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New MES owner. Any tips?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I've been using a Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker for a few years. Now that we have a little boy I wanted something easier to use. I picked up the MES 30" 20070910 for $139 at Amazon.

Any general usage tips would be great. I'm not ready to make modifications yet so I'm sticking with the standard wood chip tray for now. Do you typically leave the top vent open 100%?

I'm in the process of seasoning it and I've noticed the temp on the MES is around 30 higher than what my probe reads. I have my probe on the 2nd highest rack with the top vent half open. I set the MES to 230. The temp shot up to 260 and then went down to 225-230. Hopefully this doesn't require babysitting like the Weber.
post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 

I added water to the water pan and it seems to have settled out at 240.  Although my probe shows 225.

post #3 of 3

The MES is famous for inaccurate temp controlers, once you learn what the temp differencr is they are easy to manage. I have 2, the MES30 seems to run about 25 higher than the controler and the MES40 runs about 25 lower then the controler. I use a maverick ET732 on the MES30 and adjust according to the reading on the maverick. I have had my MES30 about 2 years and have made some very good Q with it. I just got an Arber PID for my MES40 and I think it will improve my sausage attempts a lot.

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