Major MES40 Gen 1 mods.......count them racks baby!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by cmayna, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Exhaust tunnel made from a loaf pan to help route the exhaust towards the center of the smoker instead
    of the right back corner. A BIG thanks to DaveOmak for the idea.

    Not sure if I'm going to put a string of high temp TRV on the upper side of the flange to act as a seal.

    Here's a side profile of what the loaf pan looked like on the left. A little too tall so I reduced it's size.
    Love my dremel tool.

    What I chopped off of the pan. Yes this caused me to bend a new flange but what the heck are bench vices
    for anyway?

    Look at all them racks! Since I mainly do a lot of Salmon jerky, nuggets, etc, I need a smoker with lots
    of racks. The stock MES's racks are spaced 6" from each other. My Big Chief smokers have their
    racks at 3". Hmmmm Ordered an extra set of rack supports and pulled out Mr. Miggy the welder.

    You realize how many Salmon nuggets this pup can now produce? If only I had one more rack :biggrin:



    Note the slanted rack at the bottom, to help persuade the heat towards the center of the smoker instead of up
    the right side. Still experimenting with what's the best size foil pan deflector and still need to incorporate a foil umbrella for the AMNPS. Tomorrow I am going to run a test smoke to check temps at different locations within the box.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
    redheelerdog likes this.
  2. redheelerdog

    redheelerdog Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Craig, you are the Mod Master of the MES sir!

    Outstanding job and thanks for the great pics - looks like that will smoke one heck of a load.

    NICE!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks.  Yesterday was a very fun day out in the shop.  Today, I'll be busy finalizing the heat deflector and running a few tests with the AMNPS.
     
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks good, Craig!!

    I would rotate that pan 90°, and close off that back right corner entirely. That's where the heat will try to go up the right side, and it's more important to get it to the middle of the smoker at the bottom than at the top after it ran up the right side already.

    I won't clog your thread with a picture of mine, because I imagine you've seen it.

    Bear
     
  5. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bear,

    I'm looking at your pic right now.  Looks like you have sealed off the whole right backside pretty tight.  Good idea, thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes,

    But if the left side gets hotter than the right, I can either lower the left edge of the deflector, or pull it away from the right wall about a 1/4" or so.

    Bear
     
  7. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    An adjustable deflector.  Perfect!    As soon as the wife and I process a bunch of rock and ling cod she caught yesterday, I'll be heading out to the shop.
     
  8. Wow, you guys amaze me!  I still need to tweak my MES 40 more.  Right now, I just lay down some aluminum foil on the bottom shelf toward the back right.  :)

    I have pretty much zero tool skills, so I'd probably cut off a limb doing what you did here.  It looks great!
     
  9. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    More mods :biggrin:




    The heat deflector on the right was too snugged up against the right wall causing too much heat to the left side resulting in too high of temp on that side.

    New trial deflector, less in width and pulled away from the walls a little. This seems to have allowed a little more heat stay on the right side instead of being tossed over to the left side.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Exactly, Craig!!

    That's what I do with mine, as I said in post #6 above.

    Except I keep my empty water pan in place to help spread the heat out more.

    I like your little wire contraptions---Those are neat !![​IMG]

    Bear
     
  11. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My smoker came without a water pan. Since I'll probably only use this smoker for fish, I doubt that I'll ever use a water pan except to help distribute heat. Maybe do a MacGyver pan of some type.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That reminds me of something I thought about doing to my Gen #1 for a long time:

    It's such a PITA to cover a Water pan with foil, and every time I covered it I thought about this, but I never got around to it.

    I was going to trace the top of the water pan on a sheet of Aluminum, and then cut it out at that shape. Then replace the water pan with that sheet. That would serve the same purpose of taking away the direct heat getting to the meat above, but it would be so much easier to cover with Foil.

    Watcha think???

    Bear
     
  13. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's exactly what I was thinking.  Since I don't have a water pan, can you provide me with the width dimension?  I think I can determine the length.  But then again, it's not rocket science.  Yesterday I happen to get a 12"x24" sheet of aluminum just to have.....just in case.  Maybe a visit to our local Bass Pro shop and quickly trace the water pan in their smoker that's on the floor.  Road trip!
     
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You could do that. I'm thinking I would just make sure the length is right for your smoker, so it hangs well in the bottom wire in that bottom set of wires, and make the depth a little less (1" or 2") than the full width of the pan, because of the lip of the pan being rounded from the bottom of the pan.

    Bear
     
  15. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Won't this make all of the grease that drips from the meat, run off this flat plate and onto the big flat pan in the bottom of smoker?
     
  16. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Keep in mind,  I plan to use this smoker strictly for fish.  I was considering rolling up the edge just a little to catch what moisture the fish would drop which isn't much.

    Bear,  thanks for the idea. 
     
  17. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    In the pic below I have a 8.5X11 piece of card board wrapped in foil over the chip housing for a deflector and to keep drips off the housing that vaporize. I smoke on the second from the top rack so my water pan is on the third rack. I prefer layers of obstacles for the heat to work its way up to get even temps across higher racks. You need all deflection at the bottom of your smoker for the added racks for a lot of fish.
    I've noticed the intended bottom wire hanger for the water pan is a little off center towards the front door, allowing more heat up the back. On any other level you can center the water pan, using a rack as a template like in my pic. You can remove the rack after centering or leave it for food.
    -Kurt
     
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You could throw a foil pan on the flat plate to catch drips, if you're smoking a drippy food.

    I love foil pans, because you don't have to wash them if you don't want to.[​IMG]

    Bear
     
  19. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bear,

    Think I should ovalize the flat plate or keep it rectangle?  If oval, I would go somewhere around the water pan's bottom footprint.   Yes with foil, I could simply create a very shallow wall around the edge.

    Kurt, I see your deflector is below the water pan and Bear, yours is above.   Hmmmmmmm
     
  20. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    I've tried both. Anything is better than nothing. I originally moved the water pan up to the next level to keep the drippings from burning as much later during the smoke. Since I haven't needed to use more than the top two racks at a time I noticed more even heat at the four corners of the second rack with the water pan in the middle of the smoker and a small deflector against the back wall letting heat go anywhere except up the back wall past the Mes controller sensor to the top vent.
    -Kurt
    -Kurt
     

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