Creosote inside Masterbuilt 30" Analog

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by midwestray, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. Got a question. I put a 6" AMNPS tube with hickory pellets and ran a trial run at cold smoking (no Heat) on my 30” analog. Got full smoke for the entire 2 hours. But the smoke was a thick gray and it left creosote all over the inside. Would adding a vent at the top solve the problem? Any advice would be great.. Thanks!
  2. Maybe a watt burner will jump in, But I would need a vent !!!!

  3. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    Any smoke generator introduced into any collector will create creosote.  By building a mailbox type modification, you will greatly reduce the creosote buildup creating a much cleaner and smoother smoke.

    Take some time and read the following.  It will help you understand what is happening and how to improve your smoke cooking.

    Smoke Color ChartNew to smoking or have a new smoker? -- "How to optimize your smoke"  ,  My Cold Smoking Options w/Q - View,  Understanding Smoke Management - updated 12/08/14

  4. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Yep, mailbox mod is the way to go. Mine produce nice, consistent, clean TBS.
  5. I know what I must do!. The pictures I have seen have heating pipe running to it, 4" hole seems mighty big for such a small smoker, would a 2" run get the job done?. Thanks all for the advice!
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Most people use 4" because that is the standard size of dryer duct. You want to use something that is rated for higher temps so you don't have a fire hazard. On mine I didn't cut a larger hole in the smoker, I simply attached the duct to the outside of the smoker over the 3" hole for the chip loader. Since you have the analog you won't have that option but a large hole won't hurt. It seems that most people control the airflow by the size/qty of holes in the mailbox itself.
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You were right. A vent at the top would be a big improvement. The digital MES units have top vents & we run them full open. You don't have one in that analog MES.

    Also---I don't use the Tube smoker in my MES 40, because it puts out too much smoke in my opinion. The Tube is better for bigger smokers & smokers at high altitudes. I use the AMNPS.

    The big thing is your tube puts out a lot of smoke & it can't flow through without a top vent.

    Some people like Heavy smoke, but most of us don't. I get ZERO Creosote.

    What you really need is a top vent & an AMNPS.

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  8. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You can use 3" water heater duct pipe, single or double wall, your choice.

     Among the other benefits of using an extension mod, if your smoker has glass, you will find less need to clean the glass.  Less creosote, less cleaning. The creosote collected in and along your mod is what would normally be in your smoker if you weren't using it. 

    After you install a mod, see how your smoker works before drilling any additional holes in it.  My guess would be, it doesn't know where the smoke or air is coming from.  

  9. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The following will demonstrate the difference in using an AMNPS inside your smoke chamber and an extension.  When you get your mod built, I suggest you do your own test.  You will then be able to witness the differences first handed.

    AMNPS & Smoke Daddy Myths?

  10. Yes, at add a 3" vent, but put in the side at the top/back, not in the top like I did.

    I also add a few more small holes 1/2"-5/8" in the bottom, too.  I close them as needed

    BTW, the temp guage isn't even close to accurate and the temp dial on the heating element is inconsistent.

    Get a PID to control your temps.

    I've tried the pellet tube and so far I don't care for it.  I'll stick to the pellet tray.  

    Have fun...

  11. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Although not owning an MES, it is a box that collects smoke and or heat in order to smoke food products.  Being such, the only reason, in my humble opinion, that some are drilling holes in the top and bottom of their smokers and or increasing the size of the vents, is to create enough draft to operate an AMNPS within the smoker itself.  The downside to this is the more draft the more BTU's needed to cook foods. 

    Large holes in a smoker or wide open vents are not required unless you want to operate an AMNPS within it.  For example, two of my smokers are Cookshacks, I use a penny to cover the exhaust vents on them when not in use.  Needless to say my AMNPS will not work in them because of the lack of airflow and I'm certainly not going to start drilling holes in either so it will, as they work perfectly the way they were designed.

    When hot smoking, the heat generated in the smoker should create enough draft to operate your AMNPS in the mod.  By drilling extra holes in your smoker, unless covered up, this needed draft to operate the AMNPS in your mod would be greatly decreased.

    By using a mailbox mod, when cold smoking, added draft through the smoker itself is not needed or desired.  Also, when cold smoking a very small fan placed in front of your mod may be needed to keep your AMNPS going and to gently push the smoke to your smoker.

    Simply food for thought.

  12. dwaytkus

    dwaytkus Smoke Blower

    I too have the MES Analog and had the same exact issues.  Read countless threads on this issue.  I didn't want to make giant holes to use a Mailbox mod so this is what I went with.  I found this info on the MES XL Mod post.

