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MES 40 - Seasoning Help Needed... To Oil or Not to Oil?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by mtbken, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Hey Fellow Smokers!

    I am a proud new owner of a MES 40 from SAM's.  I have been reading alot about different seasoning ideas.  I am a bit unclear about the best way to break this baby in before I load it up with some Meat!  Most of my confusion is about the concept of using PAM.  Should this really be done?  When do you apply that spray and where? 

    I appreciate the help as a newbie, I have never smoked aside from an occasional smokerbox on my Grill!

    Also, should I drop some wood chips in during the last hour?  Do I use a water pan or not? 

    I am a bit concerned(ok maybe paranoid).  I want my box to be perfect for my first smoke over the weekend.

    Looking forward to contributing some nice Food Porn to the collection!  LOL


  2. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Spray down the inside with vegetable and fire it up with wood that you would smoke with, basically smoking without any meat in it. Spray the inside panels not the heating element or water pan and such. That's how you season a smoker, you won't hurt anything.
  3. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

  4. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This is an old debate that has always and will always rage.  Some use PAM and other vege oils and are happy with the results.  Others complain of a brown gluey? substance when using vege oils.  I use melted lard and have always been happy with the results.  In either case, a thin film evenly applied will do the trick, no need to be heavy handed with it. Be sure to move your smoker off the deck or patio in case you get any dripping during the seasoning process.  Season at least once if not twice before using a new smoker. I like to season mine at higher temps than I would normally smoke at. If you see rust later on, clean it off and reseason.

    Good luck, and good smoking!
  5. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Congrats on the new MES. Personally I would season it and I like to use Pam to season
  6. Thanks to everyone for the links and advise,

    Here is what I am thinking...

    1 - Break open the box

    2 - Wipe down inside with Mild Detergent and water solution. (Maybe NOT the element!)

    3 - Rinse with Water

    4 - Heat to 275 with nothing inside and no PAM yet.  for 2 hours

    5 - apply PAM to insides walls except heating element area.

    6 - Heat again for 2 hours at 275.

    7 - Add some chips (thinking Apple) and Water  and run for an hour or two. (And Water)

    8 - let cool and clean off windows.

    9 - Get ready for 1st session.

    Let me know if anyone has anything to add or correct.

    Thanks again!

  7. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    Sounds like you got your self a winner.

    Some season at higher temps.

    Also be aware that the burn off can be very foul smelling so keep your top vent fully open during the seasoning.
  8. OK, just go everything unpacked and currenting doing the initial break in.  Manual says 3 hours but I am going to check after 2 to see if foul odor is gone!

    Here are a couple of pics.  Not quite Food Porn. More like New Toy Porn that comes a pretty close 2nd!  LOL












  9. Started the 1st part of my Break-In Process.  30 mins in and Temps is already at 250! So far so good.  I have some pics of my setup. Not quite Food Porn but New Toy Porn.  (Which is a close 2nd!)


  10. Not sure if I should be concerned... I have not hit the 275 temp.  I am getting a bit of a temp drop here outside.  (50 Degrees) it's been 2.5 hours. I am ready to turn it off for a bit and get ready for the Oil phase of my break-in!

    Any Ideas let me know.  We are going to have rain a bit later but i would really like to have this seasoned so I can get some q'in in before the weekend is out!


    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  11. Just started Phase II of Seasoning.  I am not sure of this temp issue.  I have PAM'd everything except the bottom and window.  (I did do the metal section of the door) Also did not hit the heating element or Smoker box areas.  I did also spray the racks and put them back in.

      I have the timer set to 2 hours.  If I get rain, I will have to cut it short.  I am hoping to get a smoke session in as well. 

    Two questions -

    1 - Do I need to wipe out all of the oil before I add smoke?  (Hopefully someone is watching and can answer before I hit that point!)

    2 - When I add the smoke, should I close the vent?

    Thanks everyone!


  12. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    1. No do not wipe out the oil. You just heated the oil to a temperature that  allowed it to seep into every imperfection in the metal surface of the smoker. This will create the barrier that will repel water and keep your smoker from rusting.
    2. No do not close the vent keep it fully open if you close the vent it will build up creosote inside the smoker. Make sure that you don't get a layer of creosote. Creosote is a nasty substance that builds up in a poorly ventilated smoker. You never want this stuff in your smoker.   
  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you cheat and forget the foil, you'll pay for it in the clean up!

    Every once and a while, I take the light housing out and clean the glass.


  14. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Do you mean the temp there is 50˚, or you had a 50˚ drop in your MES 40.

    When it's really cold outside, it could take longer to get to 275˚, but you should be able to get there.

    If it's 50˚ outside there, that's not cold.

    If your smoker dropped 50 degrees, while the element was on (little red light on), and the door was closed, That's not good!!!

    It would help others to help you, if you would put where you live in your "Bio Page".

    Then it would come up on at the top of each of your posts, below the date & number of posts.

    It would tell us how cold, hot, humid, and dry it gets there.

  15. What is the purpose of oil /pam on the inside of the smoker? My manual never said anything about doing that.Just heat to300 for 3 hours,wood chips the last 45 min.Thanks
  16. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Works like seasoning a Cast Iron Pan.  The oil turns to carbon and makes it easier to clean.

  17. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I just followed the instructions in the book.

    That other stuff is fine too, but I think more important on other kinds of smokers.

    Either way, you'll be good to go.

  18. Instead of using spray Pam to coat the inside panels, can one use regular vegetable oil from a bottle and wipe it on the panels with a paper towel or cloth? I don't see why not, but I thought I would ask. I just got a new MES 40 and plan to season it soon.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010