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Considering buying an Electric smoker - Page 6

post #101 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by N4YNU View Post
 

 

I saw your smoker pics on the link your posted, now I have a better understanding of what the 40 look like, Thx for the pics  :)


I'm trying to follow the quote inside a quote inside a quote.  Kinda like a Turduckin post.  I can't get into the background layered quotes not shown, only the foreground in the post above #100 and don't know how to do that.  Maybe it's because I comment on each post before hitting the multi post again and commenting then hitting quote to end my quoting.  I'm sure it's me but  but in multiple quotes I've been able to read each post quoted.  Let me know what I'm doing wrong.

-Kurt 

post #102 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr K View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by N4YNU View Post
 

 

I saw your smoker pics on the link your posted, now I have a better understanding of what the 40 look like, Thx for the pics  :)


I'm trying to follow the quote inside a quote inside a quote.  Kinda like a Turduckin post.  I can't get into the background layered quotes not shown, only the foreground in the post above #100 and don't know how to do that.  Maybe it's because I comment on each post before hitting the multi post again and commenting then hitting quote to end my quoting.  I'm sure it's me but  but in multiple quotes I've been able to read each post quoted.  Let me know what I'm doing wrong.

-Kurt 

Well that post was a response to Sigmo, and I am not sure what your issue is with the posts, yes with all the quotes it makes it interesting, but if you get a email notification and click on "See Post" instead of "Go to Thread" it will take you directly to the post that you are getting notified for rather than the Thread where you have to scroll madly through all the quotes.
If you do the "multi quote" and get the notification, the "See Post" should take you directly to the Post that you were notified of, not necessarily the end of the thread, maybe it is just some confusion there, I have had to learn this by trail and error myself hehehe, every Forum has a different way of operating so it gets a bit crazy, but, I do not go to any others anymore, just this one.
Hope that helps a bit, the link I was speaking of in case you are interested is in Sigmo's multi quote answers to more than several questions, the link is here :
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/249454/pellets-and-humidity/20#post_1604052 

Hope that helps  :)

post #103 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by N4YNU View Post
 

Well that post was a response to Sigmo, and I am not sure what your issue is with the posts, yes with all the quotes it makes it interesting, but if you get a email notification and click on "See Post" instead of "Go to Thread" it will take you directly to the post that you are getting notified for rather than the Thread where you have to scroll madly through all the quotes.
If you do the "multi quote" and get the notification, the "See Post" should take you directly to the Post that you were notified of, not necessarily the end of the thread, maybe it is just some confusion there, I have had to learn this by trail and error myself hehehe, every Forum has a different way of operating so it gets a bit crazy, but, I do not go to any others anymore, just this one.
Hope that helps a bit, the link I was speaking of in case you are interested is in Sigmo's multi quote answers to more than several questions, the link is here :
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/249454/pellets-and-humidity/20#post_1604052 

Hope that helps  :)


Yeah, I was online but clicking on everything except the green arrow icon next to the posters name in the quotes.  I guess if I keep hitting multiple quotes, they stack up inside one another.  I don't know.  I just commented on each quote individually within one post when multi posting.  I didn't know you could Turduckin quotes. 

-Kurt

post #104 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr K View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by N4YNU View Post
 

Well that post was a response to Sigmo, and I am not sure what your issue is with the posts, yes with all the quotes it makes it interesting, but if you get a email notification and click on "See Post" instead of "Go to Thread" it will take you directly to the post that you are getting notified for rather than the Thread where you have to scroll madly through all the quotes.
If you do the "multi quote" and get the notification, the "See Post" should take you directly to the Post that you were notified of, not necessarily the end of the thread, maybe it is just some confusion there, I have had to learn this by trail and error myself hehehe, every Forum has a different way of operating so it gets a bit crazy, but, I do not go to any others anymore, just this one.
Hope that helps a bit, the link I was speaking of in case you are interested is in Sigmo's multi quote answers to more than several questions, the link is here :
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/249454/pellets-and-humidity/20#post_1604052 

Hope that helps  :)


Yeah, I was online but clicking on everything except the green arrow icon next to the posters name in the quotes.  I guess if I keep hitting multiple quotes, they stack up inside one another.  I don't know.  I just commented on each quote individually within one post when multi posting.  I didn't know you could Turduckin quotes. 

-Kurt

Well you can quote and then delete parts of the quotes if that is what you mean, yes you can do that, not too sure what you mean by Turducking Quotes hehehe

post #105 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by N4YNU View Post
 

Well you can quote and then delete parts of the quotes if that is what you mean, yes you can do that, not too sure what you mean by Turducking Quotes hehehe


Turduckin=boneless chicken, inside a boneless duck, inside a boneless turkey.  It's a casingless whole muscle poultry freak show, so to speak. A blending/layering.  There's a lamb, inside a goat, inside a pig, inside a cow out there.  So much for crispy skin with the other species on the inside.

