MES Digital Smokers

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by kirka62, May 7, 2013.

  1. boomboom1111

    boomboom1111 Newbie

    thanks guys saw this post yesterday and drove to academy and added a new mes to my smoking line up now have electric and a gas smoker. thanks for posting the great deal at academy
  2. smoke slinger

    smoke slinger Smoking Fanatic

    Is the one at Academy the 2nd generation and what was there price if ya dont mind me asking. Thanks
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's great BoomBoom!!!!

    Now you're cookin' with gas or electric!!!

  4. Hi

    Got my new smoker last weekend. 2nd gen 30" MES. I seasoned it Thursday and it ran for 4 hours without a hitch. I am not positive but believe the meat thermo and the internal temp thermo are 2 different sensors. When I checked them (at 275 F) they agreed within 1 F which I was happy to see. I have not checked the calibration on the meat thermo but will do so with boiling water today. I plan on doing a set of pork butt-boneless ribs tommorrow.

  5. themole

    themole Fire Starter


    This tid bit of information tells me even if your new MES does give you problems, you should have an easy go at repairing it. The problems have mostly been due to faulty/ cheap wiring and lugs at the element and control board. I already have quality Nichol plated replacement lugs and # 12 copper stranded wire at the ready, just waiting on a failure.

    There is already a nice write up on doing this repair, with pictures on this site. Just do a search and bookmark it for the future.
  6. Hey thanks!

    Thats great news. I have done my share of control wiring and have no shortage of # 12 stranded. 

  7. themole

    themole Fire Starter

    Well then, as we say down here in the south, you're sittin in high cotton. lol
  8. Ok

    Finished my first set of boneless ribs. So here are my impressions.....

    1) I noticed that it ran really humid and a fair amount of water ran down the door while it was running and leaked out onto the floor. 

    I checked the unit to be sure it was level but this seemed to make no difference, so I emptied the water pan and replaced it which ended the problem.

    2) The finished ribs had more bark than I usually get.

    It could be my dry rub (this one has brown sugar added) but I have used this one before so I don't think so. I suspect I need to add less chips next time. This time I added 1 cup, 4xs, over the ~ 6 hours. Also I did keep the top vent almost fully closed so maybe I need to fool with that setting.

    3) The ribs (boneless/ boston butt strips) came out good and I was happy to see they were not dry. Everyone liked them and they went fast which is usually a good sign. 

    4) The taste was slightly different than I usually get with my charcoal smoker and my previous offset drum smoker. Its hard to put a finger on it. It was not better or worse just slightly different.

    Overall I am very happy with the unit and the ease of use is a big step up! I think I need to spend some quality time with my new toy to dial it in. So..

    Tomorrow I will give beer can chicken a try. This time I will add the chips 1 time and open the vent maybe 1/2 way.

    ps here is a pic of the finished ribs

  9. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    On the gen 2 you might want to try the vent fully open. There ain't much of an opening on that thing anyway. I actually dremelled out the opening to twice the size to get good flow and it solved the water issue and allowed me to use a pellet tube smoke generator so I didn't have to load the chip tray. It wouldn't stay lit very well with the vent the way it comes out of the box. Good luck.
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  10. matt22556

    matt22556 Fire Starter

    I agree totally, electric, and I love my MES. For me personally I don't think I would ever consider gas. To expensive to operate, and always a need for an extra tank. Electric never has that issue. The question should be electric or charcoal/woodburning? There are definitely advantages to those but a much steeper learning curve, and attention to detail. For me electric for simple home use ROCKS!!!! Smoking a Boston Butt as we speak, pulled pork on its way thanks to my MES. The MES has made it not only practical for the everyday man to smoke food, but helps the everyday man smoke good to great food.

    Just my 2 cents
  11. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

    In the smoking hobby, as in any hobby, opinions differ on how to achieve the best results. Experienced smokers have their favorite method of achieving the results that they prefer. New smokers have to experiment, guided by suggestions from this forum and other sources, to find their 'perfect' way of cooking and their idea of the 'ideal' smoker. 

    I personally believe the choice in smoking fuel has as much to do with what the hobbyist enjoys doing while smoking as the end result. If tending the fire, watching the smoker temp, and generally being with the smoker while it's doing it's thing is fun for you, then a charcoal or stick burner will probably bring you the most satisfaction. If you're convinced that 'real' Q can only be produced by burning seasoned hard wood, again I would advise against electric or gas. But if (like me) you prefer to (or have to) do other things while the smoker more or less takes care of itself, then IMHO electric smokers fit the bill quite nicely.

    There's much to learn before you can expect to produce delicious and consistent results from any smoker. Since stick and charcoal burners have a steeper learning curve for the beginner (again, my opinion) I think that a relatively inexpensive watt burner is a good place to start. Once you become more comfortable with using rubs, brines, different wood chips, and all the other variables that influence the outcome of your smokes, you will be better equipped to make a decision on which smoker type most suits you. After all as much as we all love positive reviews of what we cook, the bottom line is it's what YOU enjoy and feel most comfortable with that counts.

    I hope all of you have a happy Memorial Day holiday. And please take a few moments to remember those who make our freedom possible. 
  12. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  13. Hi Geerock,

    Yep that solved it. I opened the vent fully and it ran like a champ. The water issue was solved and I was happy with the amount of smoked taste  with the ber can chicken. (sorry no Qview this time).

    Thanks everyone

  14. tk427

    tk427 Newbie

    Just curious, as i'm looking at the MES smoker as well. How many boston butts can you do at a time?  I'm considering the 30" and the 40" however, I can't tell how much meat I can get in the smoker based on pictures, and I haven't found a forum that flat out says, "Hey, you can get 2, 7-8lb butts in a 30" and 4 in a 40".  

    Can anyone help me with this? 

  15. papacurtis

    papacurtis Smoke Blower

    I can get six 8 lb'ers in my mes30, but it's a little tight. My bro in law can get 8 in his mes40, with room for some other items. If the xtra $$ are not a prob, i would go for the 40. Kinda wish i had..
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What Papa said !!!

    Plus if the extra money is a problem, imagine how much more it cost me, when I bought the MES 30 first, then found it to be too small, and had to lay out the money for the MES 40 !!!!

  17. tk427

    tk427 Newbie

    Thanks Papa and Bear, this really helps me out.
  18. smoke slinger

    smoke slinger Smoking Fanatic

    If you got the money for the 40" I would get it. I bought the 30" first and then after seeing the 40" I knew I had to have so I got the 40" and was lucky to sell the 30". If you have a Sam's Club nearby they have the 2nd Gen 40' for $299 the last time I was in there. Hope it helps.Craig
  19. domapoi

    domapoi Smoke Blower

    Wow, that is a fancy cover for sure. All I have is the cheaper black one that is made by MasterBuilt. I keep my (older model than yours) smoker with the top digital controls out on the open deck year round. Although it never snows in San Diego, it does rain and I live on the coast which gets a lot of salty ocean air mist all the time. Never had any problems with my controls (which are in the same place as your new unit has.

    My only warning to you is to "hold on to your seat"! You are about to have the best smoking/eating experience of your life.
  20. Well some time has passed and I would say I am VERY happy with the way the 30" has performed.
    However if out of the gate your already wondering how many butts you can cram into the 30" I have to agree with all the others, go with the 40" model. Just my 2 cents worth :biggrin:

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