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First MES butts

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I bought the 40 inch MES several months ago and had a unit that would not heat properly. Masterbuilt kindly paid for the shipping and refunded me what I spent on it. It took me 3 months to run another one down and I finally got around to cooking with it this weekend. Well last week I smoked a ham but this was the first big smoke. Four butts and two orders of wicked baked beans for a cookout of about 35 people. Thanks to all the tips and advice on here the cookout was a huge success. Sorry I dont have qvue. Things were a little too stressful to be taking pictures this time but I'll do better.
I do have some comments about the MES though. I set it to 275 and preheated for an hour. The built in temp gauge read 275 on the nose. So I dropped it down to 230 and put in all four butts. I realize it takes a while to recover temps with that much meat but the built in temp never got above 174. I know it was cooking hotter than that and all the butts reached 195 on two seperate thermometers. I know it had to be cooking hotter than 174 for it to cook the meat in the correct amount of time like that and to the right temp. So if the thermometer is capable of reading 275 why wouldn't it read that while cooking? Just curious.
Bottom line. The butts were awesome and everyone was more than impressed with how tender and flavorful the meat was.
post #2 of 4
Congratulations on a Successful Cook...
post #3 of 4
My MES varies 20-40 degrees different from the external thermometers I have hooked up. I use 2 for extra assurance. I had the same experience my first smoke. I find it pretty difficult to get the temp at a place where you can just leave it, but there is enough fudge factor in a long cook, that you will be ok if you watch it and begin to learn what variances to expect.
post #4 of 4
lowcountrygamecock, you have illustrated my point perfectly that I attempted to make in this thread, you will have to read it and decide for yourself. As I pointed out in that thread and another post, I had a recent similar experience with 8 racks of ribs, that took 3 hours to get to 220-225. I wait 30 minutes more and check for doneness some racks already had 1/2" pullback. Thus how could a 1/2" pullback (the rest had 1/4" to 1/2" of pullback) be achieved if the ribs spent so much time cooking under the desired cook temp, where did all that heat go? Thanks to PitRow pointing me in the direction of some basic science, that answered the question. A couple of questions,
• did you use a seperate digital probe to monitor internal cabinet temp?
• did you use a seperate digital probe to monitor meat temp?
A lot of us don't trust the MES controller's sensor readings, and it sounds like you have a newer model with the window and meat probe built into the controller. In my 8 rack rib experience I had 3 devices monitoring cabinet temp, the digital controller sensor, a taylor remote digital probe, and a simple oven thermometer. All three gave almost identical readings +/- 5 deg. My BB ribs followed the 3-2-1 cooking pattern + 30 minutes, yet according to the cabinet temp they spend 3 hours cooking at a average cooking temp less far less than 220-225 (more like 175), how could they finish almost on time. I have done at least 8 or 9 big load cooks in the MES and it is always the same, yet the meat almost always finishes in the appropriate time + 30 to 60 minutes for a couple of door openings. How do they finish on time if they are cooking at less than the desired cook temp? (The principle heat goes to cold, or the colder, that is the principle.) That heat (BTUs) is there and as long as the meat temp is less than the cabinet temp, a higher percentage of the heat will go into the meat raising the meat temp until either the meat becomes resistive to temp increase (stall) or it matches cabinet temp and then they both rise together, from that point. IMHO
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