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Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by parrot-head, Nov 7, 2014.
Here, you can see how it fits perfectly.
I place my AMPS in the same exaact spot and on a wire rack also as mummels shows his placed
I would think there would be some problem with the pan interfering with the AMNPS air flow as pictured.
Below is what the books used to say. I haven't seen the newer books.
If it was me I'd either put the AMNPS on the water pan like you show in this pic, or shorten that rack on the floor so the AMNPS will clear the bottom of the water pan.
The bottom rack gets hotter than the rest anyway, but without the water pan in place I believe even #3 gets hotter than it should.
These are just my opinions.
ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS Continued
Place water bowl onto lower bracket
Place drip tray inside smoker below
heating element as shown.
Note: Water bowl must always be in
place during smoking process, even
if there is no water or other liquid in
I'll figure something out, although it seemed to operate just fine without the pan in. I have been smoking in stuff in the 9x13 foil pans and that works for me!
(Like the prime rib in a pan from your recipe). The lamb I just did was not in a pan, but I'm going to try another soon in the pan for comparison.
So yeah, I got up at 3am to start up my smoker for my pork butt tonight!. Let me just say, lying in bed, connecting via bluetooth, setting the temp & time and powering it on, what a pleasure!! All while lying in bed. How cool is that???????????? For some reason, my phone connects via BT on my nightstand. If I move it a couple of feet away, the connection is lost. But on my nightstand it gets maybe 45 feet range. Downstairs near the smoker, it maybe has 20 feet range. Weird.
Anyway, of course I couldnt go back to bed as I wanted to record my temps after the discussion in Bear's thread about MES temp swings. Yeah........ I need to set my smoker to 175F on startup (there is a 50F temp difference on startup WTF...................). I then need to set it to 210F about 30min later, once the smoker display temp has coasted past 210F, to get my Mav to be around 225F. I then need to bump up the temps by 5F every 30min, until my temps are +-18F of 225F. This process takes a FULL TWO HOURS. Not good guys. Not good at all. If you want to get the temps in your MES right, then the smoker needs to be baby'ied. No way around it.
Also, I had issues starting up my AMPS again. This is actually becoming a problem. Luckily my wife went downstairs about 45min after I put in the AMPS and saw there was no smoke. I had to restart it. It think its failed now 4 out of 6 smokes. This is a trend. Once it gets going its fine. It doesnt go out. But to get it started is failure at this point. Last night I didnt want to mess around given that I was going back to bed. I nuked the pellets for 2min in the micro. I torched it for 30 seconds. I let it burn a flame for 10min. But BAM, it died out, again.......
I then left it in smoker, quickly opened the door for 10 seconds, torched it again, and it INSTANTLY flamed up. The pellets were obviously nice and hot. The flame was so strong I couldnt blow it out. I had to remove the tray and blow on it really hard to extinguish the flame. Quickly put it back in, and I could immediately see nice smoke coming out the vent. I watched it for 30min and went back to bed. No further issues. It did not go out from that point onwards.
So in short, there is nothing I can do about the temp swings for the first 2 hours. This will be a big disappointment to the "set it and forget it" crowd, one of the main reason we go all MES (and Im not talking about being lazy, just that I cant go back to bed, or leave the house to go to the store etc). Big bummer.
But, with the AMPS, there are a lot of you guys that are having success and I could really use some help. I've watched Wade's vid and read up on everything. I know the basics and what to do. The key variable here that I cant explain is that why if I light the AMPS in the smoker after 1.5 hours in the smoker does it instantly light up and not go out from that point onwards, yet when I put it in the smoker at the start, it dies out after 30min. This has happened on all 4 failures. I cant explain it. Thoughts?
It may, I don't know yet as I am still in the learning stages of using the AMPS, but have already learned from Todd that pulling the chip loader out 2" with dump side turned down, increases the draft-air flow-oxygen-etc.
Using this past Monday for example, I smoked some "Campfire Chicken" from Jeff Phillips recipe and used wood chips this time because that is what I have used in the past and was smoking for some guests and since I haven't mastered the AMPS yet, I wanted the meal to be successful, so chose chips instead. On my 3rd dump of the chips, they weren't smoking. I pulled chip loader out to peek in at the chip tray and the chips still looked fresh, so I pulled chip loader out 2" with dump side down and within a few seconds the chips began smoking.
Also, the chip tray is hidden under cover more so than the AMPS is in the lower left hand side of smoker and the chip tray smokes ok, so I would think the AMPS would smoke good in that position also since it is more open than the chip tray, but I could be wrong there. Time will tell as I use my smoker.
So it went 50° higher when set for 175°.
That means it went to 225°???
Then you reset it at 210°??? Why 210°??
By my method, you should have reset it to 223° or 224°. That's what I told you before.
When you set it at 210° it had a long run to get to 210°, and then fell a lot more because it was such a long run going down.
You caused the swinging to get worse by giving it a 15° plus over-run going from 225° to wherever it stopped.
You're making this so much harder by not doing what I told you to try.
It doesn't take 2 hours if you do it the way I said.
Gotta go Mow,
Bear I recorded the numbers. I will post them tonight when I get home.
As for the AMPS problem, whats going on?
If I only waited 10 minutes, mine would go out too.
I come back to it every couple minutes, and blow on the hot coals---Down & in deep.
Every few minutes for 20 minutes, & sometimes longer. If I used something other than my shot lungs, I could get it going even deeper.
Then I put it in & it burns slowly & very light for 1/3 to 1/2 of the first row. Then it keeps getting more & more smoke.
If you only spend 10 minutes, it will look like it's going good, but it really isn't.
I used to do the same as you're doing, and so have many other guys who were new to the AMNPS, but they did what I do, and then said, "You were right, Bear, I wasn't getting it going right to start with."
I'm sure many of them remember that, and now they don't have a problem
Unless you're at a High Altitude----I don't know what your altitude is up in MA.
You already told me the number that I needed---210°. When you got it to 225° and you reset it to 210°, you started the long swings all over again.
But let me see what you got---The temps it went to, and the temps you reset it to---Over a couple cycles.
Im sure you are 100% right. I really want to figure the AMPS out now!!! Cant risk it going out anymore. This is serious business!! But how come if the pellets die (maybe 1/10th of the 1st row used and they died out), they they miraculously light up and burn if I put a torch to it once the AMPS has been sitting in the smoker for 1.5 hours.
1) pellets have heated up that they combust easily
2) airflow gets better 1.5 hours in
As I already microwave, Im thinking it has to do with #2. Maybe the long cycles with the element being off create less airflow?????? This would make a lot of sense. Thoughts?
As for the temps swings in the beginning, Im not sure I understand your method fully. I need to reread your thread. Will post the figures tonight and then maybe we can figure it out. Thanks Bear.
I would say mostly #1, and some of #2.
Being in the MES without will dry the pellets better than a Nukulater will, but getting it lit better before you put it in will usually solve that problem.
I don't do anything else with my Gen #1, but if yours is a #2 or #2.5, you should do the little Chip Drawer & Chip Dumper games to get more air flow.
Those heat cycles would increase air flow---Not decrease it.
As a last resort, You could also drill a 1/2" hole in the left wall of your smoker to let air to be drawn in from that side. I'd make it real close to the bottom, but above the Bottom drip pan.
Then just jam some crumbled up foil into the hole when not needed.
I would personally try that before I did a mailbox or a chimney, because it's less of a PITA when it comes to covering your smoker, but that's just me.
Maybe I need to pull out my chip loader altogether in the first 1.5 hours?
You keep asking more questions------Maybe you gotta light it better before you put it in---I can't stress that enough---You aren't doing that.
Out of curiosity, if you remove the chip loader, are there any downsides? Larger temps swings etc (Im not so worried about energy use anymore).
Sure---It could make your temp swings even worse!!!
It could make your pellets light up across the board & burn out & possibly hurt your smoker????
Who knows it could be OK 10 times & then have a problem the next time.
As I wrote in my ribs thread I just opened the MES door and had a row of pellets in the AMNPS flame up. First time it's ever happened. But I've got the MES 30 Gen 1 which has more than adequate airflow with the door closed and both the water pan and wood chip loader in place.
Is it possible that without the water pan in that you would have better ventilation for your AMNPS? That's how I do it.
I really believe the water pan helps to distribute the heat. Remember OPs temp study? I cant find that Igrill chart with all the different probe readings. Somewhere in this thread.