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Masterbuilt electric smoker 3 racks and thermostat

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I am new to the smoking world, cooking not eating, and I recently bought a MES. I have done some ribs and they came out pretty good. I tried a brisket but now I realize that's not for rookies like me. I was wondering if there is any one who has this smoker and can tell me why I don't seem to be getting much smoke. I am using hickory chips and soaking them for 30 minutes as directed. It just seems that I have a large convection oven and not a smoker. I hope to learn a lot from this forum and by looking around the posts I hope to be a pro soon. Thanks
post #2 of 14

Howdy.  I am also a newbie and just bought a MES two days ago.  I came from a Brinkman Electric smoker.

My MES will put out a good bit of smoke and then after what seems like minutes, it's all gone.  I start off with two "tray fulls" of chips and I also have mature pecan trees in my yard.  I have a feeling that there might be a stick or two put in.

 

I am also curious what the other members will have to say.
 

post #3 of 14

Don't soak the chips. You won't get smoke until the water burns off, at least not the kind you want.

post #4 of 14

Bones, I think the variability you are seeing in the amount of smoker your MES generates is a function of the design of the heating element and chip tray.  When the heating element is on, you generate quite a bit of smoke.  When the heating element is off, the amount of smoke decreases.  One of the tips I picked up looking at the reviews on the Cabella's web site was to use dry wood chips in the chip tray, rather than soaking your chips.  (This suggestion came as the result of complaints of inadequate smoke generation.)  The dry chip approach worked well for me.  I always got an adequately smoky flavor.  By the way, make sure that the bottom baffle of your chip tray goes under the heating element (to serve as a heat reflector) rather than above your heating element.  I had to adjust the bend on the baffle a bit to keep the baffle from wanting to go above the heating element, rather than below it.

 

Another thought on your MES.  If you are inclined to try cold smoking (liike smoking cheese), I had great success using a Grill Kicker as the smoke source.  The design of your MES would generally require the use of the heating element to generate smoke.  This makes the cabinet too hot for  cold smoking.  Using an alternate smoke source means you don't have to turn on the heating element. 

post #5 of 14

I also own a MES 30 inch smoker, I have learned not to soak the chips, use no water in the pan, although if doing something in foil, eg: 3 - 2 - 1 ribs, I will put Apple juice or beer in the pan for the last one hour period.  And like has been said, it is a insulated electric smoker, it only makes smoke when the burner is on, which is not always.  If you want continuous smoke, order an AMNPS from Todd, a sponsor on this site.  The 5 X 8 model works best in the 30 inch model.  I have one and love it. 

 

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post #6 of 14

Howdee........ I have an MES30 also. I love mine. I have had an electric at the house for 30+ years and its the berries. This is going to get long probably so get ya a drink.

 

Electrics are not the same as fire burners and are not meant to be. They both have pros and cons. Electric does not require fire tending. No lifting the lid once an hour all night long. But not requiring such the electric requires less smoke, less moisture, less worry/ By keeping the door closed you do not lose smoke, you do not lose moisture, you do not lose temperature. Kewl.

 

By doing so you get a less pronounced smoke taste and no smoke ring and no flavors absorbed from a flavored water pan. You don't need the water tray. BUT you must keeep the door closed. That mean no moping, no spritzing, no saucing for the most part. You have moisture retained you don't need anymore.

 

I have read every time you open the door it adds 15 mins. to the smoke to regain temp. Its an electric smokers weak spot. Think of it as the difference between an electric and a gas stove. Electric is slow to heat but holds a constant temp. Gas reheats quickly. The same with smokers. Personally I think 15 is a bit much but think of how even one door open and hour say at a 10min. loss would add up on and 24 hour smoke. So its important to keep that door closed.

 

Its said that smoke is absorbed at an optimum rate from 100 to 140 degrees, above and below this have diminished results. So unless you have a yard fulla chips you don't need more than a 2 3 4 hour smoke. Each charge of smoke chips is good for approx, 45 mins. if you regulate your vent. It takes practice.

 

BUT in this world of wonders lets talk about a couple of things to make your smoke worry free.

 

Remember keep the door shut? Well there is an A-MAZ-N product, an aux. smoke generator that can produce beautiful smoke for up to 18 hours without opening the door. ZOMG. It uses pellets, its clean, it totally worry free.

 

Next product, not knowing your exact level of smoke mastery there is another miracle product called an RF thermometer. Its remote control, and will alarm like a clock when the meat is perfect and ready to eat. It makes learming to smoke much more pleasurable and friends and fa,ily have less visits to the Emergency room. Not only can you eat what you mess up but its good!

 

Lastly but not least, wet chips. This is 100% my opinion on soaking chips. Smoking chips does nothing but allow the chips to begin smoking later in the heat cycle. Why would that be good? Remember that optimum absorption temp range, 100 to 140? It allows you to get closer to that temp before starting the smoke. If that is not true, I can't imagine another reason. Most here disregard soaking. If its to add moisture, you don't need any.

 

So, 100 to 140 perfect smoke, if you are using chips regulate, if you are using aux. smoke generator the consensus around here is to open it full. No need to soak chips, no need for water pan or added moisture. DO NOT open the door. RF thermometer and aux smoke generator are your friends. (If you get a generator get a blow torch to light it). Most smoking I do is around 220 but occasionally it can get to 250.

 

BTW Aux. smoke generator allows for cold smokes something you are going to want to try!

 

Enjoy smoking, its not about stress or worrying, its against the rules actually! Take notes in a dedicated journal or notebook so you know what you did, want to try, and want to come here and discuss.

