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MES 430 tips? Chip flare ups

TwichAlot

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Joined Dec 19, 2020
Hi all,
Brand new to using a smoker. Got a Masterbuilt MES430G from BassPro online.
I'm using it for the 3rd time today.
First attempt was chicken with applewood. It was awful. Tasted like I ate the ashes from a campfire.
I am pretty sure my mistakes were that I added too much wood and had the top vents completely closed the whole time.

Second attempt was a chuck flat roast with Maplewood. Much much better. I really loved the smell and taste!

I noticed a problem though. Every time I added wood chips, the smoker temp would rise from 225 to 270 or higher for about 5-10 min then settle back down.
The chips were catching fire which I don't think they should be.
I was adding 2-3 handfuls of chips every hour or so.

This model has the side load trap door for loading wood chips that get placed directly on a small smoke burner. You can set different custom smoke levels from 1 to 5 but I have only used level 1.

So, today I started up the smoker and let it warm up to 225.
Then I turned on the smoke burner and added a few handfuls of chips and waited about 10 min.
Then I opened the door, put the meat in and suddenly the wood chips caught fire and were burning like crazy. Flames shooting out of the smoke box inside the smoker..
Too much oxygen.
Too many chips?
Once I closed the door, it settled down after a few min.
What should I have done differently?
Should I let the smoke element heat up for a while before adding chips?
Should I put the food in before adding chips so I don't let so much oxygen i?

Now that's its cooking, I'm only adding a small handful of chips every 30-45 min and it doesn't seem to be flaring up. Maybe thats the trick?

Anyone got tips for the MES 430?

Thanks!
 

GaryHibbert

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Good morning. I'm not familiar with the 430, but I looked it up on Google. From what I read, it appears that the 430 is designed to burn wood chunks, not chips. Now I could be wrong in about the wood chunks only, but you might want to try using them instead of chips. The chunks should put an end to the flare ups.
Let is know how things turn out.
Gary
 

smokerjim

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Chicken takes on lots of smoke quickly, I find 45 minutes of smoke is good for me with chicken , not familiar with your smoker I have a mes 30 which I added the mailbox mod with tha amnps tray so I didn't have to keep adding chips, with the pellet tray you can get at least 10 hours of continuous smoke for the long cools. Just something to think about
 

pa42phigh

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I would say to many chips,2 to 3 handful sound like way to much .. I have a 40 inch and the chip loader barley holds a handful and I dump it approximately every 45 minutes..
As for the chicken I wouldn’t add any more than a hour of smoke.. look in to the mailbox mod it gives you a lot cleaner better tasting smoke
 

chopsaw

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I just looked it up . It has a different chip system on it .
 

TwichAlot

Newbie
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Joined Dec 19, 2020
Good morning. I'm not familiar with the 430, but I looked it up on Google. From what I read, it appears that the 430 is designed to burn wood chunks, not chips. Now I could be wrong in about the wood chunks only, but you might want to try using them instead of chips. The chunks should put an end to the flare ups.
Let is know how things turn out.
Gary
I was thinking of trying that, thanks! The manual says to use chunks or chips and since chips seemed easier to find, I bought a whole bunch!
For today, I'll see if I can figure out how to keep the chips from flaring. It seems to be better if I add only a few chips at a time.
 

Bearcarver

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Hi TA !!
Most of us MES users gave up on the built-in chip burner a long time ago.
I was ready to quit 10 years ago, but was saved when Todd Johnson invented the "Amazing Smokers". For your Smoker the best one to use would be the 5" X 8" AMNPS Tray.

Click on my Step by Steps Index link below, for all kinds of Tips.

