Newbie new to Smoking

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by smokingnewb, May 26, 2014.

  1. smokingnewb

    smokingnewb Newbie

    Hello everyone, love the forum!
    I just bought a MES and had a question. During the 'burn in' last night as per the instruction manual (275 for 3 hrs, adding pellets during last half hour) everything went fine except I got a few flare-ups and fire from the pellets a few times. Is this normal, and should I worry about it happening when I'm not watching it when im smoking my ribs that I have rubbed up and ready for today? I do realize that the temp will be lower (225) when smoking the ribs. Also, is closing off the exhaust the best method to snuff out the fire in the pellet tray? Fire in the smoker freaks me out.... Don't want to ruin the brand new smoker!
    Any advise would be much appreciated.
  2. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  3. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome, glad ya joined us !
  4. smokingnewb

    smokingnewb Newbie


    I'm new to smoking, but not new to BBQ. I live in Bismarck, ND.

    I have my first 3 racks of pork baby backs smoking as we speak in my new MES.
    Flare ups only occured in the beginning of the process today, but seemed to be snuffed out (closing exhaust) fairly quickly.

    Looking forward to feeding my whole family tonight with some yummy ribs!

    Have a good memorial day everyone!
  5. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds great, post up some pics if ya can ! Thumbs Up
  6. smokingnewb

    smokingnewb Newbie

    I will. Hey Waterinholebrew, you a craft beer guy? I just brewed a Green Flash West Coast IPA clone yesterday..... While I set up my MES.
  7. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just gettin into the home brew..... Kind of a newbie at that, but gonna give it a go ! That IPA your speaking of there sure sounds good ! :2thumbs:
  8. smokingnewb

    smokingnewb Newbie

    Cool. Perhaps we can swap pointers. I'll give you beer brewing advise, you educate me on smoking.
  9. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds great, really wanna get into brewing.... As far as the smoking, I'am happy to help ya with anything I can !
  10. smokingnewb

    smokingnewb Newbie

    Should I be concerned with those flare-ups I was describing above?
  11. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hello SmokingNewb and welcome aboard!  Give us a bit more info and we can provide better advice.  What's the model and size of your MES?  When you mention pellet tray, are you talking about an A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker, or are you using the MES's stock smoke chip tray?

    Generally, closing the exhaust vent is not a good practice and can lead to bitter or over-smoked food.  Tell us a little more about your rig and your smoke source and we'll help you figure this out.

  12. smokingnewb

    smokingnewb Newbie

    Masterbuilt 40in. Digital Electric Smokehouse Model# 20072612

    I'm using the stock smoke chip tray. Using pellets.

    I was only closing off the exhaust temporarily to snuf out the fire in the tray. When the fire went out I cracked it open again.
  13. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    OK I'm unfamiliar with your model number...does it look like this:

    Or perhaps like this:

    First pic is my old 1st gen MES...second pic is a stock photo of the 2nd gen rigs.

    I've heard of problems with flare ups in the newer designed models because the chip tray sits too close to the element.  I'm sure some mods have been discussed to address this issue, but I'll have to do a little searching to find them.  Whether you have the 2nd gen model, or the 1st gen like mine, the best way to solve your smoke generation issues is to get an AMNPS from A-Maze-N Products

    It produces perfect blue smoke for hours without reloading, and you don't have to worry about flare ups.

    Here's mine getting ready to go in the smoker, with about a half a load of pellets:

    In the 1st gen MES, the spot to place the AMNPS is on the little stainless rails to the left of the element/chip tray assembly (red arrow in the pic below):

    I think I read where they took those rails out in the newer design...perhaps someone who owns a 2nd gen can jump in and say where's the best place for the AMNPS in that rig.

    Hope this helps at all.  If not, ask away and we'll figure it out.

    Last edited: May 26, 2014
  14. smokingnewb

    smokingnewb Newbie

    It looks like the 2nd picture. Must be a 2nd gen then? I read that is not the best one? Why is that?
  15. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    In general, there have been some quality control and design issues with the newer gen models.  Here's a link to a thread that is a great read, from Todd (TJohnson) where he made a great comparison of the two models, and outlined many of the problems people were having with the 2nd gen models.

  16. Hello, welcome to the forum, I PM'ed a member that can help with your questions

    Gary S
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Red has you covered real good.

    That Gen #2 is a problem child.

    I never had that flare-up stuff with my Gen #1 MES, but if I did, I'd be afraid to leave it alone.

    If it's too late to take it back, the best thing for you to do is get an AMNPS, so at least you don't have to fight with the chip burner in that thing.

    Also don't trust the temp readings either----Think about getting a pair of Digital wireless therms, so you'll know what the temps really are.

  18. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great to have you join us SmokingNewb, congrats on the new MES and :welcome1: from a fellow North Dakotan located just to your north!
  19. smokingnewb

    smokingnewb Newbie

    Thanks mossymo. I known where Glenburn is! Cool beans.
  20. smokingnewb

    smokingnewb Newbie

    Thanks Seenred for the info. Perhaps someone will chime in that has a 2nd gen like mine and uses a AMNPS. I would be curious where in the smoker they put it.

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