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MES 35b wood chips do not turn to ash


Joined Oct 17, 2020
Hi everyone, I have a MES 35b that I got last black friday from Lowes. I've smoked quite a few items and love it, smoked chuck roast being my favorite so far. I noticed after a couple uses that the wood chips no longer turn to ash, they turn black and stop smoking after about 30-40 minutes. I add new chips on top of those and if doesn't get much better. Any ideas on why and how to fix? I don't have the model I've read about with a metal tray in-between the box and hearing element. And the tray is very close to the element. Thanks!
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Joined Oct 4, 2020
I have a Pit Boss. My chips never turn to ash. I figure some types will and some won’t. After mine turn black and stop smoking I empty the tray and add fresh chips. I never have worried about it. It took me by surprise at first but I just roll with it.


Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined Apr 5, 2018
Same issue with my MES. Just toss them when the turn black and keep rollin


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 29, 2018
Are you using high enough temps to burn them ? Use a digital thermometer to know that your chamber temp is actually what your control temp is set at. My MES 40 would not burn the chips below 225°.


Smoke Blower
Joined Jan 17, 2016
I’m not sure if this is your model but some of them have a bracket installed wrong update sorry I didn’t read the whole post.. I would suspect that the element has started to go bad since it burned the chips before, test with a separate thermometer and make sure it’s coming up to the correct temperature
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Fire Starter
Joined Sep 29, 2020
I had a similar issue when I was using chips.

my initial solution was to bend the chip tray so it was closer to the element, even touching it. That worked ok.

I then did a dry run where I removed the bracket the chip tray sits in and had the tray resting on the heating element. I had the tray resting in such a way that the far side of the tray (opposite side to the handle/lip) was tilted up against the loader tube. So only a small proportion of the tray was in contact with the element. Worked very well.

I have recently moved on to a pellet maze (AMNPS). Small learning curve but works perfectly for me inside the MES.

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