I just can't take it anymore.

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by 1chaos52, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. 1chaos52

    1chaos52 Smoke Blower

    I live in New Hampshire and we have had a miserable winter so far. My smokers (GOSM and CGSP and a retired ECB) have been in the shed since November and I have been unable to smoke anything since.

    I have been to a few BBQ places, a coouple of them pretty good, but they are not satisfying the need in my stomach for good Q. This weekend was my first anniversary and there was a BBQ place nearby, so we stopped and had some ribs. They were par-boiled, still had the membrane on the bottom, and completely tasteless. This was the last straw.

    I told my wife that with some of the tax return money we have coming I have a couple of purchases in mind. This weekend I am going to get an MES 40 from Sam's and an Amaze-n Smoker. Also going to get a chest freezer which is mildly related since it will help with storage.

    My current plan is to keep the new smoker in the garage during the winter, and up on the deck during the warmer months. I unfortunately do not have a good way to ventilate it in the garage so would likely bring it outside when used into the driveway, but am wondering if I can just open the garage door and have the smoker just inside the door, or will that cause smoke problems in the garage?

    Looking forward to being able to smoke in the cold months, and also to trying some new things like cold smoking with the A-Maze-N. I have always wanted to make my own bacon, jerky, and snack sticks and will be looking forward to the new experiences. Figure this new one will also help with the 2 big parties I do a year where I smoke enough food for about 50 people, and will be nice for the long smokes. The other nice thing is that I will be able to visit this forum during the winter as well without getting too depressed.

    I have read a lot about the MES, but please let me know if you have any tips and tricks I should know as well as your thoughts on keeping it in the garage with the door open. I may eventually see if there is a way I can ventilate it out as I do have a window there that I might be able to make use of, but everything else is concrete.

  2. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Meat Mopper

    Just having the garage door open I don't think will help because as the breeze blows in it will not let the smoke go out. You have to have an effective way to REMOVE air from the garage and that can only be done with forced ventilation.  I use My MES40 along with an Amazing smoker all the time in my garage and you would hardly know it is in there but I place it next to the window with a fan in it while the smoker is in operation.  There are also inline type fans that you could pipe outside thru a large dryer vent and just place the pipe near the outlet of the smoker (but not over it as that would draw too much air thru your smoker). You just have to be careful when you open the smoker that you do it slowly so you do not get a rush of smoke at first and give the fan a chance to draw it all in. Once you crack the door open and the smoke starts exiting outside you have established a draft and can then open up the door. You may need to put spacers in the window opening with the fan and just close the window on it to hold it in place. Also take the screen out as the smoke will discolor it.

    Here is my set up...needs a few appearance improvements....but works well


    Good luck!

  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey brother,

    must be charcoal fired smokers that you already have in your arsenal, otherwise, with propane fired, you can smoke in some pretty nasty weather and still get the temps up just fine (at least with a small GOSM or Smoke Vault). I used to build small makeshift shelters to block the wind and keep precipitation off of the cabinet and was able to run all year that way. Now, I have 3 walls and a roof...much better to fire up whenever I want without having to listen to mother nature's opinions on the matter.

    Using a smoker in the garage will eventually permeate anything that's inside the structure, so you don't want boxes of clothes or something like that in there with the smoke. If it's an attached garage, you will have tins of aromas coming into the house, which could be good or bad, depending how you look at it. In time your house and it's contents will all begin to smell like Bbq. Again, could be good or bad. The wife may lean more towards bad.

    As for ventilation, you could place a window box fan to draw air out of the window while having the service door cracked open a couple inches, or the main door opened a crack. Placing the smoker directly under or at least relatively close to the window should draw out the smoke. Just don't let the fire dept know about the indoor operation of an appliance designed for outdoor use only, as they may develop a frown over that one.

    Good luck with the new rig...haven't used electric myself, or the AMNS, so can't offer anything product specific, but hear plenty of good on the AMNS.

