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Char broil electric not smoking, HELP!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I just bought this and have used it 3 times. It has very little to no smoke, am I doing something wrong? It has no dampeners or any way to control air flow. All it has is a small air inlet tube on the back panel at the top, it can be seen on in the pic withthe open door, its the black rectangle. How do I get this thing to smoke?

post #2 of 14
I don't have this smoker so I don't know anything about it but after looking up the user manual I don't see how it is suppose to smoke at all. It looks to me like it has some serious air flow issues. What you called the inlet is actually the air outlet vent. By comparison, the one on my mes is 5-6 times larger.
I also use an amnps with pellets so I don't have to deal with chips.
Hopefully someone else will come along and can be more help to you. Best of luck.

Smoke it up
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

After opening for the first time I had the same thought, how is it suppose to smoke with no air?? I feel like I NEED to do some modifactions. The box that the chips sit in is set just above the heat coil, it almost seems like there isnt enough heat to burn the chips.

post #4 of 14

I have the same  one. Put the chip tray under the rack it sits in.  Directly on the element.  I use dry chips.   I also have the 6" Amazen tube handy for cold smoking cheese.  Only adapting I did was installing a 3/4 pipe at the top with a removable cap and adding a window latch to the door.  That little tube is a joke.

post #5 of 14

These little electrics are infamous for not smoking well.  They have to run full on (hot) to get the wood smoking, then it consumes all the wood / chips, constant reloading.  If you are not up to making mods, then I suggest trying different wood / chips/chunks/pellets until you find something that works for you.   If you want to mod it then I suggest a mailbox mod, just search forums,  there are many threads.  I have a similar electric, day one I modded it and it works very well. 

Here is my mod thread >>



Good Luck,


post #6 of 14
The element gives plenty of heat. The manual I saw stated it had a 1800 watt element. The mes40 has a 1500 watt and some of the older mes30s had a 800 watt.
An easy way to see if air flow is the problem: put 1/4 cup of dry chips in the chip tray, leave water pan empty and turn the smoker on as you usually would. But this time leave the door cracked open. If the smoke starts rolling after a few minutes, then you know lack of air is the issue.
Also, are you using anything like a foil tent to protect the chip tray from dripping liquids?

Smoke it up
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the ideas! If I cut some air flow holes in it, do I need to add the mail box? Or can I just set the AMNPS inside the smoker?

post #8 of 14

I have the MES 30 which looks real similar to what yours looks like. I never had issues with not getting it to smoke. Is there a drain hole at the bottom of your smoker? Hate for you to start drilling holes into it if you don't have to. What does the temp gauge read, when you have been trying to smoke?  

post #9 of 14
I don't know how well the amnps would work inside that smoker. It has to be kept away from the element to keep the pellets from getting too hot and flaring up. In the mes the element is off to one side where yours is centered in the cabinet. It would only take a couple of simple modifications to your cabinet to add a mailbox. Try a forum search of your particular smoker to see what others may have done.

Smoke it up
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yes, there is a drain hole. I ran the smoker between 200-250, its hard to nail the temp down. I also did some summer sausage in it around 165, thats what I bought is for. Making jerky and sausages.

post #11 of 14

I know with my MES there wasn't a whole lot of fine tuning. Everything I smoked was in the 225 degree range, sometimes that was with the rheostat set at half-way to all the way max out. You should be getting smoke even at 165 degrees. What are you using for chips? Are you presoaking them?

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

I just buy bags of wood mulch from Fleet Farm/Gander Mountain. Its not as big as chips but not as fine as saw dust. I do not soak them, should I be?

post #13 of 14
AMNPS inside near the coil is not recommended. It'll get too hot and flame (no smoke), it will need additional air to burn properly. You want good air flow when drying jerky / sausage. I cold smoke in mine all the time. Just turn it on lowest setting, open top and bottom vents all the way, light AMNPS and smoke away. At this setting it runs 50-80F depending on outside temps. I only cold smoke during cold months. I have a small computer fan (internal temp control 70F) that I use when doing jerky. I just set it on top of exhaust stack.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

I like the idea of the mail box. I feel like I do need to add some dampening valves to the smoker to get the air flow. I got it on the cheap so I dont mind moddin it.

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