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Overnight smoke in the MES, how?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My pork butts have been taking a long time making for later dinners. If I want to start smoking late the night before instead, how do you do it?

How do you go 8-10 hours undisturbed without adding wood,or mopping/spraying etc and maintain same great smoke n flavor? lower the smoking temp?
post #2 of 12
Well, you don't want to lower the smoking temp for a couple of reasons. For one, if it is too low, it will take to long to get the meat through the "danger zone" which is when the temp of the meat is between 40° and 140°. The other reason is going low below a certain temp tends to dry out the meat. You don't want to try to smoke anything that has not been cured below 225°. You'd be better off to go "hot and fast" (270° to 325°) but I don't think your MES is going to do that.

Smoking, for better or worse, is a participation sport. When most people do an overnighter, they just check on the smoker several times throughout the night or stay up with it. There are not many smokers that you can load up and walk away from. Most of the ones that can do that are very expensive like the Stumps or the Backwoods..

The exception is the UDS, like the one in my avatar picture. It, and those like it, will run for 16+ hours on a single load of fuel, are very moist cooking environments so it makes the need to mop/spritz somewhat debatable, and are very stable temp wise..So . . . you could always build a drum.

With an MES, I don't see how you are going to get around monitoring it and replenishing the chunks/chips every once in awhile. But the effort spent smoking something that long is usually well worth it.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

post #3 of 12
You can get maybe 2 hours of smoke with wood chunks. So you can go 2 hours then load the wood tray with as many chunks as you can get into your MES then go to sleep. You will have smoked for at least 4 hours. That's enough to give a good smoke taste and your meat should be to 140 or greater in that time frame anyway. At this point the meat can still take on more smoke but some feel that at this point the meat will not take up much more smoke due to the bark decreasing smoke penetration. Debateable for sure but the bottom line is that if you need to start at night and get some rest 4 hrs of smoke will be enough so don't loose sleep over it.

You don't need to add mop sauce in a MES. If you have a full water pan of boiling water to start there should be enough moisture in the circulating air to help keep the meat moist. I would stay at around 225-250 for cooking temps. I would be hesitant to go lower. You want that big hunk of meat to get to 140 in 4 hrs
post #4 of 12
You can do one of two things. Start your smoke in the evening so you can monitor the MES and add chips the first 4 hours or so and then set it on auto pilot before you go to bed. I do this quite often. I make sure the meat has at least reached 140 and I set the MES on 200 and forget about it.

The other is install some sort of smoke generator so that you don't have to be there to add smoke. I have a smoke daddy on my MES and I am very happy with it. I can load it up and smoke 4 to 6 hours without having to add wood.

I cook all night qute a bit. I love it. I also love hangin out all day and smokin but if I had to be with my smoker everytime I decided to smoke something.... it would cut down on the amount of smoked foods I'd have in the freezer and fridge.
post #5 of 12
You don't, go 8 hours undisturbed ....basically you have to watch it and feed it wood and make sure its burped at the right time etc.

You can get away with very little mopping by the judicious use of foil but the wood has to be babysat and the temps as well.

Its possible to get 3-4 naps in but no longer than 4 hours I'd think.

I get up at 4am for a butt roast and still I have come close to having the meal a bit late. It went down to the wire at 6:30pm suppertime, whether or not It was going to be done. Long stall on that one.

Now I prepare them the day before and re heat them.

I re-read PignIt's post, I totally forgot about the smoke daddy. I have one but so far have been too lazy to drill a hole in my MES. that would be one solution to the set it and forget it problem. If you get one for your MES I'd suggest the small model. I have the medium and it puts out a lot of smoke. I wish I'd gotten the smaller one.

Edit , I just checked the smoke daddy website, they say that the big kahuna will smoke about 4-5 hours the medium one like I have 3 hours and the small smoke daddy will smoke only about 2 hours. If 2 hours of smoke is ok by you then the $40.00 small smoke daddy probably would be for you. Of course You could start the smoker and use wood in the MES for the first few hours then switch over to the smoke daddy for a continuous smoke all night.
post #6 of 12
A few of us have added a smoke daddy to our MES. The MES handles the temp control and the smoke daddy will keep smoke going through the night. I have the middle one (large size), and it goes for 6 hrs. Enough to get some sleep and replenish the chips/pellet in the morning. I've had mine going continuously for more than 12hrs with a reload or topping it off once and a while. Just an option for ya :).

I also recommend an ET-73 wireless smoker temp alarm if your going to leave your smoker unattended while your asleep.

Here's a link to the smoke daddy generator.

post #7 of 12
Very easy. Smoke till at least 140' or I usuallly go 6 hours. In the drip pan I put the butt and wrap it in foil. Set the MES at 200' and go to bed. What could be easier? In the am the bone will fall right out. Put the juice in the freezer and defat it while pulling, and add back to the meat. I doub't you'll be using any sauce, it's that good.

I just did a turkey pastrami last night like that.

Good luck!
post #8 of 12
A PS to my post. Ron Man turned me onto cooking overnight with the MES and it works wonderfully. I've done it with butts and with chuckies. Can't beat it.
post #9 of 12
Well, I see now.icon_redface.gif

Great info, guys.

I forgot about that Smoke Daddy contraption.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

The same can be said for brisket? Just lay it in it's juice and wrap overthe pan? Do you loose the bark during this process? or get the meat too tender for slicing?

Thanks for all of the feedback folks!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
one more thing. If I do the day before, what is the best way to reheat sliced brisket or a whole cooked brisket o mantain the juiciness?

post #12 of 12
I think if you sear it will be fine. Or you could crisp it up before slicing.

In the juice from the drip pan.
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