-Kurt

post #106 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr K View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by N4YNU View Post
 

Well you can quote and then delete parts of the quotes if that is what you mean, yes you can do that, not too sure what you mean by Turducking Quotes hehehe


Turduckin=boneless chicken, inside a boneless duck, inside a boneless turkey.  It's a casingless whole muscle poultry freak show, so to speak. A blending/layering.  There's a lamb, inside a goat, inside a pig, inside a cow out there.  So much for crispy skin with the other species on the inside.

-Kurt

 

ROFLOL  :yahoo:

post #107 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by N4YNU View Post
 



Sigmo,

Love the thoughts, this is how it is done, so many ideas and eventually with all this we will find a way to get it right, then we need to join together and produce our own brand !

 

 

Sorry I didn't get back to this thread earlier!

 

I've done some smoking since making my modifications, and everything has worked well.  I haven't used the fan to force air through the last few times as it wasn't needed. But it was rainy and cool for the last two, and still, I had good burning of the pellets.

 

I posted better pictures and explanations of everything in this thread:

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/249454/pellets-and-humidity/20#post_1606361

 

There's a lot to all of this, and with all of the different models and types of smokers people have, it can get confusing to visualize what's happening in smokers with which we're not really familiar!

 

But the general concepts are still very useful to everyone, I think!  So it's neat to see and read about what everyone is trying out, and how it's working for them.

 

One point I will make is that I am reluctant to use anything but a purpose-built draft inducer or convection oven fan at the outlet of (or inside) one of these smokers because of the high temperatures and smoke that will be present.  That's why I've been using the fan only to force cool, clean air into the smoker during high-temperature operation.  The exception is the small fan running very slow that I have put inside the smoker to circulate the smoke better during cold smokes.  And I just accept that the fan will probably fail prematurely due to build-up of smoke residue.  Hey.  They're cheap!  :)

 

But of course, the same argument could be made for using on on the vent to suck out the hot, smoky air.  As long as it doesn't go up in flames, you're really not out that much if it dies prematurely, I guess!  But the cabinet on mine is pretty tight.  The door seal works well.  I don't see smoke leaking out anywhere when I "pressure it up" with the fan blowing into the inlet.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post
 

That's a great fan setup, Sigmo. Like most electrical mod projects I'd have to do a lot of research into how to connect that to a wired plug. I can do basic around the house electrical repair stuff but that's it. I have installed those fans in computers but the Molex connectors were already there. Now, as it happens I'm smoking beef jerky today. My problem is keeping the temp stable. I just got a new controller from Masterbuilt but I'm still having a problem with the temp overshooting my set point during heat up by 30-40 degrees. Then I turn off the controller and open the door to lower the temp and it goes 30 degrees below the set point. For now though, things are half-OK. By that I mean the right side of the smoker is 160° but the left side is only 131°. If I bump up the set point--currently at 125°--the heating cycle will boost the right side temp too high again I'm going to have to not only turn the meat over every couple of hours but also turn the Q-MATZ around so that all the meat is exposed to the high and low temp sides. Right now I'm hoping the meat is sufficiently dried out enough even in 10 hours, which will be around 10 pm tonight. If it gets too late I'll put them in my countertop convection oven and set it to the dehydrate function.

 

I didn't know about how the MES heating element was designed to just keep wood chips smoldering. But I've seen how quickly wood pellets burn up when my MES is running over 180°. Thanks also for the info on what happens to the quality of smoke with chips and pellets when they burn too hot.

 

You really have to beware what you're seeing for temperature readings on different thermometers in different places in smokers and ovens.  It really can vary a lot.  Especially if there's no active stirring of the air in the chamber.  None of these home smokers seem to employ any sort of active stirring of the air, but the makers of the commercial units are very aware of this.  Not only is the smoke not evenly distributed, but the heat isn't, either, unless you have a blower of some sort mixing things up.

 

And this makes good temperature control quite difficult.

 

I'm seriously looking at various draft inducers and fans meant for "convection ovens" to use in my smoker.  I do think that's the only real way to ever get even heating and smoke throughout the cabinet.

 

But having said that, I wouldn't expect such large swings in temperature between when the heating element switches on and switches off.  Looking only at the display on the controller, I'd be curious as to what sort of temperature "hysteresis" it employs.  On mine, it's not a ridiculous amount.  I need to check.  But we have to remember that one of the design considerations on these MESs is that they're trying to burn the chips in the drawer above the heating element in the original design.  So they probably set things up to have a fairly large amount of hysteresis so that when the heater comes on, it stays on for quite a while so it can ignite the chips.  If it cycles on and off too quickly, that will give tighter temperature control, but will also never let the heating element get hot enough to burn the chips at all once the smoker comes up to temperature.

