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First smoke with the AMS in the MES 30"

ryanhoelzer

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Got my A-Maze-N-Smoker yesterday and couldn't wait to try it out.  Ran a little maple in it yesterday just to try it and it's pretty cool.  The first issue is where to put it in the MES.  I figure since I'm not planning on using chips in the MES I removed a bunch of the chip tray mounting parts.  Then I just laid a piece of thin steel on top of the chip loader box/under the water pan to stop dripping.  There's space in front of and behind for smoke to come up.





I got the 6x8 and then I just put it on the left side of the drip tray.  That way I can also light it and take it out handling the drip tray and not having to handle it directly.



I loaded it up with half maple and half apple and I'm going to do some baby backs burning both ends.







These are my first pics with my new EVO 4G, not sure why it sized them all over the place..

Hmm, in the post the pictures were all different sizes, in the actual thread they're just huge..
 
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ryanhoelzer

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In my test yesterday I only had dust in the far left row, the far right one (closest to the heating element) is burning faster but I think it will be OK once it gets away from the element.  I'll give an update on how long it burns, etc.

It would be easy to build a small deflector panel under the element if I need to.
 

ryanhoelzer

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It's burning into the 2nd row some, I'm definitely getting alot of smoke.  I think I'm going to build a deflector but If you were only lighting one end and started on the right it would give you heavier smoke initially and then taper off and work as normal.  I'll be noting the burn time to how that's affected.

 

ryanhoelzer

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Here it is about 90 minutes in.



I spritzed the ribs with apple juice and turned them around.  Another note, I'm going to do 3-2-1 and I'm cooking at 250.  I have never been happy with 2-2-1 on baby backs.  I have also usually done them at 220 so we'll see if I overdo them upping the time and temp.

I just realized I'm wasting wood if I foil them before it's burned out so maybe my faster burning will work out.  Otherwise I'll adjust how much wood I use to try and time it to 3 hrs in the future.
 

Bearcarver

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Ryan,

I think if you remove your bottom drip pan, and replace it with a foil pan, your A-MAZE-N-SMOKER will fit under your chip pan on the left. The only reason it won't fit under there in your stock drip pan is because the pan is jacked up in the front to create a slope to cause drippings to run back into the drain hole in the back. You could also remove the part under your drip pan in the front to keep it from tilting back. This would give you the room under the chip drawer. This would mean you could leave your chip drawer in, and that would block the heat from making to right side of your AMNS too hot.

I just got a custom AMNS to try in my MES. It will fit on the little bars to the left of the drip pan. I haven't had the time to test it yet, but if it works good, I think Todd will be offering it to MES30 owners. I just ordered some Fresh Belly to try it with (because I might not have enough Bacon to make it through tomato season). I will post my results. If I get time to smoke something else before that, I will post that too. MES 40 owners don't have this problem, because they have plenty of room on the bars to the left of the chip drawer.

I hope this helps you,

Bearcarver
 

ryanhoelzer

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That's a good idea.  I was going to ask if he had considered making it about 5.5" or whatever it needs to be to fit there.  Seems like that would be the perfect spot for it.  Of course, then everyone else will be wanting it made to fit specifically where they want it in their smoker..

It's burning through pretty fast where it's at.  Not quite 3 hrs and it's still smoking but died down quite a bit.  All of the top is burned so it's burning underneath.  I didn't load it that full and didn't pack it at all.
 

Bearcarver

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That's a good idea.  I was going to ask if he had considered making it about 5.5" or whatever it needs to be to fit there.  Seems like that would be the perfect spot for it.  Of course, then everyone else will be wanting it made to fit specifically where they want it in their smoker..

It's burning through pretty fast where it's at.  Not quite 3 hrs and it's still smoking but died down quite a bit.  All of the top is burned so it's burning underneath.  I didn't load it that full and didn't pack it at all.
Yup, I figured that problem, and I'm sure Todd did too, but there are a lot of MES 30s out there, so there are a lot of guys who have the exact same problem. The one I got is 5" by 11". It should work fantastic. Todd is really great to work with. 

I'll keep you posted,

Bear
 

maverick

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I'm interested in how it works out...I have a MES 30" as well and was going to order the 6"x6" AMNS today, but think I'll wait to see if the custom-designed one is better!

 
Yup, I figured that problem, and I'm sure Todd did too, but there are a lot of MES 30s out there, so there are a lot of guys who have the exact same problem. The one I got is 5" by 11". It should work fantastic. Todd is really great to work with. 

