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Beginner MES 30 Questions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hola!

 

New to the forums from Texas!  (DFW).  Love BBQ and Smoking but just starting to do my own.

 

I've smoked a few small trimmed briskets in my Weber Kettle with a Pitmaster Temp controller (https://pitmasteriq.com/) and it turned out REALLY well when I got the timing right.

 

I got this Masterbuilt Electric  30' as a gift this year and can't wait to try to use it but the directions are less than clear.

(http://www.qvc.com/Masterbuilt-30-4-Rack-Electric-Smoker-wCover,-Recipes-&-Accessories.product.K41147.html)

 

A few questions to you veterans:

 

1)  Is the temp display the smoker temp or the meat probe temp?  

2)  If it's both - how do you alternate between displaying the two temps?

 

On the remote it just displays a constant temp (whatever I programmed it to).  I I hold the meat probe button - it will display 3 different temps which I assume is Programmed Temp, Actual Temp and Meat Probe Temp.  Sound about right?

 

Also - how did you all season your smoker?  I am following the directions now (max temp for 3 hours - dry - then add wood chips) but I feel like I might need to do this a few times to really get the chemical smell to go away and get a good smoke smell.  

 

Thoughts??

 

Thanks in advance!  I plan to get a brisket on there as soon as possible!  Need to find a good butcher!

post #2 of 13

:welcome1:  To SMF glad to have you on board and to help you with the sight on top of Home page there 2 important items to help you1 there is a search engine on top of Home page just put in your type smoker and you will be connected to a lot of fellow MES owners.  Also on the Home page there is a article called Initial Greeting take the time to read this it offers a lot of information about how to get around the sight.

post #3 of 13

First off :welcome1: from Idaho. 

 

Yep on the seasoning part,, I did mine about 3 times or so,,,

 

As far as the probe I have the GEN 2 smoker, I have never used the probes or use the temp gauge on the smoker,, I bought me a Maverick Thermometer 732 and That is what I go by,,Some smokers are off on the degrees and some are not,,,Mine is. So I just go with the Maverick that I can check ever once in awhile

 

That is a nice looking smoker,,, It will do you a good job,, If you are planing on any cold smoking go with A mazen products cold smoker,, it is the bomb.. great smoke for cheese, butter, bacon ect. 

 

Good luck and let us know how it does. 

 

A full smoker is a happy smoker,,,,Stay happy happy happy 

 

DS
 

post #4 of 13

Welcome...I spent the Summer of '91 in Arlington. Great Q...BUT...How do y'all stand the heat!?!

 

 

A few questions to you veterans:

 

1)  Is the temp display the smoker temp or the meat probe temp?  The steady temp displayed is the set point.

2)  If it's both - how do you alternate between displaying the two temps? 

 

On the remote it just displays a constant temp (whatever I programmed it to).  I I hold the meat probe button - it will display 3 different temps which I assume is Programmed Temp, Actual Temp and Meat Probe Temp.  Sound about right? YEP, but I think it is Probe, Actual and back to Set Point. Been awhile since I payed attention. I monitor meat and smoker with a Maverick 732 and adjust to that.

 

Also - how did you all season your smoker?  I am following the directions now (max temp for 3 hours - dry - then add wood chips) but I feel like I might need to do this a few times to really get the chemical smell to go away and get a good smoke smell.  

 

Thoughts?? Once is usually enough but if it still smells like machine oil...Repeat the procedure. It will take several smokes to get that good smoke seasoning built up. Foil in the water pan, grease pan and on the chip housing makes cleaning easy. Clean the racks and replace foil as needed, but leave the walls alone. Once a year scrape off loose build up but no need to do a major clean of the walls and top surface unless there is a drippy build up of oily Creosote...JJ

 

Thanks in advance!  I plan to get a brisket on there as soon as possible!  Need to find a good butcher!

 
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Just curious - I know a LOT of folks skew the internal temp readings and go with something else (Maverick in this case).

 

Is this just by default or does the masterbuilt have a bad reputation for temp readings?

 

I will use the foil idea - makes sense.

 

I seasoned it 3 cycles yesterday and plan on doing it again this week before giving it a trial run.   

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAtetoomuch View Post

Just curious - I know a LOT of folks skew the internal temp readings and go with something else (Maverick in this case).

Is this just by default or does the masterbuilt have a bad reputation for temp readings?

I will use the foil idea - makes sense.

I seasoned it 3 cycles yesterday and plan on doing it again this week before giving it a trial run.   
Kind of like all thermometers that come with smokers/grills are never at the level the food is so even if it is correct, having a therm next to the food is most reliable. Plus it can be periodically tested in boiling/ice water. My Mes 40 has the controller therm on the back wall at the second rack from the bottom. I usually smoke on the top two racks. Each rack has its own temp. Hotter at the bottom level closer to the heating element and cooler at the top.
-Kurt
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAtetoomuch View Post
 

Hola!

 

New to the forums from Texas!  (DFW).  Love BBQ and Smoking but just starting to do my own.

