MES 30 3 Rack - Wood Question

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by hpman247, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone. Thanks for all the amazing info that you guys put out here for us newbies. Really appreciate it.

    My question pertains to the MES 30" 3 rack smoker. I've noticed that my wood just turns black, and upon turning black it stop producing as much smoke. The MES manual says that the wood will ash over, but mine stays pretty hard and just turns black.

    Is this normal? Should I dump it out when I put new wood in or just throw the new wood on top?

    Also anyone have some quick ways to change the wood? By the time I do it, my temps go way down, but they do climb back up pretty quickly once i close the door. Thanks everyone
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are you getting nice thin blue smoke? If so, then just keep doing what you are doing. I'm assuming your using chips for wood. At some point you may want to get an AMNPS smoker for a much more consistent smoke over long periods of time. No reloading just TBS for hours. A good portion of MES owners use them. The owner of the company is a member on here & is a real stand up guy. Here's the link to his website:
  3. if this is a digital smoker, do you have the retrofit chip tray?  It makes all the difference in the world.
  4. tjohnson

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

    You're making charcoal because the combustion is taking place with little or no oxygen present

  5. No, this is the analog unit. Mostly I just want to know if this is normal for the wood chips to not turn to ash?

    And with the pellet smoker, does that replace the wood tray in the MES or do you light it and place it on a rack in the smoker?
  6. So what can I do to fix this problem?
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Not sure about the analog, but anywhere in the bottom of the smoker that it will fit. Not to close to the heating element.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I believe Todd has it figured out... Somehow you have to get more air into the smoker.. Is the top vent wide open ???
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  9. There is no vent. The MES 3 rack doesn't have a vent, only a small opening on the back big enough to stick a finger through. I'll try leaving to smoking try open so maybe it can garner more oxygen.
  10. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Stop fighting the smoker and get an AMNPS - it will change your smokes for the better. You are going to continue to fight that smoker to put out what the AMNPS can do from day 1 
  11. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    I bought my father in law the same unit you have so I can smoke on it when I'm visiting the midwest. I prop open the lid to the wood chip tray so it's open about an inch since closing it like suggested seems to choke out the air. The ventilation sucks so I run my probe wires out the bottom  left side of the smoker door so that there's a small crack/vent in hopes of getting some air. I'm sure it doesn't do much but smoke gets out through there so I assume some air can get in. I've never had a problem getting it to smoke.

    As far as a wood tray solution,  I've considered trying to order a 2nd wood chip tray from Masterbuilt so that I could have it ready to go and quickly grab the hot tray with pliers or tongs and quickly swap trays when the smoke  dies out. This would cut back on some of the heat loss. It's a pain having to try to open the lid all the way and put chips in, takes forever plus it's easy to burn your hand doing it.

    I run an AMNPS pellet smoker in my digital MES30 which eliminates having to mess with wood chips constantly.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  12. Yeah, I've never had a problem getting it to smoke either. It smokes quite well for 30-45 minutes, then the wood just becomes black.

    I'll try lifting the lid a bit this weekend. I'm doing my first boston butt for the UVA/VT game. And I'm going to get one of those pellet smokers as well pretty soon!
  13. tjohnson

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

    Roller drilled a hole and installed a hose that was connected to a small aquarium pump

    This was for more air to his AMNPS, but should help get oxygen to your chips too.

    I tried the aquarium pump and it does work well.  Rather tan drill a hole in the side, you may want to fish it up thru the drain hole in the bottom

    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

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