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Insulated blanket for MES 30

lakezumbro

Newbie
6
10
Joined Feb 10, 2008
Smoking some ribs now and can't keep the temp up to 230.  It's 15 degrees out and windy.  Who makes an insulated blanket that fits the 30? Thanks
 

deltadude

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,529
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Joined Jun 3, 2008
Welcome to SMF  Lakezumbro

There isn't a insulated heat proof blanket that I'm aware of.

You might try making a 1/4" plywood wind screen, with hinged door and vented top.

I'm in Calif, and we don't have that extreme temps here, mid 20º range is lowest it gets around here.

Last year I did smoke in the mid 20s a couple of times with no problem.

The answer is preheating, you need to preheat your MES for 2 hours at least, all that metal will get heated up, and your initial rise to set temp will be faster as well as your recovery time when you open the hatch.  KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED!  Forget any basting or spritzing you are just making the MES climb a steeper hill.

So preheat for 2 hours min, then add boiling water to your water tray, close the hatch get your meat ready to load and load as quick as possible.  Your initial set temp will take a about 30 min to achieve or longer since it is so cold, but that is ok, just as long as it the temp is steadily rising.  In fact I like to keep a record the first 2 hours of a smoke, in cold weather I will check that first hour every 10 min and write down the temps, this way I know for sure if it is climbing.  I record the time, outdoor ambient, MES temp reading, my remote probe measuring internal cab temp, and the meat temp if I am using a probe for that.  I know it is no fun to go out in that cold every 10 or 15 minutes, but those first 2 hours are crucial to a smoke, because it is when the meat is accepting that smoke flavor, so I want to make sure I have a steady stream of TBS.

Good luck I hope this helps
 

tjohnson

Smoking Guru
Staff member
Moderator
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SMF Premier Member
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Joined Dec 29, 2009
I started my smoke on Thanksgiving, and it was 5° outside, and was able to hold temps.

You may try using a moving blanket and wrap it around the smoker.

Todd
 

lakezumbro

Newbie
6
10
Joined Feb 10, 2008
Thanks guys, I'm in Rochester and you're right, it was cold on Thanksgiving.  I've read several thread about the wind sucking the hot air out of the vent faster than the unit can produce heat. I saw the makeshift box a guy made to put over the vent. Looks like a reasonable idea. I'll have to try that next time.
 

rbranstner

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,700
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Joined Oct 18, 2007
A wind break is a great thing to have but if not I have heard of people using moving blankets, welding blankets and hot water heater wraps. The main thin is that it won't catch fire. 
 

dnvrdv

Smoke Blower
141
15
Joined Apr 4, 2010
9 years later but I was looking for something as well and found this

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Braz

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,166
579
Joined Jun 25, 2017
Check Harbor Freight or Northern Tool for a welding blanket. You will need to fug with it a little bit to get it to fit and still let you get to the door and the air intake and the top vent. A roll of duct tape will be your friend.
 

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