Need help with MES

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Tmramrod91

Newbie
Original poster
Feb 3, 2024
6
4
So I bought a MES a month ago, installed auber controller, fan circulator, and cold smoke attachment.

However, about half my cooks of some sort of sausage end up tasting like bitter hot dogs. Most of the flavors in the sausage goes away.

I’ve cooked them on my pellet grill simultaneously (same batch of meat) and it tastes great.

So, I’m not sure what’s going on. I really like the ability of the auber to schedule cooks, but there is something with the smoker-there is always condensation on the front door-not sure if that’s normal?
 
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Do you have the top vent wide open? What pellets are you using in the generator? Have you checked the temperature on the inside of the MES with a KNOWN ACCURATE thermometer? Haven't met a MES yet that was true to the displayed temp
 
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I’ve tried vent open and vent closed.

Using cabelas pecan wood chips

I’m assuming the auber is accurate temp wise, but I’ll confirm with another one. For as much as I paid for the auber it better be pretty darn close.

I tried using an amazn tube with pellets inside the smoker, and that was by far the worst batch I have made
 
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You're getting dirty smoke for one reason or another. Not the auber. What speed are you running the circulator? Is that causing the pellets to burn instead of smolder? Picture of your set up?
 
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Purchased new

Only one speed in circulator-I didn’t run it today because I was worried it was the issue-still took the flavor out.

I turn the MES cold smoker on for about 10 min, then turn it off and let the chips smolder-it’s a relatively clean looking smoke when I do that.

The best batch I’ve had was using the stock method (dumping chips into pan above heating element)-I had good flavor in those sticks.

Worst I’ve made was with amazn tube+circulator on the whole cook. Literally had to throw them away they were so bad.

I’m no expert but I’ve been using smokers for 20+ years and cooked a ton of bbq. Not a ton of experience cooking at lower temps, but this one has me stumped.
 

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If you're using chips in the smoke attachment, are you putting them in dry or soaking? Dry is recommended.

Top exhaust should be open full
 
If you're using chips in the smoke attachment, are you putting them in dry or soaking? Dry is recommended.

Top exhaust should be open full
Putting them in dry. I typically have the top vent open all the way.

It’s odd because even when I seasoned the smoker before doing any mods at all, heavy condensation would build on the inside.

I’m not very experienced with electric smokers, but I’ve never had that much moisture in the cooking chamber-it seems like it’s a wet smoke vs dry
 
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Yes, get another independent temp gauge to confirm the temp. Sounds like too much smoke being created by the smoke generator. Might look into using a mailbox with a AMNPS instead of using the generator and a tube. People have a tendency to overfill the tube creating a lot of white smoke.
 
I cooked another batch of sticks today-removed the cold smoke attachment and just used the factory chip feeder.

Sticks turned out great with good flavor-probably need to ditch the cold smoker and do mailbox mod instead.

There was a few instances where the whole smoker was completely full of heavy smoke-I ended up opening the door to let it clear.

Is that normal with these smokers? I have a feeling when I’m not able to babysit it like today that’s happened
 
I just bought an MES as well. Haven't opened it, but i was planning on using the tube with pellets for a cold smoke followed by turning the MES on with chips at 180 or so then increasing to finish the sausages. Now I'm thinking maybe I should just not use the tube and just smoke them normally in the MES???
 
I just bought an MES as well. Haven't opened it, but i was planning on using the tube with pellets for a cold smoke followed by turning the MES on with chips at 180 or so then increasing to finish the sausages. Now I'm thinking maybe I should just not use the tube and just smoke them normally in the MES???
I’d give it a test run on a smaller batch personally-maybe I had bad pellets or odd weather or something.

Seems like mailbox mod is best way to cold smoke.
 
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If you're using chips in the smoke attachment, are you putting them in dry or soaking? Dry is recommended.

Top exhaust should be open full
This is how I run my mes40 and it is still a stock setup. I haven’t tried any cold smoking yet though. I forget who it was that basically said you don’t want all that “stale” smoke in there, just let it run.

Occasionally based on weather I might close it off a bit, but that’s a heat thing more than anything else. Also if I’m wrapped or not adding any chips.
 
I cooked another batch of sticks today-removed the cold smoke attachment and just used the factory chip feeder.

Sticks turned out great with good flavor-probably need to ditch the cold smoker and do mailbox mod instead.

There was a few instances where the whole smoker was completely full of heavy smoke-I ended up opening the door to let it clear.

Is that normal with these smokers? I have a feeling when I’m not able to babysit it like today that’s happened
Hi there and welcome!

This sounds like stale smoke or just too heavy of a smoke.

Just to confirm, you are not cold smoking at all are you?

Stale smoke happens when you don't have enough draft (existing smoking coming out of the vent and new clean smoke being generated).
Heavy smoke is basically too much thick white smoke. Your smoke should be thin as possible. Known as "Thin Blue Smoke" (TBS) then less visible the better because it means its clean.
The pellet tubes are known for putting out heavier smoke vs the A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker (AMNPS) tray, which also can do up to 12 hours of perfect TBS for you.

So to me it sounds like too much bad smoke or lingering stale smoke due to not enough draft for old smoke to exist and new clean smoke to enter.

I hope this info helps :)
 
I just bought an MES as well. Haven't opened it, but i was planning on using the tube with pellets for a cold smoke followed by turning the MES on with chips at 180 or so then increasing to finish the sausages. Now I'm thinking maybe I should just not use the tube and just smoke them normally in the MES???
If cold smoking the biggest issue you will run into is "stale" smoke.
If smoke lingers too long it becomes stale and nasty and you will taste the nastyiness.
The smoke needs to be able to effectively hit the food circulate and leave the smoke before it becomes stale.

I cold smoke in my MES using the mailbox mod and AMNPS tray and had some unwanted stale smoke issues. It didn't ruin things but also was not desirable. So I whipped up a little cold smoke draft contraption (based on some others feedback and ideas).
It has a computer blower fan from the outside blows up a cardboard tube that I place over the MES vent. This causes suction of the smoke out of the smoker and creates a draft.
Cured all my stale smoke issues while cold smoking!!! :D

Here it is:
full-png.png


Understand this cold smoking issue and come up with a viable draft creating solution and you should have no issues with stale smoke :D
 
What is the benefit of cold smoking anyway? Is it worth the risks compared to just using the chips and setting the temp low?
 
What is the benefit of cold smoking anyway? Is it worth the risks compared to just using the chips and setting the temp low?
With something like cheese it's a borderline necessity just because you risk melting/sweating the cheese. The melting of the butterfat happens at around 90-95F-ish.

The problem is, most smokers can't go that low.

Even my old MES (model is from 2018) can only go as low as 110F before it starts generating smoke from the wood chip tray.
 
With something like cheese it's a borderline necessity just because you risk melting/sweating the cheese. The melting of the butterfat happens at around 90-95F-ish.

The problem is, most smokers can't go that low.

Even my old MES (model is from 2018) can only go as low as 110F before it starts generating smoke from the wood chip tray.
yeah. Makes sense for Cheese. I'm more interested in Sausage making. Wondering if it's worth the bother or not.
 
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