MES30 and too much smoke from AMPS

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by meperson, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. meperson

    meperson Newbie

    I am totally new to smoking and picked up an analog MES30 and an AMPS.  Unlike most, it seems, I'm generating too much smoke (mesquite and Pitmaster's blend pellets) from the AMPS, likely because the analog has no venting to allow the smoke to escape.  I drilled in four 3/8" holes on each side, two on the bottom, two on top.  I guess I feel like I'm generating way too much smoke; when I open the door, I'm blasted by the cloud of white smoke.  I smoked a Mac & Cheese, as well as a Chicken Cordon Bleu Fatty (pics added for fun), but they seemed to taste oversmoked.  Any ideas/suggestions for adding additional venting to allow the smoke to escape?

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Which Amazing did you get?

    AMNS dust smoker

    AMNPS 5" X 8" Pellet & dust smoker

    AMNTS Tube pellet smoker

    If it's the 5" X 8" AMNPS, you could try filling it 1/2 full (in height) instead of full.

    You could also drill more holes at the top.

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  3. meperson

    meperson Newbie

    It is indeed the 5x8 AMNPS.  I feel like it should have been intuitive to fill the AMNPS half way; now I feel dumb for having asked the question.  Will give this a go before I keep drilling out the walls on the MES.  Thanks for the tip!!
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    LOL---It wasn't dumb to ask, and I'm not even sure how low you can fill it, and still have it work, because I never tried it below 1/4" from the top.

    You get to be the experimenter.  Let us know how it works.

  5. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've always felt I had too much smoke too, but then I also fill the first two rows full up. From now on, I'll be filling them half-way up, too. For most smokes, I've found out I not only get plenty of smoke I also have pellets left over but I rarely smoke more than 3-4 hours. I think only one time did I use up a full AMNPS of pellets.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  6. ctonello

    ctonello Smoke Blower

    Also you could pull the amnps early and finish the food with just heat. Maybe only some for 1-2 hours
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When you know your smoker, you can pretty much predict how much you need. I get 10 to 11 hours with a full load of pellets in my AMNPS, so I know that one row will get me at least 3 to 3 1/2 hours. When you get into smoking Bacon, Dried Beef, or other long slow smokes, you'll be glad to fill--er-up and let her put a lot of light TBS on for a long time.

    The "Too Much Smoke" that "meperson" was getting wasn't a problem with smoking too long. His problem was with the smoke being too heavy. 

    A whole lot of hours of TBS is Great, but a short time of Heavy smoke is bad.

    So pulling his AMNPS early wouldn't solve the problem he was having.

  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is what I hate about smoking! Now I'm back to loading 'er up good! Truth be told I've got a lot to learn about my smoker yet. Smoking bacon and jerky are both on my someday list. I just want to get consistent results with pork ribs and beef brisket. There's even a turkey breast in our freezer that's been waiting a long time to be smoked. On one hand, the AMNPS inside the MES makes it practically set-it-and-forget-it but there's still multiple things to take into consideration, including skill and style, to smoking foods to perfection--or at least really good tasting.
  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's what the 3-2-1 is all about. I learned that food no longer takes in smoke after 3 hours; some guys have said that corresponds to an internal meat temp of 160 degrees. I like judging it by time than by temp. But that means you do pull the AMNPS out after 3 hours and just use heat.
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Food takes smoke for as long as it's put on it. It might take less at certain temps, but it keeps taking it.

    Maybe you heard about the smoke ring stopping after a certain temp.

    I keep light TBS on everything I smoke all the time, unless it gets foiled.

  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I never heard that about smoke rings, but you don't get them in an MES anyway.  And I don't know, the BBQ instructor guy was adamant that food stops taking smoke after 3 hours. Someone in these forums said the smoke intake stopped at 160 degrees and they weren't talking about smoke rings. I researched the internet but didn't find anything to corroborate what the BBQ guy said but The Tasting Buds site said 2-3 hours was optimum for smoking. Other than that I saw guys talking of smoking times from 3 hours to however long they felt it took so now my jury is still out on the subject.

    How do you keep light TBS, Bear? I don't know how to control the amount of smoke produced by the AMNPS.
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ya know it may have been me, I tell folks that meat is most suceptible to absorbing smoke from 100 to 140 degrees (IT) which I have read in numerous places including I believe a post by Jeff. But I also elaborate that the meat will still take some smoke but at a diminished capacaity above and below the prime rate.

    It is my understanding that the meat must be warmed for the pores to open to accept the maxium smoke absorption which I can completely understand, and somewhere around 140 to 150 these pore start rendering or giving off fatty fluids which inhibit the smoke absorption, the higher the temp the more rendered. Plus there is only so much room to add smoke, when there is too much, is when people start shouting creosote even though its only too much smoke.

    AMPs was engineered and designed to allow for the max. amount of allowable smoke to be used without over smoking. I think I said that well! I serious do not believe that an AMPs when used as directed could ever over smoke a meat. It is a small continious smolder, if you are smoking both ends at the same time I still doubt it could over smoke. Now if you would like less smoke flavor on your meat load less in the tray.

    Smoking a butt for 20 hours of cooking, I just don't see the point personally, but many folks have the idea because of what they have seen someone do that because the wood was smoking to cook the meat that the smoke was needed. To each their own, its the nice thing about smoking. You learn to smoke and bend your smokers will to accomplish the finished product you want, the way you want to cook it. That way we get plenty of experience, to gain that much needed knowledge and become wise enough to not need foils, digital thermometers, etc., and still know enough to be able to use them when needed.

    I am buying chips, chunks, splits, or pellets and I'd just rather not use what I feel is not needed. Thats why I own and use AMP's when I am done smoking I can close the vent on the smoker which removes the oxygen as well as the draft thru, the AMPs shuts down and I can use that remaining in the try on my next smoke if I didn't time it out right.

