better than masterbuilt? please?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by susieqz, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like that was pasted from a company trying to sell pellets.

    Someboby has to tell me why pellets have more "flavor" and "produce more smoke" than a comparable amount of wood in another form (like chunks).  Especially when we know they use an additive to bind the dust together.  Don't get me wrong, I love my pellet cooker, but there is no more creosote formed from natural wood than with pellets.  Creosote forms when the smoke and associated gases are mixed with moisture and is allowed to condense on surfaces, which in a cooker is not a lot as the interior tends to be around the same temp, unlike a long house chimney.  And considering the statement was made that "wood is wood", why would pellets be better and make a difference over chunks?  However, creosote forms much more easily when the temp is around 250 degrees or less, and the smoke is allowed to hang around the chamber instead of having good flow.  If you are allowing the smoke to flow freely you will have very little creosote build up inside a smoker like the MES and virtually none on your food.  If you do have a liquid forming on your food or walls its operator error, but you will get the same build up from chips, chunks, pellets, etc.  I have a stick burner, pellet cooker, electric, and smokehouse and there is no way that you get "better" flavor from a bound up dried sawdust pellet with a glue added, and the dried up flavorless chips most companies sell; compared to natural wood splits, logs, or chunks.  Maybe close and to some, the same..... but not better.  The efficiency of the burn, and the operation of the cooker is the key.  BTW daRicksta, regardless of how you think the design of MES was geared for (we all know how some of their designs were flawed in the gen 2 MES) try using some 4 or 5 inch long X 1 or so inch chunks in that loader and drop them into the tray.  Nice long gentle flavorful smoke.  Sure beats the hell out of dried up, flash burning chips.  All the best to everyone...and happy holidays.  I'm heading for the caribbean where I'll be smoking in 80 degree sunshine instead of this dark, cold, New England winter.  And I have to use natural wood down there as there are no pellets where I'm going (those savages) !!  [​IMG]
    gr8dane777 likes this.
  2. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Enjoy you vacation Geerock.
  3. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Sarge..... first time in 18 years. If I don't come back you'll know the smoke and rum were both flowing well.
  4. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Geerock, you are way too perceptive. I did indeed copy/paste that article from a company selling wood pellets along with their line of smokers. Right now I can't think of who it was and I'm too lazy to check my browsing history.

    I won't comment too much on your comments about creosote because I'm not an expert but an argument could be made that the company accurately stated wood pellets leave much less creosote deposits than wood chunks. To me it's logical that larger wood chunks would produce more smoke than wood pellets. I think creosote is more of a byproduct of wood chunks and split logs because since they're larger than pellets and chips they would naturally produce more smoke and gases as byproducts to mix with the greater moisture produced my smokers and cookers using them for both heat and smoke sources. No scientific evidence to back this up but I'm picturing the inside of a large, offset reverse flow smoker compared with the inside of a MES. However, if you're talking about smaller wood chunks, I could agree with you. However, did you ever see the insides of those huge box or room smokers on TV? Covered with deposits on the walls. Is creosote among those deposits? I have no idea.

    Good to know that creosote may not be an issue with Masterbuilts but I still wipe excess deposits off the inside walls. Ever since I started doing it I've had no problems with harsh, bitter tasting smoked meats and I made no change in how I use my AMNPS.

    Please read my comments again. Susie was talking about burning wood chunks in a Masterbuilt which was definitely not designed to use wood chunks (an argument can be made that it wasn't designed to burn wood pellets either). As far as wood is wood, that is indeed an accurate statement. Please tell me the difference between the smoke flavors produced by high quality wood pellets, chips, chunks, or split logs. Hickory wood pellets, chips, chunks, logs will all impart the same smoke flavoring onto foods. That was my point.

    As for being able to load wood chunks in the MES wood chip loader, I've yet to see wood chunks in bags that wouldn't have to be pared down to fit the loader, unless 1/4 to 1/3 of the bag is filled with tinier pieces like those found in bags of lump charcoal. I've never worked with wood chunks so I don't know how long the average chunks burns smoke. But after a year and a half I know how much smoke I get from a certain amount of wood pellets in my AMNPS and for about how long I'll get it.

    Geerock, you made a good case for wood chunks in a MES but as almost everything with smoking, it's personal preference based on experience. I like wood pellets so they're what I recommend to newbies because, man, are you right about flash burning chips.

    You are not allowed to respond to me until after you've returned from that 80° Caribbean weather. Here in the Pacific Northwest it'll be in the 40s with a wet to partly sunny Christmas. Call me a savage because if I had my choice I'd be smoking with wood logs and not pellets inside a HUGE smoker. And watch out for those hidden Scotch bonnets in the sauces, my friend. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  5. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Of course now I just read Susieqz has a Cookshack and not a MES, which I must have missed on the first read. In that case, Susie, forget everything I said about using wood pellets and just go with the wood chunks.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  6. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    we always agree that this smoking thing we do is always personal preference. All we do is make suggestions and let others try and see what works for them. Your advice is surely always appreciated. As for poor Suzie .... I think before long she is going to own one of everything. We got her hopping from one foot to the other and she's hardlydone any cooking yet. Never an issue with your posts, buddy, just if you haven't tried it well maybe......who knows?
    Now if you don't all mind, I'm getting ready to head to the warm climates and this heathen is going to do some island smoking with the natives.....and I wish all you pellet munchers here a wonderful and happy holiday.
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You're welcome, Susie. What Jted said about cherry pellets is what I've been told in these groups. Cherry is a difficult wood to keep lit in pellet form (had no problem with it as wood chips over hot charcoal briquettes). It's been advised to burn it with hickory or oak or some other easier-burning wood pellet. Todd mixes cherry with other woods in his Pitmaster's Choice.

