Issues with Amazen Pellet Smoker in MES model 20070512

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lowcountrygamecock, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. lowcountrygamecock

    lowcountrygamecock Smoke Blower

    Yeah I know, another thread about not being able to keep the pellet tray lit.  Quick synopsis.  I light the pellets with a propane torch, let them burn hot for 5-10 minutes, gently blow until they are glowing red hot and then blow out the flame.  The last time it was burning so well I had trouble even blowing the flame out but as soon as I put it in the smoker it goes out within 5 minutes.  I only use Todd's pellets and I keep them sealed up.  I've tried every combination of tray placement and chip loader/ash tray combinations that I can think of with no luck.  I have a big cook coming up next week and I really don't want to have to babysit the smoker all night. 
    Can someone that's had success with this particular model post a picture of where they place the tray and how far out to pull the chip loader and ash tray? 

    I know there are a ton of different models and placement to get the right draft is important so I'm most interested in just my particular model.  I think somebody may have even posted a pic that looked like my same smoker at some point but I couldn't find it.  I need some help.  I did have success with a cold smoke 1 time but no luck whatsoever with hot smokes. 
     
  2. lowcountrygamecock

    lowcountrygamecock Smoke Blower

    Anybody?
     
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are you using a water pan with water in it... do you have the chip chute pulled out 1-2".... do you have the exhaust wide open... Are you drying the pellets in the oven at 275 for 2 hours... Is your MES exhaust on the side or the top of the cooking chamber.... did you add an exhaust extension to the exhaust opening... Where do you place the AMNPS inside the smoker....
    From the number I think that is a gas smoker... Is it a gas smoker.... gas flames consumes all the available oxygen in the smoker...

    Pictures and information would sure help....
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  4. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    Looks like the 40" electric model with the top vent on the side.  Todd should be chiming in here.  

    I recommend you add a right angle/elbow duct to your top vent to help with the draw.  Remove the chip tray but keep the water pan with NO water.  Open the chip feeder 2 inches but don't remove it.  Place the AMNPS on the bottom next to the element on the 2 bars with the lit part furthest away from the element.

    MICROWAVE your pellets.  If you're just doing a partial row, microwave the pellets for 1 minute, toss, and then another 30 seconds.  You'll even see steam come off in the bowl.  If you're using more pellets, increase the time a little.  Don't microwave them to the point they start to smoke.  Been there...done that.

    If you've already done these things...I got nothin.
     
  5. lowcountrygamecock

    lowcountrygamecock Smoke Blower

    Yes it's the 40" electric with the side exhaust.  I left the water pan in last time but didn't put any water in it.  I pulled the chip loader out 2 inches and left the exhaust wide open.  As far as the bars go, this particular smoker doesn't have the bars like my old one did.  It has a metal rack that the small square water pan slides into.  Per instructions in a post on here I placed the tray above the water pan with no water in it.  I've also tried several other placements trying to improve draft with no luck.  The only thing I didn't try was microwaving the pellets.  I'll try that tonight when I get home. 
     
  6. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    Which pellets.  I always have trouble with cherry.  Let us know how it goes.  
     
  7. lowcountrygamecock

    lowcountrygamecock Smoke Blower

    I've had troubles with several different flavors of Todd's pellets. 
     
  8. lowcountrygamecock

    lowcountrygamecock Smoke Blower

    Used pit masters choice tonight and microwaved for a total of two minutes prior to lighting. One minute, tossed and then microwaved another minute. Pellets were glowing red hot and smoked good when I blew them out. Put in smoker and closed the door and within five minutes they were out. I'll post a picture tomorrow of the setup. I did everything you guys mentioned short of the modifications for the vent. Im at a loss.
     
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Here is Todd's Thread and specific post from his testing of the Gen2 you have. The post is long but lots of info on that unit...JJ

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/133955/2012-mes-40-vs-old-model-mes-40/100

    Is there an EZ fix so the AMNPS 5x8 will work in the MES 40 2nd Gen???

    Could it be as simple as rotating the Chip Loader 180°?

    I believe the answer to both questions is "YES!"

    Here's Why......

