MES30 + AMNPS - First Smoke of Ribs

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by pbrown86, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. pbrown86

    pbrown86 Newbie

    Hey y'all, I just got a MES30 Gen 1 and an AMNPS and am planning my first smoke this weekend (pork spare ribs).   I've searched the forums and think I have the right plan, but just wanted to double check.

    - No water in pan

    - Pull chip loader out 1"

    - Pull chip tray out 2"

    - Put AMNPS on the rails with the lit side facing the back wall?

    - Smoke at 250F (is this too high?) using 3-2-1

    Does this make sense?

  2. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    I have the 12" AMNTS and haven't had to pull anything out but I have the 40" GEN 1.  I just leave the chip loader in the dump position.  Maybe leave everything the way it's suppose to be first or do a test run with the AMNPS before smoking the ribs. 

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    [​IMG]  A test run is a must. Every smoker will run differently with the AMNPS so unless you have done a 2-3 hour test run you are asking for problems. 
  4. PB you have done your homework The above is a good place to start. I personal think that the 3-2-1 was designed for a whole rack. If you look at a rack of full spares, Not baby back (loin back) ribs. You will see the size difference between the two and even Saint Lewis style cuts are smaller.

    You will get to experiment with them and your smoker to find a system that works for you.

    Basically a good rule of thumb is to smoke the ribs till you get the color you want and in the case of the spares  you want to see a little pull back on the bones. Spares will pull back more than Baby backs. When you foil them you will get the full pull back and most all of the tenderizing. 2   hours is good but in the case of BB I go a little less. It depends just how thick they are. The last part tightens up the texture and is the time to sauce and let it set good if you want to sauce.

    You are about to start the best tasting learning curve of your life. Good Luck Have Fun.  Jted
  5. pbrown86

    pbrown86 Newbie

    Thanks y'all for your help. I'll do a test run tonight with the AMNPS before the smoke tomorrow!
  6. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The most important thing is to get the AMNPS  lit properly and than that thing will burn on and on.  Follow Todd's instructions for lighting and then during that time when the flame is lit blow into the pellets every couple of minutes so that that the pellets glow, some call it a cherry (I think). I got that advice from a post by Bear and that has taken all the frustration out of using the AMNPS for me.
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I also have a MES 30 Gen 1 and the AMNPS and haven't found it necessary to pull out the chip loader (although I have until I saw it didn't make a difference) but I've never pulled out the chip tray. I'm the first one--I think--to come up with the suggestion to to face the lit end toward the back wall because it's worked so well for me. To light the AMNPS I strongly advise using a squeeze bottle of gelled alcohol as a starter. Much better and easier than using a propane torch.

    Here's a link to Todd Johnson's page where you can read up on his suggestions for lighting his smokers which should be helpful. He also has a view recipe suggestions as well. Just click on whichever links look interesting.

    250° is fine. I've tried that and have also cooked at lower temps. Cooking at that temp just means the meat should be done sooner than cooking at 225° or so. You usually just want to closely monitor the internal temp with a good, accurate thermometer but you can't really do that with ribs. Just keep checking how they look after you've hit the 3-hour mark or so to see how much pullback from the bone there is. That's the best indication of their stage of doneness besides the bend or shake tests, depending on if you like a little "tug" to the meat or falling off the bone.

    Good luck. Let us know how they turn out.

    Remember that 3-2-1 isn't set in stone. If you get waylaid and fall behind schedule, 3-2.5-.5 or any similar combo will work. Depending on the size of the racks of ribs and the number you're cooking, you may not need 6 hours or you may need more.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Like Rick, I never had to pull anything in or out, and I never Nuked my pellets.

    I put my AMNPS in with the lit end toward the door so I can eyeball it, and never had a problem, but my smoker is an MES 40 Gen #1.

    However you don't say where you live. If you're at a high altitude, you might have to do things differently.

  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I just want to add here that Bear is my mentor but there's a couple of things he already knew that I arrived at on my own. I think we're both minimalists when it comes to smoking. Outside of that Bear has been highly influential in my becoming a better backyard smoker and just as good when smoking in my front yard. The man knows his stuff.
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You're too kind, Rick!!

    You worked hard to get where you are now, and I see you're always giving back to others.[​IMG]

    You're a Great addition to this Forum, IMHO

    daricksta likes this.
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Just so there's no mistake, the points and the dancing top banana are for you, Bear!
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
  12. pbrown86

    pbrown86 Newbie

    Thank y'all for your help.  I just put the ribs in, but I did have one problem.  Where the AMNPS is supposed to sit there is a screw that protrudes from the MES30 smoke box that prevents the AMNPS from sitting on the rails. Has anyone experienced this issue?
  13. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have that same issue. You have to jiggle it a little bit and it will get in there. That didn't sound too good haha
  14. pbrown86

    pbrown86 Newbie

    Okay thanks.  I just put it on the bottom rack for this smoke since I didnt want to delay much longer and the bottom shelf was going to be unused.  Would replacing it with a shorter screw work too ya think?  I will say, I am pretty impressed that the AMNPS is smoking so well.  I was a little afraid at first that it wouldnt stay lit since I know a lot of folks have had issues in the past.  So far so good!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I read where a couple guys just removed that screw.

    When Todd designed the AMNPS, he asked me what the width between the end of the chip burner & the inside of the left wall was on my MES 30.

    He went by that & added a little extra space, but apparently some of the MES 30s are a bit tighter there than most.

    Not many though---Yours is about the 3rd one I've heard of. Mine had about 3/8" of play there.

    He was trying to make it as big as possible, yet still fit there in the MES 30 units.

  16. Over the years that space has gotten smaller or the AMNPS is a little wider. Do as Bear has suggested. I am one of the few and the screw is at the front right of the tray. You will need a stubby driver. Removing the screw will not effect the smoker or the element housing. A 2 minute fix and you are on your way.  Jted
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I guess I'm lucky. The AMNPS fits perfectly on the two rails of my MES 30 Gen 1. But it's been a really good smoker from the time I bought it 3 years ago.
  18. pbrown86

    pbrown86 Newbie

    Hey y'all, I appreciate the help.  Sorry for no pics - will definitely get some next time.  The AMNPS lit and ran well and the ribs turned out quite well.  I think the rib tips were slightly dry, probably because they got cooked too long, but always a learning experience.  Thanks again!
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like you did Great for a Starter.

    Stick around---You'll be Smoking Prime Rib in no time!!


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