So New I Ain't Even Smoked Yet!

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by daricksta, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi everyone. I'm Rick and I live just outside of Seattle, WA. Just got my MES30 out of the box yesterday but haven't even assembled it yet. Smoking meats and cheeses has long been a goal of mine. My wife just got an Italian-made electric pasta machine to reach her goal, so I got my smoker. I did my research and found out that the Masterbuilt 30" Electric Smokehouse (without the window) gave me the best bang for my buck.

    Looking through the forums, I'm a little overwhelmed because so many guys recommend  modifying the smoker. 

    Is it really necessary to purhcase the A-MAZE-EN smoke generator, and if I did, would I be restricted to using their proprietary Dust?

    Do I need to buy additional gaskets to stop smoke from leaking through the door?

    Should I buy a meat thermometer with a corded probe? If so, how do I stick it in the meat and still be able to close the door?

    Should I contact Masterbuilt and have them send me a larger wood chip tray, as I saw recommended in one of the forums here?

    Do I need to buy a separate thing to cold smoke cheese or can I use something homemade or does the MES 30 already come with what I need?

    I already have a Taylor instead-read digital thermometer that is superb for my kitchen. Why couldn't I just use that instead of going out and buying a specialty "grilling" version?

    What do you all think of the Masterbuilt/John McLemore "Dadgum That's Good"cookbook? Is it worth buying?

    I've decided to just use my smoker as is this season just to learn how the thing works. If the majority advice is to make the changes I asked about above, I'll make them after the summer.  I'm really excited to be a member of this smoking community.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hello daRicksta and [​IMG]  to SMF. Glad to have you here 

    I will let the Masterbuilt guys address most of the questions on your smoker but on the AMNPS issue - I would recommend it without hesitation. It allows you to generate a constant stream of TBS (thin blue smoke) for both hot and cold smokes. You can use other pellets but the ones from Todd are 100 % pure wood
  3. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks, Scarbelly.  The AMNPS is on sale right now but do you know if it's always or frequently on sale? And you're suggesting I get the new pellet smoker version? I don't know if I should rush out and get it right away or wait until I've used my smoker a few times to get used to it.

    Thanks for the info on the Todd pellets. What I'm understanding is that you can't use regular wood chips in a pellet smoker. But doesn't buying pellet packages run into money? 
  4. Yes, Scarbelly is spot on. The new pellet smoker is the way to go. Todd who own AMNSP is an awesome guy. Call him and he will fix you up..The pellets don't cost that much for as much smoke a bag will give you...A 5lb. bag is $9.99 - $12.99 depending what you buy. 1lb and 2lbs are also available. I actually sometimes mix chips with pellets...That works too..........As far as the Masterbuilt questions, I will yield to the MB dudes and dolls to answer those... [​IMG]
  5. As far as the AMNPS, it will do either pellets or dust. I have a Traeger 075 and I just use the same pellets in the AMNPS with no problem. Also chip tray problem solved and good consistent smoke.

    Haven't got around to cold smoking cheese on the MES yet, but I have used the AMNPS in my Weber kettle, held around 70 deg at about 50 some ambient so should work.

    I have several probe thermometers and just thread the probe wire through the top vent on my MES 40. I am not real familiar with the MES 30, but on my 40 the meat probe built in is pretty accurate so I sometimes use it. With a remote thermometer you can monitor temps without opening the door. Like the saying goes, if your lookin you ain't cookin.

    I did the hot spot fix on mine, a buck at Home Depot. Have not had any issues with the door leaking smoke. The only other thing I have done is fill the water tray with play sand for heat sink.

    Hope that helps, I am sure others will be along to help out. Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  6. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    I have the MES and the AMNPS.  Love both and the AMNPS is a big help.  I have used Todd's pellets and Traeger pellets as well since they appear to be more readily available in my particular area.

    One of the complaints on the MES is the problem with smoke generation.  Since I got the AMNPS, all problems alleviated.

    I also have Maverick thermos and highly recommend them.  Accurate, easy to use, and Todd has great packages available.  His customer service is excellent, and if his product will not solve your specific problem, he will admit it and tell you what might help.

    As for the probes, I also run my probes out the top of my MES through the vent, and it has always been successful for me.

    Love the MES, love the Maverick thermo, love the AMNPS.

    Good luck.
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank youu fo your response, Frosty. I looked at the Amazon reviews for the Maverick therms and hardly any were highly rated. But like with anything, anyone can get a bad unit. So it looks like I have to spend additional bucks on the AMNPS and the therm. How do I find Todd's website?

    And by smoke generation complaint, you're saying thr MES doesn't produce enough smoke?
  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the info, Iron Horse. What's this about a hot spot fix? I haven't read about that. Looks like I'm buying the AMNPS. Do I still need a separate accessory to cold smoke cheese?
  9. The MES is known for a hot spot in the right rear corner because the heating element is exposed, the placement of the top vent. To fix it you set a 12 X 12 unglazed floor tile on top of the heat shield and against the corner as a heat deflector. Under a buck at Home depot. I wrapped mine in foil also.
    And no, nothing else is required to cold smoke just a lit AMNPS and smoker turned off.
  10. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hey Rick, welcome to SMF!
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you everyone! I just bought the AMNPS and should get it some time this week. Can't wait. I'll look into dealing with the MES 30 hot spot next time I use it. I smoked some asparagus last night which turned out great. I'm a real bona-fided smoker now, gentlemen!
  12. greenrn

    greenrn Fire Starter

    Congratulations on becoming  a smoker [​IMG]
  13. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

  14. bigblue

    bigblue Smoke Blower

    [​IMG]  lots of info here just keep reading and ask alot of questions 
  15. Welcome to SMF! I have MES 40 and love it. Just did a 39 hr smoke on a 16.20 lb brisket and it was so easy with the MES. 
  16. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Man--you guys are heavy duty! SmokinHusker--39 hours? How often did you tend to it and what was your smoke source?  The two reasons I have the MES 30 is because I didn't know there was a 40 when I ordered it and I couldn't afford the 40 anyway. For my needs, the 30 will do fine.

    Thanks for the welcome everyone. RTBBQ2, Todd's website is in my favorite and he & I are already burgeoning pen pals.
  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ironhorse07, I can buy just one unglazed floor tile? I've got a Lowe's nearby so I'll check it out there.
  18. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    And Ironhorse07, I just realized after getting the pellet smoker and reading your post I could use it in my Weber kettle as well if I didn't want to futz around with my Masterbuilt on a given day.  I have a recipe that calls for smoking skirt steak for a couple of hours and finishing it off on the grill. I might just use the Weber for both operations.

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