 

It's also possible that they do more than just employ a rather large amount of temperature hysteresis.  They may well have a timing function built into the controller to assure some minimum on-time for the heater any time it does come on.  That way, they get some chip burning, for sure, every so often.  I have NOT tested this or carefully observed the behavior.  I'm just speculating on why we observe some of what we see with these units.  There may be method to their madness.  It just doesn't perfectly suit us users of different smoke generators!

 

So we are paying something of a price for their original design.  For those of us using a different way of generating the smoke, we would prefer tighter temperature control.  But that's not the way these units were designed.  So without putting in our own custom temperature control, we're stuck with more hysteresis than what we might program if it was up to us now that we're using AMNPSs, and the like.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by N4YNU View Post
 

 

I saw your smoker pics on the link your posted, now I have a better understanding of what the 40 look like, Thx for the pics  :)

 

OK.  Cool.  Take a look at the thread I linked to at the top of this post for better photos showing what's really going on in mine.  I am having excellent luck with it.  It's ugly, and needs to be done in a more permanent and professional way, but for a "test kludge", it's performing well for me so far.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr K View Post
 


Turduckin=boneless chicken, inside a boneless duck, inside a boneless turkey.  It's a casingless whole muscle poultry freak show, so to speak. A blending/layering.  There's a lamb, inside a goat, inside a pig, inside a cow out there.  So much for crispy skin with the other species on the inside.

-Kurt

 

 

I've seen those on TV every Thanksgiving time, but never tried one.  I'm not sure I'd like it, but it is pretty amusing!

post #108 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmo View Post
 

 

Sorry I didn't get back to this thread earlier!

 

I've done some smoking since making my modifications, and everything has worked well.  I haven't used the fan to force air through the last few times as it wasn't needed. But it was rainy and cool for the last two, and still, I had good burning of the pellets.

 

I posted better pictures and explanations of everything in this thread:

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/249454/pellets-and-humidity/20#post_1606361

 

There's a lot to all of this, and with all of the different models and types of smokers people have, it can get confusing to visualize what's happening in smokers with which we're not really familiar!

 

But the general concepts are still very useful to everyone, I think!  So it's neat to see and read about what everyone is trying out, and how it's working for them.

 

One point I will make is that I am reluctant to use anything but a purpose-built draft inducer or convection oven fan at the outlet of (or inside) one of these smokers because of the high temperatures and smoke that will be present.  That's why I've been using the fan only to force cool, clean air into the smoker during high-temperature operation.  The exception is the small fan running very slow that I have put inside the smoker to circulate the smoke better during cold smokes.  And I just accept that the fan will probably fail prematurely due to build-up of smoke residue.  Hey.  They're cheap!  :)

 

But of course, the same argument could be made for using on on the vent to suck out the hot, smoky air.  As long as it doesn't go up in flames, you're really not out that much if it dies prematurely, I guess!  But the cabinet on mine is pretty tight.  The door seal works well.  I don't see smoke leaking out anywhere when I "pressure it up" with the fan blowing into the inlet.

 

 

 

 

You really have to beware what you're seeing for temperature readings on different thermometers in different places in smokers and ovens.  It really can vary a lot.  Especially if there's no active stirring of the air in the chamber.  None of these home smokers seem to employ any sort of active stirring of the air, but the makers of the commercial units are very aware of this.  Not only is the smoke not evenly distributed, but the heat isn't, either, unless you have a blower of some sort mixing things up.

 

And this makes good temperature control quite difficult.

 

I'm seriously looking at various draft inducers and fans meant for "convection ovens" to use in my smoker.  I do think that's the only real way to ever get even heating and smoke throughout the cabinet.

 

But having said that, I wouldn't expect such large swings in temperature between when the heating element switches on and switches off.  Looking only at the display on the controller, I'd be curious as to what sort of temperature "hysteresis" it employs.  On mine, it's not a ridiculous amount.  I need to check.  But we have to remember that one of the design considerations on these MESs is that they're trying to burn the chips in the drawer above the heating element in the original design.  So they probably set things up to have a fairly large amount of hysteresis so that when the heater comes on, it stays on for quite a while so it can ignite the chips.  If it cycles on and off too quickly, that will give tighter temperature control, but will also never let the heating element get hot enough to burn the chips at all once the smoker comes up to temperature.

 

It's also possible that they do more than just employ a rather large amount of temperature hysteresis.  They may well have a timing function built into the controller to assure some minimum on-time for the heater any time it does come on.  That way, they get some chip burning, for sure, every so often.  I have NOT tested this or carefully observed the behavior.  I'm just speculating on why we observe some of what we see with these units.  There may be method to their madness.  It just doesn't perfectly suit us users of different smoke generators!

