Well, after an intense four months of doing lots of smoking, building and then buying mods (the AMNPS) and trying out all sorts of ideas, I have come to the conclusion that the MES is not capable of producing a satisfying end product. The main problem is that the smoke taste is bitter and numbing, a sure sign of creosote. I have not been able to find a way around this.
Things I have tried:
- I have always kept the vent open;
- I have tried hot smokes (225 and above) and colder smokes (140-180).
- I bought the AMNPS and have used both pellets and dust in that contraption;
- I have tried using water in the pan, and then no water in the pan;
- I have tried chilling the food before putting it in the smoker, and then tried putting room temperature food in the smoker
- I have put chips in the smoker as soon as I have started it, and have waited until it is at full hear before adding chips.
- I have read hundreds and hundreds of posts in this forum
Reluctantly I conclude that the underlying concept behind this method of smoking is fatally flawed because it doesn't move much air/smoke past the food, and contains everything inside the smoker for way too long a time, allowing all the bad parts of the smoke to adhere to food (and the inside of the smoker). I've now read several articles about how much air/smoke moves through this box compared to, say, an offset smoker, and there is a several order of magnitude (i.e., more than 10x) difference.
I don't have the time or space to get a "real" smoker, so this will also be my exit from the art of smoking.
The one thing I will miss is this forum. It is one of the best on the Internet, and I have really enjoyed my brief time here.
Edited by johnmeyer - 9/9/16 at 2:16pm