Need advice from all of you experienced folks... Please help!!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by rm30, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. rm30

    rm30 Newbie

    First of all I would like to say hello everyone, great forum here. So, I just got an MES30 for Father's Day. I pre-seasoned it exactly as the instructions suggested, I felt like there was a lot of smoke coming out but wasn't paying that much attention due to my lack of experience.

    I tried to do a test run tonight and smoke a 1/2 lb of shrimp for my wife and I to make some salads and it was not good. I had them going to 20 to 30 minutes at 200 F. I over cooked them a bit but that wasn't the issue, I had a ton of white smoke and it smelt and tasted like a bon fire or just burnt kind of, not good. I ran to the store and grabbed some hot dog wieners to make a cheap 2nd attempt at getting good smoke but again I had bad smelling excessive white smoke. With the shrimp I did not soak the wood chips, with the hotdogs I did about 25 minutes, not much difference with the end result... terrible.

    i am using Western Mesquite bbq wood chips. Not sure if this matters. Also with the shrimp i filled the chip loader as much as I could with dry chips, with the hotdogs I put about half as much but soaked them.

    I have a crowd coming over saturday and really wanted to do a decent pulled pork, I have read everything and watched every youtube video possible and feel like i can pull it off but I just can't get good smoke. So I guess my questions are as follows...

    1.)Why am I getting nasty/excessive/burnt/white smoke and not the majestic thin blue smoke I hear about?

    off topic but have been wondering...

    2.)Do I need to preheat the smoker to desired temp, then add chips, then add meat? If so how long do I let the chips sit before I add meat? Until I see smoke?

    3.)Once I wrap the pork butt and put it in a cooler how long can I let it sit before pulling it? I dont want to do all that work and then ruin it.

    Thanks a lot to anyone who spends time reading this, all feedback is truly appreciated, glad to be a part of this community.
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Too much wood use less and add more often rather than overload. Your looking for Thin Blue Smoke (TBS) just a light blue smoke or no smoke and just the smell of the wood burning. Make sure chip pan and loader are in correctly 

    I would suggest ordering an Amazen pellet smoker from Todd and not have to worry about or mess with chips you'll get better results.

    You want to preheat the smoker and have smoke going when you put the meat in

    If you wrap the foiled butt in an old towel or two then put it in a warm dry cooler it will stay hot for several hours with no problem.

    Old towels because you know some is going to leak out of that foil and if you ruin the wife's good towel it won't be a pretty sight [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  3. chestnutbloom

    chestnutbloom Smoking Fanatic

    Lots of white smoke means the heating element is burning something up quickly. Make sure your chip tray slides all the way in with no gap. Make sure your chip loader slides all the way in also.
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hello RM30 and welcome aboard!  I'll add one thing to the great advice already given.

    You said you were using mesquite chips.  Mesquite is generally considered one of the strongest and most harsh smoke woods.  A little mesquite goes a long way, and  I would never recommend it for smoking shrimp.  Seafood pairs well with mild and/or sweet woods, such as fruit woods, maple, or alder.

    I will echo Piney's advice about getting a smoke generator...then you won't have to futz with that chip tray/loader at all.

  5. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Bear Carver does some outstanding cooks on his MES and has been at it for years. Early on I used many of his techniques when I was just starting out as have many others, I'm sure. So, here is the link to his tutorial on pulled pork and if you click on his 'step by steps' he pretty much has all the bases covered for anything else you might wanna try. HTH, Willie
  6. RM30, I'm not a very experienced smoker but I discovered that the oil I applied to season my UDS didn't completely burn out and was actually causing it to make an excessive amount of white smoke for as long as it was heating. I wiped it all as clean as I could with dry paper towels but nothing else and fired it back up with no problems since. Have you given it a look?
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    RM, evening.... Dump the mesquite.... a little goes a long ways..... I use it only for beef and shrimp.... and about 25% mesquite plus some mild wood...... and I add smoke for about 10 minutes... it is really powerful as you found out..... I like to mix it with apple or alder... those to woods are mild....
    About adding chips to the chip pan..... Add only 1/4 cup or less.... that should smoke about 1/2 - 1 hours..... you do not need continuous smoke to get good smoke flavor....
  8. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    as others have said... cut way back on your chips... just a small hand full about every 45 minutes or so (when it quits smoking)... I agree that mesquite is a VERY VERY strong smoke... to strong for me (never use it)... Apple will be a very good choice for pork ...

