New Owner Needing Help

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by xzebra, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. xzebra

    xzebra Fire Starter

    So with many looks and many models and withing my price range I have decided to get the MES 30 (109).

    While I await my shipment I would like to know so user friendly tips.  The first four items I would like to smoke are 1) ribs 2) chicken w/apple wood 3) boston butt for pork bbq and 4) jerky.

    I have heard that some had a bad run on their first try with many of these - partly to over smoking or them being over done.  So I am asking you long-time experts and those that have had a MES 30 for some time for help.

    Also..can you leave this unit outside in the winter?  What about smoking in your garage in the rain (smell).

    Any useful tips and ideas would be greatly appreciated and please welcome me to the next Newbie.  [​IMG]

    Thank you for all of your help!
  2. I have a MES40 and I keep it in my shop. I just open the door and fire it up Smells great for a couple of days.

    For ribs try 3-2-1 or 2-2-1

    For chicken 165° IT in the breast. smoking at 275°-350° higher temp for crispy skin.

    Butt 225°-240° IT of 200°-205° for pulled

    Jerkey 140°-160° till desired dryness For extra smoke start at 110° and raise temp 10° every hour till you reach 160° then till desired dryness

    Happy smoken.

  3. xzebra

    xzebra Fire Starter

    Thanks a bunch - This helps a lot 
  4. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    When smoking meat you need to go by temp. not time. ( RULE 1 ) All times are guide lines only. You can always keep your shoulder in a cooler for 2 hours if done early. You cant keep people happy if dinner is 2 hours late. ( Rule 2 ) Buy a good Therm. that is wireless to make sure the temps are where they need to be. That's basically it.  GET AN      AMNPS    ITS A LIFE SAVER!!!!
  5. xzebra

    xzebra Fire Starter

    Thanks for your help, much appreciated!

    Could you please tell me what a AMNPS is and how to use it?
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  6. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Its only the best invention ever!!!! click on the sponsers button on the main page. It gives upto 11 hours of smoke so you can drink beer and not babysit the chip loader.
  7. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Along with the AMAZN smoke tray, you may want to invest in a maverick temp monitor as the mes controllers and meat probes have been known to be way off in many cases. These two items will help you have a true set and forget smoker and help you monitor the large left to right heat differences in the mes.
  8. xzebra

    xzebra Fire Starter

    Thanks so much for your help geerock
  9. Not trying to HJ, but my MES 30 has a max setting of 275.  Does the 40 go to 350 or higher?
  10. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The 40 has the same max setting. The problem with both are that the controllers tend to read out higher than the actual temp. In other words you may have to set at 275 to get a 250 cook temp. I actually have an email from masterbuilt cs saying this very thing.
  11. Thanks Geerock.
  12. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Xzebra, hello. Good to have you here, we hope you decide to stay and call this home for all your BBQ needs.

    As for your first cooks, IMHO, I would do Chicken several times ,until you get used to your smoker and it's personality. ( how it operates). Do the Birds in different ways and get decent at cooking Bird. Then go to a nice Pork Butt (they are very forgiving-unlike Ribs and Brisket)and do a few of them, then as your confidence builds, go on to Ribs and then Brisket.

    I say it this way because, you need to know how to operate the Smoker , and Chicken is Cheap and good too, so it's easier to ruin a $5 Chicken than a $12 to $20 Rack of Ribs.

      Butts are the next logical step, this will give you practice in Patience... once the light goes on, you can step into some bigger challenges.

    How ever you do the list, be sure to . . .
  13. bgosnell151

    bgosnell151 Smoking Fanatic

    As a newbie to be (haven't gotten my smoker yet, it's ordered), this is very good advice.  Thanks, I appreciate it.  Actually this entire thread is full of great advice.

    Thanks All
  14. Lastly the smoker cannot be left out in the weather. It will ruin the controller unless it is covered and then you have to be sure no moisture is getting in there. 
  15. atio

    atio Fire Starter

    Inevitably, when ever meat goes on sale during the week and I pick up something to smoke, it rains on the weekend.  I've done four smokes in my attached garage now with the door slightly open and haven't had a problem.  The smell does stick around for a week or so, but is that really a bad thing?  Just makes me want to smoke more!  [​IMG]
  16. xzebra

    xzebra Fire Starter

    How do know what to tweak and when?  Also ribs last?  Uh....not good - LOL 

    I love ribs the most and this is one of the main reasons for purchasing.  What about this method?

    I would love your feedback and by all means - Thank you
  17. xzebra

    xzebra Fire Starter

    Thanks for the info Atio
  18. For my first smoke I went with my meatloaf recipe, 2# burger, 1# sausage, and my other stuff.  I divide it into two loafs. I figured the worst that could happen is they could be moved to the oven.  But the came out just fine.  Would you experienced smokers consider meatloaf a reasonable 1st try?

     My 2nd smoke was the pork butt I wrote about having no-smoke problems with and thought I'd messed up.  But after getting replies AND tasting it, things went better than I thought.  I want to continue the learning process using butts, because I just don't care for chicken that hasn't been fried!
  19. xzebra

    xzebra Fire Starter

    One big question I have is how do you know how long or how much to smoke your meats?
  20. bgosnell151

    bgosnell151 Smoking Fanatic

    You can tell by the temp. If you haven't done the 5 day ecourse, I suggest it. It has a breakdown of what temps you should bring each type of meat to.

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