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Which AMAZEN for my 30" MES?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by nullvector, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. nullvector

    nullvector Newbie

    Hey guys,

    I've had my 30" MES for a few months now, and its working pretty good. I have had an issue with very little smoke production, and wood chips coming out of the chip-loader as black charcoal looking pieces after a 6 hour cook. They just aren't burning well.

    I keep the vent wide open, don't overload the chip tray, and load them according to the manual....the thing just doesn't make enough smoke.

    I've reverted to removing the chip tray entirely, laying foil over the shelf right above the heating elements, and placing wood chips directly onto the foil. This has worked well for a while, but I've heard that this AMAZEN smoker works great to give us MES owners more smoke.

    Which one should I get, the 6x6 or the 6x8? Do they both fit?

    Thanks for any advice you can give me!

    Here's some ribs I finished off with direct fire on my bubba-keg after a 6 hour 3-2-1 cook on the MES.

  2. ryanhoelzer

    ryanhoelzer Smoking Fanatic

    I got the 6x8 when I had the 30" just because I wanted the bigger one.  The easiest way is just to pull out the drip tray, put foil on the bottom, and put it over to the left.  Then make sure you put something over it to keep stuff from dripping in it.  I used a thin piece of sheet metal sitting on top of the chip box and extending to the left.

    I don't think the 6x6 would fit any better but someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

    I went through a bunch of ambitious ideas on how to make it fit better but then I got a deal on a 40 before I had gone too far with the mods.

  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF glad you joined us. I don't have a MES but I'm sure you'll get plenty of info on it we sure have lots of members who use them in theirs
  4. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Todd made a prototype that Bearcarver is using in his 30", I believe it is 5½ X 11 but don't hold me to the size.  You might PM him and see if he has anymore in that size.  If not maybe he could custom make one for you in that size.  It sits on the floor to the left of the heating element.

    Otherwise I would go for the 6 X 8.
  5. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I want one of those prototypes, but he won't come off of them yet. [​IMG]

    I have the 6x6 for my 30", and it works great.  I can get like 5 hours of smoke with it lit at both ends!!  Double that just lit at one end which is a fine amount of smoke, too.  The 6x8 should work well, too -- just keep either one below the water.

    Some tips on getting better smoke with chips:  soak the chips for 30 minutes but not longer, close the vent, preheat to 250* or higher, don't open the door, open the door and shut it really fast to force some air over them.  I'll put just a few chips in when I turn it on, then a few more 10-15 minutes later, then fill up the tray about 1/2 hour in after the smoke is rolling and before I load it with the meat.  When I load the meat in, I give the door a good slam.  The smoke will kick in about 10-15 minutes later and roll for a good 5 hours. 
  6. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have the 6x8 in  my mes 30. Works great. Took out the bottom pan and foiled the bottom. Have tried several tent/cover foil things so far.

     Its all good.

      Craig in Atlanta
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  7. nullvector

    nullvector Newbie

    Thanks for the replies! I appreciate the nice welcome.

    I'll probably go for the 6x6 to start with....

    Do you guys primarily use hickory?

  8. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hickory mostly (it's all I have ATM for the AMNS) but I use Apple, Mesquite, and Pecan too.  I also want to try some Oak, Cherry, Maple, and Alder.
  9. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I would go for the 6X8, it only costs $5.00 more and adds the ability to smoke several hours more...

    I like hickory the best but that is a personal choice...
  10. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I agree with Paul - I have both the 6x6 and the 6x8 and I have moved the 6x6 to the motorhome so I can play on the road

    I no longer use the chunk box in my SmokinTex - I only use the AMS and use the electric for the heat source

    Good luck
  11. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    Sounds like masterbuilt knows about this issue. They may have a fix. Have you looked into this also?

  12. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    For now, your best bet would be the 6 X 8. It fits in the bottom just as good as the 6 X 6, like Ryan said, or if you aren't using the bottom shelf, you can put it there, with a pan under it.

    The 5 X 11 isn't perfected yet. Still has slight problems. I'm trying something new with it, and of course Todd is ALWAYS experimenting. If we get it figured out, it fits on the bars, to the left of the chip drawer in the MES 30.

  13. mawil1013

    mawil1013 Smoke Blower

    How to use wood chip loader:
    • Before starting unit, place 1/2 cup of wood chips in chip loader.
    • Never use more than 1/2 cup of wood chips at a time. Never use wood chunks or wood pellets.
    • Insert wood chip loader into smoker. Wood chips should be level with top rim of wood chip loader.
    • Turn handle clockwise in direction of arrow mark on smoker to unload wood. Wood will drop into
     wood chip tray. Turn handle counterclockwise, to the upright position, and leave wood chip loader
     in place.
    • Check wood chip tray periodically to see if wood has burned down by removing wood chip loader and
     looking into smoker through hole. Add more chips as needed.
    • Wood chip loader must be pulled out completely from smoker when checking wood chip level.
    Adding more wood during smoking process:
    • Pull wood chip loader from smoker.
    • Place wood chips in wood chip loader and insert into smoker.
    • Turn handle clockwise in direction of arrow mark on smoker to unload wood. Wood will drop into wood
     chip tray.
    • Temperature may spike briefly after wood is added. It will stabilize after a short time. Do not adjust
     temperature setting.
    • Keep smoker door closed when adding wood chips.
    • Wood chip loader will be HOT even if handle is not.
    • Never use wood pellets.

