MES 40" Gen 1, Arriving Today - Break-In Question

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dbbyleo, May 28, 2015.

  1. Hey guys...

    I should find my new MES 40 (Gen1) from Amazon when I get home from work.  I've downloaded the manual and read in advance what I have to do to "pre-season" the smoker.  It bascially said to run it at 275 degrees for about 3 hours.  In the last 45 min, it states to add the wood chips.

    Is that about it?

    I've read here people doing a "break-in."  Is basically just the first thing they smoke after the "pre-seasoning" is done?  Is there anything purposeful I need to know about this?  I'm thinking about doing some boneless, skinless chicken breast (from Costco) as my trial run.  Like another fella noted, if I screw this one up, it's just $2 worth of meat.

    Also, I also bought the AMNPS and a pound of AMNS pellets (apple).  I've got trout caught this season in the freezer that's been waiting for the smoker.  I think I'm just going to pick some hickory chips locally and use that to do the pre-seasoning and the break-in with chicken (and save the apple pellets for when I'm ready for the trout).

    Anything else you guys recommend I do or keep in mind?
  2. Good afternoon. You will love that MES I got one for Christmas. I broke mine in by spraying it with olive oil and ran it at 275. Then threw 8 game hens in it. Those hens came out great. I would say it comes down to how anxious are you to use it lol. I was pretty anxious.
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I would break it in exactly as the manual says. There is no need to add oil as the metal is not porous like on a traditional steel smoker. You will get a little smoke during the break in as the leftover manufacturing residue burns off. 

    Good luck.
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Plus if you didn't already break in your AMNPS, throw it in the MES  to burn off manufacturing oils.

    Or throw it on your gas grill when hot, or put it in the DW for a cycle.

  5. Correction. I sprayed a different smoker. Sorry for the wrong info.
  6. Second question...
    "Manual states to store in a dry area. "

    Do you keep the unit outside... Like on the back deck next to the propane grill. I have the cover for it. With the cover, is there any concern keeping this outside?
  7. I keep mine in the garage. Sure it makes the process a step extra buy I know I don't risk electronics damage from the weather change.
  8. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I keep mine in the carport that stays dry but there are plenty of people on here that keep them on porches or decks with a cover on them and it works well for them. 
  9. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Subbing to this thread.  Im going to need to season my MES BT smoker soon too.  So 275F for 3 hours, check.  No oils, check.  As I've already burned in my AMPS, I dont need to do that.  Can I skip the wood chips part during the seasoning?  I'd rather save those precious AMZN pellets for a real smoke (I got the sample bag).  Is adding smoke actually required for the seasoning?
  10. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    @mummel  As I said before, I would follow the procedure in the manual. You can get a small bags of chips at HD or Lowes and use those to season it. 
  11. Thanks guys!  I looking forward to see some smokes... even if its just pre-seasoning smokes!  Hopefully I'll be posting my first Qview once I get my first smokes going.  Thanks for all the tips and advise... which has led to this purchase, which I feel has been a very educated purchase. 
  12. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's all I did when I seasoned my MES 30 Gen 1. I didn't and still don't spray the inside and I've done no mods, other than switch to using wood pellets with my AMNPS.

    As for what to smoke first, the Gen 1 smokers are built so well the only way you can screw up the meat is to oversmoke, something I found very easy to do when I started out using wood chips. I buy all my wood pellets from Todd Johnson. I've got them in every flavor I feel I need. In addition to hickory and apple, I think you should also have oak, mesquite, alder, and pecan. You already got a bag of his Pitmaster's Choice with your AMNPS. That has cherry wood in it. Cherry wood burns easily as a wood chip but it's hard to keep lit in wood pellet form which is why it's often mixed with hickory or oak or some other easily-burned wood. A number of guys also like using maple (I never have) and now Todd's added all these exotic flavors to his stock like wine barrel and others. For now, I just stick with the classics. I'll also mix hardwoods with fruitwoods for more complexity of flavor.

    The biggest cleaning and preventive maintenance tip to keep in mind is this: clean the two sensor on the inside back wall. On the left side there's a round, dime-sized notched hi-temp cutoff switch. When this thing gets dirty the MES can overheat into the 300° because the sensor isn't able detect high temperatures in order to send a command to the controller to turn off the heating element. This happened to me once and figured out what happened, thanks to Todd. Now, I wipe it down with a damp paper towel and for extra measure clean out each notch with a toothpick if I feel they've gotten to grimy from smoke. The temperature sensor is the toggle-switch looking thing on the right side. I think a lot of temp inaccuracies and fluctuations are caused by a dirty sensor for obvious reasons. Just wipe it off with a damp paper towel.  

    Heavy duty foil is your friend. Foil over anything that grease and fat might drip down on. I also keep the water pan empty and foiled over. Some guys fill it with clean playground sand and use it as a heat sink. Don't fill it with water because then it acts as a steamer and you want your meats roasted over wood smoke and not steamed. @Bearcarver has erected a moveable heat baffle in his MES 40 because it tends to run hotter on the right side than on the left. He readjusts the baffle as needed during a smoke to equalize the heat between the two sides. In my MES 30 I've seen my smoker grow hotter on the right side, equalize, and the grow hotter on the left side during a smoke. I just leave it be. Bear says that since the MES 40 is larger it's wise to use a heat baffle. He's posted photos of the ones he's constructed.

    Happy smoking!
  13. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

  14. Thanks daRick for the great, practical tips!
  15. Oh and by the way... my MES 40 is still NOT here!!!!!  Damn you FedEx!  You're Late!
  16. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    I got mine in with a dented corner in back where the handle attaches.  A few minor cosmetic door issues but everything inside looks new.  It maybe a scratch and dent sale for mine. The box it came was dinged up but the cosmetic door issues weren't from that. It'll have to not heat for me to return it.  Not a big deal so far.

  17. Ah man, no freaking way - are you serious?  It didn't say that on the Amazon item (priced at $273).  I'll definitely be given mine a good once over.  Have you seen the price of it today.  

    Shoooot!!!  The door bell is ringing as I'm literally typing this... its FedEx!  I'll let you know how the unpacking goes!
  18. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Everything is brand new and complete.  Very minor cosmetic issues I've already gotten over.  Mines going to get dinged up moving it on the wheels.  It's all about how it works to me.  @&%$* light bulb is busted. WTF! That means it's going to be a great smoker.LOL

  19. Ok... unpacking went well.  I didn't have any of the surprises you did - everything seems to be in shape.  I agree, it's really about how well it smokes.  In the end, it'll look ugly and beat up, the beauty is literally "within" ... :)

    Question... does you remote display look dim at first, but then when you look at it from an angle you can see the display clearly.  I had to borrow AAA batteries from my headlamps, so I'm not sure if its just a low-batt issue I'm seeing.

    Anyway... it's pre-seasoning now!  
  20. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    It must be your batteries. I turned mine on for a minute to see that it heats and turned it off. No time today to preseaon it.

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