 

So we are paying something of a price for their original design.  For those of us using a different way of generating the smoke, we would prefer tighter temperature control.  But that's not the way these units were designed.  So without putting in our own custom temperature control, we're stuck with more hysteresis than what we might program if it was up to us now that we're using AMNPSs, and the like.

 

 

Quote:

 

OK.  Cool.  Take a look at the thread I linked to at the top of this post for better photos showing what's really going on in mine.  I am having excellent luck with it.  It's ugly, and needs to be done in a more permanent and professional way, but for a "test kludge", it's performing well for me so far.

 

 

 

 

I've seen those on TV every Thanksgiving time, but never tried one.  I'm not sure I'd like it, but it is pretty amusing!


Sigmo, in my situation I'm limited physically and my DIY expertise in what mods I can make to my MES--even my what I'm willing to make. I just have to stick with my MES as originally received and dealing with the AMNPS burning out because of the poor air circulation inside the MES 30 either under low temp or low external temp conditions. Planning on smoking a brisket half with both flat and point tomorrow if the weather cooperates. Will be using my new butcher paper to wrap it in to get past the stall and otherwise reduce the cooking time. I'll also be experimenting to determine how to get really nice, firm bark from a wrapped brisket. Qview will be included when I post the results.

post #109 of 131
I guess I forgot to get the pics that I promised daRicksta. I hope this will make amends.



This first pic shows the markings on the lower vents (O=wide open; H=half open; C=fully closed). I marked them one day when I was cleaning out ashes and could see the position of the sweeps.



This pic shows marks I put on the upper daisy wheel vent. I really don't use them but set the opening by eye.

Again, sorry for the delay in getting the pics.
post #110 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post


Sigmo, in my situation I'm limited physically and my DIY expertise in what mods I can make to my MES--even my what I'm willing to make. I just have to stick with my MES as originally received and dealing with the AMNPS burning out because of the poor air circulation inside the MES 30 either under low temp or low external temp conditions. Planning on smoking a brisket half with both flat and point tomorrow if the weather cooperates. Will be using my new butcher paper to wrap it in to get past the stall and otherwise reduce the cooking time. I'll also be experimenting to determine how to get really nice, firm bark from a wrapped brisket. Qview will be included when I post the results.

I think the best advice I can give to keep the AMNPS burning is:

Pre-dry the pellets. I cook them in the home oven for an hour or so at 250 or 275. That seems to drive most of the moisture out, and then they at least start off burning very well.

Then, a real help is to make sure to pile the pellets into the AMNPS deep. You don't want them to touch over the barriers and "short circuit", but you want them deep so there is a lot of mass all together. That seems to make the system burn more reliably. I think that's why the tube smoker is supposed to be more reliable burning than the AMNPS. There's just more pellets per inch, so to speak. I think part of the trouble I was having recently was because I wasn't putting the pellets in deep enough. It seems like a silly thing, but it really makes a difference.

And make sure the AMNPS is up off of the floor of the smoker so it'll get good airflow up from below. Just an inch or two of elevation really helps.

I light mine with a Mapp Gas torch. It gets hotter than a propane torch. It really gets the job done in a hurry. Then I let the pellets burn for a while with an open flame. Finally, I blow them out, but then blow on them quite a bit to make sure that there are a good number of the pellets glowing really well. Getting them lit really well seems to be a key, too.

I'm not very familiar with the MES-30, but adding a duct to provide a smoke-stack is easy and pays off by pulling more air through. On my MES-40, All I have to do is jam a section of the rigid 3" duct into the opening for the top vent. It just wedges in there. It's a coincidence, but it's a perfect fit. Just tight enough to hold it in place, but not so tight that I can't just jam it in there and pull it out fairly easily. So I can take it off or put it on as needed. So that's a simple fix that you just jam in when you need it. :)

Is your top vent on the top or on the side of the smoker?



Here, I'm using one of those adjustable corner sections all straightened out. But the straight sections are the same diameter. This just happens to be about the right length for what I wanted so I didn't need to cut anything or modify it at all. Straight out of the bag from the hardware store, and simply jammed into the top vent's opening.

Hopefully a few things like that will make your AMNPS a bit more reliable and your upcoming smoke will come out great! icon14.gif
post #111 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmo View Post


I think the best advice I can give to keep the AMNPS burning is:

Pre-dry the pellets. I cook them in the home oven for an hour or so at 250 or 275. That seems to drive most of the moisture out, and then they at least start off burning very well.

Then, a real help is to make sure to pile the pellets into the AMNPS deep. You don't want them to touch over the barriers and "short circuit", but you want them deep so there is a lot of mass all together. That seems to make the system burn more reliably. I think that's why the tube smoker is supposed to be more reliable burning than the AMNPS. There's just more pellets per inch, so to speak. I think part of the trouble I was having recently was because I wasn't putting the pellets in deep enough. It seems like a silly thing, but it really makes a difference.

