MES30 not burning chips hack

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chef k-dude

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Mar 11, 2015
251
147
Central Virginia
Been a while since I've been here, but was clearing some picture off my phone and found these.

One of the problems with the MES and similar style smokers is, its sometimes too efficient and holds temp so well the element barely cycles on. You can combat some of this by not preheating, using the heat-up period to set some smoke on your product early on, then keep the vent wide open to exchange more air.

The problem I have encountered is, even with that, when its really hot outside, the box still doesn't cycle the element enough to burn the chips well, and if you are smoking something that only takes a couple hours, well, then you dont have 12 hours of "smoke opportunity"...you need that smoke on that product now.

Sure, the Amazin products are sold and often recommended here for such situations, I just wanted some other solution rather than go buy another product to make the product I already bought...work.

And then there it was, sitting on my garage shelf. My Mapp torch. I could not believe I hadn't thought of it before. You need to know the anatomy of your box to be sure to aim correctly and of course we're playing with fire with a torch, but I'm a trained welder...I got this!

Problem solved. Chips burned, product received the smoke it needed.

Propane smoker solution.jpg
20170924_140237.jpg
 
Get an AMNPS or an AMNTS and save yourself a whole bunch of time and frustration,I now you mentioned these but that hack will require you to constantly hover around burning chips every 20 minutes.

Sure, the Amazin products are sold and often recommended here for such situations, I just wanted some other solution rather than go buy another product to make the product I already bought...work.
You just bought another product...the Benzo and accompanying tank.Keep these two items buy an AMNPS/TS.I personally could never go back to using the chip loader,its sole purpose is now a way to regulate airflow.
 
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I use my chip loader for quick smokes once in a blue moon. The AMNPS is my go to for everything else. And since the MES was made to except this unit. You don't need to waste money on the mailbox mod if you don't want to.
 
Now that's cool. So that whole piece just slides right in. You modified the hole correct.
Thanks!
The hole is unmodified. it was coincidental that the baffles removed from my motorcycle could be repurposed by breaking the spot welds on one end and reattaching the removed end to the opposite end backwards. I then mounted a variable speed usb fan with zip ties and voila.
 
You missed the point. The MES smoker/ovens should be used at temperatures where it does cycle enough to keep the chips burning. 225-275° works.
The best resolution is to use it as an oven. And do a 'mailbox' mod. Which is to add a smoke generator, like an AMNPS, in an external chamber, with 3" dryer aluminum hose and fittings.
Or, to simply place the AMNPS inside your oven.
These ways the MES does work, and works well. Very well.
I knew I would be making my MES 30 into the smoker I needed for Cheese and Chocolate, to Moscow Moose fannies.
Ambient to full bore.

Your way, the ash in the chip pan is blown helter skelter and your food gets a nice coating of ash. :p (I was born in the dark, but it wasn't last night.)

I knew going in I would have to modify mine to make it do everything I've managed with my old ways. Now, it can cold smoke, or do anything up to it's designed 275° top. Because the smoke is totally independent of the oven's cycling.
Use your torch to light an AMNPS, instead of blowing ash on your food. ;) o_O
 

Accepted. I can understand how you may have thought my post was directed towards you.
I assure you it was not. :cool:

Any of us could aim a torch at a pan of chips to try and lite it, and the result would be flying ash.
Also, reason to use electric heat. It won't dislodge the ash. But someting lost in translation from Engrish to Mandarin.
So we are left to Great American Ingenuity A-MaZe-N wood fuel burners.


Now, did you get your replacement MES 40 yet?
We're dying out here to find out if your variable air source will fit the port on it.
Inquiring minds wanna know. ;):)
 
Any of us could aim a torch at a pan of chips to try and lite it, and the result would be flying ash.

Ya but that ash leaves such a delicious crispy bark!;)
 
Accepted. I can understand how you may have thought my post was directed towards you.
I assure you it was not. :cool:

Any of us could aim a torch at a pan of chips to try and lite it, and the result would be flying ash.
Also, reason to use electric heat. It won't dislodge the ash. But someting lost in translation from Engrish to Mandarin.
So we are left to Great American Ingenuity A-MaZe-N wood fuel burners.


