Electric smoker

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tyger, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. tyger

    tyger Newbie

    Anyone notice that the temps on an electric smoker need to be considerably higher and the times longer?
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Higher and longer than what ???
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    MES are notoriously known for inaccurate temps.

    It's possible that the temp your smoking at is not what you think.

    Do you have another therm to double check the MES controller?

  4. tyger

    tyger Newbie

    Than the recipes that I have found for smoking meats.
  5. tyger

    tyger Newbie

    Great idea.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do you have the exhaust wide open...  moving air cooks faster than still air...
  7. tyger

    tyger Newbie

    Thanks.  I will try that on my next batch
  8. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Use an accurate therm, I have found some big inconsistencies in electric temp readings.  Mine runs cooler by 15 degrees at 225.

    Smoke ON!

    - Jason
  9. So far it has worked IF I kept the exhaust vent closed.  With the exhaust vent open, the temperatures dropped as if I was using my offset barrel smoker.
  10. Make sure you keep the sensors clean.
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm thinking your smoker is not air tight.....
  12. It was a windy day when I left the vent open. Smoke was being pulled out and the temperature was oscillating. When the vent is closed, I have no issues.
  13. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    My MES has a huge number of hot spots which are easy to see in the finished product: some pieces burned and others underdone. This is with the vent fully open. So, while a thermometer is essential, it really cannot completely overcome what is, IMHO, a flawed design. My next smoker will not be an MES (I have the 30").
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have modified my MES 30....  seriously modified it...  It is now a perfect smoker...  I would not trade it...  except for maybe a larger one...  I do need more room.....   No hot spots....  temperature does not fluctuate....    perfect is what it is....
  15. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    OK, you've definitely got my attention: what modifications did you make?

    [edit]OK, I search on your name and "MES" and found a bunch of posts. The mailbox mod is fairly standard, so I knew about that. This post seems to be one of the key mods:

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I feel the exhaust tunnel was a BIG step in even heating...  Pulls all the exhaust from the center of the smoker... ~1" x 4" wide from the center to the corner of the ceiling....

    .. ..

    Installing a 1500 watt incandescent dimmer switch on the heating element controls the heat like a gas flame on the stove top....  Always on, always heating... no on-off cycling....  Another BIG deal.....  I marked the dimmer switch cover with "relative" settings for internal temps....  depends on ambient air temps quite a bit...  cold out more amps/volts or what ever is going on...

    The Mail Box mod (Pops great idea) allows for a constant smoke supply...  pellets are always burning at the same temp...  Allows for REAL cold smoking because the AMNPS will heat up the inside of the smoker body...  I generally cold smoke from 60-70 deg. F.....  3 each 3/4" holes in the door... 1 on the top to stop recirculating air....  recirculating air, in the MB mod, is very low in oxygen and slows or stops the burning process...   You need once through air for it to work properly....  YMMV...

    I attached a Bush's bean can or family size soup can to the end of the pipe that protruded through the smoker body wall...   drill aligning holes and dropped in a nail to hold stuff in place....  It adds the smoke to the center of the smoker for more uniform smoke distribution....  it works really good.....

    The AMNPS gave me some trouble uniformly burning....  Well I find out my buddies on here had elevated their AMNPS smoke generators (Mr T) to get more air to the bottom of the unit....   Well lo and behold it works awesome now....   I don't have to dry my pellets any longer...  More uniform air to the unit ....


    These are what I ended up with....  believe me when I say there were many failures prior to the end results....
  17. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★



    "I feel the exhaust tunnel was a BIG step in even heating...  Pulls all the exhaust from the center of the smoker... ~1" x 4" wide from the center to the corner of the ceiling...."

    I put my amnps up on legs at your suggestion Dave.  The difference is unbelievable!!  Great idea.  Thank You.

    I haven't seen your exhaust tunnel before, but it sounds like a good idea.  I'll be looking into that.

  18. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the summary of the mods. I read at least half a dozen of your posts from several years ago, and was able to trace the evolution of your designs.

    I did my own version of the mailbox mod, but didn't like the character of the smoke it produced. When that failed I bought the AMNPS and use it inside the MES. It works well, but I have occasionally had problems with it going out. Also, when used inside, it creates too much creosote when cold smoking, so I finally gave up on using it for that. If I ever decide to do a lot of cold smoking, I'll definitely build the "traditional" mailbox mod.

    In looking at all the ideas for reducing hot spots (which was the original reason I asked about your mods) your tunnel looks like the best engineering solution, certainly much better than the pan with a hole in the center. So, I think I may try the tunnel.

    Also, having read dozens of posts about not putting water in the water pan, I note that pretty much everyone says that if you don't put water in it, you should instead fill it with sand so it provides a thermal buffer/sink to help moderate temperature fluctuations. I wonder if filling it with water or sand might also keep the heat from accumulating below the outlet vent. I have simply been leaving the water pan empty which, now that I've read your posts, might contribute significantly to the hot spot problems. 

    Another possibility would be to introduce a fan. My convection oven has a fan which circulates the air. If I can find the proper part this should be easy to install, although I don't know what sort of lifespan it would have in a smokey environment. Perhaps there would be some other active way to disrupt the normal convective flow that goes from the chip loader/inlet to the vent directly above.

    I'll think about this some more and see what I can come up with.
  19. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    A quick search on Amazon reveals a product that is exactly what I just described:

    Imperial General Purpose Quiet Circulating Fan for Stove Hot Spots Smoker Circulator Fan

  20. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

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