I got an MES 20070411, and finally had a chance to use it last week. I planned to do a pork butt, but the butcher was out, so I did a beef chuck roast, which gave us some very nice "pulled" beef. Since it was my first time using any smoker, nevermind this particular model, it was definitely a learning experience and there are a few things I'd do differently, but overall I was happy with the results. However, based on the experience on thing I did was to just order an AMNPS to assist in smoke creation. My MES actually did a nice job of creating smoke, but having to reload the tray every hour can get a bit tedious, so I like the idea of the AMNPS to augment and simplify things. I have a couple of quick questions, since I'm planning a party in two weeks and will be doing several racks of ribs along with a couple of pork butts.
For those that have an MES 30, where do you place the AMNPS for best results?
Do you completely omit using a water pan if using the AMNPS (some of what I've read online suggests using one can have a detrimental impact on the performance of the AMNPS)?
As far as water pans are concerned, how necessary are they in reality with an MES? I used it for my first experience last week, and it honestly didn't appear to do much with respect to keeping things more moist (the meat didn't dry out, but in hindsight I'm thinking I should have mopped and not trusted things I'd read suggesting the water pan can help eliminate the need for that).
Related to the previous question, how should one go about trying to mop things inside the MES? The owners manual, which is terrible and says very little, does make a point to discourage mopping since it says too much heat will escape the unit (which make sense to me given its design, and the fact that there isn't an actual fire or stored heat anywhere, other than in the walls of the unit). So, if you do successfully mop (or spray) things in an MES, what's the best way to do so (or should it just be avoided)?
Thanks for whatever help anyone can offer.