Masterbuilt vent

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gberger, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. gberger

    gberger Fire Starter

    I am using my new masterbuilt electric smoker and had a question about the vent on top. How open should the vent be when smoking? Does it affect the smoke flavor or just the temp? Thanks for all of the great info!

  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Keep the top vent wide open. It let's the stale smoke out. I think my vent is stuck cause I never close it. Lol
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  3. gberger

    gberger Fire Starter

    Thanks for the info!
  4. Yup as c farmer said - wide open for me too...
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am the fly in the ointment. No, I don't just throw my vent open and leave it. It makes you lose more smoke requiring more chips/chunks/pellets. It causes the electronic heat to cycle more often placing more stress on the electrical parts and we all know where those electrical parts came from...... stress can't be good.

    I use my vent. I regulate my vent. It makes my MES work more efficiently there by making your smoker last longer, operate less expensively, that's a good thing.

    I open it full to light my auxiliary smoke generator, it pulls a draft so your pellets can smolder. IF you use chips as the unit is intended, you don't need that much draft and you regulate the amount of smoldering the chips do with it.

    If you have wetted meats from brining/curing or meats with added water like sausages, you use the vent open to help move out that humid heat and dry the meats. Then again you regulate it to obtain max efficiency in the smoker. I have used the old ventless electric smokers since back in the 80s where you put in chips and used High electric heat to smoke them before the lack of air puts them out. It works fine as long as you understand the method and don't try opening the pit to baste sauce turn mop or spritz. That is NOT how an electric is meant to work.

    People will tell you its stale smoke, as opposed to what? Fresh smoke? As long as you don't over smoke or use green wood or basically try to use the pit as its not intended it works great. You really don't want smoke you want flavored heat, that's why we all talk about the thin blue smoke.

    BUT the great thing about smoking is we all have our ideas and everyone is also entitled to their own. MY suggestion is try it for yourself. Throw it open once, next time try to regulate it maybe 1/2 way and see what you think.

    When I chip smoke in my MES30, I usually wait to put in my first load of chips till after the first hour, then maybe 2, 3 at most reloads at a min. of 1 hour intervals. That should give you easily 5+ hours of smoking. If the vent is full open you'll get a little over three I believe. But since you are only really looking for smoke from the 100 to 140 degree internal temperature anyway it is much better than you need.

    Try it and see what you think.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  6. Huh?  [​IMG]   Maybe I'm missing something but I'm confused on this part.  [​IMG]
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sure, I have read in different places, I believe that even Jeff here had a note on it that the max smoke absorption is achieved from 100 to 140 IT. I am not saying that additional smoke can not be absorbed, only that above and below you are getting diminished returns on your smoke.

    Its why we get so much smoke on sausages, bacon, etc in the box when warm smoking vice cold smoking

    You have to open the pores for the smoke to be absorbed then they only can absorb so much.

    If you smoke at 120 IT for an hour you'll get a load more smoke absorption that at 90 degrees IT or at 200 IT.

    Yes you'll still get smoke but at a lesser ability to be absorbed. Once the heat opens the pores there is only so much space available for smoke.
  8. Yup I was confused - I thought you were saying something about the vent & those temps for opening & closing it - I was thinking  [​IMG]

    Guess I was having a   [​IMG]    [​IMG]   moment...
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Its the same thing as using the suction or inlet vent on a stick burner to regulate the flow (or heat), since the MES has no suction vent we have to use the discharge to regulate flow.
  10. I just started smoking also and have been playing around with my vent. When my vent is wide open the smoke is just rolling out of the vent no matter if i put a little bit of chips in or a lot but the more chips i put in the longer they will smoke obviously. As Foamheart said, when my vent is closed i get the TBS because my chips are burning so much slower and my temps get where i want them a lot faster and stay there. I never thought about having the vent wide open and it drying the meat out faster but that makes sense. Good thread though i was about to ask this question myself. 
  11. Like the others say, it is best to regulate the vent as you smoke.  Doing so makes everything last longer and taste better.
  12. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Haha I have the masterbuilt propane and my top vent wont close either...Which works for me.
  13. dutch

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

    Okay let set the record straight. Smoke ring formation forms as the internal meat temp rises thru 140°, once it passes thru that temp range the SMOKE RING has finished forming. As long as smoke is applied to the meat, the meat will take on smoke. If you don't want a lot of smoke flavor in/on the meat, then reduce the amount of flaving wood or wrap the meat in foil.
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    But Dutch he is using a MES30. 

    I view the smoke absorption as waxing a car. That first coat of wax is a lot of work but it fills the pores, not completely but a lot. Each consecutive coat still applies wax but at a diminished capacity. I don't see smoke as a hard thing like a candy shell that can build up to make a jaw breaker with multiple levels, more like a chocolate coating where each consecutive dip adds some more chocolate but not as much as the first coat because of chocolate to chocolate bond.  

    Its like putting salt on a steak, yes you can continue to add salt but can you actually taste a difference after a certain point?

    That is all I am saying.
  15. newsmokeguy

    newsmokeguy Smoke Blower

    I smoke whole time I make something & vent is open all the time just like the pros do. & think about reverse flow they cant shut off the smoke & they make great tasting food. That's how I look at things & do it but ur choice to do what u want everybody has there own way :)
  16. dutch

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

    @ Kevin; Point taken- it's all good! :biggrin:

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