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First MES attempt

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone on the forum. Very helpful advice and kindness makes this a great place.

I broke in my MES over the past weekend with some pretty good results. I did a slab of BBR's and a whole chicken. I was very impressed with how fast the chicken got done. I did 225 for about 3 hours and chick turned out very good.

I let the babybacks go for about 5 hours. The last 2 were wrapped in foil. I have to say that for my first try in the MES, I'm impressed!

Here are my photos...

Rib prep 1 - Mustard

Rib Prep 2 - Rub



Chicken done...

Ribs done... and some eaten...icon_wink.gif

All in all, very happy with the first results.
post #2 of 16
Congrats on a good looking smoke!!
post #3 of 16
Congrats on the first ones. Looks great. Did you check the thermometer on the MES? They are notorious for being wrong. Could explain why the chicken got done so fast and had that nice crispy skin.
post #4 of 16
Good lookin' grub. Enjoy the MES!
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Not yet. I think it was pretty accurate tho because the ribs turned out as expected. I'll check the MES thermometer this coming weekend. By the way, the chicken skin was good n' crispy icon_smile.gif !!!

Another MES question:

Does everyone use water in the pan with everything or only certain things? I used water this time but I'm wondering if I should have.
post #6 of 16
Great job on your first smoke! Points for sharing it!

I use my water pan for everything as it helps to keep the temperatures more constant, and provides a barrier from the direct heat. One time I did a bunch of boudain and had them starting on the bottom shelf with water in the pan. The ones over the water were great, but the ones that hung out over the pan were almost torched. The ones that were up one shelf (I have the 40", so have 4 shelves) were ok on a later smoke. Don't know if that helps or not, but so far I like how the water protects, and everything else has been very moist and juicy.
post #7 of 16
Just a note on the chicken, you'll notice with some more experience that the MES runs hotter on the right side due to the location of the heating element. I always put the thicker cuts on the right side and the thinner cuts on the left, and toward the top to even out the cooking time of the entire "load" in the smoker. That may be why the chicken was "done" so quickly, it appears you had it right over the element. My MES runs about 30 degrees hotter than the set temp, and several others have posted similar experiences.

Good looking stuff for the first run.
post #8 of 16
Great job on breakin in that MES...birdie came out nice.

Crispy skin?... it's got to be running hotter than 225
post #9 of 16
Wonderful job. Looks like a successful job on your first smoke. I've been trying to smoke something at least 3 X a month on my MES. Great little smoker.
post #10 of 16
post #11 of 16
Nice job for the first run.

I use water for everything
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone.

Yep, makes perfect sense about the higher heat above the element. I'm sure it'll just take a while to learn the secrets of this little guy.

I'll keep using the water as smokeguy pointed out, it sure did make everything juicy.

Not enough time to reply to everyone. Just floored at all the responses.
Thanks again.
post #13 of 16
Looks great Dan, I see you're a wing nibbler too. About the water pan, I've never filled mine up- just use it as a drip catcher. Every thing tastes good to me. Sometimes on butts the bark is a little on the dry side, maybe I should try a little moisture.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hehe... a ning wibbler.PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif

I think the water probably does help however using my charcoal side box smoker, I never used water and like you, it always turned out pretty good.
post #15 of 16
The water is to absorb the heat from the element and create a more consistant temp inside.

Hope this makes sense.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
100% sense. I think I just need to figure out the best layout like woodentrout pointed out. I didnt search the forum for the other posts. My bad.

... hmmm trout. I'm thinking maybe fish for this Sunday...icon_wink.gif
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