Wood chips hard to ignite

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by kielbasanostra, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Hello fellow smokers,

    This is my first "help me" post.

    I just purchased a MES 30 " w/ window and top electronics. Graduated from a "BIG CHIEF" and I do a lot of smoked sausage.

    Everything works great except for 1 problem.

    Can anyone tell me at what temp should the chips start to smoke? Seems I have to crank up the temp to about 180 to get them started and then turn it down to the desired temp.

    What am I doing wrong, or is there an after market "tweak" that I need to do to the MES 30"?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Steve Binkowski
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When I got my MES 40 (3 years ago), I had to get it up to 210* before it would smoke.

    Then after a few minutes at 210*, it would stop smoking because the element shut off.

    They had a retro-fix for that, so I got it. Then it started smoking at 60*, but would often flame up.

    Then I got an AMNPS, and I've been a happy smoker ever since.

    12 hours of perfect smoke without touching anything.

    You need an AMNPS.

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    [​IMG]   X2 what Bear said!  The MES and the AMNPS are a match made in heaven.  Beats the hell out of futzing with that annoying little chip tray every 15-20 minutes.

  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here's what I learned long ago about electrics.

    Always start the smoker preheat on high with vent fully open (if you are lucky enough to have a vent). When you see smoke, preheat is done, insert meat and adjust vent and then set your cooking temperature. You lose a little smoke but its quickly replaced.

    I had started skipping this with AMPS and when I started doing it again, my AMPS works better also. Heat causes the smoker to create a draft, without the draft it can't burn continuously. It has a small suction available, mine has three small holes in the loader so you really have to force the draft thru with heat.

    Once you have a wisp of smoke with the vent open and the temp on high, you can pretty much do what you like. Drop to 100 degrees if ya like and regulate the vent.

    That's just what helped mine. The AMPS is nice too, but it too requires a draft.
  5. Thanks for the input,

    I did a little surfing for AMNPS and it seems to be the ticket.

    Does anyone know where I could find a " how to" on how to install an AMNPS in my MES30?

    Thanks again,

  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do you have a Phillips screwdriver, claw hammer, monkey wrench, acetylene torch, 3/4 drive x 13/64th socket adapter, green felt tip marker and a ripe banana?

    You won't need any of those, the Amps just sets down in the MES30. 

    You'll love how it works.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The AMNPS was designed to fit perfectly in the Generation #1 MES 30, on the bars to the left of the chip burner assembly.

    If yours is a Gen #2, let me know & I'll tell you where to put it in that one.

  8. How do I know what Gen mine is?

    Model # 20070411

    Serial # UB041320 (First letter was somewhat illegible, looked like a "U" to me)

    Hope this helps,

  9. Question answered, mine has the bars on the left so it's a Gen #1.

    Ordered an AMNPS and will post when I fire it up.

    Thanks to all for your help,

  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Steve make sure you own or get a small blow torch, its a necessity to light the amps. I think on of Todds packages comes with a torch if you don't love walking the isles at Ace/TrueValue. Me I am like Tim "The Toolman" Taylor, I get lost in Lowes or depot too.
  11. bwk180

    bwk180 Newbie


    If you put it on the bottom closest to the burner what do you have to do to prevent it from burning quicker. I have to check in morning of I have gen 1 or 2 mine is occupied with a fresh ham right now.
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you have a Gen #1 MES 30, and if you have trouble with the heat being too close to the AMNPS, slide it to the left, against the left wall. This will give you about 1/4" of space to put some type of scrap metal between the AMNPS and the end of the chip burner assembly. If you have a Gen #1 MES 40, keep it about an inch from the left wall.

  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup, like Foamy said, you'll need a torch. I use a Fat Boy propane torch. It has more balls than the little Butane torches.

    I use the Butane torch for lighting dust, and the propane for lighting pellets.

    The propane torch will blow the dust out of the AMNS, if you aren't careful.

  14. Thanks for all the help guys, can't wait to use my new toy.

    Happy New Year,


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