Questions from a first time smoker and owner of MES 30"

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by smokindontcb77, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. smokindontcb77

    smokindontcb77 Fire Starter


    I'm a first time poster and a newbie to the world of smoking. I am a long time fan of BBQ and have decided to try my hand at making my own.

    I decided to slowly dip my toe into the water by starting out with an electric smoker.

    Ive been reading around the forum and have learned a lot.

    Here is my plan of action and question.

    First of all, I plan on using the side wood chip loader that it comes with.

    How often do chips need to be loaded? I was hoping to be able to load in a brisket, for example, at night and just let it go. Is that possible or do I need to wake up every hour to reload the wood chips?

    In the future I may explore than A-MAZE-N but I just spent almost $300 on a smoker and not really willing to put more money out.

    How large of a bag of wood chips should I have on hand? I don't want to be in the middle of smoking and run out.

    Where does everyone buy their wood? Rubs and sauces if you buy them??

    Any other advice would be fantastic!

    Thank you

  2. Welcome to SMF!

    You will need to load chips every 30 minutes to an hour. Typically you'll want to wait until there is no more smoke coming out of the top vent to add more chips. You won't need more than a handful each load. Use any kind of wood you'd like really. If you're doing brisket, I'd do a mix of hickory and maple or some other fruit wood. So a half handful of each I guess. For sauces, check out Jeff's rub and sauce you can buy here. I hear great things. Otherwise, there are a ton of rub and sauce options people have posted on here. Just use the search bar. Have fun. Oh and we like pictures!
  3. smokindontcb77

    smokindontcb77 Fire Starter

    Thank you very much for the reply. I feared you were going to tell me that the wood chips need to be reloaded that often. So that means this isn't really a "Set it and forget it" type of smoker.

    What do people who smoke a meat for 24 hours do? Wake up every hour?
  4. Yeah sorry.......

    If you combine the AMNPS from Todd, then the MES becomes that set it and forget it smoker you're wanting. It's a small investment to get up to 12 hrs of TBS and not have to do a thing.
  5. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Most people use the AMNPS.   Gets 12 hours out of 1 tray full.
  6. smokindontcb77

    smokindontcb77 Fire Starter

    Can I use any store bought pellets or wood chips with the ANPS or only the ones sold on their site?

    Also, which ANPS do you recommend for my particular smoker?

    Thank you
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  7. You can use whichever pellets you like in the AMNPS. Use the search bar to see if there's any info on other brands of pellets people have used around here. I've seen other's add wood chips to the top of the pellets before, but I don't think chips will burn by themselves in the AMNPS

    I've got the MES30 and the 8x5 version, and it fits perfectly on the lower bars next to the chip tray on the bottom left hand side. You'll just need to remove a small screw that stucks out of the left side of the chip tray.
  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I know that for BBQ competitions there's a crew of guys that trade off tending the barbeque/smoker. I watched one TV show where there was only one guy doing it on his own and he feel asleep allowing the fire to go out. He woke up in time to restart it but had lost a few hours of cooking time.

    Personally, I rarely smoke anything longer than 6 hours since I'm usually cooking for just the three of us. I use the 5x8 AMNPS and the Maverick ET-733 thermometer set so that for the most part I rarely even have to visit the smoker except to foil or mop the meat if the recipe calls for it.
  9. smokindontcb77

    smokindontcb77 Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone for the tips!

    Can anyone tell me approximately whats a good sized bags of chips to have on hand at one time?
  10. I wouldn't get a huge bag of anything yet. I'd get a number of 1 lb bags and give them all a try to see what flavor you like. To start I'd say Hickory, Apple, Pecan, Cherry, and Mesquite. 

    You'll spend $30 or so getting 4-5 bags of chips to try out. You'd spend just a bit more getting the AMNPS and Todd's Pittmaster pellets that include Hickory, Cherry, and Maple though [​IMG]  

    Edit: Checked his site and there's free shipping above $34 and the 5x8 ($34.99) comes with 2 lb of Pittmaster Pellets. Here ya go:
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
    djstight likes this.
  11. smokindontcb77

    smokindontcb77 Fire Starter

    Once again, thank you.

    Would you say a 1LB bag of chips would get me through a single smoke? I really want to try what comes with the smoker and then later on invest in the AMNPS once Ive perfected the smoker.
  12. I would say have at least 2 bags of chips on hand if they are 1 lb each. I would also say to use a stronger wood (Hickory/Mesquite) along with a softer wood (Apple, Maple, Cherry, etc). Use half a hand full of each bag each time you add chips. FYI, don't soak the chips before adding them to the tray. All you're doing is adding additional moisture to the smoke chamber until all that moisture is evaporated from the chips and they actually can begin burning to produce smoke.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  13. Others have addressed you questions on sleep- wood chips.. Here is some info on rubs. If you buy Jeff's receipt you get a tried and true rub. Look on the site for rubs, My favorite is Magic Dust. .You can buy it commercially at Amazon or Goggle Mike Mills and it will have a Bio. I must add that I live in the south and we like a rub w/ sugar so I make sweet Magic Dust.  

    Part of the craft is the learning part. Smoke learn eat great Q

    .  Jted
  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I buy all my wood pellets from Todd. He carries all the hardwood and fruitwood pellets I use. With some smokes I use only Pitmaster's Choice (can't go wrong with that blend) or some other wood but with other smokes I like to mix it up. I've read that either pecan or apple are best for pork but they can both be mixed together for spareribs or pork shoulder since pecan and apple both work well together.

    I've read here that cherry wood pellets are difficult to keep lit so it's best to use them with wood pellets that stay easily lit like hickory. If I want to use cherry, that's when I break out the Pitmaster's Choice.
  15. smokindontcb77

    smokindontcb77 Fire Starter

    Thank you all for the responses.

    Im going to do a search for wood chips and sleep.
  16. I agree with the others... you cannot do an overnight smoke with this unit as-is out of the box unless you just want to slow roast your meat with minimal to no smoke flavor, unfortunately.

    I actually have the Masterbuilt cold smoker attachment for the MES 30" and have only used it once so far, but it did work great... no more constant chip feeding for me.

    When I have a few more uses of the cold smoker under my belt I'll write a full review of it, but so far so good.
  17. beefy bill

    beefy bill Meat Mopper

    Lat time I did two Boston butts, I started at 5pm, kept adding wood for smoke for 7 hrs, foiled them and went to sleep. Woke up at 6 and they still had a little while to go. Temp was 230 deg. Overnight, used a propane smoker. I figured after 7 hrs the meat wasn't gonna take much more smoke in anyway, as the bark was forming already. They were delicious!
  18. smokindontcb77

    smokindontcb77 Fire Starter

    Everyones responses have been very helpful.

    Another question for everyone, how does everyone have their smoker set up? Do you just put it on a grill matt? Keep it on the ground?

    I am most likely using mine on a deck and don't want to ruin the deck. I have a small square metal folding table that when folded up would be perfect to set the smoker on. Does the bottom of the unit generate heat? I don't want to metal table to get hot.

    Thanks in advance
  19. beefy bill

    beefy bill Meat Mopper

    I did mine on my deck. It's a master forge stand up. No heat from the bottom to speak of. I put a pig mat (used in mechanic and machine shops to soak up oil) under where the door opens and under the grease cup just in case.
  20. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You are one committed smoker, Beefy Bill. I've never done that long a smoke but then I've never smoked two Boston butts at the same time. Love to see some pics next time if you repeat this.

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