And make sure the AMNPS is up off of the floor of the smoker so it'll get good airflow up from below. Just an inch or two of elevation really helps.

I light mine with a Mapp Gas torch. It gets hotter than a propane torch. It really gets the job done in a hurry. Then I let the pellets burn for a while with an open flame. Finally, I blow them out, but then blow on them quite a bit to make sure that there are a good number of the pellets glowing really well. Getting them lit really well seems to be a key, too.

I'm not very familiar with the MES-30, but adding a duct to provide a smoke-stack is easy and pays off by pulling more air through. On my MES-40, All I have to do is jam a section of the rigid 3" duct into the opening for the top vent. It just wedges in there. It's a coincidence, but it's a perfect fit. Just tight enough to hold it in place, but not so tight that I can't just jam it in there and pull it out fairly easily. So I can take it off or put it on as needed. So that's a simple fix that you just jam in when you need it. :)

Is your top vent on the top or on the side of the smoker?



Here, I'm using one of those adjustable corner sections all straightened out. But the straight sections are the same diameter. This just happens to be about the right length for what I wanted so I didn't need to cut anything or modify it at all. Straight out of the bag from the hardware store, and simply jammed into the top vent's opening.

Hopefully a few things like that will make your AMNPS a bit more reliable and your upcoming smoke will come out great! icon14.gif

Sigmo, all that you said here should help the AMNPS, although some on this site have success without drying the pellets. I once dried my pellets also, but rather than continue going thru all of that hassle you have mentioned here, plus still problems of keeping the AMNPS lit, I switched to the Tube and it worked well and only went out on me twice. Other than that it was OK and a big improvement over the AMNPS. Then I heard a lot of good things about the Smoke Ring from Smoke Daddy and decided to try it and ended up liking it better than the Tube, (don't have to dry the pellets, easier to light, lights faster, never goes out and puts out a nice consistant smoke to the end) so that is all I now use.. For those that like only a light smoke or barely smoke, they won't like the Tube nor Smoke Ring either one, but for those that like more smoke than the AMNPS puts out, they will like the Tube or my choice which is the Smoke Ring.

post #112 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmo View Post


I think the best advice I can give to keep the AMNPS burning is:

Pre-dry the pellets. I cook them in the home oven for an hour or so at 250 or 275. That seems to drive most of the moisture out, and then they at least start off burning very well.

Then, a real help is to make sure to pile the pellets into the AMNPS deep. You don't want them to touch over the barriers and "short circuit", but you want them deep so there is a lot of mass all together. That seems to make the system burn more reliably. I think that's why the tube smoker is supposed to be more reliable burning than the AMNPS. There's just more pellets per inch, so to speak. I think part of the trouble I was having recently was because I wasn't putting the pellets in deep enough. It seems like a silly thing, but it really makes a difference.

And make sure the AMNPS is up off of the floor of the smoker so it'll get good airflow up from below. Just an inch or two of elevation really helps.

I light mine with a Mapp Gas torch. It gets hotter than a propane torch. It really gets the job done in a hurry. Then I let the pellets burn for a while with an open flame. Finally, I blow them out, but then blow on them quite a bit to make sure that there are a good number of the pellets glowing really well. Getting them lit really well seems to be a key, too.

I'm not very familiar with the MES-30, but adding a duct to provide a smoke-stack is easy and pays off by pulling more air through. On my MES-40, All I have to do is jam a section of the rigid 3" duct into the opening for the top vent. It just wedges in there. It's a coincidence, but it's a perfect fit. Just tight enough to hold it in place, but not so tight that I can't just jam it in there and pull it out fairly easily. So I can take it off or put it on as needed. So that's a simple fix that you just jam in when you need it. :)

Is your top vent on the top or on the side of the smoker?



Here, I'm using one of those adjustable corner sections all straightened out. But the straight sections are the same diameter. This just happens to be about the right length for what I wanted so I didn't need to cut anything or modify it at all. Straight out of the bag from the hardware store, and simply jammed into the top vent's opening.

Hopefully a few things like that will make your AMNPS a bit more reliable and your upcoming smoke will come out great! icon14.gif

I've read comments from members who said pre-drying the pellets helped and from others who said it didn't help at all. The pellets feel pretty dry already to be when I'm fishing them out of the plastic bag. It was a challenge lighting the oak pellets today so they stay lit but perhaps it's because the bag is a few years old. I piled them deep in the AMNPS because I'm smoking a 5 lb. half of a whole packer brisket--with the point attached--and it's going to be in there a long time. Just checked and that pellets are still going. I check the smoke rising from the top vent every 30 minutes to make sure the pellets are still burning.

