First Smoke MES 40 AMNPS. Some ???

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by johnnytex, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. johnnytex

    johnnytex Fire Starter

    First off, I want to say thanks to all the fine folks that are on this web site.

    I have had a MES 30 for years but never got great results, but thanks to all of you and your great advice, I’m starting to get some great Q!

    My first big step was to upgrade the MES 30 to a Second Gen MES 40.  All setup and seasoned. Wanted to do a brisket and want to try Eric’s Wet-to-Dry method.

    Here’s my plan:

    10 lb Brisket with the point and flat separated.  SPOG dry rib applied the night before. Chip pan and loader removed. Vent wide open.

    Since the second gen is so different than the first, I am trying to decide where to put things.
    1. Is it OK to use water and the AMNPS together? All the instructions say not to.
    2. Where do I put the AMNPS, above the water pan or below?
    3. Was going to put pea gravel in the water pan. Do I put the water in there as well?
    4. How much water for a 10 hour smoke?
    5. How do I catch the drippings? I have a pan that is 17”x12.5” at the top and was going to put it on the bottom shelf. There is about a 2” clearance on all sides. Is this pan too big?
    Thanks in advance for all your help. I’ll do some QView once I start.

  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would remove the water pan & put the AMNPS on the edges of the square hole.

    Then put an 8 X 8 foil pan on the floor under the hole to catch the drips.

    Then another 8 X 8 above the AMNPS to protect it from drippings.

    No water is needed.

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  3. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Eric has several threads on his method with briskets pork butts etc. He put it all in an article where he spells it out pretty well.

    I smoked a brisket using this method and it was the first time I ever had a water pan in my smoker. I wouldn't do it with sausage or anything with a pellicle but for briskets and pork butts it works great. The brisket was trimmed as much as possible and still came out tender and very juicy and had excellent bark.

    I had my smoker set up with the smoke below the water pan. You need enough water to only last about 6 hours. He recommends 2/3 qt.

    Good luck with your brisket! PM Eric if you have any questions. He was very helpful when I asked him.
  4. johnnytex

    johnnytex Fire Starter

    That article is where I got the idea.

    Anyone think that my drip pan is too big?
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That pan should be OK. If you put it all toward the left, it can protect the AMNPS instead of the 8 X 8 I mentioned.

  6. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm told that the MES runs pretty high humidity in it's stock configuration. Another member here who did a brisket in his MES kept the chip loader tray open a bit to increase ventilation as well as to feed air to the AMNPS. This seemed to provide enough ventilation to overcome the higher humidity levels when transitioning to the dry chamber.

    Been a while since I read this thread but here's what he did (he added hot water directly to the pan with the gravel...this probably improved the initial evaporation rate):

    As far as the amount of water to use, you may only need 1/2 qt, depending on how fast the MES goes through water, and where you put the water for this method. The farther away from the heat source, the slower it will evaporate. My Smoke Vault 24 will use a gallon in 6-7 hours, depending on ambient temps and target smoke chamber temp, but I use far less water if I use a foil liner in the water pan with the pan 1/2-2/3 full of pea-gravel, so having the thermal mass beneath the water will reduce the evaporation rate from your water source.

    Lastly, be sure to trim relatively lean to get the most from this smoking method...lean trimmed does matter. A few thin layers of fat is OK, but you want to remove the bulk of the fat-cap.


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