Just got an MES 40"

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by nickhere, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. nickhere

    nickhere Newbie

    Hello Everyone,

    Just got an MES 40" as a gift, I am definitely glad I found this forum.  I am going to attempt to smoke some baby backs this weekend.  I have been reading on the forums tonight, sounds like the 221 method is going to be the way to go?  Any suggestions on rubs, tips, etc for a first time smoker?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yo nickhere, WELCOME to SMF & the electric forum, as well as a proud member of the MES owners club here.

    For rubs search

    Here is a rib rub many use known as BRRITU

    Meat: Baby Back Ribs. Remove Membrane. All excess fat trimmed.

    Dry Rub: Mix all ingredients thoroughly keep in moisture proof container

    1 Cup Sugar
    1 Cup Non-Iodized Table Salt
    1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (Dried out lightly by exposing on cookie sheet room temp. several hours, or slightly warmed
    5 Tablespoons + 1 Teaspoons Chili Powder
    2 Tablespoons + 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
    4 Teaspoons MSG (Accent)
    4 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
    4 Teaspoons Black Pepper freshly ground (important)
    4 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
    4 Teaspoons Onion Powder

    I season the ribs the night before and seal in plastic wrap (the spices will have a red liquid appearance when they come out of fridge), 2 hours before cook, I lightly reseason. Do not over-season. A good overall dusting of the spices is all that's needed.

    CONGRATS on your NEW MES, Making it Easy to Smoke Q!

    I post the tips below for newbies, it attempts to answer some of the common questions that are asked, hopefully it helps.

    MES New Owner Tips:

    Collected from input of many MES owners, some may seem a bit dated due to new MES with higher watt elements but work as a general rule.

    • Season it. (Many spray the inside with PAM)
    • No extension cords, unless it is 12 ga or heavier.
    • Spray your racks with PAM prior to smoke (makes cleanup easier).
    • For easier cleanup, use alum foil on the water pan and drain pan.
    • Manual says preheating isn't necessary,  preheat, it will make getting up to initial set temp faster, and temp recovery when opening hatch faster.  (These instructions were for older MES units with lower wattage elements,  however the value of preheating applies to all units.) Preheat to 270º.  Cold ambient 45º and colder as long as 2 hours, 1 hour for warmer temps and as little as 30 min. in summer.   Preheating help establish a stable cooking platform without the dramatic temp swings in first hour of smoking. (Experiment with preheating and see if it helps.)
    • Add boiling hot water to pan, this will allow you to get up to set temp faster.
    • Start the smoke with a few wood chips. The manual says 1 cup max, you will find a hand full is almost too much. 1st chip dump just a few chips 8-10, 15 minutes  later a little more chips 10-12, another 15 minutes 12-15 chips.  This should produce a nice bed of hot ash with good chip combustion.  12-20 chips every 30 minutes should work from this point on. Your goal is TBS (thin blue smoke). When its right you can smell the sweet smoke, it won't smell bitter or be cloudy white. Dark smoke is nothing but awful.
    • Do not adjust vent leave it wide open.  Unless using the AMNS, (follow AMNS instructions).
    • Use external probe for sensing meat internal temp, you can run the probe cord through the exhaust vent. *You may want to run 2nd probe inserted into a wood block or potato with 2” to 3" tip exposed to verify the internal MES cooking temp.  (Newer MES models have the built in probes. verify they are +/- 5º accurate).
    • Once your meat is loaded, avoid opening the hatch. New models can recover to set temp faster, but every time you open the door you extend the cooking time. Thus spritzing isn't really necessary in a MES due to the water pan keeping the smoking environment moist enough to not dry out the meat.
    • If you do have to open your MES plan your moves so you can keep door open time to a minimum.  (I’ve decided to not stress and plan for open door times by adding 20 minutes per door opening, although best is to keep to absolute minimum).
    • When your done cooking, the proper way to shut the MES down is to turn off the controller then unplug.  (Sounds simple but the controller has been known to get stuck if not shut down properly.)
    • If your MES seems to struggle getting to either the preheat temp of 270º or is taking extraordinary long times to raise to cooking temps after meat is loaded try doing a RESET..
    Proper RESET = cycle the MES off with the controller, unplug electrical cord, count to 10, re-plug electric cord, turn on MES with on/off, reset temps.
    If you tried a reset, and 20-30 minutes later there is little change do the reset again.
    • Cleanup is easy with a Brillo (or similar) pad to scrub the tough stuff, and throw grates, water & drain pan into dishwasher. Some have complained about the spot welds on the drain pan rusting, I hit those spots with a touch of PAM then store the cleaned stuff back in the MES.
    You do not need to clean the inside cabinet, most experienced smokers consider that just seasoning. With a hot wet rag, wipe out the inside bottom and any excessive gunk on the walls. Again with hot damp cloth, wipe the door gasket, and the door frames (for better seal).

    Congrats on you new MES purchase, and welcome to the MES owners club.

    texacajun likes this.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    This is a popular Rib Rub I use and you should try my Foiling Juice...

    Try this... It is Mild and compliments different style sauces well...If you want spicier increase Blk Pepper to 1T and add 1T Wht Pepper and 1T Mustard powder. The Foiling Juice, at the bottom, makes a Rib Glaze at the end. You can add 1/2C Ketchup and 1T Mustard to make a more traditional BBQ Sauce....Anything else, just ask...JJ

    Mild Bubba Q Rub

    1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

    2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

    1T Kosher Salt

    1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

    1T Granulated Garlic

    1T Granulated Onion

    1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

    1/2tsp Grnd Allspice

    Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there.

    You may also like this for Ribs...

  4. nickhere

    nickhere Newbie

    Wow both rubs sound great! Delta thanks for all the tips. My in-meat and ambient air thermometers are supposed to be here today. Just in time for the weekend!

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