tooo cold?! mes 30" plus mods and food pics

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by urahoho, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. urahoho

    urahoho Newbie

    Today is my first smoke. It is about 37 degrees outside and my smoker is set to 240, yet maximum temp on the gauge is 219.

    However, I put a 8x10 ceramic tile on top of the smoke box to try to keep the temperatures even and 2 additional charbroil temp gauges on the top rack, one left front and one right front.  The left front gauge reads 250 and right front gauge reads just under 300.  (I think I need a bigger piece of tile to block out more heat).

    Is the built in gauge suppose to be that off?

    is there suppose to be that much of a temperature difference between tieh left and the right  even with the tile in?

    Will post more pics once the chicken is done.

    Here is how it started off though....skinless boneless chicken breast from Costco, seasoned with Memphis seasoning and wrapped in bacon.   I didn't realize how much bacon I needed, barely covered the chicken!

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  2. urahoho

    urahoho Newbie

    well here is the final product...wife loved it was goood... not too dry.  I did dry out the string beans  2 hrs at 250 is too much...

    delicious chicken


    dried out string beans.....tasted like rubber.

  3. urahoho

    urahoho Newbie

    also, I forgot to post pics my the mods.

    is this a good place to keep the gauges? Sorry phone camera a bit blurry...


    My tile insulator....I think it need to come out 2 more inches towards the front

  4. tdwester

    tdwester Fire Starter

    I have used mine when it is in the teens and never had a temp problem like you are describing.
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The chicken looks absolutely delicious!

    I'll let someone else who has a MES30 answer your questions.
  6. urahoho

    urahoho Newbie

    now that I am thinking about it, I think my built in gauge is way off.  I had the smoker set to 240, because the digital temp only shower 219.  However the extra gauges that I had put inside showed a consistent 250/300 temperature.

    Chicken was done in 2 hrs.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You have some fine lookin' Q there Ura... Great job.... Great pictures.... 

    You have opened a can of worms with all of those thermometers in your smoker... I did the same thing and spent many sleepless nights trying to figure out how to overcome the different temp zones.. I have started threads on my modifications over the last year....  Search my "threads started" and check them out.. If you have any questions about the mods, PM me and I will be happy to explain what and why I did what I did....

    From my experiences with the MES 30, the cycling of the element along with the air flow thru the smoker, leaves the bottom of the smoker cooler than the top... the placement of the ceramic tile will redirect the heat to different areas of the smoker... If the tile is tight against the back right of the smoker, the front left areas will be hotter than the back right UNTIL you measure the temps at the top of the smoker.... then the back right will hotter due to the exhaust vent being located there.... Just the nature of things and convection heat currents....

    I have regulated the electric burner heat output using an incandescent light dimmer switch.... I set the element heat so it does not turn off and the smoker is at the temp I am looking for....  When in that mode the temps are pretty uniform throughout the smoker.... and I have modified a single use aluminum baking pan to redirect the exhaust to the center of the smoker...  Everything still ain't perfect but seems to be better.....

    Every smoker has it's quirks... even the professional models have hot and cold zones... there is a learning curve with all of them... learning your particular smoker and adjusting to it's quirks is what makes great Q...

  8. I have used my mes 30 in below zero temperatures with no problem what so ever. It holds heat well and recovers fairly quickly even if i open the door up. The one thing i can say though is let the smoker preheat well before adding you food. I use the water pan often in colder temps as it really helps as a heat sink and makes recovery time a lot quicker. By the way does your 30 have the 650 or 800 watt element? Mine has the 800 watt element.
  9. urahoho

    urahoho Newbie have started a lot of threads =)  I got a bigger piece of tile, 11 by 10.5"  I am also going to added the foil pan at the top and cut the hole in a different place.  Hopefully this will even out the hot spots.  Might smoke some sausages tonight to test it.

    I will also let it warm up a lot longer.  Might help with the temps.

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions.
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ura, morning..... The tile size  11 x 10.5 " is too big..... It was pointed out that the heat will be too hot on the sides of the smoker and possibly warp or overheat the SS liner.....

    I revised that tile from the comments made as to not do damage to the lining.....

    I feel now, the tile should be 1 1/2" from the back and 1 1/2" from the right side and 4" from the front and left sides as to not cause damage to the liner....  Do not know if those numbers are perfect... but I do not want to ruin the liner.....

    I feel the baffle in the top of the smoker was the biggest improvement to the overall heat distribution solution of the smoker....

    Good luck and follow up, so others can learn from your modifications, with pics and descriptions.... there is always room for improvements and everyone enjoys reading about "tinkering" with smokers.... especially pictures of your accomplishments in the smoked foods...... Dave
  11. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Chicken looks good..I keep Bricks in my Electric Smoker...
  12. urahoho

    urahoho Newbie

    ok I kept the original tile and repositioned it. I added the pan for the top.  Seemed to even the temperature out a lot.  Still off and the top right front corner seem to run a bit hotter, but not by much.  I hot smoked some fresh sausage and it turned out great, no burnt areas!  Green beans turned out fine too.

    Relocated Tile


    Added foil pan to the top


    and smoked sausages!

  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Glad you joined the ranks of folks who "CAN'T LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE".....  The fresh sausage looks good to me....  even cooking.... crisp skins.... don't get no better than that...

    Now that smoker needs some color on the inside.....  Maybe a smokey hue.....    Dave
  14. urahoho

    urahoho Newbie

    well smoking some ribs for tonight... they look a bit dry after 2 hrs.  Do you have to spritz ribs?  I just wrapped them in foil too.

    Looks like my MES runs 10 degrees hotter then the built in temp gauge.  Had the temp set for 230 and the inside temp gauge read a bit under 250.  So now I have the temp gauge set at 215 to hit that 225 mark. I think it is time to invest a dual gauge therm and possibly the pellet smoker, but I haven;t had any issues using the mes smoker.

    Anyone else's smoker run hotter then the digital read out?
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    mine does.... Dave
  16. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member


Share This Page