AMNPS Rookie Mistakes

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by lizardman, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. lizardman

    lizardman Fire Starter

    Got my AMNPS Friday, smoked Saturday morning, 30" MES Gen 2 Signature Series, going to share the rookie mistakes I made so others might benefit:

    *  I removed the water pan and placed the AMNPS in it's place, but I neglected to put a catch pan between my ribs and the AMNPS, juices from the ribs put out the smoker pretty quickly, had to pick out the juice-soaked pellets. Going to get a smaller aluminum pan for this task for the next smoke to get maximum air flow.

    *  I lit the pellets with a propane torch, but I did not blow on the pellets after I put the flame out to get the embers white-hot. Had to relight a couple of times.

    *  Did not have the pellets filled to the brim of the AMPNS, they needed to be packed in a little better.

    I did have a bit of a challenge keeping the smoker lit, had the chip-dumper pulled out 2 1/2" and in the dump position and the damper wide open, I'm sure playing with these settings will help next time...

    Hope this is helpful!
  2. Sound like you'r on the right track

  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    It looks like you ran into just about every problem at one time!

    Have you tried adding a chimney to the exhaust? That seems to help out a lot of the people that use the AMNPS inside their MES.
  4. lizardman

    lizardman Fire Starter

    I have a second gen MES 30" with the damper on the left side, how do folks normally attach a chimney and what diameter aluminum pipe would I use? Pics or video would be helpful...
  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    3" elbow aluminum

  6. bigd3077

    bigd3077 Meat Mopper

    Did my second attempt yesterday with my amnps. Everything was perfect. Did chicken breasts and thigh and I have to say it was the best chicken I ever ate. It was still smoking so I shut it down, let it cool, and smoked some parmasan cheese.

  7. lizardman

    lizardman Fire Starter

    How did you attach the elbow to the smoker body? Did you remove the damper or just put it over the damper?
  8. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I have seen some people put it over the damper, others remove it and push the elbow into the hole, and others use magnets to hold it to the body of the smoker over the damper. What ever way works for you so long as it seals well.
  9. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    At first I just pushed it on over the damper, I have removed the damper and it is better. The opening is twice as big,it stays on my itself have not had it out in the wind yet. I have some heavy magnets from HF,if needed.
  10. tjohnson

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

    Good Recovery!!
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like you gained a lot of first hand knowledge in one smoke!![​IMG]

    You're on the right road!![​IMG]

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  12. lizardman

    lizardman Fire Starter

    Ongoing education, here's my 90 degree elbow mod, I removed the damper and shoved it in:

    Still had issues keeping the AMNPS lit, not as bad as before I did the damper mod...Maybe I got a batch of moist pellets, I did microwave them for a couple of minutes before I used them. I also tried moving the AMNPS off the bottom water-reservoir plate to the first grate, seemed to work a little better.
  13. tjohnson

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

    What's even crazier, is if you place the AMNPS 5x8 on the top rack, it will smoke even better!

    There's so much turbulence inside the smoker, that the top rack has more draft than the bottom of your smoker

    Did you pull the chip loader out 2" and turn it to the "Dump" position?
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Have you tried lighting the AMNPS, and leaving it out of the smoker for a couple hours, and seeing what it does?

    This is one way of finding out if the problem is with the air flow in your smoker, or if you are either not getting it lit properly, or the pellets are damp.

  15. lizardman

    lizardman Fire Starter

    Yup, put the smoker's chip loader in 'dump' position and pulled it out about 2", after it went out the first time I tried pulling it out more/less just to see if it had an effect (little difference). Are you serious about putting the AMNPS on the top rack? I would think think the smoke would just go straight out of the damper hole without circulating, am I wrong in assuming that? I'd also hate to get any pellet ash on the meat below, but I guess there's ways to prevent that by tenting with foil. Also, since I'm not using the 'dump tray' below the chip loader, is there any value removing it for better circulation?

    BTW, I actually 'RTFM' this time and let the pellets burn for 10 full minutes before I blew them out and 'stoked' the embers with copious amounts of hot air (coming from me) to get a nice burn going before placing it into my MES.
  16. lizardman

    lizardman Fire Starter

    Great idea Bear, I'll give that a whirl....Thanks to everyone for the useful feedback!
  17. lizardman

    lizardman Fire Starter

    So that nobody feels sorry for this fumbling rookie, thought I'd post a before/after of the pork butt...I actually raised the temp for this slab-o-meat to 240 degrees thinking it would compensate for the larger damper opening, probably another rookie mistake:

  18. That looks pretty good to me !!

  19. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    I couln't keep my new AMZNPS lit yesterday. Reading your post, I realized that I too lit with a torch, but didn't blow on the embers after the flame went out. Guess I'll keep reading the instructions for awhile longer! LOL. Thanks for the reminder, David.
  20. lizardman

    lizardman Fire Starter

    'Arthur' said it first...'It didn't suck'...

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