Vent open or closed????

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by dearhawke, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. I am new to this group and new to smoking.  So far I have smoked chicken halfs and St. Louis ribs.  Both turned out well.  My question is do you leave the vent open or closed?  I know if you are trying to make jerky, etc you leave it open to dry out the product.  But, I was under the impression the makers of the smoker were suggesting leaving the vent closed during smoking.  Any thoughts wheather and when to leave it open or closed?


    gone4nc likes this.
  2. top vent wide open all the time.

  3. foamheart

    foamheart OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I keep mine nearly closed. Well mostly. Electric smokers have limited smoke and the more open the vent the faster its gone. Yes you can reload, but only so many times until you have to open the door and dump the tray. An electric smoker is about leaving the door closed opposed to a fire burner which constantly loses smoke and requires moisture renewal because of it. The electric does not require these.

    Yes you can modify your electric basically trying to make it a fire burner so they smoke similar, but electrics and fire burners are different smoking types using different smoking operations. Even Jeff here agrees that with time and temp the ability of meats to retain smoke diminishes past 140 degrees. So what you see is usually a 2 to 4 hour smoke window for optimum smoke absorption.

    I am not saying my way is any more right than Mules, and I acknowledge he knows smoking, I am only saying there is an ongoing discussion as to what is the right way to use the electric's smoking abilities.

    I say, you should try it both ways and draw your own conclusion.

    Again, no disrespect meant to Mule, just different approaches.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  4. seenred

    seenred Group Lead OTBS Member

    I always left the top vent wide open on my MES40. You've got to allow for steady, constant airflow.

  5. daveomak

    daveomak OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Darrel, Afternoon....   Well, the discussion continues....   Looking back in history, smokers were wooden structures... leaky, not sealed up... smoke was applied for days and longer....   No water pans ..... just smoke and air flow.....    Today's manufacturers are trying to improve on something that can't be improved upon.... with all kinds of gimmicks trying to speed up the smoking process.....  The fastest being liquid smoke, comes in a bottle.......   There's my take on the smoking thing....  

    I leave my exhaust wide open.... thin wispy smoke for a few hours or up to days for bacon....   comes out pretty darn good in my book....   If you like the taste of creosote, close the smoker up pretty tight and pour the smoke to the meat.....      

    Try both methods....  do a test if you will, and taste the difference....  You may find you like the heavy acrid taste that comes from a closed up smoker.... some folks do......  

  6. Foam

    You know you can't hurt my feelings. Unless you take the bones away from my dogs!!!!

    happy smoken my friend.

  7. foamheart

    foamheart OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am saying, use the vent, not closed but auto full open is not the way I see it. You want a whisp of smoke escaping, not all cloud. I must have that special MES that doesn't make creosote or maybe I don't realize it from the years of eatting it. <shrugs> This is the first electic I ever had with a vent.

    As I said, agreeing with Dave, try it for youself and make your own decissions.
  8. FUNNY Mule , funny.  I like it

  9. Open all the time is my preferred method
  10. daveomak

    daveomak OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  11. With the two different points of view -just split the difference and open it half way!:sausage::yahoo:
  12. ^ Boom!!! Halfway

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