MES Cold Smoker Question

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by enoshixi, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. enoshixi

    enoshixi Newbie

    I recently bought the cold smoker attachment for my MES and set it up for the first time today.

    Something doesn't seem quite right though; is the wood chip tube supposed to rest flush in the groove inside the body of the unit? When the chip screen is on mine, the tube rests directly on top of the heating element, causing a 1/8 to 1/4 inch gap above the groove. When pre-seasoning it, it seems like a lot of smoke was escaping out of the lid. I'm confident that I have the chip screen on properly.

    Also, after pre-seasoning the unit for an hour I turned it off and let it cool for about 30 minutes. When I opened up the chip tube cap, the remaining chips immediately caught on fire.

    Anyone else experiencing similar issues? Or is there a chance I have a bad unit?
  2. I have never used the cold smoke attachment. I use a AMNPS and love it. I see this is your first post. When you get a chance will you drop by roll call so everyone can give you a proper SMF [​IMG]?

    Happy smoken.

  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ditto on the AMNPS !!  [​IMG]

  4. enoshixi

    enoshixi Newbie

    Wow I've been visiting this forum for years, didn't realize I'd never posted before! I do have an AMNPS also. To be honest I don't have quite the same luck with it as everyone else here seems to, but don't want to derail the thread with that.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There are some guys with the MES Cold smoker, who should be around soon to help you.

    Meanwhile, Where do you live-----High Altitude??  Let's get that AMNPS working for you!!

  6. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    If you are talking about the flange about half way up the tube, yes it should sit flush. Can you post some pics? Something is not right for sure. It sounds almost like your element is out of place or bent up. Another thing to check is make sure your screen is staying slid on all the way when you set the tube down in the unit. If it's not chips can fall down directly on the element and catch on fire.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  7. I have the attachment as well. Used it in my 30 inch and now my 40 inch. It's definitely not the best addition to the smoker but with a little work it can do the trick. 1st biggest issue is that the wood chips get stuck all the time so they don't fall down and end up not smoldering. I was lucky enough to find a local store that sells much finer cut wood chips. Not saw dust but smaller pieces so that's seem to do the trick. 2nd a ton of smoke comes out of the lid. What I've done is put a layer of aluminum foil and tightly covered the top then shut the lid down on top of it. Also it raised my internal temp of my smoker 12 to almost 20 degrees so cold smoking in warm temps is almost impossible. It works ok but it's not highly recommended by me for cold smoking. It's nice for long smoking like briskets and things like that because it holds more chips. That's all I really use it for anymore. I'm a huge fan of the AMAZEN pellet smoker but I actually am not a huge fan of using inside of my MES because I forever have issues with it going out. I just sit it in my big smoker and close the lid and open the vents half way it does the trick. You can use that unit under a cardboard box if you really wanted to its very easy for cold smoking. Highly recommend you look into that if you want to continue cold smoking.
  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The problem with the cold smoker attachment that you described is one of the reasons why I also bought an AMNPS instead of the cold smoker. The AMNPS sits inside the MES, not next to it. There are no tubes to deal with and nothing (besides the MES) to plug in. I fill it with wood pellets and get smoke for as long as I need it. I've smoked for 6 hours and still had pellets left over.

    With my setup, it's enough to have to wheel out the MES 30 from my garage with the other stuff I use for smoking. It'd be a hassle to also have to carry out the cold smoker, too.
  9. enoshixi

    enoshixi Newbie

    Yes exactly. The tube is resting directly on the element and that causes the flange to rest above the groove, rather than in it. Not the easiest to take a picture of but I'll give it a shot.
  10. You've probably already tried these solutions but....

    It might sit flush if you turn the tube 90 or 180 degrees, I've noticed that if it's turned a certain way it mine won't sit evenly.

    Is the bottom screen evenly in the grooves?  I've noticed after cleaning out the tube it has come off the groove and then it won't be flush.

    The chips haven't caught on fire for me, but it's totally possible.  The smoldering chips at the bottom even after the unit is off can get a hold of the oxygen from opening up the tube and ignite.

    I don't have an AMNPS and I'm sure they're great, but this little unit has done a great job for me since I got it.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  11. brianlamb41

    brianlamb41 Fire Starter

    I have the Cold Smoker attachment and love it.

