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Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by travisb, May 23, 2013.
Sounds like you got that AMNPS down pat already!!!
I guess so!! Brisket has been in for just over 4 hours and there is still TBS coming out of the exhaust! I couldn't be more happy with the AMNPS! My MES-40 on the other hand is a little irritating with its temps being so far off.
Glad you got it working! I still don't have mine quite figured out. Lately I've just been using my MES with low temp items and use dust in the AMAZEN, which works fine, and then I use my Kamado for high temp smokes.
The next time I use it I'll just have to give Todd a call and get it figured out once and for all!
If you have good success with Dust, if you just fill about 1 1/3 rows with dust, you should be able to use that in a high heat smoke. There is no second row to jump over to, until you get to the last 1/3 of the row, and if it jumps over at that time, it won't be a big deal.
You should get about 3 or more hours of smoke this way.
I hope that makes sense to people other than me.
Which MES do you have Gen #1 or #2 ??
Do you have a Maverick, or similar?
Mailbox mod and a heat gun are an amnps two best friends
makes sense. I'll have to give it a try
I sure wish Todd Johnson would weigh in on this. travisb has the same smoker I do and the same AMNPS that I do and is having the same problem keeping it lit that I've been having. travisb, yep, you've tried everything that was recommended to me so I'm not sure what I'm going to do. With me, I know I've had too much water in the water bowl but like you the AMNPS has still gone out with the bowl empty. Has to be an airflow problem because with me, AFTER I've taken the meat I'm smoking out of the MES, the AMNPS won't stop going unless I close the top vent. That's right, just when I don't need the pellets smoking the thing won't die. Somehow I have to replicate those conditions to win I do have meat on the racks.
I have a gen 2 MES-40. I also have a maverick remote thermometer. My AMNPS ran flawlessly today. It produced smoke for approximately 11 hours without stopping. I placed it over the hole for the water pan as Todd said to do and put a foil tent over it to stop any drippings from getting in. Pulled the chip drawer out approx 2" and also the loader the same distance. Worked GREAT!
With the Gen 2 unit I have found the best thing to do is to put the AMNPS over the square hole, an 8 X 8 foil pan under it, and an 8 X 8 pan above it to protect it. I have not had to remove or pull out either the chip drawer or the dumper.
As for your MES temp difference, that is hard to fix in the Gen 2. The biggest problem is the slanted drip plate traps heat on the right side, but some of the difference can be the MES sensor being at a different place than your Maverick smoker probe.
That's usually because by the time you remove the meat it is finally lit good enough.
Also you said you had water in the water bowl. If you have the Gen 2 unit, you shouldn't even have the bowl in there. You should remove the little water pan, put the AMNPS over the square hole, put a foil pan on the floor under the square hole in the slanted drip plate, and put a drip pan above the AMNPS to keep drips off of it.
I think your spot on, on what to do. I do the exact same thing as you with the exception of, I do not put a foil pan under the square hole. I just wrap the drip pan in the bottom of the smoker with tin foil. Today, I'm smoking some babybacks and its the first time im putting the 8x8 foil pan above the AMNPS. Yesterday, I did a brisket and and made a foil tent to put over the AMNPS to stop the drippings. From what Ive seen so far, I believe in my case anyway, the foil tent works better. I seem to get more smoke from the AMNPS than with the foil pan directly over the unit. With that said, I still am getting decent smoke from the AMNPS just not as much as with the tent.
I think the more you play with making sure you have a good cherry built up BEFORE you put it in the smoker, the better your chances of it staying lit are. I personally use a heat gun to blow the coals. Catches fire and I let it flame for a while, then I blow out the flame. once its out, I use the gun again to blow the coals again. It causes it to catch fire but after a couple of times, its smokes good and I have never had it go out yet. Like I said before, Yesterday it ran for almost 12 hours after doing this method.
I would use the 8 X 8, because I can throw it away after a bunch of smokes. I always cover my Gen 1 water pan with foil, but the grease finds a way through.
As far as the 8 X 8 above the AMNPS, I meant a couple inches above, on a grill.
I gotta try the heat gun too. I'm tired of blowing on the fire. I think my Son's tower climbers borrowed my heat gun & didn't bring it back to me. Guess I gotta get after them!!
Scooter Magoo made a video of using the heat gun on the AMNPS & it works great !!
How do I know what generation I have? Mine is the 30-inch model # 07092010 20070910 which I bought in April 2012. I always place the AMNPS on the two bars to the left of the heat element housing. I tent aluminum foil over the AMNPS. When I first started using it, I had no problems and was using the water bowl. Don't know what changed.
The Gen #2 doesn't have those two support bars you have. If you have trouble keeping the AMNPS lit in your Gen 1, and you aren't in a high altitude, you just aren't getting it lit good enough before you put it in. That is if you aren't using water in the pan, and your top exhaust vent is wide open.
My MES 30 doesn't have a hole for the water bowl. In my smoker, the water bowl slides onto a holder directly underneath the lowest (4th) rack. I'm smoking a brisket this weekend so I'm going to read up on all the suggestions and hopefully I won't have problems. When I first started using the AMNPS I had no problems at all it was a brisket I was smoking that time as well.
I let the flame burn either for 10 minutes or CLOSE to 10 minutes if I'm running late. I blow out the flame and let it smoke when I slide it onto the two support bars. I've even tried blowing on the smoking pellets just to get some red sparks going but it still went out. The exhaust vent is always wide open but the chip loader isn't so I got to pull that out about a couple of inches. The CSR for Masterbuilt that I contacted maintained that water needs to be in the water bowl but no more than a cup of it. I've been pouring too much in but I've had problems with the AMNPS staying lit with a dry bowl.
You have to blow on it more than you have been, and blow down & in toward the unburned pellets, or use a heat gun & really get it going good. I have never put mine in without working on it for at least 20 minutes. That's not actually 20 minutes, but off & on for 20 minutes. You don't want sparks---You want a big massive cigar-like cherry in the bottom of the pellets. With the Gen 1 that you have, there should be no need to pull out the chip drawer or the dumper. The CSR doesn't know what he/she is talking about if they are telling you to put water in the pan----I think they tell you to soak your chips too. Most of them never even turned a smoker on. The guys on this forum who have been smoking with MES for years know 1000 times more than their CSRs know.
Yeah, I agree with bear. A cup of water isn't gonna last you long anyway. I used to put sand in the water pan just to moderate the heat variations when I had my gen1 mes. As long as I got either the amazn dust tray or pellet tray going good before I put it in; opened the vent all the way; and protected it from drippings I had hours of good, flavorful, smoke.
Todd's instructions never said to blow on the pellets so I never have. I can try at this coming weekend. What is a heat gun? I use a propane torch to get the pellets glowing red. I don't know what a "cigar-like cherry" is. Is that a glowing red hot spot on the pellet. A few guys here have said to pull out chip loader on the side of the smokehouse 1 to 2 inches so I thought I would give it a try. About soaking the wood chips, the MES manual said the wood chips could be soaked if desired, I believe. When the CSR told me to soak the wood chips first, I pictured all these wet wood chips sticking to the loader instead of dropping down to the holder tray. I didn't bother to question her about it because...why bother?