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Is my AMNPS getting enough airflow? (MES 30)

yqyxzroh

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I have a newer generation MES 30 and I recently bought a AMNPS. I removed the chip loading tube completely and had the AMNPS tray in the bottom alumnium foil pan as show in this picture: I wanted to put it in an alumnium pan to catch any ash. The top tray is there to catch any dripping from the food to prevent a grease file on the AMNPS.
KlnmK03.jpg

After the thing stopped smoking, the leftover pellets in the AMNPS looked like this:
axUn1rP.jpg


Is this what they should look like after a "clean" burn? If not, what should I change about my setup?
Additionally, I noticed that this setup raised the ambient temperature in the MES by about 80F. Ambient temperature outside was about 80F and the temperature inside my MES (as measured by a thermometer) was about 160F by the time the pellets were done smoking. Is this normal or was it burning too much? I don't care about cold smoking at the moment, I just want to know if a ~80F increase in ambient temp is normal.
 

smokerjim

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not real familiar with the newer generation but 80 degrees seems much, try putting your chip loader back in and just pulling it out 3-4 inches, you may getting to much air. most people will just set the tray on bottom rack so air can come up through bottom. leave the top tray there to catch drippings , leave top vent wide open also you may need to fill your tray a little more hard to tell by picture but looks like you don't have it filled enough.
 

daveomak

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Pellets burn hot but I'm not sure about +80.... Did you have the element on ???

To get colder smoke, turn the pellets into dust... Dust burns/smolders almost cold... about +5 temp rise....


Adding legs improved the air flow to the AMNPS and really helped the pellet/dust burn....
...
Beef Ribs 010.JPG
 

yqyxzroh

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not real familiar with the newer generation but 80 degrees seems much, try putting your chip loader back in and just pulling it out 3-4 inches, you may getting to much air. most people will just set the tray on bottom rack so air can come up through bottom. leave the top tray there to catch drippings , leave top vent wide open also you may need to fill your tray a little more hard to tell by picture but looks like you don't have it filled enough.
I don't really care about the ambient temperature increase because I will be using the AMNPS for hot smoking, I just want to make sure the pellets burn cleanly.
The first test I conducted was with the chip loader in, but pulled out 1-2 inches. That resulted in black pellets leftover.
I'll try 3-4 inches and see what happens. I don't think my model of the MES allows for the AMNPS tray to be placed on the bottom and if I use the bottom most rack, I'll need two racks due to the drip pan for catching drippings... Right now the foil pan with the AMNPS is basically sitting where the water pan was and the bottom rack is being used for a drip pan, leaving me with 3 racks for cooking.
I should mention that this is all without food or power to the MES.
Top vent is fully open. I only loaded 1 row of the maze because I am testing.

Pellets burn hot but I'm not sure about +80.... Did you have the element on ???

To get colder smoke, turn the pellets into dust... Dust burns/smolders almost cold... about +5 temp rise....


Adding legs improved the air flow to the AMNPS and really helped the pellet/dust burn....
...
MES was completely powered off. The ambient temp started at around 80F, as measured by my probe thermometer. After the pellets were completely burned (no more smoke coming out of top exhaust), the ambient temp was around 160F.
Making dust out of the pellets seems like a lot of work... I don't really care about the ambient temp increase unless it's an issue of the pellets not burning properly.
 

smokerjim

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. I only loaded 1 row of the maze because I am testing.
my mistake i thought the burnt pellets were the pellets waiting to be burned, maybe look into the mailbox mod that's what i ended up doing and glad i did that way you'll have all your racks.
20190710_080008_resized.jpg
 

JckDanls 07

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How long did it take for the one row of pellets to burn ?? Should be around 3 hrs ...

I'm thinking if you put some shorter legs like Dave's on it and put it on the left side of the heat element you can get rid of the foil pan ... The maze will fit in beside it.. right ??
 

yqyxzroh

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How long did it take for the one row of pellets to burn ?? Should be around 3 hrs ...