I'll keep you posted,

Bear
 

tjohnson

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Ryan,

Where are your finished pics My Friend?!?!?!

Radiant heat from the heating element causes the smoker to burn faster.  Either move your AMNS above the chip loader box, or figure out some sort of heat shield between the smoker and the element.  You may have to put the chip pan back in your smoker as a heat shield.  Bearcarver places it on the bottom of his 30" MES and uses a drip pan directly under his food.

Also, if you place it above the water pan, the moisture will affect the burning process.  I put my own 6x6 in an 9" round cake pan to avoid the moisture from the water pan.

After looking at your pics closer, try doubling up some foil and make a little tent above your AMNS.  This may be just enough to deflect the radiant heat from the element.

Todd
 
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ryanhoelzer

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Another hour and a half...

My main reason for not just putting it on one of the racks was trying to be under the water pan.  I figured any rising moisture can't be good.  I can't think of any reason I'll use the chip burner any more so I'll more than likely remove the loader box, put another adjustable vent where the loader hole is, and maybe build a shelf above the element to dissipate heat.  Also might play with a different water pan that only covers the element, leaving room on the left to put the AMS higher than the element/fairly even with the water pan.

I've got a few ideas, I'll see how they work out.

One is taking out the loader box and putting 2 or 3 pieces of steel that fill front to back, side to side, spaced an inch or so apart, with alternating holes drilled, above the element to dissipate heat.  Maybe more holes towards the left to get more heat to that side, since the element is on the right.
 

tjohnson

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Ryan,

You are mighty ambitious!!!

I don't use my chip loader anymore, but need it for a heat deflector in my 40" MES w/1200 watt element.  The 1200 watt element burns any wood, chips or sawdust around it.  I use a small aluminum pan for water and stick my gadget next to it.  Works great.  I get (4) cheap aluminum pans for $1 at the Dollar Store.

I'm drooling for ribs........

Todd
 

Bearcarver

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Wow Ryan, sounds like some pretty good ideas!

Bear
 

ryanhoelzer

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Had an even better idea but I'm not finding what I'm looking for so far.

With the chip loader box and everything out, I'll put a piece of steel right above the hole.  Holes drilled for heat dissipation.  Original water pan will sit right on top of that sheet.

Stick a piece of 3" tubing with a 90* bend into the hole, bend facing down.  Then attach some type of a box to that tubing and put the AMS in it.  I'd think the box would need holes drilled in the bottom to allow airflow.  It would be nice if it was some type of box with a drawer that would slide out, or even just an open space to slide the AMS in and out manually.  Might need a hinged flap to hold smoke.

I've been looking for metal boxes something like 8x10x8 and haven't found anything yet.  How hot does the AMS get?   Would it be OK at all in a platic box if it was a little bigger?

With the right sizing you would slide the tube in the side of the MES and the box would rest right on the side of it and not require any extra support..
 

ryanhoelzer

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Could have sworn I posted the final pics and a post but I either didn't hit submit or I posted in another thread..

They were looking pretty done at 3-2-.5 so I pulled them.  Not quite falling off the bone but pull off the bone very easily.  Just the way I like them. 



 

Bearcarver

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Ryan, 

I could eat a pound or 3 of that!

I'm not a great mechanic, like many on this forum are, but I can say that you don't want any plastic too close to the AMNS. With no other heat source burning, it gets very hot at the spot where the dust is burning, which moves around as it burns.

Any of that mechanical stuff you'll have to get help from someone else. I'm a woodworker at heart, and I can tell like most guys on this forum, you are more versed in mechanics than I am.

Bear
 

tjohnson

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B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L  RIBS!!!

What rub did you use?

Todd
 

ryanhoelzer

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It's a rub that a friend's dad makes.  I put it on just about everything.  He shares the recipe, I'll have to get it.
 

brokenwing

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Great looking ribs, ya if you could share that recipe that would be great.  Nice smoke
 

scarbelly

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One thing I noticed that may have caused your unit to burn a little faster is something I had to correct myself - you need the dust to go all the way to the top of the unit but not over the rails - the density helps regulate the rate of burn

That is one great looking post - I too will be using my AMNS for most of my smokes
 

tjohnson

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Bearcarver came up with a neat little trick....

He uses his "Big Fat Thumb" to pack down the dust.  He can get a longer burn and get about 25% more dust in the gadget.

Todd
 

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