Should chips be turned to ash?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jdkimbro, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. jdkimbro

    jdkimbro Newbie

    I just bought a MES with Bluetooth (30" if it's important)
    I've only used it once so far and I noticed that the wood chips were darkened, but not really turned to ash.
    It was producing some smoke.
    I was just expecting the chips to be "consumed" during use.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. uncle eddie

    uncle eddie Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I have an MES40 2.5  My chips (when I use the chip feeder and not my AMAZNPS) do turn to ash. However, the most recent chips added via the chip feeder tube are usually only partially consumed and have a char appearance and sit on a bed of ash.  
  3. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You're working in a low oxygen environment and basically are turning the chips into a semi charcoal.  At times you'll get ash, but most of the time it'll be charred looking chips that have off gassed about all they can before they become charcoal.
  4. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    I don't know but I'm thinking the wood chips should be turned to ash and not converted to lump charcoal to get all the essence of wood.  Low heat, low oxygen and wood = charcoal (99% carbon.)    A great analogy is getting a $2.00 new paint can at a box store, cutting wood in lengths just under the height of the can and splitting/packing the can, maximizing the filled area of the can.  Place the lid on the paint can and seal with a hammer.  Punch a hole in the center of the lid with a Phillips screw driver and place the sealed can in a camp fire or whatever.  In twenty minutes steam/gases shoot out of the hole (extremely flammable wood gas.)  Light the volatiles (steam, lignin, sap, incompletely burned nitrogen plant matter vapors etc.)  When the shooting flame goes out remove the can from the fire, let sit for thirty minutes and you have black lump charcoal.   

    A lot of people use only lump charcoal.  I don't like the overpriced lump and the little pieces that fall through the coal grate out of the bag. 

  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When working properly the chips should turn to Ash.

    If they only get black & are still solid, my guess would be the bottom of the chip pan isn't close enough to the heating element.

    You can try to bend the pan down a little closer to the element.

    However----The best way to fix this is to get an AMNPS & a few bags of Pellets.[​IMG]

  6. jdkimbro

    jdkimbro Newbie

    Thank you for the replies. I just got done with my second smoke, a Boston Butt.

    For the first half of the smoke, I had the temperature set at 230° and when I looked into the chip loader could see unburned chips just sitting. I decided to crank the heat to 250° and voila, more smoke and ash-ified chips. (Interesting side note; the temp held steady between 228-232 at the lower temp but cycled between 242-261 when set higher.)

    Going forward, I think I will bend the chip tray and use a higher temp.

    Next mission will be to figure out how to get the elusive Smoke Ring.
  7. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I first bought the MES, I tried the chips just to see the difference between them and the Amazen... I only got ash once and decided that the Amazen was the way to go....
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I had one long ago that wouldn't smoke until it hit about 230°.

    I knew this was wrong, so I called Masterbuilt. Found out it had a bad Chip burner assembly, with an extra piece of metal between the chip drawer & the element. They sent me a new Chip burner assembly, and I swapped them out.

    This one started smoking at 66° in the Winter, and then flamed the chips, because it was too close to the Heating element.

    Got an Amazing Smoker, and never used the chip draw again. Been in Amazing Smoker's Heaven ever since that (6 Years).

    No legitimate Smoke Ring in an Electric Smoker----All Show Anyway.

  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I tried another kind of Smoke Generator first---Waste of $100.

    I probably would have quit if it wasn't for the Amazing Smokers. My health hasn't been good enough for years to crawl around playing with things that don't work easily.

  10. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've just gotten too lazy to mess with it too often!  [​IMG]

    When I built my cold smokehouse and started using the Amazen tube several years ago, that's when I got busy and built my big electric vertical, I knew the Amazen trays or tubes would be great in it as well.

    Now, since I got a deal on the MES, I have several tubes and 3 trays.  
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


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