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New to the smoking game!

misterbill

Newbie
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Joined Mar 15, 2011
Hey Guys,  I just purchased my first smoker and I should be recieving it friday, its the MES 30. I am the type of guy who likes to find out everything he can prior to using it so I can get to the cooking as fast as possible ( I need to eat some beef brisket asap :-P) I have been doing research for the last few days and I just wanted to see if you guys can help me out since the best place for knowledge is from those who are experienced.

I do understand that there has been heating element problems with the MES, and that there is solutions like replacing the wiring -which is not a big deal for me. Should I wait until it stops working, or just replace the wiring as soon as I get it?

Also, I have heard the digital thermometer is off a bit. Should I install another thermometer to base the temperatures off of? If so, how do I view the internal temperature of that thermometer without opening the door? The same question applies to the thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the meat I am cooking, is there a way to install the thermometer so the meter itself is outside of the MES since the 30" does not have a window? (Like through the Vent, however then how would I ever close the vent ... would I ever close the vent completely?)

Anyone know of a thermometer that can give you readings from two probes, (IE one Meter that can measure the meat and the temp of the smoker at the same time?)

Thanks for any help you guys can give me. I really appreciate it :)
 

Bearcarver

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Those questions are even easy enough for me to answer!

#1   Don't change your wiring unless it calls for it, because not all of them end up needing it.

#2   Get something like an ET-73, or better yet an ET-732 (much better range). These are digital remote thermometers with dual probes (one for the meat & one for the smoker temp).

#3   I would also recommend you get an A-MAZE-N-SMOKER too. In fact you could get that AMNS & a Maverick ET-732 from the same place, and save on shipping. Contact Todd Johnson. You can click on the little business card up top on the right of this page.

Bear
 

SmokinAl

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First off welcome to SMF. The new model MES does not have the wiring problems that the older models had. As for the therm, a lot of guys here use the dual probe Maverick ET-732. You can buy them from Todd at this site. http://www.amazenproducts.com/Default.asp. you may also want to purchase a AMNS smoke generator there too.. They work very well with the MES. Happy smoking this weekend!
 

SmokinAl

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Geez Bear, How do you beat me to it everytime?   
 

misterbill

Newbie
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Joined Mar 15, 2011
Thank you guys for your fast and for the informative suggestions.

Making sure I understand:

You suggest the MES's smoke box should be replaced with the a-maze-n smoker?

Is the smoke box insufficent for proper smoking?

I will definitly purchase that thermometer, I do not know why the possibility of using a wireless reciever did not cross my mind as an option.

Looking at the product online, the major difference between the 73 and 732 is the range (200 foot difference). Is there any other difference?

Thank you again
 

melleram

Smoke Blower
84
13
Joined Feb 4, 2009
The main issue I have had with my new 30" MES is the hotspot in the back.   Everything on the back of the racks would get done faster than food on the front of the racks (towards the door).  

 

What I did to alleviate this issue was take some heavy duty foil, double it, and put it over the back 1/3rd of a rack.   Then slide that rack in the lowest slot, just above the water pan.   It fits in there nice and makes it so the heat will not have a straight path up the back wall and out the vent.
 

misterbill

Newbie
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10
Joined Mar 15, 2011
The main issue I have had with my new 30" MES is the hotspot in the back.   Everything on the back of the racks would get done faster than food on the front of the racks (towards the door).  

 

What I did to alleviate this issue was take some heavy duty foil, double it, and put it over the back 1/3rd of a rack.   Then slide that rack in the lowest slot, just above the water pan.   It fits in there nice and makes it so the heat will not have a straight path up the back wall and out the vent.

 I have seen that complaint on these forums, thank you for that tip, I will definitly do that.
 

scarbelly

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If you invest in the AMNS as both Bear and Al now me suggest, you will have a consistant smoke source. I have used chunks before and they tend to burn at different rates of burn and smoke output. With AMNS you are burning dust so I gives you an even smoke output all the time AND you can use it to cold smoke cheese etc  
 

chef willie

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Welcome to the SMF and congrats on your new MES. I see at least 2 of the Master Mes users have weighed in, Al & Bear. The AMS is not to replace the existing chip box in the MES, that stays in place. The AMS is placed away from the heating element as it burns on it's own and provides continous smoke for longer periods of time vs. the chip box. The new Maverick has heavier probe wires as well as longer remote distance. I have a Master Forge gasser, not a MES but I have seen these questions explained before. For visual effect I might suggest you view some of Bears past threads with Q/view to get some idea of the look of things and type in MES 30 in the search bar for some great threads with lots of info. I believe Bear runs his probes down the vent, which answers another of your questions....the top vent is left full open to let stale smoke escape. Good luck, have fun and take the time to read, read, read past posts specific to what you intend to smoke. Also suggest enrolling for the free 5 day smoking class offered via emails and signing up for the newsletters. Enjoy the new MES....
 

eman

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Welcome to SMF and the world of smoking on the MES.

 All the advice you have been given is good.

The one thing i can add to it is, After the initial seasoning of you MES .make sure and foil the drain pan that's in the bottom and the water pan w/ heavy duty foil  before using. This makes cleanup a whole lot easier.

Make sure and take the free on line smoking course .

And if you have any questions ,please ask.
 

chef willie

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This is what I am seeing: http://www.amazenproducts.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=12   To me, it just looks like a metal grate with dividers, is there more to this than just a grate?

edit: Ok So I read up the user manual and I now understand how it works. Will I be able to use a BBQ lighter or does it have to be a torch?
I ordered the package deal and instead of the butane torch I asked Todd if I could sub for more dust, which he was happy to do. I plan on using my Bernz propane torch on low for starting.
 

hkeiner

Meat Mopper
276
15
Joined Oct 31, 2010
 Will I be able to use a BBQ lighter or does it have to be a torch?
A regular lighter, a BBQ lighter, even a candle will work but the flame is a bit under powered and so a pain in the butt to use.  I have read in other posts that propane torches may have a bit too much flame and blow the dust around too much. A butane torch is just right.  That is my experience anyway.

Use what you already have on hand and see if it works OK for you. If not, you can always get a butane torch later.
 
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Bearcarver

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A regular lighter, a BBQ lighter, even a candle will work but the flame is a bit under powered and so a pain in the butt to use.  I have read in other posts that propane torches may have a bit too much flame and blow the dust around too much. A butane torch is just right.  That is my experience anyway.

Use what you already have on hand and see if it works OK for you. If not, you can always get a butane torch later.
LOL----Couldn't have said it better!!!!

Bear
 
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misterbill

Newbie
18
10
Joined Mar 15, 2011
Thanks again guys for the great responses to my questions. I have purchased the Et-73 on amazon for 37$ and free 2nd day shipping ( it will get here the same day as my smoker!) I have already spent alot of money this month so I will hold off on the Amaze-n-smoker for now - I'm sure once I get more experienced smoking I will invest more money into it. For now I can't wait for this weekend when I smoke some meat!
 
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