MES 40' chip loader small?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by caradoc, May 9, 2014.

  1. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Hi, I just got my first smoker, the MES 40" on recommendation from a friend.  But when he was showing me some basic stuff, he noted that my chip loader and pan are "cut in half.  Here's what I mean:

    Apparently his doesn't have that welded block cutting it in half.  The pan the chips go into is also cut in half with a welded cover.  Is this standard?

    And Just a basic question or two, I load one load of chips and let it go until it stops smoking and then add another?  And the water pan is also the drip pan apparently, so I fill it part way with water and then do I have to make sure there is always water?

  2. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    Do yourself a favor and buy a AMNPS Then you won't have to worry about adding wood...
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    "And Just a basic question or two, I load one load of chips and let it go until it stops smoking and then add another? Yes but it is not a good idea to add more then a 1/4 cup of chips at a time or the MES will start huffing and puffing and fart Flames out of the loader. Mine blew the loader 3 feet into the yard. You will be reloading every 30-45 minutes. This really SUCKS on an 18 hour overnight Brisket or Pork Butt smoke. 

    And the water pan is also the drip pan apparently, so I fill it part way with water and then do I have to make sure there is always water? There are a few different approaches here. 1) Leave it as is and always keep water in it. This high moisture environment extents cooking time and burns Watts because a lot of energy goes into the water evaporating it. Which cools the smoker so more heat is needed to maintain temp and the cycle goes on. 2) Fill the pan with Play Sand or Gravel and cover with foil to catch the drippings. This is a big heat sink in the smoker that reduces energy usage and helps the smoker recover from opening the door to do whatever. 3) Try the Wet Dry Chamber method where you add about 2 Cups of water to the pan. This keeps a moist environment for 3-4 hours to get good smoke and flavor penetration, then evaporates dry and allows the smoker to run efficiently and the meat to develop a nice flavorful Bark.

    As Welshrarebit mentioned, there is a member here that has developed a couple of Pellet Smoke Generators with the older designed AMNPS Maze made especially for the older generation, prior to 2012, MES 30's and 40's. And a AMNTS Tube that works real well with the new gen MES 40. The company is A-MAZE-N Products. The generators give up to 10 hours of perfect Thin Blue Smoke (TBS) without having to reload. Todd Johnson, the Owner is a really great guy and if you call will set you up with exactly what you need, including the indispensable Maverick 732/733 Thermometers that measure true meat and chamber temps and send them to a remote. There are many flavors of 100% Smoke Wood and his customer service is second to none. Below is a link to A-MAZE-N...JJ
    demosthenes9 likes this.
  4. treym64

    treym64 Smoke Blower

    And the maverick are great products and must for electric smoking a mes 40 works great having remote for everything is so nice
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    JJ got you covered.

    I will add that I believe Masterbuilt cut the Chip drawer and Dumper in half to get MES owners to not put so much wood in at once.

    A better idea would be for them to eliminate the Dumper & Chip Drawer entirely, and get a couple thousand AMNPS at wholesale, and include one in each MES. Most of them end up with one in there anyway.

    demosthenes9 likes this.
  6. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Not sure of the model # of your 40 but some of the earlier models with the small chip tray had a retrofit kit for a full size tray that masterbuilt would send out for free. If you use small chunks mixed with a couple small pieces of broken lump charcoal she'll smoke for a good, long time.... and give you a bit of a smoke ring as well. That retrofit kit # was 2010 I believe.
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  7. After 2 or 3 hours does the meat take more smoke
    on and is that needed?
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    As long as you Make Smoke...Meat will Take Smoke! 

    There is a misunderstood Myth that " meat won't take smoke after X hours or it hits 140°F ". The facts are that Carbon based fuels generate Nitrogen Dioxide that mixes with the moisture of the meats surface to form Nitric Acid that is absorbed into the meat and causes the Smoke Ring. Once the meats outer 1 inch hits 140° this process stops, which happen in the first few hours. So many say, " It won't take no more Smoke. "... BUT...What they all neglect to realize is there are many other Smoke Components, flavorful particulate matter, that will continue to be deposited on the meat and continue to add flavor for as long as you smoke the meat. If smoke didn't add any flavor after a couple hours, then everybody in the business would smoke 3 hours and go in the oven! Fuel is expensive and time consuming to manage. Why are Whole Hogs in the smoke for 20+ hours? Why do folks smoke Bacon and Hams for days at a time? Because with a nice Thin Blue Smoke, the flavor just keeps on building...JJ
    marauder, bearcarver and demosthenes9 like this.
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Well said, JJ !!

