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Avoid Temp Swings in MES (By Bear) - Page 11

post #201 of 212
As far as the temperature gauge goes
post #202 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectricLouie View Post

I have a 30 inch signature mes smoker should I purchase a maverick or could I be safe and stay with what I have


Don't know which generation MES 30 you have but I swear by my Maverick ET-733. It can be a bear to set up but you can use it without choosing meat types and temps. I set it up including the alarm every time I use it. You can't trust the older controller temp displays. That may have changed with the Gen 2.5 smokers.

post #203 of 212

I know this thread has been dormant for a couple of months but thought I could add more information for anyone interested. My recently seasoned MES is an analog 30 with a stainless steel door purchased by someone else from QVC a couple of years ago and never unpacked. Yesterday, in its maiden voyage, I smoked 3 large marinated bone-in chicken breasts inside my garage (with the overhead door open). The temp outside was 30F with a constant breeze toward the smoker. I used a Maverick 733 and a new Amazen tray smoker with their hickory pellets. I didn't have a propane torch yet so I used my kitchen gas stove to light the pellets after warming them up first in the microwave like others suggested here too. Worked great!

 

My MES controller has no temps on it but a color scale. Mine was set to just below half way My BBQ probe was placed on the center of the 3rd rack down inside a potato (great tip I read here). When I turned it on it went up to 252F when the light went out and it coasted to around 270F. I watched it go down to 252F when the light came on again and it continued to drop until it was at 242F when it started going up again. I lowered the controller a little as I wanted it around 240F. After about 30 min, I put the chicken on a cookie tray on the second rack with a temp probe in the biggest breast. I placed the Amazen tray inside that was smoking away. The smoker temps swung between 228F to 256F for about an hour when it went up to over 265F. I watched it for a couple of cycles at the higher temp so I lowered the controller a little again and it settled back to a range of 226-256 for another hour or so, At 2 hrs total it suddenly went to a much narrower swing of 255-260F. Since it was way too high I lowered the controller again a little and the wide swings returned. The chicken steadlily climbed to 160F and then stalled for probably 20 minutes.Now at 2 1/2 hrs, I raised the smoker controller a little to add more heat. The chicken got to 164F and stalled again so I stopped it cooking. By this time it had been smoking for about 3 hrs with constant TBS from the Amazen (which is amazing). I had loaded it with about 4 inches of pellets knowing I was only going to smoke for a couple of hours.BTW, I placed it on top of the MES chip tray. The water tray was foiled over and not used for moisture. I could see a little TBS leaking around the top of the door the entire time.  

 

The results? The chicken skin was dark brown but very rubbery. Once the skin was removed, the meat was very moist and full of hickory smoke flavor. Success! As for the temp swings I don't understand why it takes 2 hrs to settle down but it does. I went with the average of the swings to be around 240F for my smoke temp but when it did finally go to a narrow 5 degree swing it was near the top of the range and not the middle. Weird! It was sure nice watching the smoker do its little temperature dance from my warm living room too!  

 

Balcy

post #204 of 212
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balcy View Post
 

I know this thread has been dormant for a couple of months but thought I could add more information for anyone interested. My recently seasoned MES is an analog 30 with a stainless steel door purchased by someone else from QVC a couple of years ago and never unpacked. Yesterday, in its maiden voyage, I smoked 3 large marinated bone-in chicken breasts inside my garage (with the overhead door open). The temp outside was 30F with a constant breeze toward the smoker. I used a Maverick 733 and a new Amazen tray smoker with their hickory pellets. I didn't have a propane torch yet so I used my kitchen gas stove to light the pellets after warming them up first in the microwave like others suggested here too. Worked great!

 

My MES controller has no temps on it but a color scale. Mine was set to just below half way My BBQ probe was placed on the center of the 3rd rack down inside a potato (great tip I read here). When I turned it on it went up to 252F when the light went out and it coasted to around 270F. I watched it go down to 252F when the light came on again and it continued to drop until it was at 242F when it started going up again. I lowered the controller a little as I wanted it around 240F. After about 30 min, I put the chicken on a cookie tray on the second rack with a temp probe in the biggest breast. I placed the Amazen tray inside that was smoking away. The smoker temps swung between 228F to 256F for about an hour when it went up to over 265F. I watched it for a couple of cycles at the higher temp so I lowered the controller a little again and it settled back to a range of 226-256 for another hour or so, At 2 hrs total it suddenly went to a much narrower swing of 255-260F. Since it was way too high I lowered the controller again a little and the wide swings returned. The chicken steadlily climbed to 160F and then stalled for probably 20 minutes.Now at 2 1/2 hrs, I raised the smoker controller a little to add more heat. The chicken got to 164F and stalled again so I stopped it cooking. By this time it had been smoking for about 3 hrs with constant TBS from the Amazen (which is amazing). I had loaded it with about 4 inches of pellets knowing I was only going to smoke for a couple of hours.BTW, I placed it on top of the MES chip tray. The water tray was foiled over and not used for moisture. I could see a little TBS leaking around the top of the door the entire time.  

