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MES 30" - First impressions

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
OK, got my new MES 30" yesterday and did my first cook last night. Here's my observations (realize I'm a newbie, so, most of this is operator error):

- Make sure the wood tray is fully inserted before dumping wood into it. Otherwise, the wood falls on the heating element and leaves an ash pile in your drip tray.
- I cooked ribs via the 3-2-1 method for my first sacrifice. They turned out a tad bit dry. This may be because I didn't put water in the tray for the first 3 hours. My bad! But, they were practically fall-off-the-bone good anyway. Not much of a smoky flavor (more on that later). The cat and dog could smell the meat all morning long and would not get out from under my feet. I have a picture, but, don't see an option for uploading it to this thread, yet.
- The MES thermometer doesn't quite match what my Maverick thermometer reads. Don't know which one is off.
- I'm a tad bit uncomfortable with the wood burning setup. Firstly, the wood doesn't burn unless the heating element is on to get the wood to ignition/smoldering temperature. The heating element isn't on unless the temperature needs adjusting. The MES is insulated, so, the heating element doesn't need to be on all the time. Hence the wood isn't burning all the time. Secondly, my wood chips were probably on the chunkier side, so, couldn't get but 3 pieces in at a time and couldn't pull the loader out because the chips would drop and stick up just enough to prevent you from pulling out the wood loader.
- I need a clamp/holster on the side of the unit to put the Maverick grill thermometer in, otherwise, it just dangles on a shelf and gets in the way. I'm thinking a little electrical clamp screwed to just inside the door would be fine.

Well, the wife is cranking to go to town, so, I've got to cut this short. Those are the highlights for now. Gonna try to get a pic uploaded when I figure this system out.
post #2 of 15

See if I can help:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by toejam View Post

OK, got my new MES 30" yesterday and did my first cook last night. Here's my observations (realize I'm a newbie, so, most of this is operator error):

- Make sure the wood tray is fully inserted before dumping wood into it. Otherwise, the wood falls on the heating element and leaves an ash pile in your drip tray.
- I cooked ribs via the 3-2-1 method for my first sacrifice. They turned out a tad bit dry. This may be because I didn't put water in the tray for the first 3 hours. My bad! No water needed. I haven't put water in my pan in 4 years. If the Ribs are Baby-Backs or small Spares, 3-2-1 may be too long. But, they were practically fall-off-the-bone good anyway. Not much of a smoky flavor (more on that later). The cat and dog could smell the meat all morning long and would not get out from under my feet. I have a picture, but, don't see an option for uploading it to this thread, yet.
- The MES thermometer doesn't quite match what my Maverick thermometer reads. Don't know which one is off. The Maverick is probably right. Boil some water & put the probe in the water. Only the tip, and don't touch the bottom or sides.  Look for 212°, unless you're at high altitude.
- I'm a tad bit uncomfortable with the wood burning setup. Firstly, the wood doesn't burn unless the heating element is on to get the wood to ignition/smoldering temperature. The heating element isn't on unless the temperature needs adjusting. The MES is insulated, so, the heating element doesn't need to be on all the time. Hence the wood isn't burning all the time. Secondly, my wood chips were probably on the chunkier side, so, couldn't get but 3 pieces in at a time and couldn't pull the loader out because the chips would drop and stick up just enough to prevent you from pulling out the wood loader. Forget the chip burner, and get an AMNPS & some pellets.
- I need a clamp/holster on the side of the unit to put the Maverick grill thermometer in, otherwise, it just dangles on a shelf and gets in the way. I'm thinking a little electrical clamp screwed to just inside the door would be fine. You can use a clamp or a potato, but all I do is run the probes through my top vent & hang it through the grill rack near the meat.

Well, the wife is cranking to go to town, so, I've got to cut this short. Those are the highlights for now. Gonna try to get a pic uploaded when I figure this system out.

Hope that helps some.

 

Bear

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by toejam View Post

OK, got my new MES 30" yesterday and did my first cook last night. Here's my observations (realize I'm a newbie, so, most of this is operator error):

- Make sure the wood tray is fully inserted before dumping wood into it. Otherwise, the wood falls on the heating element and leaves an ash pile in your drip tray.
- I cooked ribs via the 3-2-1 method for my first sacrifice. They turned out a tad bit dry. This may be because I didn't put water in the tray for the first 3 hours. My bad! But, they were practically fall-off-the-bone good anyway. Not much of a smoky flavor (more on that later). The cat and dog could smell the meat all morning long and would not get out from under my feet. I have a picture, but, don't see an option for uploading it to this thread, yet.
- The MES thermometer doesn't quite match what my Maverick thermometer reads. Don't know which one is off.
- I'm a tad bit uncomfortable with the wood burning setup. Firstly, the wood doesn't burn unless the heating element is on to get the wood to ignition/smoldering temperature. The heating element isn't on unless the temperature needs adjusting. The MES is insulated, so, the heating element doesn't need to be on all the time. Hence the wood isn't burning all the time. Secondly, my wood chips were probably on the chunkier side, so, couldn't get but 3 pieces in at a time and couldn't pull the loader out because the chips would drop and stick up just enough to prevent you from pulling out the wood loader.
- I need a clamp/holster on the side of the unit to put the Maverick grill thermometer in, otherwise, it just dangles on a shelf and gets in the way. I'm thinking a little electrical clamp screwed to just inside the door would be fine.

Well, the wife is cranking to go to town, so, I've got to cut this short. Those are the highlights for now. Gonna try to get a pic uploaded when I figure this system out.

