Trying Hickory pellets in my MES 40 with cold smoker
Yes, I bought the cold smoker attachment when I got the MES 40. So far I have done 108 pounds of sausage, 2 hams, 1 slab of bacon, 2 chickens and a 14# smoked turkey at Thanksgiving. The cold smoker will build creosote in a very short time, which causes the wood chips to stick to the walls and stop it up. Pretty easy to unclog, just take a long screwdriver and poke it down, I figured the pellets would flow much better and give me a truly set and forget set up. So far it's working like a charm.
Well, the pellets worked out better than I had hoped for. cooked a total of 5 1/2 hrs, 1st 2 @ 275 and then cut back to 225 until they passed the "bend" test. They were cooked perfectly! The down side was that there was a slight bitter smoke taste. Never at any point did I see anything but TBS, so I'm wondering about that. Next round I think I'll shut the smoke off at around 3 hours. Also I was using a new rub that wasn't all that I'd hoped for. Nonetheless, I still had a good meal. Ribs have always been my nemesis, maybe someday I'll put the whole puzzle together.
I'm gonna work with this MES cold smoker for a while. I've had really good results up to this point. When I 1st turned it on I put some cherry wood chips in the loader tube and then filled the cold smoker with the pellets, I could have gotten some nasty smoke at the beginning while I was preoccupied elsewhere. The next 4 1/2 hrs it gave me TBS. The amazing pellet smoker would have done the same. I'll have to make another run at it to figure things out.I'm not knocking Todd's smoker, I just think the MES will be easier to use once I get it down pat.
I guess I'm kinda confused with the real purpose of the MES cold smoker attachment if you guys are using it with temps in the hot smoke range. Are you using it instead of the MES's main heating element because you are getting a better smoke or what? To me, anything named as a cold smoker would be used for true cold smoking. Please enlighten me.
I use it simply as a way to produce smoke. The wood chip box that comes with the MES 40 is not great as we all know. The cold smoke attachment is a way to make TBS without having to add wood every 30 minutes.
cmayna, it's a mislabeled product to say the least. If attached directly to the MES, it get's 100+ in the chamber and that of course isn't cold smoking. If you use drier vent to get the heat away from the main chamber, then you'll get lower temps (how much lower I don't know). Using it when hot smoking simply takes the place of using the main chip drawer in the MES which require constant chip loading. This way you can smoke 6+ hours using the attachment and you don't need to constantly load more chips. Does this help?