New chip tray in MES

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by pawoodswalker, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. I installed my new chip tray Friday night so I would be ready to smoke on Saturday.I seasoned it and was ready to go. It made smoke at very low temp. Really didn't pay attention what the temp actually was, But my thermostat was set @ 140 for the first hour.And it was smoking in minutes. Actually caught chips on fire. I was wondering if any of you with a Mes soak your chips. I'm going to try soaking them sometime this weekend. I know a lot of people use the A-maze-n smoker, and don't need to worry about this issue, But I havn't got around to it yet I have a few other priorities yet I have to take care of.
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    140°  is really low to catch chips on fire. I would definantly check my temps.

    Been using the MES for a few years and  never have soaked the chips.

     they will just have to dry out before smoking. If they are igniting in the chip box now they will continue to do so once they dry out.
  3. pasmoker81

    pasmoker81 Newbie

    I had the same problem with chips catching fire on Saturday after I also installed the new chip box/tray.  The first load of chips I didn't soak and they lit off.  The second load I soaked for about 1/2 an hour, I pulled the chip loader to check on them, they were fine, as soon as I put the loader back in they lit off.  For the third load of chips, I soaked them for a half hour and didn't mess with it at all until an hour went by.  I did keep an eye on the smoke as you can tell when the chips were lit as the smoke would "puff" as the flame was trying to find oxygen. 

    My conclusion is that the MES chip box runs slightly oxygen deficient which doesn't allow the chips to catch fire.  As soon as I opened the loader the second time, the necessary oxygen got in there and the chips lit off.  Also come to think about it, I think the chips lit off shortly after I opened the main door to spritz my ribs the first time around.  I sent Darryl a PM to get his thoughts on it. 
  4. Burnt the paint right off the chip Loader, will br checkin temps this weekend. Hope to hear from Daryl on this
  5. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    When i use chips in my mes i pull the loader out just alittle so there is better airflow. Seems to help but the heating element has to be on to get the chips rolling. They seem to smoke better at higher temps.

    I have never soaked any chips to try in the mes.I have not had the problem of no smoke.But i went out and bought the amns anyway...This is much easier!!!!
  6. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Speaking from little experience with my MES40. I'm smoking as I type for my fifth time I believe. So far I've soaked the wood chips every time. Have had no issues as far as smoke goes, but do have to play with the loader now and then to get the right amount of air. On long smokes I had to empty the smoke tray a few times in order to get the smoke started.
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If and when I use my MES chip drawer, I have not soaked chips for over a year.

    Here is the way I see it: 

    If you have the bad chip burner, you need the retro fit.-----You did that.

    Now if the chips are lighting up, instead of soaking them, check to see if the element is tight against the bottom of the chip drawer.

    If it is, do a little manipulating of metal to get it apart a bit, but don't bend and break the element itself.

    The problem with your first chip burner was an extra piece of metal between the element & the drawer, and too much distance from element to drawer bottom.

    The problem with the one you have now is probably what I had----element tight against the bottom of the chip drawer causes it to get way too hot, causing chips to light up & disappear in a few minutes.

    Then once I knew my MES worked fine, I went back to my AMNS miracles.

    Now the only time I ever use my MES chip burner is if my AMNS runs out of dust, and I still want another hour of smoke.

    If I want another 2 or more hours of smoke, I'll light up another AMNS.

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  8. I believe mine is laying right on the element. Will give it a look at . Thanks Bear
  9. tjohnson

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

    Bear is right about the chip pan on the heating element.

    You just gotta play around with it to get the smoke you're looking for.

    Just remember, white billowing smoke is BAD!

  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I have done 16 hr smokes in my MES and have never filled up my chip tray w/ ash???

    Is the retro tray smaller or am i using less chips than others?
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The retro kit tray is twice as big (like the old ones used to be) as the one that doesn't get hot enough.

    I never put many chips in mine either. If I use it, I only put a few chips in.

    That way it might only smoke for 20 minutes or so, but I don't have to worry about too much smoke.

    Like I said, I rarely use it any more.

  12.  I had the exact same results after installing the retro-kit in my MES40. I got the best results by going to chunks

    in place of chips. Maybe a couple of chips to smoke right away and a couple of long chunks for longer lasting

    smoke. It works very well in mine. I have a 6x8 AMNS but have been too busy to use it yet. I just know it's going

    to be a great addition.

  13. I did  a mod of the existing small wood tray (removed the extra piece of metal between the tray and the heating element) and the wood tray works just fine now. With this mod the heating element is not too close to the wood tray (resulting in too much heat) nor is the heat from the element blocked by the extra piece of metal (resulting in not enough heat). The below link describes this mod in more detail.

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