911 MES 30 HELP

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Original poster
Aug 10, 2010
I am having major trouble with this new retro kit.  I installed it.  Now when I use the smoker I am getting so much smoke and it back fires, puffs major dirty smoke.  I load this the same way I did before I installed the new retro kit.  Is anyone else out there having the same issues?  What am I doing wrong.  I used to get the thin blue smoke before this new retro kit, not it looks like Im burning the town down.  Any help or suggestions are appreciated.

Sounds like not enough air flow IMO.  Back off how much wood you are putting in it.  I see some big design issues with these smokers but I will have to make it work here in the short term. 

Remember also that you can tune how your box works simply by the air gap between the heat element and chip box.  Touch is maximum heat/smoke.  .250" will be much less.  Bend the tabs on the side to make the box stay up off the element a bit.  How hot are you running the smoker? 
Cut down on the ammount of chips you are using. Also try opening the chip loader a bit after you drop the chips. I have been using the mes for years and have not had any problems other than the wiring issues
I don't know where you are posting from.  I just did a salmon smoke in freezing weather.  I was getting much more white "smoke" coming out of the vent, but I'm convinced it was as much steam condensation as smoke.  When I opened the door to check things out, I could see steam coming off the water tray.  That has not happened before when the temperature was moderate to warm or hot.

Just a thought - but the real thing is how the food tasted.  Did it have the bitter creosote taste? Or did it taste ok.
I just received the retro kit today in the mail, cant wait to put it in. On my last smoke in my MES 40, I was getting the same thing. Chip box would flare up and catch fire. The first couple of times i used the MES I had no problems. This last time (when the flare ups were happening) I was loading the chip drawer with too many chips. I had to pull the tray out and dig all the chips that had fallen out and back behind the tray. Once I pulled those out and put half the amount in, I was good to go. Nice TBS again. 

Thats where I would start, less chips especially with the new, larger retro kit.

Hope this helps,

Thanks...I have tried everything, I cut the amount of chips I put in.  I have tried soaking them.  I still cant figure this out.  Before I put the retro kit in I never had this problem.  Now I dump a few dry chips in and bam they ignite and burn up to nothing in a matter of a minute.  That is why I tried soaking a few thinking that I could slow this down.  Doesnt matter, as soon as the water is boiled out of the chips...poof they start on fire and they burn up to nothing is less than a minute.  I noticed that the pan touches directly on the burner.  So I think that the pan is so hot that everything ignites and burns up to nothing immediatly.  Does anyone have any ideas how to fix this or what you do?

Thanks for the help
You might want to try an AMNS smoke generator. This completely eliminates the need for wood chips & produces consistent TBS for hours. I have one & would not go back to wood chips. The MES is a good smoker & the AMNS just makes it better.
I agree with SmokinAl - we have been using the AMNS smoke generator in our Masterbuilts and have been very happy with it.  That would be a quick solution to your problems.
I you want to control the smoke better using the chip tray, follow Viper's advice and  check/adjust the space between the heating element and bottom of the tray. A larger gap will slow down the smoke rate. If you want to control the smoke even better, follow SmokinAl's advice and get an AMNS. You can light one or more ends of the dust in an AMNS to control the amount of smoke. My suggestion is to get an AMNS... Messing with the wood in the tray (such as changing the amount you put in, pre-soaking, or changing to chunks) is unlikely to solve your problem in my opinion.
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