Masterbuilt Chip Tray Upgrade Or AMNPS? Help........

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by flyinsquirrel, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Ok, so after reading all this stuff im confused.....I just purchased a Masterbuilt 40 1200 watt smoker. If i do the chip tray upgrade will that be good enough if i dont wanna spend on the AMNPS at this point? 
  2. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I do not have an electric smoker so I can't say from personal experience. . However from what I have read around here it seams you get much better results with the AMNPS
  3. That is what i hear to. I have one thing that I wonder about with the pellets and that is this.....I am sure everyone will think im done for saying this but......Example: When Im cooking on charcoal i never really liked the idea of dousing the briquettes with that lighter fuel starter, I over think most things but i thought i dont want to be eating that fuel fume stuff so when i heard about the chimney starters with newspaper and no fuel i went that route. My concern with the pellets would be this question on a personal level only.....If they light and burn on there own that easy, Do they have some sort of fuel infused in them????????????????????? That is strictly a question.....Not meant to offend anyone, I just Dont Know. Thanks_-
  4. smoke king

    smoke king Smoke Blower

    The beauty of the AMNPS is that you will get a good consistent amount of smoke that is pretty much hands off for hours and hours once you get it burning correctly.  With the chip loader, you have to add more chips every half hour or so, and the smoke may not be as consistent as the AMNPS.  There isn't any fuel in the pellets, they are just compressed saw dust.
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The Retro Chip tray is twice the size of that which was sent with some...It will increase the Volume of smoke over the small one since more chips are smoking at the same time and they will start smoking at a lower temp, 160*F, compared to the Small tray box, 180*F, but you still only get about 1 hour of Smoke before you have to reload...The nice part about the AMNPS is light it once and a full load will give 10 hours of smoke even with the MES turned off, which is what you want for Cheese and Bacon and it works with the MES at 100* through 150*F, the temps at which Cured Sausages are Smoked...You don't NEED to get an AMNPS but it sure extends the usefulness of the MES...JJ

    The Pellets are 100% compressed Wood, no fillers or Petroleum products...They don't Burn, well not without applying a lot of heat, they Smoke and generate very little heat...Hope this helps.
  6. Hey Great! No fuel thats good to know....So would my 1200 watt heating element be in while using the amns unit? Also, Where do u put the Amns tray? Directly over the burner? Thanks
  7. I've had a mes 30 for about 2 yrs, it gives me great results when smoking at temps above 160 or so, done some great briskets, boston butts, ribs, and lots of hot smoked fish. If you are doing a long slow  smoke (brisket)" allniter" , you will  need to be around to to add some chips to the mes every hour or so, otherwise you might as well use your oven.

    then I got one of todd"s amps, the advantage is it will go for 8 hours without touching it. ( ONCE YOU PRACTICE A BIT) it allows me a little zzzzztime, on long smokes. but also allows you to do cold smoke for fish and cheeses,boiled eggs, that you can't do in the mes alone, cuz the mes needs the heat element going to keep the chips burning.(therefore melting the cheese, ooops)

    So far i have had the best results with the amnps using sawdust, maybe my pellets are damp cuz when i use them,i have trouble keeping them going all the way to the end. i have added a soup can over my vent ( like a little chimney) to increase draft. also pull chip loader out half way, to allow air into the smoker when using a amnps.    Hope this helps
  8. Thanks alot!
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The AMNPS goes to the left of the Chip Tray housing on the rails or on the left side of the bottom shelf...JJ
  10. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The important thing to remember is that the AMNPS and the new chip tray are two different programs for smoke. The revised tray will give you a little extra time but the AMNPS will give you a full 10 hours of TBS 
  11. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would say have both!  You don't have to do both at the same time, though.  I would get the chip tray upgrade NOW!  The reason is your smoker is new NOT gunked-up, thus it will be easier to do the change out of the tray system.  You will NOT get more smoke.  I have the older MES 40 that came with the larger tray, and you really can't put more than 12-18 chips in there at at time or you will get black smoke which will leave a creosote bitter taste on your meat.  For short smokes 2 - 3 hours or less, you  won't have to struggle with proper lighting of the AMNPS, you can start smoking immediately.

    The AMNPS is excellent smoker accessory and every MES owner should have one.  It makes smoking easier, as the others pointed about above you can set it and forget it for 6-10 hours, provided everything is done properly.
  12. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Dont know about the chip tray upgrade but the AMNPS is a must.Microwaving pellets helps ,just a minute or so.Sometimes a little hard to stop moisture dripping into it when you are smoking. I have an MES 30 which can get a bit crowded. run both at same time when I am at low temps to make sure I  get enough smoke.
  13. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    Anyone have pics of the two trays side by side? I would like to see them together,[​IMG]
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    FlyinSquirrel, morning.... The greatest asset the AMNPS has over using the chip tray.... Making smoke is totally independent of the heating element, or gas burner.... Use the heat source to cook the food, and the AMNPS for creating the amount of smoke for great smoke flavor... don't get any easier than that....  Dave
  15. I like to put the AMNPS in the center of the bottom shelf of my MES40. This way I can see how well the pellets or dust are smoking (and how far along they are) when looking through the window. If the AMNPS is further down inside the box, then it is hard to see. I also place the AMNPS inside a small metal baking pan to act as a heat shield. I drilled some holes along the sides of the baking pan to allow for air flow to the AMNPS. A water pan on the second shelf (or piece of foil tented over the AMNPS) protects the AMNPS from drips. The AMNPS burns nicely this way.  Just my experience...

    As others have said, once you start using the AMNPS you will not go back to using the chip tray (large or small tray) except for the rare occasion.

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  16. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    I never use lighter fluid anymore and use fresh apple chunks & twigs to start my charcoal grill. Sometimes I'll use cowboy charcoal but never anything that has extra chemicals in it.
  17. Well I ordered The AMNPS today. I will have them send me the retro kit for the chip tray soon. This info from you all has been really helpful. I'm sure ill be posting a new thread or two when i start cooking as that will be a another area of schooling. lol But thats what makes it rewarding, right? I cant wait.

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