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30" masterbuilt electric smoker

#1 User is offline   alex fernandez 

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 05:10 PM

hi,

I just got the 30" masterbuilt electric smoker. Had a couple questions:

1) chips, how often do I add them to the tray? like If I smoking a pork sholder for 13 or 14 hours, one would think that with the tray being so small it would take several loads.

2) water pan should it be filled to the top? how much water should be used?

3) lastly when I did the pork shoulder I did not have any thing in the outside dip tray?

thanks for the help
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#2 User is offline   brucered 

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 08:01 AM

very close to pulling the trigger on the 30" electric MB smoker. i can get it for $199cdn locally and use about $100 worth of CT money (canadian tire money), but i just have to convince my wife we need it. i've planted the seed, but she's not going for it. a few more days of the sale are left.

it would be my 1st smoker and feel electric may be the way to go for ease and convenience after reading some of the reviews of it on here. is it a decent smoker to start with and/or would i want to upgrade in a year?

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#3 User is offline   Tubby's Smokehouse 

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 12:49 PM

View Postbrucered, on Jul 11 2010, 06:01 AM, said:

very close to pulling the trigger on the 30" electric MB smoker. i can get it for $199cdn locally and use about $100 worth of CT money (canadian tire money), but i just have to convince my wife we need it. i've planted the seed, but she's not going for it. a few more days of the sale are left.

it would be my 1st smoker and feel electric may be the way to go for ease and convenience after reading some of the reviews of it on here. is it a decent smoker to start with and/or would i want to upgrade in a year?

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/2/Ou...w.jsp?locale=en

I think you will be happy with it Bruce, for 200 bucks you cant go wrong, having the window is a great feature

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#4 User is offline   Abeach2bum 

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 03:01 PM

Alex, Brucered,

I got my 30" Masterbuilt last Monday and posted about it here New Toy

I finally had a chance to use it yesterday. My first experience was not a good one. I started with an 8 lb pork butt, brined for 12 hours. I rinsed off the brine and rubbed it down with some good dry rub, put it in the MES at 5 am. Smoke was very hard to generate for reasons I still am not sure of. Soaked some chips for 30 minutes per the instructions, and loaded them in the chip tray. They would start to smoke but the smoker would reach temp and shut the burner off - the chips would stop burning. From then on, nothing would really happen as the burner "on time" was not long enough to keep the chips going.

I tried everything including dry chips. The only way I could get smoke was to raise the set point to 260, wait for the smoke, then turn back down to 220. It would smoke for about 10 minutes, then die out. A friend of mine has an MES and says his smokes fine at 220 or less even. However, he did tell me his has a very large temperature swing between on and off cycles - like 20 - 25. My unit would go between 215 and 220 consistently. I think the burner is not on long enough to keep the chips burning. Because of all my messing around trying to get smoke (opened door several times, etc.) the darn thing took 19 hours to reach 190 internally. It kind of turned out ok - bark was very bitter tasting, but the meat pulled easilt and has good flavor. Going to call MES tomorrow - or if anyone else has experienced this, please speak up!

A few pics - the last one is what the chip tray looked like this morning after last night. I had not added any wood or opened the door for at least 6 hrs, and you can see, there was very little burning of the wood.

5:00 am
Attached Image: IMG00054_20100710_0459.jpgAttached Image: IMG00055_20100710_0502.jpgjpg]

12 hour mark
Attached Image: IMG00065_20100710_1659.jpg

Chip tray
Attached Image: IMG00068_20100711_1051.jpg

Sorry for the blurry camera phone pics.

bummed beach
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#5 User is offline   shelly 

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 03:21 PM

Beach,

Sorry to hear your story.

I have the older model digital smoker without the temperature porobe or glass door (although I would love those features.)

I always use dry chips and small chunks, reload the wood tray just once more after the initial load, and set it to 225-240 most times, almost never at the maximum of 275 unless I am hot smoking small fish like trout. It always burns up all the wood, leaving just ashes.

I can't figure out why yours does not work the same. And bitter suggests creosote.

Are you leaving the top damper completely open? You should always do that if you aren't.