 

Its a load of fun....... hope it helps. Have fun and enjoy the smoke.

post #7 of 14

Wow, what awesome replies, thanks guys.

 

I played with the smoker a bit yesterday without anything in it.  Today will be my first smoke day.  I put in pecan sticks from branches that have fallen about the size of a magic marker.  Broke them up to fit in the little chip tray.  Really good smoke but it took a while to get them going.  Still have a lot to learn.

 When I used the Electric Brinkman, it was either plugged in and on or unplugged and off.  No temp control.  I would pick up pieces of pecan and wrap them up in foil and poke holes in the top then throw them on the lave rocks.  Had a really good smoke.  I guess I am comparing the two as far as how much smoke.

 

Chewmeister, I have not soaked the chips and really see no reason to.

 

Tskeeter, I had to look up the grill Kicker.  Looks really cool and I definitely want to get into cold smoking.  I'm ready to smoke some cheese.

 

Palladini, I am looking at the A-MAZA-N dohicky and see that today is the last day of a killer sale.  Guess I had better hurry.  Mama's out of town so do I ask forgiveness or permission to buy more stuff?

 

Foamheart, I will end up with the RF thermometer really soon Thanks for the great write up.
 

post #8 of 14
Once you get the hand of your MES your gonna love it! You can get an aux smoke generator fom other people but you will never get the the customer service that you'll get from Todd at A-MAZ-N. Not just another sponser.......He's one of us!
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokeamotive View Post

Once you get the hand of your MES your gonna love it! You can get an aux smoke generator fom other people but you will never get the the customer service that you'll get from Todd at A-MAZ-N. Not just another sponser.......He's one of us!

I just ordered the 5X8 with a few extra pellets.  Excited and ready for some cheese.

Thanks all....

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibbones View Post

Excited and ready for some cheese. Thanks all....

 

Unless the earth has changed its rotation Victoria is not known for its cool balmy breezes. I am guessing right now your MES30, if in the shade, is 100 degrees while turned off. Make sure and read up on how to use ice while smoking. If you don't heat the smoker, the box temp will get to between 100 and 140 from using the smoke generator.

 

It can be done, just suggesting to research using ice while smoking.

 

Just a suggestion. Have fun and enjoy the smoke.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibbones View Post

Wow, what awesome replies, thanks guys.

 

I played with the smoker a bit yesterday without anything in it.  Today will be my first smoke day.  I put in pecan sticks from branches that have fallen about the size of a magic marker.  Broke them up to fit in the little chip tray.  Really good smoke but it took a while to get them going.  Still have a lot to learn.

 When I used the Electric Brinkman, it was either plugged in and on or unplugged and off.  No temp control.  I would pick up pieces of pecan and wrap them up in foil and poke holes in the top then throw them on the lave rocks.  Had a really good smoke.  I guess I am comparing the two as far as how much smoke.

 

Chewmeister, I have not soaked the chips and really see no reason to.

 

Tskeeter, I had to look up the grill Kicker.  Looks really cool and I definitely want to get into cold smoking.  I'm ready to smoke some cheese.

 

Palladini, I am looking at the A-MAZA-N dohicky and see that today is the last day of a killer sale.  Guess I had better hurry.  Mama's out of town so do I ask forgiveness or permission to buy more stuff?

 

Foamheart, I will end up with the RF thermometer really soon Thanks for the great write up.
 


I do hope those pecan sticks have been on the ground for at least a year or more and are bone dry, break when bent.  If not, it is green wood and that is big no no.

 

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post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post

 

Unless the earth has changed its rotation Victoria is not known for its cool balmy breezes. I am guessing right now your MES30, if in the shade, is 100 degrees while turned off. Make sure and read up on how to use ice while smoking. If you don't heat the smoker, the box temp will get to between 100 and 140 from using the smoke generator.

 

It can be done, just suggesting to research using ice while smoking.

 

Just a suggestion. Have fun and enjoy the smoke.

Yes, for a cold smoke use Ice,  and not cubes.  What I use are the big cola bottles, recycled, I fill them about 90% full of water and leave the cap on very loose.  I then put them in my chest freezer, standing upright until frozen.  Once frozen, you tighten the lid and lay them, stack them on their sides.  At this point I have I think about 10 of these in my freezer, ready fro my next cold smoke.  Now you must not forget Ibbones, that I live in South Western Ontario Canada, about  equal from the equator as northern California is.  I am surrounded on 3 sides by the Great Lakes, so we have it hot and humid up here in the summer.  Not hard to hit 100 to 105 and 98% humidity up here a few days each summer.  So a big chunk of ice, actually 4 or 5 of these bottles go in the smoker, as well the AMNPS and the goods If I am cold smoking.  In Texas, I think these bottles, I think, should be put every place there is space for them.

 

music-064.gif        grilling_smilie.gif          canada-flag-14.gif

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post

 

Unless the earth has changed its rotation Victoria is not known for its cool balmy breezes. I am guessing right now your MES30, if in the shade, is 100 degrees while turned off. Make sure and read up on how to use ice while smoking. If you don't heat the smoker, the box temp will get to between 100 and 140 from using the smoke generator.

 

It can be done, just suggesting to research using ice while smoking.

 

Just a suggestion. Have fun and enjoy the smoke.

Ha ha, when I got up this morning and went outside it was 89* already.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palladini View Post


I do hope those pecan sticks have been on the ground for at least a year or more and are bone dry, break when bent.  If not, it is green wood and that is big no no.

 

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O'h yeah.  Break really easy.  I have a bunch of branches that broke off a long time ago but are still hung up in the trees.  When they fall I'll use them.

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