Sigh. Someone tell me what I did wrong re: AMNPS white smoke

Discussion in 'A-Maze-N Smokers' started by lunchbocks, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. lunchbocks

    lunchbocks Newbie

    Amateur smoker here. My second smoke with a Masterbuilt 30 - first one (brisket flat) went perfectly.

    This time I found a nice whole packer and short ribs. I set up everything to spec, lit the AMNPS with a torch, saw the flame, closed the door. Per other posts for adequate air flow the wood chip loader is out and the top vent is open. For the first 2 hours I see TBS. At 2:30 I start to see billows of white smoke which I have read can cause a bitter bark.

    I open the door and the AMNPS is totally ON FIRE! I run to get the fire extinguisher and put it out before my whole apartment complex goes up in flames.

    All right, so I already feel like crap because 1) I assume I can't eat the meat anymore (can someone confirm this? It was an ABC extinguisher) and 2) I nearly burned the place down.

    Will someone tell me what I did wrong here that produced the flaming AMNPS and the billowing white smoke? Thanks in advance.
  2. I would say the meat is not edible or at least I would not let someone eat it after being sprayed with a chemical. 

    As for the AMNPS it sounds like you lit it and closed the  door with it still flaming. I use the AMNTS in my Yoder at times and with the tube smoker I light it, let it burn for about 10 minutes and make sure the flame is out before I close the door. The pellets should just be smoldering and glowing, there should be no flame.
  3. lunchbocks

    lunchbocks Newbie

    Thanks, the meat's been tossed, sigh.

    I've been reading that it should just be smoldering. I guess I got overzealous because of all the posts mentioning the lack of smoke and to get a full flame to keep it lit. Didn't think it would go inferno on me.

    Next time I will blow it out and make sure it's smoldering before placing it in the MES.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There should have been instructions in the package with the AMNPS.....
  5. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    You say you had good TBS for 2 hours before this occurred?  I doubt if your AMNPS was flaming all that time before you began seeing white smoke billowing.  

    This sounds more like an issue with a grease fire from meat drippings, and perhaps too much air flow in your smoker.  Was the AMNPS situated under the meat?  If grease dripped into the pellets, you could conceivably start a grease fire this way.  If that's the case, you need to set up a simple grease shield over your AMNPS, or move it to a place in the smoker where the meat won't drip on it.

    As mentioned, make sure you allow the AMNPS to burn until a nice hot cherry exists, then blow out the flame so the pellets are smoldering before placing in your smoker.  Then experiment with your air flow until you achieve the desired smolder.  Every MES has its own quirks...I always got the best results by leaving the top vent wide open and the chip loader pulled out only about an inch.  You'll have to do a few cooks on yours, until you get it dialed in to the perfect combination.  You could also try a mailbox mod...just do a search for this and you'll get lots of how-to's on that mod.

    It's too late to do anything about it now, but was the fire extinguisher really necessary??  You had to know this would ruin your meat...could you have just thrown some water on the AMNPS to dowse the flames?  Or removed the AMNPS before extinguishing the fire?  Dowsing your whole chamber, including your meat, in chemical flame retardant seems like a bit of an overreaction...don't mean to be critical, but I don't recall ever having a big enough fire in my MES40 to require such extreme measures.

    Sorry about your meat being ruined...hope your next cook goes better! 

  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I second what Red said, the most likely thing that happened is that you had a grease fire going.
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I always have a pair of Fireplace gloves right beside my MES.

    If the AMNPS did go into flames, I could grab it with the gloves and remove it quickly.

    I'm wondering which MES Generation you have & where you had it placed inside your smoker. If it's too close to your heating element, that can cause a total flame up too.

  8. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    I vote for grease, too. I often put me AMNPS into the smoker while still flaming, and never had a problem.

    But don't let this get you down. We all have failures now and then. Learn from them and move on. That's what life is all about.
  9. tjohnson

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

    What model MES do you own?

    New Gen 2 has the controls along the front and exhaust on the left side

    Old Model MES has both the controls and exhaust on top

    What temp were you smoking at?

    Windy out?

    Chip loader in or out?

    Exhaust open?

    Place the burning row of the AMNPS 5x8 away from the heating element

    Depending on how you started the AMNPS 5x8, you may have inadvertently ignited pellets in the middle row

    More Info Please?

  10. lunchbocks

    lunchbocks Newbie

    Ah sorry everyone for the extremely late reply.

    After a couple of more attempts I believe it is more of an issue with placement and airflow.

    To answer a few questions:

    1) Grease fire: I always use a rather large water pan that is placed over the AMPNS so I am doubtful that anything could reach it - it's usually clean of any drippings when I remove it.

    2) I did NOT blow out the flame that time before I inserted it - this probably contributed and I have corrected that issue since.

    3) I place the AMPNS on top of the MES heating element - I have previously removed the native wood chip tray completely and the wood chip loader - this is probably resulting in too much airflow which I will experiment with in the future. Also, may try to reposition the AMNPS - suggestions?

    4) Did I have to use an extinguisher?? No! Arrgggh. But I freaked out since I live in an apartment complex and the MES is on the balcony. Now, I just have a pot of water on standby.

    5) Re: equipment/placement - I use   ;Temperature was 225. No wind out. AMNPS on top of the heating element. Chip tray and loader removed. Vent wide open - again probably too close to the element and too much airflow

    Thanks for the replies
  11. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Yeah you got to blow it out!
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    3) I place the AMPNS on top of the MES heating element - I have previously removed the native wood chip tray completely and the wood chip loader - this is probably resulting in too much airflow which I will experiment with in the future. Also, may try to reposition the AMNPS - suggestions?

    You got the pellets too hot...... The AMNPS needs to be set away from the heat source.....
  13. lunchbocks

    lunchbocks Newbie

    Yup, I'll reposition for the next smoke and see how it goes! Thanks
  14. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is where I place mine in my MES 30,  Hope this helps - yes do not put it on the heat source. 

  15. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Keep in mind, water and electricity DO NOT PLAY WELL TOGETHER!

    Now, since you are prone to freaking out, stop, think, and then react by unplugging first!  Messing with you a bit, but seriously, no water on anything that is being fed electrically.
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Too hot on top of element and too much Air. Put AMNPS next to element, smoking not flaming, and tray and loader 1-2" out, max...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    The picture Driedstick showed is the best place for the AMNPS in your Generation #1 Smoker. It was actually designed to just fit in your smoker.

    And like Todd said, I put the end I light toward the left wall, away from the Heating element.

  18. hawk2000x

    hawk2000x Newbie

    Did they name a new Pope ?!?

  19. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    I keep a old pair of channel lock pliers and a 10 gal metal trash can with a lid that seals beside my smoker for just in case!!
  20. bqpig

    bqpig Newbie

    I am thinking of getting AMNPS or DUST were you  putt  it in the MES new generation its digital on front vent on left side. any pics would be great,


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