Contraption for a MES

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by illini, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Here is another way to obtain smoke in your MES at temperatures under 200*

    The principle is smoke production not dependent on the internal temp of the MES.
    With this method you can run your digital controller between 100* and 275* and
    Always have the same amount of smoke inside the MES.

    There are two “rod heaters†inside of the device shown in the photos. The top lid
    Opens to introduce more chips or chunks and when closed the smoke goes through
    The hollow tube into the smoker where the wood tray has been replaced with my

    Testing findings: A one hour maintenance of adding chips or chunks seems adequate.
    The top vent emits what seems to be just the right amount of TBS. Observed no flare-ups, just a slow smoldering burn rate. Very easy to check your wood burn just flip the top lid open and have a look. There needs to be a metal container under the contraption to catch the hot ashes as they fall through the grate which is the “rod heatersâ€.

    Techs: The major square piece with the lid on top is 2â€x2†square tubing x 4-1/2†in length.
    The tube going inside the MES has a 3†washer welded to it to plug the hole created by removing the original wood tray. The lower round thing is an attachment magnet that holds tightly to the smoker cabinet. This probably won’t work on a stainless exterior cabinet. Switching back and forth from this contraption to original equipment operation is simply a plug-n-play thing. The two “rod heaters†are 2†long and .495†OD so they slip right in the ½†holes drilled through the square tube to mount them. They are spaced so they also act as the grate for wood lying upon them. The “rod heaters†are wired in series to 120V and get just hot enough to start and maintain combustion. In series they draw about 125Watts. I leave them plugged-in for the entire smoke. This contraption gets hot to the touch but the spring handle on the lid remains cool. Used John Deere muffler black paint on the outer surfaces.

    Took about 3 days to research and develop the idea and another to weld up and assemble.

    I like it very much!!!!!
  2. hi, im new to this. do most MES have trouble smoking at temps below 200? i just bought mine and used it last nite, it was 7 above zero out, and i was smoking jerly at 140 temp and it smoked great? just courious
  3. pigcicles

    pigcicles Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice Marvin! This can be adapted to other smokers too. It looks like the heaters could be moved further down to allow more room for chips to extend the time between fill ups too. Congratulations on a successful build. [​IMG]
  4. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hi pitbull; Most all of us using the MES find it does not work at the low temp and still produce smoke

    I would imagine that at 7* it was using the heater inside considerably. That is probably why you had smoke production.
    Do not think that would be the case in warm weather
  5. this is a stupid question im sure, but i guess i dont know what you mean by using the heater inside? i guess i thought if it was running at the temp that i set at 140 and it was smokin great, then it was doing what it was sapose too? lol sorry im new here
  6. sorry for the double post, but when you said heater inside, did you think i was smoking in a heated building? i was outside in a nonheated building if that helps, so it was pretty cold in thier too
  7. gofish

    gofish Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    First off ..... Excellent post, and thanks for sharing your idea!

    That is a very impressive contraption. You are truley the master of the MES! (ok, enough kissing up....) I have fiddled with different ways to get smoke in the MES while doing jerky at low temps, and just end up raising the heat to 190* or so then dialing it back down. What a great way to smoke cheese as well!

    How much will you be selling them for .... you know us 'non-fabbers' are always willing to whip out the check book to have something made.
  8. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    sorry for the double post, but when you said heater inside, did you think i was smoking in a heated building? i was outside in a nonheated building if that helps, so it was pretty cold in thier too

    Sorry to not have been explicite. When you operate at an ambient temp of 7* the heater in your mes must be on more than if it were 70* ambient. To the wood chips inside your smoker on-is-on no matter what temps you are trying to achive so they ignite because of the "on" time. At the other end when it is 70* outside "on" time will be reduced to maintain 140* so no burn is expected.
  9. Very nice design. I also have a MES and was thinking about fabing a box out of sheetmetal for cold smoking, but after reading your post, I think I'll try you design. Just not sure where to find the heater rods.
  10. cman95

    cman95 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I do not own a MES but that is a very good contraption you made there. My hat is off to ya![​IMG]
  11. lol ok i follow ya now sorry im slow lol[​IMG] here is a question i have then, most of all our smoking will probally be done in the cold weather, with it hurt my smoker if the burner has to stay on all the time because of the cold temps? and when its warm out how should i get my MES to smoke when im doing jerky if it dont like to smoke below 200 temp? i heard that the new MES has a better heating element, do you think that is true and might cure the low tem smokin problem? i think my smoker is the new model it had the adjustable door latch, thanks for any imfo
  12. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Your welcome
  13. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Very impressive Marvin! [​IMG]
  14. t-bone tim

    t-bone tim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Marvin , when it comes to the MES ,YOU ARE THE MAN [​IMG] , what a great little invention and addition to the MES , thank you for sharing your build .
  15. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Siggy; I have a machine shop guy who is a friend and he gave me three of the rod heaters. They were used and there is no way to read the ratings that are engraved on the outside. We used a digital ohmmeter to determine the resistance and guessed at the wattage from there. All I can say is they work well when wired in series and are way too hot if wired parallel.

    go to any industrial supply catalog like "Grainger" and you will find them
    and search Heater then cartridge and you will find a bunch My two were free but the new pups will cost you $15 to $20 each. Ouch I know!!
  16. Illini,
    Thanks for the info. and taking the time to post the link. I'm new to the site and can't believe how helpful and informative the members are. Once again thanks. BTY- I have the rods on order.
  17. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Great Siggy!; Am curious as to what wattage you ordered? I am still not sure what my used ones are but will tell you this. Did some cheese and fatties today and am very well pleased with the "contraption" as a smoke manager.

    Hope your project works out as well.
    Keep me informed and feel free to ask further questions if you need on this thread.

  18. smoked

    smoked Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    cool beans marvin.....think I'll have to make one of those suckers myself now...... [​IMG]
  19. irwinwd

    irwinwd Smoke Blower

    Nice mod Marvin, glad to see you got it working and the write up. I'll have to read in more detail later.

  20. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Bump for Siggy
    How are you getting along on the project?
    I can tell you that it has become my preferred operational method for all smokes. the thing works well and simplifies the procedure for obtaining the amount of smoke you desire at all temp ranges!

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