Anyone use wood pellets in their MES?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bikes blues bbq, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I've probably gotten thousands of PMs, and none of them were silly.

  2. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    mwahaha. little do you know what things lurk in my diseased mind.
  3. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks, Bear!
  4. Well said, I send and get a ton of PM's

  5. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No it won't. The AMNPS is merely a smoke generator and where there's smoke there's hot, smouldering wood pellets. It's warm enough to melt cheese and ice but not hot enough to cook cuts of meat to even a safe internal temp, which is 140°.  You're talking about trying to use an unplugged Traeger as a solar-powered oven with the AMNPS providing the smoke? You'll never get the thing up to a real cooking temp. I sure wouldn't try it. The Traeger is essentially an electric convection grill which has a motorized wood pellet feeder to also make it a smoker. I think using the AMNPS with a Traeger would be redundant. Just did some research and I don't think it can even be run on charcoal with it unplugged. It is what it is and that's what a lot of people buy it for.

    You said you plan to sell it and I think that's your best bet.
  6. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    that's what i was afraid of. thanks. i'll sell it but this isn't a great time to sell smokers.

    meantime, i gotta make do.

    if nothing else, i can cold smoke cheese in the traeger using the amnps, since it's just a vented barrel.

    i hate it that i didn't find this site before buying.
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm sorry but this is a long thread and I forget the main reason(s) why you're dissatisfied with your Traeger. You mentioned poor customer service and I can't recall if there's a problem with it. Basically, when it's plugged in and you turn it on, do the firepot, the pellet feeder, and the thermostat control all work?
  8. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    yeah, i coersed them into sending a new control box. using parts from the old one, it's working fine.

    it just won't do low temps. that's why it doesn't fit my needs.

    note tho, i needed 2 traegers to make one working one. the new one they sent was missing a wire to the controller. so, 2 out of 2 were defective.
  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That is really bad. Can you afford to buy another smoker without selling the Traeger first? I guess I should've asked that earlier unless you already stated it. If you're on a tight budget, it seems like you've got one working Traeger and, believe me, 225° is low and slow cooking. So is 250 and even up to 275. If your goal is cold smoking, I know you could lay the lit AMNPS lunder the cooking grill with the power off and that should work for cold smoking if you leave the lid closed.

    I just bought some QMATZ from Todd to keep cheese or whatever I'm cold smoking from sinking into the MES cooking racks. They should work for Traeger cooking grills. My point is this: since it works, use the Traeger to practice your smoking technique and get to the point where you feel you know what you're doing until you're able to sell it for a better smoker. Or, if you have the money available, buy a Masterbuilt--which is a great entry level smoker--which is what it's designed to be--or spend more for a Cookshack or aSmokin-It or a Smokin Tex or whatever if it's within your budget and keep the Traeger in storage under its cover until there's a better time to sell it.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  10. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    nah, i gotta sell this first. i spent $400 on this traeger in july. getting the amns plus some pellets was a stretch after xmas spending. that's coming tomorrpow as a prezzy for me.

    i'm going out there to start the smoker. i'm as crazy as the rest of you. i'll be going out all night in temps in the 20s, with high winds, just to feed the smoker..
  11. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Should be good bargains on the MES GEN1 smokers and don't overlook the CS smokers I posted about.  Just one of each and I did not get prices.  And I have no idea on their condition.
  12. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    I just picked up a Gen1 MES40 from Amazon a week or two ago...$300....
  13. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You're as crazy as the right of them. I don't smoke when it's in the 40s out there. I'm literally a fair weather smoker.

    Best of luck on selling the Traeger and happy smoking in the meantime.
  14. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    thanks rick. 40s are balmy tho,  especially with no wind.

    outside of a couple of steaks, all the meat i've eaten since july 1 has been smoked.

    i suppose i'll tire of that, but not for a bit.

    anyway, to get the mozerella i wanted i had to buy 20 lbs. even frozen that will spoil before i use it up.

    might as well smoke it. smoked moz is pricey.
  15. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Susie, home smoked cheese is incredibly easy and good, but remember it has to be cold smoked. Try placing the AMNPS under the grill (if you can without damaging anything) as I advised and leave the smoker lid down during the smoke. It should take 2-3 hours at the most.

    20 lbs of cheese? I tell you--Foodsaver is your friend. We've owned different models for years. We're members of Costco and bought the latest one earlier in the year. There's noting better for vacuum sealing and long term storage of food. There's an optional quick marinator attachment which is outstanding for deep marinating meats taking just one hour.

    Remember that after smoking cheese, you need to vacuum or somehow store it in an airtight container for at least three weeks. This helps the cheese to distribute the smoke throughout the cheese. What's really cool is that if the cheese still looked fairly light when you removed it from the smoker, the color will deepen over the three weeks and should match the look and color of smoked cheeses sold in the supermarkets. I've smoked both mozz and sharp cheddar chunks with outstanding results.
  16. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    thanks, rick.i didn't know about the 3 week waitingperiod. i'll play with it friday.

    my amns got here today.. looks lke fun.

    my ham got overcooked due to the unreliability of the traeger. it just won't hold temps below 225.

    still, i have a nice xmas ham.
  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Susie, I'd suggest that you don't try for temps under 225. 225-250 is a popular temp range for smoking. At least you've got a nice ham.

    The reason for storing the smoked cheese is to let the smoke flavor grow stronger as it permeates the cheese. Of course it's your choice if you skip this but it is worth it.
  18. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    RICK, I KNOW MOST PEOPLE HERE LIKE 225. oops caps.

    personally, i'd like tomess with all sorts of temps.

    for myself i absolutely want hams at least under 212.

    there must bea way to do this.

    i had it at 190 for an hour. 2 hours later it dropped to 111. still fine with me.

    but when i woke after 2 hours more, the evil thing was up to 360!!

    yeah, it will hold 225, but i'm not letting some stupid machine tell me what to do.
  19. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    OK, Susie. I'll bow out of the smoking temp discussion. Jeff Phillips has a smoking temp chart on his website and I've got others I use for reference. I just go with what's worked for me, which is what we all do here.

    Seems to me you could jerry-rig a wood chip or a wood pellet smoker in a heavy roasting pan to use inside your kitchen oven. There are pages online that can show you how to do it.

    It could go on a on oven rack underneath the upper rack where the ham is roasting or you could set it up so that the ham sits on one of those flat metal roasting racks that fit inside a roasting pan. Underneath the rack inside the roasting pan you could spread out wood chips or pellets so that they all remain touching each other. You would then manually light one end because wood typically doesn't ignite on its own at temps below 250°.

    Theoretically it should work.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  20. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    if i'm gonna use the oven, i could cold smoke for a while first. any idea how long a cold smoke  would need to be to impart a nice smokey flavor?

    winter days here are sometimes under 32 so bacteria should be no problem even without a cure..

    the instructions say 12 hours for bacon.does that sound right for other meats?

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