all of my food keeps drying out on my MES 40. What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by kevin1914, May 1, 2016.

  1. kevin1914

    kevin1914 Newbie

    Food continues to dry out fast
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Need more info.

  3. kevin1914

    kevin1914 Newbie

    For some reason everything I've cooked on my masterbuilt 40" electric smoker as of late has come out very dry. Its almost like jerkey. This includes chicken, beef , fish and turkey.
  4. mike281

    mike281 Newbie

    Do you fill the water pan? What temperature are you smoking at and for how long? Cooking low and slow will tend to dry things out but not to the point where it's a problem.
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have two of the same unit. Most of my smokes are between 225 and 250, no water in the pan. I have never had this issue. Can you be more specific about what you are doing? How heavy or large are the pieces of meat? How do you prep the meat? What temp do you smoke at? How long? A MES holds moisture well and meat drying is rarely an issue in a typical cook...JJ
  6. kevin1914

    kevin1914 Newbie

    I cooked some boneless beef ribs and chicken breast yesterday for example. Marinated the ribs over night and put them along with the chicken breast in the smoker at about 270 degrees.checked the meat about one hour in and everything was dried out on the face up side. I use an Amazen Pellet smoker and masterbuilt smoke box attachment I got from bass pro. The water pan was full and the vents were completely open because the pwllet smoker needs the ventilation. I'd also like to mention that I noticed my smoker shuts off periodically during cooks (randomly). I usually have to unplug it and plug it up again to get it to work again.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Try cooking your food based on internal temperature... 
  8. kevin1914

    kevin1914 Newbie

    I've been monitoring the internal temp and it seems the food is drying out on the outside before the meat gets up to desired temp.
  9. buckinducks

    buckinducks Smoke Blower

    Unless wrapped in foil all food is physically dry on the outside even on the bbq. I've never had wet chicken before. Beef should have fats that could keep it more moist if cooked right.
    If it's cooked through and chewy or dry it's Cooked to long or just poor quality meat
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    You want moist food, leave the door shut. Don't peek, don't mop, don't spritz, don't open the door. Then your only concern is too much time cooking. Even at 275 it won't dry the meat if the meat is not cooked too long and the door left closed.

    Do NOT trust the boxes temperature probes, calibrate them with 212 boiling water. Most use seperate temp. devices.

    Just not that much that can cause dry meat in an electric smoker.
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The meat is supposed to be dry on the outside. This is what we call Bark and for many, the harder and dryer the better. The same happens in an Oven with roasted meat. If you want to soften the Bark. Foil your meat when the meat stalls or at the end during a rest. The steam will mat the outside soft...JJ

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