MES 30 Heat Distribution Plate

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by daveomak, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have read where many folks have attempted to modify the MES to allow for a more uniform cooking interior. I do not know if this particular attempt of mine is plagiarism or not. If so , my apologizes up front.

    Problem. Overheating in the right rear corner of the smoking chamber.

    Theory. Move the heat to the front and left side of the chamber using a floor tile. The heat should then cross through the chamber, evenly, to the right rear exhaust port providing uniform distribution of heat and smoke.

    The tile was cut using a diamond blade on an angle grinder. The dimensions were such to allow for 1/4" rear and right sides. This restriction should increase the flow to the front and left sides where 3/4" gap was planned. [​IMG]

    The rebar tie wire, holding up the tile, is adjusted so the front of the plate is 1/4" higher than the rear of the tile. This should allow for a thermal/convection current to migrate the heat forward and left.

    These implemented modifications should allow for a perfect cooking chamber.[​IMG]

    This tile is too big and could cause damage to the smoker from the sides overheating

    Keep at least a 1 1/2" gap around all sides....


    The tile is suspended by tie wire in a "sling" arrangement to allow for expansion.

    There is approx. 3/4" air space between the tile and smoke/heat generator.

    The water pan does not fit in its original location now. No problem, I do not use water in the smoker.

    I will use foil on the tile for a drip pan.


    During "warm-up" the rear right corner was 50* hotter than the front left. After initial heat-up, the oven sides are all within 8*F

    The tile really retains heat for now.

    jr's buttermilk marinated chicken is ready to enter the smoker and I will follow-up on the success of the uniformity

    of the tile test with the chicken.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Johnny Rodrigues Buttermilk Brined Chicken test of new heat/tile plate in the MES 30. I figured the chicken would be a good test for hot/cold zones in the smoker.

    I am pleased with the tile insert for smoking chicken. The tile got a lot hotter than the smoker. The temperature swing was acceptable once everything was  warmed up. Nice brown crisp skin.

    The heat plate drip foil tray. Looks uniform.


    The drip spots are from where the temp prob was inserted into the chicken legs.


    The chicken was not turned or rotated. It cooked very uniformly. The taste is worth another test.

    Total time 2 hrs. Start 180 end 270. Internal 173*F on the bird.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  3. smokinal

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

    It looks like the tile worked real well. Great job. The chicken ain't too shabby either.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Al. I have hopes for the plate. Time will tell.

    This chicken is a lot better than my first. Guess I am learning a little more. Hope so. I think JIRodrigues recipe had a lot to do with the success of the bird.

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  5. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I had previously used a tile, but my door got very hot @ the tile line

    Keep an eye on the door temp, around the tile.

    You may have to widen the gap between the door and tile.

    Great Results!!

  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Todd, Morning. Thanks for the "lookout". I did not think to check out the hot zones on the bottom of the unit. Tunnel vision, I guess, being concerned with even heat on the food.

    I have been thinking about this plate thing for weeks. Even thinking about a plate in the top to withdraw the smoke/heat from the center and redirecting to the original vent.

    It's always something.  [​IMG]      Back to the drawing board.
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Be careful you aren't blocking too much, with too large a tile!

    I once had a good sized foil pan in mine with water in it, just above the stock water pan(empty).

    I had it on the left side to protect my AMNS from drippings.

    When my AMNS ran out of dust, I slid the pan tight against the right side.

    Then I started losing heat, and my 1200 watt element couldn't get the smoker up to the set temp!

    I was ready to panic! I thought my element was failing!

    I opened the door & slid that pan to the left, and the heat rose in my smoker by 30˚ in about 3 minutes.

    The heat was trapped in the chip drawer area. If that was for much longer, it could have done some damage.

    If I were you, I'd keep an eye on that, and maybe give more space to the left & front.

    I have used a sheet of aluminum plate on the right side, that was about 11" wide, with about 1" space in the front, that seemed to work pretty good.

    When I put it in, I tilted it slightly, so the left side was a little higher than the right, forcing the heat to roll in to the center of the smoker.

    This is in my MES 40-----------In my MES 30 I used a plate only 9" wide.



    PS: I still would like to see one of these guys who likes to tinker, move the top exhaust vent from the right side to the left side, causing the heat to cross from right to left, in the MES, saying "HI" to the meat on the way over, instead of going straight up & out the vent, waving to the meat from the distance!
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Todd & Bear Thanks for keeping me from destroying stuff. In hindsight, that was fairly dumb to cover that much area with a tile.

    I have started a new thread about using a rheostat to control temps better. The lower plate idea is in the trash.

    Still thinking about a plate on the ceiling with a hole in the center.

    Many thanks to all for re-aligning my train of thought.

  9. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I have used a 9x9 tile and it worked and now use a 12 x 12 tile and it works better.  i just set it on top of the chip tray

    pushed back into the right rear corner.

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