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MES - Smoke Volume Issue?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if I have an issue or not, someone with more experience, please advise...

Cooked two fatties tonight on the MES (30" from Academy). Had the following setup:

* 250* temp setting
* 1/4" water in pan
* 1/2 cup or so of hickory and apple chips (apple 2:1 over hickory)
* chips were not soaked
* burner element between bottom of ash tray and the other section of the ash tray, slipped in between the two layers basically.
* vent 1/4 open
* preheated smoker

Got a nice volume of smoke for about 15-20 mins, then not so much. Mostly a thin trail coming out the top. Added 1/4c or so of chips after 45min. Temp read 250* throughout the cook

Temp probe in the larger of the two fatties hit 165* after 1h45m of cook time. Pulled them and let em sit til time to cut and eat.

Fatties did not have much color to them. Bacon was not crispy, was done, but that's about it.

Am wondering about the following:

* Add chips AFTER it finishes preheat?
* Use more chips? Less? Soak?
* Charcoal briquet?
* Cooked on 2nd tray from top, cook on different tray?

Any pointers would be most appreciated.
post #2 of 10
With mine I add the wood just after I have preheated it and added the meat, then I add the wood, about a cup, and I never soak my wood, I did the first 2 times then tried without soaking and did not make a difference

I get just about like you said, good smoke for about 20 minutes then a thin smoke line coming out of the top.

I know in the winter I smoke in my garage with the door open about a foot and the garage does not get smoky, but I tried an overnighter last weekend with the new Traeger and it puts out to much smoke for doing it inside the garage.

To me as long as the flavor is there I think your alright
post #3 of 10
I put the chips in after the warm up and meat is in. I haven't found a difference between soaked and unsoaked wood chips. I only use the water pan if I think I need more moisture. I found that it seemed to slow my expected internal temps, and I lost a lot of my rubs. Good luck.
post #4 of 10
I don't have a MES but I do use a little cheif electric and I know you don't always see the smoke. As long as you can smell smoke your golden.....You don't want the smoke white and billowing out, you want thin blue line of smoke................I normally always have the top vent wide open during smoking...................

Were the wood chips all ash? You might just need to add more chips. With electric smokers you won't get much for smoke ring..... To crisp up the bacon you could take the internal temp to 170...... Hope that helps............
post #5 of 10
I switched to chunks long ago. You might have to split to size. I have an old cleaver.
post #6 of 10
Kron, you won't get much smoke ring from the MES. Search rechtee's post on the dynamics or the smoke ring, this link might be helpful http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ad.php?t=12556
I have the small MES and the only way I have produced smoke ring is to put two pieces of cheap *** charcoal every hour to hour and a half. You can also get the sam result from rubbing with tender quick.
Remember TBS is what we shoot for, at some times only smelling it, not seeing it. As long as you and yours are happy with the flavor, you are doing it right.
Just my .02 cents worth
post #7 of 10
I preheat without water pan or any wood for smoke, add water pan with boiling water about 15 min prior to adding meat. When I add meat I use approx 2/3 cup of wood chips that have soaked during preheat period. About 30 min. later I add at least 2 chunks. I always leave top vent wide open!
If you are losing smoke 20 minutes after smoke started, and your vent isn't wide open, you are smothering the wood fire by not allowing enough oxygen. If the wood is in the tray and not burning, make sure top vent is wide open and take out wood tube completely. If you have wood chips or chunks in the tray with tube out, the wood should start burning with due to all the extra oxygen. As soon as wood is smoking good again, replace wood tube.

I really attempt to have the door open the minimum amount of time possible, that is why I don't add water at same time as meat.
post #8 of 10
When the smoke stops, have you checked to see if the wood chips are ash, or if they have stopped burning? If they are ash, pehaps you should try soaking the chips to encourage them to burn slower/smoke longer. Also, you could add more chips. I add them several times during the smoke. I also always soak them.
post #9 of 10
I've had my Masterbuilt for about a year and a half and have used it many many times now. I always run it with the vent wide open and preheat it with the water pan already filled. I find that at first there is a high volume of smoke as the initial burn takes place but then it fades a way to a wonderful TBS. I add chips every 45 minutes to an hour and continue until I've decided the meat's had enough smoke......which sometimes is right up to the end.

I've been able to get a decent smoke ring on some things like meatloaf and picnic roasts but like they say you don't get a really great one with an electric smoaker. I haven't tried putting any charcoal into it yet but plan on trying this weekend to see if there's a difference.
post #10 of 10
I am fairly new to the MES but have it going right now. Been on since 8am and I go out about every 45 mins and add a small amount of chips. About a pinch each time. More work, but I need the exercise anyway. When I load a cup it smokes like crazy and then settles down. I think it is staying more consistent adding a little at a time. Also using dry chips and vent full open. Everyone will do it different.
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