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Older Newbie in Washington State

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi All. I live in Twisp, Washington, which is about an hour away from OmakDave. We raised our five kids and now have 4 grandkids, all living in Washington or Portland,OR. I have grilled some pretty good stuff (can chickens, steaks, etc), but always wanted to learn how to smoke. I just recently was able purchase a used MES 40 online. After finding this forum, I also purchased an AMNPS, and I'm building a "mailbox mod" for it. I am making my first set of ribs in it as I type. The AMNPS was a little hard to get going properly until I learned to preheat the pellets, and then 'thin blue smoke' with the mod is great. Excited to see what I can do in this....pulled pork, bacon, use different types of smoking woods (or maybe even use pistachio shells, sounds intriguing), maybe even a brisket one day. 

post #2 of 8
welcome1.gif.... I like Twisp.... I have a friend or 2 there..... Dave
post #3 of 8

Welcome aboard, Baldy!


More than a couple of us follicle challenged old farts here!


When they can shake off their senility?  Lots of friendly and experienced folks here to help with any questions.


Also look forward to your contributions to the forum.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Baldy came about 'cuz the last name is Baldwin. However, it became a self fulfilling prophecy. 


Omak Dave: Looks like you have another one now. I have really appreciated all your expeience and tips with using the MES. I 1st got to use one a few weeks ago at my daughter's in Auburn. Did 3 can chickens in it (they had only used it once for salmon and they said it was oversmoked. I think maybe it was creosote). Everyone raved over them, but I noticed a little bit of acrid flavor. I was impressed with how easy it was and bought a used one (MES 40) online. I found this site while I was waiting for it to come. Almost immediately ordered an Amazing pellet burner from Todd. After not too long, I also ordered a Maverick ET 733, and got started on designing a "mailbox" mod. Tried using the pellet burner in the MES 40, but could not get a consistant burn. Just finished the rough draft of the "mailbox" today, but already want to tweak it a bit. The pellets burned really well all the way through the smoke of a rack of ribs. Nice TBS. 


Unfortunately, the smoke didn't go as well as I had hoped. Just one of those days where not much went right. Got everything ready to go. and got called in for 1/2 day of work. Turned it all off and back in the fridge goes the meat. Get back home a 2:00 and get it all going again. about 3:30 , we had a power glitch and didn't realize that it was enough to turn the unit off. went out after about 4:30 because the Maverick said the temp was going down. Smoke was still doing well, but no heat. It is now 9:30pm, and we are trying to finish in the oven.



My "mailbox" mod is kind of different; I will post photos when I get a chance.

post #5 of 8
Sounds as if most of the "bad" luck is behind you... Stuff will get better from here on out...... Dave
post #6 of 8

Hello and welcome from East Texas, How did the fibs turn out. There are a lot of members who smoke on a MES, One guy has put a Step by Step on just about anything you want to smoke and uses a MES. Type in Bearcarver's step by step lots of great information and a pretty nice guy to boot.


Gary S

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

The ribs turned out "ok". The edges and outer meat was pretty dry (not just bark, but as my wife said 'just like crispy bacon...I like bacon'). The inside flesh was pretty good, just enough chew, but the bones came away clean. I would have liked a little more smoke flavor, but it was really sweet smokiness with no bitterness. The pellet maze (can't remember if it is amnps or ampns) worked great in the modification; lotsa TBS all the way through. When we wrapped it in foil at 160 degrees; I tried putting apple juice that my daughter had squeezed. When putting the ribs back in, the foil tore and all the juice ran out and into the MES. Next time, I think we will put it in a foil pan and cover, which is what my wife eventually did(smart lady that she is). 


The main thing that I would like to do differently is timing. I was trying to go by temping the meat with a maverick. It took about 4 hours to come to 160, According to what I have read, this is where you foil it untill it hits 190 or so. Then uncover until it hits 200. For us it was about 4 hours in smoke, 4 hours in foil, and then finish in the covered pan in the oven with juice for about 6 hours. It never did temp out at more than 184. 


Questions: How hot do you cook? What are temps you are shooting for in the meat for each stage? I guess I will need to review Bearcarver's step by steps again.

post #8 of 8



Welcome to the Smoking  forum.   You’ll find great , friendly people here, all more than willing to answer any question you may have.  Just ask and you’ll get about 10 different answers—all right.  LOL.   Don’t forget to post qviews.



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