I smoked our Thanksgiving turkey on my first electric smoker after brining and it turned out great even though I had to add apple chips every 45 minutes or so... But having charcoal/stick smoked for over 10 years with an offset smoker it wasn't awful.
When trying to decide what electric smoker to buy, I ran across this forum and learned about the AMNPS tray.
I ordered the AMNPS after this past Thanksgiving turkey that I smoked on the new MES 40". Well after a shipping problem that was not Todd's fault, (which by the way he promptly fixed! Nice to receive some awesome customer attention once in while from a vendor no matter what the product...) I watched someones youtube video off of this site about how to light with a propane torch. I don't have a heat gun, so I used the air nozzle on my air compressor which sets next to my work bench. After getting a good cherry going and blowing it deep the tray smoked fine.
This was last Saturday night, I threw in a 8 pound butt that had been rubbed down the day prior. I started this smoke before I went to bed and checked it 7 hours later (Sunday morning), the tray was complete ash. My smoker temp, so says the maverick, was 225.
I assume the tray didn't burn for eleven hours because I had it setting on the left side of the floor of my MES, first gen 40". I had pulled out the chip loader completely, and pulled the chip tray out about 1" for venting/drafting purposes as I read on this site. The tray never went out, I kept the exhaust vent half open. I assume it ended up getting to hot and maybe the whole thing started smoking being next to the chip tray/heating element?
I have a small ceramic plate that I may use as a make-shift wall to block the heat from the element while the tray is smoking.
I loaded it with about 70% oak and 30% hickory and total time in smoker was about 10 hours, when it got to about 160 or so, I wrapped in foil and threw in oven at 240 degrees. The butt took another 6 hours to reach 190. Only let set for 30 minutes as we were in a hurry to eat this past Sunday. The bone came right out as expected.
My family and friends said it was the best smoke I had ever done flavor-wise. That wan an AMAZING smoke flavor that I could not easily replicate with wood chunks and charcoal. The Thanksgiving turkey had good apple smoke flavor, but not the same, this pellet deal is awesome!!!
Wish I would have known about the AMNPS years ago, I would have skipped the chunks and went with this product. I am so pleased with this product that I have sent pictures, posted on facebook, etc. of the turkey and this butt.
This weekend I plan on smoking some cheese based on some thread that I have read on this site.
So bottom line, Thank you Todd for an outstanding product and customer service and so far with temps in the teens here in central Indiana, I am happy with the performance of the MES 40" smoker.