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David First time smoker electric!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Live in Duluth Ga. 61 yr old retired and looking for fun things to do.  I just assembled my 40" Masterbuilt electric smoker earlier.  Now that I have it in my family room, I am totally baffled!


I plan to pre season it tomorrow, and hope to cook a pork tenderloin, some Italian Sausage  on Sunday.


I have NO IDEA what I'm doing and hoping for the best! Any words of wisdom are welcomed. How to cook a few kinds of meats in the same oven at the same time,  how long to cook stuff for, how to manage the temps for different types of meats as simple as what should go on what shelf. I know nothing about smoking. I'm scared about the whole idea but will make it through I'm sure as others before me have. lol


Also I read the instructions that said do not cook in enclosed spaces like the garage and don't let it get wet. So can you use your smoker in the garage near the driveway if the garage door is open?


Anyone want to walk me through the first few "smokings?  I'd appreciate any advice.

post #2 of 18
Hi David! welcome1.gif to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 50,000 members who just love to share their experience and over 1,000,000 posts describing it! Yea that’s right over 1,000,000!

The search bar at the top can be your best friend when you are trying to find answers to your questions but you can still ask too if you want!

We have an Articles section that is full of great information about smoking to include a lot of recipes and instructionals. Check it out there is a lot to learn in there!

You might want to check out Jeff's Free 5 day E-Course, it will teach you all the basics plus a whole lot more!

There are a ton of threads on here about pork loins, the main thing is they are easy to dry out since they have very little fat. You really need a decent meat thermometer and don't let that loin go over 140* or it will start drying out.
The Italian sausage is real easy, just smoke for a couple of hours and then poke around them, when the juices run clear they should be done. If you have a therm check them sausages and about 160* they will be good.
As far as placement the main thing is if you are doing poultry with anything else always put the poultry above whatever else you have.

My biggest suggestion is use the search bar and read read read!!! Before you know it this will be old hat!
post #3 of 18

Welcome to the forums, David!  Glad you've joined us.  You've found a great place to learn and share ideas on our favorite pastimes...grilling, smoking, and curing great food!  There are lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks here who really enjoy helping one another.  Just ask any time you need help and you'll get plenty!


Its important that your smoker have good ventilation.  Any type of combustion will produce carbon monoxide...you don't want that collecting in your garage.  But as long as the smoker can exhaust to the outside, I don't see why you couldn't set it up in the doorway of your garage.


Good luck!



Edited by SeenRed - 7/5/13 at 8:20pm
post #4 of 18

Welcome David..  you have definitely found the right place.  Just months ago, I was in your shoes but now I am a raging smoking addict. Be warned, you will love it once you get comfortable.  


Everything you will ever need to know about smoking will be found on this forum.  If you don't find it in the search,  post a question and you will get all the help you need.   The folks here are awesome and know their smoke. 


Some of the first things that will help you get going is to find the list of commonly used accroymns that's on the site here.  Lol I got my smoker and hit the floor running with it.. then was scrambling when I didn't understand what TBS was (thin blue smoke, which is your goal), or about the Amazin Pellets,..which you may not have heard of yet but with an MES, they are a major benefit to have. 


Another thing I stumbled on early was I was used to cooking things by time.. x hours at x degrees.  Smoking isn't like that.  It goes by IT (which is internal temp)  so if you haven't gotten a good thermometer yet,  it's a must have before you toss that tenderloin in. 


Then there is the flavor profiles.. ooh they were confusing as a new smoker.. which rub to use, which wood, to brine or not to brine, to foil or not to foil.  You'll find many varied opinions on here.. but the point is.. none of them are wrong because in the end, it boils down to what flavors and styles you like the most. 


