Frustrated with MES. meat temp not rising. Aware of plateau but just not happening..

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Dec 6, 2010
Just looking for opinions here.  Running a 2.5lb pork roast and a 2.5lb brisket.  At this point, I am 5.5 hrs into this and meat temp is only 163*.  At a rough estimate of 1.5hrs/lb, things seems to be running a bit slow here and I suspect we will be about 10-12 hrs on this...  I hit my plateau at 145* and started climbing out again but just real slow. 

I raised the cabinet temp to 250* because I am an engineer and looking at the cabinet design, it appears there will be a strong heat current in the back of the cabinet where the sensor is.  I realize some might cringe at running a higher temp but in an MES, the meat does not seem to be suffering much.  I really want to get in to baste some more but it costs me about 30min of recovery every time I do it.  At this point, I am about to just abandon the baste and concentrate on heat. 

Thoughts?  With each chuck of meat being 2.5lbs, I would expect about 4-5 hrs on this smoke but this is going to push way more than that....I am also using a new Oregon temp probe during the cook but it has proven itself to me as pretty damn accurate.  I am debating going out to stick another area of the meat.  I am testing the brisket only right now and have not checked the pork.  Should probably do that but it will cost me....
Basting is not really necessary with the MES, it is so well put together that the juices from the meat provide enough moisture and the meat does not dry out. Most of the time I set mine up and open it when the meat is done. I have not ever done such a small size of meat but as long as you are sure of your temp inside your cabinet and of the meat leave it closed and let it work. It will be done when it's done, which is dictated by the composition of the meat from there. If I do open mine up it is to wrap the meat in tin foil at 165. As you stated every time you open the door you are losing time.
I have read several that foil up.  Is that to try and retain heat and push the internal temp up or to retard any additional smoke infusion and concentrate on heating?  Just curious.  I was going to try it but have seen pics of some real disasters with foil.  seems to steam the outside layer and make it mush instead of crispy. 

I just decided to go quickly open the cabinet and move my probe to the pork,  It is only reading about 5 degrees hotter than the brisket.  I am feeling more confident in my probe and I think it is pretty dang close here.  With the stick, the meat did not really seem all that ready either.  The probe usually goes in pretty dang easy when done.  I am at 176* on the pork right now....
I'd be checking your pork right now...the brisket needs higher temps to finish anyway...if its a bone-in or bone-less pork loin or anything else you'll not take to high temps for pulling instead of slicing, I'd get it out just under 160* and let carryover take it the rest of the way. 160* for pork is considered a safe temp by USDA guidelines, and you'll have a much juicier eating slice if you don't wait too long.

Check the pork and let the brisket finish when it will, or you could risk over-cooked pork.

Well, I decided to quickly open the door and move the probe to the pork.  I found a 5* higher temp than the beef.  I pulled the pork at 190* which  I will have to decide is good or bad.  So far, it seem friggin juicey but it is resting right now.  My Brisket is still climbing real slow and at 188* right now.  I am starting to think that not only internal temp but time at a specific temp might be important.  IE, holding a brisket for 4hrs at 180 might be the same as driving it straight up to 200*.  At this point, I am about to just pull the brisket at 190* and see what happens.  I can them decide if it si dry, tough, etc and tune accordingly.  I think electric smoke is just different, especially in an insulated/sealed cabinet where juice cannot easily escape.  
You are WAY over thinking things, I been using an MES 40 for a few  years and it ain't that hard.

The type of cooking we do is low and slow.  jacking up the temps may gain you a few min. but it can also cause the meat to dry out.

 The methods that are posted on how to smoke specific cuts of meat on the site are tried and true.

 Set your smoker at 240 degrees if it will maintain it w/ meat in it put the meat in the smoker .

 after a couple of hours put your temp probe (s) in , When the meat hits the target temp either foil and keep cooking or

Remove wrap and let rest b4 slicing or pulling.

There are ways i have found to speed up the process a bit  but raising the temps is not part of it ,but the trade off is lack of bark. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.