Here we go, first smoke

Discussion in 'Pork' started by scutlebut, May 14, 2013.

  1. Couldnt sleep a wink last night, all excited like Christmas morning as a kid.   Received my smoker last week MES 30" and seasonded it the next day, and today I have off so here we go. 

    Last night I injected with some apple juice,rub, Kraken rum, mixture,  and rubbed with a brown sugar paprika based rub.  At 6:25 this morning in they went, 2- 6.5 lb shoulders.  Been doing alot of reading here and I thank you all for the amount of information this forum has compiled.

    I do have two questions though while i spend the day relaxing watching and drooling. I have been reading about the thin blue line of smoke. aint happening, all i'm getting is white and what seems to be a fair bit of it. how can i slow it down to get that light blue?

    Also there seems to be steam coming from the top vent as when the smoke reduced I could see wasps of steam and slightly on the glass door,  I do have the water pan in and about 3/4 full of water, should I remove or reduce the amount in it?

    Thanks guys,  Fred.

  2. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Fred, I'm not an MES user but a number of MES users have made the switch to TJohnson pellet smoker maze.

    I'll just step back and let the other MES users chime in about what to expect when using wood chips.

    As for the TBS-alot of the time you can't see it but if you can smell the sweet aroma of wood smoke, you're doing fine. 
  3. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sometimes the white smoke stuff is will work out fine!  You will be bathed in that heavenly scent of wood and meat smoke soon! [​IMG]

  4. So, should I leave the water pan in then?
  5. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Some folks do....I do!  It helps with keeping moisture and your temps regulated.  NOW....I don't have your particular smoker....just speaking from mine.  I have bought sand to go in my water pan.  The Water/sand will act as a "heat sink" for a lack of a better word.  When the water starts evaporating big will notice your temp will go up!  I am going to try the sand method....and see how that works this next smoke.

    You will find so many different opinions on this subject matter too.  Ask away and folks will let you know what has happened to them too.

    Hope that was "clearer than Mud!"  LOL

    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  6. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have a 30 in Masterbuilt electric and haven't used water in the pan yet. I also leave the vent wide open. Butt's in my opinion have enough moisture in them so water isn't needed in my opinion. I will also put sand in my water pan [got to get some sand for the sandbox anyway for the grandkids]. I'm more of a sausagehead, but i'm learning more on this site all the time.  I think a good motto for this site would be "Smoking is for those who think they know everything" LOL.  I quit looking at the smoke as far as color and just enjoy every minute of it as it flows out of the vent.  I like the injection you used and i bet you got a great rub also. You got yourself a great smoker, i'm sure you will enjoy it.  Reinhard
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  7. I have an MES40 and have done several butts. I've never really experienced the steam. After the first couple hours in the smoker I put a disposable aluminum foil pan two racks below the butt with a bit of warm water and apple juice and just keep adding a little at a time as it evaporates. It's been well a really long time since I've had the original water pan in my smoker. I don't use chips any longer in my MES -- I use Smokehouse Pellets (not the ones for Traegers etc). I like the pellets better for more even burning and less billowy white smoke. You will get a thick white smoke when you first add chips to the pan, so to avoid this as much as possible, I used to pre heat the smoker adding chips then, so when I actually put the meat in there would be a nice bed of ash and this helped with cutting back on the billowy white cloud! Also don't soak them, they have to steam to dry out and start smoking. Unsure of how much chips you are putting in but I only used about a scant 1/4 cup.

    Since you injected the butt be sure to follow the food safety rule of 40 degrees to 140 degrees internal meat temp within 4 hours. 

    Hope this helps and don't get antsy when you hit the stall!
  8. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hi Fred. 

    You're getting plenty of good advice, and as Kat said, opinions vary about water pans.  In my MES40, I never had water in it once.  The only thing I ever put in the water pan was foil to serve as a drip catcher.  I also never used the chip tray.  I purchased an AMNPS, mentioned above by Dutch, from Todd at A-Maze-N products.  It's a little wood pellet tray in the shape of a maze that produces hours of the thin blue smoke you're looking for.  Check out his sponsor's link at the bottom of the page.

    Good luck!  Be sure to let us know how it turns out...

  9. Thanks everyone, you are right so many different opinions and all good, like I have with most things take little tidbits from each and experiment with it. I'm 5 hours in and internal temp is at 160.still tossing the idea around in my mind if I am going to foil it or not leaning towards the not but we'll see
  10. 6 hrs. in and internal temp @163 just removed the water pan, got a little nervous about the steam, lol. Sitting here enjoying a beer and a cigar all thing going through my mind worrying if I'm doing everything right. Sheeesh didn't think something like this would turn me into a worry ward.
  11. Sounds like you are well on your way! Don't forget to take some pics for us!!!!
  12. Shoulders are complete and amazing, All that stress sitting this afternoon for nothing,  Thanks so much to everyone for your comments.  Wife is not to happy with the pictures though ,she flew to Canada two weeks ago and didnt get to partake. But like I told here this is just practising for when she comes back to Cali and I will have it perfected,lol.

    This coming weekend I will be trying ribs so back to the post to do some research.  Thanks again to all.

    Oh and I also made up a finishing sauce that bob1961 posted, very good Bob thanks for posting that.


  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Scutlebutt, LOL.. gotta be a sailor. Anyway I have a MES 30, What I have heard (and now believe), is you'll never see that TBS from an electric. I have used mostly pipe pits all my life I'll realize it. I have used some electric cans before the MES and without really realizing, never saw it with them. I think TBS is for fire burners.

    Since you are new, I mostly use the water pan for long smokes of dry meat. If I brine or inject I use the pan as a drip catcher. Why, sometimes that makes some awesome gravy.

    When doing pork smokes, what I like to do is stick in a 4 x 4 aluminm pan with some pork and beans. They have a recipe here on the boards that is pretty good, you can always adjust after you've tried it. I use Momma's old tried and true recipe and all that smoke and fat and the bits of bark all fall down into it and now my mouth is all watering talking about it. Just something to think about. Mom's has canned beans, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, lea & Perrins, and big slices of raw onion down in the beans.

    Now that you've burnt ya first one you are addicted!  You'll be walking around the kitchen thinking, wondering what a smoked oreo cookie would taste like.
  14. Lol, actually just a fisherman, got it from Red Fisher fishing show at scutlebut lodge, wonder if anyone remembers that show. Appreciate all the help, and yes I'm hooked and the wheels are turning on what I can smoke, and beans have come to mind. Thanks.

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