Temperature to get dry chips to smoke in MES

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by srkays, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. srkays

    srkays Newbie

    I have had a MB 40" propane smoker and main complaint was temperature control.  I could never seem to get the temp below 200F.  Gas burner on low, minimal chips, etc.  Not great when trying to smoke salmon, king mackerel, or other meats requiring low temps...160F or so.

    I recently replaced the propane smoker with the newest MES 30" (Model 20078715) and have used it one time to smoke a couple of 5 lb pork butts.  Worked fantastic.  Love how easy to use and accurate temp control.  I want to smoke some salmon, but have question regarding getting the chips to smoke at the right time...or at all.

    1.  At what temperature do 'dry' wood chips (apple, hickory, cherry, etc.) start to smoke? 

    2.  If I set the MES 30" at 160F, how long will the chips take to start smoking....or will they start smoking?  I have been told I need at least 180F to 200F to get them to start smoking.  Do I need to set the temp higher (200F) and once chips start to smoke reduce to desired smoking temp?

    3. I assume chips added during rest of smoking process will start smoking because of the hot embers/smoldering chips already in the smoker?

    Any tips/techniques regarding starting and maintaining 'smoke' in an MES would be greatly appreciated.
  2. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    With the MES, you won't get much, if any smoke at low temps.  Most of us who use the MES have purchased an AMAZEN smoke tray for low temp smokes.  It works really well, and many use it in place of chips.

    Another option, still with the AMAZEN, is to do the mailbox mod.  Here is a link to show some of the mods that have been done.  It works like a charm!

  3. srkays

    srkays Newbie

    I have gone to the AMAZEN web site, looked at their products, and sent them emails for information/clarification.  My problem is the new MES 30" (20078715) does not have sufficient space to put the AMAZEN tray...even with the MES chip tray removed.

    Could I take my first 'tube' load of chips and pre-heat them while in the tube using one of those BBQ lighter butane lighters?  Heat up all the chips until they get close to smoking and put them in the MES?  I certainly do not want to punch a hole in the side of my new smoker.
  4. srkays

    srkays Newbie

    Oh...never got any reponse back from the AMAZEN folks.

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