Avoid Temp Swings in MES (By Bear)

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bearcarver, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Mummel, I'm not Bear but I've recently had this discussion with Jted and with Bear. Jted said that at about the 3-hour mark the temp should more or less stabilize (I'm really paraphrasing his words here) and from my personal experience I agree with him. In fact, after that point I've seen the controller remain at the set point--with a few degrees either way--for the rest of the smoke. Remember that I've got a MES 30 Gen 1. Your experience with your smoker may be different, especially if you have a MES 40 and a different generation. But this is what I've observed the past 5 times or so I've smoked.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  2. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've made a management decision. Instead of waiting for you or someone else to bump this post I'm copy/pasting the text to a Word doc and saving it to my hard drive. This is tremendously helpful info and using my method I'll always know where it is. I hope to hell that you haven't copyrighted it...

    Cheers, Bear! [​IMG]
  3. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Thanks.  Yeah 3 hours would be really insane to get stable temps.  I could live with 30min, but 3 hours in you're basically done with your ribs.  I need to document the swings in my MES 40 next time.  This is where that iGrill chart would come in really handy.
  4. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I smoke my ribs for 6 hours. At a set point between 225-235° no way would they be done in my smoker in 3 hours. But if you're smoking at 250° and higher that would speed things up.

    It could also be two hours when the temp stabilizes. I'll take a definitive stand and say 2-3 hours just to be safe. No fewer nor more than that, from my observation.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No problem Rick---I wasn't mad at you for kidding around, because I know your sense of humor. I was a little disappointed that when you mentioned in a PM about using my Step by Step on Prime Rib for single steaks, I said NO----that temp's only for roasts---Use about 150° or it will get done too soon, and you missed that, and went right to 250°.

    Without doing anything, it's hard to say, because of a lot of variables, plus it's been a long time since I started this method. I just never posted it, because maybe somebody would bring other things into the thread & get it all botched up. Imagine me thinking that.

    The only answer I can give you from my recent memory is if you use my method it will cut those swings down to very little time.


    BTW Guys: Sorry it took awhile to get back to you guys, but I had a Dr Appointment 15 miles away, and now we got a serious thunder storm & Tornado threats until 7 PM.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks DS !!

    I think you'll like the way it works.

  7. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    We also had tornado warnings up here in Mass.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup I saw that !!

    There was a Box that contained most of PA, and another one that contained most of NY City & most of New England.

    It's kinda rare for us to get Tornadoes around here---Knock on wood!!

  9. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Bear, here are my findings:

    -ambient temp of 63F with 71% RH

    -set smoker to 215F

    -when my Maverick hit 215F, I turned off the smoker (the MES display said it was at 195F, thats a huge diffs..... explains a lot of the over swing in the beginning, as it vastly overheats)

    -the temps on my Mav topped out at 235F

    -quickly turned on my smoker again and set it to 225F, smoker temp said 205F

    -smoker continued to them heat until 225F, and my Mav said the temps were 255F at this point

    -heat then coasted until smoker temp was 236F and Mav said 264F (a big diffs)

    -I then opened the door to put the BCBs in, smoker temp dropped to 220F with Mav saying 212F

    -it took 2 minuted for my Mav temps to hit 225 from 212F (not bad at all)

    -Smoker temp was back to 225F 6 minutes later, then Mav temp said 250F

    Im currently watching the temps and I must say, it probably takes a good 1h for the temps to stabilize.  The MES cooks at WAAAAYYYY too high temps in the beginning of your smoke.  Preheating and babying the temps seems like a prerequisite before putting in your meat. 

    1 hour later = Mav temp topping out at 253F and bottoming out at 212F with the smoker temp set to 225F.  Still cooking on the high side.

    Bear whats the best way to stop the MES from cooking your meat at too high temps for the first 1.5 hours?  Maybe set the smoker to 215F for the first hour?  Then bump it up to 225F?  The other day I set my smoker to 225F, put in my AMPS, turned it on, and went to the store.  I can only imagine my ribs cooking at 300F for first 30 minutes.....  What the heck! 
  10. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    Mummel, what was the location of your Maveric probe?
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  11. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Right next to the MES probe :(
  12. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    Do you mean the heat probe that hangs on the left side of rack three? Or the button sensor that sits above rack four? I have always seen a huge difference between the display temperature and the meat probe temperature. Doesn't make sense. Next time I started I think I'll place the meat probe right next to that button sensor and see what the difference is.
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would do what I explained in my Post #1 of this thread.

    And also---Always set your MES to whatever it takes to get your Maverick to read the temp you want to smoke at.

    One question for you--------Why would you turn your MES off during a smoke??

  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The thing that looks like a toggle switch on the back wall is the MES smoker temp sensor.

    I never use my built in MES meat probe as a smoker temp measuring device. It's always a lot different than any of my other probes, probably because it was designed to be inside a piece of meat.

    However I don't use that one for anything, because it's kinda hard to do a boiling test with it. LOL---I don't want to carry my smoker to my kitchen, and I don't want to carry my kitchen stove to my front porch---Besides--The 220V line is too short.

    The only thing I use the MES read-out is to set the temp. Then I adjust that until my Maverick reads what I want. I wouldn't trust any of the MES readings---Or any other Built in Smoker temp readings.

  15. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    I am doing an experiment right now. I placed the meat probe, my Maverick meat probe and my Maverick cooker probe all as close to the MES cooker sensor as possible.

    Then I turned the unit on set at 225. I think I already see the problem, but will watch it through a couple more cycles, then report my findings.

    This is fun,
  16. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Im talking about the button sensor.  I put my Maverick right next to it. 
  17. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I had to turn it off because my Maverick said 225F while my smoker said 195F.  If I had left the smoker run to 225F, it probably would have read 295F on my Maverick.  The bottom line is that the MES has some serious temp swing flaws for the first ~1 hour.  If you know this you can adjust, but just putting your meat in and starting it would be a really bad idea.  At 1.5 hours today my temps were fair (210F - 250F).  But Masterbuilt needs improve their temp technology IMHO.  This is a big thumbs down.
  18. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    It looks like your button sensor has creosote.  You may need to clean it.
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That won't work too good----I believe that button in your picture is the safety heat sensor.

    The one that looks like a toggle switch is the one that is used for the heat regulation.

  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    So why not turn it down??? I only ever turn mine off when I'm quitting.


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