Awesome Msuman! Thanks for taking the pic and sharing your first smoke your new MES 40.
SMOKE - ON DUDE!
MES New Owner Tips:
• 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).
• Use alum foil on the water pan and drain pan, again for easier cleanup.
• Manual says preheating isn't necessary, I preheat, it will make getting up to initial set temp faster, and temp recovery when opening hatch faster. I preheat to 270º. Cold ambient 45º and lower 2 hours, 1 hour for warmer temps and as little as 30 min. in summer.
• 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, 5-10 min later a little more chips, 20-30 min even more chips. At this point you will have a bed of hot chips and ash, and chip combustion should be good. 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 a AMNS or AMNPS then follow their product 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.
• 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.
• When your done cooking, the proper way to shut the MES down is to turn off the controller then unplug.
• 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, replug elect. 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 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).
• If your new MES does not work properly simply call Masterbuilt, their customer service is generally excellent.
Some MES Mods are shown here.
Congrats on you new MES purchase, and welcome to the MES owners club.