I suggest doing some more dry runs without any food in the chamber so you can see if there is a certain set temperature that works best.

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#6 User is offline   brucered 

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 07:55 PM

found this on another site:

http://bbq.about.com/b/2006/01/10/masterbu...p.htm#comment-4

(4) Jay Dee says:
I have one and works/smokes great. My buddy has the same one and had the lack of smoke/wood consumption problem. MAKE SURE that the burner is between the bottom of the wood box and the tin tray that is also part of the box. It is easy to have the burner go UNDER the tin tray and then the burner is not dirrectly under the wood box.
Just a thought.
Jay Dee

(54) Bruce Brown says:
If you have lack of smoke, your wood tray is installed wrong ! If you can see the element with your tray installed , the tray is installed incorrectly ! Element must be sandwitched between wood tray and wood tray shield or you will get poor smoke ! and vent at least 1/2 open , and then smoke galore !

not sure if they help anyone, probably not me. doesn't sound like the wife is going for it. but perhaps it's time to try out the "ask for forgiveness rather then permission theory" some of you talk about.
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#7 User is offline   Abeach2bum 

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 10:20 PM

View Postbrucered, on Jul 11 2010, 05:55 PM, said:

found this on another site:

http://bbq.about.com/b/2006/01/10/masterbu...p.htm#comment-4

(4) Jay Dee says:
I have one and works/smokes great. My buddy has the same one and had the lack of smoke/wood consumption problem. MAKE SURE that the burner is between the bottom of the wood box and the tin tray that is also part of the box. It is easy to have the burner go UNDER the tin tray and then the burner is not dirrectly under the wood box.
Just a thought.
Jay Dee

(54) Bruce Brown says:
If you have lack of smoke, your wood tray is installed wrong ! If you can see the element with your tray installed , the tray is installed incorrectly ! Element must be sandwitched between wood tray and wood tray shield or you will get poor smoke ! and vent at least 1/2 open , and then smoke galore !

not sure if they help anyone, probably not me. doesn't sound like the wife is going for it. but perhaps it's time to try out the "ask for forgiveness rather then permission theory" some of you talk about.


BR -

Thanks for the feedback. I understand what folks are saying and I looked at the position of the chip tray. There is only ONE way it can slide in - there is still a piece of sheet metal between the the bottom of the chip tray and the burner. I think there has been a design change from the digital windowless version and the new style. I will get out the camera in the morning and see if I can get some good close up shots of the tray position. I am also going to call MES CS - they are an 8 - 5 M-F operation - so we"ll see.

beach
Scott
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One IR rotisserie burner
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#8 User is offline   Abeach2bum 

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 10:28 PM

View Postshelly, on Jul 11 2010, 01:21 PM, said:

Beach,

Sorry to hear your story.

I have the older model digital smoker without the temperature porobe or glass door (although I would love those features.)

I always use dry chips and small chunks, reload the wood tray just once more after the initial load, and set it to 225-240 most times, almost never at the maximum of 275 unless I am hot smoking small fish like trout. It always burns up all the wood, leaving just ashes.

I can't figure out why yours does not work the same. And bitter suggests creosote.

Are you leaving the top damper completely open? You should always do that if you aren't.

I suggest doing some more dry runs without any food in the chamber so you can see if there is a certain set temperature that works best.

Shelly


Shelly,

I tried everything - vent was wide open, and I even removed the chip loader thinking it needed more air - nothing worked. I think there is a design change between your model and the new window version. Speaking of that, the built in meat probe is just ok. They still use the neanderthal red led display which is impossible to see during the day. I finally wound up sticking my Maverick with an LCD display down the vent and into the meat. The window is pretty nice and cleans easily with a little Dawn and a scotchbrite scrubby. I do like the built in light!

Calling MES CS in the morning - will keep everyone posted.

beach
Scott
Strada V - Barbeques Galore - Nexgrill Origin LP
4 main buners + one IR sear 60,000 btu
One IR rotisserie burner
One 12,000 btu side burner
Bradley Digital 4 Rack Smoker
MES 30" Smoker Returned after one use - POJ
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#9 User is offline   go77377 

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 12:28 AM

I have the newer model with the probe and window. It seems like for the first few months mine smoked fine, then as of recently it appears that for some reason I have been having issues with smoke.

