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1st smoke with my New MES..Ribs w/Qview

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So I finally got my MES in the smokin mode and decided to do some spare ribs. I smoked them at 230* and tried doing them like Ron did, the 3-2 method. Had a water pan filled with water and a drip pan filled with apple juice.
I used apple wood and rubbed them with Cajun Injectors, Cajun Shake.

Ready for the MES...

MES smokin and ready....man it's like summer out there....lmao

Into the MES they go....

After 3 hours they're ready to foil...no pull back on the ribs though...

Pulled straight out of the foil, they look and smell good but after 2 hours in the foil still no pull back.

Pics of the bone while eating....

Results: The tastse was good. The meat had a fairly clean pull/tug from the bone when biting. The meat was a little chewy/tough. I think had I put them back in the smoker unfoiled for an hour as per the regular 3-2-1 method to firm them up they would have been like filet of soul....with the heel !!!!!
Now it may have just been a nasty set of ribs I got but all in all they didn't even come close to as good as they do in my Traeger.
I will be trying more in the future as I think the MES is a good smoker, except I will admit that I'm spoiled with the Traeger not having to add wood chips every 45 mins to an hour.

Hope y'all enjoyed this.....icon_cool.gif
post #2 of 16
Job well done, looks tasty! :)
post #3 of 16
Yo oneshot, thanks for sharing the cook with the pics.

I know you know what your doing, because you have been a SMF member for a long time, but I have some questions?

• What rib cut was that, that first pic looks like a rack halfed but it just looks weird?

• Obviously your cooking in really cold outdoor ambient temps, and there has been a lot of post about when to foil and not foil, but the real issue is, are the ribs done enough before you foil rather than how long until you foil? Unless you got some of BBally commercial ribs with "no bone creep" then there should be at least 1/4" of pull back before you foil, or if doing the lift and bend test the rack bends easily not stiff (kind of hard to really do this test with a rack that has been halved).

• Final question, you own a Traeger one seriously fine smoker, but you decided to try out an MES, what was the motivating factor to buy a MES? (I'm just curious.)
post #4 of 16
Too bad they weren't up to par for you. Maybe just a bad rack?
post #5 of 16
im curious about this as well, that Traeger you use looks to turn out great stuff...... unless its just like alot of us with the motto: "cant have too many smokers".. PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif

can you get your money back on that MES? j/k icon_wink.gificon_smile.gif
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey Delta, it was weird....lol
It was a halved rack (to big to fit whole) of spare ribs.
I put a piece of plywood up wind behind the smoker and then wrapped a doubled over heavy moving blanket around the smoker leaving the vent open of course.
You are correct in it being hard to tell the degree of doneness when the ribs are halved and they did have a slight bend for their size before foiling.
I do have some thoughts on the control box allowing to much of a drop in temp. when it hits the set temp. range and that may have had something to do with it. I'm gonna contact MES about that.
Your absolutely right about the Traeger, it's a fantastic and consistent smoker. I bought the MES for doing lower temp. smoking of sausage and stuff, also as a back up if necessary. But the Traeger is my main smoker. icon_mrgreen.gif
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just talked to MES and described how my control box was operating and the tech. said it sounds like it may have a faulty control box and they are shipping me a new control box. The tech was very nice and asked if I had any other issues. I have to say that the customer service so far is very good. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #8 of 16
Good deal Steve. They are a class act.
post #9 of 16
You do know that Ron was smokin BBs and you were smokin spares. My spares always take quite a bit longer than the BBs and the best spares I've had... I slammed them on the grill with the sauce to finish them up. There is so much more fat to render down and out than on the BBs. I've had issues with my controller and I've had to adapt. I'm going to take mine back to Sams for the new model when they come in. That is the 40 inch. I've also got a 30 inch like yours and I've not had any issues with it. Seems to do a great job.
post #10 of 16
GREAT! Hopefully that will solve the issues.

I know you have read a million MES posts, but I will rehash a couple of old points.

