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I got my smoker!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Well, it came yesterday. It was bigger than I thought. My poor daughter, she is 18 and weighs like 120 lbs and doesn't exactly get a lot of exercise using her computer all day. They left the smoker on the porch, lol. She had to wrestle it up the last step and through the door.

It is an MES 30. Here's a picture not that you all don't know what they look like.  I bought it from Amazon. I have been reading the boards for the last couple weeks but still don't exactly feel like I know what I am doing. I will try to get it cured this weekend and then maybe try a small smoking  project, if I can figure out what to start with.





post #2 of 28

Congrats on the new MES

post #3 of 28

Congrats! Happy smoking!

post #4 of 28

Congrats Becky - now the fun starts. Let us know if we can help 

post #5 of 28

Congrats, Becky!


Lots of MES users here if you ever need help.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #6 of 28

SWEET congrats you should get your daughter and have her help pick some ingredients for a fatty and smoke itdrool.gif....


one of my sons has already put in his order for his birthday in march for a pepperoni pineapple, and cheese fatty...lol

post #7 of 28

CONGRATS on your NEW MES, Making it Easy to Smoke Q!


MES New Owner Tips:

Collected from input of many MES owners, some may seem a bit dated due to new MES with higher watt elements but work as a general rule.

• Season it. (Many spray the inside with PAM)
• No extension cords, unless it is 12 ga or heavier.
• Spray your racks with PAM prior to smoke (makes cleanup easier).
• For easier cleanup, use alum foil on the water pan and drain pan.
• Manual says preheating isn't necessary,  preheat, it will make getting up to initial set temp faster, and temp recovery when opening hatch faster.  (These instructions were for older MES units with lower wattage elements,  however the value of preheating applies to all units.) Preheat to 270º.  Cold ambient 45º and colder as long as 2 hours, 1 hour for warmer temps and as little as 30 min. in summer.   Preheating help establish a stable cooking platform without the dramatic temp swings in first hour of smoking. (Experiment with preheating and see if it helps.)
• Add boiling hot water to pan, this will allow you to get up to set temp faster.
• Start the smoke with a few wood chips. The manual says 1 cup max, you will find a hand full is almost too much. 1st chip dump just a few chips 8-10, 15 minutes  later a little more chips 10-12, another 15 minutes 12-15 chips.  This should produce a nice bed of hot ash with good chip combustion.  12-20 chips every 30 minutes should work from this point on. Your goal is TBS (thin blue smoke). When its right you can smell the sweet smoke, it won't smell bitter or be cloudy white. Dark smoke is nothing but awful.
• Do not adjust vent leave it wide open.  Unless using the AMNS, (follow AMNS instructions).
• Use external probe for sensing meat internal temp, you can run the probe cord through the exhaust vent. *You may want to run 2nd probe inserted into a wood block or potato with 2” to 3" tip exposed to verify the internal MES cooking temp.  (Newer MES models have the built in probes. verify they are +/- 5º accurate).
• Once your meat is loaded, avoid opening the hatch. New models can recover to set temp faster, but every time you open the door you extend the cooking time. Thus spritzing isn't really necessary in a MES due to the water pan keeping the smoking environment moist enough to not dry out the meat.
• If you do have to open your MES plan your moves so you can keep door open time to a minimum.  (I’ve decided to not stress and plan for open door times by adding 20 minutes per door opening, although best is to keep to absolute minimum).
• When your done cooking, the proper way to shut the MES down is to turn off the controller then unplug.  (Sounds simple but the controller has been known to get stuck if not shut down properly.)
• If your MES seems to struggle getting to either the preheat temp of 270º or is taking extraordinary long times to raise to cooking temps after meat is loaded try doing a RESET..
Proper RESET = cycle the MES off with the controller, unplug electrical cord, count to 10, re-plug electric cord, turn on MES with on/off, reset temps.
If you tried a reset, and 20-30 minutes later there is little change do the reset again.
• Cleanup is easy with a Brillo (or similar) pad to scrub the tough stuff, and throw grates, water & drain pan into dishwasher. Some have complained about the spot welds on the drain pan rusting, I hit those spots with a touch of PAM then store the cleaned stuff back in the MES.
You do not need to clean the inside cabinet, most experienced smokers consider that just seasoning. With a hot wet rag, wipe out the inside bottom and any excessive gunk on the walls. Again with hot damp cloth, wipe the door gasket, and the door frames (for better seal).

Congrats on you new MES purchase, and welcome to the MES owners club.


SMOKE - ON  DUDE   or  in this case DUDESS !

post #8 of 28

Delta gave ya some excellent info. For your first smoke I'd recommend something simple, fast and cheap like chicken.


post #9 of 28



Isn't it fun to come home and find something has been delivered?



post #10 of 28

Nice looking smoker, Becky. You're going to have a lot of fun and good meals come out of it.

post #11 of 28

Great new toy!...JJ

post #12 of 28



You can't go wrong with bacon.

post #13 of 28

Congrats on the new toy! Pretty exciting stuff, huh!

post #14 of 28

Kinda makes ya wonder what we all did before UPS or FEDEX.      ROTF.gif

 Good luck and have fun on your first smokin!!

post #15 of 28

Nice smoker Becky! You will love it and it is so easy to use! Congrats

post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the tips on getting started. I really needed those. I have scoured over these boards for days and then got the smoker and realized how much I really didn't know. I went looking for a thermometer today and found a wireless one that cost me $30 at Wal-mart. I went looking for wood chips and couldn't find any at first. Then I found two old bags of mesquite marked down at Tractor Supply to $1.99. We do live in the woods and I can get maple and oak but only have one good piece of maple that is seasoned and dry. I will have some plum (is that good?) that should be usable since my plum tree died last year.

Anyway, I meant to get the smoker seasoned today and then cook on it tomorrow but then had a very good friend pass away and well...I just feel like doing anything right now. Maybe tomorrow or maybe next weekend after all the tough days are over. We'll see.

post #17 of 28

Sorry to hear about your friend Becky. The mesquite will give great flavor and the plum will also when dried. Lowes and HomeDepot carry wood in my area and a good price on charcoal twin packs the last few weeks. Good smoking to you.

post #18 of 28

Sorry to hear about the passing of your friend. 

Congratulations, you will absolutely love the smoker, I have the MES 40 and use it all the time. I think the first thing I smoked was a couple of fatties and canadian bacon! 

I am on the forum all the time reading, reading and more reading. Seems like there's always something new to learn. I'm smoking an 8 lb pork butt starting at 3 AM tomorrow, in what's left of the 16-20 inches of snow we got over the past few days!!! 
Have fun and what a great daughter you have for getting it in for you!

post #19 of 28
This is the info I have been looking for. Thanks!!
post #20 of 28

Sorry to hear about your friend, Prayers for you and the family.

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