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How low will an MES go?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, the title pretty much says it all. Will the MES operate adequately in the 180* range? Or should I just ask straight out, will it do sausages? My GOSM will go 200* with minor smoke. Need to get lower, right?
post #2 of 10
You can start the MES out a 100° I believe (have not used mine in about a month) but from what I read at that temp you do not get enough smoke because it is off, on, off, on trying to maintain 100°

I'm sure some with more experience will come along soon
post #3 of 10
At low temps you can pop a cold smoke generator on the MES and get lots of smoke

post #4 of 10
You should also know that with the MES set at 100, the chamber temperature in the center is around 135-140. At least that's how my unit runs. You can keep things cooler by filling the water tray with ice (that's how I smoke cheese with the MES).

As for smoke generation, you could also put a couple of lit briquettes in the trip tray with your smoking wood to make sure that you're always getting smoke.
post #5 of 10
you can also open the door until the element comes on if it is not smoking well. I have used the MES to smoke jerky and I have gotten smoke easily with this method.
post #6 of 10
I had NO problem producing lots of smoke when I did my sausage at 165 deg.

The temp sensor tends to read lower than actual (about 10 deg on my unit). Probably due to the proximity to the wall and outside temp being low.

Just use a seperate temp probe to set your smoker temp, it does real good at holding the temp once you do.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
OK, your comment plus the others pretty much answer my question. I'd been looking at the Little/Big Chiefs where they seem to rule for jerky/sausage smoking, but they're pretty small. MES's are larger versions in concept.

Yes, I could build a wooden smoker like many have done here (some very great looking units, I might add) but I'm limited in property space (but at least it's all paid for icon_mrgreen.gif), and the combination of a GOSM and a MES should serve me just fine (but one can always hope for a Lang style smoker sometime in the future PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif).
post #8 of 10
I think the MES works great for sausage.
A couple of suggestions..

1)Put a tile in the back right corner to eliminate the Hot spot. Not sure if the new models still have that issue, but it is a simple addition.

2) I don't use the water tray for water, so I put 4 6x6 stone tiles in it and covered with foil. This adds thermal mass to the unit and really helps recovery times when you open the front door. Now, given the newer unit has a 1200W element, recovery times might not be as big a deal as they were on my 650W unit. With the tiles in the tray, my unit recovers pretty quickly.

3)My unit produces LOTs of smoke. On higher temps, I use chunks of wood that I split into about 1x1x4in pieces and intsert in from the side. For low temp smokes, I have been using pellets. Like I said, no problems making TONS of smoke.

4)Make sure the chip tray is inserted correctly. Otherwise the tray does not get close to the element.

I love my MES, it is almost set and forget, if it weren't for the fact that I need to add wood every hour. I did a 12hr Butt with chunks this weekend. All I needed to do was add chunks every hour. Pretty simple.
post #9 of 10
I routinely use mine for smoked salmon and run it in the 150 degree range. But then that's usually in the winter when the ambient temperatures are pretty low. It works good for me. All bets are off for doing it in the summer though.

As you noted the chiefs are really good for low temp smoking, and the big chief has roughly the same cooking area as the smaller mes. The only downside to the chiefs is that they don't have any insulation and are really susceptible to wind and cold temperatures. I've used mine year-round by making an insulated box to put around them in windy times and it works good. I've even used the big chief to smoke a whole turkey before, so you can do a lot with them. But if you're looking at buying a new one, for the money you should probably spend a little more and get an MES. It's just so much more versatile. But if you can find a used chief for cheap, it'd make a great machine for sausage/jerky.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Where I'm at in Washington, if the outside temp gets to 80, we declare a heat wave and run inside. I mean, I live less than a mile from the bay.
Now all I got to do is find an MES. Lowes only has the small one, about the size of a big chief. Home Depot, well, all they have is a store looking like it wants to close it's doors. When you leave empty pallets in the aisleway and trash everywhere, well, that really creates an impression.

There's a place about 30 miles south I'll take a look at. Sportsmen Warehouse, got a new name, but that's their old one.

Thanks for the information. Much appreciated. Of course, SWMBO said, what the h-e-double hockeysticks do you want another smoker for?????? Well, you know they can get. icon_redface.gifBut that's another thread.
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