Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by deer trail, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. deer trail

    deer trail Fire Starter

    i have a master electric smokehouse, i have an aweful time keeping the thing smoking. I pre heat on the temp. specified 165 for smoking hotdogs, for 30 mins. than i put the wood chips in and wait for ever for them to smoke. iam going to pre-heat to 275 max. and than put the wood chip in once and if they start smoking put darn meat in turn the temp. down to 165, will the wood still smoke at the temp.(165) well what do you guys and gales think, is it a plan? One more thing, does anyone know what the temp. is when wood will start smoking? Well iam open to any suggestions

  2. pantherfan83

    pantherfan83 Smoking Fanatic

    Is in an MES? 30" or 40"? What wattage is the element? The unit does work correctly, right? I mean you set the temp and it comes up to that temp?

    I have no problem getting smoke even on settings as low as 125. Any time the element is on, it should smoke. Are you using chips, chunks, pellets, or what? Are you pre-soaking them? I've used both, but prefer chunks, because you don't have to re-fill as often. I also do not soak them.

    Someone else had a similar problem and I think they discovered they weren't putting their chip tray in correctly.
  3. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    The first time I used my 30" MES I didn't understand you need to rotate the chip loader to dump the chips on the tray. So they smoked a little. Instructions a bit vague.
  4. marty catka

    marty catka Meat Mopper

    Like Chainsaw says, you gotta dump the chips into the chip drawer. LOL. But seriously, it is difficult to get smoke below 200 degrees. Conversation I had with MES Customer Service informed me that the unit with the 800 watt element wasn't designed to smoke below 200.

    You got the right idea, crank that baby up to 275 for your warm up. You can drop down to your cooking temp and add your wood chips. You may have to crack door open to get element heating up again. One thing I have noticed is that the chip drawer does not sit close enough to the element to smoke at lower temps. I made a makeshift drawer for mine to sit on the bottom plate of the drawer slide. Still some space between that and the element. Now I get smoke no matter what.
    Before this, previous attempt at jerky (160 degrees) I would have to crack open door and put a remote therm inside to monitor temps.
  5. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I disagree. do not heat up to 275 and then drop down to 165 to smoke hot dogs.

    You will only generate smoke when the heating element is on. You do not want your thermal mass that high, or you will have less time for the heating element to stay on.

    At those low temps you will need to keep the air moving unless its very cold out.

    Keep the damper completely open. Set the chip tray ajar a little. Maybe have to keep the door cracked. good luck.
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    werdwolf has it right,
    It's not the temperature that makes the wood in your MES smoke, it's whether or not your element is on for any amount at a time. When your temp is increasing, your element is on, causing your wood to smoke. If you go all the way up to 275*, and then put wood chips or chunks in, and then turn it down to 165*, you won't get any smoke until your smoker drops below 165*, and starts coming back up.
    If you want a lot of smoke from an MES, without using a smoke generator, do it the way I like to do it:
    Put chips in.
    Set at 100*
    It will smoke a lot, because the element is on the whole time.
    When it stops smoking, bump it to 120*.
    It will smoke a lot again, as long as you have chips in.
    When it stops smoking, bump it to 140*.
    Keep doing this until you get to the temp you want to be at.

    This is the method I use when I don't want to cook the meat, like bacon, & fish.

    If you're smoking something that has to get to 140* internal in 4 hours, you may not be able to do this. But if that was the case, you shouldn't have trouble getting an MES to smoke at higher temps.

    Hope this helps,
  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Break 2 charcoal briquets in half and light. place these in chip tray and then add chips. the charcoal will lite the chips and cause smoke no mattr the temp of your smoker. may need 3 briquettes.

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