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Amazen smoker tips in MES 30 Gen 1?

Mhmoore101

Newbie
12
2
Joined Mar 19, 2019
Have the MES 30 Gen 1 and have had decent success smoking. Just bought the Amazen pellet tray and some smokehouse brand pellets. Have found a few tips on here but have so many questions. Have read about pulling chip loader out 2-3” and chip tray out 1”? What to do with water pan? Any suggestions on what to place over amazen tray to keep drippings from getting on pellets? Microwave pellets before? Any answers would be greatly appreciated. Plan on smoking two 8lb buts this weekend
 

Preacher Man

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Have read about pulling chip loader out 2-3” and chip tray out 1”?
Pulling the chip tray and loader out increases air intake, so you can play with how fast your pellets burn with this. I use the tube in mine, but with that I pull out my chip tray about 2 inches and then play with the chip loader depending on wind speed for the day. There have actually been times when I set up a small fan outside the MES by the chip loader to help with circulation. I haven't done that in a while though.
What to do with water pan?
I just foiled my water pan and stuck it in there empty. It catches drippings, but I think it also help distribute heat a little more evenly. Some guys fill theirs with sand to help with heat retention.
Any suggestions on what to place over amazen tray to keep drippings from getting on pellets?
I use an aluminum tray that I cut to size and flip upside down. I think Bearcarver Bearcarver does this, too. He's a great resource for all things MES.
Microwave pellets before?
Depending on moisture content. It wouldn't hurt to do this every time, but I haven't found the need to. With that being said, I live in a relatively dry place. If you're atmosphere is generally humid, this could become more necessary.
Plan on smoking two 8lb buts this weekend
Let us know how it goes!
 

Bearcarver

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Have the MES 30 Gen 1 and have had decent success smoking. Just bought the Amazen pellet tray and some smokehouse brand pellets. Have found a few tips on here but have so many questions. Have read about pulling chip loader out 2-3” and chip tray out 1”? What to do with water pan? Any suggestions on what to place over amazen tray to keep drippings from getting on pellets? Microwave pellets before? Any answers would be greatly appreciated. Plan on smoking two 8lb buts this weekend

Howdy Mhmoore, and Welcome to SMF!!
Preacher Man gave you good answers already.
As for covering your pellets, many times I have my food in a tray, so there is no dripping, but other than that I cut a 9" X 12" foil tray in half (lengthwise), and put that upside down above the pellets on the next rack above it.

You can find all kinds of Tips & methods on the link below, as all of the smoking was done in an MES:
Just click on "Bear's Step by Steps".


Bear
 

Bearcarver

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Below a pic of my old Gen #1 MES set-up:

Bear

DSC03985.jpg
 

Mhmoore101

Newbie
12
2
Joined Mar 19, 2019
Pulling the chip tray and loader out increases air intake, so you can play with how fast your pellets burn with this. I use the tube in mine, but with that I pull out my chip tray about 2 inches and then play with the chip loader depending on wind speed for the day. There have actually been times when I set up a small fan outside the MES by the chip loader to help with circulation. I haven't done that in a while though.

I just foiled my water pan and stuck it in there empty. It catches drippings, but I think it also help distribute heat a little more evenly. Some guys fill theirs with sand to help with heat retention.

I use an aluminum tray that I cut to size and flip upside down. I think Bearcarver Bearcarver does this, too. He's a great resource for all things MES.

Depending on moisture content. It wouldn't hurt to do this every time, but I haven't found the need to. With that being said, I live in a relatively dry place. If you're atmosphere is generally humid, this could become more necessary.

Let us know how it goes!
Pulling the chip tray and loader out increases air intake, so you can play with how fast your pellets burn with this. I use the tube in mine, but with that I pull out my chip tray about 2 inches and then play with the chip loader depending on wind speed for the day. There have actually been times when I set up a small fan outside the MES by the chip loader to help with circulation. I haven't done that in a while though.

I just foiled my water pan and stuck it in there empty. It catches drippings, but I think it also help distribute heat a little more evenly. Some guys fill theirs with sand to help with heat retention.

I use an aluminum tray that I cut to size and flip upside down. I think Bearcarver Bearcarver does this, too. He's a great resource for all things MES.

Depending on moisture content. It wouldn't hurt to do this every time, but I haven't found the need to. With that being said, I live in a relatively dry place. If you're atmosphere is generally humid, this could become more necessary.

Let us know how it goes!

Thanks for all the helpful answers. I kinda figured most of them just wanting reassurance. Super meticulous and always over analyze and make things more complicated ha.
Also using BBBR for one and Ployboys Yardbird rub on the other. Any other store bought rubs you enjoy? I normally add a little turbinado sugar to BBBR to help with sweetness.
Assuming still ok to spritz since no liquid in water pan as I used to do using chip loader?
 

Bearcarver

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Thanks for all the helpful answers. I kinda figured most of them just wanting reassurance. Super meticulous and always over analyze and make things more complicated ha.
Also using BBBR for one and Ployboys Yardbird rub on the other. Any other store bought rubs you enjoy? I normally add a little turbinado sugar to BBBR to help with sweetness.
Assuming still ok to spritz since no liquid in water pan as I used to do using chip loader?

