I was not sure where the best place was to post this, as it's a cook and a review ha. It's been a while since I've remembered to post on here. It's been a few months since I've even cooked since moving to my new job.. Sadly. But hopefully things will be turning around now that I have a new MES 40 bluetooth smoker. It shall hopefully be much more convenient to use than my old MES 30 analog! Hehe
This is a picture of where I initially placed my AMNPS. However after speaking with Bear (Thank you much for your help!!) I decided to move my AMNPS to the bottom rack on the left side. To insure it would stay lit and smoke. It appeared to be doing just that through the whole cook, and I will likely keep it on that bottom rack from now on!
Four Cheese Mac'n Cheese!!
Lesson for next time is to probably stir the cheese a time or two while smoking, so that it all smokes. I put it in for maybe 30 minutes or so.
The chicken did not get put in the smoker until after the pork loin - so I could crank up the heat on them. However they were quite delicious and in my opinion better than the loin. Ah well.... leftover smokes are always the best!!
Pic taken at night...With the built in light!!! :)
Follow Up Reaction:
Ok, so it was really good. And I'm excited to have a smoker with the right ventilation for my AMNPS and that I can now truly set and forget. So for a constructive review I will not talk so much about the positives this smoker brings to the table (There are so many, and they are all very tasty..).
Temperature swings: Yes, they are there. Like others have mentioned it's just the element turning off when it hits the target spot.. And I am also cooking with temperatures around 10-15 degrees F. However I do not think they are something to be too concerned about. If it stays between that 215-250 mark I consider that to be low and slow. Mainly because when I cook with my charcoal offset I am still learning to control swings, and if I keep it in that window I'm happy.
MES Temperature probe: This is probably my biggest concern with the smoker. And it sounds like this is the most common thing everyone has problems with. When I seasoned the smoker at home I did not have another temp gauge to see the accuracy. Now that I have brought it back to where I live I was able to use my igrill2 to test it.
I first placed my ambient probe in boiling water to see its accuracy. At my current elevation (3,655 feet) boiling point is around 204-205 degrees F. My ambient probe topped out at 203 degrees F. I'll take that 2 degrees diff.
Unfortunately I did not take screenshots of my temperature differences, and I wish I would have. But essentially the difference between my MES temp probe and the igrill2 probe was anywhere from 5-30 degrees. Way too big of a swing for me to be comfortable with. When I first fired up the smoker there was probably a 25 degree difference... Then once it settled in it got as close as 5-10 degrees.. But would swing a lot (in part do to the element maybe). Heck, the built in meat probe that I left on the side wall was within 3 degrees of my igrill2 probe... !! Haha
This means I will have to use my grill 2 temp to try and set the MES temp when I cook (As Bear mentioned he does). Luckily it did not push too far past 250 degrees F so I did not worry too much this time. However when I put my chicken thighs in I wanted to crank the hit as high as it would let me (275 degrees F). When I did that, my igrill2 ambient probe showed temperatures around 300 degrees F. Looks like I might have a chance to crisp the chicken skin after all!! Lol
By the way, my ambient probe was placed on the rack just above the MES probe. Same rack where I placed my pork loin.
This is my initial cook and review with this new smoker. I am very excited to cook more and continuing with tests. I will actually be placing in a bottom round roast today to smoke for a while.. Before I place it in the crock pot with veggies to finish out.
If I need I can move this post to another section that may be more suitable.
As always.. Enjoy!!