 

I've smoked a few small trimmed briskets in my Weber Kettle with a Pitmaster Temp controller (https://pitmasteriq.com/) and it turned out REALLY well when I got the timing right.

 

I got this Masterbuilt Electric  30' as a gift this year and can't wait to try to use it but the directions are less than clear.

(http://www.qvc.com/Masterbuilt-30-4-Rack-Electric-Smoker-wCover,-Recipes-&-Accessories.product.K41147.html)

 

A few questions to you veterans:

 

1)  Is the temp display the smoker temp or the meat probe temp?  

2)  If it's both - how do you alternate between displaying the two temps?

 

On the remote it just displays a constant temp (whatever I programmed it to).  I I hold the meat probe button - it will display 3 different temps which I assume is Programmed Temp, Actual Temp and Meat Probe Temp.  Sound about right?

 

Also - how did you all season your smoker?  I am following the directions now (max temp for 3 hours - dry - then add wood chips) but I feel like I might need to do this a few times to really get the chemical smell to go away and get a good smoke smell.  

 

Thoughts??

 

Thanks in advance!  I plan to get a brisket on there as soon as possible!  Need to find a good butcher!


In addition to what Chef JimmyJ said I also make it a point to clean off the MES "ceiling" with a damp paper towel after or before every smoke. The 2nd time I cold smoked cheese in my MES 30 Gen 1 I was placing the cheeses on the top rack and my arm brushed against the ceiling and all this black sediment fell down onto the cheeses. Before that I had never thought to clean that part. There's considerable buildup after just one smoke so that's why I advise cleaning it every time you use your MES.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post
 


In addition to what Chef JimmyJ said I also make it a point to clean off the MES "ceiling" with a damp paper towel after or before every smoke. The 2nd time I cold smoked cheese in my MES 30 Gen 1 I was placing the cheeses on the top rack and my arm brushed against the ceiling and all this black sediment fell down onto the cheeses. Before that I had never thought to clean that part. There's considerable buildup after just one smoke so that's why I advise cleaning it every time you use your MES.

Good point never thought of that one,,,, I have never cleaned mine but I may start doing the ceiling before I have stuff on my stuff - POINT DaRicksta 

 

DS

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by driedstick View Post
 

Good point never thought of that one,,,, I have never cleaned mine but I may start doing the ceiling before I have stuff on my stuff - POINT DaRicksta 

 

DS


Thanks for the point, DS! You know the most unfortunate part about that stuff falling down onto the top two racks of cheeses? Rather than subject my family to possible food contamination I had to eat all the cheeses myself...:sausage:.


Edited by daRicksta - 1/22/16 at 11:32am
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

So I took her out on the trial run.  Searched all around town for a deal on brisket (with half decent meat) and that took the better part of the morning.

 

Cosco had the nicest looking cuts but they were $3.39 an LBS.  Walmart had it for $1.97 and LBS but the selection was meh.  Lucky there is a walmart everywhere.  Finally found the best i was going to find.

 

It needed quite a bit of trimming (lots of dense yellow fat) and I also knew it wasn't going to fit as is in the MES.

 

I saw a video where the guy just trimmed and stacked the point on the flat and smoked it but I wasn't too thrilled with that (I will try that next time) so I ended up with the flat on one rack and the point on the higher rack (farther from the heat since it was smaller was my logic).

(look at all that fat)

 

 

 

 

 

I just gave it a dry rub of salt'n'pepper - nothing too exotic.  Hickory wood chips in the MES and away we went.

 

Smoked @ 225 for the first 7 hours - gave it a little water and dropped the temp to 200 for 6 hours - pulled it out (meat was @ 190 deg) - looked great!  wrapped it and let it set up for 2 hours.

 

The flat.  Looked great.  Could pull it apart but it held up under its own weight. 

 

 

The point was was a little over done and dry.  Still had great flavor but a tad dry.  

 

The flat.  The bark was pretty tough actually but once past it the meat cut like butter.  

 

Like the point - the slices held up under their own weight but pulled right apart.  Just a tad on the dry side.  

 

 

Overall for a first try its awesome.  A little dry.  Sort of reminds me of a mass produced smoked brisket - maybe something you would get at a BBQ place that focuses on quantity over quality (but with great flavor).

 

I think next time I will smoke the two parts on top of each other and at 225 for less time.  Overall its just more on the dry side and I might have taken too much fat off as well.

 

A lot of places has a trimmed brisket for 20 bucks but it's about 6.50 a lbs when you go that route.   Since I am the only on in the house that eats meat (and I am supposed to cut back!) these will be few and far between unless we have company.  

 

So far - pretty happy.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAtetoomuch View Post
 

So I took her out on the trial run.  Searched all around town for a deal on brisket (with half decent meat) and that took the better part of the morning.

 

Cosco had the nicest looking cuts but they were $3.39 an LBS.  Walmart had it for $1.97 and LBS but the selection was meh.  Lucky there is a walmart everywhere.  Finally found the best i was going to find.

 

It needed quite a bit of trimming (lots of dense yellow fat) and I also knew it wasn't going to fit as is in the MES.

