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2020 Jinxed My Thanksgiving!

mneeley490

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Normally we spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws, who all live nearby. COVID-19 put the skids on that for so many of us. So I resigned myself to just making Thanksgiving dinner for the 3 in our household.
Thankfully, I was able to brine and then oven roast a turkey breast for my mother-in-law and take it over to her earlier in the week. No time to smoke that one, but she loved it anyway.

The plan today was to take out the 2 Butterball 4.75 lb boneless turkey roasts that I dropped into some brine last night. Did one substituting apple juice for water, and the other the same with orange juice. I've done the orange one in the past, which came out excellent, and wanted to see how they would compare. Each went into a 2 gal ziplock bag with 1/2 gallon of liquid, 1/2 c. kosher salt, and some herbs.
20201125_185937.jpg


Since I know from past experience that these only take about 3 hours in the smoker, and we didn't have to be anywhere today, I slept in till 9am, took a shower, and planned on having these hanging in my trusty, 10 year-old MES30 by 10am. (The one on the left is the orange.) Hit them up with some BBQ Pit Boys Poultry Rub. Everything was going perfect.
20201126_113730.jpg
20201126_113741.jpg

Then I heard a soft click, and noticed the light was out inside my garage fridge when I went for something. Uh-oh. Been there, done that.
My big fridge conversion has a short somewhere inside, and trips the GFI in the garage when it starts heating. The MES30 just did the same. After a few minutes of tinkering to confirm what I suspected, and trying again, it seems my MES30 decided today was the day to give up the ghost. Ugh! Time to go to Plan B.

Got the cover off my GMG Daniel Boone, filled the hopper with a mix of sugar maple and apple pellets, and turned it on to heat up. While it isn't that cold here, it seemed to be struggling to come up to the 150° start temperature. So I put a welding blanket on top to help out; that seemed to work, so I set the temp at 325° and went inside to continue prepping. After a few minutes, I looked out the kitchen window and noticed more smoke than normal. Stepping outside, the GMG was billowing black smoke and spewing pellet embers out of the smokestack! I quickly tried the shut down procedure, but the fans seemed to just make it worse; so I pulled the plug on that idea.
20201126_121020.jpg

20201126_121018.jpg


Geeze, Louise! On to Plan C. It's now 12:30 pm, and I'm behind schedule. Whipped out the little Smokin' It Model 1, stuck in a chunk of maple, and since it's too small to hang, I had to pan both roasts. It's top speed is only 250°, so the last one is finishing up now, at around 5pm.
20201126_122849.jpg


So now 3 of my 5 smokers are now down for the count, and I smell like a forest fire; I'll need another shower tonight. I'm eventually going to tear apart my fridge conversion, but I don't think it's worth it on the MES. The wife said, "Well, I guess I know what to get you for Christmas, now." So, I'm looking at Black Friday sales right now because I usually use the MES and/or the GMG to make bacon presents for family & friends for Christmas. Was planning doing that next week, so I'll need one right away to continue that.

THANKS AGAIN, 2020!!! YOU SUCK!
 
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chopsaw

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I had trouble with my MES too . I have a Auber controller on mine , but it wouldn't get up to temp . Stalled at 230 . Probe must be bad .
Anyway , if yours is kicking the GFCI I bet it's the element . Mine was doing the same and new element fixed it . Good to have options for sure .
 

jcam222

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Normally we spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws, who all live nearby. COVID-19 put the skids on that for so many of us. So I resigned myself to just making Thanksgiving dinner for the 3 in our household.
Thankfully, I was able to brine and then oven roast a turkey breast for my mother-in-law and take it over to her earlier in the week. No time to smoke that one, but she loved it anyway.

The plan today was to take out the 2 Butterball 4.75 lb boneless turkey roasts that I dropped into some brine last night. Did one substituting apple juice for water, and the other the same with apple juice. I've done the orange one in the past, which came out excellent, and wanted to see how they would compare. Each went into a 2 gal ziplock bag with 1/2 gallon of liquid, 1/2 c. kosher salt, and some herbs.
View attachment 472611

Since I know from past experience that these only take about 3 hours in the smoker, and we didn't have to be anywhere today, I slept in till 9am, took a shower, and planned on having these hanging in my trusty, 10 year-old MES30 by 10am. (The one on the left is the orange.) Hit them up with some BBQ Pit Boys Poultry Rub. Everything was going perfect.
View attachment 472612 View attachment 472613
Then I heard a soft click, and noticed the light was out inside my garage fridge when I went for something. Uh-oh. Been there, done that.
My big fridge conversion has a short somewhere inside, and trips the GFI in the garage when it starts heating. The MES30 just did the same. After a few minutes of tinkering to confirm what I suspected, and trying again, it seems my MES30 decided today was the day to give up the ghost. Ugh! Time to go to Plan B.

