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AMNPS vs MES Cold Smoke attachment

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So here is my predicament....my wife bought me an MES 30 about a month or so ago. It's the second generation model, model no. 20071514. I have six smokes in it so far, brisket twice, Boston butt twice, and ribs twice. So far, I love the thing, but I'm having trouble getting the desired amount of smoke out of it.

I've read quite a bit on this site about the AMNPS, and everything seems great about it. I do however have a few concerns maybe you all could help put to rest for me. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with ditching the water tray. I have tried smoking without the water tray once already, and I had crazy temperature fluctuations. I was going from 35 degrees below the set temp, to 35 degrees above. This was according to my Maverick ET733, not the MES display. After that, which was my first smoke, I filled the water tray about half way, and can keep the temp within 6-8 degrees each way, again according to my Maverick. So, if I lose the water tray, am I resigning myself to huge temperature fluctuations??

The other concern I have is that my vent is on the side of the unit, not the top. Will that negatively affect the air flow necessary to keep the AMNPS burning??

I'm not really interested in performing surgery on my new smoker and using the mailbox mod, which seems to me the only way it could keep the water tray.

The MES cold smoke attachment doesn't seem to have as many fans as the AMNPS on the site, although mostly what I have read is positive. The length of smoke it provides isn't much of a problem for me, as I don't mind adding chips every couple of hours. Also, I live in the Pittsburgh area, and pellets aren't readily available around here, and my local Lowe's carries chips if I am ever in a bind.

Does anyone have experience using the MES cold smoke attachment as well as the AMNPS?? Which do you prefer?? Am I making too big of a deal out of the water tray issue?? Does using the MES cold smoke attachment strictly as a smoke generator affect the results of the end product when smoking in the 220-240 range??

Thanks all for your help in advance!! I love the site, and really enjoy all of the great advice and things I've learned!!
post #2 of 15
I to have a 2nd gen Mes 30 and an amnps. I had trouble getting my amnps to stay lit, on my last smoke I left the water tray out, took the chip tray out, put a foil tent over my amnps, and took the chip loader tube completely out. My amnps Burnt perfectly nothing Burt fin grey ash left. It was hard to tell about temp fluctuations because it was a bit windy.

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post #3 of 15
I did a couple of fatties, and some bacon candy in that smoke to see how things went and everything came out perfect

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post #4 of 15

i have an MES 30", i use the MES cold smoke unit as my only source of smoke for it. i put a piece of heat duct between the unit and the smoker to lower the temps for cold smoking.have done chicken, ribs, bacon, sausage... anything you can imagine. i still have the unit but built a larger freezer build so i can do larger batches of bacon and sausage etc

never tried the AMNPS in it, BUT i use a mod with the AMNPS for my large smoker



post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for your insight on both products, much appreciated!!

Goliath, do you use yours when you are not doing cold smokes??
post #6 of 15

i have it set up like this all the time, built the dolly/cart this size especially for it

post #7 of 15

Goliath?  Does the unit only do wood chips?  Or can you put pellets in it as well?  And I gather from whats been said that it works with hot smokes as well as cold smokes, right?

post #8 of 15
No surgery required to the actual mes for a mailbox mod. Just take out your chip tube and push whatever you use on the end of the dryer hose into the hole. All the surgery is done to the mailbox. Works great
post #9 of 15

well my friend.... if ya gottem smokem !!!!!!

i have done chips, sawdust and pellets, whatever is available. the best bang for my buck was sawdust as it was available at the time. try everything but i think i did better when i didnt mix them because of the different burn rates.

i remember after i used it for quite a few smokes that the creosote on the inside would hinder the chips or whatever from falling down. something to keep an eye on, the smoke would stop but when i popped the lid there was still stuff there so i just knocked it down with a stick. so give it a scrape every now and then or burn it out with a torch. the little unit is worth every penny for me, as i said i even ran it as the smoke gen on my big smoker.. BUT when i found a Canadian supplier of the AMNPS i got a couple and built a mod. i got alot more hours without having to load it so i could smoke overnight without getting up and checking. NOT TO SAY that the AMNPS didnt have its own growing pains too....  lol

the thing with the MES smoke gen is if stuff gets to the bottom it smokes... there is an electric element there, the AMNPS can just go out either damp pellets, or whatever... but it does happen.  all in all whatever your making cant be ruined because of a pause in smoke, and if your doing a cols smoke time is not a factor anyways.

you will be very pleased with the unit im sure.



post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks fellas for the insight on everything!!
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well guys, I decided to go with the AMNPS. I talked with Todd a few days ago, and just places my order. I'm excited to give it a try!!
post #12 of 15
You'll be glad you did bro.
post #13 of 15

i have 2 AMNPS, a AMNPT and an MES cold smoke generator ...   ha ha ha
a fella needs options !!!!!!

at the time i purchased the MES unit there were absolutely no pellets available where i lived and no Canadian retailers of the AMNPS so i basically had no choice. i like all 3  BUT the AMNPS with the mailbox (turkey roaster) mod is my GO-TO unit for sure...


happy smoking..... and i sure hope you dont procrastinate about what ya smoke and what kinda sausage to make or you will starve yourself out

Goliath   :canada-flag-68: 

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, got my AMNPS in the mail today! Going to give it a try this weekend if the rain holds off.
post #15 of 15
On same note I always use the amnps in my mes30 but am looking at the cold smoke attachment and am wondering if the tray can go inside it for lower temps than I can get with normal setup. Main goal is to be able to smoke cheese in warmer months
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