 

I saw a video where the guy just trimmed and stacked the point on the flat and smoked it but I wasn't too thrilled with that (I will try that next time) so I ended up with the flat on one rack and the point on the higher rack (farther from the heat since it was smaller was my logic).

(look at all that fat)

 

 

 

 

 

I just gave it a dry rub of salt'n'pepper - nothing too exotic.  Hickory wood chips in the MES and away we went.

 

Smoked @ 225 for the first 7 hours - gave it a little water and dropped the temp to 200 for 6 hours - pulled it out (meat was @ 190 deg) - looked great!  wrapped it and let it set up for 2 hours.

 

The flat.  Looked great.  Could pull it apart but it held up under its own weight. 

 

 

The point was was a little over done and dry.  Still had great flavor but a tad dry.  

 

The flat.  The bark was pretty tough actually but once past it the meat cut like butter.  

 

Like the point - the slices held up under their own weight but pulled right apart.  Just a tad on the dry side.  

 

 

Overall for a first try its awesome.  A little dry.  Sort of reminds me of a mass produced smoked brisket - maybe something you would get at a BBQ place that focuses on quantity over quality (but with great flavor).

 

I think next time I will smoke the two parts on top of each other and at 225 for less time.  Overall its just more on the dry side and I might have taken too much fat off as well.

 

A lot of places has a trimmed brisket for 20 bucks but it's about 6.50 a lbs when you go that route.   Since I am the only on in the house that eats meat (and I am supposed to cut back!) these will be few and far between unless we have company.  

 

So far - pretty happy.

One of my Sons separates the point from the flat, trims the fat, then puts the point back on the flat and smokes in his MES.

 

I've eaten his Brisket and it was great and moist, so it works for him.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickguy221 View Post
 

One of my Sons separates the point from the flat, trims the fat, then puts the point back on the flat and smokes in his MES.

 

I've eaten his Brisket and it was great and moist, so it works for him.

Yea I am going to try that next time.

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAtetoomuch View Post
 

So I took her out on the trial run.  Searched all around town for a deal on brisket (with half decent meat) and that took the better part of the morning.

 

Cosco had the nicest looking cuts but they were $3.39 an LBS.  Walmart had it for $1.97 and LBS but the selection was meh.  Lucky there is a walmart everywhere.  Finally found the best i was going to find.

 

 

It needed quite a bit of trimming (lots of dense yellow fat) and I also knew it wasn't going to fit as is in the MES.

 

I saw a video where the guy just trimmed and stacked the point on the flat and smoked it but I wasn't too thrilled with that (I will try that next time) so I ended up with the flat on one rack and the point on the higher rack (farther from the heat since it was smaller was my logic).

 

(look at all that fat)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just gave it a dry rub of salt'n'pepper - nothing too exotic.  Hickory wood chips in the MES and away we went.

 

Smoked @ 225 for the first 7 hours - gave it a little water and dropped the temp to 200 for 6 hours - pulled it out (meat was @ 190 deg) - looked great!  wrapped it and let it set up for 2 hours.

 

The flat.  Looked great.  Could pull it apart but it held up under its own weight. 

 

 

 

The point was was a little over done and dry.  Still had great flavor but a tad dry.  

 

 

The flat.  The bark was pretty tough actually but once past it the meat cut like butter.  

 

Like the point - the slices held up under their own weight but pulled right apart.  Just a tad on the dry side.  

 

 

 

Overall for a first try its awesome.  A little dry.  Sort of reminds me of a mass produced smoked brisket - maybe something you would get at a BBQ place that focuses on quantity over quality (but with great flavor).

 

I think next time I will smoke the two parts on top of each other and at 225 for less time.  Overall its just more on the dry side and I might have taken too much fat off as well.

 

A lot of places has a trimmed brisket for 20 bucks but it's about 6.50 a lbs when you go that route.   Since I am the only on in the house that eats meat (and I am supposed to cut back!) these will be few and far between unless we have company.  

 

So far - pretty happy.

I had written a bunch about how I thought you just had the flat. Turned out I was looking at the photo labels wrong. But from the photos it looks like the point meat turned out fine. Just wondering why you didn't make burnt ends which in a way is intentionally overcooking the meat?

 

What pros typically do is cook to point and flat together. When the beef brisket is done, the point is then sliced off and cooked maybe 30-60 minutes longer and then chopped up and mixed with BBQ sauce. That's where you get your burnt ends.

 

Anyway, you went for the Aaron Franklin flavor profile of just salt and pepper which I also like. For my tastes I prefer oak wood pellets over hickory for beef brisket. As for the meat being overdone, I've seen BBQ restaurants on TV where the cooked meat looked exactly like yours. The important thing is if the meat was still moist and juicy. Yours still had a pinkish color and wasn't grayish-brown. Smoked brisket is pretty forgiving. And I've said it before on SMF. I've made brisket in my MES 30 that I'm confident would've rivaled or surpassed briskets being served in franchise BBQ restaurants and even chain restaurants. You can produce real deal BBQ in an MES, which is why I love mine.  


Edited by daRicksta - 1/28/16 at 12:59pm
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