AMNPS ... I Give UP

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by brickguy221, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    I give up on these pellets smoking and ready to go back to wood chips, even as bad as I hate adding chips every 15 - 20 minutes.Today was the umpteenth time that I couldn't keep my AMNPS lit. I would lite it initially ... let it burn 30 minute plus ... blow on it like Bear says until I get a red rose ... put it in smoker and 10 minutes it has died ... take it out and rel-light it, put it back and it goes out again... did that 4 times, so I finally gave up and added pellets a few at a time every 15 minutes to the chip loader.

    I tried setting it on the bottom shelf on left side ... I tried setting it on a wire rack the same size as the maze to elevate it off the bottom pan ...  I tried the chip loader closed ...I tried the chip loader dumpside down and out approx 1 1/2 - 2 inches ... I tried vent wide open ...tried vent half open ... and I tried everything I could think of and the chips still died ... I even nuked the pellets prior to light them the first time today.

    I don't know how in the world you people that  love these pellets keep the pellets smoking as I can't. This is the main reason I haven't tried smoking a Brisket and Pork Shoulder because of the length of time and the pellets won't stay lit, so I can trust the pellets to smoke for 7-8-9-10 hrs and I am not going to baby sit the smoker adding wood chips for that many hrs.

    Sorry about my rant here, but I am really "P" off about this pellet thing and am sorry I ever invested $100+ into them.
  2. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    If you foil the bottom grease tray make sure a hole in the foil is punched out over the drain hole to allow the air in the smoker to get to the AMNPS. You can cold smoke cheese in your grill or any food for a few hours before grilling steaks, burgers, sausages, chops. It's not a total loss. I use my tube smoker/AMNPS in my grill everytime I have the time. As long as you follow the rule 40-140* in 4hrs. The mailbox mod is the solution.
  3. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Two suggestion.

    1)  put a small candle (one of those little tea light candles) in the smoker where the pellet tray is (with the smoker off and cold).  Close everything up just like you were smoking, but do not heat the smoker up.  See if the candle goes out.  If it does, you have an air flow problem.  You still need some air for the pellet tray to work.

    2) Try laying  the pellets you want to use on a rimmed cookie pan and put in in the oven at 200-225* for about 15 to 20 minutes (while you get the smoker ready).  Then using oven mitts, transfer the hot and now dry pellets to the tray and light like normal.   If the pellets still will not stay lit, you may have a bad batch. 

    You are using food grade pellets, right?  Not the ones that come in the 50 pound bags at Home Depot or Lowes for pellet burning stoves.  They use different binders and the pellets for heating a house are made different.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dry the pellets....  275 in the oven for 2 hours....  exhaust wide open...  chip chute out 1 1/2 -2"....   DO NOT USE A WATER PAN or any water in the smoker..    preheat the smoker so it is pulling a draft....  if the smoke slows down exiting the exhaust, turn the element back on for a few minutes to get a draft going.....  

    If you have a 2nd gen with the exhaust out the left side of the smoker, call Todd.....

    If you are trying to get cherry pellets to burn, they won't...   try hickory.... 

    It would be nice if you gave us all the information so we could help based on your information instead of just guessing.... 

    What elevation do you live...
  5. What smoker are you using? I have been microwaving mine for 90 sec, stir & for another 90. The only issue I have been having with them burning is when I have my smoker on & the propane is taking all of the O2. I just keep one of the doors propped open to allow air flow. It definitely makes it difficult with managing temps in a propane smoker
  6. I am thinking about picking one of these up to allow for a increase of air flow from the bottom vent
  7. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Don't give up.  Questions:

    What  model smoker do your have?

    What elevation are you at?

    What brand pellets are you using?

    What temps do you normally running your smoker at?
  8. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Kurt, I foil the bottom pan and I do punch a hole in it. I have had trouble like this since last summer when I excitedly first invested in this pellet contraption thing thinking I would no longer have to baby sit the MES adding wood chips and I end up baby sitting it more than wood chips watching the pellets, relighting and etc. I don't care how bright of a rose I get when I light it, it might move another 1/4" up the line before going out.

    I might be wrong here, but I "think" Bear said he sets his on the bottom shelf on left side and leaves chip loader closed. Doesn't work for me on the same 2.5 smoker nor any of the other things I have tried. With the hole in bottom pan open, Chip loader pulled out 1 1/2- 2 inches, it should have plenty of air. I can hold my hand over the vent and can feel air flowing thru it and if I put a can with both ends cut out over the vent, you can feel the force of more air coming out.

    If today would have been a rare thing, I could handle that, but it has been every time since I bought those "bleeping: Pellets, Maze, and etc. and it was finally the straw that broke the camels back and I simply "lost it" as you can see in my first post.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  9. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    AMNPS on the rails, far left side, not on the bottom of the smoker.  Chip loader open a couple inches.  Chip tray open an inch or so.
  10. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Additional Information...

    My Smoker is a 40" MES BT 2.5 purchased in June 2015

    I use Todds Pellets. Bought 8 different ones in fact.

