MES 30 Controls - A Moving Target

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by cekkk, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Here is how things went today.

    Prepped 4.5 lbs. of spare ribs yesterday, fired up the smoker and all was going fine until I pulled the ribs to wrap them in foil.  The temp dropped to about 205 as it had before when I spritzered it earlier.

    But this time the temp in the smoker, which had leveled off to around 225 per Maverick, with controls at 235,  rose from 205 through 230 up to 257 while I was making entries in my notes.  The meat temp, which was 145 at spritzing ,only went to 149 in the next 35 minutes or so.  But this time with the high smoker temp it shot up to 172 quickly, even though I had lowered the thermostat and opened the door a while to speed up a drop to 210. 

    But when the ribs got to 174 I felt I had to take them out.  They look pretty good, but I'm pretty sure they needed another hour at least to tenderize.  My planned 3-2-1 turned into 3-1 and out.

    I have an idea why the smoker controls decided it needed to keep the element heating way beyond where it had been before foiling.  When I removed the ribs some fat dropped and popped and sizzled a little.  That's the only thing I can think of that might have upset the apple cart. 

    Should I have left them in the foil in the smoker another hour, trying not to let the meat temp rise more?

    Obviously, I needed to stop it sooner.   I was sitting right by the receiver as I had all day, making notes.  It just got past me.  Another learning experience.  We'll be eating them in a few minutes.

    Any comments?
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    When an MES drops below the setting, it will get going real good & hot, and once it hits your setting it will shut off, but it will keep getting hotter (just coasting). If it's hot outside it could run up farther, and the farther below the setting it falls the higher it will coast upward after it hits the selected temp. I personally would have left it in the foil, because it would have simmered down on it's own.

    Here's a trick I use:

    For instance----When you start an MES, and say you want to hold it at 225*. Instead of setting it to 225* and having it coast to 245* or 260*, I set it for 200*. Then after it shuts off at 200, but keeps rising to maybe 230*, then I reset the heat to 225*. Now I just eliminated the big up & down swings you get from the big movement.

    In Summer it will tend to coast above the setting more than Winter, but in Winter it will coast down farther below the setting after it comes on than in the Summer.

    Hope that makes sense.

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  3. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Another way to prevent a large overshoot of the set temp is to get good airflow. Vent open all the way or replace the vent with an open stack with an adjustable damper. I use this in my mes cabinet with a 150 dollar PID and the temps are rock solid. Of course that $ 150 controller is about $145 better than the stock mes one.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I always forget to mention that, because my vent is always open 100%, and I still trick it, like I explained above.

    Good point though.

  5. Thanks guys.  I can work with that information.  And my vent is always 100% open.  Just glad to have you confirm that.  Temperature here is usually in the 70s in the summer, maybe a dozen days in the 80s if it's a hot summer.  Early morning temps usually in the 40s, so the smoker doesn't wake up hot.  It was breezy and 70 When I did this. 

    I've got another question about water but will post separately.

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