MES 40" question

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by gusto, May 27, 2013.

  1. Hello Everyone,

      I have been using a brinkmann smoker for years and I'm have a big BBQ so I decided to get myself a 40" new Genaration electric smoker. I seasoned it last week but when I used it today I set it for 225 it reached 220 then the temperature started to drop to 209, then I bumped the temp to 250 and then it held at about 230 now should I have to keep the temperature higher? Then the last hour I put on my sauce and put the meat probe in and the ribs were at 180...   just about done after 4 hours but once I put the probe in the temp seem to be steady...  do I need the meat probe in the whole time?
  2. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I don't use a probe on ribs.  Instead, I go by how much shrinkage from the bone there is, called pull back (I think).  I have had ribs done in as little as 4 hours and as long as 6 hours; setting for the smoker is 225.

    As for using a probe all the time, I do for butts and cook to an internal temperature.  I don't worry about time or temperature fluctuations.
  3. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You don't need to use the meat probe for ribs. Try using 3-2-1 for spares or 2-2-1 for baby backs then adjust from there. Put an accurate temp probe in the smoker so you know how much the factory probe is off (if it is, they usually are). Then you can adjust your set point accordingly when smoking.
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
  4. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The controllers suck on some of the 2nd gen mes units. Get yourself a good digital probe. Lots of folks here use the maverick et 732 to monitor both the smoke chamber and the IT of the meat. And like jp says.....hard to monitor rib meat anyway with a probe. Old sarge uses the same method I do (along with testing the bend of the rack to figure doneness. Experience will get you there in no time.
  5. Thank you everyone, i will get myself a maverick.. But is it normal for the mes to reach 220 and then start dropping to 209 within 10 minutes.. It did seem to hold a decent temp above 200 the enitire time but it just seemed to fluctuate a lot... Thanks Gus
  6. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Not sure what the built in differential is, even on mine, but you'll have a small temp swing between the OFF and ON cycles. Yours does seem to be a bit too big. I know on my MES, for me anyways, it's never set it and forget it. I make quite a few adjustments throughout the smoking process. Usually I have to set the temp anywhere from 15 - 25° higher than where I want to be cooking at then as the meat is getting hotter and closer to being done I have to start adjust back down. It also makes a big difference what your smoking and how much of it.
  7. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

    Hey Gusto (love that screen name, by the way )... Yes it is very normal for an electric smoker's temp to fluctuate. Rather that producing a steady amount of heat, like gas or wood/charcoal, most electrics control temp by cycling the heat element from 100% on to completely off. The amount of fluctuation depends on how low the thermostat allows the temp to go before switching back on. Of course the quality (meaning expense) of the components will have a lot of influence over the overall temp range of the fluctuation. Also keep in mind that when you first turn on an electric it will warm the thermostat to the cut off point way before all the other parts of the box come up to temp. Once the temperature in the whole smoker equalizes the temp swings should settle down.

    But this isn't a flaw in design, rather it's the nature of the beast. Some designs allow a big swing in temps, and some not so much. The thing to remember is that you need the average temp to be pretty close to your target temp.

    I completely agree with the others who recommend a good quality thermometer. It's essential to have a reliable way to know the temp inside the smoker before you can expect to fine tune your smoker (and how you use it) to get consistent results. 

    Fortunately that's half the fun ... tinkering and experimenting with the equipment is a huge part of our hobby. If my smoker ever becomes perfect, I'll most likely start on a new one just for the challenge. 

    You're off to a good start with your MES... enjoy the ride and please keep us posted!
  8. Thanks Poppy Bill....

    Thanks everyone, I feel better now knowing it's suppose to fluctuate. I will just get a new Maverick and keep an eye on the next smoke, I'm sure I will get a feel for this smoker, as I did the Brinkmann....   Enjoy your night...     Gus
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not really, I do a bend test:

      and do notwrap in foil.

    Just keep a decent heat and you're good to go...

    as always . . .

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