    I ordered this stack from Master Forge.

    Here is the info posted for ordering from another SMF member.

    Ordering information for the stack

    Service Dept # (800) 963-0211 hrs 8am-6pm M-T 8am-5pm F EST

    The lowes model number is 0190449

    They said that they didnt use the model number for the part but used the item description but here are both

    Smoker Stack - 302-02009-00

    On the assembly instructions its reference id is H

    Once I received it I mounted it in the center of the top.  

    I also Drilled out the drip hole in the bottom and made it 1".  

    This is a great stack and very easy to install.  Just need a bit for drilling the hole, some hi temp silicone I got in the grill department at Lowes and some screws and nuts.  

    I am finding out in really cold weather below 30 it doesn't cold smoke well so I plug in my smoker and run my Auber PID at around 50 degrees.

    Another thing I am finding out that really helps alot is microwaving my pellets.  I put them in a bowl.  Microwave for a minute.  I then mix them by hand and go for another minute.  

    Hope this helps a fellow Analog user.

  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great post !!

    That shows how adding a chimney, and some holes makes up for the lack of breathing in the Analog MES. That's all they need, in fact many just added the venting that is built into the Digital MES units & everything works fine.

    As for the Cookshack not needing much venting----That's True!! My Son had a Cookshack & the seals had so much leaking going on, it didn't need much venting.

    Thanks for the info, Dan,

  14. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Not that I doubt you at all.      If I could only get ZERO creosote when using my AMNPS, there would probably be a religious pilgrimage of all faiths to my front door to witness the miracle.  I think the "Holy Smoke" could be bagged and sold for a buck a bag.  [​IMG]

    Cookshacks are specifically designed to perform the way they do, that's why they get the big bucks for them.  Because of the restricted venting, unlike less expensive models with large vents, new units will tend to leak smoke around the doors as there are no seals there, it's metal to metal.  The more experienced Cookshack users realize this, as with continued use, the leaks will seal themselves.

  15. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds to me like you are trying to rebuild your analog to function as a digital.

    I won't say all analogs, but all the analogs I have seen or used do not have a vent. Never needed one. They don't have an auxillary smoke generator. Never needed one either. There is more inviolved to an analog than just a temperature scale vs a temperature set point.

    Sounds like you are trying to change the design characteristics of the analog to suit how you want it to work. An analog is built and designed to be used without a vent. Its how it accomplishes the task. As the chamber fills with smoke using up the available oxygen it starves out the smoldering chips. The chamber is full of smoke, there is no more smoke, there is no incomplete burn, there is no creosote. You leave the lid down/unopened and the meat absorbs the smoke. Tou open the lid/door the smoke and heat escape, the unit reheats, you have more oxygen, the chips again smolder filling the box with smoke until it runs out of oxygen again.

    The best meat smoked in an analog comes from a patient smoker who doesn't need to peek, or mop.

    Drill holes or changing the "air-flow" or introducing additional smoke is going to cause problems which the smoker was not designed to handle. You are mearly trying to cjhange an analog unit into a digital, which BTW can operate quite well also without the fresh air. Matter-a-fact seems to me that the manufacturer recommended leaving the vent closed on the digital. Then we all decided to re-engineer it so it functions more as a fire breather whwich we all more understand in this country.

    I am not in anyway attempting to step on toes here, just wanted to explain how the analog is designed to work, and they do so quite well.

    My suggestion would be to build an inexpensive cardboard cold smoking box to use the auxillary smoke generator with instead of trying to re-engineer the analog to a purpose not intended. The analog to function will have to have a upper vent and a lower vent cut into the unit, and an adjustable vent installed so you can close it off when using the analog MES as a regular smoker.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  16. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Good info Foam, I now have a better picture of what he has.


  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    LOL----The leaks seal themselves!!!  Talk about Miracles!!!

    If you really want Creosote keep using your Smoke Daddy. Check your life insurance first.

    BTW: I wasn't even talking to you. Anyone who uses smoke you can't even see through doesn't make sense to me.

    TBS is still the best way to go, and always will be. 

    That's why they don't have an "Order of The Heavy Billowing White Smoke" group.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  18. I'm not being a smart A _ _   but how do the leaks seal themselves ?

  19. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't know, does the seasoning not tend to build up on your smoker helping it seal? I still have my Maverick leads going thru the door and they reseal everytime.

    Oh and listen, I don't have a dog in this fight, just had what I considered a possible answer.
  20. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Bear, rather than thread jump, I sent you a PM.

    Mr. T

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