Questions about my new MES 30"

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by chefscott, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. chefscott

    chefscott Newbie

    I have heard many good and many bad reviews on the MES30" here. There also seems to be several ways to run this smoker. I just have a few questions about improving my results.

    1. should I put sand or water in the water pan?

    2. Should I run it with the air vent open,closed,or other??

    3. should I trust the temp probe at all?

    4. Do I NEED one of them AMNPS thingys or will I be fine without??
  2. Chef, which generation MES30 do you have? Either use sand in the water pan or nothing at all. I don't use anything in mine and I've got no issues at all. I run my full open with no issues also. Closing the vents could cause a nasty build on the meat that will make it bitter. You should have a good 2 probe thermo like the Maverick. Finally, no you don't NEED the AMNPS, but the MES requires periodical chip loading about every hour or so. The AMNPS is simply an inexpensive way to get 10 hours of endless smoke without doing anything. It really makes for a set it and forget smoke.
  3. chefscott

    chefscott Newbie

    I don't know what generation I have ? Its brand new. How do I tell?  I don't mind loading the chips every hour or so,its kinda fun. I will have to grab some sand soon. I cant afford the maverick right now but I will get that soon as well. What does the air vent even do? thanks for the reply!
  4. Happy smoken 

  5. The air vent lets the smoke out. You don't want stale smoke.

    Happy smoken.

  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Stale smoke, Jumbo shrimps, military intelligence...... Oxymoron?

  7. ridetoeat

    ridetoeat Newbie

    I don't understand why you would put sand in the water pan. Doesn't the water keep more moisture in the smoker thus the meat? I'm a newbie and have never heard about the sand. I use water in the pan and vent closed. TIA
  8. My MES 30 is the gen 2. The control panel in on the front. The gen 1 has the control panel on the back...from what I gather.

    I never put water in the pan. Even with the vent wide open there is a lot of steam in the box just from the meat.

    Since the same coil that generates the heat is what creates the smoke, it's not on long enough to generate enough smoke, especially at 220. It's just not on long enough, even if you keep adding chips. An AMNPS keeps smoking whether the heat is on or not.

    I haven't run mine in cold we'll see see.
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The sand is used to create a heatsink. Its like a thermal capacitor. It absorbs and holds extra heat for when it is needed. Electric smokers are very slow at recovering heat loss. This comes from opening the door mainly. Most don't understand that electrics are not fire breathers.

    Electrics need to remain closed as to not need to recover heat, buy doing so they do not require the addition of moisture because it not lost at the same rate. Firebreathers must be tended, therefore they must be opened (for the most part), thereby lossing heat and moisture which the heat is easily reclaimed and the mositure is added in the form of pans, spritz, mops, sauces.

    I have read that the MES takes approx 15 mins to recoop the heat lost from opening the door and tending the meat. I think that is excessive, but lets say 10 mins.. So on a 12 hour smoke for a brisket, if you open the door only 1 time per hour to check or spritz or mop the meat, you have made a 12 hour smoke into a 14 hour smoke. Plus you've lost moisture.

    The vent closed is completely up to you and how you use your smoker. You'll hear it must be open, I smoked on an analog smoker since the early 80's and it didn't have a vent, nor an air inlet. Most are more comfortible using the vent because that the way the firebreathers opperate and it works that way. There are long discussions here about vent position. Basically its all in how you want to use your smoker. There is no right or wrong way. You use what is most comfortable to you.

    You can try it both ways and make your own decission. Me, I figure that the vent is adjustable for a reason, and I regulate it before, during and after the smoke. I want max. efficency of heat, minium electrial usage, as well as making both chips and pellets (for one of my aux. smoke generators), last as long as possible. Basically its a juggling act. It gives me something to do, so I leave the door closed and thats what its all about.

    There is no wrong way, only the way you currently enjoy smoking.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  10. I'm with Foamheart on this one. Experience is the best teacher. Keep playing with it and you'll figure out what works best for you. It's like hittin a good drive. Thats what keeps you at it!

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