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MES 40 ??????

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by ptburnett68, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. ptburnett68

    ptburnett68 Newbie

    Just got the MES 40 (model 20070710) for Christmas. I am so excited! This is my first Electric smoker. I have only used Charcoal smokers. It seems that may people here suggest using a stand alone external thermometer rather than using the built-in meat probe that comes with the smoker. Why is that and I would love suggestions for models to look at. Thanks!
  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Welcome PT - glad to have you here. The use of external thremometers is common with the older MES units. The new ones have a built in remote that everyone had been raving about so you may not need to use the external one. I would suggest that you get an AMNS (A MAZE N SMOKER) to do any cold smoking you are going to do - there is a link in the rigth corner of the page to their website. I use mine in my  SmokinTex all the time   
  3. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    Having a built in meat probe is a new thing in MES smokers. All they had before was the smoker temp, and that was usually far off from what the external smoker probes said, until later in the smoke.

    Now that they have both the smoker probe & the built in meat probe, I still like to use my Maverick too. I don't know, I guess it's kinda like getting a second opinion from another Dr.  Plus it's good to be checking two different areas in your smoker & two different pieces of meat in the smoker.

    I have the Maverick ET-73, but I will soon be getting the ET-732 (better range).

  4. c-dubya

    c-dubya Newbie

    I picked up the new MES 40 as well.  Where are you guys putting your AMNS unit in it?  I'm psyched to start it up tomorrow on a Boston Butt and I want to maximize the power of the A-Maze-N Smoker.  It seems like most of the posts refer to placement of the AMNS in older MES units, but not the new ones.  For whatever reason, the older 40" seem to look configured differently.



    P.S.  How do you guys keep the glass clean?  It seems like the opinions vary from "it's easy" to "it's impossible"- talk to me.  :)
  5. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     ptburnett68 welcome to SMF!

    I have the older MES 40", replies above have noted that due to the inaccuracy of the Masterbuilt, cabinet temp sensor, I use external temp probes to know exactly what what going on.  This included an external probe for accurate meat temp and another for accurate inside cabinet temp.

    Would I use external for a newer MES with meat sensing probe?  YES at least for the first dozen or so smokes so that I know it is dead on.  OR, I would place a electric hot plate with pot of boiling water inside the MES or at least close enough to test the MES meat probe at boiling temp, and make sure it is accurate.  I would do the test every other smoke, or simply use another external probe thermometer.  Obviously you can't test the MES cabinet sensor this way, so again I would be using an external probe as a backup temp monitor.  Even with my old unit I use two probes or a probe and an analog oven dial to verify cooking temps.  Knowing the cooking temp is very important, if your off 50 deg so instead of cooking at 225º your really cooking at 275º, can really play havoc with timing your smokes, and potentially result in meat either being not cooked or over cooked, etc.  The first hour is important to me, so I record temps 3 times x 10 minutes and two times at 15 minutes, that is the first hour.  2nd hour I switch to every 30 minutes so that is two readings, and then I am at 1 hour readings from that point on, depending on what I'm smoking.    If you take the time to log the first two hours, you will really have a good handle on exactly what your smoker is doing.  You can also make notes on if you added wood, what the smoke is like, etc. 

    GL with your new MES

    I also keep notes especially during the first two hours of the smoke to make sure everything is progressing like it should.

    I note time, meat probe temp, outdoor ambient temp, external cab sensing temp, MES cab sensing temp, backup analog cab sensing temp (I have to open the hatch to read this, so I position it so only have to barely crack the door. Since opening the hatch is not good, I only take this reading once per hour).
  6. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    My favorite place for my AMNS in my MES 40 is on the bars, to the left of the chip drawer, as far to the left as possible.

    I clean my glass with Windex, when the smoker is cool. It's easy, but it takes about 1 1/2 minutes & 6 or 8 paper towels.

    The first hit gets much of the crud off. The second one gets most of what was left. The third hit gets it all clean except for a little cloudiness.

    The last one gets it sparkling clean.

  7. ptburnett68

    ptburnett68 Newbie

    Great stuff guys! I really appreciate it and thanks for the welcoming comments. Deltadude you seem like you have it nailed down to a science. 
  8. ptburnett68

    ptburnett68 Newbie

    One more question. As I said before, I have always used a smoker where I can see the wood ships left in the coals. I have  that read that I need to keep the door closed as much as possible. How do I know how often to put more chips in the smoker. I will be cooking at 225 and cooking ribs (3-2-1 method). How often should I fill it back up? Thanks!!!! 
  9. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    If everything is working properly, when the smoke stops coming out of the top exhaust vent, you ran out of unburned chips in the drawer.

    This time of year----DO NOT CONFUSE steam for smoke.

  10. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I usually add chips every 45 minutes or so for the first 4 hours. You can pull the tray all the way out and see the chips burning. Easy to tell if you need more..... but I've found about 45 minutes works for me. I use rubbing alcohol to clean my glass. Cheap and works great.