Anyone use wood pellets in their MES?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bikes blues bbq, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You showed a lot of dedication to that ham, Susie. I've yet to pull an all-nighter for a smoke. If I do, it would only be for a BBQ competition with prize money on the line.

    Did you get your AMNPS? If so, why did you need to add pellets every two hours? If you don't have it yet, do you normally have to add pellets that often to a Traeger? And people complain about the temp swings with an MES? Mine never swings more than 20-25 degrees each way which I don't mind.

    Smoking is very forgiving if you cook it past the IT target. Same thing happened to a turkey breast I smoked recently. I was shooting for an IT of 170° but it hit 180°. I thought the breast meat would be all dried out but it was just the opposite; smoky, moist, flavorful; best turkey breast I ever made, forget what I used for a rub, though.

    Which Dave are you referring to? I missed his post where he gave you the recipe for a cure. And what's pea meal bacon? I've never cured any meat but it sounds like fun. Being lazy, I buy cured meats from the store.
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Pea Meal Bacon is a Canadian thing. It seems to be cured Pork Loin, like CB, but instead of smoking it, they roll it in "Pea Meal" or sometimes "Corn Meal".  I don't like it---Mine has to be smoked.

  3. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    rick, it was dave omak. i did get the amns but the traeger only works while you feed pellets. you can't just get heat.

    bear is right. peameal bacon is what you call canadian bacon. up north we called it back bacon, or if rolled in corn meal peameal. don't know where to find actual peameal,  but if you get it in canada it's called peameal but is really corn meal.

    it can be smoked after curing. i'm sure gonna smoke mine.
  4. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    I am tossing around the idea of a pellet grill. I have seeing your posts. I was in talking to a retailer a week or so ago that sells Treagers...he suggested I go to another retailer that sells Green Mountain stuff. The fellow I was talking to has had several Tragers and was unhappy with all of them, he said the deal he was getting by being a retailer was just to good to pass up. But once he tried  Green Mountain grill he gave up....
  5. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    ink, i'm glad i gave you food for thought. i wish you luck with green mountain. please lrt us know about it, if you get one.

    i am of two minds about pellet grills. when they work, they are probably the easiest way to smoke. but, they have lots of moving parts,

    which worries me.

    i can't judge them by traegertraeger seems to have a corporate philosophy of ''increase sales but screw the consumer''.

    this must come from top management.
  6. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I checked out the Green Mountain Grill website and they look very similar in design to Traeger. Have no idea if their quality is better or not but from what I've heard it is true that Traeger took a nosedive in quality. For grilling, I'm old school. Nothing better than my Weber 22.5 inch One Touch Silver, especially since I bought both the hinged cooking grate and the enclosed ash catcher. And there's no moving parts except me as I'm smilin' and grillin'.
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks, Bear. I know Canadian bacon but never heard of Pea Meal before. I also didn't know--or I forgot--that CB was made from pork loin. I've yet to make my own but I would also smoke mine in my MES.
  8. kennyp1114

    kennyp1114 Smoke Blower

    I paid 169.00 for my MB and haven't had any problem. It reaches temp quick and holds it plus it smokes like crazy. Amazon will take it back gor a year unless you have ab extended warranty which only cost 12.49. I love mine.
    daricksta likes this.
  9. kennyp1114

    kennyp1114 Smoke Blower

  10. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Buy the pellets from Todd Johnson/A-Maze-N. He sells top quality wood pellets and I only buy from him.

    There's only a difference between smoking and heating pellets. Wood pellets meant for a wood pellet stove are not "food" quality. There's stuff incorporated with them rendering them unsuitable for smoker use, or so I've read.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  11. kennyp1114

    kennyp1114 Smoke Blower

    I went ahead and purchased some pellets from Gander Mountain. The cost was 14.99 plus 4.99 got shipping. I ordered the AMNPS today and can't wait to try it.
  12. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Which pellets and how much did you order? I love the AMNPS. I used apple wood chips in the MES chip holder last year along with pecan wood pellets in the AMNPS because I didn't have apple wood pellets. I've since received them from Todd so I won't be using wood chips again.
  13. kennyp1114

