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Newbie probs

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by SmokeyEyes, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. I tried my first smoke today in my new Masterbuilt 40" electric smoker. The butt was 4lbs. From the Masterbuilt site and other videos it seems that about 1-1 1/4 hours per pound at 225* should have done the trick. I have the built-in probe in the center of the butt, however, after 7 hours the internal temp of the butt is still only 144* IT. I increased the heat to 275* and can see the IT rising. Should it take THAT long to heat up?

    My other question is how often do you have to add chips. I've been out there almost every hour and there is very little smoke. I put chips in and in a few minutes I have smoke but it seems to fade out within the hour.

    Is this normal or do you sense a problem?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome and when it comes to smoking meat, forget other sites and search what you want to make here. At 225 a small butt like yours will take a minimum of 1.5 hrs per pound and anything bigger, you can count on 2 hrs per. A major design flaw with the Masterbuilt is using chips, you will have to reload every 30 minutes. Makes for a long night on a 20 hour Brisket smoke. Most of us MES owners have the AMNPS maze pellet smoke generator from A-MAZE-N Products. Whether using the maze in the MES or in the popular Mailbox Mod, you get around 10 to 12 hours of perfect Thin Blue Smoke on one load. Makes the MES truely Set and Forget. You just need to monitor smoker and meat internal temps for great Q...JJ
    indaswamp likes this.
  3. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    What JJ said, and you need to get a dual probe remote therm, so you can monitor the meat & smoker temps. The MES controllers & temp probes are notoriously off, by as much as 50 degrees. So what I'm saying is your smoker temp may have been less than 225 & your meat temp may have been more than 144.
  4. So how does the A-MAZE-N pellet smoker work in the MES? Do you just set it on one of the racks or is there some type of installation required to replace what's currently in the MES?
  5. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Morning Daniel.
    JJ and Al have given you great info.
    225 is a bit low (IMO). I usually cook my butts at 240, but lots here cook at higher temps with great results.
    Some people have great luck just putting the AMNPS tray in a bottom rack in the MES but that just never worked for me. I use the mailbox mod with my AMNPS. ALWAYS.
    Just use the Search feature here for tons of info in the Mailbox Mod.
    Rule #1 for MES owners--never trust the stock therms. 99.999% of the time they're lieing to you. That includes the the cook temp setting on the MES controller.
    Spend the money and get a dual probe digital remote therm. There's a multitude to choose from in all price ranges. For years I used a Maverick 733, but just recently changed to a Smoke. Its pricey but deadly accurate and very easy to use. There's an area in the Forum dedicated to thermometers.
    Make these 2 changes, always leave your top vent wide open, never put water in the water pan (a MES does NOT need it) and you'll be amazed at just how simple and easy it is to get great Q with your MES.
  6. Braz

    Braz Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    No installation necessary. Just set it wherever you can find room - I set mine in the lower left corner resting on the two steel rods. Not sure if your MES is the same configuration or not. There are several versions. There is a wealth of info in the Electric Smokers section of the Forum.
  7. Thanks so much!
  8. Update on my first smoke........... I wound up leaving the 4lb butt on from 2:30pm until 10am the following morning. Added chips about 8 or 10 times. I played around with the temp until the IT read 195*. I know the digital temp gauge on the MES is not accurate so I ordered a ThermoPro TP20 for next time.

    I let my son and wife sample the pork. Let me just put it this way, after tasting the meat my wife said "I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow and get you a bigger one. This isn't big enough." THIS MEANS 100% SUCCESS FOLKS. I think I saw her eyes roll back in her head when she tasted it.

    I guess I'm on my way...

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