installing aquarium pump

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by whaler bob, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Hello all
    First of all, thank you all for the wealth of info you share on this site.
    I have smoked 4 butts and 2 fatties so far with good results.
    Used Bear's step by step for butts (Welcome home brother).
    I have an Amazing pellet.
    Vent open wide, use propane to light, hair dryer, microwave pellets, pull out chip loader 2inches.
    Put amazon on bars next to fire box, tried lit facing each way.
    Still won't stay lit for long (maybe 2 hours)
    Use maverick therm.
    I have an aerator I use for fishing (like a fish tank pump).
    Where should I drill a hole or how should I insert it.
    Been searching and reading for about 3 h9urs now and I am still clueless.
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Using a pump would be a last resort. He might want to consider a mailbox mod before you start drilling holes.
  3. Thanks b I'll start researching it.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bob, evening..... You do live in the humid part of the country..... Dry the pellets, in the maze, in your oven or smoker at 275 for 2 hours or longer if its convenient... 2 hours works well for me.... Once humidity gets into the cells of the wood, it's a [email protected]#$% to drive it out satisfactorily so they burn/smolder well.... Sounds like it may be going out at the corners.... fill the AMNPS up to the top of the "walls" and higher at the corners... seems to work for most of us.....

    The pump, give the MB mod a try first... I have one and it's a BIG deal.....
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  5. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    I second what Dave said about filling it. Even with drying the pellets if mine is not fill it simply will not stay lit.
  6. Thanks it has been pretty humid.
    I'll try a longer dry for the pellets
  7. Hi Bob,

    If you follow the advice of the forum your MES should not need the pump.If you preheat your pellets at 275 for 2 hours you dry them out. I did that for a alng time till I broke down and microwaved them. They won't smoke up the microwave. Put a big hand full on a paper plate and nuke for 1 Minn. open the door and inspect. If you have moisture in them you will see condensation. Wipe the plate dry and continue drying for another Minn or so. If you have condensation you might think about your storage container.

    I use the large plastic apple sauce jugs Bear uses a large fruit drink jug. Anything with a good  screw lid. Getting that cherry is very important. Bear has repeatedly told folks that it must be big. You should lite the bottom pellets because they are the ones that carry the fire. I know since you are using a hair dryer you think you are getting a good cherry but you need at least to get the first 1/2 to 3/4 of a inch of  pellets burning. Then let it burn while you get your meat ready. Ht it once more with the dryer and insert it into the smoker. if you have it right you don't need to pull the chip tray out but I do just in case a couple of inches.. Good luck. Jted
  8. Thanks jted
    You really hit the nail on the head.
    I was nuking but didn't get all the moisture out. Switching up containers today.
    Put them in oven @ 275 for 2 hours and the 2 rows I filled burned completely!!!
    I am feeling pretty sporty right about now!
    I think I will still do a version of the mailbox mod.
    Smoked bluefish is popular around here and they should show up near the end of May.
    Thanks again everyone for taking the time to help me.
  9. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    FYI...if you run them to long in the nuke box they WILL start to smolder/smoke...
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
  10.  have never ran them longer than 2 minutes. How did you find out? OK I can guess, how long did it take ? Was it smoldering or fire/? Curious minds want to know but don't want to do it.  Thanks Jted
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    They will start to smolder.... I had some on a paper plate and the plate turned brown.... I then switched to a glass pie plate.... Then I started putting them in the maze and either in the oven or the smoker at 275...... which is where I dry them today....
  12. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The guys have it figured out!

    Sometimes, moisture will affect how the pellets burn.  Most pellets are produced with 6%-8% moisture.  There are some companies that use waste lumber, and do not use additional dryers to reduce the moisture content before they produce pellets.  Their moisture content could be 12% or even higher.  This doesn't necessarily mean they produce bad pellets, just produce pellets with a slightly higher moisture content.  Also, wood pellets are anhydrous, and can absorb moisture from the air.  A couple 60 second cycles in the microwave will definitely remove any excess moisture from your pellets.  Just make sure you place the pellets in a "Microwave Safe Bowl"

    You can also fill the tray with pellets, and place it in your MES while it warms up

    Other issues with the MES can be a lack of draft thru the smoker

    Simply pulling the chip pan out 1.5" and pulling the chip loader out 2" can help dramatically

    Also, make sure the exhaust vent is wide open

    Adding a 3" elbow to the exhaust also helps draw air thru the smoker

    Adding an air pump is not necessary


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