• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Help...another AMNPS related thread

Aj33

Fire Starter
44
18
Joined Sep 29, 2020
Hello all!

first post, and like many looking for some sage advice!

before getting into the detail, just a note I am from the UK and this forum has been great for BBQ info etc. So thanks to all.

being from the U.K., I can’t get hold of an AMNPS, but did find a copy which I purchased. It looks exactly the same including it’s dimensions.

my smoker is a MES 30 2nd gen I believe with with the slanted water pan.

I have been using the chip tray and loader with some success, no real disasters but I just thought it could be better particularly with using the AMNPS I had read so much about.

haven’t cooked anything yet but thought I would have a few dry runs to make sure I dialled everything in. during these dry runs I have been able to light the tray (using AmazN pellets, pit master blend). Keep the tray lit in the MES and not have the tray go out.

happy days, except I don’t get TBS. I get a light but mainly white smoke. Sort of a TWS. I have tried every trick I can find on here, tried placement, playing with the chip loader at different positions, letting it burn for 10mins before blowing it out etc etc.

on the chip loader, the only effect it has is with the amount of smoke production from quite a bit with it pushed all the way in to absolutely tons gushing out of the top vent with it out.

I know that lighting the pellets is an important stage and wonder if I am doing this correctly?! I microwave the pellets for a couple of mins, add them to the tray so it’s not more than around halfway to two thirds up the walls. Use a butane chef blow torch to light one end, when it catches fire I stop let it burn for up to 10mins and blow it out. Even at that point it’s a mixture of TBS and white smoke. Wait a few mins and put it in. Could it be the white is moisture? should I keep the torch on it even when the flame is present?

Hopefully a video of the smoke I describe will be uploaded below!

thanks for any help in advance.
 

smokerjim

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,041
1,613
Joined Jan 14, 2014
as long as it's a thin smoke i wouldn't worry about it to much, when i fill my amnps i fill it to just below the top,
 

GaryHibbert

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
8,351
1,596
Joined Jun 20, 2013
Some of that could be steam. I nuke my pellets twice for 2 mins each.
My AMNPS puts out smoke like that to begin with, but clears up after a min or so.
Does the smoke clear up, or continue ? How does the smoke smell?? Pleasant or nasty?
After you let the pellets burn for 10 mins and blow out the flames, do you blow on the pellets and get a bright red cherry formed in the pellets?
Gary
 

Aj33

Fire Starter
44
18
Joined Sep 29, 2020
as long as it's a thin smoke i wouldn't worry about it to much, when i fill my amnps i fill it to just below the top,
thanks, would you say that was thin enough?

Some of that could be steam. I nuke my pellets twice for 2 mins each.
My AMNPS puts out smoke like that to begin with, but clears up after a min or so.
Does the smoke clear up, or continue ? How does the smoke smell?? Pleasant or nasty?
After you let the pellets burn for 10 mins and blow out the flames, do you blow on the pellets and get a bright red cherry formed in the pellets?
Gary
thanks for the info., I will try microwaving for 4 individual minutes to avoid them catching light.

it tends to start as a mixture of TBS and the above and after 10-15mins switches to that smoke. That video is from a couple of hours in. I do get bouts of TBS within that time frame. No real rhyme or reason why TBS starts and stops, in that I don’t change anything.

the smoke doesn’t smell particularly bad at any point, at times it has a sweet note and at times it smells like my hickory chips. It’s hard to be too accurate on this front because the more I experiment the less sensitive to the smoke smell I become. I hope that makes sense. The only time it takes on a nastier smell or look to the video I posted is when I significantly increase airflow when it becomes thicker and far more smoke is produced.

when I light it, leave it for 5-10 mins I find it really hard to blow out. Once I do finally blow it out I leave it for a few mins out in the open, blow gently once or twice on it avoiding starting the flame up again and put it in. I guess I could do more to make sure they are bright red. How do I avoid the flame? It’s a right pain to blow out!

additionally, is that too much smoke production?
 

schlotz

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,094
418
Joined Jan 13, 2015
I wouldn't be too concerned. The key is to keep it going inside the MES and it sounds like you've got that. Time to go smoke some meet!
 

