New MES and first chicken

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Nov 12, 2010
Thanks to all for the "tips and how to's" that got me this far.

The MES performed very well. Consistent and controlled temps throughout the smoke. The temps were as accurate as one would expect. +10 deg to -4 deg. Variations inside the cabinet were 15 deg depending on location. This is a very good smoker.

I'm glad I read the reports everyone spent their time posting. A BIG help in the decision on this unit.

The first day was spent cleaning and conditioning the smoker. 4 hrs of alder to "bread it in".

The bird was a 7.5# @ $0.35/# rollback from WM. Enhanced. Several spices were rubbed from cinnamon, nutmeg, five spice, cajun spice, cracked black and salt. Will use again.

1.5 hrs at 100 deg with no smoke and all vents wide open. Hoping to form a pelicle for good smoke penetration. That worked well.

4 hrs @ 225 deg using 1/2 cup of mesquite. Smoke lasted the 3.5 hr cook time. I think that was due to preheating and burner cycling. Not sure why, first smoke u know. Very good smoke flavor. I would use it again.

No water in the pan as the bird was enhanced. Steam rolled out of the smoker the entire time.

Top damper closed the entire time.

Things that went wrong. (that I know of)

Skin. Tough enough for the dog to use as a chew toy but it had great flavor.

I guess I should have oiled it or something? Not sure what to do to get the skin edible?

The BIRD. Will not use a roasting hen again. Tough as a black-footed swamp rabbit I shot once.

I am going to use the remainder of the bird for soup or stew or something that has to cook awhile.

Maybe "smoked chicken on a shingle". The flavor will be great.

Should have oiled the water pan and drip pan for easier clean-up.

All in all, everything went well. Very happy with the smoker and my first yard bird.

There are no mistakes, only valuable learning experiences!

Pointers to help with my "learning experiences" gladly accepted.

The finished bird.

The gizzard, liver, "popes nose" (what is the PC term? sorry, no offence intended)  and part of the back were eaten as "test pieces" during the smoke.

The cook always gets the good stuff.

Had more pics but couldn't get them to load here.

Most of the time I brine every poultry smoke..(except wing and thighs).

Low and slow is not the best bet for poultry.

I set mine at 275 and let er rip.

Fairly crispy skin.

There are a few wikis about chicken and brining up there ^.

 Have a great day!!

The bird looks good!!!

Here's a few thoughts.

Smoking at low temps will cut into the 40-135 Food Safety rules and generally isn't needed

Running the smoker with the exhaust stack closed is one of the best ways to create creosote

Water in the water pan is used more as a heat sync than anything some people will debate as to whether it adds moisture to the smoke environment
Put a heavy duty foil in the water pan and drip pan of the Mes...this makes cleanup a snap. Also spray your grates with Pam before you smoke, this makes washing them way easier.
You have got some good advice so far, The only thing I would add is the size of the bird,

I always use 4-5lb birds, I tried an 8lb hen years ago and it was so tuff it would dull your knife!

3-4lb birds are even better, Good luck with your next smoke and keep the Qview comin'
Good Looking bird!

I can't get the skin on chicken crispy in my smoker either, but the meat tastes good.  We do more Beer Can Chickens than smoked chickens.

Piney is right, Keep the top vent open or you'll create creosote.  Opening the vent also allows the excess moisture to vent out.

Practice makes perfect!


Now your bird look pretty darn good to me but you don't want to mess with that 40° to 135° thingy if you can help it special with chicken. You can have some problems with that most of all. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts