Masterbuilt smoke question Poofs! Smoke"

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jul 16, 2007
Yep, not kidding, just went to Sams and bought one tonight. We're trying it out before the ribs go in tomorrow. I'm new to this forum so I did some searching. It appears the "1 cup" of chips they recommend is wrong so how much should we use? Also when we finally got the smoke going tonight it literally "Poofed" smoke for 5 - 10 minutes in burst's then it settled down. Got my attention. Scared the kjhdfiuhihfoh!! out of me! Any thoughts?
Thanks all!
Trece, welcome to SMF and congratulations on the MES

You should go to the roll call thread and introduce yourself soon...just tell everyone about yourself and why you like to smoke meats etc. There are many folks here to give you a helping friendly hand.

OK on the "POOF"...It is strange that it has never been mentioned here but it does occur...I have the older model MES which was not vented or door latched when new...since then it has been vented and latched and works the same as the new models

The older model does not come, pre-recall, with the 2nd ash catcher under the element or the roof over the wood tray...and will not "POOF"....then when you add the two pieces just mentioned, which was a recall fix, you also get the poof you speak of....It seems to me that volatiles in the wood collect under the top roof and at times ignite causeing the seemingly harmless poof...this only occurs for me after the addition of new wood pieces

It seems to be a simply harmless phenomenon, and sure indication that you have placed too much new wood pieces at one time in the smoker....which brings us to your second question

How much wood to put in is very simply this...Never more than what it takes to have a trace of blue smoke coming out the top vent...Never more than 3-4 chips at a time....add new chips about every 30-40 minutes until your piece of meat in the smoker reaches 140-150* internal temp indicated by the thermometer you have placed in the meat and run the cable out the door to the remote indicator
Then you can stop adding wood and continue to cook LOW n SLOW

some woods are more susceptible to the "POOF" than others but of no concern just an indication that your MES is not getting proper care and feeding

This is how I see it
Good luck Welcome to the SMF

BTW putting alcoholic beverages in the H2O pan can cause a MAJOR POOF as has been reported by one of our members
My Tim Taylor like husband has agreed to not put in so much chips so no poofing yet.............3 hours and counting!

Thanks for the great advice, the coctails in the smoker thought cracked me up. Don't think I'll be tryin that anytime soon.............I'll stick w/apple juice.
It almost sounds like the unit is starving for air movement. If there is not enough air and the oxygen is being depleted inside the smoker that it would cause it to "poof" until it was able to get enough air inside and then repeat the cycle.

Is there a vent at the bottom and the top or just the top of the unit?
On my newer model MES, I took out all that stainless at the bottom and the chip tray. Stuffed the hole with tin foil. I put apple chunks right on the element and it works great. I found myself feeding it chips non stop and I wanted to actually finish a movie or something without having to get up every 20 minutes. Once an hour I turn the chunk with tongs (I only have to use one chunk for a smoke) to put a fresh face on the element.
One at the bottom and the top + door latch. I wanted to make sure I wasn't getting one of the old ones.

It appeared to be a "backdraft" effect but it hasn't happened today.

I have a very large redwood deck and shake roof, didn't care for it at all.

So........................... ya didn't squeeze it or anything did ya?
A joke! It was a joke!

I did like the thought of building a custom locomotive smoker though.
I think the key is the top roof which is to prevent grease from dripping onto the wood and starting a fire....My MES was used many times with not a fire or Poof until the recall came out....Since then it will on occasion do just that, POOF

I will say that it is easier to maintain combustion with the tray and roof in place, probably because it stays hotter around that area
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