Aj33

Fire Starter
44
18
Joined Sep 29, 2020
I wouldn't be too concerned. The key is to keep it going inside the MES and it sounds like you've got that. Time to go smoke some meet!
Thanks!

must admit, I thought keeping it lit would be my problem. If anything I get too much smoke quickly If I start opening up the bottom vent.

just trying to avoid any bitter and harsh flavours and not waste any meat.

I guess as with all things the “proof of the pudding is in the eating”! Think the weather is against me this week, we have a fair bit of rain coming our way and I don’t have any covered areas outside.
 

smokerjim

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,041
1,613
Joined Jan 14, 2014
Also if ya ever want to get into cold smoking like cheese you should look into the mail box mod,
 

Aj33

Fire Starter
44
18
Joined Sep 29, 2020
Also if ya ever want to get into cold smoking like cheese you should look into the mail box mod,
Read and seen a fair bit on the forums about this mod. Even found myself looking to see if I could get US style mailboxes over here (I can) last night.

For now, I will try and nail hot smoking with the maze and see how things progress.

generally I like to learn the principles of a process, get very good at them, then start breaking and having fun with them.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
45,959
7,057
Joined Jun 22, 2009
That smoke looks perfect to me. The only thing I would say is nuke the pellets for a minute, stir them around & nuke them for another minute. That will dry them out & the smoke you see will not have any steam in it.
Al
 

Aj33

Fire Starter
44
18
Joined Sep 29, 2020
That smoke looks perfect to me. The only thing I would say is nuke the pellets for a minute, stir them around & nuke them for another minute. That will dry them out & the smoke you see will not have any steam in it.
Al
I microwaved them previously but think I stopped as it was having an effect. That is to say the pellets were letting some steam off and I stopped. Thinking if I do 4-5mins total with a break every minute that should drive a lot more moisture out of them.

thanks for for the help so far to all.
 

GaryHibbert

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
8,351
1,596
Joined Jun 20, 2013
I microwaved them previously but think I stopped as it was having an effect. That is to say the pellets were letting some steam off and I stopped. Thinking if I do 4-5mins total with a break every minute that should drive a lot more moisture out of them.
--It all depends on how much power your microwave puts out. I tried 3 mins at a time and ended up with some beautiful smoke inside the nuke, so I switched to 2 mins x 2. If you had steam coming off the pellets in the nuke, then there's obviously moisture in the pellets. So I'd nuke them more times, stirring the pellets between goes, like Al said. That should help. You can also spread them out on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 250*F and dry them out that way.
--When I said mine cleared up, I meant that it was about 1/2 the smoke you're getting.
--I blow fairly hard to get a good cherry. Then I just keep puffing air at the flames til they go out. Kind of a pain, but great for the lungs. LOL
--If the smoke smells good, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. You can try to cut it back, but if you can't, and the food tastes great, then.......
Gary
 

Aj33

Fire Starter
44
18
Joined Sep 29, 2020
--It all depends on how much power your microwave puts out. I tried 3 mins at a time and ended up with some beautiful smoke inside the nuke, so I switched to 2 mins x 2. If you had steam coming off the pellets in the nuke, then there's obviously moisture in the pellets. So I'd nuke them more times, stirring the pellets between goes, like Al said. That should help. You can also spread them out on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 250*F and dry them out that way.
--When I said mine cleared up, I meant that it was about 1/2 the smoke you're getting.
--I blow fairly hard to get a good cherry. Then I just keep puffing air at the flames til they go out. Kind of a pain, but great for the lungs. LOL
--If the smoke smells good, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. You can try to cut it back, but if you can't, and the food tastes great, then.......
Gary
So the microwave is 900w so fairly powerful. I will def up the time in the oven but as you say do it 1-2min at a time.

I know what you mean about blowing the flame out!! It’s when you mis-time the inhale and get a lung (and usually an eye) full of smoke.

guess it’s now a long wait for the weather to play ball, then I will know exactly where I stand.
 

