I see where some pull out the chip tray a bit. What does this accomplish? Does the chip tray even need to be in at all?
I assume your using a MES. You pull the chip loader out about 1" so you have enough oxygen for the chips to burn. If you had the chip loader removed it is like having a 2" hole in your smoker.
Get it seasoned and lets see some Q.
Why do I need to burn chips if I'm using an AMNPS?
Yes, I have seen some say they pull the chip loader out a bit, but I have also seen people say in addition they pull the chip DRAWER out a bit as well.
I can't figure out why or what that would do?
Find what works for you in the area you smoke at.
Personally, if I smoke at my parents, I'm more than good with pulling the drawer out a tad and the loader out 1 inch.
However, when I smoke on the back deck at my house, I have to pull the drawer out as much as it goes and completely remove the chip loader due to poor air circulation. I've found that if I don't remove the chip loader completely with the drawer pulled back, then the AMNPS will be snuffed out within about 20 min to a half hour.
Interesting! About 5 minutes ago the doorbell rang and it was the UPS guy with my AMNPS. I'm going to unpack it and do some cheese this afternoon. I have had the saw dust smoker for a while and really enjoyed it. Hope this one is as good. And by the way, I hope you really enjoy yours too. What are you going to smoke first
Dust or pellets is what I meant. I don't even have my chip burning tray in my MES.
I pull the wood chip loader on the side of my MES 30 out about an inch just because I was advised it contributes to better airflow and it seems to work. I think it's best to keep the loader attached because if you remove it you'll have smoke and heat escaping through the open hole. Best to let them escape through the top vent only.
I've never been advised to pull out the wood chip tray drawer and I see no reason to do so. My personal thing is to insert the AMNPS lit end first into smoker since I feel there's more airflow back there with the top vent and with the wood chip loader slightly pulled out. It's been working great for me. The downside is that the sensors on that back wall need to be cleaned a bit more often because the pellets start their burning path back there but it's a good idea to clean those on a regular basis anyway.