Another AMNPS-MES Question

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by travisb, May 23, 2013.

  1. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I still need to perfect my AMPS. It's genius, but I have had it go out a bunch of times in the beginning. I think I need to let it burn longer before putting it in.
  2. Harbor Freight has the heat gun for $8.99 with coupon thru July - gonna be trying this method July 3rd when I start the butts & brisket
  3. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Don't feel bad I've had mine go out before too even though I followed the instructions. Stuff happens I guess. There are variables and you'll have to play with equipment involved while taking those variables into consideration.
  4. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I think it mostly has to do with hot hot the pellets are. When my smoker is going, I have less probs.
  5. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Rick, I haven't had a need for my grill since getting my first MES and now second one. I do everything in the MES that I did on the grill and more. Have even done  hamburgers in the MES although I prefer the grill for hanburgers.  The MES turns out better steaks than the grill, but then again, it is probably "the cook" (me) [​IMG]  doesn't do a good job on the grill with them. The last time my grill was used, was 2 years ago when one of my 4 Sons was here from NYand he grilled hamburgers on it. 

    When I do use the grill, I use newspapers in the bottom ot the Weber Chimney as it was designed for, to start the charcoal. When I used to smoke ribs, pork loins and such things on my Hasty Bake Grill, I used wood chunk charcoal and used those Weber paraffin cubes to start the wood chunk charcoal. I toss Mesquite Wood Chips on the charcoal briquettes when grilling hamburgers, but as said, it has been 2 years. I may use it next week though as another of my Sons and his wife are here from China where they teach school over there.
  6. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You BETTER give yourself credit as the cook, Brick!

    I've never smoked burgers. For Father's Day I smoked some boneless ribeye steaks and they were awesome definitely thanks to me, the cook.[​IMG]I used hickory pellets. But last night I grilled boneless chuck eye steaks (ever tried a chuck eye? They're called "the poor man's ribeye" for a reason--just incredibly tasty and tender when grilled.) over charcoal without wood chips. Among the best steak I've ever grilled. What's funny is that I checked the IT of the largest steak with my CDN thermocouple therm and it read 164° so I thought I blew it. But when I cut open the steak it was medium rare which is what I had wanted. Not sure why that happened but it isn't the first time.

    My favorite part of grilling is the smell when the charcoal briquettes are firing up inside the chimney starter. I used to use newspaper but hated how the ashed settled over the meat. With the paraffin cubes I don't have that and all I need is one cube. I love using my grill because the food cooks and tastes differently from the smoker. And besides, I just like flipping steaks and burgers on the grill while standing beside it, and turning corn on the cob over and over to get a good char on the husks. I was grilling long before I bought a smoker and in many ways I find it more fun to use my Weber kettle grill. The goal this year is for the wife and I to combine on finally successfully grilling a pizza on a pizza stone over charcoal and wood chips. She makes the pizza from scratch and I grill it. The grilling part has been the downfall--so far.

    Was your son born and raised in NY? My dad was and he sure knew his way around what we used to call a BBQ but now call a grill. But I'm from California so I don't know if my grilling skill is West Coast born or from my NY DNA.
  7. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    That Son was born at Ellsworth, KS. In fact 3 boys and our daughter were born there. Our 5th child (a Son) was born at El Reno, OK

    We do NY Strip Steaks in the MES with Mesquite Chips for the smoke. Next time it will be with Mesquite Pellets.

    My wife likes Ribeyes, but I don't as I dislike fat and by the time I cut the fat away, there isn't that much steak left ... lol ... so I don't do Ribeyes.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  8. lizardman

    lizardman Fire Starter

    I had the same problem few suggestions...

    Try lighting the AMNPS *out* of the MES just to make sure it's not the chips. Also, I totally removed the damper and put a 3" 90 degree aluminum exhaust elbow in it's place (pointed upwards), I then moved the AMNPS to the *top* rack, worked much better there...I pull out the factory chip loader out about 3"  in *dump* position from my MES 30, getting much better draft now...
  9. I think the AMNPS going out has nothing to do with the way you light it. I have torched the living hell out of it only to see it go out a short time later. It all has to do with ventilation keeping it going. The last two butts I smoked were done at night and I did not want it to go out in the middle of the night so I removed the drip tray and catch basin altogether and placed the AMNPS right over the heating unit on the bottom rack so as to get the updraft from the heat. Worked great. I did leave the butts in foil trays so no dripping. This also works to keep in moisture. I still had great bark and all was good.
  10. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I cant seem to get mine lit properly at the start.  But once the smoker has been on for say 1.5 hours, then I have no problems.  What would cause this?

