Need some advise.

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by desjr, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. desjr

    desjr Newbie

    Using my digital  masterbuilt 40 for the first time. I have 4 pork butts in the 8-10 lb range. I have set the temp at 225. Damper down all the way.

    Is this the correct temp and damper position.?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. twoalpha

    twoalpha Smoking Fanatic

    Good Morning and Welcome to the forum

    As for the temperature: starting at 225 is a decent choice and you will probably need to bump the temp up as you go through time. The damper in my opinion and others using the MES would say open the damper all the way. 

    Each pork butt is going to be a little different in cooking time and just be prepared for it. Patience on your part with the 4 on these guys.

    Here is a link to a smoke I did on my MES 30 on a 10# butt and it came out great. You will find many more suggestions on this subject on this great forum. Be sure to keep track on your time and temp and learn from it for the next time.

    Hope this helps.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yep, exhaust vent wide open for convection...JJ
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi DESJR,
    I answered your other thread like this, so I'll just copy & paste my answer here too:

     With 4 Butts, 225° should be your lowest setting. You'd be better off going to 260° smoker temp, and I would open that top vent all the way--100%".

    Also Don't make your smoke too heavy!!

    Here's some Tips:


    Pulled Boston Pork Butt         
  5. desjr

    desjr Newbie

    Thanks Bear,

    I tried to delete the extra thread but could not see how to do it. My smoker is a 30 and not a 40. I may have too much meat in it as I can  not get the temp past 237. Good thing that this is not todays meal as it will take much longer than I originally thought.

  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you're going by your Built in Therm, you might be at 260° and don't know it.

    You really have to get a digital wireless therm, like the Maverick ET-732 to be able to get accurate readings of both smoker temp & meat temp.

    That's a lot of meat for an MES 30, but it should catch up & be fine once things warm up.

    Hang in there!!

  7. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You didn't mention your source for smoke. Are you using the chip tray or do you have an aftermarket smoking tray like Todd Johnson's AMZNP?
  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I got to this party late. Why did you recommend 260°, Bear? And is this only for when smoking more than one pork butt at a time?
  9. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    Sorry to contradict Bear, but 225 is my preferred smoker temp.  However, like he said, your temp on the the smoker is going to be off.  On my MES 30, I know that I have to set it at 235 to get to 225 in the smoker.  The only way to tell is with another reliable probe like the Maverick or some other thermometer.  

    Your smoker has got to be packed.  Consider that the lower butts could be preventing the upper ones from getting to temp.  It's a try-and-see process.

    Let us know how they turn out.

    BTW, you want an IT (internal temp of your meat) to reach 200.  A probe inserted into the meat will have no resistance.  Chances are that they'll get done at different times.  Be patient.
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm a 225°--230° Man too, but with 4 Butts in the 8-10 lb range, I would go to 260° to get them out of the Danger Zone a little sooner, and I definitely wouldn't temp probe them until a few hours in.

    Also 4 Butts shouldn't block air flow in an MES 40 unless they're in Foil Pans, but I'm not sure about an MES 30. It's been awhile.

    You Got it, Rick. That's my only reason.

    I may try some higher Temps one of these days, but up to this point, I would only use above 240° for more than 10 or 12 pounds of Meat in my MES 40.

    Not that I find anything wrong with higher temps----I just like more smoke time before I hit my foiling temp of 165°.

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Choice of cooking temp is a very individual thing. I had decided that 225° would be my standard cooking temp in my MES 30 Gen 1. Then I smoked an 8 lb. beef brisket for 11 hours to a 203° finish IT. For the first time, the fat didn't render the way it had in the past and the bark was way too soft. I even unfoiled the meat during the last 30 minutes of the cook. I'm going back to my preferred 235-245° because I'm more assured of getting the results I want. 250° is too high, in my opinion.
  12. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    With my little MES 30 I don't smoke any more than one pork shoulder or one beef brisket at a time. One of them critters takes long enough to fully cook as it is. However, I can cook 2-3 rack of baby backs or St. Louis ribs at a time.

    Bear, the last time I smoked a brisket I think the stall hit at about 165-170° but it wasn't very long. Even though the temp kept slowly rising I foiled it about then. This was an important discovery for me because I've been adhering to the smoking lore that meat stalls at 160°. My brisket zoomed past that. Besides I decided that since most meats I smoke hit 160° IT after about 3 hours, I consider that way too soon to foil since I want another hour of smoke contact before I foil.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I normally don't do more than one of any big item, like a Butt, but that's mainly because it's just me & Mrs Bear here, and if we have a large get together, it would be held at my Son's house, with all the room.

    As for foiling---I've seen people foil anywhere between 160° and 185°, or not at all. I started with 165° because it gave me the smoke time I wanted, and I never considered the stall in my thoughts.

    It could stall before or after I foil.

  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is what I love about your comments, Bear. No hard and fast rules; it's what you choose to do based on your knowledge and experience. My brisket didn't turn out the way I wanted it to last time so I've already decided what to change next time. I'm cooking up some baby backs this Friday. Still deciding whether I'm going to smoke them in my MES or grill them over indirect heat using charcoal briquettes and either wood chips or wood pellets. Jted is sending me a homemade tube pellet smoker I plan to try out. As I've said many times, I try to learn something new each time I smoke.
  15. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    I ran into a guy that builds/sells UDS's at the Pekin, IL Marigold Festival.  He has an AMNTS and filled it up to cold smoke cheese for two hours.  He said it was bitter and I mentiond to only fill it half way then hold sideways and shake to even it out.  That would be about the amount of pellets in the rows of an AMNPS.  I smoked a rack of BB ribs in the 40"MESG1 the other day to expedite the learning curve of the AMNPS.  I did the 5 hour straight smoke at 236*F average.  It was the best no hassle BB ribs in the 40"MESG1 yet.   But I'm a spareribber so it was the 3rd BB rack in my smoker.  Cold smoking season is right around the corner![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    By the way I don't get emoticons or pics in my emails (mobile or computer) until I click on see post or see thread, but then that takes me to SMF.  I've checked my email settings to accept pics but don't know if it's a URL deal.  I'm on Windows 7.


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