New MES question about wood chips

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by smoky mike blu, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. smoky mike blu

    smoky mike blu Fire Starter

    Hi Everyone
    I'm new here. I am sorry if this has been asked before. I just got a new MES 30in. I have been reading and watching YouTube videos, but still not sure how much wood chips to use as I don't want to wreck the food. I read someplace a half a cup of wood chips every hour for the first three hours. But for example chicken breast I wouldn't smoke for three hours.
    The other question is do I soak the chips or put them in dry?
    Thank you everyone in advance.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  2. There's no need to soak the chips. You'll only be steaming the wood until the moisture is gone and they start burning. Every hours should be fine and I usually do a handful each time. Now...however much a handful is I've no idea, so a half cup would probably be fine. 

    You're about to get a ton of people screaming AMNPS, so be ready ;). But really, if you plan on continuing to smoke with the MES (and I'm sure you will) you may want to look into it to alleviate the need for continually adding chips.

    Good luck!
  3. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    AMNPS! AMNPS! AMNPS! ;-) Hi Mike and welcome to the forum. You'll find a lot of helpful folks here. I also have a MES 30. Just posted a pork picnic yesterday that lasted 9 hours. That's a lot of time to hang around adding chips. I just ordered the AMNPS a few minutes ago. I hear people talking about them all the time. I think most MES owners have them. As for how much chips to add, I believe the MES manual says don't fill the loader higher than the sides of the trough. Hope this helps. Any more ?s just ask, plenty of nice people here wanting to help. Happy smokin', David.
  4. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Mike Welcome to SMF as stated lots of great people here. Check out the MES Group sec

    All the info you need for mods, I recommend getting another probe for the unit, mine runs way off from the control panel, I use 2 probes one for the CC 1 for the meat.
  5. Smoky Mike blu,

    Tropics and others have given you sound advice. I would recommend you use the search page and look up  TBS or white smoke. TBS (Thin blue smoke) Is what you want and White smoke is what you don't want. Open your box if the smoke takes away your breath and burns your eyes that's white smoke. White smoke will give you bitter meat.  Don't put in enough chips to develop white smoke. You will see why people recommend the AMNPS and Todd's pellets. You purchased a electric smoker to make smoking easier. The AMNPS will complete your set up. Oh one other thing follow Tropics advice about the meat thermometer. Always cook to the internal meat temp.   Jted
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You got a lot of good info above on smoking, and I will add that I wouldn't want to smoke with my MES without my AMNPS.

    Since you now have an MES, below is my Index to all kinds of things you can do in your MES, in Step by Step form:

    Just click on "Bear's Step by Steps".

  7. smoky mike blu

    smoky mike blu Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone for your advise and help. I hope I don't upset too many people by what I'm about to ask. Just think of me as still wet behind the ears :)
    What is a AMNPS? How do I look it up and where to I find info about it if I would like to get it in the future? My wife and I are not rolling in the money, and she nearly didn't want me to spend the little I did on this cooker, so for now I don't know if I dare ask to spend more on a AMNPS. If I don't right away go out and get this AMNPS am I still able to use my MES? If I am able to use it, then am I putting just a handful of chips in once an hour, once every half an hour? For three straight hours?
    Again thanks for everyone's advise and sorry about asking about the AMNPS. I hope I have not upset anyone
    Many thanks
  8. Lots of good advice  from a lot of experienced people

  9. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    AMNPS is a smoke generator thats burns for 10 to 12 hrs so no need to feed the chips.
  10. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No one here is ever upset about anyone asking for information, help, or advice. AMNPS=A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker. Read about it and Todd Johnson's other products here:

    Todd's a member of SMF, a great guy, and is single-handedly responsible for enabling many of us to up our smoking game. I greatly prefer wood pellets to wood chips. A full AMNPS tray holds enough pellets to conceivably smoke for 12-16 hours without adding more wood pellets. It's set-it-and-forget-it stuff. Some guys have a problem lighting it and keeping it lit but there's a wealth of information how to use the AMNPS here and on You Tube. Todd's always available by PM or direct email and he always answers fairly quickly. He provides among the best customer service I've ever experienced.

    Like Bearcarver, I wouldn't ever smoke without my AMNPS. As far as I'm concerned, wood chips are for throwing on top of charcoal for smoky flavoring in my Weber kettle grill.
  11. I love my AMNPS  and I'm a stick burner

  12.  Hi Mike,

    A AMNPS is a simple tray that you put wood pellets in.  Lite it and  It guides the smoldering  lit pellets and lets you be hands free for 10 or 11 hours. Normally in the top right corner of the thread page is a ad from A-MAZE-N Products, Inc. Todd Johnson is the owner/Inventer/CEO. A great guy and is willing to talk to you . Ask about his scratch and dent units.  Jted
  13. smoky mike blu

    smoky mike blu Fire Starter

    Thanks for the info on AMNPS. I really appreciate it. So my new MES is unusable without it? As I'm new to this I am just wondering what a guy does if he doesn't have a AMNPS? Am I waisting money and my time by trying to smoke meat in my MES if I don't have a AMNPS?
    Please advise.
    Thanks again
  14. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    NO you can do it with the chip loader the AMNPS just lets you do other things, so if feeding the smoker is good with you do it. I have gotten lazy 67YO don't run in and out fast. Post some pics and don't be afraid to ask questions.
  15. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You with your scratch and dent units! I've got an AMNPS with the bottom coated with metal plastic resin that I'll cheaply to Mike. Just don't ask me how it got that way but it's the reason why I bought a second one.
  16. Smell Smoke

    Just did chicken last night in my MES 40, I had been having the same problem of over smoking the chicken. Nailed it last night. Filled the tube when I put the chicken in and opened the vent half way. 45 minutes later I put half the amount of chips in and never added anymore. Was about a 2 1/2 hour cook because I had 14 chicken legs and 4 leg quarters on. Wife even mentioned the good smoke flavor. And I never soak the chips.

    Smell Smoke
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  17. smoky mike blu

    smoky mike blu Fire Starter

    Thanks Smell Smoke! What temp did you place your smoker on? What IT did you set the chicken for?
    Did you rub the chicken first?
    Thanks again
  18. Mike, Don't think for one minute that your smoker is worthless without a AMNPS or other smoke generator. My statement about TBS was to inform you about the type of smoke that seasons the meat best. Just don't surcome  to the urge of loading up your chip loader to extend the smoke It won't work and the consequence is white smoke and bitter meat. Be attentive to the needs of the smoker and you will be fine.   Jted
  19. smoky mike blu

    smoky mike blu Fire Starter

    Thanks jted
    I was playing around last night before our big winter storm and just did a little handful of chips (hickory) and it was giving me a nice blue smoke, in fact I asked my son to come out a take a look and I asked him what color smoke he thought it was and he said a bluish grey smoke. It was dark out, so I thought that was good as he hasn't a clue about what color the smoke should be etc.
    Thanks again. I can't wait to get out and do some smoking.
  20. I put it at 250, but for some reason mine struggles to get over that. It ran 240-245. I'd like it at 275 for chicken but it want do it. If time allows I'll toss them on the grill for 5 minutes to crisp up the skin a little. I want 165 to 170 IT.
    I used a all purpose rub SPOG (salt, pepper, onion powder & garlic powder) on half the legs and a bbq rub on the others and let them set over night. Mopped the bbq ones with bbq sauce at the 2 hour mark. The ones I put the SPOG on I dipped into some Alabama white bbq sauce I made up for something a little different.
    Hope this helps.

    Smell Smoke
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015

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