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suggestions please from a newbie ... using a Masterbuilt 20070106 30" black

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I smoked a 9lb+ pork butt, brined overnight & then coated with mustard & a rub & refrigerated 8hrs then smoked. I tried to follow manufacturer's suggestions & had a number of "I wonder if " situations ... I used Kingsford hickory chips that I had soaked in Water for a couple of hrs and then drained. I started with 1 cup of chips in the hopper and got plenty of smoke. Then went to add more in about 1 hr later [manufacturer recommended 45 min] and I had difficulty adding them [the original load wasn't used up] I then added again in about 75 min and still had a bit of resistance, so i waited 90 min for the next load. I added again using the same schedule +/_ over a 6 hr time frame.I had the smoker set at 220 degrees with a total time of 18 hrs. I opened twice during the process, first to check meat temp and mop  with a baste. Then after 15 hr I foiled and left in for another 2.5 hr. ..Removed and rested in picnic chest with towels for 4-5 hr, and it was still very warm. Then I pulled the meat, very tasty but a bit drier than I anticipated...wonder why? also very tasty yum yum!

   When the unit cooled down I cleaned it up and the chip hopper was still full to the top with chips and only a smidgen of true ash. The chips were now in the form of charcoal ... just wondering why they had not just gone down to just ash? Also is my experience of slow usage of the chips similar o others who have this smoker?

   Last question ... I have ordered a Taylor 1470 digital thermometer ... how do you use it effectively?The probe cable would probably be pinched or crushed in the door gasket if put in that way. The only way I can figure is to drill a hole in the box and insert the cable that way, or go in through the upper smoke vent, but that would seem to leave it open and allow heat and smoke to escape. Any suggestions?


Thanks for anyone's thoughts, Jack K

post #2 of 12

The chip tray in the older units wasn't always positioned correctly to allow for proper heat tranfer to burn the chips. Check the tray and make any adjustments needed to ensure it is in contact with the heating element.


A cup of chips is an awful lot for a 30" smoker and I think Masterbuilt adjusted that recomendation on later models. For my 40" I only use a small handful, maybe 1/3 of a cup about every 45 mins to an hour or so. Soaking chips is optional, I don't soak FWIW.


I would suggest going by internal temps instead of time as time is not always consistent. Foil at 165 then take out of smoker and rest in cooler at 200. I run my therm thru the door with no issues at all. The gasket is soft and pliable so it does no harm to my probe cable.


On edit: I just noticed this is your first post. Stop into Roll Call and introduce yourself. Sign up for the 5 day e-course and that will give you lots of good info to get you on track.

Edited by Placebo - 10/6/10 at 7:50am
post #3 of 12

If you really want to soak your chips .about a half hour is long enough ,I 'm with Placebo and don't soak mine either.

 you'll use less chips and not waste them not soaking them

  As for the cord for the thermometer , I haven't had any issues running them thru the door or the exhaust opening which you should leave opened all the way when smoking

   If you want do a search on the MES's, lots of info for them here and enjoy

post #4 of 12

I use the exhast vent to run the thermo leads into the mes.

 Like others i don't soak my chips and only use a handfull at a time.

  Others have been having problems w/ the readout on the mes being way high vs. actual cooking temp. Read out may say your cooking at 220 when in fact you could be cooking below 200.

 Get a thermometer that has been verified and push the probe thru a half potato and set the potato on the cooking rack. don't let the probe touch the rack .Set your mes for 220 and when it says you are at 220 check the other thermo. Run the mes up to 165 and check it again.

 One of our members here had a brand new MES that was 40 degrees lower than the readout said.

 Mine is 18 degrees off at lower temps but w/in 2 degrees at cooking temps.

Like Dave said, The only time you need to close the exhaust is when preheating the unit.

  Hope this helps.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your suggestions!



post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions!



post #7 of 12

Welcome to the SMF. I'm not familiar with your smoker, but I see that you're getting some feedback on that chip issue. I moved your thread to roll call so that others will have the chance to welcome yo.


The cable for the Taylor will be fine if you close the door on it, I've used one in my smoker and my wife has used it with her oven. That's been 7 years of good use. In the event that you need to replace the cable, here is a Wiki with that info.  http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/wiki/replacement-probe-for-taylor-1470-digital-thermometer


It's all good my friend.

post #8 of 12

I agree with everything Eman said in post #4.

The only thing I can add would be on which MES you have. The older models were the ones that had less smoking problems. I don't know them by number, but it was the newer ones with the half chip drawer, and the extra piece of metal between the element & the drawer bottom that had the problem. MES has a retro to fix that, if that is the model you have.


Also you said you were getting plenty of smoke, yet chips mostly just got black. That "plenty" of smoke could have been steam, and not smoke--Fooled me once (when it first started getting cool out last year). It looked like it was smoking nice, but it wasn't smoking at all.


Also, I seldom use chips or chunks any more, since I got my A-MAZE-N-SMOKER, but when I did, I never soaked my wood again, after the first time.



post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

thanks for the move to rollcall...I don't know how to go there, but your help should give me a bit of exposure. I hope that my probe lasts as long as yours. I have read some posts indicating that probe life is short and I gathered that it is a delicate little sucker. I am looking forward to learning how to best cook the meat. I wonder if bottom round, rump, chuck, and eye roasts would turn out tender and tasty...anyone have a thought here?


Jack K

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey Bearcarver, thanks for the ideas. My smoker is brand new and I looked and don't think there is an extra piece there, just a  plate to cover  the element presumably to not make it open to drips and fingers. [If that's the piece you refer to then I guess I will call Masterbuilt for some info]. I will also use fewer chips, although the amount used was at their suggestion and according to their instruction manual. Time and experience will improve my results and hopefully give me lots of good eating. I believe the smoke was from the chips rather than steam in that I smoked in a covered porch area and the wood smell permeated the air and even into the house. Next time will give me more clues


Jack K

post #11 of 12


Here is the link to the instructions. If you pull your drawer out, and there is still a sheet of metal above the element, you have one of the problem smokers.

If you watch this video, you can see the difference between the problem one, and the one that replaces it. The replacement one is like my older model. It only has drawer guides instead of a full extra floor above the element. The bad ones have both the floor in the drawer, and the other piece between the drawer floor & the element.

Sorry for being redundant, but it is hard to explain.







post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

   Bear, thanks for the info. The video is well done and shows exactly how to do it. I telephoned Masterbuilt and ordered a retro kit. Unfortunately they are out of stock, but they indicated that I would receive one within 30 days ...hopefully that is correct.

   It certainly pays to ask for help and others experience.

   I am going to try some large chicken breasts tomorrow, hope they come out good. Think I should brine tonight and then smoke tomorrow @250 for 3 hrs.


Thanks again, Jack

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