Something I learned about my MES 30

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by wnc goater, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. wnc goater

    wnc goater Fire Starter

    This is offered as an FYI from a complete newb so take it for what it's worth. 

    I had a very difficult time getting temperatures up this weekend.  Took 10 hours to smoke some summer sausage, then Super Bowl Sunday I spent all day and BARELY got my ribs and chicken done.  I've thrown out the chicken because I feared I may have stayed in the danger zone way too long.  I lost track of time but guessing after 4-5 hours finally JUST hit 165°. The ribs were done but never pulled back and definitely not "fall off the bone" tender.

    I thought my thermostat control was failing as I had to crank the temperature up, and up, and UP all the way to the top setting (275° I believe) to get my IT to 165, and the compartment temperature would barely climb above 200°.

    But I had covered all the bottom stuff with foil to catch drips and help with clean up.  I just laid it in the bottom (actually over the top of the upper drip pan that covers the chip tray and drains to the water pan), leaving about an inch of clearance in front and back.  I believe I used too big of a piece and it just deflected and reflected the heat back downward.  

    Monday I removed the foil and ran it dry and it heated and held temps at the settings.

    So bottom line, I've decided the clean up isn't so bad, and I'll do away with the foil altogether.

     IF you opt to use foil in the bottom I'd advise to JUST cover that drip pan over the burner and chip tray.  Otherwise, you may have difficulty getting the heat where it needs to go.  And before I did this, I would maybe do a dry run with and without the foil and compare.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I've posted this numerous times:

    Do not crowd any of the grill racks in the MES or other smokers.

    If you cover a rack with foil, foil pans, meat, or anything else that will stop the flow of heat, you will have problems.

    One of them could be that if you block a rack above the heat sensor, the food above that rack will not get hot, but the area below that rack will reach your set point, and shut the element down.

    If you block a rack below the sensor, the sensor will keep calling for heat, and the area below the blocked rack will keep getting hotter & hotter, and could cause an unsafe situation!!!

    The only thing I cover with foil is the floor (or drip pan if you're using it), my deflector plate, and my empty water pan.

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  3. I ran into that problem once when I used to big of a drip pan. It doesn't allow the heat to rise.

    Happy smoken.

  4. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Maybe I'm not picturing your situation mentally properly because I foiled my bottom most drip pan (bottom of the smoker, under everything and drains into the rear catcher even though I've never had to drain it) and I don't have those issues.
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL... seems to be a right of passage with the MES40. I had an aluminum pan on the bottom rack that allowed very little passage. I don't remember if when I was 'complaining' (I said that nice), if it was Bear or Mule that asked about the pan and my smoke and recovery times I was bitching complaining about.....LOL

    Then I tryed adding a huge heat sink which was as big as the grate......  I R Not no dumby after 2 times I caught on.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  6. wnc goater

    wnc goater Fire Starter

    The pan you describe is below the heating element.  Above the heating element and chip pan is another drip pan that is tilted to the left so anything drains into the water pan. (In Bearcarver's post above he calls it a deflector plate)  THAT is what stuff really bakes on to.  I covered that and the water pan opening with a piece of foil but apparently it just deflected and reflected the heat downward.

    The large pan on the very bottom shouldn't be much of an issue to clean, being beneath the heat.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  7. wnc goater

    wnc goater Fire Starter

     Wish I would have seen this before but had no reason to go searching for it until I had the issues.  Good advice.  No biggie though, I'm learning a lot and I'll just put this in the lessons learned basket.  Only lost a chicken and a few wings so it could have been worse.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Covering the drip pan on the bottom is no problem, and wrapping the water pan above the heating element is no problem.

    The problem would be if you cover anything above the heating element too completely.

    Actually the pan above the element is the water pan, and I wasn't talking about the Gen #2 slanted drip plate. When I said I cover my deflector plate, I was talking about a plate that didn't come with my Gen #1.

    You got all the other things correct.

    Sorry about your Chicken & Wings.

  9. wnc goater

    wnc goater Fire Starter

     Ah well, the chicken and wings were no great loss.  Live and learn. Thanks for your help!

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