New to smoking, chips on fire

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by sickdsm, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. sickdsm

    sickdsm Newbie

    Bought a master built 30 electric smoker. Made a tenderloin and wings. Turned out good. Chips caught fire on wings twice, different bag of chips so i didn't think much of it. Trying to do a pork butt and can't keep the chips from catching fire. I have it set at 225, I've been dumping ashes out when it catches fire, sounds like i shouldn't? Ash tray id's about 1/2 inch above burner, im trying the tin foil trick now but i feel something changed. I doubt want to keep buying parts since I'm a beginner. Searching hasn't gotten me anywhere. Tried with damper closed and wide open.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Welcome aboard!

    I'm sure one of the MES guys will be along to help you.

    But the permanent fix is to get an Amazen tray.

    It will give you good smoke for 10 hours without adding any pellets.

  3. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yep--what Al said.

    I've got a MES 30 but have never had chips catch fire. That said, i very rarely use the chip tray--I use my AMNPS tray made by Todd almost exclusively.

    Do you have a digital therm to monitor temp in the smoker?? MES therms are notorious for being VERY inaccurate. You might be cooking at a lot higher temp than you think.

  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Foil covering the pan and chips, with a few holes poked in it, will keep the oxygen low so they won't catch fire...    I'm thinking your thermometer is not reading correctly..  place it in boiling water and check the reading...

    I'm also thinking you have an analog MES electric smoker..    There is a product that I have and use that will control the heat output of the heating element...   You could then adjust the heat to only allow the chips to smolder....   You can use this thing for other applications also...   I mainly use it to reduce the heat output of an electric frying pan so I can simmer stuff without having the heat come on FULL BLAST, which can be a PITA at times...

    Like Al noted, the AMNPS is the way to go in electric smokers...  10-12 hours of smooth smoke... 
  5. sickdsm

    sickdsm Newbie

    I tried the tin foil with a few holes.  I'm not sure whats going on.  half of the butt turned out ok the other half had a decent smoke flavor, The chips seem to be either not cooked or black. Shouldn't they be smoldering?  The smoke didn't have a good smell, the first few smokes plus when i burned the factory residue off even without meat smelled delicious.  Should the chip tray be resting directly on the electric burner or about a half inch above it?  I put it in a little different way this time.  I"m going to try smoking without meat tommorrow.  I hate to buy more things since i have some ambitions about some other hobbies.  I know this thing can put out some pretty tasty stuff.
  6. biznatch

    biznatch Newbie

    Don't bother with the stock chip tray, it's useless. Get the amnps or the cold smoker attachment and you'll be much happier. I have the cold smoker, but would probably go amnps if I started again. It runs kinda hot and chips frequently get stuck, but even if they didn't it's still maybe 2-3 hours smoke before refilling.
  7. webpoppy8

    webpoppy8 Fire Starter

    No burning chips in mine.  Chip tray should not really be contacting the heating element, there is a wire frame you hang it on.  Note also that you want to keep the door closed and the chip loader in the side to prevent excess air entry.  You get perfectly good smoke by essentially starving the wood for air to burn.
  8. sickdsm

    sickdsm Newbie

    Thanks for the replies. Originally i don't think i was sliding the chip tray on the wires. It was resting on the burner. I'm going to smoke some hot dogs or something cheap till i get it back to i was before.
  9. webpoppy8

    webpoppy8 Fire Starter

    Yes the wire raises the chip tray about 1-1/2" over the heating elements.  You should be fine once you get it placed right again.

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