    It will, on occasion, catch fire if you expose the bottom chips to oxygen.  If you need to open the cap for whatever reason, I suggest turning the heating element off for 10-15 minutes prior.  I have had to add chips halfway through a smoke, but do so quickly enough that the flames don't get out of control.

    I have also found that there is quite a bit of smoke escaping out of the top of the Cold Smoker, but it typically dissipates 5-10 minutes in, especially if the vents are open fully.

    I have a dryer vent between my Cold Smoker and my MES, and it's also taped up really well along the seams to limit the leakage.

    My tube doesn't quite sit flush, but it's the bottom mesh that's the reason, not an issue with the heating element.  I bent mine slightly upwards and it is flush, although I don't think it really matters.
  12. My cold smoker has caught fire several times when I opened it to put more chips in.  One time there was like a jet of flame shooting out the top, which I thought was awesome (guess I'm a pyro).  Anyway, hasn't caused any problems and the unit has been great so far.
  13. craigdchang

    craigdchang Fire Starter

    The only problem I have is the chips get stuck and I have to push them down. It is like it builds up a lot of creosile and makes the sides sticky. Does anyone else have this issue, and how did you resolve it?
  14. Yes, I have the same issue.  I use a bent coat hander to jam them down in there.[​IMG]
  15. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a MES Cold Smoke attachment and love mine. Its just like any other piece of equipment it has a learning curve to mastry.

    My favorite smoke in it is pecan shells. yes upon ocassion they get stuck up in what I call the chimney. I just use one of the 1" dowels I had cut for hanging sausage and smack the box and they get unstuck. I find a good smack is good for all mechanical objects which have no moving parts upon ocassion. Frees those shells right up. I actually use this to my advantage when  it happens I get a longer smoke time.

    As to the chamber fire, I have only had one. I think it was good though because it burnt off the protective coating that Masterbuilt says isn't on there.

    I think I have some pictures.......

    Here we go, thats the coating in the top of the lid.

    It all pulled out as one piece also, felt like saran wrap.

    Don't get me wrong I like my Cold smoke attachment. It does really great smoke for about 6 hours with no help, or I get about 8 if you regulate the air flow by cracking the ash tray on the bottom of the cold smoker and the exhaust vent and turning the burner off.

    If you'll just rap the smoker smartly, the shells will fall right down though.

    I have only used chips in the smoker 3 times. Once they were dry and the smoke was like a desiel locomotive (and the flame up), the other two times I soaked the chips as recommended and the smoke color and flavor were far superior. Gee go figure use the manufacturers recommmendation and it works what a novel experience.

    I don't use the 40 that much, scared I'll break it. Its my smoker for cured meats though, sausages, andouille, boudin, bacon, etc.....

    Did I mention pecan shells? They work outstanding without damaging a tree.

    I love my setup, I am just gun-shy now with the MES40.

    I like the cold smoker, I like the AMP's, I like the MES30, and I just wish they could make a MES40 that works as well as my MES30.
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    They did----It's siting on my Front Porch!![​IMG]

    dr k likes this.
  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use the AMNPS. No problem with wood chips or wood pellets sticking. The pellets burn slowly in row after row effortlessly producing TBS.
  18. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    When people are talking about cooking chxn in the MES,  I'm not confident the heating element spade connectors/wire can handle 275*F max regularly with all the 12 gauge wire upgrade fixes that are posted.  After seasoning the smoker I don't push it to the limit.  I just smoke between 225-250*F.  I BBQ chxn with smoke in anything but the MES.  I think the MES is the wrong tool if you want crispy chxn. 

  19. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I couldn't agree more. I grill and BBQ on a pit, I only smoke in the smokers.
  20. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I fully agree with you which is why I never smoke at 275°F in my MES 30. I've never smoked any chicken (chxn?) but last year I did smoke a 12 lb. turkey (tuzy?) breast in there over hickory pellets and it was...amazing. I think I used a basic dry rub and smoked it at around 235° until the IT registered 165-170°. Now, this was a turkey breast which lived in our freezer for about 2 years so I didn't know what to expect. Also, the skin turned out much crispier than I had thought it would and was delicious.

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