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Greetings from Northern Minnesota

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just got signed up today. This looks like a great site for a newbie to smoking, which is what i am. I started about two years ago wanting to buy a smoker. I just never got around to doing it. I did a fair amount of shopping, but never brought one home. I have a 1959 Greyhound converted into an RV, and a bunch of us had a get together last weekend. We had smoked ribs both on Thur and Sat night! That did it for me. I figure it is only right i have a smoker, since i enjoy the food so much. Shopped and read a bunch online before finding this forum. One of your posts about buying a MES rather than building, listing all the nice features already available on the MES, sent me out shopping.


I hit every store in the area that had smokers and some that didn't. Looked at Bradley, Smoke Hollow, Big Chief Little Chief (whatever), Brinkman, on and on. I found the MES 40" at Gander Mtn for 449.00. I remembered that Sams Club had the same unit a couple years ago when i was looking. Walked into Sams and there it was for 269.00!


I sort of had decided to get either a Cookshack or Smoking Tex. But really, for that kind of money - done deal. Wrap it up. Put it in my car. Got it home last night and could not hardly sleep wanting to get out and get smokin'. Burned it off this morning, and around noon loaded in 4 lbs of chicken breasts, 2 pounds pork country style ribs, and a package of bratwurst. Brothers - i have to confess, i am still stuffed. So much for my diet i have been on since May 1. All of it was good, and the ribs were great!


A couple questions - The only thing i would not be able to fix is the control board. I dont know replacement cost, but am wondering if the 3 yr warranty for 40.00 is worth it. What say ye all?


How do you go about putting the finish "bark" on the meat. I realize being airtight with a water pan, it will not happen easily. I saw a thread where the ribs were wrapped in foil and were covered with brown sugar and butter, then put back in. For how long? Any favorite variations on doing this?


It took me an hour longer to scrub up the grates and pans, than it took to do the smoking. Is it common practice perhaps to line the water and drip pan with foil? Of do you just let them build up a nice "cake"?


I am very happy with the MES 40. If that control board holds up, these things are the deal of the century. That reminds me, i need to call my brother and tell him about the price at Sams.


Thanks to you all for making this board a huge resource. It has already been a ton of help.



post #2 of 14

Welcome on board John. Someone will be along shortly to answer your questions.

post #3 of 14

Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.

post #4 of 14

Hey John -Z  Welcome to the SMF, And Congrats on the Smoker. I dont have a MES so I'll leave those questions for someone else to answer.


I'll be up your way in 2 weeks, for a little vacation to see family in Babbit MN. I cant wait. Gonna do some smoking up there also.


Glad to hear everything worked out with your first smoke. Be sure and send pics.

And Be Happy, Eat Well, and Good Smoke To You !!

post #5 of 14

Welcome to the Family Friend

post #6 of 14

Welcome hope you enjoy it here!

post #7 of 14

Thanks for the introduction, and welcome to the SMF. It is usually suggested that you foil the water pan and the drip pan, it makes cleaning up much easier.

Yoy might consider using the 3-2-1 method for spares. You smoke them for 3 hours oncovered, then foil them with some apple jiuce and smoke for 2 hours, then you unwrap them and let them smoke for the final hour. The hours are general guidelines, you can change it to your likings. For BB's, it's a 2-2-1 method. It's all good my friend.

post #8 of 14

Welcome to SMF - lots of good info here

post #9 of 14

Welcome John-Z from Minnesota !!!


There are a lot of Great guys here from Minnesota, and all over the world !






BTW:  I have the MES 30, but some who have the MES 40, like "RonP" say the extended warranty is well worth it. If I bought the MES 40, I would get it.

post #10 of 14

Welcome Aboard, from another minnesotan

post #11 of 14

I am also a native from Norther MN. Where about do you live? Check out the 3-2-1 method on making ribs. We usually go 3-2-1 for spare ribs and 2-2-1 for baby back ribs. This means 3or2 hours on the smoker, 2 hours in foil and 1 hour back on the smoker to firm up a bit. Some put brown sugar, butter and honey on the ribs when they foil them and some spray a bit of apple juice mix in the foil instead. Both are great. The best advice I can give you is to read, experiment a lot and ask question on this forum. There is always someone around to give you some advice. Welcome to the Smoking Meat Forum family!

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. I made up two fatties tonight and will make one more tomorrow to smoke with some more ribs. Note to self - i cannot keep eating like this or i will be buying all new pants.SmokintheSmc, your picking a nice time of year to come up here.Will you get out fishing while up here? You will pass right by my place when you are about a half hour south of Duluth. richoso1, i will try the 3-2-1 with the ribs tomorrow. Might try them with some sauce this time too. rbranstner, i live about 20 minutes south of Duluth. I am going to try your suggestion with the sugar butter etc while the ribs are in foil. Although, my first batch with only a rub are good enough i could not stop eating them! What a great hobby this is! It goes along so well with my wine making!


Again, thank you to all for the warm welcome!



post #13 of 14

Will definetly get some fishing in and some sausage making,and smoking. Will be sure to post pics too. Wine making is in my future too.


Glad you are with us, you'll love it here. SFM is a great site for ideas. 

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

You said it about being a great place for ideas. I have been pouring over all the tips for the MES smokers. Also the recipes. I cannot believe these fatties! Man, i am in serious diet trouble if these things are as tasty as i hear. I mean smoked meat cannot be all unhealthy, but i have my doubts about those fatties. Good luck with the fishing.

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