Masterbuilt Electric Smoker - First Timer

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by davenaz88, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. New to the forum, just wanted to say hello and ask my first question. 

    I am a beginner smoker and recently bought a Masterbuilt electric smoker.  It's the 30" one sold at Bass Pro.  After asking around, figured an electric would be the best for a beginner.  The first thing I tried was a chicken last weekend.  I ended up smoking with a combination of apple and pecan chips.  For my first try, I felt like it turned out very good.  Not to mention the wife enjoyed it too.

    So my question might be pretty dumb but here goes.  Since this was my first time (other than preseasoning) using the smoker, I decided to get the temperature where I wanted it, which after some adjustment took about 20 minutes.  Once I got the temp dialed in, I put the wood chips in the wood box, and then placed the chicken in the smoker.  I began to smell the wood chips within a few minutes but there was no noticable smoke billowing from the smoker box until about an hour after placing the chicken.  Should I have done this differently and should there have been smoke exiting the smoker from the get-go?  I soaked the wood chips for about 20 minutes immediately preceeding placing them in the wood chip box in the smoker.  All this said, we could definitely taste the flavor from smoking and it seemed like it was a good amount of flavor.

    Thanks for any input...
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. samaridad

    samaridad Fire Starter

    Welcome your in the right place. I have the mes40 (when not doing wood ) I heat mine to 275 then open and install the soon to be great Q. heat back to 275 which helps get the ball rolling.( and gets you out of the danger zone) I do not soak my chips. I then dump half a load a load of chips. once it starts to smoke I will pull the chip loader and load with a full load. wait until the smoke starts to die, then dump.Then set your temp down,  I load more chips and let them preheat before dumping them. I also use  a-maze-n products. Todd will take great care of you

    Hopes this helps

    Note leave the top vent wide open. You can also pull the wood chip loader out some for more air to get the chips smoking. I do this when the heater is on.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    DavenAZ, Morning. Welcome and glad you stopped in............If you can smell smoke and not see it, the meat is taking on really tasty smoke flavor. Billowing white smoke is not necessarily a good thing. Would probably taste like creosote. Not good.

    If you are happy with the product you smoked you are well on your way to more great food.

    In my opinion, soaking the wood slows the time when smoke starts. I personally do not soak chips.

    On your next smoke you might try dry chips and not too many in the chip pan. Mabye a table spoon or 2. Check the smoke and add more chips later.

    You have already tasted the flavor of the meat when you could not see the smoke.

    That being said, there is no right or wrong way to smoke .Personal preference and experiences will make your Q different from all others.

    Sounds like you are well on your way to being "hooked on smoke". Enjoy the long smokey ride my friend. Dave
  5. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    All good advice above.  I recently bought a MES 40.  Have used my AMNS the first two times, and just got an AMNPS -- the pellet version for hot smoking.  I couldn't be happier!  I have not used my chip tray, and see no reason to.  I'd check it out, and as Larry said above -- Todd will take care of you.

    Also keep in mind what Dave said -- you don't need to see the smoke, just smell it.  Sounds like you are doing all the right things....keep it up!
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    What they said. If you smell smoke so does the meat.
  7. tjohnson

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

    Notice the Bluish/Grey color of the smoke on the right?

    Billowing White smoke is BAD!

    This is my favorite pic!


  8. When I was getting smoke, it seemed very similar to the good blue smoke in the photo to the right.  I'm probably just getting overly concerned due to my lack of experience and the you tube videos I've watched of smoking. 

    What causes the bad smoke on the left?

    Thanks for all the advice.  Planning on ribs this weekend.  Then the following weekend onto the reason I got a smoker in the first place...brisket.
  9. tjohnson

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

    Wet chips or chunks can do it

    Too much fuel on at once

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  10. flyboys

    flyboys Smoking Fanatic

    Hey Daven

    I have the same smoker you do. Like the others above, I have learned not to soak my chips, it causes too much billowing smoke and takes way too long to get the proper smoke, in my experience at least.
    I put the dry chips in when I start my smoker. Once the white smoke has dissipated, I add the meat. You will be able to lightly see blue smoke coming out of the top baffle, which I always leave open.
    On a side note, my wife is getting me the A-MAZE-N smoker for my birthday next month. After reading all of the opinions on it, it just seems like a no brainer.
    Good luck and don't be afraid to ask, everything I learned, I learned from this site and asking!
  11. I decided to do a test run today with some of the advice...still a little unsure.

    I have this version of Masterbuilt -  I understand I don't need to see smoke to get smoke flavor but I am wondering more about the process and how this smoker works.  The smoker I have does not have any adjustable vents, just a 1/2" hole in the back.  Also, the wood chip pan has a cover and no vents in it.  It seems like if I was looking for more smoke, I'd need to have a vent to get some air-flow through the smoker?
  12. I know this thread is old, but I have a question on the wood used.  I cut my own and was wondering why the bigger chunks of wood is a bad thing?  I got pretty good flavor smoking in my grill using just wood.  Getting an electric to try this smoking thing out and was just curious about the size of your wood.
  13. mak104

    mak104 Newbie

    Kind of a personal question, ain't it????[​IMG]
    dwsmith43 and onawaiowa like this.
  14. smokehound40

    smokehound40 Newbie

    I have been working with the master built smokers for along time. i like to place the meat in at close to room temp this helps you maintain the temp you want. That said if you pull the meat out of the frig and place in the smoker it will drop the temp and struggle to regain it back. I will let the meat/chicken/pork/beef t sit on the counter till it is only lightly cool to the touch. I also don't put the chips in till the meat has been in for at least half the cooking time. This keeps the meat from getting that pungent smoke flavor on the outside. I also cook at temps like 200-225 low and slow is the trick. Just like this response to your question you have to just experiment you will screw some stuff up but, you will figure it out. If you listen and take advise from everybody you will never get it right. Just experiment and write down what you do every time so if it is good  or bad you will know what you did.
  15. dtexasdarla

    dtexasdarla Newbie

    Looking at buying this smoker. Live on very small income. Where is the BEST DEAL? Moneywise & any extras
  16. Cabela's has them on sale through Dec. 3rd for 139.99 + shp. You may want to jump on their site and check it out.

  17. david benhoff

    david benhoff Newbie

    I've heard that you shouldn't soak the chips. Put them in dry.
  18. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Make sure to add an AMPS from Todd.  Great setup. 
  19. I have the same Masterbuilt Pro 30" Electric Smoker.  I have a question.  How do you add the chips?  Is the only way to add chips to open the main front door and let all the heat out?   Or do you just put the chips in one time and let it ride?
  20. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think in this instance "Pro" stands for propane gas. Yes, the only way to add chips is to open the door and let out the smoke and heat every 20-30 minutes. There is that lower door where you add the wood chips which I think is designed to minimize the loss of smoke and heat. You might think about looking into one of the pellet or dust smokers manufactured by Todd Johnson. You can view and buy them here: You can email him for more info and he's very good about quick replies. Todd's a great guy.

    I have a MES 30 digital smoker. I haven't used wood chips in over 3 years. I use the AMNPS instead and have had great success with it.

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