MES design changes? Smaller wood chip trays, why?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by nosuchreality, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. nosuchreality

    nosuchreality Newbie

    Was walking through Lowes getting some home repair stuff when I sauntered by the grills and smokers. Decided to check out the MES40 they had. I opened the 30 up first just to see if anything had change..

    When I opened it, the chip tray caught my eye. I pulled it out and it had this tiny little ash cup. The tray is the same size it used to be except it's no longer one big bowl shape. Most of it is flat and level with the top with a little area about 1/3 rd the size as before maybe less that is still cupped out to catch ashes and chips.

    At first I thought, whoa how are the ashes going to get in there most be having the wood on top of the tray now, then I pulled out the feeder tube. It I the same size as before except, it's 3/4 closed now with just this little wood chip space on the inner mot end about 1/4th maybe 1/3 the length as before.

    Then I opened the 40 same thing.

    Anybody know when this switch occurred?

    Any ideas why? Is it to cut down on creosote buildup taste? Or does a smaller load of wood give hotter chip burn and the ever missing smoke ring on the MES?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  2. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Just a guess but if Masterbuilt feels most customers are gravitating to one of the AMNPS products why not downsize the chip tray. On the other hand the factory may have screwed up.
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I never worried about it because you can't get 11 hours of consistent, continuous smoke with anything other than an AMNPS.

    However my guess would be a bigger tray will give you too heavy a smoke all at once before it gives you a light smoke for a long time.

  4. nosuchreality

    nosuchreality Newbie

    Yea, that's what I'm thinking.  I went back and reviewed the use manual, technically, it says only use 1/2 cup of chips at a time and never chunks.

    That gets back to the how often to do need to load the thing and relates to my question on the AMNPS smoker as the smoke looks the same just much less in quantity.

    I'm sensing a mailbox mod in my future, because I'm lazy and busy and want BBQ more often than I can sit and fiddle with managing the smoke for 12 hours on a weekend.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you get it to where you know how to get it lit properly, you don't need a mailbox.

    I've been using my AMNS and AMNPS & never needed a mailbox. Some people have trouble keeping an AMNPS going in a mailbox too, because they either let their pellets get damp, or don't get it lit properly.

    Believe me, if you can learn to light it real good, it's nice to not have to dick around with a mailbox.

    Just my 2 Piasters.

  6. lowcountrygamecock

    lowcountrygamecock Smoke Blower

    I have to disagree. I tried everything you possibly could with the amnps tray in my mes40 and it would not stay lit. I nuked pellets, I lit it until it was cherry red and I placed it everywhere you can put it and it always fizzled out. I added a mailbox and haven't had an issue since. Drafts great for hot and cold smokes.
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I guess if you gotta, you gotta.

    My main goal is to get people to exhaust other options before bothering with any kind of mailbox, because it's so nice to not have to deal with it.

    I've talked many into keeping on trying, and most thanked me later.

  8. txgunlover

    txgunlover Newbie

    I have tried, to no avail for over a year, to keep an AMPS lit inside my gen 2 40.  It is too difficult to keep going.  I'll be moving on to a Smokin' It most likely.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  9. eatlarge

    eatlarge Fire Starter

    I've used my chip tray just a hand full of times since purchasing my MES 30. The AMNPS is the only way to go in my opinion. I have never had a problem with it staying lit as long as I get the initial "start light" going good. 3 hrs of continuous smoke on 1 row has been the norm for me. Love that thing!!!!
  10. smokesontuesday

    smokesontuesday Smoking Fanatic

    I still prefer the Masterbuilt Cold Smoker as a smoke generator for any cooks that are 10 hours or under. Actually I prefer it for smoking period. It's not hard to fill the chimney while it's going and give yourself another 8-10 hours of good clean TBS.

    I've had my AMPNS go out a few times (not consistently) but I've never had a single issue with the cold smoker. 
  11. nosuchreality

    nosuchreality Newbie

    I've got the cold smoker too and use it for the same reason. Easier loading, load it up and forget it for many hours and much cleaner burning. Still get a look of white smoke with it.

    My AMNPS arrive yesterday, picked up a trager apple pellets from the local hardware store to give a whirl. Test burned it this afternoon to get a feel for burn length, smoke level.

    I'll have to load the trager pellets up in my cold smoker to try them out and verify it isn't a pellet thing. In the AMNPS on today's test burn, burning from both ends I got close to six hours and more importantly, I got a nice thin pleasant smoke. A little sweetness in the smoke itself, not astringent like the chips or chunks in the MES or its cold smoker. Literally pleasant to smell everytime I went over to take a whiff or open it and check on the burn.

    Looking forward to the beef chuck test smoke tomorrow.

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