I'm new to the MES having been a charcoal (Weber) smoker in the past. I just fired up my new MES 30 for a pork loin. Since the one I picked up at Costco was too large for the rack, I cut it in half. I put the thicker half on the bottom rack, took out the middle rack, and placed the slightly thinner half on the top rack.
I put a needle thermocouple in the top loin and used a ceramic coated thermocouple sticking up in the air to measure air temp. The smoke was two hours and the temp varied between 239-258 through the cook. The average was pretty close to 250.
I went to pull the loins when the IT was 141, I used a thermapen to check the temps and was shocked that the bottom loin, the large one, was 160 and the thinner one that I had the thermocouple in was 141.
Is this common for the MES? Does the bottom rack normally run that much hotter than the upper rack? I guess from now on, I'll use a probe in all the meats I smoke. Or, perhaps rotate them when I add more chips.
I did use a pint of water in the water pan and I did add more chips an hour into the cook.
Thanks in advance for the insight.