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New to the forum & smoking! Eager to learn!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone!  My name Chris  and I just bought a MES 30 with window and am excited to smoke my first anything!  I live in Beaufort SC, USA.  If any of you know where Hilton Head or Charleston are, I am an hour below that.   Beaufort is an island and the summer temps hit the 100 mark.  The winters are usually not bad though this one is cold, at least cold for Beaufort. . .

 

So I was pumped to jump right into smoking something.  I bought chicken breasts, a London broil, some salmon filets . . .Yep, ready to go!  Then I started trying to research what to do to get things rolling, which is where I hit a brick wall. There seems to be a ton of contradictory info out there.  The MES has a water tray, do I use it?  When?  On what meats?  Do I let the smoker get to temp before I put the meat in or load up in the beginning?  Drop the wood chips and go or check every so often to replace them?  To soak or not to soak the chips . . that is the questions! (or at least another question)  

 

Can anyone offer me a guideline for beginners?  My stomach is rumbling with the thought all I could be smoking!  Thanks so much for any advice you guys may have!

post #2 of 14
Hi Rabid and welcome to this wonderful journey. I also am new to smoking and I use a WSM so I can't really offer any authoritative advice, but you may want to read some of the posts by Bearcarver as well as his step by step index. He cooks on an MES as well and is extremely knowledgable. A number of his posts and tips have helped me and I'm sure you will find some info that will help you as well. This board is a great place to learn and commiserate with fellow smoking addicts. Welcome aboard bud.
post #3 of 14
Chris,
Welcome, from southern Ohio, to the best forum on the internet if you are looking to learn how to BBQ/smoke/brine/cure/inject. Well you get the picture if you can do it to something you put on a plate to eat then someone here has probably done it then smoked it.

Use the search bar at the top of the page and you will be led to the answer to most every question you can think of. If you don't find the answer there then just post it and someone will chime in with their opinion on the subject.

I see some great BBQ in your future! Take your time with your new smoker, there is a learning curve involved! If you have been lurking you already know some of the quirks involved with it! One of the best things I did was go with the AMNPS smoker tray so I don't have to add chips to the MES every half hour. IMHO a Maverick or other quality dual probe therm is the second best investment you can make to produce great Q. Don't waste your time soaking wood, the heat from the element will just dry it out before it starts to smoke!

Always remember the only dumb question is the one you don’t ask!!
Keep Smokin!!!
Wolf
post #4 of 14

Welcome aboard Chris.  Enjoy your adventure in smoking.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabidfrog View Post
 

Hello everyone!  My name Chris  and I just bought a MES 30 with window and am excited to smoke my first anything!  I live in Beaufort SC, USA.  If any of you know where Hilton Head or Charleston are, I am an hour below that.   Beaufort is an island and the summer temps hit the 100 mark.  The winters are usually not bad though this one is cold, at least cold for Beaufort. . .

 

So I was pumped to jump right into smoking something.  I bought chicken breasts, a London broil, some salmon filets . . .Yep, ready to go!  Then I started trying to research what to do to get things rolling, which is where I hit a brick wall. There seems to be a ton of contradictory info out there.  The MES has a water tray, do I use it? some use it filled with water some fill it with sand the wrap with foil. some leave it empty. I use sand.  When?  On what meats?   I use sand all the time unless I am cold smoking or warm smoking. Like cheese or snack sticks. Do I let the smoker get to temp before I put the meat in or load up in the beginning? Get it up to temp first. I let it go for a while to kill whatever is growing in it from the last smoke.  Drop the wood chips and go or check every so often to replace them? Add a few more every 20-30 min.  To soak or not to soak the chips .Don't waste your time soaking as wet chips don't smoke they steam till they dry out.. that is the questions! (or at least another question)  

 

Can anyone offer me a guideline for beginners?  My stomach is rumbling with the thought all I could be smoking!  Thanks so much for any advice you guys may have! Look at getting a AMNPS and you won't have to be adding chips all of the time. The first long smoke and you will be tired of adding chips all the time or all night.

Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions
Post it and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is
because their are so many different ways to make great Q...
Happy smoken.
David

post #6 of 14

texas.gif  Good afternoon and welcome to the forum, from a wet, rainy and cold day here in East Texas. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

 

Gary

post #7 of 14

Also great advice from Mule

 

Gary

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone for all of the great tips.  Work got in my way at the beginning of the week, but I was able to season my new MES 30 last night and am eager to start smokin' tomorrow!  Everyone has been amazing and helpful, so thanks again!  If I come across something awesome, or create something worth mentioning, I'll be sure to share!

post #9 of 14

What you gunna smoke tomorrow ?

 

gary

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

I thought I would start off with what I hope is something simple - Brined chicken breasts.  I have mesquite chips and Jack Daniels chips, would you recommend something more complimentary?  And while we're here, I am really at odds about the whole 'what to put in the water pan - water, juice,sand!?'  Any good thoughts on that?

post #11 of 14
Sounds very good! I brined some chicken myself yesterday, I guess I am a hickory type of guy. Turned out fine. Best of luck!
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grillfather View Post

Sounds very good! I brined some chicken myself yesterday, I guess I am a hickory type of guy. Turned out fine. Best of luck!

 

Those look Great !!

 

gary

post #13 of 14
Very tasty and enjoyed by all! Thinking of my next smoke! I used a Smoke Vault 24.
post #14 of 14

Nice looking smoker

 

Gary

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