My beautiful bride and I moved last month from south Louisiana at an elevation of less than 100 feet above sea level to the mountains just west of Colorado Springs at just under 9100 feet. Finally got around to do some easy smoking with a Boston butt for the first time this past weekend.
Everything ended up great in the end but found out that the AMNPS doesn't work quite as well in my MES as it did at a much lower elevation. I somewhat expected this from reading a few posts on here about the same thing.
I made sure my pellets were nice and dry before starting by putting them in the toaster oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, lighting the pellets with my MAPP torch and letting things burn for about ten minutes and getting that nice red cherry glow before putting the AMNPS in the smoker. I opened up the chip loader to ensure good air flow in and had the exhaust vent fully open.
Thought I should be good to go.
After about 20 minutes I glanced over at the smoker and no TBS coming out. Grabbed the torch and got things going again.
Repeat the above about another six times over the next six hours. At one point the pellets on the next row over caught and I had a bit more TBS than I needed. Ended up filling the tray again with two rows and went at it again. Finally got everything going the way it should near the end of the smoking period about an hour before I foiled.
I figured I would need to learn how to smoke things all over again. Times and temps were pretty much the same, just getting the TBS is what I need to get dialed in. I did end up removing the loader tray completely and removing the chip tray at the same time. That seemed to help quite a bit as the pellets stayed lit much longer.
Still much better than using chips and everyone raved about the pulled pork that was the end result.