Newbie Needs Help

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by panheadsully, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. Hello Folks,

    I'm new to the forum and smoking meats in general.  I have couple ideas and was hoping for some input from the "masters".

    Here's what I'd like to do:

    I'm a fisherman and catch a ton of Salmon and Steelhead.  My mom gave me her MES30 Analog controlled unit.  I've put a few batches through the smoker and it's been good, but....

    I can't produce smoke under 180degF.  To me this is too hot.  It cooks the fish very fast and it seems to lose some of it's fat content out of the fish.  I've heard if you slow smoke it, say 80 for 2 hrs, 100 2hrs, 120 2hrs up to 160 degF etc until the fish reaches 160 temp is a better solution and you do not lose the fat content.  The existing smoker cannot do this.


    I purchased the cold smoker adapter for MES's and am waiting for that to show up.  I was thinking I could adapt that unit to the older MES Smoker that I have and produce a colder smoke.  Then I'd have to manually adjust the temperature to maintain the temps I'd like to see.  This should produce smoke at 100degF and up...


    This will require manual control.  I've looked at the Auberin Units that provide step control for temperature and auto shut off etc.  That's about 200 bucks. 

    My questions are:

    I'd have about 250 bucks into the MES with Smoke Generator and Auberin Controller.  Would this be a pretty solid unit?  Or, should I investigate other smokers that may be better?  I looked at the first gen MES40, but the digital control just maintains temp unlike the auberin that has step control. 

    I don't plan on doing this commercially at this time, but I'm getting a ton of requests for more smoked fish and want to "up my game" a bit. 

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, on the each his own. I personally smoke my salmon around 190, trying not to go over 200 and can't say I see a lot of fatting out. I pull at 145 IT. But, not being my fav fish I don't do it often enough to be of concern. I have heard of guys smoking salmon at low temps and seeing parasites wiggling out of the fish because the temp is to low to kill them. Now, I personally have not seen this but the thought alone is enough to make me think better of a low temp smoke on fish.

    On the MES.....a freebie is a freebie so well done, especially if an old gen 1 unit. They are prone to shoot craps but many here use them with xlnt results. I personally would not have one although I was close to getting a new Gen 2, deciding against it. IF you intend to do a LOT of smoking there's a good chance it's performance will diminish.....but one never knows, does one.....but, to answer your question I'd look into something a bit more heavy duty......HTH, Willie......just my 2 cents and humble opinion only
  3. Thanks Chef Willie for your response. 

    At this time I have not seen any worms coming out of my Salmon....but I'll keep an eye on it.

    If you set the smoker to cook at 200 degF, you'll get less than an hour before it has to come off, I'd like to smoke it longer then an hour....

  4. Can't speak to the fish part or the MES specifically, but I use an Auber PID for my Smokin-it electric smoker and highly recommend it. If you get the 1800W model (I think, but look it up as I can't recall the model # off the top of my head) you should be able to use it on most any electric smoker. 

    Also, a lot of folks use the A-MAZE-N line of cold smoke products to do their cold smoking (and hot smoking too for that matter) and everyone raves about them. I have one coming any day now myself. 

    I would think if your MES is somewhat insulated, more or less sealed well, pairing it with an Auber PID and a cold smoking device should allow you to do whatever you want. Depending on the quality of the insulation you may run into some issues getting her up to hot smoking temps in the cold winter but there are ways to remedy that as well. Lots of folks doing lots of good Q on MESs.
  5. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You could purchase an A-MAZE-N Pellet smoker from the sponsor of this site. It works great at producing smoke at low heats.

  6. If your budget will allow the Auber Wsc1200 is a great entry level PID unit. It has the different levels of programing. The 1200 is rated for 1200 watts or 10 amps. There are other units to choose from but it will take care of The MES units here is a copied and pasted blurb on smoking salmon from there page. This is a entry level controller that costs 141.50 plus the shipping.

    This model has a 6-step programmable temperatures function. It can set each step of smoking to different temperatures and duration. The duration of each step can be set from 0.1 hour to 99.9 hour. This function is useful for recipes that need to start at low temperatures and finish at higher temperatures. For example: You can program the temperature to start at 120 °F for 1.5 hour of smoking, rise to 132 °F for 2.5 hours and finish at 175 °F for 1 hour for smoked salmon (see pictures of my results below). It will save you time waiting by the smoker to change the settings manually when each step is finished. Jted
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  7. If your budget will allow the Auber Wsc1200 is a great entry level PID unit.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  8. jsdspif

    jsdspif Meat Mopper

    I have the cold smoker attatchment for my MES 30 . I experimented with it to see if it raised the internal temp of the smoker and it really didn't . With the cold smoker I put chips in it , turn the cold smoker on and in about 4 minutes start watching for smoke to come out of the exhaust on the mes 30 . Once I see some smoke I turn off the cold smoker and it continues to smoke as long as there's chips in it . After an hour and a half or so I have to push the chips down from the top and sometimes it starts right back up smoking without me turning the cold smoker back on for a minute or so . When I tested it let's just say the internal temp of the mes30 was 70 deg. and turning on the cold smoker for 5 minutes to get it to produce smoke and then shutting it off raised the internal temp to maybe 72 degrees . So it really doesn't put much heat into the MES 30 . I really like mine . I have the amazen that takes the dust but I always had problems either getting it lit or keeping it lit or burning too fast . The customer support is great for the amazen and he's got the newer pellet ones and the grill mats , almost everyone is pleased with there amazen but I just couldn't get the hang of mine . I never smoke any fish so I'm not much help on that end , but hopefully this will help fill you in on what to expect from the cold smoker unit .

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