Anyone ever make a side fire box for a MES?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by xsists, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. xsists

    xsists Smoke Blower

    Well I'm smoking today with my MES 40 and I'm on the cusp of building my first UDS.  Just sitting here thinking, has anyone ever made a side fire box for this thing?  I know we have the smoke daddy and the AMAZEN smoker but I'm thinking about building a large fire box and plumb it to the chip tray opening.  This would be for the heat and the smoke, use it instead of electric.  It might be a dumb idea because it just works so well with electric but I want to test with the flavor of charcoal.  Just wondering if anyone has ever tried this?
  2. smokinal

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

    I think you may have a problem, because the chip holder hole is so small. You would have to have some kind of fan blowing the smoke & heat into the MES. If you are already going to build a UDS that seems like the best option if your looking for charcoal/wood flavor.
  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I actually have a couple prototypes that I made, but abandoned the idea when I created the A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER.

    For cold smoking it would work OK, but for hot smoking it did not work well at all.  There seems to be a sort of "Air Curtain" that's created because of the proximity of the heating element to the opening.  Also, there are only (3) 1/4" holes in the end of the chip pan housing, and this is not adequate for proper intake air.

    Erain used an external wood stove to create his fire, and then pumped it into his MES.  The tubing has to be long enough to cool the smoke, if you're cold smoking, but the condensing smoke does cause creosote build up.

    I messed around with my "MES Offset" for hundreds of hours, and it just did not perform consistently.  I still have the prototypes, but have mostly abandoned the idea.

  4. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You mean something like this? 


    This is the SFB mod I made to my GOSM, coincidentally, on the same quest for the taste of charcoal, etc, etc.  It works, kinda sorta.  The hole size would be a very limiting factor.  I got away with it because the side vent on a GOSM is almost the same size as the vent on the SFB.  The SFB mod really works for me in a capacity that didn't exist when I made the mod. To wit,  Todd's introduction of the AMNS and AMNPS (much later).  I place the AMNPS and AMNS in the SFB next to the vent leading to the GOSM.  Yes, I can use the AMNS/AMNPS in the smoke chamber of the GOSM, it's just handy to use the SFB.  Using charcoal in the SFB for the "flavor" is a steep learning curve.  The capacity of the SFB isn't really adequate for a long unattended hot smoke.

    Todd and many of his beta testers use the MES and have come up with a very successful method of using the AMNS/AMNPS in the MES.  This might be a better route for you.  The MES isn't exactly a cheap unit to make all the willie nillie mods I made to the GOSM.  Charcoal flavor?  I bought a Weber 22.5" One Touch Gold and you don't want to know all the supplementary equipment available to modify the Weber to make it a clone of the WSM.  But then I like to tinker and am not really satisified with something as's more of a case of:  what would happen if I?

    Good luck in your search to satisfaction though.  If you're of a mind to, don't let me dissuade you from the search though.  Your answer is out there somewhere.

  5. If you have to ad a fire box or an amazn then you are waisting you cash on this unit..

  6. xsists

    xsists Smoke Blower

    I already own this unit and love it for easy smokes and winter smoking.  I just want to experiment with different types of smoking and flavors.
  7. i love the charcoal flavor also, get a small meatloaf pan, and drop two pieces of lit lump in it, about every two hours, same effect
  8. BTW....use to much and you will help burn up that wiring a little early
  9. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Guess I better get 1,500 refund checks ready.....Not!!!

    Since you already own a MES, PM me and I'll send you some pics of the MES Offset Box I made.  If you're set on making one, I'll help you out.


    Placing a couple chunks of charcoal in your chip pan may help, but the increase in heat with a load of charcoal will definitely overheat your MES.  If you really want to try using charcoal for smoking, why not find a used Weber Kettle Grill for cheap?  I found a Weber Platinum for cheap on Craigslist, just so I can grill/smoke with charcoal.

    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  10. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Just because you have a hatred for the MES doesn't give you carte blanche to slam remarks associated with one.  This isn't the only thread where you've demonstrated your dislike of the MES.  Have you ever owned one?  If so, was it a POC?  If so, do you therefore condemn all of them because of your bad luck in getting the lemon in the pile?  There are many happy users of MES units that are very satisfied with their smokers.  I don't own one, but I do personally know a couple of guys who do own one.  They're happy.  Why not lighten up?  This is America, it's built on the principle of different strokes for different folks.  That even includes the choice of smokers.

    Wait, Wait, hold the don't say specifically what unit you're slamming.  Since the remarks are directly below the picture of the mods I made to my GOSM, perhaps you're slamming me.  Are you referring to my GOSM????? 
  11. I in no way shape or form was attacking you or yours. In fact i liked your ingenuity on another Mod (Fix) for the mes.

    I imagine they are great BBQ oven but the price is way out of my league. I did want to get one but this forum has convinced me not to what with all the changes and fixes that have to be done to them. I do not know who owns the company but after Todd's reply i am assuming that he does. Your correct this is America and i do have the right (carte blanche) you called it to voice my opinion.

    I also am wondering if you own part of the comp??  I am not being snide i just do not under stand what makes one product off limits but not another. 

    And i did say Specifically what unit and my reasoning for it.

    I think you did a great job.  If it was a yaeger grill i would have said the cost was just to much.

    Again i am sorry you took my critique of the mes personnel.

  12. Todd i am confused. Why would you have to get refund checks ready??

    From what i read you have a great product there.

    I was talking about the mes not the Amazn smoker.


  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No, I don't have an interest, ownership or even an affiliation with Masterbuilt.

    I'm just a guy who had an idea and followed thru with it.

    The Original Poster(OP) was trying to to get some help with making a side box for his MES, without having to purchase an AMNS or a Smoke Daddy.

    Guys on the forum steped up to offer help, not criticism. 

    What you did was "Hijack" his thread with your own opinions.

    For all you know, he may have just purchased his MES, you just don't know!?!?!?

    When you reply to another members post, always remember that there are real human beings behind the other computer screens, and though you may not intentionally try to offend them, your words sometimes do.

  14. Xsists

    As Todd pointed out my reply was off topic. I Hope you get your MES up and running according to what you want to do with it.

    To be honest i only read Dave's reply and not the original post. Sorry.

    Take care and happy Schmoken.

  15. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    It's easy to do

    We're all on the same team here!


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