Here's 3 St. Louis Ribs I smoked in my MES 30 yesterday using hickory and oak wood pellets in my AMNPS, filling all 3 rows. I didn't foil them so they developed a thick black bark which is not the way I like them. I prefer the wet look with no bark which comes from the 3-2-1 method or variations on it. I also overcooked them by about 30 minutes.
Just want to talk about lighting the AMNPS. I bought a box of canned gelled alcohol at Lowes since they didn't have squeeze bottles. I spooned the gel onto the top of the wood pellets near the AMNPS front hole, underneath the AMNPS in the same spot, and I spooned it into the front hole and lit the hole thing with a BBQ lighter. It worked. After the flames were going for about 20 minutes I blew on it, got the red cherry, and inserted the AMNPS lit end first toward the rear wall. It performed flawlessly over a 7 hour smoke and I had a small section of unburnt pellets remaining near the front hole at the end.
First, the MES controller was rock solid for most of the smoke, no temp fluctations. I was using my ET-733 and placed the FOOD (#1) probe on the rear right of the 2nd rack and the BARBECUE (#2) probe on the far left on the 3rd rack. My target temp was 250°. At first the right side was way hotter than the left, then a few hours in they both were pretty close and the controller temp was pretty close to the ET-733 temp displays, then in the last hour or so the temps on the ET-733 climbed to 270/266° AND the left side grew hotter than the left.
To me the only explanation was that the additional heat was coming from the AMNPS; the burning pellets started in the rear on the right side, came down to the front and turned the corner to burn down the center row back to the row, turned the corner again and came burning down the left side. That would account for the areas of increased temps I saw. Add to that three racks of ribs that are radiating heat on their own as they cook and get close to being done and that's why you'll see those temp changes necessitating raising or lowering your set point. For the most part, though, the MES controller screen showed a temp about 20° lower than the actual temp. When I was seeing 270° it was still showing 250. In the end I had to lower the set point to 235° to get near my target set point of 250° with both probes.
So, to summarize, when you're smoking and using the AMNPS you've got to account for the additional heat being produced by the wood pellets and where on the AMNPS they're burning. You've also got to account for heat being given off by the meat. The AMNPS performed flawlessly with wood pellets left over after 7 hours. There were no temp swings with the MES controller. It pretty much stayed around a particular temp, give or take 2-3 degrees which is highly acceptable.
Next time I return to foiling the ribs and will also return to using baby back ribs since I just found out I prefer those to St. Louis ribs since you don't have those tiny riblet bones to pick out of your mouth. I hate that.