Now, did you get your replacement MES 40 yet?
We're dying out here to find out if your variable air source will fit the port on it.
Inquiring minds wanna know. ;):)

Sadly the second unit arrived damaged also
:(
On the upside, Walmart gave me $75 in gift cards for the hassle and then price matched Academy’s price of $249. I’m all in with 3 year warranty for right at $200 bucks. As far as the mod fitting, I think the diameter is the same but the overall length will need to be shorter which is no big deal. I hope to get the new undamaged one Wednesday this week
 
Sadly the second unit arrived damaged also
:(
On the upside, Walmart gave me $75 in gift cards for the hassle and then price matched Academy’s price of $249. I’m all in with 3 year warranty for right at $200 bucks. As far as the mod fitting, I think the diameter is the same but the overall length will need to be shorter which is no big deal. I hope to get the new undamaged one Wednesday this week

Holy Mackerel! Two wrecked! Somebody needs to go back to sweepin floors and away from the freight dock.
Glad they are compensating you for the hassles.
You use an AMNPS or AMNTS? Thinking maybe you won't need the guts, just the element, your AMN, and your draft inducer. But if you were to pull the guts, the bayonet mounting would go away.
You'll figure it out. I hope Wally World gets you an acceptable MES 40 soon.
Inquiring minds still wanna know out here. :) I like technological advances.
 
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Got the third MES40 today in good condition, finally. The fan mod fits, but just barely. There is probably less than 1/8” of overall diameter difference between the baffle and the hole in the mes40. The new smoker uses a much shorter chip loader as well, so my fan mod will have to be cut down. Hopefully I’ll have time his weekend to take some pics after modding the mod.
 
Got the third MES40 today in good condition, finally. The fan mod fits, but just barely. There is probably less than 1/8” of overall diameter difference between the baffle and the hole in the mes40. The new smoker uses a much shorter chip loader as well, so my fan mod will have to be cut down. Hopefully I’ll have time his weekend to take some pics after modding the mod.

Mod you mod to make it fit a mod-ern sm0ker. :rolleyes:
 
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Can someone shed some light on the AMNTS, how is it used with this unit.. and is it the 12" unit needed?
I currently use a propane smoker but will be purchasing the MES30 and want to make sure I got the MOD right before I start... Thanks
 
Can someone shed some light on the AMNTS, how is it used with this unit.. and is it the 12" unit needed?
I currently use a propane smoker but will be purchasing the MES30 and want to make sure I got the MOD right before I start... Thanks

Sure JC,
The AMNTS is the Tube smoker that burns pellets. Most folks I've seen use the tube smokers on grills.
But with a box like the MES 30/40's many opt for the AMNPS, which is a tray shape and will burn up to 12 hours. (I and another Friend here both get 11 hours out of ours, but that is probably do to moisture content of the pellets.)
Both will work, but I don't know how long the tube type runs. Oh, it sez 4 hours.
So there's a big difference. You might need to refill the TS on a longer smoke. Like if you were doing a cold smoke and wanted a longer amount of smoke. The PS is going to go a long burn without any attendance needed.
The tray type fits into a "Mailbox Mod" good. Don't know if the tube would as well as the tray will.
Also, the Pellet Tray has the pyramidal separators to enhance the combustion of the pellets. Better airflow, less crossfiring.
You can, and many do, just set the TS or PS into the lower shelf or bottom of the MES 30/40. But for us cheesie smokers, we use a mod to get cooler smoke. I get upset if my cheese melts. LMAO! :D
Hope that helps. ;)
 
blkr4jc, I see you use a Masterbuilt gasser. If it has two doors, you might consider using an AMNTS. It was originally designed for propane smokers. But keep in mind it's all location, location, location of the AMNTS. Mine works like a chump....er champ.

Back to the original program....if using a AMNTS in whatever smoker you have, if you feel that too much smoke is being generated try filling the tube only half way, turn it horizontally and shake it side to side to level out the pellets in the tube. You will see the bottom half of the tube with pellets. If I want a real light smoke, I'll fill only 1/3rd of the tube before I shake it.
 
So you would light the pellets then place in unit.. thanks for info..

bikr4jc, to answer your question yes. Light the end let it burn for about 10 minutes and blow it out. Once it's smoldering place it in your smoker. Also make sure you have good airflow.

Chris
 
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