MES 30 general questions

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Original poster
Dec 16, 2013
Mid Missouri
Brand new and I've been trying to figure a few things out. I plan on smoking a turkey and ham this weekend together. From what I've read thus far I can do this but the turkey should take around 10 hrs and the ham around 3-5? I think I got the wrong wood for this process as I've been seeing more people recommend the chunks over chips and amazing pellets overall. Either way, I've got the chips so that's what I'll be going with. I believe these need replaced in 1/4 to 1/2 cup increments every 30 - 40 minutes? Do I need to start the chips when heating up the smoker or only add once I'm up to temp? 225 I think? Also I'm beyond lost on what recipe to use for the ham and turkey. Turkey brine? Yellow mustard rub on ham? I'm lost mostly. Oh another thing I'm confused about, some people swear by using water/juice but then others say just keep the pan in but cover it in tin foil. Is there a right or wrong? Is there anything I need to do before cooking with it? Prepping I guess. Wikihow says cover the racks in cooking oil then let run for 2 hrs. Is this necessary? Trying to get all ?'s covered at once.....if it doesn't have an internal meat temp is it ok to be opening and checking temps of said meats every hr or so or will that ruin the process? I think that's it but I'm sure I'll get reconfused at any moment!
Got to make sure you season that baby first. You're biting off a good chunk for your first smoke. The mes has a meat therm on most models but its usually not real accurate. I'd really suggest getting a maverick et732 before the weekend so you can get accurate temps for the meat and smoker temp and so you don't keep opening that cooker up. Depending on the outside temp and wind, everytime you open that door you lose moisture and heat and can add an awful lot of cook time if you're continuously opening and closing. Chips are ok but watch out for fire. That chip tray gets real hot and flareups are common in the mes 30. You have an aggressive first cook there buddy....I wish you luck.
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So new plan. Doing 5 pound pork loin tomorrow with a dry rub my wife is making up tonight (she says she has it covered, I won't argue) we will see how the trial run goes. Here's hoping.....
Pork loin is probably the meat where the target temperature is the very most important. 145 IT for a high temp. any more and the loin really starts drying out fast and nothing is worse that dry loin. I had quit even buying loin till I started using my internal thermometer. Another really good trick is to brine your loin for 12 or 18 hours before cooking.

Brining like rubbing, injecting, and marinating is a way to add flavor to the loin. 

I usually pull my loin at about 143 and let the heat carryover get it to less than 150 while allowing it to rest for the 30 to 45 mins before eating.

Rest time is very important to allow the meat juices to redistribute, seriously. better to have the juices in the meat and not in the pan.

Pork can handle heavy smoke like hickory, but even with a light smoke like fruit and nut wood, I would go very light on the amount of smoke for the first time. Till you get the handle on it. More meat is ruined by too much smoke than by not enough. Good light it will surprise you how well it takes.

Lastly, take notes. If you get a perfect loin on your first time by accident it would be a shame not to be able to regenerate the same thing again. When done if you write it all down you'll know what you liked and what you want to tweak next time. Also you'll know what to come back here and discuss and 'or research to improve.

Don't forget to get picture, we all like to watch your achievements and possibly inspire someone else or maybe you'll have a solution to someone else's problem.

BUT the most important thang, is to have fun, don't worry, and enjoy the smoke. That smell will drive you wild!
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Just took out loins another 3 for the chickens. Took like 2 hrs for the loins to reach 145* IT. Longer than expected. Any thoughts?
You've learned a basic lesson on smoking poultry....low temp smoking will get you rubbery skin. The mes will only get you to 275 (if you're lucky). You can either throw the birds in a hot oven or cut it up and grill it to crisp it up.
chickens looked pretty good but tasted really rubbery. I've done something wrong not sure what....
I am just guessing but when you brine too long its makes the meat....springy. Did you brine? Its a texture thing.

Myself, I usually recommend that on your first smoke that you do a nekkid chicken, that way you get a good base to gauge what different modifiers accomplish. Light smoke, salt and pepper rub. Light smoke means maybe a cup of chips total for the entire smoke process. If you apply too much smoke its can leave a taste, or green wood can also.

If you are saying that the chicken skin was rubbery, that's due to the low temps used in a smoker. So folks like it that way or learn to anyway, some crisp it up in the over or grill. If you smoke at 275+ generally that is enough to crisp it.

If its a rubber like taste, I ask did you season the box before using for food?
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I like the skin not crispy but the meat itself was rubbery. Didn't brine just a rub. Did have some flare ups due to the chips catching fire but I think I wasn't turning the chip dispenser the correct direction
Turkey turned out awesome! Rough start though. Got up at 530am but the MES wouldn't go. It was around zero degrees so thought it was just too cold. Brought in for couple hrs then she turned on. Put the 732 maverick and it was showing about 230 to 245 heat in smoker with it being set at 250. Figured it was the cold again getting to the smoker. I brined the 14 lb bird for about 18 hrs in 2qt apple juice, 2qt orange juice, 2 cup sal, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1tbls of nut meg heated to a simmer for 15 min then let cool then pour over turkey in cooler, added another gallon and half of water and called it good. Took about 6 hrs to smoke to internal of 163 then let rest to finish at 168. First turkey was great. We forgot the ham in the freezer so I guess that'll have to wait lol thanks everyone for all the great help and especially foam for extensive help lol
Looks like a great job. Now you'll able to smoke more since everyone knows how good you can cook.

Don't forget .... notes, how you did it, what you liked and didn't and what you'd like to try on the next turkey! There are a gazillion modifiers available injections, rubs, fruit veggies, different combos, different smokes.

Glad it all worked out, and even though it was a bit nippy it was a beautiful day wasn't it?

Can ya still smell that great smoke? 
I have a question too. I have had my mes 30 for a few years and have had some great smokes with just one thing missing the crust. Is there something different I should do with the water pan to get a nice bark on brisket, bacon crispy, and chicken skin edible. It seems like with as big as the water pan is it might be getting too moist and pork and beef seem to be almost a little wet instead of having a nice bark. Or is this just because it is an electric and not a stick smoker? is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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