    The housing for the chip loader on the Old Model MES 40 is quite different than the housing for the chip loader on the New MES 40 2nd Gen

    The housing for the chip pan and chip loader on the New MES 40 2nd Gen has a tube built into it, that the chip loader slides into.  There is a slot along the bottom of this tube.  I can only assume the function of this tube and slot, is to force the pellets into the chip pan, and not spill out and possibly catch fire.  If you insert the chip loader into this tube, and do not rotate the chip loader 180°, there is very little intake air.  Rotating it 180° seems to allow plenty of air into the New MES 40 2nd Gen for the AMNPS 5x8 to burn properly.  Pull the chip loader out for more air & push it back in for less

    I've been testing my theory nonstop for 5 days with very positive results

    I'll post the rest of my findings later

    Thanks to Everyone who gave me their input!!!

    Todd

    Here are a few pics:

    Old Model MES 40                                                               New MES 40 2nd Gen

    View from outside the Chip Loader                                      View from outside the Chip Loader                    

    Notice the open housing w/rails for the Chip Loader?         Notice the enclosed housing w/slot along the bottom?

    No Restrictions for intake air                                                All Intake air must pass thru this slot


    Chip Loader on MES 40 2nd Gen                                            Chip Loader on MES 40 2nd Gen inserted and then rotated 180°

    This position does not allow for increased intake air                  This position will allow for increased intake air

                                                                                                Notice the small gap at the bottom?

        

      
     
  10. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I have as well with the last batch I purchased. Prior to that, I haven't had issues. I always store them inside with the exception of the bag of pellets I bought from Cabela's over 2 years ago, and I have never had those go out on me. IMHO you shouldn't have to 'bake' or microwave pellets to keep them burning as long as there is adequate airflow in the smoker.
     
  11. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic

    I've never been able to keep it smoking for longer than an hour or so and I've had it for 2+ years whilst using Todds pellets. If you figure it out, post it! 

    BTW the only thing I haven't tried is the microwaving of the pellets beforehand. 
     
  12. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    Not enough air flow.

    For some reason, the tube does much better for me.  I always had to mess with air flow with the tray and the tube has been much less hassle. (I don't have an MES, but I have had air flow issues.)
     
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member



    Wood absorbs moisture... If you live in a high humidity area or your home is high in humidity, it is not a crime to have to dry them... Wood chips absorb moisture and you dry them in your smoker before they will generate smoke on a burner that's probably running 350-400 degs. F....
    Sooooooo, what's the big deal to dry them....

    I dry pellets in my smoker at 275 for 2 hours to drive out the moisture... 1 minute to fill the AMNPS.. wait .... lit them up..... that's not big price to pay to insure 10-12 hours of continuous smoke....
     
  14. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    I use the tube in my pellet grill as an additional smoke source.  I have a ton (literally) of Lumberjack pellets sitting in my garage and it can get fairly humid in the Midwest in the summer.  I have never once had to dry my pellets when using them in the tube.  I have had to dry them when using the tray in the past (never used it in the pellet grill, but have used both the tray and tube for cold smoking).  I can't explain the difference between the two, but there seems to be more air needed for the tray IMO.
     
  15. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic

  16. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    The pellets I have from Todd are stored inside in zip type bags so they shouldn't absorb any excess moisture. As I stated I haven't had an issue until this last batch, and as I also mentioned the 2 year old bag from Cabela's which is exposed to the elements in the garage have never given me a problem. Never said it was a "crime" to have to dry them, just merely stating my experience with them. Maybe the issue the OP is having are related to the brand of smoker he's using.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  17. lowcountrygamecock

    lowcountrygamecock Smoke Blower

    Tried again last week with the modifications posted in the pics and still no luck. My chip loader is different from that one as the chamber isn't that big, only about a quarter of the length of the whole tube so I took it out completely. No water tray, microwaved hickory pellets from Todd, chip loader removed, chip drawer out two inches and pellet tray on bottom rack left side. Vent wide open. I think it's the smoker draft and not the pellet tray but man I'm frustrated. I'm out of bacon and wanted to cold smoke a huge batch soon but I'm out of ideas. Thought about the mailbox modification but im not even sure if that will work and don't want to dump anymore money into it not knowing for sure.
     
  18. Have you considered doing a mailbox mod?
     
  19. lowcountrygamecock

    lowcountrygamecock Smoke Blower

    Reading up on it now while I'm home on the couch under the weather. Has anybody had success with the mailbox mod and my model mes?
     
  20. The mailbox mod will work with any model.
     

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