    I read in another comment of your that you have a Cookshack Smokette Elite which is designed to burn chip and chunks. Geerock commented about using wood chunks in the MES, which is what I thought you owned, which is why I recommended wood pellets. Your Cookshack is a different animal and chunks would probably work better for you.
  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You may be right about Susie but as I wrote a couple of times now, It got by me that she had a Cookshack Elite 025.

    As for not trying wood chunks in the MES, you're right but I'm going off some research and remarks from the smokers here. I've yet to come across any of the MES "old timers" who use wood chunks; every one of them use the AMNPS. To me, if wood chunks worked great in the MES and left no creosote residue AND created smoke for hours, why wouldn't they use chunks? I sure would. I still maintain regular wood chunks wouldn't make it into the loader and if they had to be cut down to fit, it wouldn't make them much different than chips to my way of thinking. Of course not having used wood chunks I could be wrong, but then we're back to my point that no long time MES user I've grown to respect uses chunks.

    I agree on your point that we've agreed and disagreed in these forums. But I get that everywhere I post. Enjoy your holiday with the heathens.
  9. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    tun, could you please let me know how it makes food taste? there are some mentions that due to poor venting, you don't get the best smoke taste.

    i haven't ordered one yet. i gotta save up or sell this traeger. the traeger is more of a grill, working best from 225 to 400 degrees. not what  i'm interested in.

    of course, my head is awhirl. good points for MB, good points for CS.

    the MB seems to need all these mods, but the CS maybe needs holes drilled into it.

    i don't know how to  do mods or to drill steel.

    i'm so excited. i have my ham sitting in cure for the last 9 days, tho i injected it 2 days later.

    gonna start smoking tomorrow, but it's hard not to start this instant. i never curedanything before.
  10. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    sorry for the confusion. i haven't got either machine yet. i misspoke.

    i'll try using cherry pellets on top of mixed hardwoods. thanks for alerting me.
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I took a BBQ Class (gifted to me by my beloved daughter for Father's Day) this past summer. They had a bunch of Traeger's which the guy said he was replacing ASAP. For him it was because he had a personal grudge against the guy who's their spokesperson or something. Anyway, I got to cook on one of them and I tell you, I'd go with another brand if I wanted that type of smoker/grill. I just didn't see how it was special enough to buy. Besides, I already own a Weber 22.5" kettle charcoal grill for grilling and I'm perfectly happy with it.

    They're electric grills with an electric motor-powered auger which feeds pellets into the smoker box. When I see electric motors and stuff involved I then see potential and costly electric or mechanical breakdowns in the future. I also look at a new Traegar and then see an older, rusted Traegar in my backyard since I live in the rainy and sometimes snowy Pacific Northwest. That's one reason why I bought a MES 30; I can store it in my garage during the offseason (I don't smoke during the winter). It'll last rust-free for years this way. I store my Weber grill the same way for the same reason. I've read quite a few posts from guys with those offset smokers kept in backyards which needed replacing because they rusted out.

    But, now Susie, you've got me totally confused about what you do own! [​IMG]
  12. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  13. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    rick, i'm stuck with the traeger. i bot it before finding this site.

    i posted a review about the worst customer service  i've seen.

    you are right in all respects. moving parts, etc. not worth buying.

    for me it's not what i need at all. it only runs well from 225-400 degrees. it's more like a grill.

    since coming here, i've found an interest in smoking at lower temps. not just cold smoking.

    i've found i can get it down to 200 degrees. that's what i'll cook my ham at, but i sure wish i could try at 150 or lower.

    most people don't mind smoking at 225 but i know dave gets great results at temps far lower n  that's the way i'd like to go.

    many people disagree, preferring 225 n up, but heck, it's a hobby.  for me, i'll just have more fun cooking really low n slow, smoking for days instead of hours.

    so, i gotta get something that will  let me do that.
  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Just got back online now. I'm looking at that page now but it's slow loading. Unfortunately both you and Susie are offline now.
  15. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Rick, the page does indeed load slow.  And then the videos may stutter for a second or two.  But they are good.  I know the GEN1 has the controls on the top rear, but what about the remote?  GEN1.1?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  16. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    For whatever reason I'm having problems running the videos on that page no matter which browser I use. I did see some of the first one and it is a Gen 1 with the redesigned control panel and other stuff
    NOW you tell me it's running slow?????? I'll try downloading the video and check it out. The other video--if I understood which one you directed me to--was the Butterball turkey fryer so that can't be right. Gee, the font color here keeps changing to white.

    Yep, this is a MES 30 (or 40) Gen 1 sometimes called the Sportsmans Elite and designed to be sold by outdoors equipment dealers like Cabela's, Academy, etc. Maybe Sam's Club carries them. I think they come with or without a wireless remote. I saw the remote laying on top of the smoker in the video. I think they also can come with six racks instead of the standard four. I guess it can be customized for the individual retailer's needs.

    Just looked at the other videos. They're all the same Sportsmans Elite model, which is the retailer-customized Gen 1.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  17. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The first I referenced was the 30 inch, controller in the rear.  The second also had the controller in the rear but came with a remote.

    Sorry you are having trouble downloading. Not real important. But if you get it running, let me know.  Both units are on their web page; just no indication of generation.
  18. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Dave, you're the Cookshack expert here. Can you help Susie out with making her decision? I know about Masterbuilts but if she's thinking CS you're the man to advise her.
  19. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wonder why SMF claims I'm offline now?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  20. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As I wrote, the MES Gen 1 models come with or without wireless remote but only the ones with the windows have that option.

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