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masterbuilt cold smoker kit - Page 3

post #41 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy smoker View Post

Bought the masterbuilt electric smoker 20072612 with the cold smoker sidekick. Made mac and cheese, my first time ever smoking something and it didn't go well. I cooked at 225 for an hour and smoked the whole time. It was producing a lot of smoke, which is the problem because the food was too smokey.

The cold smoker does not have a variable smoke option it's just on or off. I believe I need to turn off the smoker part for a good part of the smoking, I'm guessing leave it smoke for about ten minutes then turn it off, that's a wild guess. Btw I'm using cherry wood chip from Home Depot.

Any help would be great.


Crazy smoker, what I can tell you in general advice is that the cold smoker is just that: a smoker used with little or no heat when smoking. You would use it with cheeses, salmon, things where smoking with heat would ruin the food, like melting the cheese. I've never smoked mac and cheese; did you make up the recipe or did you find one? Typically when you smoke it's a low and slow process. I just saw a smoked bacon mac and cheese recipe that called for smoking at 225 degrees for 2-3 hours. Beef brisket for example would be smoked at temps between 215* and 245* (VERY generally speaking) for anywhere from 6-12 hours or so. If you were using wood chips in both the MES and the cold smoker at the same time that would have produced way too much smoke. It needs to be one or the other.

 

You're also using wood chips, which is what the MES was designed for. To me, wood chips give off too much smoke and they burn out too quickly so that you're always adding more chips every 30 minutes or so, and of course the amount you add can vary so that also makes the smoke inconsistent. Many of here use pellet or dust smokers from A-MAZE-N Products, owned by Todd Johnson who's also a member of this forum. You've got a MES40 Gen 2 so the placement of a pellet smoker (which is what I use) would be different from where I place it in my smoker. A pellet smoker would give you even, thin blue smoke (TBS) up to 11 hours or so. You can get pellets in every wood type that you can get in wood chips.

 

Hope this helps.

post #42 of 51
OK now I'm really confused. Are u saying the external smoke generator shouldn't be used when you are using any heat in the smoker?? I thought you could use it in lieu of the chip tray mes ?? I had the same e problem with way too much smoke taste. Jerky + fish tasted like an ash tray. 2hrs smoking out of 6. Never had that using the tray. But couldn't get reliable smoke at lower temps so I got the smoke unit (mes) for fish, jerky etc. Was planning to try just running it for 30 min or so. But the smoke is very strong, pungent, acrid etc that I never got with the tray using the same chip . Any help appreciated
Greg
post #43 of 51
The recipe that I used is from http://www.mrfood.com/Pastas/Four-Cheese-Smoked-Mac-n-Cheese. It calls for smoking for an hour which I did with the cold smoker unit and i smoked the whole hour. I've read that the cold smoker unit should smoke for 7+ hours on a hopper filled with chips and still have a little left maybe 1/2 cup. Mine started half full and was empty in an hour, so large amount of smoke and a lot of chips used, I must be doing something wrong.

Note I had the vent full open near the top of the master built smoker unit and it was pouring out smoke, not thin blue smoke but thick white smoke like a car on a cold day. The smell near the smoker was not good, very strong or possible ash smell. Note the smoker unit didn't have any noticeable smoke coming out the top, the videos i saw on using it did have smoke leaking out the top of the cold smoker unit. If I knew what I was doing, I believe looking at the smoke volume and color was a problem. During the seasoning of cold smoker unit I had the unit attached to the master build unit. So I assembled the master built unit and cold smoker, set the master built unit to run for 3 hours at 275. During the lady hour I turned on the cold smoker unit with Apple chips and it smoked a lot then too. My goal is to call master built to see if they have a suggestion to limit the volume of smoke.

I wonder if I should have close the vent on the master built unit.

It appears the pellet smoker that people from A-MAZE-N Products, owned by Todd Johnson maybe in my future. I assume you need to use only the pellets from a-maze-n products.
post #44 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by brayhaven View Post

OK now I'm really confused. Are u saying the external smoke generator shouldn't be used when you are using any heat in the smoker?? I thought you could use it in lieu of the chip tray mes ?? I had the same e problem with way too much smoke taste. Jerky + fish tasted like an ash tray. 2hrs smoking out of 6. Never had that using the tray. But couldn't get reliable smoke at lower temps so I got the smoke unit (mes) for fish, jerky etc. Was planning to try just running it for 30 min or so. But the smoke is very strong, pungent, acrid etc that I never got with the tray using the same chip . Any help appreciated
Greg


What I'm saying is that you wouldn't want to use the cold smoker AND another smoke source because that causes oversmoking. I don't own the MB cold smoker but it looks like it's a moot point since the cold smoker attaches to the wood chip feeder and provides continuous wood chip feed over 6 hours.