    Heck, with a garage, I think I would put just about any smoker inside just to get it out of the weather, myself. Oh, be careful of flammable containers (paint thinner, etc), and vehicles as well. Gasoline and most other flammable vapors are heavier than air, so will collect on the floor and build up...it can make for a nasty poof if an ignition source comes inside to play.

  4. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

  5. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use a Master Forge gasser and am in the process of building a 3 sided wind/rain shelter for the unit so I can tame some of the heavy winds/rains we been having here lately. May do a roof on it as well after reading forloveofsmokes post above. I ran across mballi3011's post the other day and he had Q/view of the smoke in action. Here's one of his you might find interesting.....2 smokers just inside the door of his shed....maybe ask him how it works out

  6. smokinal

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

    Now tell me what's wrong with having your whole garage smell like a BBQ joint?   [​IMG]
  7. biaviian

    biaviian Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Being electric, how does it do sitting out in the elements?  Obviously you would want to cover it but what about humidity?

    Great thready.  I too am thinking of pulling the trigger on one of these; I already have the AMS.
  8. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I run my GOSM all winter, and it gets cold here, just have to improvise on the windy days, a makeshift wind screen does the trick. But if you need to justify a new smoker then by all means go right ahead. I have seen many indoor setups with the MES, pretty sweet deal if you can invent some sort of mechanical ventilation, a simple squirrel fan, an old oven hood ducted to the exterior would do the trick.
  9. 1chaos52

    1chaos52 Smoke Blower

    2 are charcoal and one is a gasser. The cold weather is not the problem with the gasser, the snow is. The way my yard is setup there are usually some really interesting snow drifts. This winter, I would not have been able to get to them, and probably at times probably wouldn't have even been able to find them. This is why I want something in an area that at least gets plowed and is a little easier to manage during the winter months so I don't have to be outside too much fooling around with adjusting the gas.

    I at one point was going to build a shelter for my smokers, but I never got around to it.

    Thanks for all the info so far, and please keep any suggestions coming. I have one area where I might be able to put the smoker and then could potentially put a range hood over it and vent that outside through a window. Think that might work???

    Not as worried about it now since we hopefully will be getting better weather, but want to plan now so I can get it done during the spring or summer.

    Somebody mentioned humidity. That is something I am a bit concerned about with it being electric and all. Not sure how I should go about using this thing if it is raining outside or just soupy. Would it run into issue?
  10. bilder

    bilder Fire Starter


    Nestled between the snow scoop and the snow blower.   Had it going at minus 5 a couple weeks ago no problems.  Move it inside the non heated garage when not in use and pull it out come smoke time.
  11. 1chaos52

    1chaos52 Smoke Blower

    THat is more or less what I was thinking of doing, but I do not have that kind of overhang on my garage (which is attached under the house). I read in another post that it is necessary to keep the controller dry, which somewhat concerns me for bringing it outside. Also, I plan to have it on my deck during the warmer months, so need to think of a way to cover it while using it then too. I will definitely be getting a cover for it for when not in use, but need to find a way to cover it when it is getting the extensive use I know that it will.

    What are other people doing when using the MES when it rains?

    Also, I did some research and measuring last night in the garage and am hoping my thoughts on using a range hood may work. Smoker would be close to the door, but would also be vented outside. Not sure it would work as desired though.
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    One quick note:

    If you're at all like me & like to spend some time around the smoker, looking in the window, checking how good the smoke is, etc, etc, don't think all you have to do is put a fan either in front of, or in back of your smoker.

    I tried that my first Winter, and nearly froze my arse off !!!!

    I tried it setting right in the garage door opening, with a fan pushing air over it, and I tried it with the smoker back a few feet, with the fan in the doorway, drawing air past the smoker.

    Either way was too cold to go near the smoker!

    There are good ways to contain the exhaust, and vent it to the outside (seen a few on this forum), but that isn't one of them.

