mes temp control help please

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by susieqz, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    i just bought a 30'' mes on sale at tractor supply. today i seasoned it n started my first smoke at 3:00pm.

    it's set for 140 n for a while it was staying in the 140s, but it's been creeping up into mid 150s.

    i have a maze going n it's putting out lots of smoke, but i'd like to go to sleep without worrying about it.

    right now, i have the chip loader mostly pulled out n the top vent open wide.

    how do i reduce the heat n keep it constant? i tried narrowing the top vent but that seemed to make it hotter.

    now that i puled out the loader n opened the top vent it's down to 149.

    how can i keep it there? what does the top vent do?

    i can't close it all the way because i have the maverick probe wire running thru it.

    the funny thing is, as the outside air tem goes down, the smoker temp goes up.

    as i  write this, i see the temp dropping, i guess because i removed the chip loader, but is that the way you operate this?
  2. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    I don't have a MES but as it's getting late and nobody else may be replying, I'll just say that a general rule of thumb for most smokers is that you want to keep the top vents open fully. You don't want smoke to get stale and you need good ventilation to prevent creosote, so don't try to regulate temps using the top vent. As far as the temp creeping up, just watch it for a while longer. My guess is that it will stabilize shortly. 
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  3. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    k, thats good to know. thanks. still i see it creeping up again.

    for that last 6 hours, it's been creeping up.

    there must be away to stop it but i don't know how.

    can you tell me when you would close the top vents?
  4. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    Once you have more experience with the smoker you might try closing the vent a bit to regulate the smoke. But as this is an electric with a thermostat, closing the vent will also allow heat to build up faster inside. This will cause the element to stay off longer, so it may end up generating less smoke. Why the temperature is rising far above set point in a thermostatically controlled electric is beyond me. How far above the set point have you seen it? Hopefully some MES experts will jump in here soon.
  5. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    thanks, bre.

    well, it's set at 140. so far it's gone up to 156.

    the colder  it gets outside, the hotter it gets,

    ijust went outside n it thinks the temp is 39, but the maverick says no.

    well if it doesn;t rise faster, it won't be  ruined before i wake.

    another 10-12 degrees will be more than i want but won;t wreck my experiment. i'm trying to cook it under 212, a la dave omak.
  6. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    So wait, is the 156 the reading on the MES display, or on your Maverick? What are you cooking?
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just wondering, is it a digital or an analog MES30? An analog will have a higher temperature fluctuation (or DT, Delta T), while attempting to hold an averaged temperature. It can swing 10 to 20 even 30 degrees easily in each direction trying to maintain an "averaged" temperature.

    The digital acts more like a modulating sensor trying to compensate using the same swinging scale but with smaller incriments. So its not so wide a delta T.

    Another good question, are you opening the door? Electrics don't require the moisture a firebreather does, hense no need for mopping, spritzing or saucing. But it also gives up the ability to rapid responce time. IF you open the door on an MES30, its said it takes up to 15 mins to recover. If you expect a 12 hour smoke and only open the door once and hour you have added 3 hours to the cooking time. I don't know about 15 mins, but i sure would believe 10.

    The maverick probe, just allow the sending unit to set on top the MES, and the lead to fall thru the connection betwen the box and the door. The soft rubber seal with seal the slight misalignment and you'll have 100 percent use of your vent.

    If you are cracking the reload tube for the AMPs to get suction, try opening the discharge slightly more and it should compensate and you may or may not need to leave the tube cracked. If you have chips in the tray, and they did happen to flash, it can blow that reloader out the box and in the yard. Its why it locks in place when not in use. If no chips, no need to worry.

    Remember, its a smoker, not an oven, 10 to 15 degrees is nothing in the grand scheme of the smoke.

    If you have not already, you need to calibrate the sensing elements to ensure that what you see if what you are getting. You can use your maverick, if you have already calibrated it.

    Good luck, and it will be ok. Patience grasshopper.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The MES display says 39 and the MAV says 156 ??? 

    Do you have the chip pan slid inside the smoke, sitting on the element...  and the chip chute pulled out about 1 1/2".....  and the AMNPS is smoking OK.....  and the water pan is sitting where it should be with NO water in it and lined with foil....

