Another AMNPS-MES Question

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by travisb, May 23, 2013.

  1. travisb

    travisb Smoke Blower

    I got a 30" MES and an AMNPS in December. I've tried many times, but have yet to get them working together properly. It won't stay lit. I have read a bunch of threads on this site about similar problems, and I tried to follow the advice, but it hasn't worked. So I figured I'd start my own thread.

    I try to follow the instructions provided by Todd as closely as I can. I fill the AMNPS with oak pellets, take a torch to it for 45sec, let the flame burn for 10 min, blow it out. Then I blow on the coles for a while to get them going well. But whenever I  put it in the smoker, it doesn't last. I have tried:

    -microwaving the pellets for a few minutes before use

    -opening the chip loader and chip trays at various levels

    -having the exhaust all of the way open

    -usually have it on the lowest rack on the left side

    -no food in the smoker so drips are not an issue

    -no water in the pan

    -smoker at 225,275, or off

    I don't think the initial burn time is an issue, I've burned half a row sometimes before I blow it out.

    I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong but I'd love to figure it out how to get some solid smoke production for a long period of time.

  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The most important thing is getting it lit properly before you put it in. You must have a nice big cigar-like cherry in the bottom of the lit row. Letting it burn by itself won't do that. You must blow on it in the direction of the unburned pellets, driving the cherry deep into the bottom of the row.

    Below is a link of how ScooterMagoo lights his, and if you don't have a heat gun, read my instructions, right below his.

    darryl wayne likes this.
  3. travisb

    travisb Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the link. I had read your comments on this before, so the last few attempts I've blown on it a lot in order to get those coals going. It seems to be going before I put it in the smoker.
  4. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

    Have you tried putting it in the MES and leaving the door ajar, just for testing purposes? My guess is that the AMNPS isn't getting enough oxygen to keep the pellets going. If it stays lit sitting outside the smoker, or inside with the door partly open, you will know the problem is not your lighting procedure. Good luck...
  5. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My MES is the 40. I've found that I have to diddle with the MES-provided trip tray barrel to get enough air flow to keep the pellets going. Too often, I get the opposite result from yours and burn the pellets too fast. I just add more pellets.

    If the MES30 has a similar chip tray barrel, I suggest that you experiment with pulling it part way out and see if getting more air to the pellets will help.
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You sure you aren't doing that for fun?

    I never had to diddle with mine.[​IMG]

  7. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Try a Mod. like Daves mailbox. Heard a lot doing that. Just sayin'
  8. travisb

    travisb Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the suggestions. I ran it yesterday with about a row for around 2.5 or 3 hours, so I was happy. I did some ribs, QView to come
  9. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Glad to hear you may have worked it out.  My AMNPS was the best thing I ever bought to use in an MES.

    Lookin' forward to your Qview!

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


  11. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

  12. travisb

    travisb Smoke Blower

    Thought I had it. Thought I had it figured out. I was wrong.

    After a few successful smokes with oak pellets, I can't get it right again.

    I'm out of oak, and have been trying with hickory and maple, and can't keep either lit. I have literally tried about ten times over the past few days and I still can't get it.

    I'm using the same method as before, and following Todd's instructions, but it won't stay lit. Not sure what I'm doing differently.

    In my frustration, i documented my process, to see if I'm somehow overlooking something.

    Here are my microwaved chips. One side is maple the other is hickory. Tried them both multiple times.

    Hit it with butane torch for a minute, blew on it and got the flame going.

    Let the flame burn for around ten minutes. Blow on it some more, hit it with the torch again. Blow and blow some more.

    Stick it in the smoker

    placement of chip tray and loader. Seemed to work for me before.

    Any suggestions here? I don't know what the problem is.
  13. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I pulled my chip loader out of the mes.  To me it doesnt look like you have a nice cherry going.  You might try the next rack up to get a better draft.  Not sure if there is a good draft on the bottom of the smoker.
  14. travisb

    travisb Smoke Blower

    I wondered that as well, so I tried setting it on the bottom rack a few times with the same result. And it worked in that bottom position before.
  15. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I put mine on the bottom rack. With the loader out and tray out 2 inches. I don't even microwave the pellets anymore.
  16. travisb

    travisb Smoke Blower

    wish that worked for me
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would think if it didn't stay lit in the bottom or on the bottom rack, the problem isn't as much air flow as it is not being lit good enough. f it's lit properly it's even hard to put it out on purpose.

    When you're blowing on it, blow hard, and blow down & in, to drive the heat into the bottom of the unburned pellets. That will give you a real big cherry under the fuel yet to be burned.

  18. sm0kin

    sm0kin Fire Starter

    I have had great success with my design..

    The tube is an exhaust baffle for my motorcycle with a small adjustable Thermaltake pc fan. I open the chip tray 1" and run the fan on its lowest setting. I have no issue with the temp or smoke using this setup. In fact, the temp stays extremely even with the fan running. The only other change I have made is adding a 12x12x1/2" granite tile on top of the burner box.
  19. travisb

    travisb Smoke Blower

    I'm still having problems. I really think that it is lit sufficiently. I light and relight it a few times before I even put it in. Then I blow and blow on the pellets. Eventually it is hard to get the flame to go out. I've been working on it tonight and I've tried it with the chip tray/loader out partially, chip loader out completely, chip tray out completely, and it won't stay lit. not sure what i'm doing wrong

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