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[Home Depot] Masterbuilt MES 130B Electric Smoker - $228 after price match (YMMV)

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  • May 12th, 2020 12:49 pm
[OP]
Member
Dec 14, 2016
264 posts
523 upvotes

[Home Depot] Masterbuilt MES 130B Electric Smoker - $228 after price match (YMMV)

Lowe's has this smoker on for $249 ($349 at Home Depot), and despite being out of stock at most Lowe's stores, HD still price matched and they have a good amount of stock here in AB. Masterbuilt's seem to be in limited supply just about everywhere so I felt this was a good deal considering.
9 replies
Sr. Member
Dec 25, 2012
546 posts
628 upvotes
Ontario
defective control panel seems to be a problem with this smoker, i don't want to deal with the hassle of returns and exchanges.
[OP]
Member
Dec 14, 2016
264 posts
523 upvotes
micromen wrote: defective control panel seems to be a problem with this smoker, i don't want to deal with the hassle of returns and exchanges.
Fair point, that seems to be the most common issue. I've researched electric smokers pretty thoroughly, and they all have their worts. This control panel hates moisture that can accumulate, but there's ways to both prevent it and fix it.
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2006
3418 posts
1434 upvotes
Ottawa
Is this a better way to make ribs say than in my charcoal bbq over 4-5hrs? Just set it and forget it, same results?
Newbie
Aug 21, 2017
17 posts
12 upvotes
micromen wrote: defective control panel seems to be a problem with this smoker, i don't want to deal with the hassle of returns and exchanges.
Good to hear that it's not just me. Mine seems to have the same issue and I have one of the large ones, but likely same control panel. I can still get mine to work when I play around with the wires leading to the controller and I don't permanently mount it to the unit with the 2 screws. Once it's set I try not to touch it or it shuts off. It's not pretty but it works.

Nowadays I use it to maintain warm food for big bbq's or to finish briskets after they're foiled from being in my charcoal smoker. I could just leave it in the charcoal smoker to cook but some days I just don't feel like fiddling with the vents/temp, if it's really cold/windy.

In terms of ribs, it does a really really good job, but I still prefer using charcoal/wood chunks. Electric is set it and forget it, but I think most people would say charcoal has the edge for taste.
Sr. Member
Dec 25, 2012
546 posts
628 upvotes
Ontario
ched24 wrote: Fair point, that seems to be the most common issue. I've researched electric smokers pretty thoroughly, and they all have their worts. This control panel hates moisture that can accumulate, but there's ways to both prevent it and fix it.
The control panel is the most important part of the smoker, I'd personally go with a Char-Broil Deluxe electric smoker as they don't have any major issues and just as good.
Member
Sep 23, 2007
210 posts
316 upvotes
Toronto (Downtown)
shylok wrote: Is this a better way to make ribs say than in my charcoal bbq over 4-5hrs? Just set it and forget it, same results?
I had the Masterbuilt MES for a while before I upgraded to a Grilla Grills pellet cooker. If you only ever cook low and slow (225-250) the MES is pretty good, but if you ever want to crank the temp for a hot and fast cook, the MES caps out at 275. it also has some brutal hotspots because the vent is directly above the heating element (rather than being placed intelligently at the opposite corner, as Masterbuild did very briefly for one of the models. So you'll find yourself having to rotate food around to cook evenly, which can be kind of a pain with the front-opening-low-to-the-ground design.

The other big problem is that 30" is the height only. The cooker is quite narrow and you won't be able to fit a whole rack of ribs inside without cutting it, or a whole packer brisket larger than 10ish pounds, if that matters to you. Also there's no smoke ring in an electric, which is purely cosmetic, but we do eat with our eyes.

I do a big smoked meat cook almost every weekend (raising money for charity) these days, so if anyone has any questions about the MES or pellet grills generally, shoot me a PM. I can probably help you out :)

With a pellet tray (which is absolutely a must, I think) you can be completely hands off for up to 12 hours, which is amazing, but even though you can get great smoke flavour, it won't be the same as a charcoal grill.
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2006
3418 posts
1434 upvotes
Ottawa
NineOne wrote: I had the Masterbuilt MES for a while before I upgraded to a Grilla Grills pellet cooker. If you only ever cook low and slow (225-250) the MES is pretty good, but if you ever want to crank the temp for a hot and fast cook, the MES caps out at 275. it also has some brutal hotspots because the vent is directly above the heating element (rather than being placed intelligently at the opposite corner, as Masterbuild did very briefly for one of the models. So you'll find yourself having to rotate food around to cook evenly, which can be kind of a pain with the front-opening-low-to-the-ground design.

The other big problem is that 30" is the height only. The cooker is quite narrow and you won't be able to fit a whole rack of ribs inside without cutting it, or a whole packer brisket larger than 10ish pounds, if that matters to you. Also there's no smoke ring in an electric, which is purely cosmetic, but we do eat with our eyes.

I do a big smoked meat cook almost every weekend (raising money for charity) these days, so if anyone has any questions about the MES or pellet grills generally, shoot me a PM. I can probably help you out :)

With a pellet tray (which is absolutely a must, I think) you can be completely hands off for up to 12 hours, which is amazing, but even though you can get great smoke flavour, it won't be the same as a charcoal grill.
Got it, thank you, for your service and advice as well!
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 22, 2005
11084 posts
3629 upvotes
Paid about this last year with a PM at Home Depot also

Unit works well. We are only a family of 4 so lots of room in there. Ribs fit fine diagonally, no big deal.

I brought mine into the shed in December and back out in March. Got a great cover from Amazon and it keeps it looking good.
Newbie
Jan 4, 2021
1 posts
I bought my MasterBuilt Char-Broil Deluxe Digital over 6 years ago .... used it a million times .... have smoked in the winter down as low as zero degrees .... him a tough lil' hombre' .... I love him .... I have done nothing to this smoker but use it .... never a hitch ... gonna buy a little bigger one this year ! Some days when I have no meat to smoke .... I open a cold bottle of beer go out on the deck open the door to my smoker sit down on a chair and breath deeply .... yeah, it's an addiction .....
Pro tip: Wrap your water pan and drip tray with aluminum foil to make cleanup easy :) Hope you are enjoying our smoker and let us know if you have any questions or concerns!!
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