 

I've got a MES 30 Gen 1 with the top vent. I know quite a few members use the mailbox mod where the duct is attached to the wood chip loader hole. I can understand how that would improve airflow and smoke delivery. Are you saying because heat rises that adding a smokestack over the top vent will draw both air and smoke from the lower part of the MES up thru the chimney? I don't know enough about such things to know if that theory will work in my MES 30 or not. Funny thing is that I've been using this smoker for over 4 years and it's just been recently where I've add the AMNPS issues. We'll see how well things go today over the 11+ hours I'll be smoking the brisket. I'm a smoking minimalist and will only try a mod if I think it's absolutely necessary.

post #113 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbithutch View Post

I guess I forgot to get the pics that I promised daRicksta. I hope this will make amends.



This first pic shows the markings on the lower vents (O=wide open; H=half open; C=fully closed). I marked them one day when I was cleaning out ashes and could see the position of the sweeps.



This pic shows marks I put on the upper daisy wheel vent. I really don't use them but set the opening by eye.

Again, sorry for the delay in getting the pics.


Thanks, Rabbithutch. I find this interesting. You're saying that while grilling and the bottom vents are obscured by charcoal briquettes and the grilling meat you made those marks so when you want to move the bottom vents to half or fully closed you'll know exactly where to move the lever. I would try this but I've never read any grilling recipes--at least the ones I choose to make--that call for anything but wide open top and bottom vents. I think the only exception to this is low and slow cooking over indirect charcoal briquette heat. So, I might go ahead and take a Sharpie to my Weber!

post #114 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post


Thanks, Rabbithutch. I find this interesting. You're saying that while grilling and the bottom vents are obscured by charcoal briquettes and the grilling meat you made those marks so when you want to move the bottom vents to half or fully closed you'll know exactly where to move the lever. I would try this but I've never read any grilling recipes--at least the ones I choose to make--that call for anything but wide open top and bottom vents. I think the only exception to this is low and slow cooking over indirect charcoal briquette heat. So, I might go ahead and take a Sharpie to my Weber!

You've got the idea down pat. I don't adjust the vents for grilling at all, but I do for controlling temps while smoking food with the lid on. The lid stays off when I'm grilling.
post #115 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbithutch View Post


You've got the idea down pat. I don't adjust the vents for grilling at all, but I do for controlling temps while smoking food with the lid on. The lid stays off when I'm grilling.


I find also find your last statement interesting because when I grill I keep the lid on even if I'm cooking over indirect heat. I love grilling on the Weber because I do have a lid to use. I remember smoking on a hibachi during college when cooking a steak could take way over an hour because so much heat was lost.

post #116 of 131

Good day!  Long time reader, first time poster.

 

While this thread has been an interesting read, I am in the market for an Electric Smoker and am looking for advice on what to purchase.  I own a charcoal smoker (Webber), and 2 propane smokers (Both Masterbuilt), that serve me well, however I am looking for something to allow me to smoke during the winter...  In CANADA (Mb)... When its -30C/-22F or colder.  Please note that this smoker would NEVER replace my other smokers.:grilling_smilie:

 

I agree that Bradley's aren't the best investment, but does anyone have any knowledge on how they are insulated compared to an Electric Masterbuilt?  I smoke weekly during Spring/Summer/Fall, and am feeling pretty down that smoking season is coming to an end.  I've been eyeballing both the Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite 30, Masterbuilt Analog, as well as a Bradley, but even local employees that sell the smokers can't seem to tell me about how well they are insulated and if smoking at 225 would even be possible without overworking parts during the winter.  Thought I'd ask some of you pro's on this forum!

 

So...  Any Canuks on here that smoke thru the winter?  Thanks for your help!

 

:)  Mel

post #117 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperMel View Post
 

Good day!  Long time reader, first time poster.

 

While this thread has been an interesting read, I am in the market for an Electric Smoker and am looking for advice on what to purchase.  I own a charcoal smoker (Webber), and 2 propane smokers (Both Masterbuilt), that serve me well, however I am looking for something to allow me to smoke during the winter...  In CANADA (Mb)... When its -30C/-22F or colder.  Please note that this smoker would NEVER replace my other smokers.:grilling_smilie:

 

I agree that Bradley's aren't the best investment, but does anyone have any knowledge on how they are insulated compared to an Electric Masterbuilt?  I smoke weekly during Spring/Summer/Fall, and am feeling pretty down that smoking season is coming to an end.  I've been eyeballing both the Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite 30, Masterbuilt Analog, as well as a Bradley, but even local employees that sell the smokers can't seem to tell me about how well they are insulated and if smoking at 225 would even be possible without overworking parts during the winter.  Thought I'd ask some of you pro's on this forum!

 

So...  Any Canuks on here that smoke thru the winter?  Thanks for your help!

