lower temps MES = no smoke

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by bkos, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. bkos

    bkos Fire Starter

    I got my first batch of jerky in my MES and things are not looking good. I used a mix from Cabelas and the dirrections were to heat at 140 for 1 hr. then up to 150 with smoke for 1 hr. and off with the smoke and continue drying. I was unable to get smoke at such a low temp. I jacked it up to 200deg. and was finally able to get smoke, but I did not want to COOK my jerky. Chip Pan is installed correctly. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I dont have an MES but my Smokin Tex is similar- Can you get it to smoke then load the product in at the 140 heat level?
  3. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    I have read other posts about puttin Ice in the water pan.

    You can also prelight the chips with a sm propane torch.
  4. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't run electrics here either...I have pre-heated the chips before with better results. Never thought of the ice trick...interesting concept, and I can see how it would help. Good tips.

    BKOS, the first few times you try a new method or process will have a learning curve, so don't get frustrated...it happens to everyone. It will still be good jerky even if you don't get the smoke you wanted.

    I typically do about 20 minutes smoke as soon as I get the jerky into the smoker, then stop smoking and finish drying. Meats tend to take in the smoke better before they are heated through. So, you may want to start it hot to get the smoke going, then open the cabinet and put the loaded grates/trays in and turn the temp down. You will lose some of the heat with the door open, so it will actually start smoking at a lower temp anyway. Then, just pull the chip tray when you've got your smoke finished.

    Hang in there...it's all good!

  5. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A Smoke Daddy will provide consistant smoke at lower temperatures; and it can easily be switch from smoker to smoker or even a bbq grill. I picked up his Big Kahuna model and like it. Here is a link to his eBay listings - http://shop.ebay.com/fiddler252/m.ht...&_trksid=p4340
  6. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If the chip pan is installed correctly then (by design) it will probably take 200° to 250° to get it to smoke. If it would smoke at 140° then you couldn't keep them from catching fire at higher smoking temps.

    I'm not familiar with the MES but is there any way to get the chips closer to the element when you're using lower temps? I know when I do jerky at 140° on my gas-fired SnP I have to set the can containing the smoke wood practically on top of the burner.

    When I am smoking at higher temps, say in the 240s, I move it off to the side so that it doesn't flame up.

    I don't know what kind of room you have to work with but it's all about proximity to the flame.

    Good luck.

  7. bud lite

    bud lite Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I have had the 30" MES for about a year.
    I can get good smoke at 170F. No tricks. It just works.
    That's with dry chips. Wet chips would take longer. Chunks would take even longer.
    From a cold start, give it 10 or 15 minutes b4 giving up.
  8. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you heat it up higher than you need to get the wood smoldering for a bit, then turn the temps down and open the door for a bit. It may be a pain but it works.

    You can also use a couple briquettes or a piece of lump to start out as a base.
  9. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have 5#s hanging in 1 of my ECB's as I type-running with a $10 8in. hot plate at 110*s. I don't take mine much higher to dry (yes it's cured) when I want smoke I get a couple coals red and add off to the side and put my tuna can with chips on them-I open the vent wider to compensate for the extra heat. always works great for me.
  10. bkos

    bkos Fire Starter

    Sorry for the no Q view. I still need the download.
    My jerkey finished in 4.5 hrs and came out OK with the Cableas mix. As for the smoke issue at lower temps, I cranked up the temp on my MES at 210 and got smoke. As soon as I would crank it back down to DRY the jerky, smoke stoped. The one problem I noticed on the MES and learned that other MES users have is that the chip holder slides into the slot and sits just above the element. The only way to get the chip holder closer to the element is to make some mods. My chips went in dry too.
  11. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

  12. bkos

    bkos Fire Starter

    Great idea. I will give that modification a try.

    Thanks for the help.

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