    To the topic, you can not over smoke with an AMPs even if you tried, the available oxygen and the available inline fuel would not support it.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Here's a couple discussions (Below). Most seem to agree with a few things.

    1   You can put light smoke on as long as you want.

    2   Put smoke on until you foil at about 160*--165*.

    3   It won't take smoke after 160* if you foiled it at 160*. LOL---Maybe that's what you read??

    1. How  many  hours  of smoke???

      I usually smoke  my birds at 450 for 1 hr., then drop it down to 350 until internal temp is where...
      In Forum: Pork
      • Replies: 19   |  Started: May 30, 2008  |  Last Post: May 30, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    2. how  many  hours  of smoke  on a butt ??

      ....going to go real slow around 205-210 if I can...probably use apple since that is what I have...
      In Forum: General Discussion
      • Replies: 10   |  Started: May 9, 2013  |  Last Post: May 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Your BBQ instructor is wrong if he thinks food stops taking smoke after 3 hours.

    All I do is fill my AMNPS or AMNS to 1/4" below the top, and light one end. It smokes perfectly the whole time. Sometimes it gets a little heavy at a turn, but not enough to worry about.

    TBS is the way to go on everything-----As long as you want.

  15. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you for this really important information, Bear. You know so much more about both the MES and AMNPS than I do. Yes, it is a continuous smolder unlike using wood chunks and chips and whole logs. I also bought the MES for its convenience and because it's the best smoker at its price point on the market.

    I read in an article that when people (like me) complain that the smoked meat has a bitter taste, it's not from oversmoking but from the creosote buildup inside the smoker. Do you think creosote is a problem with the MES and the AMNPS?

    If you're buying chunks and splits, are you using those inside your MES or do you have a 2nd and larger smoker?

    You do what I do: save the unburned pellets for the next smoke. My problem is that I have a couple of rows in my AMNPS and I can't remember what mix of wood pellets I used. But from what I've been told, the difference in smoke flavors from wood pellets is so subtle it doesn't matter anyway. Whatever I've got in my AMNPS is going to be used to smoke cheeses this weekend and then I'll refill it with pecan or something (just as an experiment) to use to smoke my baby backs.
  16. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Is this the same instructor that told you to smoke at between 180 and 220? Have a feeling this guy thibks he knows more than he does. As for the smoke.... its very easy to oversmoke with mesquite. You might try a 3 inch adjustable vent for exhaust as long as you're drilling away. You need to keep that air and smoke flowing.
  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, same guy. He says he's been educated at 3 different culinary academies, one is Italy. He's been teaching this course for, I think, 20 years and he's located in about 3-4 states with instructors working under him. I think he does know most of his stuff, but he and were diametrically opposed on politics (he being FAR to the right). Politics and some other comments and topics he broached had no business in a BBQ class.

    I don't plan to mod my MES; I think the exhaust vent works fine and I'm not one to mod things since I would mostly like ruin it beyond repair and use.
  18. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    He could be; he was certainly wrong on his politics which he insisted on bringing into the class, along with his personal feud with a guy who's the spokesman for Traeger or something. There were other things he said which were most definitely off topic but he's the kind of guy who thinks it's his class so he can say what he wants. I did pick up some great info and techniques though.

    1/4" below the top--I'll try that out this weekend. I think I've been filling it up higher than that.
  19. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This could be what I read. I wonder if reaching that 160 temp corresponds with about 3 hours smoking--depending on the smoker temp? I won't be able to test this out on rib because I don't think you can insert a probe deep enough to get an internal temp so you have to go by both time and the bend test, right?

    I've still got plans to smoke a chuckie and a turkey breast so I can experiment with those. Six hours is about the most I smoke anything, Can't see how guys do those 12-14 hour jobs.
  20. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    "I read in an article that when people (like me) complain that the smoked meat has a bitter taste, it's not from oversmoking but from the creosote buildup inside the smoker. Do you think creosote is a problem with the MES and the AMNPS?"

    "Burning wood and fossil fuels at low temperature causes incomplete combustion of the oils in the wood, which are off-gassed as volatiles in the smoke. As the smoke rises through the chimney it cools, causing water, carbon, and volatiles to condense on the interior surfaces of the chimney flue. The black oily residue that builds up is referred to as creosote, which is similar in composition to the commercial products by the same name, but with a higher content of carbon black."

    No, the pellets should burn completely. The chips should burn completely. The chunks should burn completely. Yes, the splits also. Although if you simply use high temp (high oxygen comsumption) you are burning the wood and not smoking it. Think about a gas stove, when it has too much fuel (or lack of the proper mix of oxyen) the botton of your pans turn black. The black is from the residues left from and incomplete burn. That is why the vents should be regulated. You want enough air to smoker a TBS (The shimmering heat with a tint of blue) without adding too much air to case a fire.

    "If you're buying chunks and splits, are you using those inside your MES or do you have a 2nd and larger smoker?"

    I have 8+ smokers depending upon your defination. 3 pipe pits, 1 offset and at least 3 electric, digital and analogs. That doesn't include fixed brick and motar grills nor the piles of cinder blocks ocassionally used or some of the pits built of ignorance like the transite hog smoker nor the galvanized pipe pit. AND my Pop's lost metal TeePee offset....LOL  But they all just cook meat, some grill some smoke, all are fun everytime used.  Does a weedburner under a expansion metal grate on adjustable legs count? LOL I got more junk that the law should allow.

    You have to put resin in the air to cause creosote, form a voilatible gas which can be condensed. Properly seasoned wood be it pellets or splits should not form creosote. But it seems easier to call the problem creosote instead of the proper term of appling too much smoke.

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