    Also, I had issues starting up my AMPS again.  This is actually becoming a problem.  Luckily my wife went downstairs about 45min after I put in the AMPS and saw there was no smoke.  I had to restart it.  It think its failed now 4 out of 6 smokes.  This is a trend.  Once it gets going its fine.  It doesnt go out.  But to get it started is failure at this point.  Last night I didnt want to mess around given that I was going back to bed.  I nuked the pellets for 2min in the micro.  I torched it for 30 seconds.  I let it burn a flame for 10min.  But BAM, it died out, again.......

    I then left it in smoker, quickly opened the door for 10 seconds, torched it again, and it INSTANTLY flamed up.  The pellets were obviously nice and hot.  The flame was so strong I couldnt blow it out.  I had to remove the tray and blow on it really hard to extinguish the flame.  Quickly put it back in, and I could immediately see nice smoke coming out the vent.  I watched it for 30min and went back to bed.  No further issues.  It did not go out from that point onwards.

    So in short, there is nothing I can do about the temp swings for the first 2 hours.  This will be a big disappointment to the "set it and forget it" crowd, one of the main reason we go all MES (and Im not talking about being lazy, just that I cant go back to bed, or leave the house to go to the store etc).  Big bummer.    

    But, with the AMPS, there are a lot of you guys that are having success and I could really use some help.  I've watched Wade's vid and read up on everything.  I know the basics and what to do.  The key variable here that I cant explain is that why if I light the AMPS in the smoker after 1.5 hours in the smoker does it instantly light up and not go out from that point onwards, yet when I put it in the smoker at the start, it dies out after 30min.  This has happened on all 4 failures.  I cant explain it.  Thoughts?
  11. You might have too high of a moisture content in your pellets. I often microwave the amount I will use for 30-45 seconds and let them cool to remove moisture first.
  12. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    But they burn in the beginning when starting out and torching them in the AMPS.  I burned them for 10min this AM.  Flame was going, cherry was there, smoke trail was very thin. 

    Put them in smoker, AMPS goes out after 30min.  Retorch them in smoker, huge flames, blow out, and it doesnt die again.  WHY?
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Did you see this??

  14. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Yeah I saw this already, as well as Wade's vid.  I have a Coleman blow-up mattress inflator.  Im going to use it next time. 
  15. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Did you read Post #2 on that thread?/  What I wrote??

    I didn't use a heat gun, but it would be easier.

    My point being---I said the same thing 2 years ago as I've been telling you now----Nothing has changed---You still have to get it lit properly. Heat gun or no heat gun.

  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I get it. My son was made in Las Vegas, NV and born in Santa Rosa, CA.

    Fat=flavor, Brick! If you carefully choose your ribeyes there's plenty of meat after you remove the fat but I know what you mean. Chuck eye steaks are the same way.

    I think mesquite pellets will work even better than wood chips in the MES. The AMNPS gives constant but not overpowering smoke. I really like mesquite pellets when I'm smoking tri-tip. That's the Santa Maria (CA) style.
  18. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Our 5th child (Son) that was born in El Reno, OK was made in Denton, TX ... Other 4 all made and born in Ellsworth, KS ... lol 

    I haven't tried the Mesquite Pellets yet, but hope they do work better than wood chips as the Mesquite chips are so powerful that it is easy to over smoke with them if not careful. Ditto on Hickory chips.
  19. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Torch the bottom really well under the lighting hole through the perforated stainless steel.  It works well with the AMNTS.

  20. mori55

    mori55 Fire Starter

    i just did my first cook in my MES 40bt. I did ribs in in unfoiled with the AMNPS. IT WORKED GREAT !
    Cooked them for 6hrs. I started the AMNPS a charcoal starter it looks like a doughy brick , just broke a piece off stuck it on the pellets and lit it with the little torch. I let it sit outside the MES for about 15 min and blew on it a couple of times. I put in the smoker on the drip without elevating it. It smoked the whole time. I did open the chip droor.
    But now I have a steak question , you said you make great steaks in the MES , how do you do it ?
    My neighbor is bringing a whole filet mignon over for me to cook. Would you cook it whole or in steaks ? I'm looking for ideas , Bear gave me one idea but I'm still looking for different ways , I really don't want to screw this up.

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