  10. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    OK, I've decided on doing some baby backs as my first endeavor.  I'm going to try to keep it simple and use a jarred sauce.  So I'm supposed to just put it in for two hours with nothing on it (no salt or anything?) for 2 hours, then put it in foil with a little sauce for 2 more (seal the foil or leave an opening on top?)  and then one hour covered in sauce on top?  all this at 225 degrees.  What do I do with the meat probe? Just stick it in next to a bone and then I guess I can see it on the remote?  I honestly don't get the point of the probe other than to make sure its at safe temp because I'll be cooking it past that for a long time.

    I've got applewood chips and have seasoned it at 275 but there was a lot of smoke, not sure if it's the right amount, seemed excessive to me:

    I used somewhere between a quarter and half cup, soaked for 2 hours prior.  Does that look right?

    Also, should I be cleaning the window?  I've read to just clean the pans and the racks, but it seems that window will be completely opaque if it's not cleaned regularly.  Soap and water?  Fantastic?

    Thought I'd throw some potatoes in there as well, any idea on good types for this and for how long?  Maybe some of those packaged Italian sausages or brats too?

    Sorry for all the questions, just trying to make this work out good for the first time without over complicating it.

    I'll look at the AMNT soon too.
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  11. Go to jeffs web Jeff's click pork read about the 221 method follow his recipes you will never be disappointed.
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Like Marauder said, go to Jeff's Recipes, and look at his BB Step by Step. Jeff has awesome Step by Step Recipes.

    However since you use an MES, you can also go to my index.  Just click on "Bear's Step by Steps".  All of my smokes in my index were done in an MES

    A can say that Ribs are one of the few things I don't put a meat probe in, but I do put my smoker probe in to make sure the smoker temp is where I want it.

    Most MES owners don't recommend soaking chips, and if the smoke you got seems excessive to you, it probably is.

    Check into getting an AMNPS, and your smoking problems will be a thing of the past. Just click on the "A-MAZE-N-SMOKER" business card below.

    I clean my MES window before every smoke, and it's not that hard to do.

  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    What looks like excessive smoke is Steam as the chips dry out. There is no need to soak chips. 
    Smoked Ribs as easy as 3-2-1

    A full rack of Spare Ribs will take about 6 hours at 225*F...The 3-2-1 smoked rib recipe is a good way to smoke ribs and tends to turn out perfect ribs every time whether you are using the meatier Full rack spare rib or the Saint Louis cut. Baby Back ribs use a 2-2-1 method. The ribs are smoked at 225 - 250 degrees for best results...
    The 3 stands for the 3 hours that you initially smoke the ribs with nothing but your favorite rub on them and some smoke with your favorite hardwood such as hickory, apple, pecan, etc. After the 3 hours you remove the ribs and quickly double wrap them in heavy duty foil.. just before you seal them up add some Foiling Juice or Apple Juice and close the foil leaving some room around the ribs for the steam to be able to flow around the meat and the juice to braise the meat which Flavors/Tenderizes it.

    The ribs cook in the smoker wrapped for 2 hours undisturbed. There is no need for Smoke at this point... After 2 hours remove the ribs from the smoker, unwrap, saving any juices in the foil, and place back into the smoker for the final 1 hour, with smoke if you wish.This firms them up, creates a nice Bark and finishes the cooking process. You can add a glaze or sauce at this point if you like. The meat will be pretty close to fall off the bone and be extremely juicy, tender and flavorful...

    Mild Bubba Q Rub  (All Purpose)

    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

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

    Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses


    2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more KC Style.

    Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.

    For a Sweet Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork:  Make a Double batch, Butter optional.

    Add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

    Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

    At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

    Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten and Serve...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

    When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crock pot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while  the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crock pot to 165*F and Serve.

    Note: the addition of the reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider should make the PP moist but not Swimming.

    I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. ENJOY...JJ
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  14. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Thanks for the help!

    I didn't catch that part about not soaking chips, I'll use 'em dry next time I load it.  Just started my first smoke, QView here:

    Bought Jeff's rub/sauce and used that, though unfortunately I was missing one of the smaller ingredients so it won't be exact.
  15. treym64

    treym64 Smoke Blower

    Add whiskey sauce
    It's great I use Jim beam maple

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