More NO in mailbox modded MES30 w/AMNPS

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scrumtiousruckingBBQ

Newbie
Original poster
May 22, 2022
18
25
Goodmorning everyone,
I've dug around the site for a bit now and have found a lot of discussion around the topic but nothing directly answers my question: how do you effectively increase NO production in a mailbox modded electric smoker with AMNPS?

I am being a stubborn idealist and refuse to accept the current wisdom that "you can't get a smoke ring in an electric smoker without curing salts." Here's my logic:
1) smoke ring requires NO interaction with myoglobin in the meat at or below 140* IT
2) combustion* produces NO
3) combustion is taking place in my mailbox
Ipso facto, it should be possible by managing the combustion taking place in the mailbox

*I understand that a certain KIND of combustion is required for adequate NO production. Is that dependent on fuel or temperature? If it's just fuel, we can influence that!!

In a few places I have read that wood bark has a high NO content when burned, that higher humidity leads to higher NO production, and that charcoal briquettes put off a good amount of NO.

So here are the questions I pose to you:

1) Would finding a way to keep some barky wood chunks or briquettes burning in my mailbox help make a smoke ring?
2) Is the commond wisdom of keeping the water pan empty in the MES30 preventing some smoke ring formation?
3) Are certain pellets better at producing a smoke ring than others?

Looking forward to the discussion, I welcome any advice, opinions, and/or derision
 
1) Would finding a way to keep some barky wood chunks or briquettes burning in my mailbox help make a smoke ring?
It doesn't in mine . I burns them right in the smoker .
Food was fantastic . No flame , just nice clean smoke .
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Not at home, so no pictures, but I have a 6’x3’x2.5’ smoker, with 7kw of electric heat that I first found satisfactory smoke for by using a Smokemur xxl and homemade chips (best seemed to be green peach chopped up with a cheap harbor freight electric wood chipper). It’s the same idea as a smoke daddy, but I ultimately made my own version out of a piece of scrap type A stainless chimney and a couple of pieces of scrap stainless I had around the shop coupled with a substantially more robust air pump. I can fill mine with a couple of pounds of chips, light it with a torch, and get all the blue smoke I want for
about 5 hrs with no fuss. Essentially at any temp from ambient to 450F, no creosote to speak of in the chamber, and only the need to take the generator off and clean out the vents in the bottom tube every 10 smoke or so. (Connects to the cabinet with a 3/4” pipe union and takes about 10 minutes with a pressure washer. I pull and clean my racks at the same time)
I haven’t measured NO levels, but it makes as good or better a smoke ring as my RF stickburner, without needing to tend a fire and with <2 degrees F temp variation with my $25 Chinese PID
 
Using pellets that are 100% flavor wood with no filler is a good start. Using wood chunks, not chips, is better. This is what I use in my smokehouse. Also some woods are higher in nitrogen content and tend to release more NO (nitric oxide) fruit woods being chief among them and cherry being my favorite. Actually my favorite combination is pecan mixed with cherry. Produces a beautiful red orange color on the surface and a deep pronounced smoke ring, and the flavor is a nice deep smoke flavor without being over the top at all.
 
Not at home, so no pictures, but I have a 6’x3’x2.5’ smoker, with 7kw of electric heat that I first found satisfactory smoke for by using a Smokemur xxl and homemade chips (best seemed to be green peach chopped up with a cheap harbor freight electric wood chipper). It’s the same idea as a smoke daddy, but I ultimately made my own version out of a piece of scrap type A stainless chimney and a couple of pieces of scrap stainless I had around the shop coupled with a substantially more robust air pump. I can fill mine with a couple of pounds of chips, light it with a torch, and get all the blue smoke I want for
about 5 hrs with no fuss. Essentially at any temp from ambient to 450F, no creosote to speak of in the chamber, and only the need to take the generator off and clean out the vents in the bottom tube every 10 smoke or so. (Connects to the cabinet with a 3/4” pipe union and takes about 10 minutes with a pressure washer. I pull and clean my racks at the same time)
I haven’t measured NO levels, but it makes as good or better a smoke ring as my RF stickburner, without needing to tend a fire and with <2 degrees F temp variation with my $25 Chinese PID
Would love pictures of this set up if you get the chance!
 
Using pellets that are 100% flavor wood with no filler is a good start. Using wood chunks, not chips, is better. This is what I use in my smokehouse. Also some woods are higher in nitrogen content and tend to release more NO (nitric oxide) fruit woods being chief among them and cherry being my favorite. Actually my favorite combination is pecan mixed with cherry. Produces a beautiful red orange color on the surface and a deep pronounced smoke ring, and the flavor is a nice deep smoke flavor without being over the top at all.
This might be part of my problem; i'm using a big bag of "hickory" pellets from Lowe's an have no clue how much of that is filler. Any brands of pellets you'd recommend?
 
Would love pictures of this set up if you get the chance!
I’ll be back home on the 27th, I’ll be happy to send you whatever you want when I get there. Send me a PM.
The Smokemur worked ok, but it wasn’t insulated, and the bottom smoke tube was a piece of 1/2” conduit with 1/8” holes drilled in the bottom. Both tended to plug up with creosote and were difficult to remove for cleaning. The lid also tended to get stuck and was hard to get off when cold due to creosote accumulating around the rim (it was a slip fit) The basic design was ok though, and my only real improvement was as above, and the addition of a much higher output air pump with a needle valve and a couple of air inlet ports rather than one so that I could avoid producing billowing white smoke on startup, as well as a removable tray on the bottom to dump ash without taking the whole thing off the smoker and dumping it out.
 
A lot of the pellets out there are pretty small percentage of flavor wood and the rest something cheap like Alder.

Lumber Jack, Bear Mountain are pure flavor wood. There are others also but those two I have used. Pellet Head pellets are another.
 
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