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Crossing fingers - keeping chips from igniting

SherryT

Meat Mopper
263
136
Joined Dec 23, 2017
Not going to declare victory just yet, but it "appears" I figured out how to keep my chips from igniting and get TBS from my MS ThermoTemp XL...

Inserted the chip pan that came with the unit, removed lid, placed 3 copper pipe caps inside the pan (it's what I had handy), sat the 8" CI skillet on top of the caps, and added about a cup of chips. When they started smoldering, I laid the pan lid over the skillet.

So far, so good! I can see a thin smoke (as opposed to what I've been seeing), it's blue, and it doesn't smell like the forest is on fire. So far, about 45 minutes since the chips started to smolder, no big temp spike that would indicate a flare up as before...therm probe rocking steady at 235 - 240.

I did all my smoking yesterday, so all I did for this test was to set up as if I was going to smoke (water pan, therm in place, chips in pan), but there's no meat in it today.

When I'm done with this test, I'm going to figure out this AMNPS tray as I haven't had much luck getting it to stay lit with the burner on (it worked fine when I did the test WITHOUT the burner on (I want to cold smoke some cheese), so I'm thinking it's an oxygen issue...we'll see.

As you were...:emoji_upside_down:
 

SecondHandSmoker

Master of the Pit
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Not going to declare victory just yet, but it "appears" I figured out how to keep my chips from igniting and get TBS from my MS ThermoTemp XL...

Inserted the chip pan that came with the unit, removed lid, placed 3 copper pipe caps inside the pan (it's what I had handy), sat the 8" CI skillet on top of the caps, and added about a cup of chips. When they started smoldering, I laid the pan lid over the skillet.

So far, so good! I can see a thin smoke (as opposed to what I've been seeing), it's blue, and it doesn't smell like the forest is on fire. So far, about 45 minutes since the chips started to smolder, no big temp spike that would indicate a flare up as before...therm probe rocking steady at 235 - 240.

I did all my smoking yesterday, so all I did for this test was to set up as if I was going to smoke (water pan, therm in place, chips in pan), but there's no meat in it today.

When I'm done with this test, I'm going to figure out this AMNPS tray as I haven't had much luck getting it to stay lit with the burner on (it worked fine when I did the test WITHOUT the burner on (I want to cold smoke some cheese), so I'm thinking it's an oxygen issue...we'll see.

As you were...:emoji_upside_down:
Quick couple of questions:

1: Have you tried chunks instead of chips?

2: For the chips, have you tried the foil pouch method?

All in all, it does sound like you're on the right track with the mods.
 

Winterrider

Master of the Pit
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I'm sure you are correct in the oxygen issue. Tough to keep tube or tray lit with burner using most all of the oxygen. Should work just fine cold smoking.
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Dec 30, 2016
Not going to declare victory just yet, but it "appears" I figured out how to keep my chips from igniting and get TBS from my MS ThermoTemp XL...

Inserted the chip pan that came with the unit, removed lid, placed 3 copper pipe caps inside the pan (it's what I had handy), sat the 8" CI skillet on top of the caps, and added about a cup of chips. When they started smoldering, I laid the pan lid over the skillet.

So far, so good! I can see a thin smoke (as opposed to what I've been seeing), it's blue, and it doesn't smell like the forest is on fire. So far, about 45 minutes since the chips started to smolder, no big temp spike that would indicate a flare up as before...therm probe rocking steady at 235 - 240.

I did all my smoking yesterday, so all I did for this test was to set up as if I was going to smoke (water pan, therm in place, chips in pan), but there's no meat in it today.

When I'm done with this test, I'm going to figure out this AMNPS tray as I haven't had much luck getting it to stay lit with the burner on (it worked fine when I did the test WITHOUT the burner on (I want to cold smoke some cheese), so I'm thinking it's an oxygen issue...we'll see.

As you were...:emoji_upside_down:
Glad to see you are making progress on the chips!

I'm almost positive your issue with the AMNPS tray is the lack of oxygen due to the flame. People report that the tube works well in low oxygen environments.

I'm not sure what your smoker is but if you can rig up a mailbox mod where the smoke does not travel directly in at the flame (flame consumes your smoke) then you could totally rock an AMNPS tray for amazing bbq!

I hope this info helps :)
 

SherryT

Meat Mopper
263
136
Joined Dec 23, 2017
Quick couple of questions:

1: Have you tried chunks instead of chips?

2: For the chips, have you tried the foil pouch method?

All in all, it does sound like you're on the right track with the mods.
Yes to both chips and chunks...both would ignite. I figured the problem had to be that the pan was too close to the flame/shield...so far, this seems to be working.

I also did chips in foil pouches and they worked just fine, but AF ain't cheap, KWIM?
 

SherryT

Meat Mopper
263
136
Joined Dec 23, 2017
Glad to see you are making progress on the chips!

I'm almost positive your issue with the AMNPS tray is the lack of oxygen due to the flame. People report that the tube works well in low oxygen environments.

I'm not sure what your smoker is but if you can rig up a mailbox mod where the smoke does not travel directly in at the flame (flame consumes your smoke) then you could totally rock an AMNPS tray for amazing bbq!