Adding water to an MES pan is a bad thing in an MES, because it's already too humid in there, due to being well insulated.
Spritzing probably does more harm than good, due to having to open the door to spritz.
I don't think I ever had anything come out Dry from any of my MES units, unless I overcooked it.

Bear
 

smokerjim

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I think preacherman and bear have you covered, but if you still have problems keeping it lit look into the mailbox mod,
 

Mhmoore101

Newbie
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2
Joined Mar 19, 2019
Got it going around midnight and when i woke up around 6 this morning it had burnt up all rows in AMNPS but several black pellets remained? Used 2/3 hickory and 1/3 apple. Wondering if Apple maybe didn’t burn as good? Not really sure. Also it was cold and super windy out last night. Had to keep chip loader in or the temperature couldn’t keep up. I did chip tray out 1” and top vent completely open. Originally had chip loader out a couple inches but it would never get to 230’. After the hour i checked and about 1/2 of first row was burnt up already. So fully inserted chip loader. Assuming the windy conditions really affected normal burn times and circumstances? Meat was at 160 but still added two rows of hickory but didn’t microwave pellets this time. Just curious of opinions on this info fellas. Appreciate ya.
 

Preacher Man

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Joined Sep 28, 2018
I'm not familiar with the maze as I use the tube, so someone might have better advice than me on the pellet burn. Every now and then I get a few non-burners. It doesn't bother me as I figure 90-95% burned and made smoke. I can live with those numbers and my meat still tastes smoked.

Were those pellets bunched in one location or randomly spread throughout?

Regarding your temp struggles: in my MES 30 I'm not able to place a foil tray in there because it keeps the heat pushed down too low and causes the element to cycle off too quickly. I see that you have a pan in there. Try removing that and see if your temperatures woes go away.
 

Preacher Man

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Also it was cold and super windy out last night...
Wind is a booger. It affects smoking way more than I'd like to give it credit for.

How cold are you talking? I've smoked in negative temperatures with my MES with no problems.
 

Bearcarver

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Wind is far worse on an MES than cold temps are.
The only time I ever run my MES with the top vent less than full open during smoking is when it is windy.
Depending on the wind, I might have it 1/4 to 1/2 open. If it's wide open, the wind can suck the heat right out of the top vent. I would say pull your dumper out a couple inches & close your top vent half way when it's windy.
However the best thing would be to get your MES out of the wind, with some sort of blocking, like plywood.

Bear
 

Mhmoore101

Newbie
12
2
Joined Mar 19, 2019
I'm not familiar with the maze as I use the tube, so someone might have better advice than me on the pellet burn. Every now and then I get a few non-burners. It doesn't bother me as I figure 90-95% burned and made smoke. I can live with those numbers and my meat still tastes smoked.

Were those pellets bunched in one location or randomly spread throughout?

Regarding your temp struggles: in my MES 30 I'm not able to place a foil tray in there because it keeps the heat pushed down too low and causes the element to cycle off too quickly. I see that you have a pan in there. Try removing that and see if your temperatures woes go away.

I would say I had an 85% burn rate, they were spread throughout. Appreciate the insight
 

Mhmoore101

Newbie
12
2
Joined Mar 19, 2019
Wind is far worse on an MES than cold temps are.
The only time I ever run my MES with the top vent less than full open during smoking is when it is windy.
Depending on the wind, I might have it 1/4 to 1/2 open. If it's wide open, the wind can suck the heat right out of the top vent. I would say pull your dumper out a couple inches & close your top vent half way when it's windy.
However the best thing would be to get your MES out of the wind, with some sort of blocking, like plywood.

Bear
There was a high wind warning last night so I’m talking 25-35mph gust, but a steady wind. I turned my patio table on its side and strapped my grill beside it to try and get a wind barrier but I don’t think it helped much as windy as it was. When using factory set up I always had my vent barely open. It was around 25 degrees but with the wind it felt much cooler. I had chip tray out 1” and for first hour had chip loader out 2” and it stayed on but only got to 219. I think if less wind and a warmer day, the standard set up of open vent and the tray and loader bring inches out would work. Smokehouse a decent brand pellet? Appreciate ya
 

Bearcarver

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There was a high wind warning last night so I’m talking 25-35mph gust, but a steady wind. I turned my patio table on its side and strapped my grill beside it to try and get a wind barrier but I don’t think it helped much as windy as it was. When using factory set up I always had my vent barely open. It was around 25 degrees but with the wind it felt much cooler. I had chip tray out 1” and for first hour had chip loader out 2” and it stayed on but only got to 219. I think if less wind and a warmer day, the standard set up of open vent and the tray and loader bring inches out would work. Smokehouse a decent brand pellet? Appreciate ya

OK, I find I have to block wind in at least 2 or 3 directions to keep it from sucking heat out of the vent.
Mine sits in front of my house wall, and I have already hung a tarp from the overhang to block two other sides.

And as far as Temp goes, the Wind effects an MES as much with a 30 MPH---80° wind, as it does with a 30 MPH---25° wind.

Below was another of my experiments that worked pretty good in blocking the wind.
The important thing is to keep the wind from hitting that top vent. It can blow across the vent, and suck the heat right out of the smoker:
DSC02083-1.jpg


BTW: I never tried any other Pellets other than Amazing Smoker Pellets, from Todd.

Bear
 

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