To Much Smoke?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by tjwheels, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. tjwheels

    tjwheels Fire Starter

    So today I'm smoking spare ribs using the 3-2-1 method (first time doing ribs on my new electric). Setup is MES 40 2.5 model, 15 1/2 LBs of ribs, 225 degrees, water pan full. I have added apple wood chips every 45 minutes to an hour (not soaked) as to what most people seem to recommend. My concern is two fold, a heavy smoke flow and it seems to be some what white. I've attached a picture hoping someone could tell me if I should be concerned or if this is normal with an MES. Thank you in advance, love this forum.

  2. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes that does look like too much and too white.
  3. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    You might try wrapping your chips in foil with some holes poked for air to limit the oxygen a bit. Most guys get some supplimental smoke generating device for those smokers that use pellets and burn a long long time with perfect smoke. You will end up with sooty ribs width smoke like that.
  5. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    First off, the water pan is not necessary in that unit. The MES units seal up so tight that the water pan will put too much moisture into the smoker and everything will end up soaking wet.

    Second, yes that is too much smoke. Have you looked down the chip loader to see what is going on in the chip pan when it is smoking that much? Are the chips on fire or smoldering? If they are smoldering than you can just cut back on how many you add at a time and wait for the smoke to run out before adding more.
  6. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    There seems to be a general consensus that as long as you are cooking a product in a smoker that smoke has to be applied.  If you are one of these and are getting good consistent results, good. 

    I have been one who uses different colors and densities of smoke depending on the product being cooked.  Starting from a light blue smoke toward a heavy white smoke, the whiter the smoke the less is needed and the less forgiving it is.

     Look at it this way.  When filling a glass with water, whether, at a drop at a time or a steady flow, when it's full, it's full, there is no need to add more.  After all, we are adding smoke for flavor not as a preservative.

     Depending on the color and density of the smoke, there are products that can be satisfactorily smoked in as little as a few seconds to days.

    Looking at the color and density of your smoke on the ribs, it would be my guess that a half hour to forty-five minutes would be plenty.

    Related threads:   Smoke Color Chart,  New to smoking or have a new smoker? -- "How to optimize your smoke",  Understanding Smoke Management - updated 12/08/14

  7. tjwheels

    tjwheels Fire Starter

    Blue & Frosty - thank you for you opinions, kind of what I was thinking.

    Jet - the chip loader is so small for this unit (probably less than half a cup) I don't think I could load ships in foil through it. I'll practice that when it's off. I did receive my AMNPS yesterday but did not season it or want to try it without a practice run first. Thanks

    bmad - I have read a lot of post that agree with you on the water pan, I have used this smoker three times previous and filled it about half full and covered it with foil. This was the first and maybe last time I'll run it this way. I couldn't see any moisture on the glass door or anywhere else when I did a quick check on the wood chip pan. There was no visible flame I could see in the pan. I think I'll just cut back on the chips. Thanks 
  8. tjwheels

    tjwheels Fire Starter

    Mr T - I like everything about your post and I am heading to the links you posted. Thanks
  9. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hopefully, you find them helpful.

  10. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I have given up on the chip tray and gone to a mailbox mod. But when I was using the chip tray, I found myself overfilling it which caused issues. Your best bet is to let the smoke run out prior to refilling to avoid that mistake (or look at the many MES mods on here to customize your setup).

    Good luck on your next smoke.
  11. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    bmaddox,  I am a proponent of the mailbox type mods as you must know, they help provide a much cleaner smoke, especially when cold smoking.

    Not being familiar with his type of smoker I do realize some smokers are designed to use very little wood during the whole smoking process.  Using either of my Cookshacks, for example, a whole chicken can be smoked using only two ounces of chunks.

  12. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Did you verify through another thermometer that the smoker temp was indeed 225°? It looks like you've got something like a therm on the top left side of your MES. What's the airflow like inside your smoker? The TWS could be a result of inadequate air venting resulting in smoke building up inside the MES. I also agree with looking inside the wood chip loader to see if the wood chips are burning or smouldering. With that much smoke I'd add a small handful of wood chips once every hour, but of course I know the smoke is over.

    Season the AMNPS and learn to use it properly; both easily done. Anyone who claims they did everything as instructed and still insist the wood pellets go out whether the AMNPS is inside or outside a smoker isn't telling the full story. There's too many of us who use the AMNPS successfully. As I've said many times, I don't nuke the wood pellets or do anything fancy and the AMNPS works fine for me.
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As others have said, that is too heavy a smoke.

    Remove the water from the pan---it's not needed.

    It's not like a long time of light smoke is equal to a short time of heavy smoke. That might work in Math, but not in real life smoking.

    A light to medium smoke for a long time is good, but a heavy smoke, for even a short time, no matter what color it is, can be bad & usually is.

    I have not tried the Gen #2.5 yet, but if that's what you're getting, try just putting 5 or 6 chips in every time it needs it, even if it's every 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile I would suggest getting an AMNPS. That solved all my smoking problems 5 years ago & has been perfect ever since.

  14. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    My BGE doesn't smoke that bad even when I am lighting it...
  15. tjwheels

    tjwheels Fire Starter

    I don't believe the temp was the cause, I use an iGrill2 which I have tested with boiling water and ice water. Attached is a snap shot that shows the end of the first 3 hours, the 2 hour wrap and the start of the final hour. It remained pretty steady except when I opened the door. The top vent was wide open the entire time, I don't know where else I can adjust for airflow. I will try the AMNPS, it came Thursday with both pellets and dust. The next time I use chips I will reduce the amount I add as suggested.

    By the way the ribs did turn out great, 11 family members were over for dinner and I received some rave reviews, who knows?  Thanks. 

  16. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's what's all important--that the ribs turned out great no matter how you got them there. Seems like that what you found out is that TWS may not be as bad as some say it is, especially if the smoke wasn't heavy throughout the cook, primarily just during the 1st part. 

    I've read good and bad reviews about the iGrill2. I didn't even consider it since I don't own a smartphone. But it looks like you can track the temp changes over time which is pretty cool and keep a record of it and every time you use it. I'm lazy and content enough to just look at the LCD screen on my ET-733 receiver (wherever I set it down) and check the BBQ and FOOD temps there.
  17. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    daRicksta echoes what I've said for years.  Don't limit yourself, there are so many products that simply cannot be smoked using only TBS.  Keep good notes on the color and density of your smoke, you will soon be far ahead of those who work so hard to only use one type of smoke.

     No matter the make of your smoker, take the time to learn the way was designed to be used.  You can then decide as to whether you want to continue using it or upgrade.

    daricksta likes this.

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