Purchase a AMNPS from Todd @ http://www.amazenproducts.com/ and you could then burn pellets or dust. That will eliminate 2 of your 3 concerns from above.

 

Leave the water out of the water pan completely, you will get much better smoke.

 

Did you spritz your ribs while cooking and/or add liquid to the foil when you wrapped them. I personally use apple juice for both but use it sparingly.

 

I would bet the Maverick is accurate, the MES is notorious for being inaccurate! You can test it in boiling water (only put tip in water). You can use the search bar at the top of the page and find a answer to almost anything on this site. Lots of great people to help.

 

My Maverick came with a clip that will attach to the racks in the MES? Thought that was probably standard equipment with them? A small U shaped piece of metal about 1/2" wide? Could it be something you missed in the package?

 

Just wondering, did the cat and dog get any? :biggrin:

post #4 of 15

LOL.........Bear is one of those who is always willing to help and he is spot on.

But he forgot to ask about the cat and dog?

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by azbohunter View Post
 

LOL.........Bear is one of those who is always willing to help and he is spot on.

But he forgot to ask about the cat and dog?

 

LOL---If I would have asked about the cat & Dog, your post would have come up before mine.

 

Looks like your answers were pretty much the same as mine, and they both appeared in the same minute. He has to believe us now!!

 

 

Bear

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Of course the cat and dog got some - they're family!

I didn't spritz the meat when I wrapped in foil, so, that may have something to do with it. I don't want you to think it was "jerky" dry, it simply wasn't succulent. Still good, but, on the dry side.

Went to town today and compared prices on wood. It seems that wood chunks/chips are running $1 / lb. The wood pellets are running $0.50 / lb. If the pellets don't burn twice as fast as the chunks/chips then they seem to be the economical solution. Of course, pellets may not pack as much of that great "smoky" flavor per lb.
post #7 of 15

I think you would be happy with the pellets! Not sure how many ounces a AMNPS holds but I would say not over 8 and it will burn for at least 8 hours if not more.

That at least is my findings.

You are going to work it all out and you, your family (including the dog and cat) are going to love it.

Dick

post #8 of 15

Yup---I agree with Dick,

I never weighed how much it takes to fill my 5" X 8" AMNPS, but I average 11 hours of perfect consistent smoke per load of Hickory Pellets.

 

 

Bear

post #9 of 15

A AMNPS holds about 15 OZ of pellets. It is for sure the way to go. Fallow what has already been said and you will be a happy camper.

Happy smoken.

David

post #10 of 15
I think the group has weighed in on the wood problem.
I will take a stab at the dry rib one. You mentioned you did not spritz before you foiled . If you wrapped them in foil and then cooked them 2 hours that was your problem. Baby backs have less fat to render so they cannot take that amount of time. Spares have more fat to render but dry foiled ones won't .
Many completion rib cooks add a few oz of apple juice then 1/4 cup or more of brown sugar then slather the br sugar with par key. They put the ribs meat side down and wrap tightly thus creating a steam pouch. After the steaming process the meat is returned to the smoker meat side up with more brown sugar and rub. The 3-2-1 method must be tweked depending the temp used.

Your millage may vary but you will be going in the right direction.

With the addition of a AMNPS you smoker will be a efficient set and forget smoker. I mean you won't have to baby sit it loading chips. Jted
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Looks like I'll be ordering an AMNPS tomorrow. Should have gotten that 40# bag of pellets at Menard's yesterday. Maybe I can get some shipped via Amazon Prime with the AMNPS.

I did put a rub on the ribs, but, did that the day before. So, the ribs started with dry rub on them during the 1st 3 hr smoke session. They came out of the foil juicy, but, tasted a tad dry. Forgot to mention that they were loin ribs, if that makes any difference.

Right now I've got a 5# chicken in a brine solution. Will smoke it tomorrow. Can't seem to find how long a chicken will take to smoke and I want to try and time it so it gets down when the significant other (besides the cat and dog) gets home.
post #12 of 15
Toejam, you might want to try a couple of smaller size packages to see how you like them. 40 pounds will go a long way .Then you have to worry about moisture. Were those for smoking or for a stove? They are different. You only want preminum smoker pellets. Todd sells small bags with the AMPS he also sells a package deal with a torch, AMNPS And a variety of pellets. Just food for thought. Jim
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Here's a link to the item on the Menards website: http://www.menards.com/main/p-2246378-c-10141.htm
It looks like they're BBQ pellets, probably made for big pellet grills. We're pretty rural and it's at least an hour drive to Menards, so, we like to bulk up when we go shopping.
post #14 of 15

Ok,

Beeing a newb to smoking meats, I have a MES 30 and love it. I'm intrigued my the  AMNPS. How does it work and where do you place it in the MES?

I've smoked ribs, turkey(Jeff's Buttermilk Brine is the Best), pork butts and it does a great job.

Thanks, Keith

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by justkrook View Post
 

Ok,

Beeing a newb to smoking meats, I have a MES 30 and love it. I'm intrigued my the  AMNPS. How does it work and where do you place it in the MES?

I've smoked ribs, turkey(Jeff's Buttermilk Brine is the Best), pork butts and it does a great job.

Thanks, Keith

 

JK, on the MES30 Gen #1, it'll be placed at the bottom left hand corner on the 2 existing rails. It fit perfectly after removing a small (seemingly useless) screw from the metal box right there. Try searching for AMNPS in the search bar. There are TONS of information on here. Enjoy!

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