MES 30 cooking

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Dec 21, 2010
NW. Washington
Is there anything anywhere more directed towards using just the MES 30 or similar smokers? I cant do 350* in there and it seems alot of people have better smokers that can.   Im new to this (have not even seasoned it yet) and am absorbing everything I can find.   So I guess looking for info on what I can do with this.

Very excited to get cookin!

Id like to do chicken, turkey, all wild game, fish, you name it in this thing.

Thank you!
There is a bunch of MES users here.

Check out the forums and search engine.

You don't need 350 to smoke with.

Mine gets up to 270 without a problem.

Welcome aboard and have fun!

Most smoking is done at a smoker temp of around 225. Some of us will crank up the heat higher to do Poultry but you don't have to we do it to get the skin to crisp up more. You will find a large number of our members using the MES brand smokers many of them have the 40" model but they should smoke pretty much the same way.
seasoned it last night, with 45min remaining on the 275* 3 hour cook it says to put wood chips in, it barely burnt any of them chips..  I figured it would have done better, any thoughts?
45 minutes isn't much time for chips to get "burnt up"....since the MES is hot to begin with at that point in the process....the heating element will turn on very little during that last 45 minutes..therefore the chips are getting more ambient heat than direct heat from the element.  I would have put the chips in much sooner..I think when I seasoned my MES 30" I put them in after the 1 hour mark.  I did not have any problem with them smoking and turning black and to ash...I DO NOT soak my chips in water ever!  Hope that helps
I was just following the directions, tonight Ill try half as many, and not soak them. They didnt even burn or blacken actually....  I also had the top vent only cracked open and I read it should be full open.  Im learning. I PM'd about the new box setup for these so they burn better too.
Keep your exhaust open. Anytime you put in chips the element will need to kick on to get them hot enough to smoke.... so if the unit is at temp... it's not going to ignite the chips. Open the door and let it cool off enough to get the element to kick on and your in business. I've never had a problem with the 30 or 40 burning up the chips. I take the unit up to temp... open it up long enough to put the meat in which cools it down some inside.. so when I close the door back up and put in the chips they are ignited by the element. I add more chips every 45 minutes or so and I've never had a problem.
Ok, I took the chick tray out, and the holder for it and cut open the area under the chip tray so it gets all the heat now. She was smokin last night! Made duck jerky, and its awesome.  Think Im gonna shove a chicken in that thing tomorrow!

Have not heard back from the meb tech, so will call the factory monday when they return from holidays about the upgrade yet.

Fun stuff!

Duck jerky sounds interesting. Good luck with the chicken
Ok, I took the chick tray out, and the holder for it and cut open the area under the chip tray so it gets all the heat now. She was smokin last night! Made duck jerky, and its awesome. 
Hi John welcome to SMF!

Can you take a pic of the cuts you made on your chip tray and please post them.  Your mod might help others who are having trouble keeping their wood chips burning.


Note, usually once you get the chips burning/smoldering they usually will keep going.  However as it has been pointed out above, you have to know you heat element is on providing the necessary heat to ignite the chips.  I usually soak my chips and even if they have been soaking 30 min. when I put the first 10-12 chips (I use very few chips at a time), they usually are smoking in 2 to 3 minutes.  Note I do have the older style 40" MES with the older chips tray that is touching the heat element in one spot, and only has the one piece of sheet metal (the actually tray) between the heat element and the chips.
Here ya go, not a major mod, and still doesnt cure the issue, but helps. Those are the chips, lightly soaked in water (maybe 1 minute) and in the smoker for 3hrs at 200*

 Materbuilt customer service is excellent. My first 30" MES stopped heating after 10 months.  I called Masterbuilt and had a newer Model, with access panel to replace the element if necessary, within a week and at no cost to me.  It did have the smaller chip tray and different chip feeder.  I contacted customer service again, and they sent me a replacement/upgrade kit at no charge.  I LOVE my MES and will be buying the 40" SS model in the spring and give my old one to my daughter.  
I sent a direct message to MBTechguy on this forum and he replied the next day. May be off for holidays. I messaged about the up grade and gave him my model # and he sent me one. I have the 30 MES smokehouse.  I love mine and no problems I DO NOT soak my chips. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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