• I would strongly recommend in very cold outdoor ambient conditions to preheat the MES to 270-275º for up to 1-2 hours (don't throw your water in meat in as soon as the read out says 270), WHY? I have noticed that recovery after 3 hours of smoking is very short compared to after the 1st hour, meaning all that metal has to thoroughly heat, this includes the insulation sandwiched between the inner wall and outer wall.

• When you add your water add it boiling hot, right before you add your meat. I prefer to do water and meat in two stages, I add the boiling water seal up the MES and wait 15 to 20 minutes then add the meat. Each time I open the MES hatch I have carefully planned my movements to minimize how long that door is open, (even better is have someone open and close the door).

• If your only doing a couple of pieces of small meat, you can add the meat to the already preheated racks. But if you are going to load with more than a couple of easy pieces, then leave the racks out during preheat and load the meat on the racks then load racks into the preheated MES. Loading will be much faster. I know some of these steps sound useless since that door is going to be open and the heat is escaping, but every effort you make to minimize that heat loss will pay off in your MES getting to temp faster.

• I can't speak for the newer MES with the higher wattage elements, in extreme cold it is possible that you will have difficulty getting to your desired cook temp, but if you keep track (take notes) every 30 minutes of the meat temp and see that temp start to steadily climb you won't have any problem getting the meat cooked to the desired doneness. However the amount of time necessary to achieve your desired finish temp may be a lot longer.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here because you are very experienced, while the MES is super at normal outdoor ambient 60+º, the MES requires extra effort when cooking in cold climate. Also keep that door closed forget spritzing it isn't necessary with the MES, you can add that extra flavor during foil and if you decide to sauce after foil (open foil sauce and leave meat in open foil) you can add flavor there too.
post #11 of 16
One tip for MES if the cooking temp just sits or is climbing super slow (provided you preheated properly and added boiling water instead of cold), is to do a hard reset. (Hard reset = MES is powered on and you use the on/off switch and power off, next unplug the MES from the elect. outlet, I like to count to 10 then I replug in the MES, turn on the on/off and reset to desired temp/time. Check in every 10 minutes and see if the temps are climbing. If after a 30 minutes no climb do another reset. You are not losing anything with doing the reset, the unit is only off for 15-30 seconds.

Why do this? I have read that after the MES has set for awhile (no use) that when you power it on, the controller can sort of stick, does that mean the wattage isn't being delivered who knows. All I know is that it has worked for me more than a couple of times.

So guess how I start all my smokes, after I get hot water and meat loaded in the preheated 270º smoker, I do a hard reset. I know if the MES preheated fine there shouldn't be an issue. Well what does it hurt, I do it anyway.

Of course maybe I'm due for a wiring & connection check....
post #12 of 16
Nice try firt time out of the gate. I wouldn't worry too much about rib bone exposure, I'm coming across that more often than before, and I use a GOSM. There usually is a little difference in smoking BB's from spares, but trial and error is the best way to get it where you like it. Good luck my friend, I can see the snow isn't going to slow you down.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey Delta, rehashing things is great!!!!! We all (especially us ole farts) forget little things and it's good to jog the memory once in awhile plus it's great info. for the gnu-bees (sp...lol)....icon_mrgreen.gif
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Snow or cold slow me down??? No way!!!!!
I'm not playing with a full deck.........lol icon_mrgreen.gif
post #15 of 16
Looks good. Makes me hungry for some ribs.points.gif
post #16 of 16


Have thought about buying one of the new MES....now I am starting to have my doubts after reading many post about problems with them....is this just a small percentage of the units that are bad.??? No matter how good MES warranty is and how good the people are....not having to use the warranty is much, much better in my mind. Great return policy with Sams' Club..but not having to drag it back for an exchange is far better.....a lot of the problems I have read involve the digital control.....I would think by this time they (Masterbuilt) would have it down to the nut!!!...This is their great selling feature (almost set it and forget it ) and this is where most of the problems seem to be.....Not that I won't get one in the future....just after they have sold off all the defective ones and have a new issue without all the problems that should have been taken care of some time ago......just my thoughts..!!!

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