I am LOVING the MES so far. I'm so glad that I went with the 40, even though the 30 was a good bit cheaper.
Craig - I've already ordered my AMNS. Got the shipping notification. It should be here this week. I've got so many questions about how to use it though. I'll put them below on a related topic.
Bama - I have not tried molasses. I'm thinking it would be overpowering? Thoughts?
Paul - I'm working on dirtying it up a bit. This was my first smoke in it, but we'll get there.
Todd - Wrapping the pans is a great tip, one that I'd already read, but I was so fired up about getting the ribs in the smoker that I completely forgot to wrap the pans, and hit the ribs with mustard to help keep the rub on.
Bear - I want to thank you - I used all of your Q-view pics in your signature to help sell my wife on the whole smoker purchase. Of course, now I have to actually make those things, which is a tall order! I didnt realize that there was a "hot side", thanks for that bit of info. It was good that I put it on that side though, because that strip of meat was done after about 2 hours, and when I pulled it off, I realized that it was already smoked about as much as I wanted, so I was able to stop the smoking and continue with heat alone. If not for that strip, I probably would've kept the smoke on for another hour and ruined the ribs.
Which brings me to my questions.
1. I have no idea how long to apply smoke to anything. I figured half of the cook time, but in this case it would've been too much. It was close though, because I cooked for 5 hours and stopped smoking after 2.
2. Because I almost oversmoked these ones, I'm worried about using the AMNS and oversmoking with that. With a shorter smoke like this, do people only burn one row, or something like that?
3. Add water to the water tray, or no? I had water in there for about an hour, but took it out and hit the ribs with apple juice every hour instead. I dont know if I should put water in, or not. In what cases do you use water, and when do you not?
4. To sauce, or not to sauce? I used a rub on these, so I wasnt sure if I should've put sauce on them or not. I watched some youtube videos before doing this, and the one guy who had an opinion said that you only put sauce on the ribs that have no rub. What do you guys think?
Joe - The MES is probably the best purchase I've made since I bought a kegerator 4 or 5 years ago. They were both fantastic ideas, and justified the purchase immediately. Having a remote control that monitors everything is amazing. I've tried charcoal smoking here in the winter, and its just too damn cold for me to bother with a chimney starter at 5am. Now I can press a few buttons while I prep the meat, and everything will be ready when I go outside.
You guys are awesome. Thanks for the feedback!
Edited by Cobble - 3/20/11 at 7:46am