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MES 30" and Cold Smoker Attachment- 1st newbie smoke of a 6lb chicken, some thoughts...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Finally got around to using my MES 30" and cold smoker attachment...

 

Yesterday I seasoned it and used mesquite.  Man, mesquite is a STRONG smelling wood!

 

Today I smoked a 6lb chicken.  Brined it last night using a simple brine recipe w/ kosher salt, soy sauce, olive oil and sugar.

 

I shut the vent on the MES and set it for 275.  Setup my Mavrik ET-733 on a rack.  Filled up the cold smoker w/ cherry wood this time, but decided to wait until I put the chicken in to turn it on.  I am not sure if this was a mistake.  The cold smoker put out a lot of smoke the first 30 minutes or so, but then it settled down nicely and I got TBS.  I do wonder if I started the cold smoker first, unattached, would it flame up w/ too much air?

 

It took ~3 hours to cook the bird.  I had a probe in the breast and took it off when it hit 165.  When I seasoned the MES 30" yesterday, once it reached temp it was pretty consistent and fairly accurate.  Today, it was quite off.  The MES read 275 but my Mavrik was reading about twenty degrees cooler.

 

I have to say it came out pretty good!  The breast was moist and the smoke was not overpowering!

 

So I decided to clean my smoker afterwards...and I'm guessing...most don't?  I found it nearly impossible to get into the nooks and crannies!  Too much work!  For now on, I'll just be cleaning racks and the drip pan...

 

For Xmas dinner, I have a 14 lb turkey de-frosting in the 'fridge.  The plan is to use some Instacure #1 as I like that "hammy" taste...

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovespicyfood View Post
 

Finally got around to using my MES 30" and cold smoker attachment...

 

Yesterday I seasoned it and used mesquite.  Man, mesquite is a STRONG smelling wood!

 

Today I smoked a 6lb chicken.  Brined it last night using a simple brine recipe w/ kosher salt, soy sauce, olive oil and sugar.

 

I shut the vent on the MES and set it for 275.  Setup my Mavrik ET-733 on a rack.  Filled up the cold smoker w/ cherry wood this time, but decided to wait until I put the chicken in to turn it on.  I am not sure if this was a mistake.  The cold smoker put out a lot of smoke the first 30 minutes or so, but then it settled down nicely and I got TBS.  I do wonder if I started the cold smoker first, unattached, would it flame up w/ too much air?

 

It took ~3 hours to cook the bird.  I had a probe in the breast and took it off when it hit 165.  When I seasoned the MES 30" yesterday, once it reached temp it was pretty consistent and fairly accurate.  Today, it was quite off.  The MES read 275 but my Mavrik was reading about twenty degrees cooler.

 

I have to say it came out pretty good!  The breast was moist and the smoke was not overpowering!

 

So I decided to clean my smoker afterwards...and I'm guessing...most don't?  I found it nearly impossible to get into the nooks and crannies!  Too much work!  For now on, I'll just be cleaning racks and the drip pan...

 

For Xmas dinner, I have a 14 lb turkey de-frosting in the 'fridge.  The plan is to use some Instacure #1 as I like that "hammy" taste...


I would assume that, much like having the lid off, having the cold smoker detached is a bad idea.  If anything, you may want to open the vent full and start the cold smoker.  Once you achieve your TBS, set your vent to the desired position.

 

My MES has been off some as well, but only about 10-11 degrees.  Some say to fill the water bowl with sand, I do not however.  I love to put Dr. Pepper and a few spices in there to get a great flavor on the bark.

 

I read in a post on here that Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work really well.  I bought a package of them, and they do in fact work very well.  As you said, most just clean the trays and pans.  I have a window, and clean that and the light cover as well.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply! Good to know about the erasers...we just were talking about the the other day at work. Als good to know that most just clean the racks...it would be a lot of work to clean the entire inside every time...

When I did start the cold smoker I opened the vent on the MES full....when it settled down, I closed the vent about halfway. It lasted hours on about a half load. I added a little towards the end, but not much. I dolly my MES into the garage at night but left the cold smoker outside so I will check it today.

Next up is a 14 pound turkey for Xmas dinner. I plan on curing it with Instacure #1 for hopefully two days (need it to defrost). On the Saturday following Xmas I plan on doing a pork butt to make pulled pork for a neighborhood get together.

image.jpg 970k .jpg file
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I was worried about the smoke leakage too but mine is not bad. I imagine yours with the 3' duct would leak more readily...I might do that mod if I try to cold smoke as the unit hooked directly up to the smoker does heat it up...
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundarum View Post
 

Actually, even without the duct extension I get leakage out the cold smoker top once it really gets going. I've also sealed it as best I could with high temp liquid tape to no avail. The duct pipe extension really helps to keep temp down inside smoker. You can also lay a water soaked towel on the pipe for additional cooling.


Interesting...I'm wondering why mine didn't leak as much?!  I would imagine as the creosote builds up perhaps it helps to seal?  Whatever paint they use on the cold smoker, it pretty much is useless.  My paint in the chimney stack is all bubbled up and peeling.  The outside of the cold smoker I perfect though...

 

Do you use wood chips in your cold smoker?  I bought a lot of different wood to try, but a lot of it is chunks.  It was easier to find chunks than chips. 

 

For the chunks, I bought a small hatchet but it's a little tricky to break it down.  I've been able to manage to get it down to pieces of approximately 1" square and ~3-4" long...not sure if that is small enough.  I think I'll throw a load into the cold smoker before Xmas dinner to see if it works...

