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AMNPT not worth a crap won't stay lit just

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So I ordered one of these in the 5X8 pellet style and some of their pellets also. I can't get the thing to stay lit and am wondering if they gave me the wrong style (like the dust one instead of the pellet one.) I got 2 of them but neither one work worth a crap.

post #2 of 9

Multiple helpful hints from someone who struggled with their amnpt:

The pellets which came with it didn't work well for me, even when microwaved or toasted in the oven.

I thought it was entirely due to lack of good air-flow in the MES 40 (second gen).

I discovered keeping it lit was problematic even on a grill which had massive air gaps.

 

How to fix it:

Use different pellets, heating them up in the oven or microwave helps.

Maximize your air flow.  On my MES 40 the chip tray and chip loader were completely removed for better air flow.

My model has a 1200 Watt heating element, it had no trouble keeping the temperature stable. 

You may have to get a ridiculously strong burn going.  I keep a torch on it for a full two minutes; the bottom is torched as well as the hole in the end.  Blow on the raging hot coals for two minutes (or use a heat gun).  Let it burn for ten minutes before puffing it out.

Half of my first row is burned before it is even put in the smoker.  A very good coal bed is required to keep it going.

post #3 of 9

Heat fuel air.

 

Sometimes as mentioned the pellets need to be Blended with other types of smoke to work. It was either cherry or apple, and charcoal I have problems with.

 

Next lite your amps outside of your smoker and allow it to burn a min. of 15 mins. unassisted. That means after you are finished blowing and lighting and fanning or whatever you find that works best for you. If it won't burn outside, no way it will burn inside. I usually set mine and lite it where it will catch a breeze.

 

If its lit and smoking well and you insert it in the smoker (whatever kind you have since you didn't mention one) that has already been preheating, open the exhaust vent full open, and crack the suction vent to allow the unit to draw the draft thru the smoker. If you have not preheated you may fail to achieve pulling the draft. No draft, no air, no smoke.

 

Think about it this way, you are using the AMPs to give you 4 to 18 hours (if regulated properly) of smoke, 30 mins isn't too much to ensure a proper smoke is it?

 

Its like everthing else in smoking, there is a learning curve. If you ensure its smoking outside the smoker, then it has to be the draft. If it will not lite outside the smoker, it maybe be the pellets. Those are the two biggest problems folks have, well that and over filling the pellet tray them.

 

Don't try to fill as much as possible, try leaving a little room before the top of the tray. That was my biggest problem till I figured it out.

 

Work with it, get it working before you want to use it. Spend 30 mins or a hour tomorrow just playing with it, its not a plug and play device. Find what works for you. Took me a while to get comfortible with it, and even then it still kicks up its heels ocassionally, usually when I take it for granite. LOL

 

Hope you figure it out soon. Remember if it smokes on the outside properly, that eliminates some of the possible causes. Preheat the smoker and insure a good draw thru the unit when placing the smoker in. Walk away and leave it alone for 15 to 30 mins. Everytime you open the smoker it changes that wind direction. Once you get good smoke, regulate your smoker's vent by whichever end you find easiest to reach, suction or discharge, but always the same end.

 

Its a load of fun learning and a cold beverage is allowed while tweaking it in. Don't take it to seriously. Its about the fun of learning and perfecting.

 

Bon Chance

post #4 of 9
Lots of good advice there.
post #5 of 9

As said above. Spend the time to get it going at least 15 min.

Happy smoken.

David

post #6 of 9

I had problems with my AMNPS staying lit yesterday as well. However, I didn't take the time to nuke the wood pellets which have been in the thing since last year (I store all my smoking stuff in my uninsulated garage) and I didn't have the wood chip loader pulled out 2 inches. Next weekend I'll try nuking the wood pellets. How long should they be in the nuke?

 

But I noticed something interesting about the AMNPS when I opened the door to my MES 30 Gen 1 this morning. I had closed the top vent and pushed back in the chip loader last night yet this morning all the pellets in the AMNPS were ash. This means that the AMNPS continued to burn in what should have been an oxygen poor environment. What I'm thinking now is that my AMNPS problem may not be a moisture-laden pellets problem but an air flow problem. I typically light the AMNPS at one end and that lit end goes into the MES facing the door. But I've noticed that once the wood pellets are burning at the back of the AMNPS in the rear of the MES, it keeps burning with no problems. This weekend I'm going to insert the smoking end facing the rear of the MES, pull out the chip loader, and see if I'm right. If the pellet smoker still flames out, I'll try the microwaving the wood pellets trick.

 

But, all this being said, the baby back ribs I was smoking came out exceptionally well--the best I've ever made. They were nicely smoked--not harsh at all but just perfect thanks to the AMNPS. I still won't use anything else. If guys in these forums solved this same problem with the AMNPS, so can I.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post
 

Heat fuel air.

