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MES 40 to Make Jerky - Use the Water Pan?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey Everyone,


I tried making some jerky one night and it came out more like snack sticks because they had a lot of moisture to them.  Now granted, I could have cooked them longer but it was already midnight and I had to get ready for bed.  (No complaining about the outcome because all the sticks were gone in about two days.)


However, I read that I should never run my MES without water, but I want jerky that has been dried out more.  So, should I just run it without the water?  I figure I am only setting it 150ish and I could throw a fire brick or something in there as a heat sink. 


What do you guys think?  Any suggestions?  I saw threads on jerky in MES but nothing addressing this issue. 



post #2 of 5

Line your water pan w/ foil ,Fill it w/ clean sand and cover w/ foil . Great heat Heat sinc, w/ no added moisture.

 it will not hurt to run your MES w/o water in the pan. If i am cooking butts and want a nice bark

i just remove the water pan and set a foil pan on the bottom grate to catch the drippings.

post #3 of 5



I haven't looked at the MES book lately, but I think they say to never use it without the water pan in, not without water.


I never remove water pan. Sometimes I'll add a foil pan above it.


Eman's method (above) of sand & foil is a good one for heat sinc.




post #4 of 5

I started using sand a couple of months ago & never looked back.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

As an update on this, I have been using sand in the water pan.  I really like it.  I have done a few pork butts in it since and there is no difference in moisture and I do think it works better as a heat sink. 


I've done jerky in my MES twice since and it works okay.  Still is more like an oven than a dehydrator.  I recently got a dehydrator and I will use that for jerky before my MES.  If I want to add some smoke I will just toss the chunks in after they are dried and cold smoke them for however long I want.  

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