Smoked Chicken, Ribs and Boston Butt today with a few photos and questions

Discussion in 'Pork' started by corndog, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Hey y'all,

    Wanted to share my smoking experience today along with a few photos.

    Yesterday I prepared a rack of spare of ribs (3.7 lbs), spatchcocked a chicken (3.5 lbs), and a 5.6 lb boston butt for smoking today. I marinated them overnight in pineapple juice, Worcester sauce, Jeff's rub, rum & water.

    This morning I cranked up the MES 40 to 240 degrees along with a Maverick ET732. while waiting for smoker to come up to temp, I removed the meat from the fridge, patted dry, painted everything with yellow mustard, and coated with Jeff's rub.

    Put the butt in a foil pan. ribs and chicken on racks with the chicken on lowest rack. Spritzed everything with a 3:1 mixture of apple juice and dark rum every hour or so.

    Smoked with the AMNS using Cherry pellets, until foiling.

    The chicken took about 2.5 hrs. And was delicious. Sorry, no picks, it was devoured before I could take them.

    The ribs came off about and hour ago. They are tender and juicy, but are lacking in flavor. Used the 3-2-1 method. I used to do a lot of smoking on a ECB and end up with great ribs, but I just cannot get the same on th MES.

    After removing bird, I dropped the temp to 225.

    The butt is still in the smoker and at 181 degrees, and slowly climbing. It was cover with foil at 165 degrees...waiting for 200 degrees.

    I have had the MES since late last summer, and have only used it a handful of time, because the temp in the smoker fluctuates wildly. Some times there is as little as 9 degrees between the smoker thermo temp and the Maverick. Other times it can be as much as 37 degrees. I find it to be very difficult to find a happy medium. If I reduce or increase the heat as little as 2 degrees, it can make the actual temp fluctuate as much as 25 degrees, even on days like today where the temp is 85 degrees and calm.

    Would adding a PID or dimmer switch remedy the wide range of temps? I mistakenly thought that using a Maverick would help me to regulate the temp swings. At least with the ECB once I got the temp regulated, it was fairly easy to keep it at the correct temp.

    Would appreciate any suggestions on how to end up with tastier ribs.


    Okay just pulled the 200 degree butt from the smoker...

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey Corndog...the butt looks real good. Sorry your ribs are turning out less than desired. I don't know much about PIDs, maybe someone who does will weigh in with some advIce. I've never experienced the temp swings in my MES40 that you are dealing with. In fact, consistent temps is the thing I like best about mine. Have you made any mods? Is your MES one of the new generation rigs? I've heard there have been some quality issues with them, but most people say their customer service is good, so you might give Masterbuilt a call and ask them for help. I have read of people who have been sent new controllers by MB.

    Hope you get it ironed out.

  3. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yeah, my guess is you have the gen 2 mes with the side vent. Control of temps has been a problem for these things. MB service sent me new controllers, new cabinet (guessing temp sensor was bad). And then a whole new unit that they "tested" before it left the warehouse. All the same.....wide temp swings and smoker temp and meat probe readings way off. I just plain gave up and got an Auber controller for one and turned another into a cold smoker. Call MB service and see what happens as you've owned it a while but mb service is aware of the issues. Maybe they'll send you a working .......something. Good luck.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  4. SeenRed and gee rock, actually I don't have the new model, mine has a top vent. Plus this is the 2nd one they sent me to replace the one I purchased. Yes, that makes 3! they accidentally sent me one of them by mistake. You are correct, they are very nice people, but I found their customer service to be tiring to deal with, and I finally just gave up. It's like no one knows what anyone else is doing. All 3 have had issues. I was hoping there might be a solution without deling with MB. My experience with them has been so unpleasant, that I will probably just buy something different. They Supposidly checked this one out before is was shipped, but it obvious that it was not.

    Thanks for the comments on the butt. I seem to be able to do chicken and butts pretty good in the MES.
  5. Oops, yes I have done some basic mods. I added a small smoke stack, a tile to correct the high heat in the back right-hand corner, and use dry gravel in the water pan.
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The PID is effective and DaveOmak has a Dimmer Mod that is very good, PM him. As far as Rib Flavor...The Cherry Pellets are fairly mild. You can light both ends or get some Pitmasters Choice. It is a 1/3 Blend of Hickory, Maple and Cherry. It has great flavor and aroma and is only 1 step above straight Cherry in strength, does not blow the meat away as 100% Hickory can. Another option is what you put in the foil. My Foiling Juice adds great flavor and since you mix your Rub in to it will always compliment you Rub choice. You can add your Rum to the mix and you got a 100% original Foiling Juice...JJ

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses


    2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more KC Style.

    Simmer 5-10 minutes until syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.

    For Pulled Pork: Make a Double batch, Butter optional or do as I do...Use the Smoked Pork Fat from the drip pan...

    Add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

    Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

    At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

    De-fat the remaining Juice from the foil pack or pan and set aside.

    Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan and add the de-fatted pan Juice and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten and Serve...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

    When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crockpot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while  the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crockpot to 165*F and Serve.

    Note: the addition of the reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider should make the PP moist but not Swimming.
  7. Thanks Chef JimmyJ.
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Anytime Dog...JJ

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