MES smoking too fast?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by midcalbrew, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. I've got a 40" MES (Sam's Club) and it seems like I'm getting inconsistent results. First smoke was two 3 lb chickens. It took nearly six hours to reach 160 at the breast. Next smoke was a 3lb buffalo roast, pulled when internal hit 135 after just over an  hour. The roast was soooo tough. Just smoked two 2.5+ lb tri-tips and pulled them at 130 after just 50 minutes. They're resting now, but I'm again afraid they're going to be super tough. I've done all my smokes at 225, except the tri-tips where, after climbing 30 degrees in 15 minutes, I backed it down to 200.

    I know I need to get a second thermometer to monitor the smoker internal temp and not rely on the built-in probe, will do that next time. The internal probe seem to indicate the temp was correct, but we'll see. Other than checking that, any other suggestions? Am I putting too little in this larger cabinet? Or is there another reason it seems to cook waaaay faster than any of the temperature guides suggest?
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  2. sonnyhad

    sonnyhad Fire Starter

    That would leave me scratching my head as well! Yes you need to get an external temp gauge. I thiink Todd has them now, he's the guy who sells the amazing pellet smoker here on the forum. He has the maverick thermometer set. Its one of the best out there. A definite plus no matter where you do you cooking.
  3.  Hello midcalbrew,

     I'm guessing your temp may be too low if your chickens took 6 hours to reach 160. Further guessing would be that 2.5 lb tri-tips are not very thick as well as your buffalo roast at 3 lb. You didn't say what cut it was.

     A thin piece of meat will heat internally much faster than a thick cut like a butt, but if it's a tough cut of meat it will need low and slow to get tender. It needs to break down the tough stuff, which won't be accomplished at 130 F. If you cook it too low you are just dehydrating it, not cooking it.

     Get an accurate probe placed at food level and know what your cooking temp is. My MES 40 is just about spot on when I checked it.

     Once you know what temp you are cooking at, cook things like you described at 220 to 250 range (except the chicken) until an internal temp like 195-205 to get the tenderness

    you are looking for.

     One thing I tried a long time ago was to cook a butt to 160, slice off a chunk, cook to 170, slice off a chunk, cook to 180, I think you get the picture, and find out what gave me the results I was looking for.

     Don't get discouraged, you will figure out what you like. Think of every cook as a testing

    session. Take notes and remember what worked for you.

  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Like they said get an accurate therm to put on the grate.
  5. Thanks for the advice, it was pretty much what I was thinking. I think the thin cuts are probably what's doing it, if I want rare/mid-rare I guess I need much bigger pieces or cuts that are more tender to start with. The other thing I noticed is that those tri-tips did ZERO carry over cooking. I think I'm using the wrong cuts for this cooking technique, but live and learn.

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