Not enough Smokey flavor

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Original poster
Dec 23, 2013
Tulsa Oklahoma
So i have a MES 30 in electric smoker and i smoked a chicken tonight. I brine it overnight and let it dry in the fridge for another 24 hours. I smoked it at 250 for about 2.5 hours uncovered and it turned out amazing in color and was very juicy. The only problem I'm having is that it did not come out very Smokey in flavor. What can i next time to really give it a Smokey flavor?
I only put it in foil after i pulled it out to redistribute the juices. I had the vent closed, and i cooked it at 250 until the chickens internal was 165. I will try more chips next time. Thank you
yup.. need a little more info... you say the vents are closed ? should always keep the top vent wide open... how many and what kind of chips did you use ? put about a half a cup or so of dry chips in the loader about every 30 minutes...
You can also take the temp down to about 225 for the first hour to increase the total smoke time. Also, don't close the venr completely. Allow a decent airflow so that smoke will continually pass over the meat. More chips will definitely get you more smoke flavor but beware of oversmoking. Too little smoke still leaves you a good eating bird. Oversmoking can ruin it. You may try small chunks as chips sometimes are just dried out, flavorless tinder. A few tries and you'll find your way to what you like.
There is always more than one way to smoke.

I don't always leave the vent open, the vent is your governing device. Full open drys food and is useful to create a draft like in the chimney of the house. Its very useful to dry brined and/or cured foods. But it also burns up your chips or pellets at a very fast rate, it causes the smoker to work more than it needs to maintain temperature.

I start with the vent open to draw the draft and the MES30 temp at 250/275 to preheat, then when the meat is in the smoker I regulate the vent to achieve the best smoke possible. But doing so my chips/pellets last much longer. I then regulate the temp to achieve the desired cook time.

The optimum temperature for smoke absorption is 100 to 140 IT, everything above and below that temp. still sees the smoke but absorbs at a diminished capacity.  That is the only reason I can come up with for the age old suggestion to soak the chips. The chips obviously have to be try to smolder, wetting them only always that process to start later in the heating process. Hence allowing the meat to raise in temp before seeing smoke.

In all actuality we'd be best to do our initial charge of pellets around an IT of about 90 degrees thereby starting the smoke cycle closer to the actual absorption cycle.

Now all I have said is my personal belief of hows and whys, every question regarding smoke has more answers than the question and everyone believes their way is right. The nice thing about this site is we can discuss them all at length and everyone still respects another's opinion even when you still think them wrong.

More than one way to skin a cat, its about making your way work for you.
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Normally I'd agree, Foam, but when I see MES I know that the exhaust vent is so small even when fully open that I learned with my 40 that allowing a greater air flow gives you both more and better smoke flavor. And even full open I've never had an issue with drying out. As a matter of fact, on the gen 2, if you use a water pan even with the vent wide open you may find that water collects on the interior window and walls which means there's more moisture in the chamber than the ambient air. Yes, it will burn chips faster but that means more smoke and that's what Alcott's looking for. But like we always advise, Alcott.....keep trying and see what works for you and your taste buds. All the best to everyone.
You didn't specify what type of wood you were using for your chicken.  You might want to experiment with different types of wood as well. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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