Anyone use wood pellets in their MES?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bikes blues bbq, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I advise you not to worry about a PID controller. The controller on the MES isn't the greatest but that's why we use highly accurate thermometers like the Maverick ET-732 or 732--and there are other brands just as good. If and when the controller goes out on my MES I'll just buy a replacement from MB because I don't want to go through the hassle of dealing with wiring an aftermarket controller which might required drilling holes in the back of my MES. I like to keep it easy and simple. I've gotten great results from my MES in its factory configuration using the AMNPS.

    Right now, Susie, I suggest you do the same: learn the smoking basics on your MES as it arrives from the factory, but use the AMNPS instead of putting wood chips in the wood chip loader. Learn about cuts of meat and seasonings and rubs and sauces. Learn some basic techniques and build from there. Get some recipes online and buy a couple of smoking books. I guarantee that within a few months you will be amazed by the quality of the Q you'll be putting on the table and you will get raves from it from the lucky people eating your barbecue.
  2. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My intent was not to get into an argument with you. You took it as my insulting your intelligence, which wasn't the case. You brought up the negatives of the AMNPS based on reviews you'd read but with no personal experience. My comment on this was factual and entirely justified. You took it personally is all.

    As for the MB Cold Smoker, yes, I don't one one but here's the description in an ad: "Continuous-feed wood chip system provides up to 6 hours of constant, consistent smoke." Is that a motorized feed or a gravity feed system? If the electricity is used to power the heating element then, for me, I wouldn't want a separate heating element to be concerned about, but again that's for me. If I was wrong about a motorized feeder than I apologize. If I offended you I also apologize.

    It's great that you've got your system set up in a way that works for you; this is what all of us are doing. But in Susie's who has a limited amount of money to spend on setting herself up and has already bought the AMNPS, I'm advising her that she already has what she needs and there's no need to start returning things for refunds just to spend additional money on other accessories or controllers or whatever. She's just starting out and already she appears to be overwhelmed. I'm just trying to walk her back and get her comfortable with what she already has.
  3. bandcollector

    bandcollector Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yikes Guys!

    Happy New Year. 
  4. lanshark42

    lanshark42 Fire Starter

    To clarify, the MES cold-smoker kit DOES NOT have an "electrical-powered feeder". (Obviously, you don't own one, and maybe should follow your own advice?)  [​IMG]     Its wood chips are gravity-fed.  It requires minimal electricity for the coil used to heat the wood chips.  There is no electric motor in it.  As for me, I have PLENTY of space on my stand (that I found instructions for on this site) and plenty of power on my deck to supply all the electricity my smoker and its gadgets need. The kit was a SNAP to install, and works exactly as I had hoped it would.

    As with almost any hobby, (and aren't we ALL hobbyists, since we like smoking so much we belong to a forum dedicated to it) there are very few absolutes and always many ways to achieve satisfactory results.  I appreciate Mr. Bear's expertise, experience and willingness to help.  He has helped me more than once.  But his methods are not the ONLY way to be successful in smoking.  To imply otherwise is a disservice to anyone new to the hobby or looking for an alternative solution to a problem.  

    I certainly can appreciate the FIERCE loyalty and defense Todd and his products engender.  But his is NOT the only viable solution when it comes to cold smoking or just adding additional smoke duration to an MES smoker.  I'll say it again:

  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah--Sure----Unless you go back to post #203, where you stated the first of this discussion, by saying:

    Quite frankly, I don't understand why more MES owners don't use the Masterbuilt Cold Smoker kit. I've had one for a while and it solved all my Masterbuilt smoking issues. It works great for both cold and hot smoking as well as provide hours of smoke with one load.

    Your opening statement seems to me to be saying that Your way is better, and all the MES owners are doing it wrong in using the AMNPS, because you can get both hot & cold smoking as well as hours of smoke with one load. You don't seem to know that that's what the AMNPS does.

    I wasn't coming back into this, but now you want to blame "daRicksta" for starting this thing between the AMNPS & the Masterbuilt cold smoker.

    They're both Great, so you use yours & others will use theirs.

    It's as simple as that.

    And don't think I don't notice your little wise comments on other threads trying to drag me into a fight. Been there Done that.

  6. tjohnson

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


    I've followed this thread long enough, and have to jump in.

    December marks our 5th anniversary, and I can tell you NOBODY has as many hours on a MES as I have in my log books!

    I personally own 4 of them, along with 3 pellet grills and a number of other smokers I use for testing my gadgets.  Last count, I have 13 smokers in my herd.

