MES Tips

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by mama's smoke, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    My new 30" MES arrives tomorrow. [​IMG] I ordered it from Amazon for $194. No tax and free 2 day shipping with my Amazon Prime membership.

    Sooo, being a noob, where do I begin? Austin is expecting temps is the high 60's this weekend, so I'm making plans for either a brisket or ribs and chicken for the family. Any tips you have will be welcome? Types of wood? Meat preparation? Smoker preparation? Cook time? Temp? If ribs, do I inject?

    I've already learned so much on this forum; I'm just trying to put it all together for my MES. Thanks bunches. (Another Smokin Mama)
  2. donnylove

    donnylove Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    There will certainly be several tips that come along, but I'll give you one:

    Set up some sort of baffle to place above the heating element/chip chamber. Otherwise you get a hot spot there. I just double up a piece of heavy duty foild about 8" x 8" and that does the trick, but others here have used tile or installed a permanent sheet metal baffle. Search around a little bit and you'll find some examples. Good luck and enjoy!
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hello, and welcome aboard! Congrats on the new MES, I don't own one of those myself, but I hear they are real nice rigs.
  4. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I wouldn't try a brisket on the first smoke. Chicken and ribs are fine to learn how your toy works, and no injection on the ribs. Start out simple at first.

    Good luck.
  5. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks here and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview. [​IMG]
  6. flyfishjeep

    flyfishjeep Smoking Fanatic

    You will want to season it when you get it, so don't plan on throwing on a piece of meat right away.

    I agree with ronp. Try a brisket. Easy and delicious!

    I haven't made any modifications to my smoker yet since I am still learning and I always will be.
    Get a digital thermometer or two so you can keep track of your temps.

    Let us know if you have any other questions!
  7. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    You guys are great. I plan to do a burn in and seasoning on Friday. Prep my meat on Friday and begin smoking Sat. morning. I'll probably do ribs and chicken or a pork butt the first time. Been watching for a good price on brisket, but the smoke gods do not seem to leaning that way. Still up in the air about types of wood, but I'll probably stay with hickory for now.
  8. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    MES New Owner Tips:

    • Season it. (Many spray the inside with PAM)
    • No extension cords.
    • Spray your racks with PAM prior to smoke (makes cleanup easier).
    • Use alum foil on the water pan and drain pan, again for easier cleanup.
    • Manual says preheating isn't necessary, I preheat, it will make getting up to initial set temp faster, and temp recovery when opening hatch faster. I preheat to 270º. Cold ambient 45º and lower 2 hours, 1 hour for warmer temps and as little as 30 min. in summer.
    • Add boiling hot water to pan, this will allow you to get up to set temp faster.
    • Start the smoke with a few wood chips. The manual says 1 cup max, you will find a hand full is almost too much. 1st chip dump just a few chips, 5-10 min later a little more chips, 20-30 min even more chips. At this point you will have a bed of hot chips and ash, and chip combustion should be good. Your goal is TBS (thin blue smoke). When its right you can smell the sweet smoke, it won't smell bitter or be cloudy white. Dark smoke is nothing but awful.
    • Do not adjust vent leave it wide open.
    • Use external probe for sensing meat internal temp, you can run the probe cord through the exhaust vent. *You may want to run 2nd probe inserted into a wood block or potato with 2 to 3" tip exposed to verify the internal MES cooking temp.
    • Once you meat is loaded, avoid opening the hatch. New models can recover to set temp faster, but every time you open the door you extend the cooking time. Thus spritzing isn't really necessary in a MES due to the water pan keeping the smoking environment moist enough to not dry out the meat.
    • If you do have to open your MES plan your moves so you can keep door open time to a minimum.
    • When your done cooking, the proper way to shut the MES down is to turn off the controller then unplug.
    • If your MES seems to struggle getting to either the preheat temp of 270º or is taking extraordinary long times to raise to cooking temps after meat is loaded try doing a RESET..
    Proper RESET = cycle the MES off with the controller, unplug electrical cord, count to 10, replug elect. cord, turn on MES with on/off, reset temps.
    If you tried a reset, and 20-30 minutes later there is little change do the reset again.
    • Cleanup is easy with a Brillo pad to scrub the tough stuff, and throw grates, water & drain pan into dishwasher. Some have complained about the spot welds on the drain pan rusting, I hit those spots with a touch of PAM then store the cleaned stuff back in the MES.
    You do not need to clean the inside cabinet, most experienced smokers consider that just seasoning. With a hot wet rag, wipe out the inside bottom and any excessive gunk on the walls. Again with hot damp cloth, wipe the door gasket, and the door frames (for better seal).

    Current MES Mods are shown here.

    Congrats on you new MES purchase, and welcome to the MES owners club.
  9. xsists

    xsists Smoke Blower

    I have a question about the extension cord. The only way I would be able to use this smoker outdoors is with an extension cord. I'm looking at buying a new 40" MES this weekend but if I can't use an extension cord (thick orange one, maybe 30 ft or so) I will have to rethink my decision and go with propane or charcoal instead.
  10. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Some say 12ga out to 25' to 35' is ok. I only provided a lessor distance because we know that is safe. 10ga you could run 100', that is heavier than the electrical wiring in your house. If your outlet is 20amp it is 12 ga wire, 15 amp 14 ga, most likely. So genuine 12 ga cord should be no problem
  11. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    What's the best way to burn in and season a new MES?
  12. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Plug it in at 275' for 2 1/2 hours then add chips for 1/2 hour.
  13. mgwerks

    mgwerks Smoking Fanatic

    Oh, and make sure that the chicken is lower than any other meats you are smoking. You don't need that kind of cross-contamination.
  14. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Good point. I've decided on ribs and chicken leg quarters. Will probably finish on the grill for the crispy skin. Should I do the same thing with the ribs?
  15. treegje

    treegje Master of the Pit

    Welcome to the SMF, We are glad to have you onboard

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