Masterbuilt smoker vent position?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by northernsmoke, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. thomc89

    thomc89 Newbie

    I've done pork buts twice in the same smoker and have turned out great.  If you are going to pull it apart, the temp needs to be about 210.  I've always put water in my pan and smoked them around 12 hrs.  Smoked for 5 or 6 hrs then foiled them for the rest of the time.

    Good luck

  2. I really like what you wrote.  It makes a lot of sense.  Where I live there is no humidity and closing the vent keeps the meat moist and tender as the smoke flavor is great.
  3. I like my Damper 1/3 open.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  4. I have the same smoker.  For items that need to be moist inside, make sure to keep the water pan full of water or apple juice or your choice.  The vent needs to be open about 1/4 open for most smoking to get circulation. 

    one thing to remember is that the unit won't work unless the timer is set.  and only heats while the timer is running. 

    once the ribs or any food reach the 140 degree point, they no longer absorb smoke flavor.  so at that point you might as well wrap in foil with a little sauce or apple juice to maintain the moist interior. 

    If golden brown is a requirement, i have taken to taking the food out of the smoker before it reaches temp and finishing on a very hot grill. 

    Make sure to buy Jeff's rub.  i have tried lots of commerical versions, but Jeff's is a great all purpose rub. 

    good luck
  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    The smoke ring quits forming in meat at around 140 degrees, As long as smoke is being applied to meat it will take on smoke flavor. If it quit taking on smoke at 140 degrees then you could cook something to 140 degrees in the oven and then throw it in the smoker and it would not get any smoke flavor.
  6. I've been using Masterbuilt 30's (I'm on my second one) for 7 years and always leave the vent wide open and have excellent results.
  7. You don't get a whole bunch of smoke ring from an electric smoker.  That's what makes them so great for doing Chicken, since to the novice, the red of the ring is an indication of undercooked rather than a smoke ring.

    With my 40" Mastercraft I leave the top vent wide open.  The box is so well sealed that to have any smoke at all requires all the burning oxygen it can get from the top and chip tray.  I've tried the Amazing Smoker with the unit and it works fine as long as I provide extra burning oxygen.  I solved this in a low-tech manner by squeezing in the thick part of a kitchen fork in the lower door.

    But, help is on the way from Mastercraft.  If you have a fairly new similar unit with just a 4-5" firebox they have a retrofit kit to improve smoking capabilities.  I'll be doing a review of the kit, comparing old to new, as soon as I receive it this next week.
  8. I always smoke with vents fully opened and have no problem with smoke lines or tenderness of meats.
  9. I think "NOTHERNSMOKE" really needed some help and didn't get it.  Heres my imput, You just purchased a new product and it needs getting used to.

    1. Temperture control is critical. Temp in unit and temp in meat. I use two digital themoters, one for box temp and one for internal meat temp.

    2. You should keep top or cheminey vent open full or almost full.  bottoms vents start with 1/2 open and adjust small amounts for box temp control, every 15/30 minutes until temp is where you want it.

    3. With vents closed as you stated I would expect the same results. Must circulate the air/heat/smoke.

    4. Smoking is a slow process, don't try to rush, and TEMPERTURE IS BIGGEST FACTOR.
  10. I received the MasterBuilt wood chip bin upgrade.  Wow, it's huge.  Same footprint as before and when assembled and in position, it looks identical to the original, so there's still room for the Amazin Smoker on the sidebar.. 

    The difference comes when you pull out that mammoth chip tray.  I'll bet it will take 2 cups of chips easy . . . maybe more.  Thinking now to plug in the chip tray just as I add the meat. since it slides in smoothly.  I'll use the half cup chip loader to restock once the smoke dies.  One thing for sure, the wood chips are going to burn up faster, so I doubt we can increase our smoking time 4x, but maybe 2x.  That's a good heavy first hour of smoke.

    Pictures to follow in a separate thread. 

    Oh, by the way, never fill your wood chip tray with Pellets.  Particularly after just cleaning your smoker.  Trust me on this one folks.  I don't care how much you are out of smoking wood and I was totally out.  Winter deadfall would be a better choice, even if you were a blind man with frozen fingers gathering.  There will be no Q-View of the resulting need to re-clean my soot filled smoker.  The fire got too hot.  Trust me by saying, I owe the Barnardsville Volunteer Fire Department a small fundraiser for more reasons than one.  My thanks to the volunteer that felt he had a need to stop in and be sure things were right.
  11. In my opinion, the problem with the small chip tray was not so much that it was too small but that it did not smoke as well as the large chip tray assembly. The small tray had an extra piece of sheet metal between the element and the chip tray, limiting how hot the chip tray got when the element was on.  Loading up the large chip tray with more chips (just because there is room for more chips) can be a mistake and result in too thick of smoke. I modified my small chip tray by removing the extra piece of metal and it worked very well. I subsequently got an AMNPS, which works even better, making the modification of small tray or replacing with large tray inconsequential. Just my experience...
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  12. domapoi

    domapoi Smoke Blower

    You don't want to add any more chip in the tray than you did before the upgrade. The upgrade allows the wood in the tray to have access to more heat from the heating element and to spread out a little more. Just continue the way you did before using the chip loader and you will do just fine. More wood will just cause more and thicker smoke instead of the desired "Thin Blue Smoke" that you should have.
  13. You must have a chip tray different than my old one.  My old tray is about half the width of the tray and no extra piece of metal to remove . . . adding chips to the right side would cause them to fall right on top of the heating element.

    I've wondered about that, since the slide-in tray looks like it's been modified to make the tray smaller.  You'll see it all in my post.  I added it to my review of the product

    Just look for my warm and disarming smile . . . that would be me. 
  14. I guess so. My small chip tray worked just fine after removing the extra piece of metal. If there is another design verson of the "small" chip tray that does NOT have the extra piece of metal but instead a different design deficiencey, that might explain the determination  of many to replace it with a large chip tray instead of just doing the simple modification. I was alway puzzled about that.
  15. I have been going half open with this same smoker. I had trouble the first time also, it smoker a lot heaver than my last brinkman. I also only been smoking my ribs 2 to 2 1/2 hrs the rest is cook time without smoke.
  16. I hear a lot about Jeff's rub. What makes it so good? I'm half tempted to try it.
  17. domapoi

    domapoi Smoke Blower

    The extra piece of metal was not on the tray itself, it was part of the smoke box that the tray slides into. If you look at the video at Masterbuilt that shows how to install the tray upgrade you can see as plain as day the sheet of metal that was between the heating element and the chip tray. If you watch the whole video you will notice that the new smoke box does not have that piece of sheet metal between the heating element and the chip tray. 

    So you don't have to go looking for the link to this video, here it is:

    This piece of sheet metal that was between the old chip tray and the heating element prevented the chip tray from getting enough heat to effectively heat the tray enough to always get the chips smoking properly.
  18. Yes, that is right. My earlier comment was perhaps a bit ambiguious as to what this piece metal was attached to. For those still unclear about this, here is a link to the mod that removes this piece of metal from the small chip tray assembly.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  19. I leave the vent fully open on my MES 40. And I use pellets 98% of the time with great satisfaction and longer smoking time. 
  20. Are the pellets cost effective and where do you get them?

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