar positive experiences that have been posted by others. But in a way I guess it's as wrong for me to make a blanket statement saying there's no problem with any MES controller as for you to make a blanket statement saying Masterbuilt has a problem. I've been on SMF long enough to know that Masterbuilt has shipped both good and bad units. I think you can tell when there's been a run of bad ones by how readily customer service ships out free replacements with no hassles in certain situations.

    But per my post in a thread I started elsewhere I am no longer supporting or promoting Masterbuilt smokers.
     
  15. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

     
    I forgot to ask you what problems it will cause?  I don't want to trap heat to damage the heating element wires if that is a concern .  I just want to encourage it off the back wall where the thermostat is.  If I test it on the rack first with the right side open that will let heat rise easier.  Like shown in the pic below.


    -Kurt
     
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm not sure exactly what your target is. If it's just to kick the heat over to the left from the right back corner, you might like my more simple method below. It has an upside down "V" under the left side to slide right or left to elevate the left side. Raise it to send more heat to the left----lower it and pull it a little away from the right wall to push less to the left.

    Before I did that, I tried the old "laying of the piece of ceramic tile above the heating element", which was popular a number of years back. When I did that, it started sending smoke signals out the top vent, and was acting like it was going to explode. The heat was being trapped, because the tile was laying flat above the element.

    The one on the bottom right is my heat deflector. The upside down half foil pan on the left is just to keep drips from my AMNPS:


    Bear
     
  17. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Ok. Your deflector is the same as mine. I just cut away the metal that covers the water pan. Mine just comes further to the middle of the water pan. It's flexible i can bend it up or cut it back. It looks like I don't need the rack and I'll start it the way in the pic below. And yes it's just to kick heat too the left.
    -Kurt
     
  18. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I believe you said in the past that this hotter on the right side problem is more of an issue with the MES 40 than with the MES 30, correct? I think my MES 30 works fine. I notice you've got the AMNPS partially covered by a cut-in-half upside down foil loaf pan. I used to put a tent foil over my AMNPS but I realized that the water pan pretty much protects it from drippings. Sometimes I'll find a bit of grease on a small section of pellets but they still burnt through it. It's one of the benefits of having the smaller smoker.
     
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes----Since the basic problem is the fact that both the heating element and the top vent are on the right side, the wider the smoker the bigger the problem.

    However my adjustable heat deflector takes care of that.

    Bear
     
  20. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    It's a shame the guy's at Masterbuilt & other manufacturers don't read these threads & add the best mods. like vents,heat deflectors,& external smoke boxes ( ala amazin ) to their smokers in the 1st place instead of new colors, windows, control box locations & blue tooth ! 

    Good job, Bear !
     

Share This Page