 

Sometimes as mentioned the pellets need to be Blended with other types of smoke to work. It was either cherry or apple, and charcoal I have problems with.

 

Next lite your amps outside of your smoker and allow it to burn a min. of 15 mins. unassisted. That means after you are finished blowing and lighting and fanning or whatever you find that works best for you. If it won't burn outside, no way it will burn inside. I usually set mine and lite it where it will catch a breeze.

 

If its lit and smoking well and you insert it in the smoker (whatever kind you have since you didn't mention one) that has already been preheating, open the exhaust vent full open, and crack the suction vent to allow the unit to draw the draft thru the smoker. If you have not preheated you may fail to achieve pulling the draft. No draft, no air, no smoke.

 

Think about it this way, you are using the AMPs to give you 4 to 18 hours (if regulated properly) of smoke, 30 mins isn't too much to ensure a proper smoke is it?

 

Its like everthing else in smoking, there is a learning curve. If you ensure its smoking outside the smoker, then it has to be the draft. If it will not lite outside the smoker, it maybe be the pellets. Those are the two biggest problems folks have, well that and over filling the pellet tray them.

 

Don't try to fill as much as possible, try leaving a little room before the top of the tray. That was my biggest problem till I figured it out.

 

Work with it, get it working before you want to use it. Spend 30 mins or a hour tomorrow just playing with it, its not a plug and play device. Find what works for you. Took me a while to get comfortible with it, and even then it still kicks up its heels ocassionally, usually when I take it for granite. LOL

 

Hope you figure it out soon. Remember if it smokes on the outside properly, that eliminates some of the possible causes. Preheat the smoker and insure a good draw thru the unit when placing the smoker in. Walk away and leave it alone for 15 to 30 mins. Everytime you open the smoker it changes that wind direction. Once you get good smoke, regulate your smoker's vent by whichever end you find easiest to reach, suction or discharge, but always the same end.

 

Its a load of fun learning and a cold beverage is allowed while tweaking it in. Don't take it to seriously. Its about the fun of learning and perfecting.

 

Bon Chance


Foamheart, where's the suction vent on the MES 30" digital Gen 1? I only see the top vent and the hole where the chip loader slides in.

post #8 of 9

You've always got to have a suction to have a discharge.........

 

There are three holes in the chip loader as an air inlet. Its not a vent, its a predetermined/engineered nonadjustable suction. Not all suctions or discharges are adjustable. Thats why you usually use only one which is the one easiest to regulate.

 

 

The holes are designed for air flow using the chip pan, to use the AMPs most will leave the reloader slightly ajar to allow more air which seems to work fine (as pictured above). The problem here is ....IF you try and use both the chip tray and the AMP's at the same time (well of course I do sometimes), the added air, if your chips are extremely dry, can cause a flash back and throw the reloader completely out of the unit. I am not a shade tree engineer, I don't modify equipment, I try to find the way to get it to work my way the way its designed, and usually do. Although I would bet enlarging those three holes would solve the problem. Much like extending the top vent with a foot or two of 3" pipe would increase the draw.

 

Use either chips or AMPs, both can cause problems.

 

I have a picture of those holes somewhere but no idea where.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post
 

You've always got to have a suction to have a discharge.........

 

There are three holes in the chip loader as an air inlet. Its not a vent, its a predetermined/engineered nonadjustable suction. Not all suctions or discharges are adjustable. Thats why you usually use only one which is the one easiest to regulate.

 

 

The holes are designed for air flow using the chip pan, to use the AMPs most will leave the reloader slightly ajar to allow more air which seems to work fine (as pictured above). The problem here is ....IF you try and use both the chip tray and the AMP's at the same time (well of course I do sometimes), the added air, if your chips are extremely dry, can cause a flash back and throw the reloader completely out of the unit. I am not a shade tree engineer, I don't modify equipment, I try to find the way to get it to work my way the way its designed, and usually do. Although I would bet enlarging those three holes would solve the problem. Much like extending the top vent with a foot or two of 3" pipe would increase the draw.

 

Use either chips or AMPs, both can cause problems.

 

I have a picture of those holes somewhere but no idea where.

I've not yet put away my MES so I have to check out those three holes in the chip loader. Since buying my MES I never use chips anymore so double burning pellets and chips is not an issue for me. The way this pic shows the chip loader pulled out matches exactly what Todd Johnson advised me to do. It's one of the things I tried during my smoke yesterday and the AMNPS never went out after that.

 

I don't like to mod stuff because I'm no shade tree or bald tree engineer either. I admire the guys who post pics of their extravagant mods but I ain't one of them. Tell me to pull out the chip loader 2" or keep the water pan empty but covered with foil and I'm your man!

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