MES 30" Vent Adjustment

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by 2cansam, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Can someone please give me some info on how you determine how much to open the vent on your MES?  On my wood smoker, I adjust to maintain temperature...not sure if this applies with MES electric element working to control temperature.
  2. Top vent wide open all of the time. Ditch the water in the pan and replace with sand or gravel covered in foil. Check the smoker temp with a known thermometer as most of the factory ones are off.

    Happy smoken.

    2cansam likes this.
  3. blturner64

    blturner64 Newbie

    My 40 inch has the vent on side. Should I leave it open all the way also?  So the water is only to help regulate the temp?  New to this smoker and learning.  Thanks for the info..
  4. todbnla

    todbnla Newbie SMF Premier Member

    2cansam likes this.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's a Dadgum Dumb Tip! from people who use an MES a lot less than most guys on this forum!!

    Leave the top vent open all the way on any food, unless it's windy & you don't have a wind block set up----Then close halfway to keep the wind from sucking your heat out.

    Close only to preheat or for storage.

  6. Yeah, what Bear said. Wide open unless you are preheating.
  7. I'm still learning here, so please bear with me. However, I know that the damper can be used to regulate Temps and draft, but I thought you can use it to control smoke thickness inside the mes. Is this not accurate? I usually try for a heavier smoke flavor profile as that suits my family's taste.
  8. We are all students here yet we are also teachers. Again, vent wide open on an electric. The vents are used on stick and charcoal burners to control draft which in turn controls temp. More air flow = more heat. In the electric, the heating element doesn't need air to produce heat. Yet to little air = no smoke.
    The goal is TBS, thin blue smoke.
    If you are looking for a heavier smoke taste, use a stronger wood. Fruit woods are light. Hardwoods such as hickory and pecan have a stronger smoke and I believe mesquite has an even stronger smoke. (I said "I believe" it does because I don't use mesquite)
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I like a heavier smoke taste too. I use Hickory on everything.

    However like hamrhead said---TBS !!!

    A long time of light smoke is Awesome, but even a short time of heavy smoke can be bad!!

  10. moses

    moses Meat Mopper

    I have a question along this same topic. I have a screened in back porch that I have converted into an outdoor kitchen. I enclosed half of it and left the other half screened in. It is one big room, half screened in half not. Make since??

    Question is, I am putting my smoker (MES 40)  on the end of the porch that is not screened in and of course the smoke is going to be pretty thick on that end of the porch while smoking. I thought about using a dryer vent type pipe to vent the smoke out of wall and outside of the porch. I hope I described everything so it can be pictured correctly. Anyway, do ya'll think with the dryer vent being hooked to the top vent of my smoker and then ran approximately three feet and outside the exterior wall will affect the draft or smoke production in anyway?? I use one of the Masterbuilt Cold Smoker attachments to generate my smoke.
  11. That should not be an issue at all, Moses. In fact, a good many people put a short "stack" on top of their mes to help with draft issues caused by the wind. I will recommend that you find some type of vent cap to keep rain out, though. Should be fairly easy to find something at Lowes or Home Depot.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
    moses likes this.
  12. moses

    moses Meat Mopper

    I was thinking of putting a cap like that on the end of a dryer vent or something similar. Cant wait to get the room done so I can post the before and after pics. it pretty nice so far. Got a little more tile work and some trim work to do. and placing the main attraction (MES 40) in place.
  13. Just so you can see it, here is a mod that another forum member uses when he needs to have his smoker inside his shop.
    As far as your setup, it sounds like this is to be a permanent setup?
  14. moses

    moses Meat Mopper

    Yes my set up will be perminent. I have 2 MES 40's. One still in the box so when my current plays out, I can put the other right in its place.
  15. Sounds like you are setting up for the long haul. I want to share a couple of ideas with you. Of course how you do it is up to you, these are just some thoughts from an old hand with over 25 years doing carpentry both residential and commercial.
    I would not recommend using dryer duct to run through your wall. Reason being that a dryer typically runs at temperatures below 150 degrees. You goal is to exhaust air and smoke that will be upwards of 250 degrees. Rigid dryer duct would do it but it will be HOT and to me unsafe to run through a wall. I would go with double wall heater pipe. It is more expensive but a lot safer. After all, we are talking about the house you and your family live in. I will always recommend spending a little more money to ensure a families safety. Go online to Home Depot and search for DuraVent PelletVent 3 inch stove pipe kit. I used a kit similar to this last year on a small pellet heater in my father's clock shop down in Hattiesburg. It seems a bit pricey but it works great. Everything you should need in one kit. Get the end of the pipe away from the wall (especially if the exterior of the wall is vinyl), above the roofline if possible. Where the pipe passes through the wall itself, make the hole 2 inches bigger than the pipe then use scussion rings to center the pipe in the hole.
    It may sound like it's a little extreme but that's what I would do. Safety first, second and third where the wife and kids are involved. Besides, it sounds like your are fixing up a nice area for your smoking needs so why skimp out on the exhaust system.
    Just my $.03
    moses likes this.
  16. moses

    moses Meat Mopper

    Thanks a ton man. I have been looking at the stove pipe like you mentioned but have been hesitant because of the cost. I did not realize the dryer pipe would not hold the heat well enough so I will for sure go with the stove pipe.

    My plan was to come out of the top of the smoker and make a 90 degree turn and go out the side if the wall. You mentioned going all the way out of the roof. Would going out the wall not be ok?
  17. No, going out the wall is fine. What I was referring to getting the end of the pipe above the roof line to keep the smoke off the side of the house to eliminate any possibility of smoke related discoloration or soot buildup on the wall. Going above the roof may not be necessary as this is a smoker and not a heater. Building codes require minimum distances from the roof, both vertically and horizontally, to the end of the pipe on heaters.
    Come out of the smoker, 90° thru the wall, 90° up to a rain cap. If you would rather not extend above the roof then keep minimum of 9 inches between the wall and the 90° upturn.
    If you choose to use a single wall pipe instead of double wall stove pipe, simply make the hole in the wall a little bigger and wrap this section of pipe with some heat resistant non flammable insulation.
  18. I second this opinion, moses. Due to the heat of higher temp smokes I would go with double wall heater pipe. But I would put a cap on the top of the upturn and possibly a trap for moisture that makes it in. Maybe even screen then top under the cap to keep bugs out while not in use
  19. craigdchang

    craigdchang Fire Starter

    Does anyone have a MES cold smoker kit? I am picking one up this weekend and was wondering how many hours will it produce smoke.
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

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