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Open Roads Forum  >  Camp Cooks and Connoisseurs

 > Tired of the Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker Problems

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SETenn

Benton TN

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Posted: 01/02/18 04:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I got this smoker for Christmas last year and after some research I was able to get pretty darn good at getting some good smoke flavor. But, it seems that I am yet another victim of the control panel and element problems that seem so prevalent with these smokers. I have installed a new controller and element, fired it up and everything seemed OK. Went to start it up the other night and it went crazy and then shut down. According to Masterbuilt I need the body assembly, which they have agreed to send to me. I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer trust this thing and am looking at purchasing a new electric smoker.

After all of the digital problems I am very tempted to go with an analog controller. Those of you that have these please feel free to share your experience with them. Is it easy to get a temperature set? How about the smoke flavor? I have an old Brinkmann smoker with no temperature control and it seems the only way to control the temp is with the amount of water in the pan. It does OK but the meat will sometimes have a steamed flavor that I don't care for too much. Any opinions and/or advice is appreciated.

SidecarFlip

SE Michigan

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Posted: 01/02/18 04:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a Treager and it works well.


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eieioh

Washington Court House, Ohio

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Posted: 01/02/18 05:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

check out the Amazing Ribs" website. He rates them all and even has a way to control the temperature of a brinkman with a damper.

old guy

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Posted: 01/02/18 07:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

my son had one of them and he threw it into the trash can, he got fed up with it too

SETenn

Benton TN

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Posted: 01/03/18 03:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the replies. I will definitely check out the amazing ribs website.

Super_Dave

Harrisville, UT

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Posted: 01/03/18 07:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Smokin-It analog smokers are built like tanks and very reliable. The major issue with analog is you get a pretty wide temperature swing. If very tight temp control is critical, digital is the only way. I have a Smokin-It with both analog and digital control. I just had to install a simple bypass switch so I can choose between the two. These are lifetime smokers.


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Oldtymeflyr

Arapahoe Hills, CO

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Posted: 01/03/18 04:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Masterbuilt smokers have their problems. I would not buy another one.

I have figured out to handle mine, and with separate temp probes and a smoker on the side I can smoke about anything without spending a lot of time watching the smoke.

Rick

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 01/04/18 07:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SETenn wrote:

I got this smoker for Christmas last year and after some research I was able to get pretty darn good at getting some good smoke flavor. But, it seems that I am yet another victim of the control panel and element problems that seem so prevalent with these smokers. I have installed a new controller and element, fired it up and everything seemed OK. Went to start it up the other night and it went crazy and then shut down. According to Masterbuilt I need the body assembly, which they have agreed to send to me. I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer trust this thing and am looking at purchasing a new electric smoker.

After all of the digital problems I am very tempted to go with an analog controller. Those of you that have these please feel free to share your experience with them. Is it easy to get a temperature set? How about the smoke flavor? I have an old Brinkmann smoker with no temperature control and it seems the only way to control the temp is with the amount of water in the pan. It does OK but the meat will sometimes have a steamed flavor that I don't care for too much. Any opinions and/or advice is appreciated.


Every smoker seems to have some problem, so it isn't just the Masterbuilt brand.

I have a digital MES30 for about 1 yr now, like the set and forget part of it once I gave up on the internal chip tray.

If they are sending you a free new body, take it and use it.

If you haven't been there, I would recommend Smoking Meat Forums for a lot of great info.. They do have a dedicated MES section which folks have shared fixes to most of the problems of MES units..

Using the internal chip tray was a hit or miss, either too much acrid smoke or no smoke at all.. Not to mention the constant feeding chips every 40 minutes.

I did the "mailbox" mod which you use an external metal mailbox, cut a 3 inch hole in the back of the box near the top, connect 3" aluminum flex duct (don't use plastic dryer vent material), connect the other end to the chip loader hole (remove chip holder). Inside I removed the chip tray. Search for the mailbox mod, you will find lots of great info on how to do it.

Then I bought the Amazen pellet tube in the mailbox which gives me about 3-4hrs of good smoke, Amazen also has a "maze" you can use instead of the tube, it can give a longer smoke time without refilling.

Make sure you open the top vent on the smoker fully, you want as much fresh smoke and keeping the top vent closed results in acrid flavors.

Have done pulled pork using pork loins (great taste and texture with less fat than the butt), Chicken leg quarters, baked beans, double hot smoked ham with great results..

Also have done a lot of cold smoking since I have the mailbox mod, several different cheddar cheeses, cold double smoked bacon, cold double smoked ham. The cheeses I have not gotten dailed in yet but the ham and bacon are on our favorites list for sure..

Have to do the cold smoking when outside temps get in the 40s for meats and for cheeses as long as temps inside the smoker don't go above 70 or so (don't want to melt the cheese).

To help the cold smoking process I added a small computer fan to the top vent to help draw the smoke through for better flavor..

Super_Dave

Harrisville, UT

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Posted: 01/05/18 01:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

The cheeses I have not gotten dailed in yet but the ham and bacon are on our favorites list for sure..


What issues have you had with your cheese, it's one of my specialties. A cold plate also really helps for cold smoking when the temps get a little warmer.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Joined: 01/05/2007

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Posted: 01/05/18 09:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Super_Dave wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:

The cheeses I have not gotten dailed in yet but the ham and bacon are on our favorites list for sure..


What issues have you had with your cheese, it's one of my specialties. A cold plate also really helps for cold smoking when the temps get a little warmer.


15-20 minute smoke with mailbox mod results in stove pipe flavor, zero color change.. and that is with one month AFTER it is smoked..

Cheese brought to room temp before being placed in smoker, temps below 70, top vent full open and small computer fan placed over the top vent drawing the smoke out the vent..

Placed cheese in fridge overnight lightly covered with plastic to keep from drying out then vacuum packed next day..

Think I will have to poke a few extra holes in the mail box..

Used a pellet mix with Oak, Cherry, Maple which works great on everything else, not to strong..

Otherwise everything else I have done has turned out great..

DW and DD have been spoiled [emoticon]

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