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Advice for a beginner???

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

My wife recently purchased me a new Gen2 MES40 for us to hopefully start smoking with; only problem is neither of us have a clue...

 

After stumbling onto this site today, I've already picked up quite a bit from reading all of these different posts these past few hours. However, I do have a few questions that will hopefully really make our lives a lot easier. Let me start by saying that after reading all of these different threads, I've already purchased a 5x8 AMNPS (as per Todd from A-MAZE-N Products) and a Maverick thermometer, to help ease a few of the growing pains I see most of you have already had. Anyway, my questions are:

 

1. When using the AMNPS and pellets; do I need to light them first, and put them in an already warm smoker? Or do I just load them and forget about it?

 

2. Are there any absolute do's and/or don'ts I need to keep in mind when using this particular smoker?

 

3. Does anyone using wood chips and the AMNPS w/pellets at the same time.

 

Any insight into these or other concerns is already greatly appreciated. Thank everyone here for all of the helpful reading material and allowing me to join your site.

post #2 of 13
Never put any water in the pan of the unit. Keep the vent wide open and the chip tray pulled out an inch or two. This will provide good air flow to keep the pellets in the AMNPS burning and prevent condensation inside the unit.

No chips needed in the tray. Just pellets in the AMNPS. Make sure the pellets are good and dry before lighting. I microwave them for a couple min to dry out before lighting. Light the AMNPS with a propane torch and use a hairdryer or heat gun to get a real good "cherry" burning in the tray before putting in the MES.

The MES should be preheated before putting the AMNPS in. Make sure that the AMNPS is protected from anything dripping on it. You may have to put some foil on a shelf above it.

I have a gen 1 unit so some adaptation may be required.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much chiefwej for all of the helpful tips. I'll definitely be giving this a shot. I do have a question though... If I don't put any water in the unit at all, how do I not dry the meat completely out? I'm sure that if I had any experience at all, the answer would be just painfully obvious. Anyway, Todd from A-Maze-N-Products pretty much said the same thing as you about the vents and leaving the loader pulled out a few inches. The only variances seem to be maybe the differences in a Gen1 and Gen2. He just never said anything about NOT using any water. All he told me was to remove the water tray, put it on the bottom of the unit, and put the AMNPS on top of the tray. Does this jive with what you're meaning? I by no means am second guessing anyone, I'm just trying to absorb all of the information and differences in processes.

 

Thanks again sir. 

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier41 View Post
 

Thank you very much chiefwej for all of the helpful tips. I'll definitely be giving this a shot. I do have a question though... If I don't put any water in the unit at all, how do I not dry the meat completely out? I'm sure that if I had any experience at all, the answer would be just painfully obvious. Anyway, Todd from A-Maze-N-Products pretty much said the same thing as you about the vents and leaving the loader pulled out a few inches. The only variances seem to be maybe the differences in a Gen1 and Gen2. He just never said anything about NOT using any water. All he told me was to remove the water tray, put it on the bottom of the unit, and put the AMNPS on top of the tray. Does this jive with what you're meaning? I by no means am second guessing anyone, I'm just trying to absorb all of the information and differences in processes.

 

Thanks again sir. 

Chief & Todd gave you good info!!

 

The MES doesn't dry foods out----I haven't put water in my pan in 4 years. Just don't open the door a lot & let out the humidity.

 

Only change I'll make from Todd's instructions is after taking the water pan out, leave it out & put a disposable foil pan under the water pan hole instead so you don't have to wash it all the time.

 

Here's a whole bunch of things you can do with an MES:

 

Just click on "Bear's Step by Steps".

 

BTW: Welcome to SMF.

 

Bear

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

Chief & Todd gave you good info!!

The MES doesn't dry foods out----I haven't put water in my pan in 4 years. Just don't open the door a lot & let out the humidity.

Only change I'll make from Todd's instructions is after taking the water pan out, leave it out & put a disposable foil pan under the water pan hole instead so you don't have to wash it all the time.

Here's a whole bunch of things you can do with an MES:

Just click on "Bear's Step by Steps".

BTW: Welcome to SMF.

Bear
Thank you bearcarver. I appreciate the link as well. I can't wait to try these out.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post

Never put any water in the pan of the unit. Keep the vent wide open and the chip tray pulled out an inch or two. This will provide good air flow to keep the pellets in the AMNPS burning and prevent condensation inside the unit.

No chips needed in the tray. Just pellets in the AMNPS. Make sure the pellets are good and dry before lighting. I microwave them for a couple min to dry out before lighting. Light the AMNPS with a propane torch and use a hairdryer or heat gun to get a real good "cherry" burning in the tray before putting in the MES.

The MES should be preheated before putting the AMNPS in. Make sure that the AMNPS is protected from anything dripping on it. You may have to put some foil on a shelf above it.

I have a gen 1 unit so some adaptation may be required.


I personally don't use a hair blower or a heat gun. I just use my mouth to blow the crap out of the smoking wood pellets in the AMNPS to get a good cherry; it's not that difficult unless you've got pulmonary problems.


Edited by daRicksta - 11/4/14 at 10:53am
post #7 of 13
To me the hardest thing to achieve is keeping pellets lit! Once I started using a hair drying it became 100 times better. You should do a YouTube search on how to lit the AMNPS
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockman View Post

To me the hardest thing to achieve is keeping pellets lit! Once I started using a hair drying it became 100 times better. You should do a YouTube search on how to lit the AMNPS

 

I use my lungs too, but they're in really poor shape.

 

This is my favorite link to starting an AMNPS:

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/140859/how-i-light-my-amnps-w-video-link

 

 

Bear

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 

 

I use my lungs too, but they're in really poor shape.

 

This is my favorite link to starting an AMNPS:

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/140859/how-i-light-my-amnps-w-video-link

 

 

Bear


I don't have a rocket engine torch like that guy's. I just have a small propane torch which lacks the fire power of the torch in the video; never ever get that extensive a cherry and that large a flame burning in the pellets. Besides, I think that blowing on the cherry is what's keeping my lungs in good shape.

post #10 of 13
Get a MAP gas torch like this from your local hardware store
5e6d070705d2a9a1eb1e16d5b201b99b.jpg

5442a46f1ad6f3ecc459c0405c5b38b8.jpg
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post
 


I don't have a rocket engine torch like that guy's. I just have a small propane torch which lacks the fire power of the torch in the video; never ever get that extensive a cherry and that large a flame burning in the pellets. Besides, I think that blowing on the cherry is what's keeping my lungs in good shape.

 

I thought about that, but I think it's too late for mine!!

 

 

Bear

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmayna View Post

Get a MAP gas torch like this from your local hardware store
5e6d070705d2a9a1eb1e16d5b201b99b.jpg

5442a46f1ad6f3ecc459c0405c5b38b8.jpg

This is the torch I should've bought but I don't remember seeing it. I did buy another torch with the same brand. I was going for the lowest-priced torch anyway at that time. The torch I own is smaller and doesn't have the on/off thing, just a simple rotary knob.

post #13 of 13
Good exercise Bear!
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