• 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.

I can't keep my pellets lit

smokinfatman

Newbie
21
10
Joined Nov 15, 2013
I have the latest version of the MES 40 and I also purchased a AMNPS 5x8 to go with it because I didn't really want to sit around and fill the chip loader with chips every 20-30 minutes to get a deep smoked flavor that I like best.

As the title of this thread suggests,, I can't seem to keep my pellets lit, I use a propane torch to get them started burning and then after about 10-15 minutes they have just plain petered out.

As you can see, I have tried from both ends and they just smolder like they are supposed to for a while then nothing.


I have tried setting up the MES like has been suggested here on another thread, pull out the chip tray, and then leave the chip loader tube out about 2 inches,, and it still failed.

My only other thought would be that the pellets I have are moist, even though they haven't been in a place that would allow them to draw moisture.

Is there a trick I am missing here?

Is there a method of drying out the pellets before I start a smoke session?

Thanks in advance!
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
36,917
9,890
Joined Sep 12, 2009
If you have the Gen #2 MES, remove the little water pan from the stupid slanted drip pan. Then put the AMNPS over the hole you took the pan out of.

Then put a foil pan on the floor under the hole to catch drips.

Also put another foil pan above the AMNPS to keep drips out of it.

This should get air flowing through that hole & around your AMNPS.

As soon as you get your pellets, put them in empty juice jugs with wide-mouth caps.

Bear
 

smokinfatman

Newbie
21
10
Joined Nov 15, 2013
 
If you have the Gen #2 MES, remove the little water pan from the stupid slanted drip pan. Then put the AMNPS over the hole you took the pan out of.

Then put a foil pan on the floor under the hole to catch drips.

Also put another foil pan above the AMNPS to keep drips out of it.

This should get air flowing through that hole & around your AMNPS.

As soon as you get your pellets, put them in empty juice jugs with wide-mouth caps.

Bear
Yep. tried all that.  Cept for the juice jugs.

I cant help but think these pellets have already drawn up moisture and need to be dried,,, like in a kiln if I had one.

Any thoughts about how to draw the moisture out of them??
 

pc farmer

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
14,402
3,572
Joined Feb 17, 2013
Microwave them.

Put some on a plate and microwave them for 30 seconds.

Stir them around and do another 30 seconds.

Or put them in the smoker while it is heating up then remove the pellet tray and light them.
 
Last edited:

geerock

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,367
77
Joined Oct 25, 2010
You need more air. Be sure to pull out the chip loader a few inches and open the exhaust vent all the way. I actually removed theexhaust vent and put in a cheap 3 inch elbow with a damper. Never had a problem again with the AMAZN. You can also dremel out the factory exhaust to double the vent area. That works well also.
 

smokinfatman

Newbie
21
10
Joined Nov 15, 2013
You need more air. Be sure to pull out the chip loader a few inches and open the exhaust vent all the way. I actually removed theexhaust vent and put in a cheap 3 inch elbow with a damper. Never had a problem again with the AMAZN. You can also dremel out the factory exhaust to double the vent area. That works well also.
I did all that, and still had dead pellets.

At this point I gotta believe its wet pellets.

But as soon as the weather breaks (really cold and rainy here), I will be trying some more ribs for my dad.
 

smokinfatman

Newbie
21
10
Joined Nov 15, 2013
 
Microwave them.

Put some on a plate and microwave them for 30 seconds.

Stir them around and do another 30 seconds.

Or put them in the smoker while it is heating up then remove the pellet tray and light them.
Humm,, never thought to nuke em like that.

I will try that the next time I smoke.

Thanks!
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
25,603
3,103
Joined Nov 12, 2010
Fatman........ where do you live....  and what elevation.... and humidity......    If your location was in your profile, we could give you better answers....

Dave
 

mike johnson

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Group Lead
1,056
58
Joined Mar 9, 2012
I have started putting my pellets in the AMNPS and then placing it in my oven at 225 deg for about 30 min. before lighting. Since I started doing this I haven't had a problem.
 

smokinfatman

Newbie
21
10
Joined Nov 15, 2013
 
Fatman........ where do you live....  and what elevation.... and humidity......    If your location was in your profile, we could give you better answers....

