Originally Posted by haeffnkr
12:19 CDT I took the pics set the MES to 225
I will update in a bit... thanks for the help.
In looking at the pic that I quoted above, it sure looks like you are not filling the tray all the way to the top. I have found that if I don't fill the tray almost to the top that I don't get enough "mass" ignited for the fire to self-sustain.
As a "thought experiment," imagine filling the tray so only one layer of pellets is in one of the rows (i.e., pellets all the way across the width and length of a row, but only one pellet high). If you then lit those few pellets at one end and got them going, I think you'd find that there would not be enough pellets to generate sufficient heat to cause the adjacent pellets to catch so that the whole row would eventually burn. However, at some point, if you add enough pellets to have a row that is two pellets deep, then three pellets deep, and so on, you'd get to the point that it would self-sustain because you'd have a big hunk of pellets on fire, and that would provide enough heat to cause the adjacent pellets to "catch."
So, don't try to skimp on pellets. They don't cost much compared to the food you are smoking, and Todd will enjoy the extra business you'll give him if you add chips until the AMNPS is filled to the top.
I have seen a few people report that if you fill it all the way to the top so that the pellets are literally falling out the sides, that one lit row can "jump" over to the adjacent unlit row. I actually did have this happen once, but I think I may actually have had a "bridge" (i.e., I was careless and let some chips lie across the divider between rows).
If you do end up with two rows burning at once, that is not even close to being as bad as having the thing go out, especially since the leap to the adjacent row probably won't happen right away, if it ever does. The worst that would happens is that you would get a little too much smoke for awhile, and the thing would burn out sooner than expected. To avoid this happening, just do a quick check after an hour or so. Unlike having the AMNPS inside the MES where you lose a lot of temperature and smoke if you open the MES to check on whether the AMNPS is still burning, there is zero downside to opening the mod to check on whether everything is OK. You'll lose smoke for the ten seconds you have it open, but only the smoke contained in the tiny little mailbox, not all the smoke in the MES. In addition, there will be no impact on the temperature inside the MES.
Try more pellets. I think that will make a big difference.
Edited by johnmeyer - 3/26/17 at 4:59pm