MES 30 improvements on smoke consistency?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by fa1321tx, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower



    I made probably the best steak of my life today in my MES 30 but I felt like I had to constantly monitor smoke output. I even had a couple small fire in the wood tray because I left the loader out to get more smoke content. I know you can buy a device to load with pellets and it last for several hours. But for random cooks I would prefer to use wood chips I can buy at my local store at the last minute if so desired. Any mods to get better air flow but not catch on fire?
     
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Load about 1/4 cup of chips at a time.... about every 45 minutes or so... I had to drill out the holes in the chip chute to 1/2" to prevent "flash over" from the chip smoke... OR, You can pull the chip chute out about 1/4" after loading the chips... leave the exhaust wide open for good air flow.... make sure the chips are dry so they will smoke without having to dry out first....
    The smoke doesn't have to be heavy and white to impart good smoked flavor.... this and blue works very well..... if you can smell smoke, so can the food.....

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  3. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    Cool I am going to try drilling the holes out too!
     
  4. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I would opt for drilling holes over pulling the loader out. I have seen other people post on here about pulling the loader out, having a fire, and the loader being sent flying out since it isn't locked when you pull it part way out.
     
  5. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    I consider taking it to a machinist friend of mine and maybe having the holes cut out more and a damper adjustment put on it. Not sure if it would work but sometimes it gets really windy and it would be nice to have better control over the airflow.
     
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    If you are thinking about putting that level of effort into it then you might want to reconsider an AMNPS unit. Yes you have to make sure you always have pellets (which BTW I just order 10 lbs this morning to restock my inventory) but that small amount of extra work is worth the benefits. They take almost zero maintenance once they get going. I run mine in a mailbox mod and I can get 9 hours of consistent TBS with little effort. I also like the assortment of pellets that Todd sells. I have some Bourbon Barrel pellets on the way and can't wait to try them out.
     
  7. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    I did order one last night just so I can use it for a long smoke like a brisket. I do allot of shorter smokes 2 hours or less and it would be nice set temp & time drop in some wood chips and let it go as its design. I do not think there would be much involved to add a damper at the bottom like you see on most smokers to adjust airflow.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  8. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Just FYI, I have learned how long each row of my AMNPS burns so I can fill it with the right amount of pellets for the smoke. If I only need 2 hours then I fill 1 row almost full and I am ready to go. I tried using the chip tray in the MES unit but it is just too small and required refilling too often for my personal preference. 
     
  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'll give you my standard issue response because I have the same smoker you do: forget the wood chips and buy the A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker (AMNPS) and use wood pellets whether you buy them from Todd Johnson (the inventor and owner of the company) or not. Todd does include a bag of his Pitmaster pellet mix with each AMNPS.

    The AMNPS provides steady thin blue smoke over approximately an 11 hour period. Here's the website to check it out. http://www.amazenproducts.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=12
     
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In my Mail Box mod, one row of pellets burns/smokes about 3 hours.... I adjust smoking time like bmaddox does... add more, remove some, adjust the smoke time accordingly... The AMNPS is really a great tool to us electric smoker owners.... For that matter, cold smoking cardboard box owners really like it also.....
     
  11. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    My coworker was off last week he came in today raving about the amnps he cold smoke a pork butt for 3 hours then cooked it in a crock pot and it blew him away. I did order one last night. I see it fits to the left of the wood chip tray but does grease drop onto when cooling?
     
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I just cut a foil pan in half & put it upside down above my AMNS or AMNPS:

    Bear

     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
    fa1321tx likes this.
  13. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    Nice simple solution I like it! I still may tinker with the air intake I have 4 bags of wood chips to burn. Lol. Once that's gone I guess my smoker will be a pellet smoker.
     
  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I personally have never finished anything in a slow cooker after pulling it from a smoker. A smoker, if used correctly, is a slow cooker using wood smoke for additonal flavor and to produce a hard bark, if desired.

    Yes, grease will drip from the meat so what many of us do (most times I don't anymore) is to tent over the AMNPS with foil. That protects the AMNPS from dripping grease which really won't hurt it anyway. The one caution with tenting the AMNPS is that if someone has a MES 30/40 Gen 2 the airflow is already an issue and the tent might restrict airflow to the wood pellets in the tray and cause them to go out.

    However, there's a drip tray beneath where the AMNPS is placed and if you foil over that you'll still have an easy cleanup afterwards.
     
  15. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great, educational photo, Bear.
     
  16. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I still have bags of wood chips left over from when I first bought my MES 30. I those wood chips when I'm grilling in my Weber One Touch Silver charcoal kettle grill and want to add some nice smokiness to whatever's over the coals. I use wood pellets exclusively in my smoker so I've got all the varieties I feel I'll need.
     
  17. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    Off topic but I have been foiling my water pan top side but the bottom is black & tar like. Should I try to remove that tar from the bottom?
     
  18. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    that black layer is creosote build up. You can remove it but it will just come right back. The general consensus around here seems to be to keep any parts that the meat touches free of creosote and leave the rest alone. I cover the drip areas with foil so when I am done all I do is remove the foil, wash the racks, clean the glass, and clean the temp sensors.
     
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I guess you don't really have to, but if it keeps building up, it may not be safe since it's so close to the heating element.

    We clean the whole thing once in a while, and the bottom of mine is discolored "black", but it's clean.

    It's amazing how I can completely cover the top, sides, and interior of that pan with double foil, but the grease still gets into the pan, under the foil. The foil seems to keep it from baking on, and is easy to remove.

    Bear
     
  20. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    Yeah my foil sticks to the black tar crud on the bottom of the pan and is getting hard to remove. My AMNPS is suppose to arrive today so I will give it a try really soon.
     

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