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How does the cold affect your MES?

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by little smokey, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    I have a MES 30, and this is my first winter using it and want to know how much will it affect my cooking.  I am in Omaha so it normally is in the 20-40's during winter.  Sometimes lower of course.

    Thanks for any info
  2. redneck69

    redneck69 Smoking Fanatic

    i'm on the other end of the state so i know the temp changes for the good old state of NEBRASKA...i have a MES40 and i keep it stored in the garage when not in use, if i know its gonna be cold and want to use it the next day i will disconnect the main electrical control on top of the unit and keep inside over night...once in awhile the cold will get to it and it will not function at all...hence removing it and re-installing the next day....if its going to be really cold, below 0 with the wind chill, i will toss my welding blanket over top and keep the exhaust vent open to help the heat stay where is should...you can also make some type of wind block/shelter for your MES to keep the wind and cold from sucking the heat out of the unit....there will be others to add some other advice...hope mine helps
  3. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Pretty much what Redneck said. It gets real cold in PA, and I freeze my arse off, but my MES 40 doesn't have an arse.LOL  

    I never had to remove my control box, because I think it's a combination of cold & humidity that gets to it. In the Winter, we don't have much humidity in PA to go with our cold. The wind is the worst thing for an MES, like Redneck said. It will suck the heat right out of the exhaust (Summer or Winter), if you don't have something blocking it. No you don't want to close the vent !!!

  4. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    My wife is so awesome I am allowed to keep it in doors when not in use and since it does not smell like smoke until you take the cover off she is good with it by the deck in the house.  Thanks for the help guys
  5. I am a little farthe south. However I have not had a problem . Keep mine in my shop. When I want to use it I just open the door and fire it up.

    Happy smoken.

  6. bgolden49

    bgolden49 Fire Starter

    I'm about to find out how cold temps will affect my MES 40.     It's 26d here in Mass. at 1:07 pm the wind is gusting around 10 to 15 mph and I just put a 3.80# porketta in.  I perheated to about 260. I think I'll leave the cook temp at 260 at watch the probe as the porketta cooks.  I also added a bottle of Shock Top Raspberry Wheat beer to the water bowl, and using apple wood for the smoke.  We'll see how it goes.

    Bill G
  7. bgolden49

    bgolden49 Fire Starter

    little smokey

    I hope this will help you.

    My Porketta came out perfect. The temperature remained at 26 degrees with a strong wind.

    I set the smoker at 250, during the 2 hours and 5 minutes it fluctuated between 244 and 247.

    I did use the tethered probe and brought the pork to 153 internal temp.

    I wrapped it in foil and the towel let it sit for 30 minutes. So, the cold weather was not too much of factor in this cook.

  8. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    smoked both days this weekend and both were about 25 degrees out, my 3-2-1 ribs were not as fall off the bone as the wife likes but the PP came out perfect as usual.  So my ribs might have been affected a little but over all when cooking by temp it don't matter much.
  9. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    For Wife's Fall-Off-The-Bone Spare Ribs, try 2.5-2.5-1, or 3-3-0.

  10. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    Definitely will have to adjust for the winter, but it's good to know early instead of when you are expecting company.
  11. bgolden49

    bgolden49 Fire Starter

  12. grizsmoker

    grizsmoker Fire Starter

    This last weekend here in Montana it was a balmy 6 degrees when i fired up my MES 30. It heated up fine,took a little longer but no big deal. I got my baby back ribs in around noon and was planning on using the 2-2-1 method. I was pretty sure that the only effect I would see due to the weather would be the time it took to reheat the smoker after I opened the door. Everything was going good until the 30mph winds kicked up. This is when I found out that 6 degree temps and strong winds will not only effect me but also my smoker.

    In the end I had to nail a large thick moving blanket to the side of my house to use as a wind block The smoker would not hold a decent temp while the wind was howling around it. Once I got the wind blocked i had no issues.

    What I learned is that cold temps doesn't really effect the MES, but strong winds will have a great impact on holding a temp. 
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  13. bgolden49

    bgolden49 Fire Starter

    After reading your post Griz....I realized that my smoker is located close to the house and that the wind had little effect on it    [​IMG]
  14. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Exactly my findings!

    Sometimes I put a tarp up, on the end of the porch, and sometimes I put cardboard around the top of my MES 40 instead (see below).


    Depending on the direction of the wind, my front porch can be a wind tunnel!!

    Cardboard wind breaker works great.

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  15. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    i have the MES 30. because of the snow, wind and all around lousy winters here i was going to make an exhaust hood for mine, and vent it out my shop. just a bathroom fan, some paneling and 1 x 2. instead i ended up building a BIG freezer smoker and vent it out my shop thru a 4" hole and have 3" heat duct coming off. works great. i know not all of us have a shop we can do this in but thats what i did.

    GOOD LUCK !!!!!
  16. mcockrell

    mcockrell Fire Starter

    i would definitely invest in a probe for your smoker. the ones that come with it are notoriously inaccurate. in normal 70ish degree weather the stock temp gauge on my MES is relatively accurate (within 5-10 degrees). when the temp drops below 50 or if its very windy (or both) the temp can be off by as much as 25 degrees. so if its decent weather here i usually wont even use my external probe but if its rainy or windy i would definitely use one.

    as far as holding heat my MES does very well. even opening and closing the doors to spritz or foil or whatever it rarely drops more than around 20 degrees. and if i close the vent it only takes about 10 minutes to get back up to proper temp.
  17. great video. Thank you for taking the time to create it. Takes Q-View to another level.

    But I gotta know ... what is a "porketta"? 
  18. bgolden49

    bgolden49 Fire Starter

  19. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    I'm in Omaha, too.  On mine, I've had to warm it up to at least 35 degrees before the electronics will work.  I get an error message until it does.  I do it 2 ways.  One way is to put boiling water in the pan.  Usually only take a couple minutes to warm up the unit.  The second is to use my propane torch that I use to light my AMNPS to warm up the box.  Again, just a couple minutes of flame will usually do the trick.

    IMHO, invest in a Maverick ET732 and an AMNPS.  

    Having the AMNPS will enable you to cold smoke, but even with just the AMNPS burning, I still got mine up to 75-80 degrees the other day when it was in the 20's.

    Ditto on the wind factor.  I had a hard time last weekend when it was so windy with keeping the AMNPS lit.  It had a little trouble coming up to temp.  I'm going to put a 3" elbow on the top vent for windy days.