1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Do you use WET or DRY wood chips in a MES???

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by cowdawg, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. What's the proper way to burn your wood chips in a MES?

    A.   Saturating the wood chips in water before use?  Seems to makes them smolder for hours and not burn up to black ashes.


    B.  Using the wood chips dry?  Makes them burn up  fast in 45 minutes or less to burnt wood ash.  Then do you change the chips more often?

    What's the technique to produce the best flavor?  I usually use Mesquite or Apple wood chips.

    Ideas and Comments......... Please.......    

    Thank You.

  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  3. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Or...... use small chunks and get away from tinder dry chips altogether. Last much longer and the best smoke flavor.
  4. trikefreak

    trikefreak Smoke Blower

    Not to lead you in the wrong direction: the new MES has issues giving enough air flow to keep an AMNPS lit the entire burn. I even went so far as to pull the wood chip tube out today for a cold smoke, and the pellets still don't keep going without relighting every few hours.
  5. trikefreak

    trikefreak Smoke Blower

    Where are you putting the chunks? I'm assuming these are too large to go into the chip tube, or we aren't on the same page here
  6. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    SMALL chunks. Inch to inch and a half around (or square) and 3 to 4 inches long. They work great in the mes. Long burn time and great flavor. A couple chunks will get you a good 2 hours smoke time or more. I use them all the time.
  7. Okay, Thanks guys for the ideas..  Merry Christmas!
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I didn't take into consideration that Cowdog was runnin' a Gen2...Good catch!  I would still contact Todd. He has had a year to play with the Gen2 and should have a Mod or Fix to that problem, using Tubes maybe? In any event I believe guys are having success with the Mail Box Mod...JJ
  9. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    JJ's comment is spot on. After I bought the AMNPS I never looked back. It will make your MES a true no fuss smoker.

    Before I bought one I used dry chips in the hopper.  And I would load a small handful about every hour for the first 4 hours of a smoke. 
  10. beuler

    beuler Smoke Blower

    Sorry Geerock, but after 2 years messin with this MES , i have to disagree on the Chunk idea. I just bought a bag of chunks last week ( Your suggestion) , and it still is not right. I honestly believe the thin metal tray is so close to the element that no matter what you put in there , it just burns up and has a strong taste. I could be wrong...trying a AMZNPS next week. And NO to the soaking of the wood!

    Thanks, Joe
  11. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    Cold and hot my AMZNPS and the newest MES 30 has no problems producing smoke for long or short smokes.  Chip loader out 2 inches, ash pan out two inches, AMZNPS sitting right above the ash pan, and pellets nuked to make sure they are dry and works every time for me.  I was not making sure I had a strong enough cherry before but now that is fixed with just more time with a flame before putting it in the MES.  I have also used the tube and it works just as well in the MES 30.
  12. beuler

    beuler Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the tips!

  13. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I've had the mes for 4 years...first and second generation. I, and quite a few others I know, use chunks with great results. Now I've noticed in other posts that you say that the flavor is too strong or that your food tastes like licking the inside of the smoker. Are you sure that you're simply not oversmoking because that description of flavor you give kinda points in that direction. Two years of not being happy with your results just ain't right, buddy. We got to get you straightened out. Several models of the mes in the last few years had a chip tray recall where masterbuilt would send you a retro fit for free to solve chip fires and fast burns. Maybe that's what you have as a problem because I'm pretty sure that your chunks didn't catch fire. If they did then the chunks you have are the same dried out junk as most chips are. I cut my own splits and chunks and dry them to my own liking so maybe that's it also. But your description of taste really points to oversmoke. I'll also say I have every tray and tube Todd makes but I just dont need them in my mes unless I'm doing a long overnight smoke. But the smoke flavor itself is no better or worse than using chunks in the mes. You arent complaining about not being able to produce smoke. You really are describing too much. Hopefully the amazn will give you the flavor you're looking for.....but?

    PS. Call masterbuilt customer service about that recall. Maybe they can help you get straight.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  14. I have used the chips both wet and dry in mine.  I have also used the AMNPS for a cold smoke.

    I have to say it is easy to get too much smoke.  I like the chips wet.  I just did a ham with Cherry because I could not get the AMNPS to light.  My family loved the ham, but I think it got over smoked.

    As soon as I can get my torch to work so I can light the pellets, I plan on using the AMNPS with pecan.

  15. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Yeppers, a good torch is the way to go.
  16. It was mentioned above that Masterbuilt had a recall on these Smokers. 

    For burning chips too fast?

    Anyone know if it was a particular Model # ?   And they had replacement parts?

    Not sure on the exact date I purchased mine but I have it about 3-4 years or so with minimal use.
  17. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Check your chip pan...If it is about 4" long there is a Retro Kit that has a larger chip pan...JJ
  18. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    There was also another recall where the pan was the same but they reworked it to sit higher above the element.  If you simply get your model number and serial number from the back plate and call Masterbuilt service they will let you know.
  19. Okay, I will check into this now.. Thanks for the info.
  20. Finally got through to MasterBuilt  Customer Service today. 40 mins. on hold. UGGGH.....!!  To find out there isn't any Recalll Notices on my Model # 20070206. All is good to go.