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Size of wood chips?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I will start off by telling you what i just bought for equipment. Just got a small masterbuilt electric smoker. The first time I used it, it seemed to work out just fine. The question I have is, i cut myself some apple wood chips that has been dry for a long time. I cut 3/8 to 1/2 disks from a 4" log then smashed them up into smaller chips. But in my smoker I couldnt get much smoke at all until I turned the temp up to about 180. Does the size of the wood chips make a difference as to getting smoke at lower temps?

post #2 of 14
What type of container do you place your chips in your smoker? The thickness of the metal makes a big difference as to how long it takes to get smoke from them. I use a coffee tin inside my propane smokers and it only takes a minute to start smoking. Are you soaking the chips or doing them dry? Soaking the chips only delays the time for them to smoke IMHO. Sorry I have not had any experience with electric smokers. Try the electric smoker section. Good Luck
post #3 of 14
What are you smoking below 180'? Details please.
post #4 of 14
Your MES won't smoke very much under 180*.

Crank it up to 200+ and you'll get smoke.

That's the nature of the beast with electric smokers.


No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #5 of 14
I use chunks instead of chips mostly but I think your biggest issue was your temp was to low to get things going. Bump those temps up to 180+
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
The only thing I have smoked so far was a cornish hen. But some of the articles I have read talks about cold smoking, which was said that temps under 100 degress is where that is achieved. From what I have read, you can just saturate your meet with smoke at this temp, maybe they are wrong.

Also the maual that came with my smoker has a few recieps and some of them have you turn the temp down to as low as 140 for like 16 hours? I dont know enough about smoking to have an opinion on if thats right or not, thats why I am talking to you guys.

The pan that holds my chips is just a very thin tin pan that sits within 1" of the heating element at the bottom of the smoker.
post #7 of 14
If you are smoking meat for 16 hours at 140 you are going to be breaking the 4 hour rule. You want to get your meat out of the 40 degrees - 140 degrees within 4 hours. Now if you miss that by a little bit I wouldn't get too worried but by several hours and you will run into a problem. Normally when you are doing pork, chicken,beef etc. you are smoking with temps around 225-275 for low and slow. If you do cold smoke a chicken lets say at 100 degrees you are going to want to put some heat to it after a few hours to get out of the 40-140 in four hours. There are probably a few exceptions to this rule where you can cold smoke for longer if you were to cure the meat before smoking it.
post #8 of 14
For chicken, game hens etc. 250-300. The hotter you smoke it the less likely the skin is to be rubbery. Also chicken etc. is not neseccary to go extremely low and slow as it is for tuff cuts of beef and pork. Your book may be explaining cured meats at that low temperature for that long. If uncured meats remain within 40-140 for more than 4 hours it can be dangerous.
post #9 of 14
If your doing jerky or snack stix , something like that you want to cold smoke, temps like 135-165. You might have trouble getting smoke from your electric unit(i do) at those temps. You might have to buy or make an attachment like the smoke daddy to get good smoke at low temps. Just my 2 cents hope it helps. Type in smoke daddy smoke generators and see if that gives you an idea of what i mean.
post #10 of 14
Check out the MES Hot Mods thread for several different DIY smoke generators:

Personally, I think the best way to smoke poultry is upright, at high temp (275 for the MES). Everybody loves crispy skin, and you'll have no problem keeping a steady stream of TBS.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I just did two more game hens last night. This time I cooked it for 3 hours at 225 and also had the water pan with water in it this time. So here is how it turned out. The meat was super juicy! Loved that! But the skin was rubbery versus last time, but I didnt use the water pan last time either. Does this sound right?

I was thinking cooking it for like 2 hours with the water pan in there, but the last hour without the pan? Good or bad idea?
post #12 of 14
I would say bad idea. Just finish on a grill or hot oven if you want to eat the skin.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok bad idea, whats the reason for that?
post #14 of 14
Wood chips aren't made that way. What you made are more like small chunks.
Try a bag of chips from the store and you'll see the difference.
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