OK folks, I've been lurking around this site for a few days now, and after reading the forum, I'm afraid my goose might be cooked.
I just got an analog MES 30 for Xmas. I've played around with it about 5 times now.....and am completely perplexed. I can not achieve smoke at 225 degrees.
I've tried soaked chips, non-soaked chips, just a few chips; I've pre-heated, not pre-heated. Water in pan, boiling water, no water. I even propped the door open to try to keep it at 225 and still have smoke. Now I do get smoke, it's just at 250 and above. Which is not acceptable. I want my smoker to actually be able to smoke at 225......you know, like the temp it calls for in the recipes in the MES 30 instruction book. This chaps my boston butt because I do not want just an outdoor oven, and really need my smoker to smoke shoulders, brisket and the TURKEY I was planning for Christmas dinner.
I know this is where you'll tell me to get the A-Maz-N pellet smoker, which I will in due time. But how can I actually get my MES 30 to smoke at 225?? You know, for the turkey that I was planning to smoke for the Holiday. Now I'm afraid I'm going to go through all the work and get a sub-par tasting bird.
Honestly, I'm a little perturbed by the whole thing. I got an electric for simplicity...and this thing is everything but simple. And it won't even smoke at temps it promises.
Maybe I have a faulty unit?? So after being deceived by this machine for a couple hours trying to get smoke at 225, I decided to just shut the darn door and see what temps it achieved. I turned it just a skosh above the "L" on "Low" on the dial and let it sit for a 1/2 hour. I came back and the reading was damn near 300 degrees!! (About 285 to be exact on my oven thermometer).
I then turned it to exactly "low" on the dial and let it cook for another 1/2 hour. On the lowest possible setting, I opened it up and it was 250!! And this was in my garage with 30 degree temps. What's this thing going to do in the summer??
(as a side note, my chips do not turn to ash either....like not even close. Just black chips. I'm assuming you need the ash for the formation of TBS. Which I've never seen either....just white billowy smoke.)
Please help! My mom got me this smoker for Xmas and she's coming to the house for my "smoked" turkey. Is there anything I can do get this to work?? I'm thinking I need a fuel that combusts at a lower heat. Maybe pellets?? Or try the lit briquet in the wood tray?? Yey, more work.
Mike in Denver