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Old 09-29-2013, 03:21 PM   #1
cervid
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Default MES tip and also a question for other MES owners

I'll start with a little tip I started doing a couple years ago that I never see anyone mention in other forums. First, I have a first gen MES, but it is one of the refurbished ones that has the screw on access panel (wiring issue), so it's lasted. I know they have changed these over the years so this point is important for my question.

Tip: Take a pair of slide pliers and crunch up some charcoal into big chunks. Place it in the pan with the wood. I never soak my wood, but this little pearl alone has vastly increased the smoke output at lower temps and it also improves the smoke ring as well as fully burns the wood chips so you can add more before opening the door to empty any ash. I only have to empty it if I'm doing something overnight and I coordinate the door opening with any spraying I do.

Question: As you all know, these things are unusable for a cold smoke and pretty weak below 230 (mine is). Which is fine, I just set it at 230 (I think it is really around 220 at this point, it seems off).

Has any taken these apart or drilled through the side opposite the wood chip access tube? I want to drill a hole and add one of these: http://www.smokedaddyinc.com/smokers.htm

I've used the amaz-n-smoker for cold smokes and am not satisfied with it. The above smoker is so much more versatile. But, my MES is running strong and I'd hate to destroy a $300 smoker.

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Old 09-29-2013, 05:49 PM   #2
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I've no experience with the MES, but what don't you like about the AMNS? I have the pellet model, and have been very happy with it.

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Old 09-29-2013, 06:05 PM   #3
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Mainly because I get my wood whole and chop it/chip it down with a hatchet. I live in an area that is ripe with cherry, apples, and apricot as well as tons of hardwood. I'm still burning through a few big bark free cuts of a 100 yr old oak tree. This thing would take two grown men stretching arms to lock hands around it.

With the amaze-n, I have to buy pellets as I don't have easy access to sawdust. If I want a specialty wood I can't get here, I have to buy wood chips anyway, for hot smoking. Plus, and I know this is a cosmetic thing, but I find it's really hard-if not impossible-to get a good smoke ring without incorporating charcoal somehow. With this device I can put in charcoal and bigger chunks of wood.

I have no problem drilling a 7/8" hole through the side, I'm just hoping someone else butchered one... There is a wire for the meat thermometer on that side as well as the smoker temp sensor. I would think those came in from the back and I'd be safe, but the series I have would burn those wires I mentioned and some people have converted them for other usage.

Maybe I'll just do it like a dissection. Run a 7/8" hole saw and barely cut through each layer, rather than use a drill or spade bit.

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Old 09-29-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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Have you thought about one of these?
http://www.amazon.com/Masterbuilt-20.../dp/B008DF6WWE

You wouldn't need to cut a hole.

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Old 09-30-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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I have not seen that yet. Thanks for posting it, that solves my problems. It may even work well enough to use in place of the normal smoker pan..

I think I may try this. If it works well, I'll consider cutting all that metal off from above the heating element and just having that exposed and use this for all smoking.

The review says it still gets it to 117, and he put ice water and an extension pipe between this unit and the main unit and got the temp in the unit down to 78. Not sure about his air temps, but it gets cold up here and this might just do the job.

Thanks again! You saved me some cash and time/hassle.

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