AMNPS - Incorrect smoke or paranoia?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by candurin, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. candurin

    candurin Smoke Blower

    Todd, All,

    I am using my AMNPS for the first time for my first ever smoke today (7.5# Boston - will have QView up when done).

    I just want to make sure my AMNPS is working properly.  I have a continuous smoke going (mixed 1cup cherry and 1 cup hickory) but it seems like a lot of smoke and I can't really tell if it's TBS (looks like it might be white smoke).  I looked at Todd's comparison photo, but it appears like a cross between the two types of smoke.  UGH!

    Does the AMNPS always create TBS, did I do something wrong, or am I just being waaaaay too paranoid?

    Now I can see why the MB with the window would be great!  I think I need a surgical camera inside my smoker.  I would watch it on TV all day long!!!
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  2. kydave

    kydave Smoke Blower

    Still trying to catch the terminology here. I googled AMNPS but having a hard time with TBS. Help?
  3. candurin

    candurin Smoke Blower

  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Bro you are Fine...Todds pic is Blue there is just lots for a Cold Smoke...Probably lit Both ends...White Billowy Smoke is bad and it is hard to see through...think Forest Fire...JJ
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  5. kydave

    kydave Smoke Blower

    Thanks a lot! The photos helped understand. (And thanks to Chef JJ for the PM explanation too.) I never paid much attention to my smoke color - but I will now. 
  6. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    It's really hard to answer your question without a picture of the smoke you're generating.  If you are still smoking this product, how about a picture so we can help you better.

    However, a question for you:  do you have two ends lit?  That'll give you mucho smoke.  I've no experience with electric smokers and I know some of the ones who do will be along to give you more direct help. 

    TBS is truly a difficult standard to pin down.  Basically what I've learned is that we're trying to get people away from the clouds of rolling smoke we see far too often.  There have been times when I know the AMNPS is smoking but I've got nothing visually coming out the stack (using a big block propane smoker, aka GOSM) but I could tell by smelling the "stuff" coming out the stack that I was getting TBS and the meat confirmed that by having a nice smoke ring.

    Hang in there.  You did say you're doing your very firsts.  I do have a surprise for you:  If your cooking quality standard is to be as good as a restaurant, that's kinda low.  Most of us, after practice can crank out food far superior to the restaurant.
  7. candurin

    candurin Smoke Blower

  8. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have been smoking with the AMNS and AMNPS for a good period of time.  You should see a steady stream of smoke. It should not be a big billowy smoke but rather a good even steady stream. It will sometimes appear as light grey but should never be white.

    Post a picture and we can help further
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That meat looks great...As far as Smoke...You're on the Money!  Have a Cold One and Relax!...JJ
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  10. candurin

    candurin Smoke Blower

    Yeah, it seems as though the smoke settled itself down... Now all I have to do is resist that darn urge to open the door stare and smell!

    Temp has been been cycling between 210 & 235 (never above or below those temps).  Fairly large temperature swing but not too bad for the analog version.
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If it's smoking it's good.

    You do not have to worry about creosote with the AMNPS.
  12. candurin

    candurin Smoke Blower

    The only problem is that I just checked the temp again and it says that it is up to 280F !!!  Could this be a fluke?  I noticed the AMNPS smoke stream is hitting the probe almost directly now, perhaps this is throwing off the temp?  I haven't touched the thermostat since this morning.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  13. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I know it is hard to get hung up on the little details, I never worry too much if I get a little more smoke than what some call TBS, white and "billowey" is for sure bad but if it happens once in a while during a long smoke it won't ruin your cook, or creat creosote. My gasser always gets a pretty intense white smoke going right before the chip box needs refilled. My UDS sometimes gets a yellow smoke when I first start it, now that is really BAD and nasty, I just have to shut er down and let it "chill out" before I put my in there, usually only takes about 10-15 minutes. Now that I have my AMNPS I have not used my UDS because you just cant beat the smoke that comes from that thing, it is always perfect, unless you screw something up that is.

    So sit back have a beer, take notes (either mental or physically) and enjoy your food when it gets done!
  14. raymo76

    raymo76 Smoking Fanatic

    I'm loving your enthusiasm, keep up the good work! It all appears that everything is going well for you.
  15. candurin

    candurin Smoke Blower

    Ugh.. It's been in since 8:30am and it's been stuck at 154F (IT) for an hour.  Is it too soon to move it to a 250F oven to get it to 205 (IF)?  We're hungry!

    Edit: since the amnps stopped a while ago (note: 2 cups of pellets lasted almost EXACTLY 8 hours), I moved the pork into the oven (oven temp is 235F), pork is now at 170 and moving.  I guess it was at the 154F Plateau nice and comfy.  Now it's on it's way to the plate.  Going to make soflaquer's finishing sauce.

    I'll have to remember to start this process 3 hours earlier, or the night before.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  16. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    How did it turn out?
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    IMO, when using an AMNPS, don't worry so much about the color of the smoke as you worry about how heavy the smoke is.

    If it's too heavy to your liking, and you only lit one end, you probably filled it all the way to the top of the walls.

    If you would rather have a little less smoke, don't fill it quite as full.

    Mine smoked a little heavier than I wanted last time, but I had only filled 1 1/2 rows, so I just took a screwdriver, and stretched the pellets out in the rows, which caused the height of the pellets to drop, lessening the amount of smoke. 

    Hoping I explained that so I'm not the only one who understands my gibberish.

  18. candurin

    candurin Smoke Blower

    That makes perfect sense Bear.  I filled up the rows and really liked the smoke flavor, not too intense, but very prevalent.

    We cheated and thinly slice some up at 180F for sandwiches (we were hungry!) but found that the meat was not very tender., so I wrapped the meat up and left it overnight.  This morning I put it in the crock pot and am slowly heating it up.  It's been in for a few hours and already starting to fall apart and look really moist!  Can't wait to really eat it PP style tonight.

    Learned some lessons, got some new ideas and will try turkey and brisket next.  I'll get the QView up once we pull the meat from the crock pot.

    Thank you all so, so much for all your help and hand holding during my first smoke!
  19. tjohnson

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

    Great Thread!

    You're not paranoid, just a little excited!

    The AMNPS and the AMNS produce a great TBS.  The pellet burner you have puts out a greater amount of smoke, because pellets are more dense than sawdust.  The amount of smoke can be controlled somewhat by pushing in the chip loader and also not filling the rows completely.  You need at least 3/4 of the row filled with pellets, or it can go out.  Bear has had good luck with limiting the amount of smoke by not filling the rows all the way.

    The color of your smoke should be greyish blue instead of white.  If you have billowing white smoke from an AMNS or AMNPS, the fire has most likely jumped rows and all the sawdust or pellets are burning up, instead of following the rows.  Even this still produces TBS.

    The AMNPS should burn for 11+ hours during cold smoking, and 7+ hours at 225°.  If you burned 2 cups of pellets over 8 hours @ 250°, you're right on-track. 

    Also, keep in-mind every brand of smoker will perform a little differently.

    Where did you place your AMNPS?

    Did you use water in the water pan?

  20. candurin

    candurin Smoke Blower

    Todd,  I placed my AMNPS right on top of my unused chip tray (I am using the analog MES 30) as you recommended in another thread.  I did not use any water in the pan, I'm curious if this would add moisture to the butt?  Or perhaps I can tighten the door seal a bit, which would leave some humidity in the chamber.

    But, OMG!  It is absolutely delicious out of the crockpot.  Smokey, flavorful and fell apart with just a prod of my pinkie!

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