 

:)  Mel


Bradley claims its electric digital 4-rack smoker has a fully insulated stainless steel interior. I think all their smokers are designed like that. I've never considered a Bradley because I didn't want to be restricted to using their wood bisquettes since I prefer wood pellets, buying from merchants I choose to do business with. I also don't like electric-motor-driven augers that feed the wood products into the heating element area. Anything electric and with moving parts can break down and need replacing. That's why I've stuck with my MES 30 and the AMNPS (and now the 6" AMNTS, which is a tube smoker), and a variety of wood pellets.

 

Don't know where you're located in Canada but I'm hugging your PNW border down here in WA state. I've heard that people who live in the colder winter regions down here have problems using their MES digital and analog units outside. I don't like smoking or grilling in cold or in rain so I shut operations down. If I get a decent weekend or two before Christmas I like to smoke cheeses and beef jerky to hand out as gifts. Everyone just loves 'em.

 

Watch out which MES Sportsman Elite you buy. That's MB's catch-all brand for big box outdoorsy retail stores. You'll see SEs with 4 or 6 racks, meat probes, sausage racks, and some other extras. The packages will vary and sometimes certain packages will be offered only at certain times of the year like...now. Just look at the prices and check places like Cabela's, Sportman's Warehouse, Tractor Supply Co., but also look for deals from big box retailers. There are of course other major brick and mortar/online retailers but there are a few I just don't ever shop with.


Edited by daRicksta - 11/22/16 at 10:06am
post #118 of 131

If you are in extreme cold, I would do the homework and find a model that has wall insulation, it will cost more of course, I have the elite 30, the walls are not insulated but it does have a 1500 watt element, but 

Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperMel View Post
 

Good day!  Long time reader, first time poster.

 

While this thread has been an interesting read, I am in the market for an Electric Smoker and am looking for advice on what to purchase.  I own a charcoal smoker (Webber), and 2 propane smokers (Both Masterbuilt), that serve me well, however I am looking for something to allow me to smoke during the winter...  In CANADA (Mb)... When its -30C/-22F or colder.  Please note that this smoker would NEVER replace my other smokers.:grilling_smilie:

 

I agree that Bradley's aren't the best investment, but does anyone have any knowledge on how they are insulated compared to an Electric Masterbuilt?  I smoke weekly during Spring/Summer/Fall, and am feeling pretty down that smoking season is coming to an end.  I've been eyeballing both the Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite 30, Masterbuilt Analog, as well as a Bradley, but even local employees that sell the smokers can't seem to tell me about how well they are insulated and if smoking at 225 would even be possible without overworking parts during the winter.  Thought I'd ask some of you pro's on this forum!

 

So...  Any Canuks on here that smoke thru the winter?  Thanks for your help!

 

:)  Mel


Bradley claims its electric digital 4-rack smoker has a fully insulated stainless steel interior. I think all their smokers are designed like that. I've never considered a Bradley because I didn't want to be restricted to using their wood bisquettes since I prefer wood pellets, buying from merchants I choose to do business with. I also don't like electric-motor-driven augers that feed the wood products into the heating element area. Anything electric and with moving parts can break down and need replacing. That's why I've stuck with my MES 30 and the AMNPS (and now the 6" AMNTS, which is a tube smoker), and a variety of wood pellets.

 

Don't know where you're located in Canada but I'm hugging your PNW border down here in WA state. I've heard that people who live in the colder winter regions down here have problems using their MES digital and analog units outside. I don't like smoking or grilling in cold or in rain so I shut operations down. If I get a decent weekend or two before Christmas I like to smoke cheeses and beef jerky to hand out as gifts. Everyone just loves 'em.

 

Watch out which MES Sportsman Elite you buy. That's MB's catch-all brand for big box outdoorsy retail stores. You'll see SEs with 4 or 6 racks, meat probes, sausage racks, and some other extras. The packages will vary and sometimes certain packages will be offered only at certain times of the year like...now. Just look at the prices and check places like Cabela's, Sportman's Warehouse, Tractor Supply Co., but also look for deals from big box retailers. There are of course other major brick and mortar/online retailers but there are a few I just don't ever shop with.



If you are in extreme cold, I would do the homework and find a model that has wall insulation, it will cost more of course, I have the elite 30, the walls are not insulated but it does have a 1500 watt element, but there are some models I have seen that are well insulated yet have a considerably higher retail price.

The Elite 30 may work and is a nice piece, especially with the mods, but not sure about the temps, the only over working you would be doing is on your power bill from more cycling to hold temps inside considering the outdoor temps you are speaking of.

I have not done it yet, but my end game with mine regarding temps and to escape the effects of wind causing temp swings as well, is to move it indoors in my shop, going to build a hood for the smoker out of Luan and use a very small exhaust fan (12V ) to pull the air minimally to keep it out of the shop, this way I can negate the effects high wind is having as well as control ambient external temps to a degree as well, not to mention it will solve the bad weather issues so I can smoke in the rain or snow  :).