GaryHibbert

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
8,351
1,596
Joined Jun 20, 2013
So the microwave is 900w so fairly powerful. I will def up the time in the oven but as you say do it 1-2min at a time.

I know what you mean about blowing the flame out!! It’s when you mis-time the inhale and get a lung (and usually an eye) full of smoke.

guess it’s now a long wait for the weather to play ball, then I will know exactly where I stand.
Just to be clear, when I said put them in the oven, I meant the stove oven. At 250F (lwhat ever that is in *C) you can leave them in for quite some time with no danger of ignition.
Then put the pellets in an air tight container to keep them dry.
Let us know how things work out.
Gary
 

Aj33

Fire Starter
44
18
Joined Sep 29, 2020
Just to be clear, when I said put them in the oven, I meant the stove oven. At 250F (lwhat ever that is in *C) you can leave them in for quite some time with no danger of ignition.
Then put the pellets in an air tight container to keep them dry.
Let us know how things work out.
Gary
Well the weather is on my side today so a small experimental cook is underway. On the face of it, so far so good.
Just a bit of lamb, will do a full write up in here once it’s cooked and more importantly eaten. I have taken photos/videos at all stages.
 

Aj33

Fire Starter
44
18
Joined Sep 29, 2020
So before I do a bit of a write up, one minor problem. The piece of meat I pulled out of the freezer turned out not to be a piece of lamb leg but instead Ham hock (not sure if it’s called that in the States). Completely on auto pilot prepping the meat before a work meeting, just wasn’t thinking about what was in front of me.

From the top. Stuck the smoker on and set it for around 225, temps swinging 220-235.

Only a small amount of meat thought one row about halfway up would be more than enough. Measured it out, put the pellets in a bowl and stuck them in the microwave for 4 x 1min blasts. Stirred in between and let them cool a little. By the end of the 4th minute a tiny bit of TBS was coming of a few of the pellets. Thought that would be enough.

Lit the pellets through the hole with my butane torch for a good 30 seconds even when it had caught a light. Let it burn for a few mins, blew it out and continued to blow to get it glowing bright red.

put it in the smoker with the top vent wide open and the chip loader pushed all the way in. Added the meat and cooked to 130 IT, I like my lamb medium-rare. That aside, the pictures below tell the story.

I kept an eye on the smoke the entire cook. It cycled between TBS and TWS. My suspicion is that I didn’t drive all or enough moisture out with the microwave, perhaps one more minute?

taste - lovely!! No bitterness, no acrid smell or taste. Deep smokey flavour (presume that’s the hickory) with some subtle sweet notes (the maple and cherry?). Ultimately that was the aim of today, not to make great BBQ but to assess the smoke and AMNPS.

Kind of feel like cheating but can’t wait to do some proper cooking.
 

Attachments

olaf

Newbie
27
30
Joined Sep 4, 2017
Looks good from here I would be careful on nuking those pellets, mine caught fire and I had to throw the microwave out the door.
 

Aj33

Fire Starter
44
18
Joined Sep 29, 2020
Looks good from here I would be careful on nuking those pellets, mine caught fire and I had to throw the microwave out the door.
Thanks for the heads up. Had read this a couple of times. I put them in a microwaveable bowl (heard someone put it on a paper plate) and don’t leave them.
 

smokerjim

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,041
1,613
Joined Jan 14, 2014
looks like it worked good, now load that smoker with meat! :emoji_stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
 

Aj33

Fire Starter
44
18
Joined Sep 29, 2020
looks like it worked good, now load that smoker with meat! :emoji_stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Yep!

got a full rack of lamb ribs (definitely lamb!), individual pork ribs, whole chickens, boned and rolled pork leg and more.

see what the weather will allow for now.
 

dr k

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,581
518
Joined Mar 22, 2013
Looks good from here I would be careful on nuking those pellets, mine caught fire and I had to throw the microwave out the door.
I put a paper plate with nuked pellets on a rack on the linoleum kitchen floor to cool and dry not realizing one pellet burned through and burned a dime size mark. It blends in luckily. I use rechargeable dessicants in my sealed tote with all the bags open and it is 20% humidity in the summer less in the winter so no more nuking.
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.