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Need help to get lighter smoke flavor - Confirm which woods, and length of smoke changes?

Danabw

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I'm hoping someone will chime in with the clever expression (I've forgotten it) that describes how we get somewhat desensitized to strong smoke smell (and flavor) after tending these smokers for hours before chow time. When I take leftovers to work, I'm amazed at how powerful they smell in the communal microwave oven during reheat yet I know that's only a fraction of the intensity it was the day before. (I've already mentioned how strong your hair and clothing appear to smell the next day!)
I'd like to know what that expression is as well. :) I know exactly what you mean about the surprise factor when you open/heat up leftovers. I experienced that yeseterday here at home, my son and I were polishing off the last of the ribs and we were both surprised by how strong the smoke smell was as we were heating it up.

With an AMNPS you will forget about the problems you're having with the chip burner.
Much more Mellow Smoke, and no more adding chips every half hour or whatever,
No problem at all with an MES 30 or MES 40.
You don't mention where you live in your Profile, but if you are at a high altitude 2000' +, that could be a problem for an AMNPS. High altitude needs the Tube Smoker, Low Altitude should be an AMNPS (Tray).

One more Tip: There is nothing positive about adding water to the water pan in an MES. Only Negative. I haven't put a drop in mine for over 9 years.

Bear
Regarding water in the pan, thanks (again!) for providing important info that I was unaware of. When I had noticed that I forgot to put water in the pan for my ribs on the weekend I had thought I might have ruined my ribs. Good to know that I accidentally did it correctly. ;-)

I'm in SoCal, not far off sea-level, so no worries about altitude. My neighbor told me he'd take my chips off my hands for his smoker, so I'm going to look into ordering an AMNPS for my MES.

If I understand correctly I need a small propane torch to light the pellets in the AMNPS. I know nothing about propane torches, any particular size/power rating I need? Is there a particularly good thread here to learn more about how the AMNP works w/the MES, and how you manage how much pellets you put in, how you put them out when you're done or want to stop smoke, etc. Total newbie in this area of course...
 

JC in GB

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I'd like to know what that expression is as well. :) I know exactly what you mean about the surprise factor when you open/heat up leftovers. I experienced that yeseterday here at home, my son and I were polishing off the last of the ribs and we were both surprised by how strong the smoke smell was as we were heating it up.


Regarding water in the pan, thanks (again!) for providing important info that I was unaware of. When I had noticed that I forgot to put water in the pan for my ribs on the weekend I had thought I might have ruined my ribs. Good to know that I accidentally did it correctly. ;-)

I'm in SoCal, not far off sea-level, so no worries about altitude. My neighbor told me he'd take my chips off my hands for his smoker, so I'm going to look into ordering an AMNPS for my MES.

If I understand correctly I need a small propane torch to light the pellets in the AMNPS. I know nothing about propane torches, any particular size/power rating I need? Is there a particularly good thread here to learn more about how the AMNP works w/the MES, and how you manage how much pellets you put in, how you put them out when you're done or want to stop smoke, etc. Total newbie in this area of course...
I use a simple plumbers torch to light mine. Less than $20 at most Ace Harwarde stores or other retailers. One Gas cylinder lasts me over a year.


This is what I use to light my pit and pellets if I use the smoker tube.

JC
 

EdP

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You don't mention where you live in your Profile, but if you are at a high altitude 2000' +, that could be a problem for an AMNPS. High altitude needs the Tube Smoker, Low Altitude should be an AMNPS (Tray).
This is the new thing I learned here today
 

Bearcarver

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I uSe a Bernzomatic TS8000 ... any would work, but this is high heat and compatible with a Searzall.

^^^This^^^ is what I use for lighting pellets, except I buy the "Fat Boy" tanks because they're less prone to falling off of my Deck rail.
Then for lighting Sawdust I use a small cheap Butane torch, because the Propane torch blows the dust out of the tray.

Bear
 

Danabw

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Operation "Light Smoke" starts tomorrow Thursday)!

I have a 4.5lb boneless pork butt rubbed and resting in the fridge, AMNPS arrived, and I have Lumber Jack Champions Blend and Oak pellets (only two I could find locally).

