New to Smoking with MES 30

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Original poster
So I've had my smoker for almost 2 years and have only used it a couple of times. I have finally decided to seriously get into smoking meats. I've been doing some research and it sounds like the AMNPS and the maverick wireless thermometer are must haves for my smoker. (I plan on getting them very soon). In the mean time I am planning on smoking a pork loin or chicken on Saturday temp will be in low 30s. Does anyone have a good beginner recipe for a pork loin or chicken? also until i get the AMNPS should I use chips or pellets? Should i fill the water pan or leave it empty, I've heard recommendations on both? From the reading I've done I should pull the loin between 140 and 145 for an internal temp and rest for at least 30 mins. Any other pointers? Also with regards to soaking the chips or leave them dry, which is best or is it preference or does it depend on what I'm smoking?

Once I do get the AMNPS i've read that there are different placements for it depending on if i have a gen1 or gen2 MES do i tell which one i have? It has the digital controls on top and has the internal meat probe.

Thanks! and sorry for all the newbie questions! Oh and I am in Altoona, IA. (near Des Moines)
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Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything.   
[/h1][h1]  [/h1][h1]Gary[/h1]
Pork loin is fairly easy.  I like to simply apply my favorite rub (lots of good rub recipes out there), then smoke it at a smoker temp of around 230* until the internal temp (IT) of the loin is about 155*.  Some people like it a little more rare, but for pork I always shoot for at least 155.

I've never used pellets in the MES chip tray, but I'll bet they'd be fine...if not, chips will certainly work until your AMNPS arrives.

I never put water in the water pan of my MES...usually just covered it with foil for easy clean up.  Many members put sand in the water pan to act as a heat sink.

This is still occasionally debated here, but IMO soaking wood chips is a waste of time.  They won't begin to smolder and smoke until the water in them evaporates.

The control console is on the top panel in both 1st and 2nd Gen models...On the 2nd Gen MES models its at the front of the top panel, while on the 1st Gen models, it's at the back of the top panel.  Also, the 2nd Gen models have an exhaust vent in the left side panel of the the 1st Gens the exhaust vent is in the top.  If you've had yours for 2 years, chances are its a 1st Generation.

If its a 1st Gen, it'll have 2 stainless rods/rails across the left bottom of the smoker (just left of the chip tray and heat element array).  This is the best spot for your AMNPS.  If its a gen 2, I think I've heard those rails are missing.  If that's the case, you might browse through the electric smoker forum threads for tips on where other 2nd Gen owners place theirs.

I hope any of this helps...Good luck!

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Thanks for the help Red! The controls on mine are on the top toward the back so it is a 1st gen.

Something came up tonight so I might have to postpone the smoke until another day when I have time but will let you know how it goes.

Thanks again!
Welcome to the forum. Red has given you sound advice!  Be sure to join the MES group here. Lots of great info on the operation of your machine!

I will be sure to do that! Thanks Brian!
Welcome BearFan!!

Red's comments are on point !!!

I guess by "BearFan" you're talking about the "Chicago Bears"???

You haven't been here long enough to be one of my Fans.  

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