Thank you so much.!!! I'm going to print this thread and try my smoker this weekend. Just as you said, when I try to read too much, absorb too much information, and tweak my smoker, accessories or techniques without actually doing any real smoking, it can become overwhelming. I will use my smoker as-is this weekend and follow your instructions for the smoking of a pork butt. I actually have an 8 pounder in the freezer that I will get out to thaw. I can use the other half for green chili. Thanks again! :-) K
I too started using my first MES without using an AMNPS, but that was because Todd hadn't invented them yet. I would have probably gotten a different smoker or quit smoking altogether, because of my original MES 30 not producing smoke except for short times while the element was on.
Then I got an MES 40, and it wouldn't smoke until the temp got to 210*. Then Masterbuilt replaced my chip burning assembly (Free Retro-fix), and that one would cause the chips to flare up. From there forward I only smoked with either my AMNS (for smokes under 200*), or my AMNPS (for smokes over 200*). So keep an eye on your vent. If it does a lot of puffing, it could be flaming the chips. If it rarely smokes, it's because the element cycles on & off, like any electric smoker works. Don't let steam mist coming from your top vent fool you into thinking your getting smoke.
There are a few who use their built in chip burner, but nearly all MES owners have gone to the Amazing Smokers, because you can get perfect consistent smoke for up to 11 or 12 hours, without touching it once it's lit properly.
You're also welcome to use any of my Step by Steps in my Signature at the bottom of all my posts. Just click on anything that interests you.