New MES40 Sportsman Bluetooth review

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by skeeterbait, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. skeeterbait

    skeeterbait Newbie

    New member but not new to smokers.  I am giving the Masterbuilt Electric Sportsman 40 Bluetooth its trial run this morning and thought I would give a few pictures and impressions so far.

    I found the MES40 Sportsman and the optional base easy to unpackage and assemble. That is where I ran into trouble and I may can make things easier on the next purchaser. The instructions to attach the smoker to the base will not work as written. First there is reference to removing two screws on each side from the front bottom of the smoker. There is only one on each side that aligns with the holes in the base. But that is good enough. However neither the original or the ones that come with the base are long enough. You will need to purchase two 6mmx10 bolts 3 to 3.25" long to attach the front of the smoker to the base. In the back the instructions tell you to use the new leveler bolts that came with the base to attach the rear of the smoker. These are too short. However the levelers that came with the smoker itself are long enough. Thread the leveler bolt thru the hole in the base and screw on the adjuster. Then screw the bolt into the bottom of the smoker till the head of the bolt is about a quarter of an inch from being tight. Then using a level on top of the smoker adjust the adjuster down against the top of the base using a 1" open end wrench till the smoker is level. Then hold the adjuster with the wrench and tighten the bolt head into the smoker using a 15/16" socket till all is tight.

    I then decided the smoker needed to be more maneuverable and decided to put it on casters. I ordered 3" angle casters from In hindsight these would have been much easier to install without the smoker on the base but I wasn't going to remove it again. So I laid it over against a padded work bench and proceeded to complete the install. You will need 1/4x20 1/2" screws and nuts to complete the install. The legs of the base have a foot on the bottom and it will require drilling a 1/2" hole in the bottom of the foot for the caster to mount flush with the foot.

    The Bluetooth app on an Android phone works very well, though not quite the range I had hoped for. Inside the house it seems to have a range of about 40-45 feet from the smoker. Outside in line of sight it is 90 feet plus. This is with a Samsung S4 phone. The app is very simple and available on the Google Play Store for free. I understand it is also available for iPhone but have not tried that. Pairing the smoker with the phone was simple. Just start the app and it walks you thru the process. You can easily turn the smoker on and off, adjust temperature and time, and monitor both smoker and meat temperature as well as time remaining. Of course you can do all this from the front mounted controls also. The new electronics work very well cycling the heating coil to maintain the temperature within a 4 degree range.

    The new coil, wood tray and water pan design works very well. It was 29 degrees this morning when I turned it on and it took 34 minutes to bring the smoker up to 230 degrees. Obviously my LP Smokevault can do that in about 4 minutes but that isn't necessary for this machine since you can add wood thru the loader without having to open the door and loose heat like the Smokevault. It readily lit the wood and has easily lit the wood each time I have added. There has been no problem maintaining smoke at 230 degree setting. However I do find the glass door a waste since you can not easily see thru it due to smoke and moisture on the glass. I would have preferred the machine have a all stainless insulated door.

    So one quick open of the door to let you see the total interior in process. The larger water pan seems to be doing a much better job of catching drippings than the older design. Interior looks surprisingly clean so far.
    dcrosby007 likes this.
  2. Nice,    keep us posted

  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks nice did you check the CC with an additional probe also the meat probe did you verify that? 
  4. skeeterbait

    skeeterbait Newbie

    Yes, I did test the temps, forgot to add that.  The cooking temperature seemed to be spot on.  Best I could tell the meat probe seems to read a little low, maybe as much as 4 degrees.
  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Skeeter Thanks I am sure that will help a lot of people, maybe MB finally got some better controls. I am stuck with MES 40 til it breaks.Post up the finish pics of that food cause it looks good in the box.
  6. tjwheels

    tjwheels Fire Starter

    I also upgraded to this model and so far I am enjoying it. I started a thread earlier about the amount of smoke this unit puts out with such a small amount of chips. Did you experience a heavy smoke flow during your first use. On a side note I use the iPhone/iPad app and do not get nearly the range you are.
  7. skeeterbait

    skeeterbait Newbie

    Each time I added hickory chips I got strong smoke for around 25 minutes followed by lighter smoke for a total of around an hour per load.  I withdrew the loader a couple times and saw the wood was well lit with red embers but not in flames.  I used dry chips, unsoaked.  I was surprised when completed how through the burn of the chips was leaving nothing but light gray ash.  My Smokevault with its cast iron chip tray has never burned chips as cleanly and is hard to keep generating smoke.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Another good report on this new instrument !![​IMG]

    Thank You, Skeeter!!!

    Did you put water in your pan???  Maybe that's why you can't see through the glass???

    Still waiting for an MES 40 Gen #2.5 owner with multiple smoker probes to compare heat variance in all areas of smoker.

    dcrosby007 likes this.
  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Was that two racks of pork ribs (sitting in two rib racks) over a whole chicken you were smoking? There's a lot of room in that thing--enough room for 6 smoking racks. If my MES 30 Gen 1 goes out someday I'll be taking a real hard look at this new model as a possible replacement.
  10. skeeterbait

    skeeterbait Newbie

    No, that is a single rack of St. Louis style pork ribs cut in half.  It isn't deep enough to cook a whole rack running front to back but you could fit a whole rack left to right. 
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's interesting. I think with the smaller cooking area in the MES 30 I'm not even sure if cutting a rack of ribs in half would still fit depthwise. I typically don't like cutting meat in half before roasting or smoking because I'm concerned the cut ends will bleed juice resulting in dry meat. I have no idea if this is true or not; I figure it sounds logical.
  12. Nice Ribs and bird looked good

  13. Hey Skeeter, here is the final product of your great advice!

  14. Nice Ribs and bird looked good

  15. skeeterbait

    skeeterbait Newbie

    Glad it worked for you.  Kinda wish mine had a all metal black door.  Better insulation and I wouldn't feel like I had to clean it every time I used it.
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The glass stays clear longer if you don't put water in the pan.

  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My initial reaction was that it sure looks...spacious inside. I love my MES 30 Gen 1 but I don't like how cramped it is when you're cooking big hunks o' meat or several cuts of meat. The new MES 40" models look very nice.
  18. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Thanks for the review.  I'm probably going to buy one of these.  The only thing holding me back is the glass door and it seems like 2 opinions confirm my suspicions that it's not necessary.  If Masterbuilt made this exact model without the door & bluetooth, it would be at my house already :)
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I heard a number of guys say they didn't want the glass in the door.

    Personally I wouldn't want one without it, but that's probably because I'm spoiled by having it for 5 years.

    I Love It !!

  20. Yeah, it's a good size. A lot bigger than my old brinkman propane from Home Depot.

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