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AMNPS TRAY (won’t stay lit)

CFLJOHN512

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I’ve tried using it about 5 times with zero success. My two overnight smokes recently and just a few tests. I’ve used the pellets straight out of the bag, I’ve microwaved them for a few minutes to extract the moisture, tented foil over it to protect from meat juices. Used with hickory pellets only. What am I missing? I use a MAP gas plumbing torch to light the end, about the first inch is burning and glowing red when I blow on it. It’s not like they aren’t lit. Do I need to make the pellets into sawdust? I’m at a loss here. I know someone has the secret I need. Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
 

TNJAKE

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Try finding a spot in smoker with better airflow. My tube used to go out alot before I ended up finding a better spot to place it in my smoker
 

Brokenhandle

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^^^^ what jake said. We use a mailbox for our mes 30, but still have trouble sometimes. Even after nuking and use a torch like you do. Living in a humid environment doesn't help. Keep on trying

Ryan
 

smokerjim

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what type of smoker ya got, I have a mes 30 and have to use the mailbox mod to keep it lit.
20190710_080008_resized.jpg
 

smokerjim

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keep your vent wide open, don't use water in your pan, if you have a chip loader pull it out a couple inches to let air in. make sure when your tenting leave some room between foil and pellets so your not choking them out.
 

SmokingUPnorth

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Also for my mes30. I keep the chip tray halfway out. I use to have that same issue your having and someone suggested keeping they tray halfway out. And have had good success.
 

Brian Trommater

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I had same trouble and switched to the tube. It worked great every time! The only way I could get tray to work is use dust.
 

tallbm

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I think the guys are giving great info!
What smoker are you running? Do you have the chip loader pulled half way out or more?

I have know a number of MES30 guys that simply couldn't get the AMNPS tray to stay lit in their MES30's so they built mailbox mods and solved the problem.

Also know that heavy cherry combos or 100% cherry pellets do not like to burn... its just cherry being difficult.

Give us some more info and I'm sure we can get you squared away :)
 

MJB05615

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Everything said above is correct. I've taken my chip feeder tube out completely to allow some more air flow, and I still had trouble keeping the tray lit. So I switched to the tube, and the tube stays lit for the whole load of pellets. 4-5 hours. The only drawback is if the tray stayed lit the whole time it would last 6-9 hours, which would be better on long cooks. But I'm happy with 4-5 hours, and not having to keep checking every 30 minutes.

Mike
 

GaryHibbert

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Same problem here with my MES 30. I did the mailbox mod and that solved the problem totally. I nuke my pellets for 2 goes of 2 mins each and then use my torch to get them burning. I let them burn for 5 or 10 mins, blow out the flames and blow on the pellets until I get a good cherry and the pellets flame up again. Then I blow out the flames and put the tray in the mailbox. I have the chip tray pulled out as far as it will go and still have the door close. Then I wait until I actually see smoke coming out the exhaust on my MES so I know things are working as they should be.
Gary
 

CFLJOHN512

Smoke Blower
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Joined May 9, 2020
I have the MES130P. I think it is the airflow as mentioned above. It just seems to get choked out and not enough oxygen to keep going. I will try the chip tube halfway out to see if it makes a difference. Mailbox mod seems like a must have for cold smokes, so might just head that direction eventually. Thanks for the help guys.
 

normanaj

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I too had trouble with the tray in my 30 several years back.Switched to the tube but it bellowed out some serious smoke so I started experimenting with it and came up with a solution of using u-bolts and later at the suggestion of another member using ground pellets both of which I'm still doing to this day.Click on the link in my signature for a detailed description of what I do,
 
Last edited:

Bearcarver

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I have the MES130P. I think it is the airflow as mentioned above. It just seems to get choked out and not enough oxygen to keep going. I will try the chip tube halfway out to see if it makes a difference. Mailbox mod seems like a must have for cold smokes, so might just head that direction eventually. Thanks for the help guys.

I never dealt with the 130P before, so I found a few Pics, and I'll give you my best I can think of.
I would put the bottom rack in & put the AMNPS on the far right, just above the chip dumper. Then I would pull the dumper out about 3", and rotate it 180°. Since you have two top vents, I would try both wide opened, and if that doesn't work, I'd try closing the right one, and opening the left one all the way.

Lighting:
Fill your AMNPS to about 1/4" to 3/8" from the top of the walls.
Light it with a torch through the hole in the end of a row.
Hold the torch there until a flame stays there.
When the flame goes out, light it again until it stays.
When it goes out again, just blow on the Cigar-like Cherry until the flame comes back.
Repeat this again & again, until you have a good solid Cigar-like cherry built up in the bottom.

You can do other things, while you're doing this, as long as you keep coming back to repeat what's in red above.
I usually take at least 20 minutes to 1/2 hour to do this. It's worth it when it stays lit up to 11 hours.

Keep your Pellets Dry. I put mine in screw-top Jugs as soon as I remove them from the plastic bags they came it. I keep the jugs in a Cabinet in my garage, without heat, and some are in there for 8 years, and they still work fine.

You don't say where you live in your profile, so I don't know what your altitude is, but if you're over 2000' ASL, you should get the Tube instead of the Tray. At my low altitude the tube puts out too much smoke, but the Tray AMNPS is Perfect. I never needed a Mailbox, which is good, because it's just another PITA POS to deal with.

Bear
 

zwiller

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All great ideas thus far but here's my take. I use mapp as well. I blast the tray 3 times for around 5 seconds about 5m apart while I am getting the smoker setup. By the 3rd time the tray stays lit and I let it rip another 5m or so. I have to blow the flame out before loading into smoker or the whole tray will catch fire. Also, when I first was learning how to use the tray I kept the chip loader completely out and found that helped it stay lit. It does take some experience but eventually you learn what works for you. Never heard of the thing until I joined here but honestly cannot imagine being without one.
 

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