Dave
I live in Kansas, near Kansas City the home of GREAT BBQ! 


The humidity has bee a bit much here lately, so I am pretty convinced its wet pellets.
 

smokinfatman

Newbie
21
10
Joined Nov 15, 2013
 
I have started putting my pellets in the AMNPS and then placing it in my oven at 225 deg for about 30 min. before lighting. Since I started doing this I haven't had a problem.
I think I may just try the microwave thing the next go around before putting them into the AMNPS.

Our oven in the house doesn't work.  Someday I will get a chance to remodel this house.  I hope....
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
25,603
3,103
Joined Nov 12, 2010
 
 
I have started putting my pellets in the AMNPS and then placing it in my oven at 225 deg for about 30 min. before lighting. Since I started doing this I haven't had a problem.
I think I may just try the microwave thing the next go around before putting them into the AMNPS.

Our oven in the house doesn't work.  Someday I will get a chance to remodel this house.  I hope....
Preheat the pellets in the smoker....   I run my MES at 275 for an hour or two prior to smoking the "sterilize" it....  the pellets dry nicely during that period.....

Dave
 

markk

Smoke Blower
79
10
Joined Aug 17, 2010
Smokinfatman,

I have the exact same problem with my new MES and the pellets, seems like I am always relighting it during a smoke. I am beginning to think the chip loader would be less trouble. I have tried all the tips I read in your thread with the same result as you seem to have had. I look forward to seeing what resolves the issue.
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
36,917
9,890
Joined Sep 12, 2009
 
Yep. tried all that.  Cept for the juice jugs.

I cant help but think these pellets have already drawn up moisture and need to be dried,,, like in a kiln if I had one.

Any thoughts about how to draw the moisture out of them??
 
Smokinfatman,

I have the exact same problem with my new MES and the pellets, seems like I am always relighting it during a smoke. I am beginning to think the chip loader would be less trouble. I have tried all the tips I read in your thread with the same result as you seem to have had. I look forward to seeing what resolves the issue.
Did either of you try this---Guaranteed to work:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/140859/how-i-light-my-amnps-w-video-link

Bear
 

smokeitifugotit

Meat Mopper
150
14
Joined Mar 27, 2013
Not sure if anyone's mentioned this, but every so often, I need to resort to the setup below, in order to keep some air flowing. Depends on our weather as to having enough of a breeze in the insulated box of the MES30.


Good luck and smoke on...:grilling_smilie:
 

mike johnson

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Group Lead
1,056
58
Joined Mar 9, 2012
IMO the fan is not needed. Just pull the chip loader out another inch. Heat rises causing the air to draw in through the bottom.
 

smokeitifugotit

Meat Mopper
150
14
Joined Mar 27, 2013
IMO the fan is not needed. Just pull the chip loader out another inch. Heat rises causing the air to draw in through the bottom.
If you have no breeze, as is often the case in my garage, the fan works wonders. I don't need it all the time, but when I do, especially on a long smoke, I like to make sure the air is flowing in the box. Works great for me.:biggrin:
 

little smokey

Smoking Fanatic
337
28
Joined Aug 4, 2011
I had the same issue with my MES 30 and microwaving my pellets sometimes for a minute and a half does it for me.  Just don't go too long, got the in-laws camper a nice smoke smell when I was preoccupied outside LOL.  
 

grizsmoker

Fire Starter
64
13
Joined Nov 13, 2013
You need more air. Be sure to pull out the chip loader a few inches and open the exhaust vent all the way. I actually removed theexhaust vent and put in a cheap 3 inch elbow with a damper. Never had a problem again with the AMAZN. You can also dremel out the factory exhaust to double the vent area. That works well also.
Hey geerock any chance you could post some more info and a picture or two of your vent modification. I am having some wind issues and I think this would help me out.

Thanks
 

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.