    It isn't altitude as the altitude here in OKC is 1100-1200 feet.
  11. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    I did all that you mentioned above. I don't have rails but tried the  AMNPS on bottom shelf on left side as well as all other things done as said in my original Topic. because the 40" BT doesn't have rails. 
  12. Don't give up on it! At first I was frustrated with mine but once I learned how to use it I couldn't be happier. I dry my pellets for 30mins at 200 and as others mentioned good air flow is key. Is their something dripping in the smoker that could be putting it out?
  13. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Not overly familiar with the 40" but in general the pellet tray should be somewhat low (below the bottom rack) approx chip tray height. Can you set the AMNPS on a brick or something to position it in that area (left side)? BTW: just to make sure it's not the case, there isn't any meat right above it where dripping could put it out?
  14. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree to elevate the pellet smoker 2-3" up off the bottom floor.  Not sure about using a brick which might help block air flow.  Since I weld as a hobby, I'd weld up a simple steel wire cage for the smoker to sit on.  I use a  MAP gas hand torch to dry and light the pellets.  I first run the torch up and down each row a couple time, hitting the top side, bottom side, etc.   I then light one end holding the torch there for about 20+ seconds.  Let it flame on for 5 minutes and then blow it out.  I have yet to have the pellets go out.
  15. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Like yours, my Maze sits on a wire stand about 2" off the bottom pan when I place it there.. Yesterday, I was trying to smoke 4 slabs of baby back ribs. They were in a rib rack that holds 4 slabs. I had the rack on the 2nd shelf from the top. It takes up a lot of room regardless of what shelf it is on. Even though it appeared to have sufficient draft coming out of the vent, could all of these ribs in a rack on one shelf be obstructing air flow causing the Maze to go out???? Although I have trouble on every thing I smoke, it seems that ribs are always the worse.
  16. tjohnson

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

    The guys got you covered

    The issue is air flow inside the New Gen 2 and Gen 2.5 Smokers

    Masterbuilt has made it virtually impossible to get any intake air in or out of the smoker, but there's a couple tricks to get the most out of your MES

    Let's take a step back

    What model MES do you own?

    Yes, I know it's a Bluetooth version, but they now have 3 with Bluetooth

    Exhaust on the left side or top left?

    Slanted drip pan w/5"x6" water pan or an oval water pan?

    Placement of the AMNPS 5x8 is crucial because it has to sit in the draft.  Since the new model have very little draft, we need to find the "Sweet Spot" inside your smoker

    When in doubt, you can call me at the office or my cell


    Office - 651 352-2831

    Cell - 952 412-0484
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  17. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Model No is  20070215 and a 40" with legs bought at Sams June 2015. Exhaust is out of the top on left hand side-back corner. Pan is oval and straight across and not slanted with 5 x 6 pan like the Gen 2.0 models had. (I had the 2.0 and gave it away when I bought the new BT)

    If the new Bluetooths have very little draft as you say and I have my worse problem with 4 slabs of ribs in a rib rack on one shelf ribs than I do on other meats, is it possible they are chocking off the draft???
  18. It is not an anomaly! I too have the same Masterbuilt model you own.

    What I mean with the statement is that it is going out because of a very "definite" and very good reason and the result of that which is causing the problem is to be expected!

    Big deal... rhetoric, where is the solution?

    Statement of fact: AMNPS works! ! !

    Like others, I have used the AMNPS for a long time without problems (except I was storing pellets outside and they were getting too humid)

    Here are more maybes:

    1. Maybe the moisture in your Masterbuilt is too much and the condensed water droplets are dripping on your pellets and putting them out. Try placing a foil tent over your AMNPS with the tent opening facing the heating element so you can catch some of the air coming in through the chip loader vent.

    2. Maybe place your AMNPS closer to the heating element so the moisture is dried off by the heat and also be closer to the proper temp for "smoldering" to continue.

                                               "M    A    Y   B   E" ! ! !

    Please don't give up because once you figure out the problem you will be very, very happy with your AMNPS!

    We all have a common interest and are happy to help if able.

    I look forward to hear you "BRAG" on your AMNPS!

    God bless you...

    Albert Rivera
  19. tjones96761

    tjones96761 Newbie

    I'm new to playing with the AMNPS also, I'm just east of Stillwater. I think I know what your problem is... You're a Sooner fan. [​IMG]

    I didn't try and look back through your previous posts. Are you against a separate box for the pellet tray? I didn't really like the looks of the mailboxes (just me personally, no offense to you guys that have them), so I'm going to do an ammo can. If you go that way you want a S.A.W. 50cal aka the "fat fifty". This is the only one the tray will sit in the bottom with adequate air flow all the way around with the lid on top. Otherwise the door opens sideways and sits on the edge of the lid. Probably a dozen surplus shops in OKC that have them on the shelf.

    By going to a separate box you eliminate any "stale air, no draft, starving for O2" issues that MAY be present because all the air coming into the smoker must first come past the pellets. I can't say this is your problem, but you can eliminate the possibility.

    I don't know about keeping the tray inside the smoker. Might have to drill holes in it where the tray sits to get air coming in past the pellets. Kinda sketchy though, not telling where all the wiring is in those things. Good luck Okie!

    Edit: I read 19 Points as 19 Posts. I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. Sorry.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  20. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    A lot of guys have had problems with the AMPS, myself included.  Just be patient and you'll get it right.  However, I am still not at a point where I can rely on it and leave it un'babyed.

    Try this next time.  Worked well for me on my Christmas smoke.  Nuke the pellets for a couple of mins in the micro, then throw them into the smoker while it's pre-heating.  I preheated my MES for I think 30-45min.  The pellets were really hot when I pulled them to light them, and they burned nicely.  If the flame is difficult to blow out (ie. it keeps relighting by itself when you move it), then you're good to go. 

    See if this method works and report back. 

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