40" MES question: Glazed ceramic or slate tile ok?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jak757, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Greetings all!  I have a new 40" MES I'm going to set up and season today.  I went to Home Depot to pick up a 12X12 tile to use as a heat deflector as suggested here.

    I looked for an unglazed ceramic tile, but they said the only ones they carry are glazed, the only non-glazed tiles they carry are stone.  So I picked up one 12X12 glazed ceramic and a 12X12 slate tile.  Not sure which (if either) I should use.

    Do you think there are any concerns about the glazed ceramic?  The slate is unglazed, but it's much ticker and heavier -- not sure if it will cause any issues with the mass.  But then, perhaps it would make for a good heat sink.  Anyone have any thoughts?

    As long as all goes well I'll have it seasoned today, and thinking about doing a rib roast tomorrow, using my AMNS to supply the smoke.  Qview to follow.....

    Any input is appreciated!!
  2. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Either one should work just fine...
  3. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Thanks Beer-B-Q, I appreciate the input.  

    No rib roasts at the store today....looks like the maiden voyage for my new MES will be a nice little 6 1/2 lb brisket I picked up at Sams today.

    Looking forward to dinner tomorrow!
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I've had better luck with a piece of aluminum sheet.

    I also lift the left side up, to persuade the heat to take a detour around the metal or tile deflector, and up the middle of the smoker, where it belongs.

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  5. tromaron

    tromaron Meat Mopper

    I ran into the same problem at Home Depot.  Got a piece of slate, & it cracked in half on my first smoke.  Went with a 12x12 glazed tile after that & it's been working great.
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm with Bear on this one!
  7. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have 2 6X6 pieces of slate in mine...no problemo...

  8. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I went with the ceramic tile for the first smoke today.  I think I'll follow Bear's suggestion on the metal, makes sense having the left side lifted to direct the smoke.  Any suggestions on the thickness of the aluminum?  

    Threat of rain had me start late.  The brisket didn't go on until 8:00.  The sun is shining now and the AMNS is throwing off the sweetest smelling TBS....a beautiful thing!

    I think I'll thrown in a chicken later to make sure we have something for dinner tonight.  Brisket will be just fine for lunch and dinner tomorrow!
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Whatever you have handy. Any thickness should be alright, as long as it's thick enough to stay stiff. The stuff I use I get free. It's left over from cell phone antenna tower cable tray covers. I get it in 2' by 10' pieces and do all kinds of things with it. It's about perfect for this job. It's about the same thickness as a license plate. For my MES 40, I cut it about 9" or 10" wide, by just shy of the full interior depth. I put it on top of the right side of the water pan, jammed tight in the back right corner, tilted up on the left. Up there it won't trap the heat under it, and tilted, it will send the heat over to the middle.

  10. Bear, can you post a picture of the setup?
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I had other pics in here, because I didn't have a good one like this one.

    Now I took a picture "Below", and deleted the other 3.

    This pic shows how I have my MES 40 set up.

    The aluminum plate is 9" X 12", and I tilt the left side upward.

    This makes the heat move from the right side to the middle.

    Then it goes up the middle, instead of up the right side & out the Exhaust.

    You can also see where I always put my AMNS & my AMNPS.


    I hope I covered everything people wondered about.

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  12. Thanks! Looks great!
  13. So Bear,

    The tile, or in your case, the piece of angled metal, is to take the heat and displace it so that the rear right hot spot is reduced?
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes, it just kinda stops the heat from going straight up to the exhaust outlet. Then tilting it up on the left side helps encourage it to not hang around under that plate, and causes it to move to the left. Then once it gets beyond the left end of that metal plate, it rises, but by then it is in the middle of the smoker.

    I'm not big on making mods on my stuff, but if I was, I would remove the exhaust from the right side of the MES (up top), close that hole off, and put that same exhaust unit in the top left. This would mean the heat would have to go from the bottom right of the smoker to the top left, to get to the exhaust. It would have to cross inside the smoker-----Where the freakin' meat is !!!!!  [​IMG]

  15. But doesn't that make the drippings go to the right and not in the pan? 

    Should the pan be on top? 

    Also how did you support the sheet to raise it?
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No room under the pan. Leave the water pan where it is. If you're making something that drips a lot, put a foil pan on a rack above the tilted plate.

    I just took a piece of the same aluminum, bent it to the right size "V", and put it in the water pan upside down. The plate rests on that "V".

    I can adjust the amount of tilt of the plate by sliding the "V" left or right.

    This thread is 2 1/2 years old, so it must work good, because I still use it the same way. [​IMG]

  17. Thanks Bear, I'm working on it!

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