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New Guy w/ MES 40

skdvr

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51
10
Joined Nov 22, 2010
Hey there everyone...  I am new to the Forum and new to smoking.  Looking for tips and tricks for smoking in general and items specific to the MES 40.  Are there any threads that you can point me to or advice you can give?  Hoping to fire it up for the first time this weekend, but not sure yet.  Any and all advice is appreciated.  Thank you!

Phil
 

eman

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welcome to smf.

 If you do a lil looking in the forums there are many here w/ the MES 40 and 30. Chck the sub catagorie ,Electric smokers .

 If you have specific questions please ask . i use my MES 40 all the time .

Make sure and season the unit b4 the first smoke.

 preheat the unit  w/the exhaust vent closed Then open it fully b4 adding the meat and or wood chips, cook w/ the vent open.

 Line the water pan and drip tray w/ foil b4 using ,Makes for easier clean up.
 

skdvr

Fire Starter
51
10
Joined Nov 22, 2010
One question I do have about it. 

When I am smoking something do you continue to put wood in it at specific intervals, or when it stops smoking?  In the manual it just says as needed.  I suppose that the recipe's may specify, but I would think every smoker would be different.  I'm sure that is a total newby question but appreciate any help...

Thanks for the link Dale, I will check that out...

Phil
 

Bearcarver

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One question I do have about it. 

When I am smoking something do you continue to put wood in it at specific intervals, or when it stops smoking?  In the manual it just says as needed.  I suppose that the recipe's may specify, but I would think every smoker would be different.  I'm sure that is a total newby question but appreciate any help...

Thanks for the link Dale, I will check that out...

Phil
If I use my MES 40 for producing smoke, instead of just for the heat, I only put a couple chips in at a time when needed (often), but the really easy way to do it, especially at temps below 200˚ is to use my A-MAZE-N-SMOKER smoke generator.

That thing makes smoking life 1000% easier!

Bear
 

skdvr

Fire Starter
51
10
Joined Nov 22, 2010
If I use my MES 40 for producing smoke, instead of just for the heat, I only put a couple chips in at a time when needed (often), but the really easy way to do it, especially at temps below 200˚ is to use my A-MAZE-N-SMOKER smoke generator.

That thing makes smoking life 1000% easier!

Bear
Is that an attachment for the MES or is a completely seperate item?

Thanks

Phil
 

Bearcarver

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bluechip

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One question I do have about it. 

When I am smoking something do you continue to put wood in it at specific intervals, or when it stops smoking?  In the manual it just says as needed.  I suppose that the recipe's may specify, but I would think every smoker would be different.  I'm sure that is a total newby question but appreciate any help...

Thanks for the link Dale, I will check that out...

Phil
I load mine up when it stops smoking. It just depends on what temperature your cooking at that determines how long the chips will smoke. If I'm cooking chicken I have my unit turned up all the way to 275 degrees, the chips will burn up fast. I usually have to reload every 30 minutes or so. When I'm cooking on lower temps I can usually get 45 minutes to an hour our of a load of chips.

I also have the Amazen smoker that I use with my MES 40 and I love it. I use this device and load wood chips, that way if I fall behind loading chips I know it is still getting some smoke.

Fire that new smoker up and throw some yard bird on there to break it in. You can even buy some cut up chicken, season up and get after it. Just do a search on here for smoking chicken, it's cheap, easy, confidence builder and most of all, it's good...
 

skdvr

Fire Starter
51
10
Joined Nov 22, 2010
Thanks, I was really hoping to get to fire it up this weekend, but things have been so crazy.  Hopefully soon...  All I have gotten to do with it so far was just the initial seasoning...

Thanks again for all the help.

Phil
 

meateater

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Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
 

deltadude

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MES New Owner Tips:

• Season it. (Many spray the inside with PAM)
• No extension cords.
• Spray your racks with PAM prior to smoke (makes cleanup easier).
• Use alum foil on the water pan and drain pan, again for easier cleanup.
• Manual says preheating isn't necessary, I preheat, it will make getting up to initial set temp faster, and temp recovery when opening hatch faster. I preheat to 270º. Cold ambient 45º and lower 2 hours, 1 hour for warmer temps and as little as 30 min. in summer.
• Add boiling hot water to pan, this will allow you to get up to set temp faster.
• Start the smoke with a few wood chips. The manual says 1 cup max, you will find a hand full is almost too much. 1st chip dump just a few chips, 5-10 min later a little more chips, 20-30 min even more chips. At this point you will have a bed of hot chips and ash, and chip combustion should be good. Your goal is TBS (thin blue smoke). When its right you can smell the sweet smoke, it won't smell bitter or be cloudy white. Dark smoke is nothing but awful.
• Do not adjust vent leave it wide open.
• Use external probe for sensing meat internal temp, you can run the probe cord through the exhaust vent. *You may want to run 2nd probe inserted into a wood block or potato with 2 to 3" tip exposed to verify the internal MES cooking temp.
• Once you meat is loaded, avoid opening the hatch. New models can recover to set temp faster, but every time you open the door you extend the cooking time. Thus spritzing isn't really necessary in a MES due to the water pan keeping the smoking environment moist enough to not dry out the meat.
• If you do have to open your MES plan your moves so you can keep door open time to a minimum.
• When your done cooking, the proper way to shut the MES down is to turn off the controller then unplug.
• If your MES seems to struggle getting to either the preheat temp of 270º or is taking extraordinary long times to raise to cooking temps after meat is loaded try doing a RESET..
Proper RESET = cycle the MES off with the controller, unplug electrical cord, count to 10, replug elect. cord, turn on MES with on/off, reset temps.
If you tried a reset, and 20-30 minutes later there is little change do the reset again.
• Cleanup is easy with a Brillo pad to scrub the tough stuff, and throw grates, water & drain pan into dishwasher. Some have complained about the spot welds on the drain pan rusting, I hit those spots with a touch of PAM then store the cleaned stuff back in the MES.
You do not need to clean the inside cabinet, most experienced smokers consider that just seasoning. With a hot wet rag, wipe out the inside bottom and any excessive gunk on the walls. Again with hot damp cloth, wipe the door gasket, and the door frames (for better seal).

