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Sausage Smoker

elham

Newbie
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10
Joined Dec 22, 2015
I am looking for recommendations for an ideal smoker that I can add a PID controller to for sausage making. I really like the size of the MES 40, but they do not appear to make that size with an analog element. As nice as everyone here makes 2.5 gen MES 40 with Bluetooth sound; it seems rather illogical to pay three to four hundred dollars for electronic bluetooth controlled unit only to subvert the expense of those controls by re-wiring around them for PID control. There is also the issue of upper temperature limitation with the MES units. The Smokin-it #3 is a nice unit with comparable rack size to the MES 40 but at $700; holy cow – it’s just a box with an electric element! Add a nice PID and you’re out a grand and I was trying for less than half that. Any suggestions?
 

dr k

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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Joined Mar 22, 2013
Maybe ebay or FB market place etc. for a Mes 40 box, door and element. Then do Tallbm quick no back removal bypass for PID.
 

dr k

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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Joined Mar 22, 2013
Academy Sports had the Mes 40 hybrid Gen 1 at $150.00 last year for black friday.
 

Braz

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jun 25, 2017
If you are looking for a dedicated sausage smoker it doesn't seem like the upper temp limit should be a problem. High temps cause fat out when smoking sausage. Or so I am told. I have never gone over 200F when smoking sausage and usually stay under that.
 

elham

Newbie
18
10
Joined Dec 22, 2015
I should have been clearer. I would like the smoker to be "sausage capable" (thus the whole PID thing), but I am really looking for an all-around replacement smoker. I like the 2.5 MES 40 BT especially with with the option for remote ducting a side car smoke generator for cold smoke (chips) and a mail boxed AMZN for pellets.


What I presently have is an old Brinkman 810 Electric Grill/Smoker with a 1500W element, which despite being much maligned, has managed to turn out some great smoked meat for many, many years, but it trends on the side of being extremely labor intensive. Last year I made some summer sausage that came out really fantastic; however, it was an eight hour excursion of constant attendance (no PID but me). I did it by temperature monitoring and manually plugging / unplugging the smoker every 3-5 minutes to somewhat maintain temperature in steps until it made a 156 F internal meat temperature (LOL). The Brinkman is not well insulated but it will heat to the point of getting crispy chicken skin or hot smoking a 25lb cured ham fully to internal temperature in as little as 8-16 hours even with a good stall. I am probably going with an Auburn WSD-1500H-W and will just run it on the Brinkman until I can find my “ideal” new smoke box.

Looked at the MES 35B analog, but no remote/cold smoke options, and no vent without serious modifications, having to split briskets and rib racks, etc. it is not exactly "ideal".
 

dr k

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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Joined Mar 22, 2013
The hot plate or $10 electric charcoal starter element was what I thought about as well. Cut the plug off and thread the power cord through the grease trap hole and wire nut it back on. Or get a plug with screw terminals
 

donr

Smoking Fanatic
394
29
Joined Sep 3, 2011
I agree. Buying a fancy electronic smoker just to ditch the electronics is counter intuitive.
What if you build your own.
Get an electric version of an El-Cheap-O Brinkman ($100 give or take).
Build a tall wooden box with a door, a chimney & an air inlet near the bottom. 2x4's, T-11 siding & some lag screws.
Find some standard sized (inexpensive) racks.
Use 1x2's or 1x3's as rack holders. Put semi-circular cut outs in the top edge to use with dowels for hanging sausage.
Hook up your PID to the e-ECB and set the box over it.
Voila!!
Don't forget to paint a crescent moon on the door so the neighbors think you built an outhouse!
 

elham

Newbie
18
10
Joined Dec 22, 2015
Holly – that is actually a great idea. I had thought of using a double throw switch arrangement for switching between PID and factory controls, but that would still involve mucking about with the factory wiring. A separate heating element may be just the ticket for PID runs.


It does not solve the 275 degree limit issues, but I can always revert back to the Brinkman if need be and I could set up the PID with a safety cut-off switch for the hot plate so as to not overrun the MES upper limit and melt insulation, start a fire, or what have you.


When you say the 275 degree limit should not be an issue; have any used their MES 40 to hot smoke a large say 16-25lb ham, and if so, have you had issues with stall / time to temperature with the 275 degree limit? I see talk of doing full briskets, I assume to temperature, so I would imagine not, but I was wondering what the time line is like for large hunks of meat.
 

elham

Newbie
18
10
Joined Dec 22, 2015
Donr – I thought about building a box off of a Brinkman replacement element, but:

a) I am the king of unfinished projects and don’t really want to start another one (anything leaning towards mostly plug-n-play is my friend)

b) If I built it myself from wood, I would probably burn the house down.

c) Every time I go about constructing something I end up spending about four times what it would have cost to just buy the finished product and it still looks like an outhouse. (You should see my redneck battery and gas power canoe with tip stabilization for example – I could have bought a really nice boat by now).
 

donr

Smoking Fanatic
394
29
Joined Sep 3, 2011
c) Every time I go about constructing something I end up spending about four times what it would have cost to just buy the finished product and it still looks like an outhouse. (You should see my redneck battery and gas power canoe with tip stabilization for example – I could have bought a really nice boat by now).

I understand.
I would also love to see the canoe sometime.

Don
 

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