Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by nopeda, Feb 5, 2016.
Amazing Smoker (AMNPS):
Bear is the Masterbuilt guru!
Thank you for your reply and suggestions!
The only time soaking chips is of any benefit is adding chips to a hot fire like charcoal. The moisture in the soaked chips temporally cools the fire so the chips don't just burst into flame. There is no need to use wet chips in an electric smoker because they are isolated from the heat and start to smolder slowly...JJ
Thank you! That makes sense, but it must not be common knowledge to the people I come in personal contact with in daily life. Everyone I can recall who has discussed this issue has said they soak their chips, including the person who recently persuaded me to try out an electric smoker.
Do you have anything to share regarding using the AMNPS that Bear suggested in a Masterbuilt 20070910 rather than what comes provided with the unit to begin with?
Ask your Friend, " Why do you soak chips? " I think you will get a very common answer...
Going back 50 years the most common method of making smoke, on a small scale, was to throw Chips on that which every household had...A Charcoal Grill. Unless you had a dedicated smoke house, that was it. So, it didn't take long for folks to figure out Soaking Chips worked better because they didn't just burst into flames. Before computers, we learned to smoke at Dad's side and Dad soaked chips. Over the next 5 decades, Gassers were born, Electric Smokers were developed and so on. Now, all these people with new fangled smokers looked to the experienced pit master's and continued using Soaked Chips...WHY?...Because that's the way Dad, big Brother and Uncle Bob did it! Comes modern times and internet discussion and people started to ask, " Why put soaked chips in an Electric? They don't make smoke until they dry out..." Now we Test, we compare results and pass the better ways to do things on to members of SMF.
So now " You " know not to bother soaking and why, pass it on to your friend...But be prepared, he may just say..." Dad said I should Soak Chips "..." I'm going to stick with it..."
I had purchased a MES40 20070311 on Bear's recommendation. I too originally used Chips and found reloading every 30-40 minutes to be a pain on a long cook. 2 months after purchase I won an AMNPS in a throwdown and OMG, what a blessing! Load it with pellets, light it and get 10+ hours of perfect smoke. Not to mention, the MES doesn't make smoke efficiently at smoker temps below 180°F. The AMNPS makes smoke at any smoker temp from ambient, smoker off, to 275°F. I have not used chips in 5 years. It should be noted that the AMNPS does not work well at higher elevations. This is no issue because Todd at A-MAZE-N also makes a cool Expandable Tube that burns pellets in just about anything, smoker, grill, brick oven and at higher elevations. I would not hesitate to purchase either one...JJ
Thank you very much for such a great explanation, and the suggestion! I was wondering about the temperature aspect specifically, and what you explained gives me a much better interpretation of the overall situation and how to approach it. I'll be sure to tell my friend about it too.
Made some andouille a couple weeks back and smoked it in my buds MES. Came out GREAT, so I just picked up an MES 30 (20070910) and am looking to do the mailbox mod for cold smoking and long cooks. This is the second time I've heard the AMNPS does not fair well at altitude. I should avoid the AMNPS and get the tube?
Jimmy can answer you too, but I'll give you what I know.
It seems those at 4,000 and 5,000' have trouble with the AMNPS.
I know of one guy who said he had no trouble at 3,000'.
Since you're going to use a mailbox mod anyway, I wouldn't take the chance on the AMNPS if you're above 2,000', and I'd just get the Tube.
I have an original Tube but word is, the new Expandable Tube is the Bee's Knees for broad use and anybody that might have elevation issues...JJ
We're only at about 1180' and I just ordered the pellet smoker Bear suggested:
which shouldn't be a problem at this elevation, right? But now you folks have me curious about that mailbox mod.... I saw a couple of Youtubes about it. What about fumes from burning paint? I'm guessing the main advantage is so you don't have to open the smoker door to re-stoke? In one vid:
it looks like the smoker is on a raised frame (conveniently on wheels) and the mailbox is lower so the smoke will rise into it through what looks like the original hole where you would put the thing that dumps the wood chips. Is this something you would do regularly, or just on really long smokes and maybe times when you want as cold a smoke as possible, maybe for cheese?
I have lived in PA and now NJ. I have never had an issue with the AMNPS inside my smokers so never bothered with the mail box. I have talked to guys that use them and they just leave them on, if convenient, and use it across the board for everything, yes it shines for Cheese and cold smoked Bacon. Guys that move their smoker in and out of storage take it off. For a short 30 minute shrimp smoke I use chips but it is easy to just throw a handful in the tray and no need to remove the mail box...JJ
I wouldn't bother with a mailbox, unless it doesn't work without one. I don't need the extra PITA.
I've used 3 different Models of the MES, and never had a problem with my AMNPS.
Keep your Pellets dry, fill it & light it properly, put it at a good place in the smoker, keep the drips off of it, and get perfect smoke for up to 11 hours.