  13. 1chaos52

    1chaos52 Smoke Blower

    So, I picked up my MES 40 from Sam's on Saturday. Everything was in excellent shape with no dents or anything like that as I have seen reported, and I swear they spend more time taping and wrapping everything than they do putting the whole thing together.

    Anyway, got it all unwrapped and put together and my best friend was telling me to fire it up and make something to eat, which I told him no, it needs to break in first. He kept trying to convince me to put something in while it was running until he got whiff of that awful smell of stuff burning off inside. He finally decided he did not want that in his food.

    So I got a chance to break it in, but not a chance to really use it. I did not have time to figure something out for covering it during wet weather, and boy did we have plenty of that on Sunday. I am hoping to break it out on Friday or Saturday for something.

    I am about to place my order for the A-maze-n, but had a quick question first (not that the answer will stop me from buying it). I noticed during break in that you only get about 30 minutes smoke from chips and that the a-maze-n will last considerably longer, but I believe the times given on that are for cold smoking. How does one control keeping the sawdust from going up in flames or burning faster when smoking at 225? It looks like where most people put it is almost right on top of the heating element, so I would think that would affect it. Also, has anyone done a combo of chips in the tray and also using the AMNS to combine wood flavors?

  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Over 225˚, some have trouble & some don't.

    I have had some problems in that temp range, so I usually just fill the outside two rows, and light them. That way there isn't a row next to them to jump through the walls to.

    They never just flame up, but they could jump through a wall. 

    Todd & a few of his testers have been working on this problem for a long time, and I think he will have it solved soon.

    The AMNS was designed for Cold smoking, but is Great for Warm smoking, and will soon be Great for Hot smoking too.

  15. I used my HAAS (Half Ass Amazing Smoker) with Todds apple dust when I did my ribs and chicken Sunday. I couldn't keep it burning. I had it inside the smoke chamber which stayed between 225-250. I had to move it to between the firebox and the smoke chamber to keep it burning but then it burnt up too fast. Did it not burn in the smoke chamber because of the lack of O2 in there?
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  16. dasmoke

    dasmoke Newbie

    For storing outside I use a rubbermaid outdoor storage container.  I got it at Menards and it works great.   The top and the front opens so it is readly available to smoke at any time.  Best of all, If i make a mess out of it I can just hose it off.  As for hot smoking, I use chunk wood.  I have to make some of the chunks smaller but I don't soak them and that works best for me and lasts twice as long or longer. 

    have fun,

  17. pantherfan83

    pantherfan83 Smoking Fanatic

    I use my MES inside my garage.  I built a rolling cart for it to sit on so it's easier to access and to move.  I roll it over in front of the man-door and have the overhead door open too.  I haven't noticed a lingering smell of smoke in the garage days after smoking, so it must do a decent job of drafting the smoke outside.

    Most people remove the controller and store it indoors if they keep their MES outside.  Masterbuilt makes a cover that fits it perfectly. 

    Check out this Mods post http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/87723/mes-hot-mods-related-mods-or-creations.  It has pictures awesome mods where people have built: sun/rain shields, carts, etc... and shows how people have vented the smoke through roofs/walls.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  18. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Chaos, Take a look at my avatar, this may be what you need, I have a roof also (not on pic). I have also thought about a door on the front with hinges, for the extreme cold.
  19. hiram

    hiram Fire Starter

    I keep my smoker on the carport, I bought a Suncast enclosure from Kmart for it. The biggest advantage is it keeps it out of the wind and blowing rain. I've had it out in the rain offsite several times and as the enclosure is not rainproof in a down pour (at least I think not) I used a small tarp, cut a hole for the chimney and draped it over the unit. To keep the rain from running inside the chimney hole in top just bunch up the tarp around the stack and put a tie wrap around it. Enclosure is 49.00 and definitely helps out in the wind and the rain.
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Your photobucket doesn't work.

    Not here anyway.


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