I'm thinking if you put some shorter legs like Dave's on it and put it on the left side of the heat element you can get rid of the foil pan ... The maze will fit in beside it.. right ??
It was about 3 or 4 hours. I don't believe the maze will fit on the left of the heating element. I could put it on the bottom rack, but then I would also need the 3rd rack for a drip pan.
 

dr k

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If your getting no where with location and space, hang the empty Amnps on the left side of the bottom rack under the drip pan with four S hooks to find a good location. Remove the bottom rack with Amnps and place rack so the Amnps hangs and fill with pellets, light it and when ready slide in the bottom rack with lit Amnps and put pan on bottom rack so air can move all around the Amnps.
 

yqyxzroh

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I tried a "dry run" (MES turned off) again with:
  • One row of pellets
  • Chip tube pulled out about 2 inches
  • AMNPS on the bottom most cooking rack
  • Foil pan on the rack directly above
The AMNPS burned for about 4 hours again, which should be correct. However, I am still not getting 100% white ash leftovers... Ambient temp still rose about 80F (75F -> 165F). I also noticed that the bottom of my foil pan is completely black with what I'm assuming is creosote... I am really concerned that I'm making "dirty smoke" and I don't want to test with food because then the food would get wasted... Is it possible that I have too much air going inside my MES and that it is burning too hot? Any tips would be greatly appreciated...
 

daveomak

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Too much air will not make creosote... Lack of temperature makes creosote... it's part of life... Nothing you can do about it...
 

daveomak

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Making a Mail Box mod, and having aluminum dryer duct connected to your smoker, will allow for the creosote to condense, out of the smoke, and provide clean smoke for your food...

Here is a ham etc.... Clean smoke made these meats....


Picnic 6 hours of smoke 001.JPG


HAM 005.JPG


Bacon3 2 11-7.JPG


Loin 1 002.JPG



Beef Ribs 010.JPG



MB Mob Creosote buildup 002.JPG
 

dr k

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My mailbox gets 120 with the Amnps inside with a IR Therm gun .measuring the outside top. Depends on the temp outdoors. Summer vs winter etc.

Ash may have a couple pieces of pellets that are now charcoal but the ash isnt bright white from how pellets burn or smoke making the powdery ash dirty white.

Time to taste the smoke. Throw a 1lb. Chub of 80/20 ground beef rolled in your favorite rub in for the Guinea pig test with a therm in it. Smoke another row of pellets till 158.
 

yqyxzroh

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Too much air will not make creosote... Lack of temperature makes creosote... it's part of life... Nothing you can do about it...
By "lack of temperature" do you mean the temperature at which the pellets are smoldering at or the temperature inside the MES? I started another test run with the same parameters as my previous post but with the MES powered on and set to ~225F. I did not place the lit AMNPS inside the MES until the MES reached ~180F. I immediately noticed that the smoke coming out of the exhaust vent was much thinner and less white. I will report back in ~4 hours to see how the pellets turned out.

Making the mailbox mod is definitely on my todo list but at the moment I'd like to try to get the AMNPS to work without it.
 

JckDanls 07

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I like the idea of HANGING it from the bottom rack (temporarily) ...

I went back and reread the original post... I couldn't find anywhere the brand of pellets you are using ???
 

yqyxzroh

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I like the idea of HANGING it from the bottom rack (temporarily) ...

I went back and reread the original post... I couldn't find anywhere the brand of pellets you are using ???
I am going to consider hanging it from the bottom rack and having a foil pan on the bottom rack so only 1 rack gets used, but at the moment I am placing it on the bottom rack and having a foil pan on the rack above.
I am using Bear Mountain pellets. I have a shipment of lumberjack pellets coming in a few days so I will be using those later on. Right now I am just trying to "calibrate my settings", so to speak.
 

JckDanls 07

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Unfortunately... both those brands are for cooking (heat)... meaning they are not 100% flavored wood... This does not mean that this is why your getting such high temps (which I really am confused about)... Those two brands are a mixture of different woods designed specifically for cooking at high temps...
A-MAZ-N Products (where the AMNPS comes from) has 100% flavored woods that are used for the maze or tube ... 100% apple means 100% apple... no oak, alder, or anything else mixed in ... 100% pecan means 100% pecan and so on ... He has a Pitmasters Choice blend that is absolutely scrumptious ...

 

Bearcarver

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Mine works Great every time:
I have the same interior as yours, except mine is a 40" MES.
I put the AMNPS on the bottom rack, all the way to the right end, just above the dumper.
I pull my Chip dumper out about 3", and rotate it 180°.
Top Vent all the way open.
I usually use Hickory Pellets, but anything but Straight Cherry will work good.
The ashes should be Gray, and collapsed in the lanes, when finished.

If you put it in a Pan, it won't get the proper air flow.

Bear
 

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