 

I went overboard on the wood buying: hickory, mesquite, cherry, apple and pecan!

post #6 of 10

mine leaked ... just wrapped some duct tape around it. when it has a few smokes under its belt it seemed to stop leaking

 

Goliath

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovespicyfood View Post
 

Finally got around to using my MES 30" and cold smoker attachment...

 

Yesterday I seasoned it and used mesquite.  Man, mesquite is a STRONG smelling wood!

 

Today I smoked a 6lb chicken.  Brined it last night using a simple brine recipe w/ kosher salt, soy sauce, olive oil and sugar.

 

I shut the vent on the MES and set it for 275.  Setup my Mavrik ET-733 on a rack.  Filled up the cold smoker w/ cherry wood this time, but decided to wait until I put the chicken in to turn it on.  I am not sure if this was a mistake.  The cold smoker put out a lot of smoke the first 30 minutes or so, but then it settled down nicely and I got TBS.  I do wonder if I started the cold smoker first, unattached, would it flame up w/ too much air?

 

It took ~3 hours to cook the bird.  I had a probe in the breast and took it off when it hit 165.  When I seasoned the MES 30" yesterday, once it reached temp it was pretty consistent and fairly accurate.  Today, it was quite off.  The MES read 275 but my Mavrik was reading about twenty degrees cooler.

 

I have to say it came out pretty good!  The breast was moist and the smoke was not overpowering!

 

So I decided to clean my smoker afterwards...and I'm guessing...most don't?  I found it nearly impossible to get into the nooks and crannies!  Too much work!  For now on, I'll just be cleaning racks and the drip pan...

 

For Xmas dinner, I have a 14 lb turkey de-frosting in the 'fridge.  The plan is to use some Instacure #1 as I like that "hammy" taste

I only give my MES 30 a spot wipe down to remove caked on dried meat off the walls and maybe where I think smoke residue might be too heavy on the walls. I now wipe off all residue off the ceiling after my last cold smoke of cheeses. I accidentally rubbed my forearm against the ceiling while placing cheeses on the top rack and all these dark particles fell down onto two racks of cheese. Always keep the ceiling clean. Otherwise, don't worry about it. Watch those TV travel cooking shows when they visit professional smokers. The inside of every smoker is very seasoned and colored. If it's good enough for them and the health department has no problem with it, it's good enough for me.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post

I only give my MES 30 a spot wipe down to remove caked on dried meat off the walls and maybe where I think smoke residue might be too heavy on the walls. I now wipe off all residue off the ceiling after my last cold smoke of cheeses. I accidentally rubbed my forearm against the ceiling while placing cheeses on the top rack and all these dark particles fell down onto two racks of cheese. Always keep the ceiling clean. Otherwise, don't worry about it. Watch those TV travel cooking shows when they visit professional smokers. The inside of every smoker is very seasoned and colored. If it's good enough for them and the health department has no problem with it, it's good enough for me.

Much appreciate your advice! That makes sense on wiping down the ceiling!

My 14.25 pound turkey is brining and curing right now with Pop's recipe! Hoping it comes out "hammy"...
post #9 of 10

I've got the same setup . I leave my vent wide open all the time , I doubt now I could even rotate it to close it . the only thing I clean are the racks and occasionally the bottom pan . I do understand if you brush something against the "ceiling " of the smoker you get the crap falling off it . With my cold smoker part I only noticed it heating the main smoker about 5 degrees ?? I only have the cold smoker turned on for five minutes , then shut it off and then it smokes for maybe 2 hours and at that time it sometimes needs to have the wood chips kind of "tamped " down from the top and most of the time it just takes right off smoking again without turning the cold smoker back on . Occasionally I have to turn the cold smoker back on for 3 minutes or so . One thing I read a while back was whatever is cooking should be fairly dry on the surface when you start the smoke , because the smoke absorbing into the moisture or something or other . So lately I've been loading whatever into the smoker ( let's pretend a chicken ) so I put the chicken in there , turn on the smoker to 275 set the timer for 3 hours wait an hour and then turn on the cold smoker for 5 minutes , after 5 minutes smoke is pouring out of it pretty good , so I turn off the cold smoker , it continues to smoke for 2 hours . So now the chicken has been in for 3 hours , I check it's int. temp and it's 170 so the chicken is done . I usually just line the water pan with foil and leave it dry . I haven't noticed any difference having water in it or juice or whatever . When I first started using mine I was  trying all sorts of different methods and playing with the vent but I just quit doing all that and haven't noticed anything different . To me I just don't see the benefits of all the extra monkey business .

post #10 of 10

Concerning the water pan, it was explained to me that the it's way too big for the interior space of the smoker. I'd fill it almost full with water and it would create a sauna inside the smoker was served to steam cook it will smoke was being applied. All that steam would smother the oxygen and make the AMNPS go out. That's why I now I also keep it dry and foiled over.

 

I've also read that the surface of the meat should be fairly dry but I don't pat it down. Typically it's going to have a dry rub on it or, in the case of how I now prepare pork ribs, the meat is slathered with a wet mustard base and the dry rub is poured and massaged over that. Have had zero problems with smoke absorption.

 

I continually read that before grilling, broiling, or pan frying steaks you're supposed to pat the surfaces dry.

 

Earlier this year I smoked a turkey breast to which I applied an all-purpose rub that I made from a recipe. Forget how long I cooked it and at what temp but I believe I used apple wood pellets in my AMNPS, cooked it to 170, and it turned out incredibly well. The meat was very nicely smoked and very moist. My MES 30 is awesome.

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