Appreciate suggestions regarding which of those pellets would be better to achieve my goals. I'm assuming the Champions Blend is the way to go.

Also, it sounded like I can have the butt on smoke the whole time using pellets and it won't overpower on the smoke flavor. Did I get that right?
 
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Bearcarver

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Operation "Light Smoke" starts tomorrow Thursday)!

I have a 4.5lb boneless pork butt rubbed and resting in the fridge, AMNPS arrived, and I have Lumber Jack Champions Blend and Oak pellets (only two I could find locally).

Appreciate suggestions regarding which of those pellets would be better to achieve my goals. I'm assuming the Champions Blend is the way to go.

Also, it sounded like I can have the butt on smoke the whole time using pellets and it won't overpower on the smoke flavor. Did I get that right?

Tip: Get that Tray lit really good, with a big cigar-like cherry, deep in the row, so it doesn't go out on you. Keep an eye on it until you know you have it lit good.

Bear
 

Danabw

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Tip: Get that Tray lit really good, with a big cigar-like cherry, deep in the row, so it doesn't go out on you. Keep an eye on it until you know you have it lit good.

Bear
Thanks, Bear. So the instructions for the AMNPS say to light it at the hole at the end of the row. Sounds like you're saying it's better to light it in the middle of the first row. Am I understanding you correctly?

And should I pull out the chip tube a little or a lot to provide airflow for the pellets?

Looking forward to a long smoke where I don't have to tend the chips continually. :)
 

Bearcarver

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No---Light it at the end, through the hole, but keep nursing it until you get the cigar-like cherry in it.
Light it until there is a flame there. Then let the flame go out.
Then light it again until there is a flame there, and let it go out.
Then blow on it until the flame comes back.
Do that a few times, until the Cherry builds up in the row.
I spend 20 to 30 minutes doing that, but I do other things while that's happening.
By this time it should be ready to put in where it works best.
If yours is a Gen #1 the best place is on the support rods to the left of the chip burner assembly.
If it's one of the others, with the split level bottom water pan, the best place is on the right end of the bottom rack, with the Dumper pulled out about 3", and rotated 180°.

Bear
 

Danabw

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No---Light it at the end, through the hole, but keep nursing it until you get the cigar-like cherry in it.
Light it until there is a flame there. Then let the flame go out.
Then light it again until there is a flame there, and let it go out.
Then blow on it until the flame comes back.
Do that a few times, until the Cherry builds up in the row.
I spend 20 to 30 minutes doing that, but I do other things while that's happening.
By this time it should be ready to put in where it works best.
If yours is a Gen #1 the best place is on the support rods to the left of the chip burner assembly.
If it's one of the others, with the split level bottom water pan, the best place is on the right end of the bottom rack, with the Dumper pulled out about 3", and rotated 180°.

Bear
Thanks! I used my new toy (propane torch) to light it and it appears to have gone well, thanks for your feedback. The smoke looks good and is staying consistent/lit. So nice not to have to tend the wood chips! :)

Since I have the Gen1 the AMNPS fits perfectly on the two rods at the bottom left of the smoker. Love it!!
 

Danabw

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OK, here are some initial details on my first smoked pork butt (been doing them in the slow cooker for years), and of course also the first time I'm using my new AMNPS and pellets. Any comments/suggestions appreciated. Too much info below: ;-)

- 4.20 lbs, boneless pork butt (labeled Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast)
- Rested overnight with Memphis Dust (a rub I like to make for pork)
- Smoker: MES 30 Gen1
- Smoke: Lumber Jack Competition Blend (Maple, Hickory, and Cherry)
- First smoke with AMNPS - two channels filled (~8 hours)
- Smoker set to 275, max temp may end up being ~250, heating element is fading, new one arriving in a few days
- Initial pork IT = 50
- Goal IT = 200 - 205, purpose is pulled pork
- Taste goal = a little less smokey for the wife

Actuals:
  • Started at noon
    • IT 50
    • Smoker 250-60-ish
  • 1:14
    • IT 97
    • Smoker 235
  • 1:35
    • IT 111
    • Smoker 243
  • 2:36
    • IT: 144
    • Smoker 252
Started like this:
2020-07-09 14_37_53-Photo - Google Photos.jpg


Looking like this now (LOL...taken through the window):
2020-07-09 14_46_18-Photo - Google Photos.jpg


I understand that normally folks wrap pork butts at around 150 - 160 IT, or when the stall hits. Mine has been climbing steadily/quickly (using 3rd party external thermometer that I've calibrated, not the MES stuff) and no sign of a stall yet.

