1. 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.

New to meat smoking - tips

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nmazzino, Jul 12, 2019 at 10:41 AM.

  1. nmazzino

    nmazzino Newbie

    Hi all,

    I just got my first smoker a few weeks ago. It is a Masterbuilt electric smoker. I am very new and trying to learn.

    I have smoked chicken breast, venison burgers, and venison back strap.
    All came out tender. However, the smoke flavor is very overpowering. How do I tune this down? Is it just using less pellets?

    Any other simple beginner recipes you recommend for chicken breast or ground venison?

  2. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    JC in GB and zwiller like this.
  3. SmokinVOLfan

    SmokinVOLfan Master of the Pit

    Welcome to the site!

    Are you using pellets or chips and are you using them in the chip dumper? If you are using pellets in the chip dumper that could be causing an overpowering smoke. Don't think you are supposed to use anything but chips.

    What type of wood are you using? Different woods have different flavors. Mesquite is quite powerful and better used on short smokes. Usually try to use something mild like hickory or apple for longer smokes.

    Another thing is to check out the AMNPS. You get 11 hours of smoke without having to mess with that garbage chip dumper every 20 minutes.

    Don't have any venison recipes but check out spatching a whole bird. Breasts tend to dry out.
    tallbm and zwiller like this.
  4. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome! Good info thus far. If you are already using the AMNPS then I suggest you try dust. You can make yourself from pellets a few ways. I use a cheapo grinder.
    gmc2003 likes this.
  5. nmazzino

    nmazzino Newbie

    Hi all, thanks for the quick response. I have been using cherry pellets. Maybe I will give chips a try instead. I received tons of containers of pellets from the person who gave the smoker to me.

    I think I may have something similar to that AMNPS that was given to me as well.
  6. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Don't use pellets in the chip tray . If the guy had that many pellets I'm betting he had a tube or tray to go with it . Using pellets in the chip tray can cause a fire or worse
    tallbm likes this.
  7. nmazzino

    nmazzino Newbie

    Ohhh okay that is good to know. Thanks for that input. I didnt know you could not use them in the chip tray.

    Are there any tubes or trays you recommend other than than the AMNPS?

  8. SmokinVOLfan

    SmokinVOLfan Master of the Pit

    I'd ditch the chip tube all together. There are all kinds of knock offs of the AMNPS out there but they don't work as well(cheap construction, air flow problems etc...). It's well worth the $30 IMO. Plus you already have the pellets so don't have to buy any! If you have the MES 30" model it will look something like this:
  9. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    I had big problems with my MES when I first got it, and even considered selling it, as I described in this thread:

    Thinking of selling my MES 30

    Other threads you might want to consult:

    Why does my Electric Smoker 30" produces bitter smoke on the food?


    Bad smoke in my MES

    While you are not complaining about bitter or bad smoke, your problem is nonetheless in that same neck of the woods. The key thing to realize is that the MES produces smoke in proportion to temperature: higher temperature, more smoke; lower temperature, very little smoke.

    By using the AMNPS and, even better, using the AMNPS in an external enclosure ("mailbox mod"), you'll be able to completely separate the relationship between cooking temperature and the amount of smoke.

    If you want to continue with your current setup, and not buy the AMNPS or build a mod, then I agree with the others that you most definitely do NOT want to use chips (correction: pellets) as the smoking fuel in the MES chip loader.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019 at 1:48 PM
    zwiller likes this.
  10. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Welcome aboard Nick!!
  11. Braz

    Braz Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I think johnmeyer meant to say, do not use PELLETS in the MES chip loader.
  12. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    Good catch. Thanks! I made the change, but kept (in small print) the original mistake, so your comment will still make sense.
  13. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Subscribe over at Amazen and get the July 20% discount code. Also, spend over $50 and get free shipping. Pickup some dust to fool with too.
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Have the exhaust wide open at all times.... Pull out the chip loader a couple inches and rotate it to the dump position... That will allow for more air to enter the smoker....
  15. smokerjim

    smokerjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    welcome, I have the mes 30 also, as mentioned the chip try is good for short smokes with temps over 200, mes 30 usually won't produce smoke under that, the best thing I did was go to the amnps tray with the mailbox mod (search mailbox mod in the search bar) trust me you won't be sorry.if you plan on cold smoking you will need one. also chicken and ground meats take on a lot smoke quickly, so to much will give it that bitter taste. this is a pic of my mailbox mod. 20190710_080008_resized.jpg