 

Like a lot of guys here, I use the A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker for both hot and cold smoking. A fully tray can provide smoke for up to around 11 hours and I prefer wood pellets to wood chips. I never get too much smoke and harsh flavors anymore.

post #45 of 51

Smokin Raf apparently has the oversmoking problem fixed and made the unit much more versatile.  I  like having it electric.  Look at his solution: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/129890/mes-cold-smoker-kit/20

 

I'm making one of those this week and will report on it.  Pellets aren't available here and I also have acces to plenty of chips free (pecan, hickory etc) I also never had much luck or  consistency with lighting things and hoping they simmered as they're supposed to :icon_rolleyes:

 

Greg

post #46 of 51

I can see how pellets would be pretty consistent.  What's in them for a binder?  The heat control unit described above that Raf made. looks like it might make things work well.  I like smoke that simmers and not that harsh bonfire stuff. Thanks for your help!

Greg

post #47 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy smoker View Post

The recipe that I used is from http://www.mrfood.com/Pastas/Four-Cheese-Smoked-Mac-n-Cheese. It calls for smoking for an hour which I did with the cold smoker unit and i smoked the whole hour. I've read that the cold smoker unit should smoke for 7+ hours on a hopper filled with chips and still have a little left maybe 1/2 cup. Mine started half full and was empty in an hour, so large amount of smoke and a lot of chips used, I must be doing something wrong.

Note I had the vent full open near the top of the master built smoker unit and it was pouring out smoke, not thin blue smoke but thick white smoke like a car on a cold day. The smell near the smoker was not good, very strong or possible ash smell. Note the smoker unit didn't have any noticeable smoke coming out the top, the videos i saw on using it did have smoke leaking out the top of the cold smoker unit. If I knew what I was doing, I believe looking at the smoke volume and color was a problem. During the seasoning of cold smoker unit I had the unit attached to the master build unit. So I assembled the master built unit and cold smoker, set the master built unit to run for 3 hours at 275. During the lady hour I turned on the cold smoker unit with Apple chips and it smoked a lot then too. My goal is to call master built to see if they have a suggestion to limit the volume of smoke.

I wonder if I should have close the vent on the master built unit.

It appears the pellet smoker that people from A-MAZE-N Products, owned by Todd Johnson maybe in my future. I assume you need to use only the pellets from a-maze-n products.


This is a John McLemore recipe and he's the guy behind the Masterbuilt smokers so he knows what he's doing. I don't own the MB Cold Smoker as I wrote previously, I use the AMNPS. I've noticed that I get too much smoke if the cooking temp is too high over 250 for my MES. I also had a problem with thick white smoke flowing out of the top vent but I figured out the problem, fixed it and now I'm back to getting nice TBS with the pellet smoker and my MES 30, and it's less smoke than when using wood chips. I keep my top vent wide open. I always see some smoke coming out of the top vent even before putting wood chips or pellets in because of the grease and other deposits left from previous smokes. I clean off the racks but only give the interior a partial rub down with a damp paper towel to clean up bits of dried meat or sauce. Many guys never clean the insides of their smokers; it's a personal choice.

 

So, I don't know why your Cold Smoker is burning the chips at such a high rate; perhaps you don't want the top vent open all the way. But I recommend you seek out MBTechguy, who actually works for Masterbuilt. You can private message him with a question and he's great at getting back with an answer. I've gotten some great help from him. For the pellet smoker, you can also PM Todd Johnson (TJohnson) in these forums and he's also great about providing help and info. You can also email him thru his website http://www.amazenproducts.com/.

post #48 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by brayhaven View Post
 

I can see how pellets would be pretty consistent.  What's in them for a binder?  The heat control unit described above that Raf made. looks like it might make things work well.  I like smoke that simmers and not that harsh bonfire stuff. Thanks for your help!

Greg


I get my wood pellets from Todd Johnson. Many guys here say his are top quality and I agree. I don't know if he makes the pellets himself or sources them so I don't know what the binder is but my understanding is his wood pellets don't have the artificial crap many commercial wood pellets have. He also sells them at a great price for 2 lb. or 5 lb. bags and he offers a huge variety of woods. His pellets are all I use.

post #49 of 51
I put a rheostat dimmer together per "Raf's" instructions for the mes cold smoke generator. Works perfectly total control of smoke volume & quality. Smoked my best brisket ever last night. Looking forward to some low temp stuff this week jerky fish et .
Thank RAF!!
Greg
post #50 of 51

I did call Master built about the issue that I was over smoking.  They clearly told me to wet the chips in the external smoker to reduce the rate of smoking.  They also said that tell people not to do this because it may cause an issue that not enough smoke is created.  After talking to them and reading the post http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/129890/mes-cold-smoker-kit/20  I have to admit that I liked that idea of variable smoke control via dimmer switch. 

 

I followed the directions in the post to reduce the voltage and I personally used a Kill a watt EZ from Home depot to tell what the current voltage is (about 119) and reduced it to about 80.  I believe that 80 volts personally maybe a little high but smoke was reduced a lot.  I was able to smoke for 6 hours at 80 volts and only used about 1/3 of the hopper of dry chips.

 

I have purchased some volt measuring devices to install on the external smoker(hope it not too hot) and a dimmer also.  Therefore I can reduce the foot print.  When parts get in I will post details. Note that I had trouble finding installable voltage measure device that would measure below 80 volts without the need for a third wire.

 

One other idea was to measure the density of smoke inside the smoker unit and adjust the voltage based on that information. 

post #51 of 51

It takes a whopping 2 minutes to detach/reattach this unit.  What's the big deal?

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