    kennyp1114 Smoke Blower

    I odered them from Gander Mountain, i think the pellets are by Camp Chef. Never heard of them, but it says no filler and 100% hickory. I'm also receiving some with my AMNPS.
  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Todd is great about including a 2 lb. bag of his Pitmaster's Choice with every AMNPS. I buy my wood pellets only from Todd because they also have no filler and he offers outstanding customer service. I got an Xmas email with a photo of him and his family. Now I have faces to match with the business, and I believe in supporting small businesses that deserve it. So, I buy exclusively from Todd.
  15. Can someone show me a pic of what the AMNPS or whatever it is looks like inside a MES?  I believe I have a Gen 1 30" MES.  I really don't know.  It was given to me by my dad.  Solid door with no window.  Control panel on the back and the upper vent on the back right side.  It's probably 4 or 5 years old.  I have only used it 2 or 3 times.  I have had no issues.  I once set the temp to 225 and did not open the door for about 6 hours.  When I checked again the control panel was reading out 245, but I assumed that was normal.  [​IMG]
  16. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here's a photo Foamheart posted in a great thread he started here:

    It's where most of us put it in our MES 30 or 40 Gen 1 smokers.
    You've got the same smoker I do and as the one shown here. You can't trust the temp display on the control panel which is why so many of us use the Maverick ET-732 or ET-733 or some other high quality accurate therm. The controller on the MES Gen 1 by design will swing up and down around the set point. It's been explained to me why that is but I can't specifically recall the reason; has to do with how the controller heating cycles. 

    Anyway, the MES 30 Gen 1 is a damn fine smoker. If it's a few years old, you should make sure the high temp limit switch (the round dime-sized thing on the left side of the back wall) and the temperature sensor (the toggle switch-looking thing on the right side of the back wall) should be cleaned. A dirty hi temp limit switch can cause the controller to spike temps into the 300s which can damage the smoker. A dirty temp sensor will cause the controller to cycle uncontrollably, so to speak, since it can't detect the temp accurately.

    I learned the hard way about what a dirty hi temp limit switch can do. I'm lucky my MES wasn't damaged in any way from the high heat.
  17. I have read many different ways of cleaning these things.  Magic eraser, warming it with vinegar and water in the water pan for an hour. etc etc.  This seems to be for the walls and everything.  Any suggestions for just cleaning switch and sensor only, as the walls and stuff on my smoker are very well seasoned ( they have never been cleaned and I'm not going to start now, it'd take forever )?
  18. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Really simple to do. I take a damp paper towel and just wipe off the temp sensor (toggle switch-like thing). For the round hi temp switch, I take a toothpick and kind of gently scrape the notches and then wipe the whole thing with a damp paper towel. That's all it takes.

    In fact, I only use a damp paper towel (well, more than one actually) to wipe down specific areas on the walls and the inside of the door, including the seals. I don't want the inside of my smoker spotless; I just want to get rid of dried meat on the walls and what I consider excess buildup of grease and deposits in selected spots. I also wipe down where grease dripped onto surfaces like the wood chip holder cover and the grease/drip trays if I didn't foil them over. I want to keep the inside seasoned.

    Remember even if you wipe everything clean it'll still get "smoky" again. Anyway, the pros don't fully clean the insides of their smokers so why should I? As for the racks, I either place them in the dishwasher or clean them thoroughly with hot soap and water in the kitchen sink and let them air dry. I don't full around with cooking surfaces--ever.

    What I did learn the hard way was the value of keeping the ceiling clean. When I last cold smoked cheese I used the top rack and my wrist accidentally rubbed against the ceiling and all this black debris dropped down onto the cheeses. I still ate the cheeses after rubbing off the debris as best I could and I'm still here to tell the tale. But from now on that ceiling gets fully wiped down before anything to be smoked gets put inside.
  19. Rick, I think that debri you knocked down is seasoning that is flaking off from the heat. When ever I do a fairley hot cook I get that same debri

    from all the walls,top and door. When I see that  I pull out my trusty mighty pro blower (home depot 19.99). It is only 16" long with a removable nozzle I keep it in my smoking box. I empty the smoker chamber knock off what I can and then use the blower to knock off the rest. From there it is easy to police the areas with the blower. It really roles the un lit  spilled pellets right off the concrete patio.       jted
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  20. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Jim, how would seasoning flake upwards? I think it's more like carbon and grease buildup that carried on steam vapor (if using the MES water pan) or just moisture rising from cooking meat. My MES is so small that a quick wipe down with damp paper towels loosen it all from the ceiling.. When it settles onto the drip tray below I can remove the tray and either wipe or rinse it off. I have a leaf blower but it's way too big and powerful to set loose inside my teeny tiny MES 30.

    I never have any problems with spilled wood pellets unless it's when I'm loading up the AMNPS and a few fall out of the bag onto the ground outside where I set up the MES. Usually we're talking 2-3 at the most. I'm a simple man making a simple mess.

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