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Please help new owner of MES (30) ?

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by bbq pitman, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. bbq pitman

    bbq pitman Newbie

    Can someone give me step by step instructions on how to get my
    mes 30 to a consistent smoke ? Starting off by putting the wood chips in cold then running it at 275 for atleast a half hour then droping the temp to 225. It seems that the chips won't give a smoke at 225.
    Also are my chips suppose to turn black I don't want to flavor my meats with an ash taste ? How soon do add chips.


  2. R Blum

    R Blum Smoke Blower

    Problem with a mes is that it is only going to smoke when the heater element is on. I have a cold smoker unit that I use even for hot smoking that gives plenty of smoke.

    Attached Files:

  3. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Are you soaking your chips? Don't.
    Even dry, they will only last about 25-30 minutes, and then turn to ash in the chip pan. At that time, replenish.
  4. bbq pitman

    bbq pitman Newbie

    thank you,

    should i put the chips in cold then run at 275 for half hour to 45 mins ?
  5. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You shouldn't have to run your MES at 275 or preheat your chips to get them to smoke. It sounds more like a temp problem.
    MES temp settings and temp probes are notorious for being wildly inaccurate. Are you depending on those for your temp settings?? If you are, you're probably quite a bit off the temp you think you MES is sitting at.
    For a MES owner (and most others too) a remote digital 2 probe therm is the first thing you should get. If money's tight, then an inexoensive oven therm will work just fine. Just place it in the MES, set the MES temp controller at 225, and when its up to temp then check and see if the oven therm agrees. Then its just s matter of playing with the temp setting until you find out where to set the MES to get the cook temp you want.
    And ALWAYS leave the top vent wide open. That will ensure that you don't get that stale smoke taste on your food.
  6. Been looking at the Masterbuilt electric smoker for those days I just don't fell like fire tending and also for smoking cheese and curing sausage. Anyone know what the temperature range is? I am not so concerned about the high temp but need to know if it will go low enough to smoke cheese.
  7. smokerjim

    smokerjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a mes 30, you might want look to look into a amnps with mailbox mod, that's all I use for hot and cold smokes.
  8. tropics

    tropics Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I agree my MES 40 has never seen a wood chip,infact I don't know if I even have a chip tray anymore LOL
  9. Winterrider

    Winterrider Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Your not just using junk wood by chance instead of chips. Have to fess up to accidentally buying a bag of chunks many years ago instead of the chips.
  10. Wakulla

    Wakulla Fire Starter

    You need another temperature source then the one on the smoker. They are notoriously inaccurate. I use a thermoworks smoke with one sensor in the middle of the smoker using a grate clip and the other in the meat. The smoker controller varied all over but was consistently 20 degrees low. If you use another sensor keep it out of the ,corners over the smoke tray. You will get abnormally high readings there.

    I always preheat my smoker for an hour before putting on the meat. Really helps with temp. Fluctuations. Load chips after it levels out and get it smoking good before loading the meat.

    I also installed a pizza stone over the chip loader for a heat sink. Helps keep temp fluctuations down and also hold heat down low. Seem to make more smoke now.
  11. paul222

    paul222 Newbie

    I have also been looking at this electric smoker, interested to see if you ever ended up getting it?
  12. Wakulla

    Wakulla Fire Starter

    Well i have had two of them. Never was totally happy with the product but as i get older staying up with a sidebox smoker has lost its appeal.

    Reading about mods onthis forum got me thinking. I gutted out all the mes electronics and wired it up with a PID. Then took out the chip loader and did the mailbox mod. Now i have a smoker i am completely satisfied with. Holds temp within +/- 5 degrees and gives good clean smoke for up to 12hrs.

    Mods cost me less than $100.

    Next time i will just buy used on craigslist and do the same mods.
  13. clifish

    clifish Meat Mopper

    do you have a write up or links to the PID? I have $30 in buying my twice used smoky hollow (basically a mes 30).
  14. fivetricks

    fivetricks Master of the Pit

    A smokey hollow will require a bit of cutting on the smoker cabinet to be fitted with a mailbox mod. Also (in my opinion only) I usually block the silly venting they have on the upper rear of the cabinet and fab my own chimney.
  15. clifish

    clifish Meat Mopper

    I have drilled a 7/8th hole on the bottom for the AMPS and drilled out the silly 1/8" tube vent on the top. I know more will be needed for the mailbox mod when I do it. For now this is working till the end of summer and I play more.
    fivetricks likes this.