Got the cover off my GMG Daniel Boone, filled the hopper with a mix of sugar maple and apple pellets, and turned it on to heat up. While it isn't that cold here, it seemed to be struggling to come up to the 150° start temperature. So I put a welding blanket on top to help out; that seemed to work, so I set the temp at 325° and went inside to continue prepping. After a few minutes, I looked out the kitchen window and noticed more smoke than normal. Stepping outside, the GMG was billowing black smoke and spewing pellet embers out of the smokestack! I quickly tried the shut down procedure, but the fans seemed to just make it worse; so I pulled the plug on that idea.
View attachment 472614
View attachment 472615

Geeze, Louise! On to Plan C. It's now 12:30 pm, and I'm behind schedule. Whipped out the little Smokin' It Model 1, stuck in a chunk of maple, and since it's too small to hang, I had to pan both roasts. It's top speed is only 250°, so the last one is finishing up now, at around 5pm.
View attachment 472616

So now 3 of my 5 smokers are now down for the count, and I smell like a forest fire; I'll need another shower tonight. I'm eventually going to tear apart my fridge conversion, but I don't think it's worth it on the MES. The wife said, "Well, I guess I know what to get you for Christmas, now." So, I'm looking at Black Friday sales right now because I usually use the MES and/or the GMG to make bacon presents for family & friends for Christmas. Was planning doing that next week, so I'll need one right away to continue that.

THANKS AGAIN, 2020!!! YOU SUCK!
That is one elaborate plan to get the wife on board with a new smoker!! Lol :) Hope they came out good for supper.
 

phrogpilot73

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Joined Dec 22, 2018
We're in the process of re-doing our deck, so a lot of my cookers are stashed in the garage and would have been a pain to get out. If that happened to my pellet pooper - I would have been screwed with a capital S. Glad you had several backup options. And I agree that 2020 sucks big time.
 

MJB05615

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Wow! Good thing you were extremely prepared. I have just 1 smoker, so if that happened to me, I'd literally be out of options, except the oven. I've been using an Auber PId for a year on my MES and it's been great.
Glad it worked out.
 

OldSmoke

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Joined Sep 5, 2020
I’m impressed that you have so many contingency plans. Risk planning at its best. I’m sure you kept your cool and few bad words were uttered.

Nice recovery(s).
 

mneeley490

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All's well that ends well, I guess. At least the Smokin' It was up to the task. Here's the result:
Apple being sliced.
20201126_180322.jpg


20201126_181725.jpg


Comparing apples to oranges, I like the orange brined better. Even though they were in the same smoker, the apple oddly picked up about twice as much smoke flavor. Maybe it'll calm down after a day or two in the fridge.
20201126_182033.jpg
 

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mneeley490

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jun 23, 2011
I’m impressed that you have so many contingency plans. Risk planning at its best. I’m sure you kept your cool and few bad words were uttered.

Nice recovery(s).
More like an obsession with smokers. ; )
 

Omnivore

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Looks like you still managed ok! BTW, Cabela's has a basic MES 30 on sale for $130 right now, if you wanna add that back into your arsenal.
 

SmokinAl

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Glad it all worked out in the end!
Just a normal 2020 day!
Al
 

JLeonard

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Looks like you overcame adversity pretty well. I keep thinking 2021 has got to be better......
Jim
 

Bearcarver

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Wow "M", You sure are good under Pressure!!
Way to go!!
All looks Great !
Like.

Bear
 

SmokinVOLfan

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Damn 2020 has about ruined everything! Great turkeys though man all looks wonderful!
 

mneeley490

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Silver lining; Albertson's was selling their leftover fresh turkeys for half off the lowest price. I picked up a 22.5 lb bird for about $14. Too big to go into most smokers, let alone my Smokin' It, this went the traditional way in the oven.
20201129_132517.jpg
20201129_164245.jpg


Also, I took advantage of the Black Friday sale at Sportsman's Warehouse and upgraded to a 40" MES for $249. Should be here today, just in time to make some bacon for holiday gifts.

Side note: You might notice that the little pop-up timer is up.
1. I don't rely on those things anyway, I use a calibrated temp probe.
2. But if I did, I'd be SOL, as they put it in the wrong spot and it popped up when the temp in the breast was really about 150°.
 
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