    • Wood chip loader and wood chip tray MUST be in place when using smoker. This minimizes the
     chance of wood fl are ups.
    • Wood chips must be used in order to produce smoke and create the smoke fl avor.
    • Check grease tray often during cooking. Empty grease tray before it gets full. Grease tray may
     need to be emptied periodically during cooking.
    • Do not open smoker door unless necessary. Opening smoker door causes heat to escape and
     may cause wood to fl are up. Closing the door will re-stabilize the temperature and stop fl are up.
    • Do not leave old wood ashes in the wood chip tray. Once ashes are cold, empty tray. Tray should
     be cleaned out prior to, and after each use to prevent ash buildup.
    • This is a smoker. There will be a lot of smoke produced when using wood chips. Smoke will
     escape through seams and turn the inside of smoker black. This is normal. To minimize smoke
     loss around door, door latch can be adjusted to further tighten door seal against body.
    • To adjust door latch, loosen hex nut on door latch. Turn hook
     clockwise to tighten as shown. Secure hex nut firmly against
     door latch. (see Figure A)
    • Opening smoker door during cooking process may extend cooking
     time due to heat loss.
    • When outside temperature is cooler than 65°F (18°C) and/or
     altitude is above 3,500 feet (1067m), additional cooking time may
     be required. To insure that meat is completely cooked use a
     meat thermometer to test internal temperature.

    If you look at the manual recipes, they all require 225F, which may hint at the optimum set point for creating smoke. I'm not seeing that the chips be soaked, often in other situations and even on bag they say to soak, but apparently the manufacturer isn't recommending soaking chips, they do say not to use wood pellets na dno chunks. 
  14. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    This thread is from the year before the AMNPS was invented.

    It was discussing whether to purchase the 6 X 6 or the 6 X 8 AMNS.(Dust only)

    It has been found by most MES users that soaking chips does more bad things than good things, and due to how good the MES is insulated no extra humidity is needed.

    As for the optimum set point for the MES chip burner to produce smoke, without the AMNPS, that depends on the individual smoker, and the configuration of the heating element and the chip drawer.

    I had one that started smoking at about 240°, and a replacement chip burner started smoking at about 60°. They all stop smoking when the element doesn't come on for awhile.

    The AMNPS keeps smoking steadily for up to 11 hours, when used properly.

    Hope this helps,

  15. parrot-head

    parrot-head Meat Mopper

    The WEDGIE works great also.  Haven't had any issues keeping it lit.  Best for shorter smokes about 4-5 hours.
  16. mawil1013

    mawil1013 Smoke Blower

    I've been soaking chips and setting vent wide open, and now seeing that maybe I have to reverse that, I soaked chips thinking they were maybe flaming and causing cooker temp to spike. I'll have to peek inside and experiment more. Im waiting on a reply from MB about vent and chips to see what they say they designed it to run.
  17. dwdunlap

    dwdunlap Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I'm still new to smoking in an MES 30 2nd gen (10 or 11 smokes). I had the usual problems with the chips, keeping them lite, having to add every 40 min -  and thinking I was not getting enough smoke. 

    This is what I have learned - right or wrong:

    The AMAZEN serpentine won't fit in the bottom of my version MES

    I talked to Todd at AMAZEN and understood and advised his large smoking tube. This works great and burns 6-8 hours with all the smoke you could want. Filled, lite and adjusting and using the fill tube for an air intake - the Amazen tube is light and forget.

    I am finding that my family is not too fond of heavy smoked food. I'm kind of in agreement as well. Taking Todd's suggestion I found I can help by not packing the tube but rather adding less pellets and the shaking to distribute in a thinner layer reduces smoke produced.  You have play with this for amount of smoke and how long you need the smoke.

    Picking up from some of the experts on here, I've learned to not desire heavy smoke pouring out of the vent.

     I was a little concerned the first use when I closed the door and the smoke was so dense I couldn't see anything inside the smoker. This clears up in a few minutes and I think I'm getting the right amount now when I can see whisps of smoke circulating through the cabinet. Pulling the fill tube out about 11/2" out is working for me but seems a bit adjustable for more or less smoke but it has to remain open for the pellets to remain lit.

    Bowing to the ladies in charge, I plan to alter my baby back rib methods.

    1.  Explore a milder rub and maybe just salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders and some brown sugar.

    2.  Per the experts, I will continue to use the 2-2-1 foiling.   

    3.  Remove smoke for the last hour.

    Hoping this works for us and maybe you 

  18. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sounds like you got it nailed down pretty good, DW !!