The Elite 30 with the original air intake and exhaust ports and the 1500W element should be able to do what you want, the extra cycling from the outdoor temps should not wear out anything, especially if it is the analog version, you will just see a increase in electric usage according to the temp extremes.

 

post #119 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperMel View Post
 

Good day!  Long time reader, first time poster.

 

While this thread has been an interesting read, I am in the market for an Electric Smoker and am looking for advice on what to purchase.  I own a charcoal smoker (Webber), and 2 propane smokers (Both Masterbuilt), that serve me well, however I am looking for something to allow me to smoke during the winter...  In CANADA (Mb)... When its -30C/-22F or colder.  Please note that this smoker would NEVER replace my other smokers.:grilling_smilie:

 

I agree that Bradley's aren't the best investment, but does anyone have any knowledge on how they are insulated compared to an Electric Masterbuilt?  I smoke weekly during Spring/Summer/Fall, and am feeling pretty down that smoking season is coming to an end.  I've been eyeballing both the Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite 30, Masterbuilt Analog, as well as a Bradley, but even local employees that sell the smokers can't seem to tell me about how well they are insulated and if smoking at 225 would even be possible without overworking parts during the winter.  Thought I'd ask some of you pro's on this forum!

 

So...  Any Canuks on here that smoke thru the winter?  Thanks for your help!

 

:)  Mel

 

Smoking and grilling season? Didn't know there was one...it never ends for me. I've pulled through -30*F all-nighters on pulled pork smokes, and that was many years ago. I've been known to be out tending the smoke in blizzard conditions. I will admit, I've never owned or used an electric outdoor cooker...propane was my usual game, with an occasional charcoal conversion, then a cheapo charcoal bullet (tons of mods), until I went to the dark side a few years ago...all charcoal, all Weber...except for my dutch ovens, of course.

 

If you have a WSM, just load it up with hardwood lump and a big enough fire to start with...it will produce enough BTUs to get the job done. Regular charcoal briquettes are bit on the slow side in colder weather. As with any outdoor cooker, you need to keep them out of the wind above all else, next to precipitation...either one will suck the heat right out of a non-insulated smoker.

 

I know a guy who had a Bradley...said he couldn't get it over 185* on most days in the winter, even when in his garage out of the weather. His was only a 600-watt heating element. Any 1200-1500 watt element should do the job, but make sure you're extension cords (if you use them) are heavy enough to handle the length of run with that high of current draw.

 

I'm smoking Idaho Potatoes in my WSM right now with briquettes providing the heat under a dry water pan...35*F ambient, 250* on the lid, and I started with an average sized fire over a cold bed of reserve fuel. Speaking of water pans, don't use water if need more heat...evaporating water kills your temps.

 

Oh, what goes with the potatoes? Cold smoked/seared Ribeyes on the Weber OTG 26.75" kettle...:drool

 

Eric

post #120 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by forluvofsmoke View Post
 

 

Smoking and grilling season? Didn't know there was one...it never ends for me. I've pulled through -30*F all-nighters on pulled pork smokes, and that was many years ago. I've been known to be out tending the smoke in blizzard conditions. I will admit, I've never owned or used an electric outdoor cooker...propane was my usual game, with an occasional charcoal conversion, then a cheapo charcoal bullet (tons of mods), until I went to the dark side a few years ago...all charcoal, all Weber...except for my dutch ovens, of course.

 

If you have a WSM, just load it up with hardwood lump and a big enough fire to start with...it will produce enough BTUs to get the job done. Regular charcoal briquettes are bit on the slow side in colder weather. As with any outdoor cooker, you need to keep them out of the wind above all else, next to precipitation...either one will suck the heat right out of a non-insulated smoker.

 

I know a guy who had a Bradley...said he couldn't get it over 185* on most days in the winter, even when in his garage out of the weather. His was only a 600-watt heating element. Any 1200-1500 watt element should do the job, but make sure you're extension cords (if you use them) are heavy enough to handle the length of run with that high of current draw.

 

I'm smoking Idaho Potatoes in my WSM right now with briquettes providing the heat under a dry water pan...35*F ambient, 250* on the lid, and I started with an average sized fire over a cold bed of reserve fuel. Speaking of water pans, don't use water if need more heat...evaporating water kills your temps.

 

Oh, what goes with the potatoes? Cold smoked/seared Ribeyes on the Weber OTG 26.75" kettle...:drool

 

Eric


You cold smoked the ribeyes? I did something similar for Father's Day two years ago. I hot smoked the steaks using hickory wood pellets and then reverse seared them on my 22.5" Weber OTS. My family loved them but I knew that I had overcooked the steaks by a little bit. My son, like me, likes steak medium rare, but my wife and daughter go for the medium well and beyond.

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