Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by route66, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. route66

    route66 Newbie

    Just ordered the amps for my mes30..(tired of adding chips every 30-45 minutes)....

    Any tips on where to put the tray in the smoker? What about airflow...leave the old wood-loading tube in...remove it completely/etc?

    so my understanding is fill the tray with the pellets..light one end of it...and thats pretty much it..right? Seems too easy :)

    Thanks guys!
  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a MES30 and use an AMPs I use a lot. Let me give you some things I learned.

    Stacking the pellets in the tray, don't worry about too much, if it jumped the ridge to the next line, its burning good but if you keep the line filled only about ¾ of the way up, it likes it better and uses less pellets. A more complete burn.

    Humidity, I believed it in the beginning, not so much now. I live in the extreme gulf south. It was just me looking for an excuse. Sure if you spray ‘em with water or leave ‘em out in the rain, but in a ziplock bag its fine. I have bags that have never been re-zipped that work. Did I mention 100% humidity is not uncommon here?

    Pellets, There are differences in the pellets density just like in the actual woods, naturally some burn better than others. Cherry and Apple come to mind as hard to start and keep burning. I usually mix them with more reliable burners.

    Air flow, now here is a for real problem, you must have heat to get airflow. You must have good suction and discharge available. I have actually seen one guy who solved his problems by moving his smoker further out from where it was sitting.

    A good blow torch is needed.

    I had the problem that I thought you could light and forget it, I was actually trying each time to beat my previous lite time. LOL. But then I began thinking, it’s going to work smoking for hours upon hours, I can spend 10 mins. getting it started right? Then I quit having problems.

    I have tried preheating the pellets to dry them before trying to light them, yes and no, I learned that if I work at it even just a little, it smokes fine without heating/drying. I do though keep the Ziploc bags of pellets in a large plastic sealable tub. It is Louisiana and it’s common to have 100 % humidity days, and it not raining...LOL

    Here's what works for me. I fill my AMPS tray, I check the wind direction. I set the AMPS outside the smoker facing the breeze; I use the torch (I have a butane mini torch afraid my Oxy/acetylene will melt the tray). I get a load red glow about like a cigar end AND I set a few more pellets on top of the burn after its lit. I let it smoke/burn a couple a min. blow it out and concentrate a blow on the coals enough to re-ignite it to a flame, then blow it out again while the smoker is heating with the vent closed. I have a cut up aluminum pan protecting the AMPS from drips. When I insert the AMPS finally, I open the vent fully to allow the smoker to pick up a draft and pull the reloading charger out about 1/2 inch. Like a flue in a chimney.

    Close the door and walk away for at least 30 mins. before checking to see if it’s working, the more you open the door the more you are interrupting the air flow. Don’t hurt yourself by continuously checking to see if its smoking, you are interrupting the proper air flow.

    I have also noticed if at all possible I will set the APMS up on a rack instead of the bottom left corner. If I have the room, I place it between the reload tube and the vent and it always works there.

    Hope it helps!
  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oh, and welcome to the boards, please take a moment and drop by the "Roll Call: thread in the forums and introduce yourself so you can get the official welcome and learn the secret handshake and stuff. Its relatively painless.

    Also if you would please click on the above Icon "My Profile", and tell us as much as you like but most specifically where you hang your hat at night. In discussions, questions, and BS'ing its important to know a general local for you so the weather can be taken into consideration or the availability of certain meats and products. LOL... You get tired of answering that question if you don't.

    Welcome to the boards look forward to seeing your smokes!
  4. route66

    route66 Newbie

    Great tips foam! Thanks!
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just about everything Foamy said was spot on:

    However they all seem to vary a bit. Some guys claim they have to pull the chip dumper all the way out & pull the drawer out an inch or two, however the biggest thing is getting it lit properly like Foamy said. I spend even more time than he does to make sure it's got a real big mess of red coals going.

    Just lately we have a guy who has enough air flow in his MES 30 that it burns too good.

    So you won't know what you have to do until you try it.

    The AMNPS was designed to be put on the little bars in the bottom, to the left of your chip burner assembly in your MES 30, but that could vary too.

    I have the MES 40, and I put mine on those bars, and I don't do anything else except open my top vent all the way, and get the AMNPS lit really good before I put it in, and I get up to 12 hours of perfect smoke.

    Give her a try before you're ready to put meat in, see how good it works, and let us know if you have problems.

  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    is now where I put mine to ensure sufficient airflow. I was starting to have problems in the lower left  corner. Maybe because of all the "seasoning" on the wall LOL..... I hate washing dishes too!

    I found getting it almost between the air inlet and the discharge vent it was more happy. ALTHOUGH, I have another idea to try and just have not yet. IF I install as small as a 1 ft long 3" extention on top of the discharge vent, it will dynamically increase air flow, Or so I have been told.

    The new one Bear mentioned I believe said he had an extension.... I must try it! Maybe next week!
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup, I put mine there one time when I was trying to get the darn Cherry pellets to burn without being mixed with Hickory. It was also nice to be able to see it through the window.

    I think you might be right about the extension helping, because that could be why his is working Too Good.

    LOL----We'll get to the bottom of this yet !!!

  8. route66

    route66 Newbie

    Tried it for the first time today..loaded in 1 lb of pellets...put it next to the smoker box on the small worked good, stayed lit but had gone through all the pellets within 5-6 hours....i had the top vent completely open, side loader open 1-2 inches..then i tried removing it completely as well....any suggestions?
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's getting better!!!

    This is just a guess, but since it seems like 9 to 11 hours is the normal amount of endurance for an AMNPS, I would try putting that side loader (Chip Dumper) all the way in to slow your 5-6 hours down. Keep an eye on it, because if it slows down to nearly a stop, open it back up again, or try leaving it open 1/2". 

    Personally I would try playing with that first, and leave the top vent open completely open.


Share This Page