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MES-vent and air/smoke control

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have always just kept the vent of my MES closed regardless of what I was smoking.

Anyone have any links to info about this matter?

Should it be open for some meat and closed for some?

ANy info would be appreciated. Thanks.
post #2 of 12
I always run mine wide open. Don't want nasty stale smoke in there forming creosote
post #3 of 12


^^^ What he said.
post #4 of 12
The manual on my MES 30 does not address the vent...except to be aware of flare ups. I am also wondering at what point does smoke become "stale."
For the time being, I'm using the vent as a temp. control. The manual also says to use soaked chips but the video on the website uses dry chips. Guess we're left to figure out heat and smoke ourselves.

post #5 of 12
I keep mine wide open when hot smoking and when the whitish smoke is forming during the addition of fresh chunks or chips I will pull the chip loader out a few inches and this increases air movement even more.

I have kept the vent 1/2 opened when cold smoking using the soldering iron/can smoke generator.
post #6 of 12
For proper smoking it should always be open. I'm not sure how it would even work closed off.
post #7 of 12
I keep it closed when pre-heating, then open it right after I add the food and chips. I learned early on that an unventilated MES is a bad thing, no matter the amount of smoke.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I should have been more clear. When my vent is as closed as it gets, it's still cracked a little. Plenty of smoke rolls out. I don't know if this is normal or if my vent is a little off.

So it sounds like most of you guys have your vents open once you start cooking. Wide open?
post #9 of 12
Yes wide open. They are engineered for the air to come in at the chip loader, you will see the holes, and vent out the vent on top.
post #10 of 12
One of the best tips I read on here regarding smoking is "You don't need to see the smoke, just smell it, to know that it is smoking in there." Crank that vent wide open once you add your food and chips. I learned the hard way a couple times early on.

One thing I personally now do, is add a chunk of wood directly in the chip tray from the front door, instead of chips thru the side loader. I find that I spend less time dealing with chip reloading, and get a longer more steady smoke from a chunk over chips.
post #11 of 12
If you intend to use wood chips or chunks, the vent needs to be completely open. If you have the vent partially closed, the chips can be sitting there starved for oxygen not smoking, but lit. When you pull the side chip loader combustion can take place when oxygen rushes in and you will hear a whoosh. It may be very rare but if there is grease dripping down from your meat products cooking, it is possible that the grease could ignite. (This was a problem for MES when they first hit the market and Masterbuilt had to recall those early units). It can still happen if you don't leave the vent open.

So for proper combustion of the wood vent wide open. As to cooking without wood, should the vent be open, that is a matter of opinion.
post #12 of 12
I experimented with my 40" MES when i first bought mine and will agree the vent should be open
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