Soak vs not (MES 40)

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by katfacer, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. I've read recently that some of you don't soak your wood chips. I just threw my first turkey in my MES 40, and put in wood chips, unsoaked for the first time. I noticed smoke coming out of the side where the chip loader is. Is this normal? It's never happened when I soaked the chips first, and I'm thinking it's a good thing, but I just want to make sure I don't have a problem with the smoke coming out of the side.

    And I did order an AMNPS, but the wife had some apple wood chips she got from a friend that she begged me to try, and you know the old saying... "Happy wife, Happy life!"
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    It's fine. Keep the top exhaust vent fully open while smoking . I know what MES says but Trust

    me (us), I think the members on this site have done more research by trial and error than MES ever thought about doing.

     No need to soak chips , small handfull at a time , vent fully open when smoking. enjoy the results.
  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Your soaked chips did not smoke, because they were "Steaming" away in the chip pan.

    Dry chips start smoldering right away

    If smoke was coming out the chip loader, either you had too many chips in the chip pan, or the MES was backdrafting down thru the exhaust

    Add a 3" 90° elbow to the exhaust and it will help

  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Don't forget the Q-view for the turkey!
  5. Thanks for the help so far! The vent is open and it smells awesome in my backyard! I have a bloodhound, and she keeps going to the smoker, loving all the smells! Q-view to come!
  6. bryant

    bryant Newbie

    Sorry I might be a little dumb but I'm just starting out.   I have a Masterbuilt 40" electric smoker and I'm hearing that you should not have to soak your wood chips.
  7. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    TJohnson said it all! Wet wood steams and will not smoke until it drys out so soaking just slows down the smoke.

    I see this is your first post here, when you get a minute would you do us a favor and go to Roll Call and introduce yourself so we can get to know you and give you a proper welcome, also would you add your location to your profile, we like knowing where you are when we talk to you, Thanks!
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Your not dumb. This comes up frequently because of all the TV Chefs talking about soaking wood chips. This accomplishes nothing but delaying the smoke. Dry seasoned wood absorbs very little water but the surface does get wet enough to delay smoking until in dries...JJ
  9. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry but I don't agree with the comments opposed to soaking wood chips. I've done it both ways and there is no difference. However my MES40 is old style
    with 800 watt element and a properly designed/functioning chip tray that sits almost on top of element. Newer models have a poorly designed tray that has
    an unnecessary extra piece of metal between element and chip tray. Thus it is possible to not have proper combustion/ignite of soaked wood chip. Replace
    Chip tray with retrofit kit tray and soaked chips should work just fine.

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