Ask questions, read other's posts,  and just have fun with it.  It's a great hobby and some darn good eating too.

post #5 of 18

I keep my smoker in a garage and put it just outside the garage door when I'm smoking. If it is raining I'll set just inside the garage door with a big fan on (not blowing on the smoker). A smoker inside a garage without some air moving will get you teary eyed pretty quickly. You need a good meat thermometer. You are night flying without one. One of my favorites is smoked chicken wings. I buy the Buffalo rub and sauce at BWW. Rub the wings, ziplock bag in the fridge overnight, then smoke with apple chips @ 250-275 for about 90 minutes. Sauce the wings after they are out of the smoker and then dip them in some buttermilk ranch dressing. Oh my!      

post #6 of 18

Howdee David, I have a MES30, the baby brother to your smoker. You are going to love it. They do nearly everything for you except wash the grates. When asking questions its important you tell 'em what you have as there is twp major divisions, fired (gas, natural fuel, and charcoal) and electric. Both do the jobs but with different approaches


Fire burners require more moisture due to the dry heat cooking. Moping/spritzing/saucing/water pan were electrics when used properly don't because its more self contained and does not require "Tending". When tending a fire burner you lose heat the same as an electric although an electric does recover that heat its a much slower process. The object of electric is to keep the door shut.


Now some things to think upon. You will in the long run probably want an axillary smoke generator. This allows long untended smokes of 12 to 16 hours (this is the best part of an electric you can sleep at night). You don't have to have all that smoke with an electric, its just not as predominate as a fire burners.


As mentioned above make sure your remote temperature device works well, everything is measured by IT (Internal Temperature).


There are small electric components on the MES (you connected some) they don't like rain or humidity. when not in use bag it, when in use cover it. Either with roof or eave or tent or shelf, when you have air flow, not for it for you!


Last suggestion, get a notebook and keep notes of what you read here which is pertinent to you as well as keeping up with what you cook and how. You must know the past to change the future, or if you were to get the perfect smoke it would be a shame not to remember what you did.


Dang I am long winded, must be all that ice cream I ate.....


Most of all, have fun, I don't think I have ever smoked anything that I didn't eat. It is supposed to be relaxing no stress involved.


Have fun, enjoy the smoke, and a pleasure to meet you.

post #7 of 18


Welcome my friend. You've picked a great site to help you in your smoking journey.  There is more information on this site that we both can read.

I'd also commend you on your Good choice on a smoker.  I've owned the MES 40 for many years and in my opinion they are the greatest. 

Follow the instructions that came with the unit.

We also have a MES group here to help you with the care and feeding of your new unit.  

As for your question about placement of the smoker.  Lets not use it in the garage just for safety sake.  Get a good extension cord and lets roll it out to the drive.  

Good luck my friend.  


post #8 of 18
I want to correct myself on post #2, I said always put poultry above whatever else and what i meant was to always put poultry below anything else! Sometimes I get dyslexic when typing! Sorry for any confusion!
post #9 of 18

thumbsup.gif I am fluient in both Typo as well as dyslexic

post #10 of 18

Welcome.  I have the same smoker and would say 2 things about it.  If yours has the window like mine...enjoy it the first smoke.  After that it will be too dirty to ever see through again.  The temp guages as mentioned are important, but also double check the MES temp readings.  Many can be off by a lot.  seen some by 40 degrees.  Mine is off a solid 20 to 25 (reads hotter that it really is.) 

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks  So I guess I should trust the thermostat on the smoker vs the remote.  Thanks for the tip on the window.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

Intersting - my tag at work said "Don't call me Dave"

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks Brian, I guess if it ever stops raining here I'll get to try the smoker then. ;-(

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks the notebook idea is a great idea!

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks Whistlepig, do you place the wings right on the grates or do you use something like a broiler pan

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the advice!

post #17 of 18
Originally Posted by David0131 View Post

Thanks  So I guess I should trust the thermostat on the smoker vs the remote.  Thanks for the tip on the window.

Hi David, welcome to SMF.


I would do just the opposite of what you stated here.  I have three smokers and NEVER trust the thermometer on the smoker.


You should do a comparison before proceeding.


Good luck,


post #18 of 18

welcome1.gif to SMF!  We are so glad you joined us!


If you didn't read the Terms of Service notes.....please do.  There are a few things that everyone should know about those pesky little rules before plunging into the forums. Rule #11......"Off Site Links are not allowed here at SMF" is something new. There are other simple guidelines for all of us to remember as we interact here.


If you need any help roaming around here in SMF....just give me a shout.  Happy to help any time!



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