Wood Chips Burn Tooo Fast!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by smokin'k, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. Hello- I'm getting better with my MES 30, but still have a problem. The chips I put in last all of about 20 minutes before the smoke stops... If I add chips on top of the "black ones" with the chip dispensor,they don't seem to smoke much. So here I am, every 30 minutes opening the door, pulling out the tray so I can empty it and add new chips. I know I'm doing something wrong. Any ideas? Thanks.
  2. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    double wrap em in foil, and poke holes in the top to let smoke out.......this decreases the amount of O2 down, to prevent from smoking up too fast.....this is why i moved from chips to chunks, they last longer
  3. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I assume your MES has a chiploader? Just twist the loader a few times to make sure they are making contact with the heat. You shouldn't have anything but white ash in the pan. You also shouldn't have to pull the tray out. Sometimes I do 2 smokes before emptying it, I have the 40' MES, I think it is the same except for the size..

    Good luck hope this helps.
  4. ncdodave

    ncdodave Smoking Fanatic

    i had the same problem with my little chief somkers going through a pan full of smoke chips in about 45 minutes. so I found a couple more pans and i fill the pan full of chipc then double fold aluminum foil for a lid and crimp it tightly around the edges of the pan. I punch 3 holes in the foil and I get a nice 2 to 3 hour smoke out of one pan and its not a heavy smoke but its much lighter. better smokes are the result!
  5. Sounds like great ideas! What's this I read about putting lava rocks on the elements then putting the wrapped foil chips on the rocks? How does that work? You guys are full of great ideas.. Fill me in on the details, please.
  6. I've got the 30" MES.

    Lava rocks? Nah, not needed at all..........chips are good to start the smoke, I add 1/2 a tube of chips, then several chunks on top of the chips. Chunks burn much better and longer, maybe soak some of your chips in water for 1/2 hour.

    PM me if you need alder or maple chunks. Glad to help you out.
  7. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm with WD on this one.
  8. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You need to rotate the wood/tray/tube and this will dump the wood chips onto the heat elements, the chips/chunks will burn down to ash.

    I'm another MES owner - 40". You shouldn't need to do anything special, no foil is required in fact it will cause problems with the MES, the same with any lava rocks. There simply isn't any room in the small heating element/wood chamber.

    The wood tray/tube, can hold about about 2 cups of wood chips, personally I only use about 2/3 cup at a time, the owners manual says use no more than one cup.

    Currently I start with a 2/3 cup of wet wood chips, after they get going I then pull the wood/tray/tube out and put in a couple of wood chunks and replace the tube. The reason I pull the tube, if you load chunks that may be too big when dumped they may jam and prevent the tube from being able to pull out. I get around 1 hour of visible smoke this way. Notice the word visible, there is residual smoke still in the chamber even though the wood is consumed, the ash is still smoldering and the cooking area is most likely filled with smoke. I allow about 30 minutes for residual smoke to still be flavoring the meat, so on my 2/3 cup wood chip then 2 or 3 wood chunks I get about 1.5 hours of smoking, however I try to add either more chunks or chips every hour or so. You have to be careful about putting too much wood in the MES and generating creosote.
  9. davenh

    davenh Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I like your thoughts about leaving the load tube out, but this maybe why you are getting a creosote taste. The load tube limits the air intake so the wood doesn't catch fire. If it tries to burn the O2 gets used up and then it goes out, back to smoldering. Without the tube in, the fire gets plenty of air to keep burning and sending up the soot. If you make a cover plate for the load hole with 3- 3/8 holes (like the tube has) your creosote problem might go away. I might do this on mine [​IMG]. The load tube does kinda get in the way with briquettes and chunks.
  10. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Dave, I don't leave the tube out. I was describing my procedure to add either chuncks or briquets, I take the tube out before adding either chunks or briquets, then reinsert tube. Reason is I have chunks that may or may not fit in the tray easily and so rather than trim I can put them in with tongs and move them, and usually the tube reinserts fine, but if not careful it will jam, i'm trying to prevent the jamming. The creosote problem is from adding too much wood both chips and chunks, if not careful adding too much will produce a either a dark smoke or very heavy white smoke that results in the creosote taste.

    I think you remember an earlier post about a possible mod to the MES to fashion a cover for the tube hole. In fact after the descussion about "smoke ring" that modification might be even more valid. Creating a cover with adjustable inlet air vent, allowing more inlet air to create a hotter fire. Hotter fire > NO2.
  11. davenh

    davenh Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Aaah..ok..got you [​IMG]. I do like the possibility of just pulling a vent plug and tossing in a good sized chunk and a few briquettes.

    Thinking a bigger chunk would burn longer and more consistent, something taller than the load tube will allow.

    Doing a Pork Loin tomorrow in the MES and going to up the charcoal load to see if the ring gets better, I'll post results in your discussion post. [​IMG].

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