 

The results? The chicken skin was dark brown but very rubbery. Once the skin was removed, the meat was very moist and full of hickory smoke flavor. Success! As for the temp swings I don't understand why it takes 2 hrs to settle down but it does. I went with the average of the swings to be around 240F for my smoke temp but when it did finally go to a narrow 5 degree swing it was near the top of the range and not the middle. Weird! It was sure nice watching the smoker do its little temperature dance from my warm living room too!  

 

Balcy


I can't help you with the analog, as all of my experience is with the Digital MES units. (different venting)

I would say you did the right thing by adjusting your MES to get to the temp you want it to average on your 733.

I finish my chicken with a 275° smoker temp, because that's my Max heat. If you can get yours there or higher at the end, you can crisp up that skin.

 

Hope this helps,

Bear

post #205 of 212

Thanks Bear I will try that next time. I am sure I can go over 300F since it is the 1500 watt model. I think ~300F is what I used to season it. The chicken skin may have been because of the marinade used (some liquid lemon pepper in a bottle) as it sat in it for a couple of hrs inside the fridge. It sure came out really thick and rubbery. The door thermometer must be for show. It never got above 200F on the dial. I may remove it and insert a Maverick type probe using a grommet to keep it from touching the steel door. The MES is stored inside my garage so rain/snow isn't an issue. I just cleaned the Amazen tray. No apparent air flow flow issues as every single pellet turned to ash even the few loose ones at the end. I never opened the MES door once the chicken was inside. I am impressed! 

 

Balcy   

post #206 of 212
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balcy View Post
 

Thanks Bear I will try that next time. I am sure I can go over 300F since it is the 1500 watt model. I think ~300F is what I used to season it. The chicken skin may have been because of the marinade used (some liquid lemon pepper in a bottle) as it sat in it for a couple of hrs inside the fridge. It sure came out really thick and rubbery. The door thermometer must be for show. It never got above 200F on the dial. I may remove it and insert a Maverick type probe using a grommet to keep it from touching the steel door. The MES is stored inside my garage so rain/snow isn't an issue. I just cleaned the Amazen tray. No apparent air flow flow issues as every single pellet turned to ash even the few loose ones at the end. I never opened the MES door once the chicken was inside. I am impressed! 

 

Balcy   


Yeah---Those door therms aren't usually too good !!

 

I'm glad to hear your Amazing is working good in it---So many MES Analogs have to drill extra holes to get it to work good.

 

Keep on Smoking!

 

Bear

post #207 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 


I can't help you with the analog, as all of my experience is with the Digital MES units. (different venting)

I would say you did the right thing by adjusting your MES to get to the temp you want it to average on your 733.

I finish my chicken with a 275° smoker temp, because that's my Max heat. If you can get yours there or higher at the end, you can crisp up that skin.

 

Hope this helps,

Bear

Do you find that 275° is hot enough to crisp the chicken skin? I know a lot of guys finish it up in the oven at around 350-400° for about 20 minutes or so or toss it on a hot grill over indirect heat for about the same amount of time, more or less, depending on how hot the grill is. I don't recall what I did when I smoked a boneless turkey breast last year.

post #208 of 212
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post
 

Do you find that 275° is hot enough to crisp the chicken skin? I know a lot of guys finish it up in the oven at around 350-400° for about 20 minutes or so or toss it on a hot grill over indirect heat for about the same amount of time, more or less, depending on how hot the grill is. I don't recall what I did when I smoked a boneless turkey breast last year.


Hi Rick!!

 

I don't do a lot of Chicken, but the ones I did with a finishing temp of 275° (my Max), came out with Great Skin---Not rubbery at all.

 

Here's two of them:

 
 
Bear
post #209 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 


Hi Rick!!

 

I don't do a lot of Chicken, but the ones I did with a finishing temp of 275° (my Max), came out with Great Skin---Not rubbery at all.

 

Here's two of them:

 
 
Bear

Foist of all, why aren't both of these titled "MES 40 Smoked" when they were both smoked in your MES 40?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 


Hi Rick!!

 

I don't do a lot of Chicken, but the ones I did with a finishing temp of 275° (my Max), came out with Great Skin---Not rubbery at all.

 

Here's two of them:

 
 
Bear


Foist of all, both chicken thighs were hickory smoked in your MES 40 so why aren't they both titled as such? And thank you for stoking the pain that cries out its name, Bear! I would love to make your smoked chicken thighs except for one problem: the wife doesn't like chicken thighs; she prefers chicken breasts. Here are chicken thighs chockfull of deep dark-meaty goodness but she prefers the milder taste of chicken (and turkey) white meat. It's very lonely for me being the only one with a gourmet palate in the house...

 

But on another note, I've got a frozen 12 lb. whole turkey that's fixin' to be smoked later this year. I'm going to try finishing it at 275° and let you know how it turns out with Qview.

post #210 of 212

Great advice, makes sense he way controllers  work.

post #211 of 212
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post
 

Foist of all, why aren't both of these titled "MES 40 Smoked" when they were both smoked in your MES 40?

 

 

LOL---I don't like to name 2 threads exactly the same name. That would make it harder to find the one I'm looking for.

 

 

Bear

post #212 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 

 

LOL---I don't like to name 2 threads exactly the same name. That would make it harder to find the one I'm looking for.

 

 

Bear


I'll accept that. And now it's time for you and I to do our dance routine. bluesbros.gif

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