Newby need help

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Original poster
Dec 25, 2013
I gut my MES, assembled and ready for warmer days. Looks like a Saturday gonna be warm enough to try.
However I could not find any good instructions how to properly use my MES.
Should I sock wood chips and put water into water tank. Or chips are dry and water in the tank.
Please help.

TIA, Bigll
Need to do a burn for a couple hours at 275, then add some chips or small chunks without water in the pan and season the smoker for an hour or so with the vent wide open. Best of luck with the new toy.
And welcone to the forum. Lots of good folks here to offer help if needed.
Last edited:
There is tons of information on this site to help you out.  Spend the next 1 or 2 years reading up and you'll be good to go!

Seriously, there really is all the help you'll ever need with many experts to help you out and not so much experts that are happy to share what has worked for them and what hasn't.  I'm still in the learning process and the first thing I learned was to read, read and read some more.  I've got some many posts book marked on here that I plan on getting to one of these days.  I keep book marking recipes to try one day when I get more time on my hands.

Welcome to the wonderful and very flavorful world of smoking!  If you aren't careful, you will become an addict.  I'm well on my way already and looking forward to many more years of perfecting this obsession!
  • Geerock.
​Thanks so much for the reply 

​I get the seasoning piece.
​Will do it tomorrow,

But when it would come to actual smoking should I soak the chips?
I usually do when use them on BGE.

TIA, Bigll
You're asking one of those questions that folks will come to blows over. My opinion.... soaking only delays the smoke process. The water needs to evaporate before the wood will smoke so why bother? Now, having said that, the mes is known for chip fires because of the intense heat in the chip tray and because most chips you buy are flavorless, dried out tinder. I use small chunks. They have a smoother smoke flavor and last much longer than the 20 minute chip burn. All the best to you.
I own A MES 30 inch, and after you season it, to soak the chips or not is much a personal choice.  When i got mine this past June, I soaked the chips for the first 2 or 3 smokes, then read some where on this forum, that it makes no difference soaked or not, so since then, I have not soaked a single chip of wood.  And they were right, seem to make no difference, except more work created by soaking it.

As for the water pan, that depends on what your smoking.  I have picked up on this forum, some folks put sand in their dish, others nothing.  I usually Wrap my water pan, my drip pan and the top of the chip burner with foil.  Then if it a moist smoke, like for example a turkey, I will put water and Apple juice in the pan.  Doing something that needs a dry smoke, I leave the pan empty. 

Like others have said here, season it and then read a few of the many posts in this forum, we are all here to help you.

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