Originally Posted by hawk2000x
Sorry Bear - meant to say Chip Dumper. Yes both (tray and dumper) were in place when the puffing happened. On one occasion - the dumper was "blown out" about 2 inches from its fully seated positon about 20-25mins after adding chips into the tray. Thats when I noticed that temperature had spiked to 300 (maybe more - since thermometer on MES maxes out at 300). I did not have the secondary mechanical thermometer in place at the time - but as previously stated - the mechanical and MES thermometers tracked pretty close. I only added one dump of chips for the seasoning process, so don't know if it will do it every time I dump in more chips. I will likely be using the AMNPS instead of the chip tray when I smoke, so I'm not too concerned about it. I may fire it up again today in a test run to see if it happens again when I dump in more chips - just for curiosity's sake. Thanks for your help.
I did another "seasoning" run yesterday to see if I could get the puffing and dumper to blow out again - I did not get it to happen ! I'm thinking that when this initially happened, the conditions inside and outside the smoker were just right to cause a backdraft and flash-over condition of the chips which resulted in the puffing and the dumper to blow out on the one occassion. The conditions outside were a little cooler and more windy on the 2nd run. As I said before, I'm not too worried about the puffing and blow out as I plan on using the AMNPS instead of the chip tray when I smoke.
The 2nd run also gave me the chance to use the Maverick ET-732 thermometers (which I did not have for the initial seasoning) to see if there was a side to side temperature variation in the smoker and to see how close the MES indicated temperature was to the ET-732 thermometers. At the 2nd rack down from the top - the side to side temperature was within 3 deg F on the ET-732 probes and the MES was 10-15 deg F lower than the ET-732 probes at lower smoker temps (below 150), but seemed to track pretty close at higher smoker temps (above 200).
I also played around with the AMNPS to make sure I could keep it lit and used the AMNPS inside the MES without the MES "on" to see what the temperature rise is to see if I could use it for cold smoking. Lit and placed AMNPS inside the MES (only had pellets in the 1st row of AMNPS). No problem keeping it lit. The starting temperature was 65 deg F (ET-732 probes) and final temp was 145 deg F after 3.5 hours. Fairly linear temperature rise during the test. Of course, actual temps with meat on the racks may very from the test. After the 3.5 hours I opened the smoker - I only had about 1 inch of unburnt pellets left (so it looks like I will get about 10+ hours of smoke off a full tray of pellets). Will need to look into a mailbox mod as seen in other posts.
Anyway - enough with the testing !!! I've got an 8.8 lb Pork Shoulder seasoned up in the fridge and will get to smoking it 1st thing in the morning using Bearcarver's Boston Butt directions (great instructions by the way). Wish me luck.