MES 30 and AMNPS question

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by kevin james, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. kevin james

    kevin james Smoke Blower

    I've been having a few problems with my AMNPS in my MES 30 and had some questions. I would hit the AMNPS with the torch for a solid minute or two, let the flame burn for at least 5 minutes, then blow it out and put it in the MES. I pull the chip loader all the way out and top vent all the way open. It would seem to start out fine but the smoke was maybe a little too thin but not that bad. Within 15 minutes or so it would basically go out and I'd have to pull it out, re-light it and start over and keep babysitting it (which is exactly why I bought it... so wouldn't HAVE to babysit the smoker. When it finally would get going and stay lit it would put out too much smoke, like I could never get a good happy medium. Obviously its some kind of airflow problem, that much I know.

    So I was messing around with it today and I think I figured out the solution, but I want to make sure what I'm doing is SAFE. So I read here that one recommendation was to also pull out the chip tray 1.5 -2 inches. Tried that and still didn't help. I decided to see what would happen if I just pulled the tray all the way out as well as the loader. That did the trick. The smoke did get a little too thick but I put the ladd tube back in (kept the tray out though) and it pulled the smoke down to a pretty much perfect level.

    So now my only question is, is it SAFE to pull the chip tray all the way out? It seemed to solve my problem but I don't want to do anything unsafe.
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Yes It's safe .i removed both the chip loader and the tray  from my MES40 .  I use either the amns or amnps .
  3. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I removed the loader and pulled the tray out 2 inches and no problems
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yep, no problem.  Proper air flow is always a key for the AMNPS to function properly, and every MES is a little different. Another key for me is to make sure there is a nice hot cherry bed of coals in the AMNPS before it goes into the MES.  After I let it burn for 5-10 minutes, I will always blow on the glowing pellets until I have that nice hot cherry going.  It also helps to make sure your pellets have no moisture in them.  I nuke mine in the microwave for a minute or two before loading the AMNPS.
  5. kevin james

    kevin james Smoke Blower

    Well thats actually why I asked, because I tried pulling the tray out a couple inches but that did not seem to help much. I pulled it all the all the way out and then that seemed to do the trick. This time anyways lol
  6. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That must be what your smoker likes. Lol.
    I usually nuke my dust and pellets but tonight I didn't nuke the pellets and the lite off right away.
  7. kevin james

    kevin james Smoke Blower

    I actually did try nuking the pellets today for the first time. After I posted the first post the smoke got a little too thick so I tried puting the chip tray back in. I think the rush of oxygen from opening the door did more harm than good and the smoke got thicker. Closed the top vent all the way for about 2 minutes to try to "oxygen starve " it to bring the smoke level back down and that seemed to work.

    I tell ya.... I'm determined to master this damn thing LOL. It's important for me to get a perfect happy medium of smoke. enough to do the job and give that great smoked flavor, but not enough to piss off the neighbors (apartments suck lol).
  8. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You will get the hang of it. Once you do, it will be amazn.

    I actually called Todd on a weekend and he helped me get my dust smoker going
  9. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yup, you can ALWAYS call my cell @ (952)412-0484

    I may be walleye fishing, but still answer my phone

    I wonder if I ca write off my fishing boat cuz I do business while fishing???


    Something tells me the IRS won't like my deduction

    Looks like you have it figured out

    Sometimes guys will place their MES in a garage or in an area blocked by the wind.  Actually, the AMNPS performs better in a little wind

  10. kevin james

    kevin james Smoke Blower

    Thanks Todd. I think I have it figured out, but we'll see next time I fire it up.
  11. I put the unlit AMNPS w/pellets in the empty MES while it's warming up to 270F. After ~30min, the MES has reached temp and is just coasting along. I take out the hot AMNPS, light the now toasty pellets with a propane torch, poof! fires right up. Stick the meat in the MES, set the cook temp, and after making sure the AMNPS is still smoking, stick it back in.