I'm thinking I should wrap at 150-160 regardless of whether the stall hits, since one of my goals is to manage the smoke flavor down a little bit, my wife isn't as fond as smoke as my son and I. I'm assuming wrapping will help with that. Also wondering if I should just remove the AMNPS at that point?
 
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Danabw

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IT now up to 154. Pic from inside below.
Appreciate thoughts in wrapping at 160 even if it seems like it's not stalling, and removing the smoke or not.

Don't want this to go too fast (it's only been in 3 hours), and I do want it to be very tender, so also wondering if there is no stall, should I reduce the temperature?
1594332305982.png
 

Danabw

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And just for fun, here are the temperature graphs for pork IT and smoker temp.

Port Butt:
1594332617030.png


Smoker:
1594332640101.png
 

Bearcarver

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I think it'll be easier than answering all your Questions, by giving you two Butts I've done @ 2 different Smoking Temps.
Pulled Boston Pork Butt (230°--April 23, 2013)
Pulled Boston Pork Butt (265°--Oct 21, 2018)

And yes---Once you foil it, no need for smoke.
Let it burn out, or if there's a lot left, pull it out & separate the burnt from the unburnt in the tray to save the unburnt. (I use an old teaspoon)

You're looking Great so far!!

Bear
 

Danabw

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I think it'll be easier than answering all your Questions, by giving you two Butts I've done @ 2 different Smoking Temps.
Pulled Boston Pork Butt (230°--April 23, 2013)
Pulled Boston Pork Butt (265°--Oct 21, 2018)

And yes---Once you foil it, no need for smoke.
Let it burn out, or if there's a lot left, pull it out & separate the burnt from the unburnt in the tray to save the unburnt. (I use an old teaspoon)

You're looking Great so far!!

Bear
Great. That was really helpful to look at both of those, thank you. I think I'm going to follow you down the path of your October 21 smoke. Our times and temperatures are very close so far. :emoji_thumbsup:

Actuals:
- Started at noon
○ IT 50
○ Smoker 250-60-ish
- 1:14
○ IT 97
○ Smoker 235
- 1:35
○ IT 111
○ Smoker 243
- 2:22
○ IT: 136
○ Smoker 250
- 3:40
○ IT: 163
○ Smoker: 257
 
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Bearcarver

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Great. That was really helpful to look at both of those, thank you. I think I'm going to follow you down the path of your October 21 smoke. Our times and temperatures are very close so far. :emoji_thumbsup:

I never worried about Stalls. I just automatically foil at 165°. It gives me a nice bark without getting too thick & hard.
If it stalls earlier than 165°, I'll still foil at 165°.

Bear
 

Bearcarver

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Great. That was really helpful to look at both of those, thank you. I think I'm going to follow you down the path of your October 21 smoke. Our times and temperatures are very close so far. :emoji_thumbsup:

If you want any other tips or Step by Steps, just go to the bottom of any of my Posts, and:
Just click on "Bear's Step by Steps".

Bear
 

Danabw

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Thanks, Bearcarver Bearcarver , I'll follow that link.
I wrapped in butcher paper at 165, it looked good, very similar to the pic I posted. It's up to 169 now.

I took out the AMNPS...the smoke had jumped a row, going from the middle of the first row into the second just a little.

Now I need to go make the bolognese lasagne (we made the sauce yesterday) that we're having for tonight's dinner. :) Busy day!

Edit later...Bolognese Lasagna was great.
1594347303206.png

1594347333201.png
 
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Danabw

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Joined May 29, 2020
Woot! Pulled out of the smoker at 203 IT. Looks fabulous, smells fabulous, and jiggles in a wonderful way. :)
Letting it rest a bit, time for an evening walk now that it's cooled down.
Thanks VERY much Bearcarver Bearcarver & smokerjim smokerjim for the feedback and support. Don't know what I would do w/out you guys and this forum!
1594347087612.png
 
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