MES40 Side Box Mod

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dvdslw, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. Hello, I haven't been on the forums in a while but recently got the itch to start experimenting with my MES40 to see if I could improve the quality of the food it has been producing. I have had the smoker for a while and have found that it does ribs and brisket very well but chicken takes a bit more attention to detail like finishing on a hot grill to get the skin crisp. I have heard lots of people doing the pellet box mod and even the mailbox mod but while I was at Lowe's yesterday I found a nice side box/charcoal grill that I thought would be easy to attach to the side of the MES40 and be able to burn some chunks to get some nice smoke going plus it's easily removed to take it along for a bbq at the park or tailgating as a charcoal grill for burgers and dogs. I did a test fit yesterday using a makeshift platform and dryer vent attachment. I used a good amount of charcoal to get it nice and hot to not only burn off the new grill smell but to also see how hot the MES40 would get during a possible flare up. The picture below shows 120* but it maxed out at 132* for a while so I don't foresee any problems with a temperature spike. If I can get the wood burning without flareups, I'll be smoking a couple racks of St.Louis ribs we picked up with some q-view to follow. I posted some pics just to show what my thought process is and if it works out, I'll finish it off with some stainless 3in pipe to replace the dryer pipe and a rolling cart to set both units on.

    Pics in post #7
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  2. It will take a while for the pics to appear. They have to be approved by a Mod. That is to keep spam out. After you have made enough post they will appear as soon as you post them.

    Happy smoken.

  3. Got to use the new setup the other day with a couple 7lb chickens and they came out amazing. No brine or injections, just a light dusting of Strawberry's bbq seasoning that a family member up in Missouri turned us on to and into the smoker. The first thing I noticed is a deeper color and crispier skin to the finished product plus the taste was kicked up a notch I'd guess from using the lump coal and wood burning at a higher temp. I set the temp to 275 and they reached an internal temp of 165 in 2.25hrs, set them on a cookie sheet and put them in a cold oven to rest while I prepared the sides. Best Chicken we've had from anywhere in some time, I was very pleased with the results. Next up is a Brisket this weekend if I can find a deal or maybe a butt?

    On a side note, is there an issue with posting pictures? I have posted them before no problem and do so on other forums but for some reason they wont post for me here. Any recommendations on an image hosting site or techniques to publish photo's? I'd love to share some qview and pics of the side box mod's.
  4. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Photobucket is the easiest way.
  5. That's what I use but for some reason when I copy and paste the img code it publishes a link to my photobucket account page which gives all who click on the link access to all of my images.
  6. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Select the direct link then click the mountain at the top of the comment box. Paste it there.
  7. We have success!!! Thank You c farmer! These are pictures from the test phase, I have since welded a piece of 3in stainless to the side and painted it black. The side box is still removeable to use the standard chip tray if desired.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  8. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thumbs Up

    Looks like ya got it.
  9. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    More info on the side box?

    I might really like it.
  10. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do you cold or hot smoke with it?
  11. Nice mod.
    Happy smoken
  12. So far only hot smoking. During the first test run I put an excessive amount of coals in the side box and got it really hot to not only burn off any residue from assembly but to also see how much heat the side box would add to the mes and it got up to 133 degrees. I've never even considered cold smoking but maybe with the right combination of coals, wood, and draft it's possible?
  13. Here's some pictures from our smoke yesterday, as you can see I shortened the pipe between the two grills, now I just need to fabricate a nice cart for the pair to ride on. Did a couple slabs of loin ribs rubbed dry with 1/2 cup Strawberries bbq Seasoning, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tbs cumin, and 2 tbs smoked paprika with a mop after 1.5 hrs of oak chunk smoke and another mop every hour thereafter using a mix of 1 cup apple juice, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 tbs rub, 1 tsp paprika for a total of 4.5 hours at 225. The ribs came out really good, the best tasting pork to come out of the mes so far but I still want to tweak it a bit because I prefer a slightly more falling off the bone rib so next time I plan to either extend the time on the smoker, wrap the ribs about 3/4 of the way in or both? The addition of the side box has added so much color and flavor to the finished product and although it's tough to make out in my cell phone pics, you can see there's some nice smoke penetration on those cut ribs and that's just using 3 small chunks of oak for the whole smoke. It was my first time using oak so I wanted to stay conservative but next time I'll use a bit more. The ribs had so much flavor nobody asked for bbq sauce which made me happy. For anyone with a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, this mod will give you what's missing and double as a tailgating grill for a game or family picnic away from home, Thanks!

  14. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I keep looking at that mod.

    I really like it.   I might have to give it a shot.

    Ribs look mighty good.

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