    There were many days where I had 3-4 MES running 24 hours, testing my gadgets and different sawdust and/or pellets.

    For tundarum to make a claim that external smoker generators are the only method that's acceptable, is totally wrong!

    It may be true that some commercial smokers may use an external smoke generator, but not all or them do.  Many are fueled with wood for both heat and smoke.  Old Hickory Smokers use both gas and wood.  Fast Eddy's uses pellets for both smoke and heat.   Last time I checked, Famous Dave's Restaurants up here in the Midwest uses wood inside their smokers to provide the smoke.  So, don't profess you are the know all of smoke generators, when you have not even scratched the surface.

    I've worked with a number of manufacturers in designing a way to use my gadgets INSIDE their smokers.  Not a single one of these manufactures uses an external smoke generator.

    Smoke is Smoke

    Where you create it is immaterial

    How you create it is the better question!

    Moisture and lack of oxygen contribute to creosote and other chemicals contaminating your food

    You need 3 things to create fire

     - Fuel

     - Oxygen

     - Ignition Source

    Take away any one of these and you cannot produce fire

    Without fire, you cannot produce smoke

    Take away the oxygen, and you have wood gasification, with the end result that you made charcoal

    We make GREAT Products, and I stand by them 100%!!!

    Todd Johnson

    Owner - A-MAZE-N Products
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
    daricksta and bearcarver like this.
  7. lanshark42

    lanshark42 Fire Starter

    Hmmmmmm...  What a shame you don't have enough confidence in your product to speak only on it's merits, but have to take pokes at your competition.  That speaks volumes....
  8. bandcollector

    bandcollector Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Pokes at competitors? 

    Hmmmmmm....Seems as though Todd has done enough research and experimentation to appreciate that his competitors had to come up with something to assist their customers as well as his products have!

    Happy New Year All,  John
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  9. tjohnson

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

    Now that's the truth!

    We've been at this for 5 years because I figured out a way to capitalize on the shortfalls of every electric smoker, not just the Masterbuilt.

    I invented my first gadget because I was tired of throwing chips in my Masterbuilt every 30 minutes.  Besides, I had a real job during the day, and I did not have the luxury of sitting around and watching my MES cook my food.   I just knew there was a better way

    FYI....I still have my original MES that I purchased in November 2009 and it works flawlessly!

    I own 2 patents and a 3rd one will be issued shortly.

    I have enough confidence to take a crazy idea, and take it to market.

    I have plenty of confidence sir!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  10. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    The next insult hurled in this thread will be your last on this site if you can't debate things without insults then don't comment at all
  11. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    This is a family friendly site friendly being one of the key words we don't all agree on everything but we keep it civil if you can't do that then I suggest you find another site to post on because your not going to last here.

    It never ceases to amaze me when people think their way and their setup is the best there is and there is no other way but their way. Guess what you are full of crap there are many ways of doing things and yours isn't the only way.

    Now on to Todd and Amazen Products they are a site sponsor and will be treated accordingly if you don't like their products that's fine with Admin and I'm sure is fine with Todd and Rhonda but don't insult or down them on this site. If you think you have a better product that you use that's fine mention it (don't post a commercial link unless they are a sponsor) and maybe some people will agree with you.
  12. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    And 1 more thing to add to this is the original topic. This conversation had gone way off course from the original questions that was asked.

    Please keep that in mind when going down these roads. You can always create your own thread and not derail the original.
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

     I have to add a caution here...DO NOT Smoke any Sausage at a temp less than 225°F if it does not contain a Nitrite Cure. Further more, there are exceptions that require an extensive knowledge of Safe Food Handling and Traditional Curing Techniques but the same 225°F smoker temp applies to all meats that are not cured. 

    Susieqz, You made the right choice coming here and we are happy to have you. SMF is the only site that welcomes newbies with tons of questions, free of ridicule, and most here will bend over backwards to help you get going. From following this thread, I can see you are excited about our Art and want to hit the ground running. That's great but you need to WALK before you run. Dave's Dimmer Mod is inexpensive, well designed and will make your model MES work well, add it. The AMNPS was designed for the MES, is inexpensive and works flawlessly. Get a good Thermometer like the MAV 732/733 or other if you didn't already. Beyond that please slow down. Learn the smoker, Learn how to make great smoked meat, Chicken and Pork are good starters, then get into the Sausage and Curing side of what we do. These advanced meat preparations and smoking techniques can make you very sick or even dead if not done properly. I and many others here have been Smoking and Curing meat 25+ years and WE ALL still learn new things from each other and spend countless hours researching before trying new preparations and techniques. You are most welcome here. Be safe and start enjoying what you have before spending hundreds of dollars more. I hope this is helpful...JJ
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Todd has competition? As far as I'm concerned, he has none.
  15. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Gee, Bear, this used to be such a friendly place. Wonder why some people don't get that they don't have to post the first comment they type and if they choose to do so out of rashness, the Edit button can make that comment all better and friendly. Thanks for stepping in but I wasn't having any part of a tussle here; I have adequate self-control to prevent such behavior. OK, I was wrong about how the MB Cold Smoker worked, I admitted it, apologized and moved on. No big deal.

