Need some help... MES 30

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by tr1ple8, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. So I have been smoking on a charcoal smoker for the past 2 years and I picked up a MES 30 last weekend due to it being on sale.... I love the MES due to ease of use, but there is something about this chip tray that I am not happy about.  My go to wood is Hickory and I am used to my smoked meat having a hickory taste to it, not a burnt taste... I have smoked 3 things in the MES and and all 3 had a slight hickory taste but more of a burnt taste. I know the recommendation is the AMNPS which I plan on getting, but I need to wait to make this purchase due to the fact I just bought this smoker... So is there anything that I can do to eliminate the creosote taste from the finished product until I get the AMNPS?
     
  2. Well what is it you were smoking? I know a lot of guys here say to Not soak your chips or dust, but if you are smoking a butt at 225/250 range then soaking your chips or dampening your dust, should be ok, if you are smoking at lower temps it is hard to get smoke from wet chips,  I have always heard that using wet chips or damp dust will take the harshness out of the smoke.

    Good luck
     
  3. I was smoking at 225... Maybe I need to soak them then. I will try this next time. Thanks for the suggestion. I was smoking a Tri Tip and a pork loin.  
     
  4. yeah if you are using chips you can soak them and then squeeze them out,  I use saw dust in my MES and I have a spray bottle of water and I spray them and mix them up until I can see them start to look like they want to cling to each other. so they aren't "wet" but damp
     
  5. It sounds like you are not flowing enough air through the smoker.
     

  6. Other than leaving the top vent fully open, is there something else that I need to do to get air into the smoker?  Am I supposed to take the chip loader out after loading the chips into the smoker?
     
  7. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    never had that problem with my old MES 30.  Are you leaving the top vent all the way open?  If it's warm where you are, you might need to leave the chip loader ajar a little.
     
  8. I'm in California, it was pretty cool last night when I did the Tri Tip.  It was about 50 outside... And the top vent was fully open.
     
  9. Use smaller handfuls of chips each load. It only takes a small amount to chips to produce smoke in the bigger chip tray. If you can smell smoke your smoking...you don't want to see smoke billowing out of the top vent...TBS...Thin Blue Smoke. I love hickory also..and it sounds like your adding to many chips every load.[​IMG]
     
  10. smokinal

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

    You need to add small amounts of chips frequently. If you put too many chips in you will get a big burst of smoke instead of TBS.
     
  11. well you can do that and yes it will give you more air flow, which will in turn give you more combustion, I have also noticed that running the vent wide open and leaving the chip loader out will make your MES run hotter than the read out says it is, running wide open and without the chip loader I have seen my MES temperatures swing 15 to 20 degrees, and in my opinion can cause cooking time to take longer, due to the air in the smoker being dryer, unless you are using water in your pan, or sand.

    When I Cook/Smoke @225 or higher in my MES, I find it more stable to dampen the dust, open the vent wide open until it reaches temperature, and I see it smoking good, and then I close my vent to about 1/4 open, and I add chips as needed, I have never gotten, a burnt taste, or harsh wood flavor.
     
  12. This was about how many chips I was putting in... Too much?[​IMG]
     
  13. Just ordered the AMNPS. Can't wait till it comes in! Now I'm stuck with all these chips... [​IMG]
     
  14. That does not look like too many chips to me. I never soaked chips, always left the top vent fully open, and always left the chip feeder all the way in.  I never got any creosote/bitter results .

    The only additional thing that I would mention is to not put meat in the smoker when it is very cold (like right out of the fridge). If you put cold meat in side the smoker, too much smoke/moisture will condense and build up on to the meat surface causing creosote/bitter results. Of course, one must also be careful to avoid keeping the meat temperature in the danger zone for too long.
     
  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have been finding, a small handful of Dry chips, Vent Wide open and chiploader 1" out gives great TBS for 45-60 minutes at 225*F...20 years ago I used to soak chip thinking I needed lots of smoke and fequently got Bitter Q, I went to dry chips and never had another problem...But this wet/dry chips thing is a highly contested subject...I can say that I have found that the MES holds a lot of humidity in, this will help give moist tender Q but will increase creosote flavor if you don't get TBS...Disclaimer...My MES is new so I have limited experience here, all comparison is to my NB and ECB...JJ
     
  16. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I only "crack" the chip loader open a little bit.  I find it helps to keep the temps moving.  The MES is pretty well insulated and you only will make smoke when the heating element is on, and shortly there after.  At 50 degrees outside I would probably crack it a little.  I have never used the chip tray all the way out.

    Good luck, there certainly is more than one way to skin a cat.
     
  17. tromaron

    tromaron Meat Mopper


    This is the biggest reason for the problem you're having.  You're right, an AMNPS will solve this.  But until then just a few chips at a time will take care of it.
     
  18. Thanks all for the help. This is such a great place to go for info and help. I ended up ordering a AMNPS which should be here soon. I'm not totally convinced that I was putting too many chips in the loader.  I uploaded the pic above but I didn't get too many comments on it. Was that too many chips? Also, I did notice that there is quite a bit of bark mixed in with my chips.  Could this be the source of the burnt flavor? I was so used to using the Chunks before which never had bark. Just wondering if I need to try and pick the bark out. Again, thanks for all the help and comments. 
     
  19. I don't think it was too many chips, now the bark issue I don't know, sounds plausible
     
  20. I use half that amount of chips per load...but that is my personal choice and what works well with my Mes 30 to obtain TBS . Also the only time my vent is closed is to preheat my smoker...anytime there is meat in the smoker the top vent is wide open. [​IMG]
     

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