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MES 30 Modifications to improve uniform heat distribution.... My Ideas and pictures.....

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Realizing the right back corner was hot, and several attempts to correct that situation, this mod works very well... Pulling heat etc. from the center of the smoker.... more or less.....





Then the problem of sporadic smoke and heat being generated in the right half of the smoker, and wanting to remove the "chip chute and barn" it was housed in, and provide for more air movement from the heating element, the Mail Box mod, introduced by Pops, the MB mod was installed....




Noticing the path the smoke took, I extended the stack to the center "ish" of the smoker using aluminum dryer duct and hose clamp.... I reinstalled the chip pan for additional thermal mass to get more uniform heat, and also to allow for using chips in the smoker.... especially for reverse sear cooking..... The "water pan", never has water in it..... only gravel or sand.... more thermal mass and a heat deflector to reroute heat and smoke in an attempt to uniform heat and smoke distribution..... Works very well as far as I can tell.......



Finally the absolute best mod made..... The install of a dimmer switch to control the output of the heating element.... I adjust it so it never turns off thereby delivering a constant heat supply at the temperature I want......


post #2 of 15

I've only used my MES40 twice now but can definitely see how these mods will help.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunnart View Post

I've only used my MES40 twice now but can definitely see how these mods will help.



Cunnart, afternoon..... Those mods took me quite awhile to figure out..... Many mods were discarded.... They may not be the last mods to the MES 30, but they could be..... I really like the even heat..... the even smoke..... and the good air flow...... just ain't enough room for food....
post #4 of 15

You just need to move up to a 40 and start all over again. :hit:

post #5 of 15
Not sure what generation you have cunnart, but Dave has the gen 1 mes. If you have the gen 2 its a whole different animal as far as hot spots. But I will say the mailbox mod works well on both.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've had the smoker running for about 3 hours to dry some stuff out..... so I put the therms in the smoker.....
1 in the exhaust tunnel from the top and
2 hanging in the center of the smoker where the meat would go....

5-6 degrees ain't bad and as sure as the sun's gonna rise tomorrow, I ain't gonna worry.... I figure the 5 degree diff. from factory reading is due to placement of the MES temp. measuring cell.... against the back wall......


post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
The only other mod I have been pondering is....... adding a smoking chamber above the MES for cold smoking.... use 2nd hand smoke so to speak.... that would give me more room for BACON ....
post #8 of 15
Not bad? Yeah, I guess not Dave. Nice work.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by geerock View Post

Not sure what generation you have cunnart, but Dave has the gen 1 mes. If you have the gen 2 its a whole different animal as far as hot spots. But I will say the mailbox mod works well on both.

I was lucky enough to get a gen 1

post #10 of 15

I need more info on the dimmer switch mod if you would be so kind.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by c farmer View Post

I need more info on the dimmer switch mod if you would be so kind.

My element is an 800 watt.... I used a 1500 watt incandescent dimmer switch... Insert the dimmer between the "hot" leg on the element and the element.... that will leave all the electronics functional.... clean and re crimp the connections on the element while you are at it...
I did a complete article on "HOW TO" but the system here makes it almost impossible to find it...

Search for "dimmer switch MES 30" and it may show up..

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/105641/mes-30-electrical-modification-to-heating-element-using-an-incandescent-dimmer-switch

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/newsearch?search=dimmer+switch+MES+30&type=61

There is a bunch of stuff...... Need help ??? I'm here.....
post #12 of 15

You basically control the temp of the MES by using the dimmer.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by c farmer View Post

You basically control the temp of the MES by using the dimmer.


Yes, basically.... adjust the heat output like it was a propane burner... The controls still work to shut it off on "over temp" condition.... like if I don't want it to go over 160 for sausage, I set the electronics for 160 and let her go...
It's really nice for bacon and cheese.... set the dimmer to it's lowest setting and when it's 20 degrees out, the smoker runs at about 60...
The full temperature range is still available for use...
post #14 of 15

dave you are unreal!

 

awesome job.

question, I removed my chip tray while doing my mail box mod last weekend, I made a little bracket and have a ceramic tile sittng above my elment.

would filling my water pan with sand or gravel and having this in its original spot above my ceramic tile also help with temp swings

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffro99 View Post

dave you are unreal!

awesome job.
question, I removed my chip tray while doing my mail box mod last weekend, I made a little bracket and have a ceramic tile sittng above my elment.
would filling my water pan with sand or gravel and having this in its original spot above my ceramic tile also help with temp swings

I would put the chip pan back in... one reason, you can throw in a few chips to change the flavor of the smoke.... I often add mesquite when smoking beef .... straight mesquite is too strong for me..... to get the chips smoking, I just crank up the heat until they smoke and turn it back down to an idle....

For the water pan, I just use gravel.... If I want a little steam, I add a small aluminum pie tin with water in it... or a drip catch pan for the drippings... directly under the meat to make a sauce in.....
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