mes 30 smoker newbie how often do you need to put in wood chips

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by graggy, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. graggy

    graggy Newbie

    Looking at buying one of these smokers. I had a Bradley smoker before that you could load a tube with wood chips discs and you didn't have to do anything to it for a long time. It doesn't look like a lot of chips go in the mes 30 at a time so how often do you need tood add chips and empty ash? Thanks for your help
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Most of us MES owners don't put any chips or chunks in the chip burner.

    We just fill up an Amazing Smoker, light it, put it in the smoker, and relax for up to 12 hours with perfect smoke.

  3. fishacura

    fishacura Newbie

    Can you clarify? Do you mean the a-maze-n pellet smoker?
  4. Yup that's exactly what it is - I don't use my MES without mine...
  5. fishacura

    fishacura Newbie

    Thanks! That's why these forums are great. Originally I had thought I would use chips....truth be told didn't even realize there was such a thing as pellets and this a-maze-ing product. Yes I am obviously a noob but this is how I am learning thanks to responses like this. THANKS!!!
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have one of each Amazing, but I mainly use my AMNS (Dust) for smokes under 200* smoker temp, and my AMNPS (Pellets) for smokes over 200* smoker temp. However you can use both Dust & Pellets in the AMNPS, but only with pellets over about 200*.

  7. cueinco

    cueinco Smoke Blower

    I bought a MES-30 from QVC in January. I used chips once before finding this forum and ordering an AMZNTS (tube smoker) from Amazon. Todd will give you a better deal if you buy directly from his site, i.e. he includes some sample pellets, but I don't like providing my CC on small sites. Amazon and QVC are risky enough. You just hope they have decent security practices. [​IMG]

    Since getting the AMZNTS, I've smoked cheese, brisket, wings, trout, salmon, pork loin, and ribs. Way easier and much better results (IMHO) than using chips. The advice Bear gave you is right-on. The other advice I got on this forum was: fill the water pan with clay, or sand, or salt (I chose rock salt); cover the chip tray and water tray with foil, and make sure to cover under the AMZNTS with foil or it may get too hot if you get above 300* and the pellets may start to burn. I've done all of the above and things are working great. The other thing I learned was don't buy non-natural pellets (e.g. Traeger hickory). I bought 80 pounds of pelters from cooking and have been very happy. The shipping will cost about as much as the pellets. There's lots of good info on this site as to where to get good pellets. Wish I'd read it before buying the Traegers. 

    One big point....follow all the instructions on seasoning the MES and the AMZNTS. Burning off all the manufacturing lubricants is really really important. 

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  8. fishacura

    fishacura Newbie

    Getting excited!  My birthday is in May and this is the only thing I asked for [​IMG]

    Put the MES30, amazn (not tube) and Lumber Jack pellets on my list.

    Saw all the info about sand/clay/etc in water pan but one thing struck me as very odd.  In order to make good Q, don't you need some moisture in there?  So if there's no water, there's no moisture right?  Or am I just making that part up in my head???  Thought I had heard it somewhere...
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use an MES 40 all the time, and I never put water in my pan & nothing gets too dry. I don't know the scientific reason, but that's what I get.

    The moisture is already in the meat, and the MES heat doesn't remove enough to dry it out. I guess if you overcooked something in the MES, it would get dry, but you aren't supposed to overcook anything anyway.

  10. cueinco

    cueinco Smoke Blower

    From past experience with charcoal smokers, I'd guess that the water tray was a hold over from prior art. You really seem to need the water pan in a charcoal smoker to help moderate the heat. In the MES where you can much more finely control the heat, it doesn't seem as necessary. As Bear mentioned, the meat has lots of moisture in it. I also noticed that using the AMZNTS, seems to put moisture into the box. I think the act of smoldering the pellets gives off moisture. Plus when using an AMZN you're explicitly told "don't add water to the smoker". 

    There are lots of other discussions on this board that make the point as well. The logic that suited me was: "I'm smoking at 225*. Water boils and gives off lots of moisture at 212*. If I started with cold/cool water, how long would it take to get to that point? My guess was a long time."

    Also, the one time I did use water, I ended up my smoke with about as much water in the tray as I had at the start. Reason and experience seemed to indicate that it wasn't doing much good. 
  11. tomzo

    tomzo Fire Starter

    I bailed on the chips entirely and use the AMNPS in a mailbox mod and it works perfectly.   I also have sand in the water tray and have never had a moisture issue.   I never had much luck with the AMNPS in the smoker itself and it took a few iterations to get the air flow right when I made my mailbox mod, but I have it dialed in now.   My last smoke went for over 10 hours without me having to lift a finger - makes for a better night's sleep!   I also bake the pellets at 200 degrees for 20 minutes before starting - they seem to burn better that way.


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