This past week I kept hearing from a friend I work with how he swears by the pellets. So, I buy a bag of pellets, figured it would solve the problem. Well when it smokes, it smokes real good, BUT........ I was smoking a brisket at 225 on the digital readout, but my inside oven thermometer kept saying it was at 250. I then turned the digital thermometer down to 200, and the inside one kept reading 250. Then at a Hell Mary I turned the digital down to 170 and finally got the 225 on the oven thermometer. This was eating at me for about 3 hours either my digital thermometer was way off or my oven thermometer was off and I surely didn't want to smoke a brisket for a week. So I went to Walmart at 2 in the morning and bought 2 more oven thermometers. So now I have 3 thermometers inside and come to find out my original oven thermometer was right at 25 degrees off.

The reason I am going on about my smoking issue is maybe because my temperature was pretty low that I didn't have enough heat to make the pellets work properly. During the process I even had a fan located where you load the chips pushing in the air to help push the smoke, and it did help. My point is next time when I use the pellets and my temperature is correct then maybe I will have consistent smoke and it will solve my problem.

Up to this last weekend, I always used chips soaked in water and when I'm not getting my desired smoke I usually open the door and remove the chip tray and empty it out and start over again with the chips. I do not know if I got a aged bag of chips or really what the problem could be or even if chips may get too old to use, I just don't know.

Another thing that I also learned to help maintain a good smoke circulation is once you have the smoke going is to remove the chip tray filler tube and close the vent at the top. When you do this the smoke will then be coming out of the hole where you add the chips. Slowly open the top vent and as you open it watch the hole on the side and as you slowly open it the smoke will then quit coming out of the side hole. Once you get the desired smoke from escaping from the side filler hole you should roughly have a 1/8 gap at the top that allows the smoke out of the smoker. Just experiment with opening and closing the top vent with the side filler tube out of the box and you will see what I mean by opening and closing the vent back and forth.

I though after a year and a half I had my smoker figured out, but consistent smoking does tend to haunt me from time to time.
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#10 User is offline   Tubby's Smokehouse 

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 02:09 AM

View Postgo77377, on Jul 11 2010, 10:28 PM, said:

I have the newer model with the probe and window. It seems like for the first few months mine smoked fine, then as of recently it appears that for some reason I have been having issues with smoke.

This past week I kept hearing from a friend I work with how he swears by the pellets. So, I buy a bag of pellets, figured it would solve the problem. Well when it smokes, it smokes real good, BUT........ I was smoking a brisket at 225 on the digital readout, but my inside oven thermometer kept saying it was at 250. I then turned the digital thermometer down to 200, and the inside one kept reading 250. Then at a Hell Mary I turned the digital down to 170 and finally got the 225 on the oven thermometer. This was eating at me for about 3 hours either my digital thermometer was way off or my oven thermometer was off and I surely didn't want to smoke a brisket for a week. So I went to Walmart at 2 in the morning and bought 2 more oven thermometers. So now I have 3 thermometers inside and come to find out my original oven thermometer was right at 25 degrees off.

The reason I am going on about my smoking issue is maybe because my temperature was pretty low that I didn't have enough heat to make the pellets work properly. During the process I even had a fan located where you load the chips pushing in the air to help push the smoke, and it did help. My point is next time when I use the pellets and my temperature is correct then maybe I will have consistent smoke and it will solve my problem.

Up to this last weekend, I always used chips soaked in water and when I'm not getting my desired smoke I usually open the door and remove the chip tray and empty it out and start over again with the chips. I do not know if I got a aged bag of chips or really what the problem could be or even if chips may get too old to use, I just don't know.

Another thing that I also learned to help maintain a good smoke circulation is once you have the smoke going is to remove the chip tray filler tube and close the vent at the top. When you do this the smoke will then be coming out of the hole where you add the chips. Slowly open the top vent and as you open it watch the hole on the side and as you slowly open it the smoke will then quit coming out of the side hole. Once you get the desired smoke from escaping from the side filler hole you should roughly have a 1/8 gap at the top that allows the smoke out of the smoker. Just experiment with opening and closing the top vent with the side filler tube out of the box and you will see what I mean by opening and closing the vent back and forth.