Bear
 

TwichAlot

Newbie
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Joined Dec 19, 2020
I would say to many chips,2 to 3 handful sound like way to much .. I have a 40 inch and the chip loader barley holds a handful and I dump it approximately every 45 minutes..
As for the chicken I wouldn’t add any more than a hour of smoke.. look in to the mailbox mod it gives you a lot cleaner better tasting smoke
Thanks for the tips!
 

chef jimmyj

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More Chips heating = More volatile Gasses to Ignite with a rush of Oxygen!
Since you already have A Lot of chips, can you make and add Pouches of Foiled Chips, pencil sized holes punched in to release smoke?
The pouch will restrict Oxygen and Flame up...JJ
 

TwichAlot

Newbie
9
3
Joined Dec 19, 2020
Hi TA !!
Most of us MES users gave up on the built-in chip burner a long time ago.
I was ready to quit 10 years ago, but was saved when Todd Johnson invented the "Amazing Smokers". For your Smoker the best one to use would be the 5" X 8" AMNPS Tray.

Click on my Step by Steps Index link below, for all kinds of Tips.

Bear
Thanks, so with the tray you mention, where would I place it 8n the smoker?
 

rvachewlover

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Joined Jul 26, 2016
I don't have a MES430 but have the old MES 30 electric which I believe is fairly similar.

On the chicken: you could've had a bad bag of wood. Did you fire it up to 275 or max temp and let it go for a couple of hours to "season" it/burn off manufacturing grease and crud? I think it also helps the parts and machine to find equilibrium. I would chalk this up to just a first smoke and new machine.

Beef: Good job!

Smoking is all about fire management. Fire needs fuel (wood), heat (matches/electric burner), and oxygen. Opening up the door is a sure "fire" way to stoke your flames.

If you had flames shooting out last time you likely have creosote. I would deep clean your smoker; run it at the highest you can for 4-5 hours afterwards and then smoke again. I HATE this advice but you could also try soaking your wood chips for 30 mins before putting them in. There's no point to soaking except it delays combustion/smoke; which is bad for a dialed in smoke but could be beneficial here.

Lastly, I know you just spent money on the 430 but think about getting an A-Maze-N. I use my MES30 for cold smoking and the AMZN is awesome for both hot and cold. You'll just need a blowtorch and the AMZN+Pellets. Lot less likelihood of flare ups with pellets

Keep us posted! Lots of great information and kind guys and gals here who only want to see tasty food!
 

TwichAlot

Newbie
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3
Joined Dec 19, 2020
More Chips heating = More volatile Gasses to Ignite with a rush of Oxygen!
Since you already have A Lot of chips, can you make and add Pouches of Foiled Chips, pencil sized holes punched in to release smoke?
The pouch will restrict Oxygen and Flame up...JJ
Trying this now, thanks! I might have to turn the smoke level setting up to a higher number, but we'll see.
 

TwichAlot

Newbie
9
3
Joined Dec 19, 2020
More Chips heating = More volatile Gasses to Ignite with a rush of Oxygen!
Since you already have A Lot of chips, can you make and add Pouches of Foiled Chips, pencil sized holes punched in to release smoke?
The pouch will restrict Oxygen and Flame up...JJ
Trying this now, thanks! I might have to turn the smoke level setting up to a higher number, but we'll see.
Ah ha! This seems to be working and the chips didn't flare up! Thanks for the quick practical tip I needed for today's cook! I will look into the pellet tray for next time.
 

Bearcarver

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Thanks, so with the tray you mention, where would I place it 8n the smoker?

It depends on the Smoker.
I'd have to see a picture of your smoker with the door open.
I'm not sure about the "430G".
My Gen #1 gets it in the bottom left, on the support rods.
My Gen #2.5 gets it on the right end of the bottom rack.

Bear
 

daveomak.fs

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1/4 cup at one time should solve your problem....
Think of chips as small chunks of wood.....
It takes 2 chunks of wood to build a fire... I chunk of wood will not flame...
Sawdust works well...
I chunk of wood smokes nicely....
 

normanaj

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I use a ubolt modified Amazen tubes filled with ground pellets on the bottom left of my gen2.5
Click on the link in my signature for more detailed information.
 

dr k

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I don't have the 430. Setting 1 is for chips and 2-5 for chunks. The chip/chunk door can be leaky so some have adjusted/altered the latch to get a tighter fit or you may have to make a gasket out of high temp RTV silicone in the automotive section of a big box store or auto parts store. Opening the smoker quickly can stoke a lot of chips to flame up with a leaky chip door. Count out ten chips with setting 1 and see how that smokes and how long.
 

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