    fixer likes this.
  12. beernuts

    beernuts Smoke Blower

    Heating the pellets in the smoker is a great idea. Well done!!!
  13. kevin james

    kevin james Smoke Blower

    I just wanted to come back to this thread to report I have found the solution to my problem and have it dialed in now. I am going back to puting the loaded AMNPS in the smoker as it preheats and when the MES gets to temp pull out the AMNPS light it as usual (hit with the torch for 1 -2 minutes, let it let it burn for at least 10 minutes then blow it out and load it back in the MES), The soultion was to pull the chip tray completely out and leave it out and pull the feed tube all the way out for at least 15 minutes until the smoke really gets going. Then I can put the tube back in and adjust as needed to thin or thicken the amount of smoke. Working like a champ!
  14. It's your mobile office Todd not a fising boat....Just saying....
  15. other question i have 4 u to think about   how dry is your pellets or saw dust?   if the moisture content is to high it wont burn properly.
  16. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pellets are 6%-8% moisture content

    Sawdust can vary, depending on the humidity.  I get it at 8% moisture

    Drying pellets or sawdust works for some guys

  17. hmmm, i may have to run north for a business meeting.

  18. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would just like to address the AMNPS going out problem. This has happened to me twice (I own a MES 30). Todd's advice was to not put water in the water tray since he feels it steams the food and he felt that also caused the pellets to go out. I've had the problem with and without water in the tray and I'm personally going back to filling it with water after reading some articles on electric water smokers.

    Anyway, I usually light the AMNPS with a propane torch, getting a good flame going for about 30 seconds or so, then blowing it out and letting the pellets smoke for about 10 minutes. As I wrote, twice after inserting the AMNPS in the smoker I discovered it had gone out. After repeating the lighting process, the AMNPS remained lit for the duration of the cooking time. I haven't figured out yet why the problem occurred. I also keep the wood chip tray in place, and I also keep the AMNPS outside of the MES when doing the 10-minute burn, placing it inside while the MES is heating up. I like everything in place before I put in the meat or cheese I'm going to smoke.

    I bought my MES 30 last year along with the AMNPS and, believe, I'm still learning how both of them work. I heard some guys light the pellets at both ends for a heavier smoke. I get more than enough smoke just from a one-way pellet burn.
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Todd's probably right about the water in the pan, but I can't say, because I never put water in my pan. No need.

    As for the AMNPS going out, you have to do a few more things. You can't just let it burn for 10 minutes. You have to blow on it, in the direction of the bottom of the unburned pellets until it flames up again. Then after a few minutes, blow on it again until it flames up. I do this 4 or 5 times in about 20 minutes, until I get a really big cigar-like cherry in the bottom of the lit end. Then in it goes. Once it is lit right, like this, it's even hard to get it to stop, to save the pellets when you're done smoking. The biggest thing in keeping an AMNPS going is to get it lit right to start with. If you do that, it will NOT go out.

  20. I just got the amnps figuring since I have had the amns 6x8 for a couple of years and have used it without any problems, unless my dust was a bit moist. With that being said I figured I wanted to have the pellet option because dust is not obtainable locally. I can make my own dust using oak, but sometimes ya just want to have a different smoke taste.
    I am having nothing but problems getting it dialed in, but then I found this thread. It appears not enough air until I removed the tray and then it stayed lit. I am not wild about having to take the tray out, but for now I do what I have to do.

    In my old MES the one the element went bad, NOW known as my NEW cold smoker, lol the amnps will be ideal. I am wondering if anyone has done any mods to the MES that would be used for an air intake vent? Not all my smokes will be cold, I do want to supplement my hot smokes with the amnps without removing the tray. Main reason is to add a bit of charcoal pieces into it to help with the eye appealing smoke ring.

    I am glad to get the amnps working to this point, that way I can leave an excellent review on amazon. I know from past experiences Todd is THE MAN when it comes to customer service and I am sure we would have gotten things worked out with his suggestions on it's operation. I be an old school MAN, I don't ask directions (thank god for GPS) and when I have to figure something out, last resort is asking questions, but spend forever searching out a an answer! ;)

    Thanks to everyone that posted here previously
    aka Rocky

    Brisket smoked today, in cooler now, Will post in the next couple of days a new post with Q-vue.
    Last edited: May 19, 2013

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