    As for the pellet smoker from Todd ( ) this would be the way to go.. It was designed especially for the MES 30... as you will find out.. the MES's are kinda finicky .. just use the search bar at the top of the page.. you'll find ANY AND ALL the info you need on these smokers... good luck and have fun ...
  9. rm30

    rm30 Newbie

    Thank you all so much for the info, truly a huge help.

    I was in a hurry getting everything together but managed to find some hickory chips. I played around the night before with hotdogs as my test subjects. They were coming out pretty decent so I felt good about the pulled pork.

    I rubbed it and wrapped it the night before. I got it going about 9:45 am Saturday and paid much attention all day. I started it at 220 F. Finally at about 2:30 I took a look and put in my thermometer, internal temp was about 155, also was looking and smelling great. I had prepared a bottle of 3 to 1 apple juice and captain morgan per a suggestion I read so I hit it with that and put it back in. Took the temp up a bit (even though I know it's not the right move) to about 230 F due to stall around 160 F. At about 163 F I took it out, sprayed it down a good bit and wrapped it up with foil. I had my wife take a pic at this point which I will later post. I put it back, and took the heat to about 260 F and closed the vent.

    The internal temp climbed a good bit and finally got to somewhere around 197 F. I pulled it and put it in a cooler to rest for a bit. I was hoping it would climb to about 205 F, but it began dropping quite a bit. So I let it sit 30 minutes and took it out.

    I brough it in and opened it up. It looked amazing and smelled great too. Began to pull it with forks and it fell apart, bone pulled right out. It tasted great and everyone loved it. Served with coleslaw and home made macaroni and cheese. It ended up a bit later than I had hoped so I failed to take a pic, I was a bit tipsy too.

    Anyway, thanks again everyone. I'll probably do some ribs next and will try to get some pics. Also definitely going to get one of the AMAZEN pellet smokers.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  10. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  11. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I have an mes 40 and had the same problems with thick white smoke, and the chip tray continually catching fire. It was awful. I bought an amazn pellet smoker and all is well now. Works great and produces constant thin blue smoke. I ended up adding a mailbox mod cause the pellet smoker went out sometimes.
  12. rm30

    rm30 Newbie

    Hillbilly, which pellet smoker did you get?
  13. bgosnell151

    bgosnell151 Smoking Fanatic

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  14. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    RM30 I bought an amazn pellet smoker. It has worked great for me with my gen 2, mes 40. I had some issues keeping it lit inside the mes on and off so i did a quick and cheap mailbox mod a few months ago and since then it's been all A+ reviews from me!

    Quick note: while I've never had enough issues to call or email amazn owner todd, I've seen plenty of posts here on these forums where he's helped countless people with a wide variety of issues that range from his pellet smoker to nothing to do with his products. With that kind of service and help, and the outstanding products he provides I have to fully support his business. His pellets are top quality as well. I've ordered from him 3 times in the past year.
  15. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    AMNPS is the pellet smoker I bought. Sorry for any confusion
    bgosnell151 likes this.
  16. bgosnell151

    bgosnell151 Smoking Fanatic

    my bad... thought you meant something different.
  17. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Yeah it's the same thing RM30. It's well worth the cash.
  18. rm30

    rm30 Newbie

    Well they have the tube smokers and the trays, which is best?
  19. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I'd get the pellet smoker AMNPS. I have it and it works great. With my mes 40 (gen 2) I had to do a cheap mailbox mod to get it all to work right but it's all good now. No messing with the chips at all. The AMNPS pellet smoker will smoke for over 10 hours. Set it and forget it type of deal. You'll be happy with it.
  20. bgosnell151

    bgosnell151 Smoking Fanatic

    I second this. I have a 30 gen 1 and am lucky that the mailbox mod isn't necessary.

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