I hope this info helps :)
Oh the MB mod is in my future, but right now I don't want to cut another hole in it until I learn more and get better at this.

I've already cut 2 holes for probes...why 2? Because the 1st one using 3/8" threaded lamp rod was too small for the end of my probe, so I ended up buying a 1/2" conduit nipple and a couple of lock nuts...that did the trick!
 

OldSmoke

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
107
176
Joined Sep 5, 2020
I had the same trouble you are with my tray. I cut in a vent near where I sit the tray. That fixed that issue. The other is to follow the directions and microwave the pellets for 2 minutes, stir, then 2 minutes more. I am moving away from chips and chunks to using the tray exclusively. I get nice, light smoke reliably now.

C4D00B5C-49F3-4192-B407-54A2D3D0ADC2.jpeg
4F9A522C-92CE-4342-8E2E-B21203E9A855.jpeg
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
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Joined Dec 30, 2016
I had the same trouble you are with my tray. I cut in a vent near where I sit the tray. That fixed that issue. The other is to follow the directions and microwave the pellets for 2 minutes, stir, then 2 minutes more. I am moving away from chips and chunks to using the tray exclusively. I get nice, light smoke reliably now.

View attachment 472582
View attachment 472583
Wow look at that TBS coming out of the top!
 

OldSmoke

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
107
176
Joined Sep 5, 2020
Oh the MB mod is in my future, but right now I don't want to cut another hole in it until I learn more and get better at this.
This has me thinking too. I seem to see a ten degree plus bump when using the tray. As it does it’s thing, the temp in the cabinet can vary a fair amount. I wonder if a MB would reduce the variance?
 

SherryT

Meat Mopper
263
136
Joined Dec 23, 2017
This has me thinking too. I seem to see a ten degree plus bump when using the tray. As it does it’s thing, the temp in the cabinet can vary a fair amount. I wonder if a MB would reduce the variance?
Well, it makes sense to me...the smoke from the MB mod is cooling as it travels from the MB to the smoker, so I'd guess that the farther it has to travel, the cooler it gets? Cold smoke = no change in cabinet temps?
 

Cabo

Smoke Blower
147
86
Joined Apr 10, 2019
I have the same smoker and use chunks without any problems. They put off smoke for about an hour.

I also use the pellet tube (not tray) and it does just fine. I place it right against the door on the bracket that holds the chip pan
 

SherryT

Meat Mopper
263
136
Joined Dec 23, 2017
I have the same smoker and use chunks without any problems. They put off smoke for about an hour.

I also use the pellet tube (not tray) and it does just fine. I place it right against the door on the bracket that holds the chip pan
I have a 12" tube (Amazon purchase, octagonal)...I haven't tried it out yet, but it's on the agenda for today. I'll give that a try!

Thanks!
 

SherryT

Meat Mopper
263
136
Joined Dec 23, 2017
I have a 12" tube (Amazon purchase, octagonal)...I haven't tried it out yet, but it's on the agenda for today. I'll give that a try!

Thanks!
Almost forgot to report back on the placement of the tube on the bracket against the door...it worked just fine with the burner on, but BOY HOWDY did that thing pump out the smoke REGARDLESS of whether the burner was on or off! It was thick, acrid, and, quite frankly stunk (however, I was using el cheapo, almost 3 year-old Academy pellets, so that might been the culprit).

Ran to HD and grabbed a bag of Traeger Apple and have been testing the tray today...the smoke is no where nearly as thick and it doesn't stink, so...

Gonna make some dust from the new pellets and test in both the tray and the tube, elevating one end of the tube as I read about in another thread.
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Dec 30, 2016
Almost forgot to report back on the placement of the tube on the bracket against the door...it worked just fine with the burner on, but BOY HOWDY did that thing pump out the smoke REGARDLESS of whether the burner was on or off! It was thick, acrid, and, quite frankly stunk (however, I was using el cheapo, almost 3 year-old Academy pellets, so that might been the culprit).

Ran to HD and grabbed a bag of Traeger Apple and have been testing the tray today...the smoke is no where nearly as thick and it doesn't stink, so...

Gonna make some dust from the new pellets and test in both the tray and the tube, elevating one end of the tube as I read about in another thread.
Good to hear it stayed lit! You may want to try like half the amount of pellets for that old bag. I've found no problem with old wood pellets that was stored away from moisture and humidity (mine's stored in garage with twist ties on the bag and I have 3 yr old pellets haha)

If you make dust you can try that in the AMNPS as well, i THINK dust burns better with less oxygen as well.

Let us know what you find :)
 

Cabo

Smoke Blower
147
86
Joined Apr 10, 2019
I mostly use Lumberjack pellets that are stored inside the house (Florida humidity). The tube does give off more smoke than smoldering wood chunks, but I have never experienced the heavy acrid smoke you described.

Another thing I thought of when using chunks. Do not put them in the chip tray until the smoker has come up to temp. When you first start the smoker the burner goes full blast until it reaches the set temperature, then settles down to maintain the temp. The full blast burner will definitely start the chunks on fire.
 

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