Well, well I thought my mess-up days were over!
Currently have 2-9.5# butts in my MES set at 225* hoping I do not get a creosote tasting pulled pork tomorrow.
In preparation for tonight's cook, I experimented with the 5x8 amazn smoker by doing 3 short trial smokes without turning the MES on; each trial run did great: "thin blue smoke".
I positioned the amazn smoker to the left of the heating element, on the two rails that extend from the heating element compartment.
I partially opened the pellet loader to allow additional oxygen to make sure the pellets smoked.
Experiments were a success with the variables described. My problem came about when I introduced two new variables:
1) The 2- 9.5# butts
2) Turned the heating element on to 250* to get the smoker going with intentions of reducing the temp to 225* in aprox. 1 hour.
When I went out in an hour to check, there was a dark cloud of deep dark smoke pouring out; all the rows of the amazn smoker were ignited at the point of almost turning into flaming pellets instead of smoking pellets.
My analysis is that of the two variables it definitely was not the 2 butts, but rather the heating element.
I attempted this in an effort to avoid having to reload the pellet tray every hour as I have always had to do.
I have been reading some posts where folks have a problem with keeping the pellets lit (like I had previously experienced).
I use my 5x8 and the large tube smoker all the time with great success on my Charbroil Infrared and on occasion on my SRG when I have used it as a grill.
What went wrong?