I though after a year and a half I had my smoker figured out, but consistent smoking does tend to haunt me from time to time.

I use a Cook Shack Amerique, throw some glowing lump covered with wood chunks in a bowl, use the heating element for temp you get the set it and forget it and a nice ring, sucks but works perfect every time I never close the top vent, trapping the smoke with no air flow makes for some bitter Q


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#11 User is offline   Mama's Smoke 

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 08:42 AM

View Postbrucered, on Jul 11 2010, 07:55 PM, said:

found this on another site:

http://bbq.about.com/b/2006/01/10/masterbu...p.htm#comment-4

(4) Jay Dee says:
I have one and works/smokes great. My buddy has the same one and had the lack of smoke/wood consumption problem. MAKE SURE that the burner is between the bottom of the wood box and the tin tray that is also part of the box. It is easy to have the burner go UNDER the tin tray and then the burner is not dirrectly under the wood box.
Just a thought.
Jay Dee

(54) Bruce Brown says:
If you have lack of smoke, your wood tray is installed wrong ! If you can see the element with your tray installed , the tray is installed incorrectly ! Element must be sandwitched between wood tray and wood tray shield or you will get poor smoke ! and vent at least 1/2 open , and then smoke galore !



I agree. The one time my MES did not produce smoke was when I did not have the chip tray installed correctly. It was a pain, after the "smoke", to clean out the chips left in the bottom of the smoker. Now I always double check that the tray is installed correctly. Keep trying. You'll love the results.
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#12 User is offline   Sink 

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 09:16 AM

I always leave the top vent full open for long smokes. Close it a bit for shorter smokes. My older version of the MES works GREAT! I always get smoke. As much as I want.

As for nothing in the drip pan, I sometimes get "drippings" in it and sometimes not. If all of your "drippings" are going into your water pan, nothing will come out the bottom. If I do 8 butts at a time, I have to empty the outside tray at least once, unless the cats are around that is.

They have redesigned the wood tray. I'm thinkin even with the redesign, the wood tray should still be right on top of the burner.?
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#13 User is offline   Abeach2bum 

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:03 AM

Here are some pics I took this morning. As you can see the wood tray does NOT sit directly over the burner. It sits on small guides above a piece of sheet metal that is between the the burner and the tray.
Attached Image: IMG_0587_800x600.JPGAttached Image: IMG_0588_800x600.JPG
Attached Image: IMG_0590_800x600.JPGAttached Image: IMG_0592_800x600.JPG
Attached Image: IMG_0593_800x600.JPGAttached Image: IMG_0594_800x600.JPG

I think that 3/8" gap between the bottom of the tray, and the sheet metal piece on top of the burner prevents the heat from getting to the tray?

Wooded out beach

Edit: Just got off the phone with MES customer service. They admitted that they have changed the design, and started telling me all this stupid stuff to try. Don't use wet chips - told them I tried that. Take the chip loader out - yep, did that too. Keep top vent wide open - did that. Here is the best one - leave the door cracked open to make the burner stay on longer - believe it or not, I tried that too - but then what is the point of a nice sealed up smoker?????? They were basically no help, did not want my name for a follow up, and she said she would pass my complaint on to the design department.

Bottom line - I think Cabella's is going to get this one back.
Scott
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One IR rotisserie burner
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#14 User is offline   Mama's Smoke 

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:48 AM

Hmmm I see what you mean by the different design. Any one else have this model and the same problem?
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#15 User is offline   Abeach2bum 

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 05:46 PM

Smoker was successfully returned to Cabella's. Very easy process. Not sure what to look at next - leaning toward a Bradley - chip heat and smoker box heat are independent of each other.

Or maybe a tub o Lloyd's pulled pork!

beach
Scott
Strada V - Barbeques Galore - Nexgrill Origin LP
4 main buners + one IR sear 60,000 btu
One IR rotisserie burner
One 12,000 btu side burner
Bradley Digital 4 Rack Smoker
MES 30" Smoker Returned after one use - POJ
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