    What did the MES temp show when you burned it out on high for a couple hours...  If it did not show the correct temps, MAYBE when you assembled the unit, you did not get the wires plugged in correctly when you put the display on the smoker... 
  9. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    this is digital. i have removed the chip loader entirely because the temp kept increasing. this happened a few hours into the smoke. for the first few hours it stayed in the 140s, then moved up.

    i didn't assemble this. it's a floor model from tractor supply. they assembled it.

    once i removed the chip loader the temp stabilized at what it thinks is 140, but the maverick says that's 154.

    dave, i meant 139.

     pops thanks for the tip about putting the probe thru the door. i'll do that but it won't help me use the upper vent because i have no idea what the vent does.

    bre, i'm doing a butt using  my guru's [dave's] methods.

     i'm gonna try an expirement. gonna reinsert the chip loader because it's messy sitting there.

    by the way in the past 9 hours i opened the door once.
  10. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    well, i reinserted the chip tray it's in loose. the temp jumped to the 170s. since the butt has been in there 15 hours i don't mind this but i wish i understood it.

    get this. the maverick says the temp went to 170 with the chip loader installed but the mes still reports 140. it read 139-140 when the maverick said 154.

    i'm sure this is not possible but i'm awake n don't think i'm hallucinating.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Think like it is your oven....   if you open the door, the element stays on and the oven temp goes up....
  12. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    k, i'll do that but don't understand.  the more i close the chute the cooler it will be?

    but, when i had it removed, the temp was 154. when i put it in it jumped to 171-2.

    it was out 1/2'' now i went out n it's out 1 1/2'' like you said.
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There is a thermostat in the smoker that WILL control the temp...... turn it down to 120 and the smoker should run at 137.......

    Todd recommends the chute be out 1 1/2" for adequate air for the AMNPS...  and the exhaust wide open....
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  14. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    yeah, it's around 135 now. i'm hoping it will be 15 degrees off no matter what i set.

    i'm gonna try 175 to see if i get 190 soon.

    the amns is burned out. not adding more smoke.
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It will take awhile to stabilize the MES temps....   The MES therm temps are affected by incoming cold air....  cold meat...  etc... the variations between the 2 reading will vary....   

    When I run my MES...  it has a dimmer switch operating the heating element...  the heating element NEVER turns off...   I regulate the temp by regulating the wattage of the element.....   The internal therm and the remote therm are usually within 5 degrees because of that type of temp control.....

    Which makes no difference when cooking food... the food rack temp is all you need to control the temp...
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This whole thread is very confusing to me---

    Is this a Gen #1 or a Gen #2 MES???

    What are you smoking that you had your MES set at 140°???

    Where did you see recommendations for closing your MES top Vent???

  17. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    i'm screwed. this thing is defective. i set it to 180 to see what would happen. the mes reads 182, the maverick reads 182.  it is not consistant. 15 degrees off at140, spot on at 180.

    bear, the manual doesn't say what generation it is.

    i'm slow cooking a small butt.

    i've never seen recomendations for using the top vent n have no idea how to use it.
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's not defective....  use the mav to adjust the smoker temp.... then it will control the smoker temp.....   Check your in house oven some time... it doesn't read the same as a remote therm......
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm not trying to give you a hard time, but:

    I've been to all the conversations you've had with Daricksta. He and others covered all these things.

    All of these things have been covered hundreds of times on all of the MES pages.

    #1   The Gen #1 has the controls in a box that mounts on the top, back of the smoker. Gen #2 has the controls built into the front of the top.

    #2   Being 15 Degrees off between the MES and a Maverick is normal for any MES, and exceptional if it's a Gen #2. Both the MES and the Maverick in the MES don't stay the same for longer than a minute at a time, so I'm sure if they were both at 182° when you wrote that, they were a lot different a few minutes later.

    I'm betting you ignored people saying to leave your top vent wide open 100s of times.

    AND  You should never smoke any uncured Butt at 140° smoker temp----Most people say no lower than 200°, unless it's cured.

    You can't just ask a lot of questions----You have to listen to the answers.

  20. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    this must be a generation one. the top vent has been 100% open all along.

    the fact remains, at the 140 setting it runs 155 n at the 180 setting it runs at 180ish.

    you are giving me a hard time. i do listen, but i make my own decisions.

    where, exactly, has this odd temp variance  been covered?

    can't find the conversation with daricksta right now.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015

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