    I think you and I might have differed in opinions on smoking technique or equipment a couple of times but we kept it civil. I've never read you put down anything anyone else is using or doing. You remain one of my "go-to" guys for info and I recommend you to newbies.

    Yeah, we all have our own equipment and smoking technique preferences, and some of us think we know more than the other guy. When I talk about the AMNPS, I never claim it's better than the Cold Smoker; I am very clear on why I prefer the AMNPS over the Cold Smoker for me. OK, someone else can fit both an MES and the cold smoker on one cart; that's fine for them but it won't work for me. The Cold Smoker may not draw much wattage but the AMNPS draws none at all. Again, this is what works for and is important to me.

    I've seen two threads get ugly in this forum because some people don't edit themselves before they post and refuse to do it afterwards. This type of childish behavior needs to be kept off here. That's what Facebook is for...[​IMG]
    tjohnson and bearcarver like this.
  16. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic


    i thot this thread was locked but since it isn't, thanks tons, jj.

    i'll be careful. but i gotta tell you, based on the ham i  cured, i'm gonna do lots of curing. it's really fun.

    i'll reserve low temp smoking for cured meats.

    safety warnings are important, because i was thinking of trying uncured meats under 200. now, i won't.
  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Since you're a real, full-fledged member of this group, Susie, you can't get away with merely telling us you cured a ham. What you need to tell us, well--me, is how you cured it; the ingredients you used for the cure, and the steps that you took including the cooking process. I've never cured meat and I know I can find online articles about it but I'd love to know how you did it.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  18. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    No problem, we love people like yourself that are passionate about smoking and curing. The powers that be keep me around to watch everybody's back. You will be great at this stuff in short order and someday be one of the valued Guru's. It is always a good idea to post a new plan for review, especially pulling some crazy recipe or technique off the web. Please don't hesitate to PM myself or another trusted member with any question or technique you would like to try...JJ
  19. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

     rick, i didn't think anyone would be interested in my efforts, but if you are, here goes.

    i wanted to use dave's method n sorta did, but i didn't have a metric scale so i had to approximate. plus my smoker won't get to the low temps he uses. still, my theory is that keeping temps under 212 will get close.

    anyway, i whipped up some of dave's cure, but added 4 cups of raw brown sugar because i never follow recipes. this turned out super. the ham had just a hint of sweetness.

    i plopped the ham in a turkey brining bag for 10 days. on day 3 i injected it because ups lost the first injector so i had amazon

     send another. i was trying to inject 10% of the ham's weight but it was my first time. it was messy n lots squirted out, but i kept at it, mostly adding lots around the bone  to prevent something called bone sour.

    i know some recipes call for  curing ham for a month but 10 days was perfect.

    i started the smoke just before bed, getting up every 2 hours to add pellets. turns out, this all nighter wasn't necessary, because an  8 1/2 lb half ham took only 12 hours. i'll start the next one in the morn.

    i can't tell you what temps i smoked at. i was trying for 180 but the traeger went crazy. the first 3 hours were at 190. the next 4 around 111, then it jumped to 365. i gave up n set it to 225 for the rest of the smoke, because that temp the  traeger will hold.

    it smoked for 12 hours n 15 minutes n the IT hit 170, lots higher than i wanted, but i fell  asleep.

     despite the problems, this was the best ham ever. i expected curing meat to be hard, but it was easy n fun fun fun. i enjoy curing as much as i do smoking.

    next week i'll start curing some pork loin to make pea meal bacon. when i added the extra sugar i had back bacon in mind anyway.

    you gotta try this.
  20. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks piney for taking controll of this thread. There were a few threads like this a while back that pushed me away from SMF for a couple months. Thanks also guys for keeping fairly cool heads when one of our own was being attacked. Also thanks Todd for all you do here at SMF and busting in with all the facts. Hope you all have a great 2015.

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