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Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by ronp, Feb 25, 2010.
Doing burn in right now. :grilling_smilie::grilling_smilie:
I have the 30" sportsman elite (window) and bought at Cabelas since they were on sale.
I'm a newbie, not just here, but to smoking too! I got my MES about two months ago, and we're going to be seasoning it this weekend. If anyone has any tips of the trade, any advice would be appreciated. I've never smoked anything in my life, and I've read mixed reviews online with the MES (not enough smoke flavor, etc.). I have the 4-rack, glass door model.
Katy Check out the MES owners group for lots of hints and tips! Just click on the GROUPS button at the top of the page.
I own the first gen MES 30--no glass door, no remote control. I haven't really read any complaints about lack of smoke with the MES. On the contrary, I've felt that I've gotten too much smoke most times that I've used it--which is a user issue more than a smoker issue.
I personally use--and love--the A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker and it's made a world of difference. I'm not loading wood chips into the chip loader every 20-30 minutes anymore. I can control the amount and length of smoking by how much I fill the AMNPS; it's like a set it and forget it thing.
You'll see a controversy here regarding to clean or not to clean the interior of the smoker. I was in the "let it be naturally" camp where users thought that the interior grime added seasoning and flavor to the smokes. But one day I had to wash down the interior of my smoker and discovered the next time I used it that the harsh, oversmoked flavor was gone from the meat (in this case a beef brisket) that I had smoked. I now believe in wiping down the inner surfaces after ever smoke, or every couple.
I've also noticed you can't trust the built in therm on it. With mine, there can be a 20-40 degree temp difference between what the display says and what a calibrated therm says when the unit is warming up. But after that, and while the unit is cooking, the difference is as little as 2-3 degrees. For my birthday this year, I'm getting the Maverick ET-732 Remote Smoker Thermometer and I'm buying it from Todd Johnson/A-MAZE-N Products. I don't work for the guy but, like a lot of us here, I've bought stuff from him many times and he offers the best customer service I've ever seen. He's also a member and an admin (I think) in these forums.
Bottom line is I love my MES. My only regret is that I couldn't afford the 40" when I made my purchase. However, I've had zero problems with my model and my family loves the smoky results.
Good luck with your new adventure in smoking (food, that is)!
I wanted to to give smoking a try so I bought the 30 inch Masterbuilt in September. So far, I have had a blast and have really enjoyed the smoking experience. I am learning as I go. I have done ribs twice, a pork loin, and a large turnkey breast. I am planning on doing a full turkey for Thanksgiving.
Thanks for the input. I gotta tell you, I'm a little fearful of the thing. I've been reading too much on the formus and clearly don't know the first thing about smoking, and it sounds like there's a lot to know. Everyone on the forums seems to have ooodles and ooodles of experience and are seasoned troubleshooters. I hope I don't waste hundreds and hundreds of dollars in meat $$ just trying to figure out how to make this thing work. the Masterbuilt guy on QVC made it look so easy! I know for sure I will be buying an over therm just to make sure my temperature on the unit is calibrated correctly.
Thanks again. K
Kat, you'll be fine. I also just got mine recently with no real experience in smoking. I will say that getting the A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker was the best thing I did. When I did my first smoke it was an 8lb Boston Butt. I was feeding chips into the MES every 30 min to keep the smoke going. Ain't nobody got time for that! With the pellet smoker I can fill it, get it going and just leave everything alone for hours.
I just smoked a belly for 16 hours. It was so nice to just be able to get the smoke going then only have to go back after 10 hours or so to refill the pellets. If I had to run outside and feed chips every 30 min I'm sure I would have been pretty frustrated.
Okay, so briefly, walk me through this "amazn" pellet smoker thing. Do I have to use pellets or can I use chips? Is the tube the best one? Where is the best placement for it once inside the MES?
Also, where to buy the pellets?
Like "Antvq" said, get an AMNPS, and a remote therm like an ET-732, and keep reading & get to know your MES.
Then check out the links at the bottom of any of my posts. They are all Step by Step instructions designed by & for MES smokers and others. They make it easy for you to get started. Then once you have a little experience, you can make adjustments to suit your tastes.
Hope this helps,
For your smoker, the 5 X 8 AMNPS would be best. You can get the AMNPS, the ET-732, and pellets from Todd Johnson. He's great---Just click on his business card at the bottom of the page. No chips should be used---Just pellets orb sawdust.
It depends on which generation MES you have as to where to put it.
Thank you so much. I will look into getting both the Amazn pellet smoker and therm (I actually will need three because I bought my dad one and my son one for Christmas). K
I don't know which one I have, but here's the link.
If the one in the picture, with the little control box in the rear of the top, is the one you have, that's like mine, and it is the best of their models.
Your 5 X 8 AMNPS will fit perfectly on the support bars in the bottom, to the left of the chip burner assembly.
Perfect!!! Thank you so much. I will order three, plus three thermometers, and some pellets. Do the smokers/pellets come with instructions, or do I just fill up the entire thing and let her go? Im guessing you don't soak the pellets either. Sorry so many questions!!!! I don't want my first smoking experience to be my last. (
I think instructions come with the AMNPS.
Keep pellets dry---I put mine in empty drink jugs, with wide mouth caps, as soon as I get them.
You can fill the whole AMNPS up, and when you're done smoking, take an old teaspoon & separate the burning ones from the not burning to save the unburnt ones.
Or you can put the right amount in for how long you'll smoke----About 3 hours per row.
You're getting a lot of good advice here, but it can be a little overwhelming. I too own an MES, Maverick ET-372, and AMNPS and they all work great, but I didn't start out with all 3. I started out with just a smoker. Then as I got more interested, I added things. For a new person adding things all at once with little experience can be overwhelming and ruin the experience. Smoking meats should be easy and relaxing and enjoyable. I would suggest that for your first smoke, you just pick up a butt roast, some Famous Dave's Rib Rub, or similar. Season the butt, and put it in the smoker early in the morning. Set the MES to 225 add chips per the instructions and let it go. Use the MES's built in meat probe to monitor internal temps. Try to get a small butt roast. Something around 4 pounds or so. That will get done in approx 5-8 hours. Monitor it and add chips every 45 minutes until the internal temp (IT) reaches 145. Then let it go until it reaches 195. Double check with a different instant read thermometer and if it's at 195-200, take it out and wrap it in foil, an old clean towel, and put it in a cooler to let it rest. After it's rested at least 30 minutes, take it out, pull it an enjoy.
If you want to get a little more complicated, when the IT reaches 155 to 160, double wrap the butt in foil and spritz it with apple juice (optional). Then put it back in the MES until the IT reaches 180 or so. Then take it out of the foil and put it back in the MES until the IT reaches 195-200. Personally, for my first butt, I would just leave it in the foil until it reaches IT of 195-200.
I have had my 30"mes for 3years, and have smoked some awsome meat and,food with it, and i also have been a smoker of meat for 15 years with a offset smoker, and i find it hard to tell the difference. Good luck, and and dont give up!
Thank you so much.!!! I'm going to print this thread and try my smoker this weekend. Just as you said, when I try to read too much, absorb too much information, and tweak my smoker, accessories or techniques without actually doing any real smoking, it can become overwhelming. I will use my smoker as-is this weekend and follow your instructions for the smoking of a pork butt. I actually have an 8 pounder in the freezer that I will get out to thaw. I can use the other half for green chili. Thanks again! K