How Much is too MUch?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jumbalay35, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Hell all, I have a little query for you. I just bought a new MES 30' (all black model) the other day. I seasoned as per the instructions. At least I think I did. So after seasoning it, I decided to smoke a full chicken ( I butterflied it) and a threw some sausages on as well.

    Now when everything was done the sausages were perfectly cooked but were a lot blacker(not burnt) than normally smoked. The chicken was cooked through as well. But with both of the meats, they had an almost an over powering bitterly smokey taste to them.

    Now its key to point out that I threw the sausages and chicken on the grill just to crisp them up a little more,

    When I seasoned the unit, I only used the smoker refill tube on the right side of the unit, and did not use the smoker chip tray? could this be a reason as to why I had the bitter smokey taste to the chicken?

    As I was smoking I had the temp at about 240 and had it programmed for about 3-4 hours but had the dampener closed, I also re loaded the chip tray (with the chip tube) about 3 more times during this smoke. Is this too much to add

    what is the normal refill amount based on teh MES 30 for chicken

    I am planning on doing some ribs this weekend and do not want to have that bitter taste

    Any and all help is greatly appreciateted

  2. you did not mention what wood you used but closing down the damper might be part of the problem due to the smoke building and then going stale because it can not escape. the higher temp might have created an environment for excess condensation which can create creosote (that can cause taste issues).

    Keep On Smokin,

  3. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hello Jumbalay,

    First off, you should open up that exhaust damper...that alone could be the cause of the overpowering smoke taste.  You don't want the smoke to just sit in the want it to kiss the food as it flows through the smoker and exits out the exhaust.  It is recommended in an MES for most smokes to leave the exhaust wide open for proper air flow.

    Also, the type of wood chips you used, how often you re-loaded the chip tray, how much and what color smoke you saw coming from the smoker...these are all important questions to answer to determine what else could have contributed to the over-smoked meat.  All of these variables could be eliminated if you get a AMNPS.  This is a wood pellet-fueled smoke generator that will eliminate the need to re-load the wood chip tray over and over during a smoke...and it will produce perfect, thin blue smoke that will never over smoke your food.  If you want to check it out, go to:

    Hope that helps...

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  5. Yes I did use the refill tube to drop the chips in , what I meant is at the start I did not fill the bottom smoke tray at all with smoke chips, was I supposed to do that and not use the refill tube?
  6. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No, just dropping 1/4 cup from the tube is fine. You don't fill the tray.
    jumbalay35 likes this.
  7. @SeenRed thanks for the info I was looking at that and was going to get it but at 34.99 plus shipping at 54 dollars+ . The cost would be near 100 bucks (with the exchange as it is now) So I will have to hold off for now, before I can buy that one

    @Oregon Smoker thanks for the advice I most definitely think it was the dampener being closed I used Hickory wood chips as well. Does wood get stale? I had the chips since last summer, (sorry if it's a dumb question, I am still fairly new to the smoking game)

    Thanks guys I will try it again with the dampener open and will not load as much wood in the next time
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Chips can lose flavor or get off flavor but that takes a couple of years. Just a quick explanation...Smoke is basically made of several components. Among the many are, Gasses like Nitrogen Dioxide, Oils and Tars like Creosote and flavorsome Particulate Matter. In large quantities, NO2 gives that Pink Smoke Ring on the meat. In an Electric, the little bit of chips don't generate enough gas so no Ring that the Stick Burners like to see. The Particulate Matter gives a lot of the good flavor we want and accumulate over time. Many folks are happy with about 4 hours of smoke but most like to make smoke start to finish. The Creosote is our Enemy and gives that black color and bitter flavor. We get some of each component as we smoke but closing the Vent, causes these to build up to an excess, go stale, and give the meat a nasty taste. Heavy White Smoke has more of all these components and in small doses, 60 minutes is ok and useful but long term White smoke is bad news. Thin Blue/Gray Smoke or even a Sweet Smell but little to no visable smoke is what our goal is. TBS has the least amount of creosote and can give good flavor even over 20 hours or more. Adding lots of chips frequently makes White Smoke and close the Vent and you might as well use Driveway Sealer as BBQ Sauce!...JJ
  9. Hi Jumbalay
    Like you i just got my mes 30. Have you checked the amazn website for a dealer near you. The reason i ask is i live in Canada and found a local dealer on the website and bought the 12 inch tube locally for about $50 canadian if i remember corectly. Great device puts out just the right kind of smoke.
  10. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hey Jumbalay.

    Like they said, ALWAYS LEAVE THE VENT WIDE OPEN.  I have a MES 30 and never close the vent.  In fact, its been so long since it was closed that its stuck in the open position.

  11. siege

    siege Smoke Blower

    Here's the recap.... leave the vent wide open. Use less wood chips at one time than you think you need.
    If you lower the temperature a bit, you can run the smoke longer, then bump the temperature up towards the end. Use a remote thermometer to tell you when the food is done.
    Remember, the idea is to smoke the meat, not steam it. I always dry the food before it goes in the smoker, I never soak my wood chips, and never add water to the water pan in my MES30.
    We all learn as we go along, and it sounds like you will be producing some fine foods real soon ! Enjoy the journey, and the rewards.
    Also, and you may already know this, when cooking chicken with other foods, the chicken should be placed lowest in the smoker. This way raw chicken fluids don't drip down and possibly contaminate everything else. Be safe, and serve healthy meals.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  12. Those things can make great Q, butt an Amazen smoker of some sort is a must. I have an electric, not yours, but I had smokes like you describe. Just nasty.

    These things are very efficient, not need as much smoke and consequently not much wood. There are also issues with wood scorching as the element cycle on for any appreciable length of time. Scorched wood is rank stuff. The second solutions n is an Amazen smoker of some sort. The new expandable tube is the total bomb. Goes from around 11" to 18". I think. This will eliminate the scorching and the over smoking. Plop that puppy dog n the book to of you smoker and a
    Take out the chip tube for air flow and check back in a few hours.
  13. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Understood...I haven't been able to find the pics I've seen of this, and I can't remember who did this, but I recall a guy making a cheap DIY pellet smoking device out of a large kitchen strainer...the kind with a wire mesh basket.  I'll keep looking for the photo I saw to illustrate this, but basically the guy took the handle off the strainer and pushed the center of the mesh basket up until the whole thing was like a donut-shaped mesh ring.  Then he just filled the ring with pellets and used a torch to start the pellets smoldering on one side of the ring.  Worked on the same principle as the AMNPS, and didn't cost much to make.

  14. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Found it! Credit goes to Prett, who is another member here. Full disclosure, I found these pics and description in another forum he and I both belong to. I hope he's OK with me copying and posting it here. Here's his description:

    Metal strainer shaped by pushing it down over a soup can: 15 seconds to form and cost $3.99 for the strainer.

  15. Thanks for all the tips and feed back guys I appreciate it . I am gonna do  some ribs and possibly some sausages this weekend so I want to make sure I have it right!

    So all are in agreement that

    1 ) the dampener should be fully open

    2 ) Do not add too much wood to the chip tray at the beginning of the smoke

    3 ) add about a 1/4 cup of wood to the re fill tube when it is time to add more wood chips. I dont want it to be too smokey so for the sausages and ribs how many times should I refill

    Also does it matter on what level I have th ribs and sausages.Should the ribs be on the top shelf with the sausages underneath? or does it really matter?

    I am plan on doing everything at about 225-230 for about 3-4 hours does that sound about right?

    Again thanks for the tips and advice
  16. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  17. Awesome thanks again!! [​IMG]

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