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New MES - 1st cook ???

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
New Sam's MES 1st cook, not going well.

6 racks of ribs all seasoned, rested

MES preheated to 250 with water tray full, no smoke.
Add ribs, door open and temp drop to 130-140.

After 1 hour temp not above 180, MES was set for 225.
So reset temp to 275 to see if temp would rise faster.
I had also reset the timer to 60 min. in case I got distracted, and not over cook ribs.

I was distracted, my son checked temp, it was now at 210. Still distracted, time goes off, and I finally check on MES temp was back down to 175. ugh.

So again reset digital thing, back to 275, timer to 3 hours.

When I preseasoned the MES temp came up to 275 in less than 30 minutes, the MES was plugged directly into outside wall socket . But smoke had penetrated the house eve vents and eventually into house. So I added a 50' 14ga extension cord to move MES away from house. Now I'm concerned that the length of cord is effecting the performance of the MES, so moved back to direct connection to wall outlet.
post #2 of 12
Deltadude .... when you seasoned your mes if you did it with the water pan empty ?? that would be one reason why the temp rose so quickly and another is being there was no meat in it ....

when running your smoker with a load it takes more time to heat up ... try putting hot water in your pan that will help at the begining , also when you open the door you lose alot of heat ... I know it's hard not to peek biggrin.gif ... but it's best to leave it closed as long as possible ...
post #3 of 12
I think the manual says not to pre heat. According to CS the lenth of cord does make a difference also a ground fault protector will affect it, at least that what I was told.

Did you have the vent closed?
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
The short report.
The ribs turned out ok, lots of compliments.

The long report.
The one thing I didn't do was do a hard reset, unplugging the MES. I should have tried that before removing the extension cord, to isolate the problem. Again the temp was stuck at around 180, for almost 2 hours. The water tray was already filled and water hot when I preheated the MES.

After removing the extension cord, the temp. came up quickly to the set temp.
Unfortunately since over 2 hours of the cook time was at 180 at this temp the connective tissue won't dissolve, yet the meat gets cooked. I still did about 1.5 hours at 225, the meat was pulled back on the bone tips, I then sauced the ribs and wrapped in tin foil, returned the ribs to the MES and cooked another hour at 225. My wife got home late from work so dinner was delayed about 90 minutes. I lowered the MES to 140. After the wife arrived, I turned the MES up to 250 and basted the ribs again with sauce, and returned to MES for about 20 min. while the side dishes finished.

Result everyone like the ribs, the bones came out clean. Yet I knew there was still some fat and connective tissue there, that could have been cooked off provide the 225 temp could have been used the entire cook.

I'm not sure what caused the temp to not go above 180. I will try again next weekend. I think if I did a hard reset, with the extension cord attached the temp would have reached 225 in a short time, and that removing the extension really didn't do anything.

I failed to take pictures of the finished product, but I did take a few when the ribs first went in.

The one reason I was willing to pay the extra $$$ for the 40", was so I could lay out a whole rack of ribs without rolling or cutting the rack.

post #5 of 12
They look good all laid out on the racks. If your worried about the extension cord you could always get a 10ga cord and remove any doubt.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I checked the manual, and couldn't find anything about pre-heating.

I did find on page 2 NOT to use an extension cord.

I am going to upgrade the extension cord to a heavier gauge, and only 15' long.
post #7 of 12
Isn't learning fun and rewarding. I bet the next ones will be perfect. Don't be too hard on yourself. The distractions can sometimes come at the worse time. Folks being late for dinner doesn't help.

As much help as this site and its freindy members are,the experience, and confidence comes from trial and error. Some day down the road, you'll look back on this first time and chuckle.

Keep at it, you'll be pumping out quality smoked meats before you know it!
post #8 of 12
learn learn learn.....I think the one thing is that you used the extension cord, that is a "major no no" for most everything......while I'm trying to think how that really caused issues.....it's the only thing I come up with. I've had my regular sized mes (hey, I'm not afraid to say that) for some time....I've never had any issues with it on time or temp even leaving it plugged in for weeks....seriously!!!!! right now it's pumping some smoke dehydrating red jal's to chilpolte....... icon_evil.gif
post #9 of 12
geesh..I was thinking about an elec smoker after I mastered the landmann..seems there is all kinds of things still to learn even with something that should be set it and forget it type of smoker..lot of good info on this thread for a person with an elec. smoker.. are wanting to get one..
post #10 of 12
Deltadude.......I had the smoke in the house thing happen to me as well. My MES sits in a covered patio which has 3 of the sides enclosed so the smoke just hangs around & eventually some will get into the house. I just plugged in a electric fan, directed the airflow over the TOP of the smoker & rewarded myself with a BEER for thinking of that!
post #11 of 12
I completely agree with you Tim! I really noticed this when I started doing jerky in my MES with no water in the water pan the temp comes up really fast. My last butt I filled the water pan more than usual and it took a really long time to get up to temp. Deltadude try heating up your MES with nothing in it and see if it gets up to temp faster.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
I followed your suggestion today, and it worked fine. However I noticed if I had the fan too close to the vent, it created a draft and the wood burned hotter. So moved the fan a bit and it worked fine.

I tried to find a 15' 10/3 extension cord at our local lowes, but no luck, guess I will buy one online.
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