Myron Mixon MMS-36 Flat Rack H2O Smoker
MMS-3 H20 Review
MM Smokers H2O
Southern Girls BBQ Roadshow Review
Great smoker at affordable price by the name you know in BBQ!
Myron Mixon's name is pretty much synonymous with Barbecue. While shopping for a smoker, most people would ask what does Myron Mixon use. He has used a couple of different smoker fabricators over the years, but has simplified the guesswork for consumers. Now, you can simply call up the good folks at Myron Mixon Smokers and order the same cooker on Myron's competition rig. Myron Mixon Smokers builds smokers based on Myron's tried and trued smoking method of smoking using a water pan to maintain moisture in the meat. You can get it customized, have it painted your favorite color, change out hardware, etc.
The H2O is fully insulated with the firebox located directly underneath the water pan and extends the full length of the smoker. The firebox has a vented door on one side and vents on other so you can control airflow from either side. The water level is controlled by water regulator so you can fill the water pan and forget it.
My son is looking for his first smoker, so we decided to give the H2O model a try. I chose the MMS-36 model because it had to be small enough to fit in my garage - while not in use - alongside a couple of cars and motorcycles. However, it couldn't be too small. With the MMS-36, eventhough I was using their smallest model, I was not worried about it being too small because it was designed to hold 12 racks of ribs or 14 Boston Butts, or 28 half-chickens. MM Smokers come standard with 2 racks, but you can have them customized to add more racks if you need more space.
I was a little worried that it might take me a while to get used to the smoker. I know you should have a "dry run" before cooking on a new smoker, but I tend to be too adventurous for that. I literally felt comfortable enough after the demo, that I went out and bought enough meat and vegetables to feed a small army.
I thought I might have been a little overconfident when my neighbor who suffers from a spinal cord injury asked if I could smoke her some chicken and ribs. Of course, I said yes, and prayed I didn't ruin her dinner! I showed her how to prep ribs, while I trimmed chicken quarters and put those and 10 lb of skinless breast in a brine.
Then, my setup consisted of hosing out water pan to make sure no dust or debris was left over from manufacturing or shipping. Surprisingly, no debris was left behind. I wiped everything down and then sprayed racks with cooking spray.
My first "trial run" consisted of hooking up the water hose, turning on the water while going to storage building to get a bag of charcoal. The water filled quickly and cut off automatically. It was so quiet - and with no leaky connection that I've experienced with other water smokers - I thought I forgot to cut on water. I used about 6 lb of natural wood charcoal and an electric charcoal starter because I was too lazy to use a chimney to start charcoal. After the charcoal ashed over, I added a couple sticks of peach wood to see how long it'd take to get up to 250. I struggled to get the smoker up to temp before realizing it was not getting enough airflow being against an interior wall inside the garage. After I rolled it out into the driveway, it quickly went up to 300. When it came back down to 250, I added added one more stick of peach wood and closed vents halfway on one side.
I filled the top rack with skinless chicken breast and bottom rack with regular chicken quarters. I expected to need to rotate halfway through cooking, but surprisingly did not find any noticeable "hotspots." All the chicken appeared to be consistent. When breasts reached temp, I left quarters on to finish cooking. When digital thermometer reached temp at thigh, I pulled them off smoker. When I lifted first piece of chicken off smoker, the leg bent a little at joint and I knew it was going to be awesome. I packed up the chicken for my neighbor with the exception of one piece to Kellie, co-writer of my column, to try it. #And I did all this while getting ready for Kellie's farewell party. It was that easy.# I closed the vents and chimneys on the smoker and left for Kellie's party.
Later that night, one of our friends that had attended the Roman Roast on the River BBQ competition and had sampled Jack's Old South's pulled pork and ribs, asked Kellie if Myron Mixon cooked the chicken as they were scavenging the last few morsels like vultures. I smiled and said, "No, but it was cooked on a Myron Mixon Smoker." And that was my very first time smoking anything on a MM Smoker!
Round two was for a family party. After prepping ribs, injecting pork and brisket, we loaded three large Boston Butts and three racks of baby back ribs on the top shelf and four racks of beef ribs and one brisket packer on bottom shelf. This was with room leftover. Two to three hours later, I pulled the ribs and wrapped them. Four to five hours later, I pulled the butts and wrapped them. The brisket stayed on until temp was 160 and then pulled it off and wrapped with foil and put it back on until it reached 200. While the brisket was resting in a cooler, it was time to eat some pork.
The real test would be when my sons, who have been around competition BBQ circuit since 2007 and had championship Q from several World Champions, tried the finished product. Three boys went through three racks of ribs in record time. Before the weekend was up, all BBQ was gone. I guess you can say I learned how to operate MM Smoker H2O pretty quickly. I was almost disappointed that it didn't take hours of practice hanging out on the patio, drinking beer, and getting a suntan! Nevertheless, in less than 2 days, I had successfully smoked chicken, pulled pork, pork ribs, beef ribs, and brisket.
Cleanup was a breeze because both racks are easy to remove. The grates inside firebox are removable which helps tremendously in removing ashes with only one door to the firebox.
The only negatives I found with the smoker has absolutely nothing to do with quality or functionality of the smoker. It has to do with me being short and lazy. I'd like to have a handle mounted on the side of the door to pull down instead of having to reach up and over top to grab handle mounted on front of door when door is open. This is not a real problem, but would be helpful for us short people.
Overall, I really like the smoker and would recommend the MMS-36 to any beginning or novice BBQ smoker. I'd recommend the H2O line - MMS-48, MMS-60 or MMS-72 - to hard-core smokers and competitors as well.
Co-writer of the Southern Girls BBQ Roadshow" column
National Barbecue News
October 29, 2014