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preheating MES 40

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

In preparing for tomorrow's big first-ever smoke for extended family, I've been dabbling with my new MES 40, and I found Bear's suggestion on managing the temperatures to work great.  If I want 250, set it at 220 or so and watch it as it passes through 220.  Eventually, I set my temperature to 250, but now the swings are small.

 

However, I just realized that I assume I'm going to preheat the smoker and then add the bird?  When I open the door, I'll have to leave it open long enough to put the bird in and then insert the meat probes.  I'm probably overthinking this, but I assume I'll do the same thing, where I set the temperature to something lower than my goal, monitor it, and then set it where I want it.

 

And ... I don't have the AMPNS yet, asking for it for Christmas.  So, do I add the wood chips (pecan, I think) while preheating or after I put the bird in?

 

I know I'm overthinking this, but just curious what you pros have found to work best.  Thanks!

 

Oh, and I think I'll spatchcock the bird.  This is a 13-pound bird, and we're also cooking a 6 pound breast.  For the temperature, I've read suggestions from 220, 240, 250, up to 275.  I figure I'll smoke it at 250, although I've read that 275 is fine for poultry.

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

In preparing for tomorrow's big first-ever smoke for extended family, I've been dabbling with my new MES 40, and I found Bear's suggestion on managing the temperatures to work great.  If I want 250, set it at 220 or so and watch it as it passes through 220.  Eventually, I set my temperature to 250, but now the swings are small.

 

However, I just realized that I assume I'm going to preheat the smoker and then add the bird?  When I open the door, I'll have to leave it open long enough to put the bird in and then insert the meat probes.  I'm probably overthinking this, but I assume I'll do the same thing, where I set the temperature to something lower than my goal, monitor it, and then set it where I want it.

 

And ... I don't have the AMPNS yet, asking for it for Christmas.  So, do I add the wood chips (pecan, I think) while preheating or after I put the bird in?

 

I know I'm overthinking this, but just curious what you pros have found to work best.  Thanks!

 

Oh, and I think I'll spatchcock the bird.  This is a 13-pound bird, and we're also cooking a 6 pound breast.  For the temperature, I've read suggestions from 220, 240, 250, up to 275.  I figure I'll smoke it at 250, although I've read that 275 is fine for poultry.


Maybe get all the therms set up etc. in the smoker ready to go during preheating (opening and closing the door.)  When the bird needs to be put in and the door closed one last time dump the chips five minutes before introducing the turkey to the smoker.  I do Bear's heat management steps when I close the door the final time.  Unless your practicing to find the future first setting temp when you start the smoker for up coming cooks.  When I start the smoker I set it at 220*F.  After running around opening and closing the door during set up then finally putting in the food and closing the door the last time, I may not remember to reset from 275*F and way over shooting my cooking temp.  Plus the element stays on constantly during the open/closing set up.  If you over shoot your cooking temp you have to open the door again to let out heat for the element to kick on or wait for the smoker to cool down which means no smoke till the element kicks back on.  So I just set at 220*F in the beginning.

-Kurt

post #3 of 10
I just set at 250 my mes runs about 15 degrees cooler then the temp I set it at...I let it heat up n then as stated above I add wood about 5 mins before to get the smoke going. Hasn't failed me yet! I found 250 gives me a nice crisp skin also


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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys!

post #5 of 10

Yeah even if the door is open for a while, it doesnt matter.  The smoker itself has heated up at that point and you'll be fine.  It will go back to your set temp pretty quickly. 

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mummel View Post
 

Yeah even if the door is open for a while, it doesnt matter.  The smoker itself has heated up at that point and you'll be fine.  It will go back to your set temp pretty quickly. 

Great!  Thanks!

post #7 of 10

I just got one too.  I have been practicing and learning the machine.  right now i have 2 probes on the iGrill2 on the middle rack, suspended on corks wedged between the racking one on the left and one on the right, and i put a 3rd probe top center.

 

left middle is 242 right is 247 top is 252.  oven reads 254 set to 260.  I just put sweet potatoes on 40 minutes ago.  I preheated it for an hour set to 250. once it was up around 230 i got board and tossed um on.   so its still ramping up to 260.   Only thing i did was remove the water pan, rest of the machine is dead stock.  vent wide open on the side, loader is positioned with the arrows facing up (180 deg from the dump position).  changing it rotationally actually changes the airflow enough that you can see the exhaust smoke blatantly changing, from blasting out to just seeping out a little and rising.  

 

in about 20 minutes i have to reload the chips and ill report back how the temps look.

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

I just got one too.  I have been practicing and learning the machine.  right now i have 2 probes on the iGrill2 on the middle rack, suspended on corks wedged between the racking one on the left and one on the right, and i put a 3rd probe top center.

 

left middle is 242 right is 247 top is 252.  oven reads 254 set to 260.  I just put sweet potatoes on 40 minutes ago.  I preheated it for an hour set to 250. once it was up around 230 i got board and tossed um on.   so its still ramping up to 260.   Only thing i did was remove the water pan, rest of the machine is dead stock.  vent wide open on the side, loader is positioned with the arrows facing up (180 deg from the dump position).  changing it rotationally actually changes the airflow enough that you can see the exhaust smoke blatantly changing, from blasting out to just seeping out a little and rising.  

 

in about 20 minutes i have to reload the chips and ill report back how the temps look.

You got me thinking, I wonder if it'll preheat faster with the vent closed?  I know we want the vent open when smoking, but I may try closing it to preheat tomorrow.

 

Your temperature probes sound nice!  I should have bought something I could monitor from inside the house.  I bought a Thermoworks ChefAlarm.

post #9 of 10
I got mine today. The 40" for a steal at academy $199!!!!! Anyways. To preseason it I set it at 275 for 3 hours. Around hour 2 I noticed the meat probe and internal thermometer were reading 280+!!! But after a little while it calmed down to 273.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin Ts BBQ View Post

I got mine today. The 40" for a steal at academy $199!!!!! Anyways. To preseason it I set it at 275 for 3 hours. Around hour 2 I noticed the meat probe and internal thermometer were reading 280+!!! But after a little while it calmed down to 273.

Good deal!

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