Current MES Mods are shown here.

Congrats on you new MES purchase, and welcome to the MES owners club.
 

Bearcarver

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MES New Owner Tips:

• Season it. (Many spray the inside with PAM)
• No extension cords.
• Spray your racks with PAM prior to smoke (makes cleanup easier).
• Use alum foil on the water pan and drain pan, again for easier cleanup.
• Manual says preheating isn't necessary, I preheat, it will make getting up to initial set temp faster, and temp recovery when opening hatch faster. I preheat to 270º. Cold ambient 45º and lower 2 hours, 1 hour for warmer temps and as little as 30 min. in summer.
• Add boiling hot water to pan, this will allow you to get up to set temp faster.
• Start the smoke with a few wood chips. The manual says 1 cup max, you will find a hand full is almost too much. 1st chip dump just a few chips, 5-10 min later a little more chips, 20-30 min even more chips. At this point you will have a bed of hot chips and ash, and chip combustion should be good. Your goal is TBS (thin blue smoke). When its right you can smell the sweet smoke, it won't smell bitter or be cloudy white. Dark smoke is nothing but awful.
• Do not adjust vent leave it wide open.
• Use external probe for sensing meat internal temp, you can run the probe cord through the exhaust vent. *You may want to run 2nd probe inserted into a wood block or potato with 2 to 3" tip exposed to verify the internal MES cooking temp.
• Once you meat is loaded, avoid opening the hatch. New models can recover to set temp faster, but every time you open the door you extend the cooking time. Thus spritzing isn't really necessary in a MES due to the water pan keeping the smoking environment moist enough to not dry out the meat.
• If you do have to open your MES plan your moves so you can keep door open time to a minimum.
• When your done cooking, the proper way to shut the MES down is to turn off the controller then unplug.
• If your MES seems to struggle getting to either the preheat temp of 270º or is taking extraordinary long times to raise to cooking temps after meat is loaded try doing a RESET..
Proper RESET = cycle the MES off with the controller, unplug electrical cord, count to 10, replug elect. cord, turn on MES with on/off, reset temps.
If you tried a reset, and 20-30 minutes later there is little change do the reset again.
• Cleanup is easy with a Brillo pad to scrub the tough stuff, and throw grates, water & drain pan into dishwasher. Some have complained about the spot welds on the drain pan rusting, I hit those spots with a touch of PAM then store the cleaned stuff back in the MES.
You do not need to clean the inside cabinet, most experienced smokers consider that just seasoning. With a hot wet rag, wipe out the inside bottom and any excessive gunk on the walls. Again with hot damp cloth, wipe the door gasket, and the door frames (for better seal).

Current MES Mods are shown here.

Congrats on you new MES purchase, and welcome to the MES owners club.
Outstanding "Tip List" Deltadude!!!
 

dale5351

Smoking Fanatic
456
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Joined Jun 20, 2010
I agree with most of those tips.

One that I don't really appreciate is why bother preheating?  Why not let the meat get heated up that half hour or so it takes for the box to reach temperature?

I also use an extension cord -- but *NOT* one of the typical household cords one might use for a lamp.   Mine is 15 foot long, very heavy duty three-pronged cord.  I need that because my smoker setup is too far from the nearest plug -- plus if I set it up where the built in cord would reach, I'd be afraid of smoking up the side of the house.
 

Bearcarver

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I agree with most of those tips.

One that I don't really appreciate is why bother preheating?  Why not let the meat get heated up that half hour or so it takes for the box to reach temperature?

I also use an extension cord -- but *NOT* one of the typical household cords one might use for a lamp.   Mine is 15 foot long, very heavy duty three-pronged cord.  I need that because my smoker setup is too far from the nearest plug -- plus if I set it up where the built in cord would reach, I'd be afraid of smoking up the side of the house.
Dale,

I thought about that one too.

However I didn't used to pre-heat with my MES 30 (650 watts), and it was much harder to get thorough the danger zone with cold meat & a cold smoker, and I didn't even put a whole lot of meat in at one time. Now that I have 1200 Watts, I don't have to do it, but I still do, and I also boil my water before putting it in the pan.

That's just my take on it.

Bear
 

skdvr

Fire Starter
51
10
Joined Nov 22, 2010
Thanks for the list!

That is great!

I did have to get an extension cord for mine since I have no outside plug. I needed 40' to get to my back patio, and talked to an electrician about making one.  Since I needed 40' he suggested just buying a 12GA premade 50' cord which is what I did.  I have only used it once for the initial "seasoning" and had no problems.

Thanks again for that list...  It is greatly appreciated!

Phil
 

tjohnson

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Preheat - Very Quick with the 40" & 1,200 watt element

Ext Cord - I use a 25' 12 ga ext cord with no issues.

Make sure you foil the water pan and drip pan.  Makes for very easy clean up!!

Todd
 

squirrel

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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Joined May 7, 2010
I preheat, but don't put my wood chips in until the meat goes in. Great idea Bear about boiling the water first. I'll start doing that. Also, ditto on what Todd said about foiling the water pan and the drip pan. I also have the AMS smoker and it really is awesome with the MES. The only regret I have is getting the unit with the window. I find it to be useless unless I spend hours cleaning it, plus it has a small leak. Other than that I am happy with the smoker.
 

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