Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by beuler, Jan 10, 2014.
What smoker do you have?
Heres my summary:
Remove exhaust to make hole bigger, remove chip tray and drill 3 holes on side mounting bracket, remove water pan , open or remove chip loader , slide open the drip pan an inch to get air through bottom drain hole, dry pellets first, then torch it like a big cigar. Either this will work or i will be heating the neighborhood.. As soon as i do my next smoke i will post the results ! Thanks again all!
I also have the newer MES40 with the side vent. I will be the first to help new owners know the truth - if you have a new MES40, be prepared to void your warranty if you want the pellet box to work. Stick with the chips until a new solution is brought forward.
All I said was to remove the exhaust. You want to do the other things, fine. But removing the exhaust is a bolt and can be replaced the same way. So dont worry about voiding Masterbuilts lousy 90 day warranty. By the time you get this figured out the time will be up anyway. :biggrin:
And, not for nothing, but for the time why not just do the mailbox mod for about 10 to 12 buck and be done with it. And no mods to the 40 at all.
I believe this is the best statement on the entire thread. One other thing to think about, as long as you have smoke by 100 degree IT you are doing good. That gives plenty of time if needed to get the auxiliary smoke generator working.
Except that Bear has a gen 1. The AMAZN works great in those. The gen 2 is a whole different animal.
Oops, sorry, I didn't realize you had the side vent model. Although I think a exhaust stack would still be the ticket. I would just use a 90 degree elbow and a 18 or 24 inch long pipe. When mine is drafting, it really pulls the fresh air in nicely through the chip loader hole.
Best of luck with whatever you try.
Not sure if your mod. has it but if you do pull drip pan and grease tray and run a test smoke. I find air coming in below amaz. even from a 1/2" hole keeps it going. The warm smoke rising draws the fresh through the pellets. I prefer a drip pan above my element anyway for ease of cleaning.
Here's my 2 cents on the subject, Beuler. I used to have a similar problem until I started setting my loaded AMNPS in the smoker during initial heat-up. When the smoker reaches my desired temp, I pull the AMNPS, light it until a good burn rate is obtained and back into the smoker. Haven't had one go out since. Works for me.
I'm in the middle of a smoke today, and repeat results. I even tried microwaving the pellets for 3 minutes. They fire up quick, but the newer MES40 is not a fit for the amazen box. I've got the chip tray pulled out, pellets burned for about an hour. Rather than continue to drop the temp inside checking on it, I tossed chunks in the chip drawer and let it go.
This is for Trikefreak, and anyone else who has a Gen #2 POS:
In case any of you haven't tried it yet, remove the water pan from the stupid slanted drip shield.
Place your AMNPS over the hole where the water pan had been hanging.
Place a foil pan under the hole to catch any drips.
Put something above your AMNPS to catch drips if you have food directly above the AMNPS.
Open your top side exhaust vent 100%.
Note: This is ALL AFTER you have your AMNPS lit properly.
I think there's a lot more to it than just removing the water pan, but I'm making an assumption from what I've fought through thus far. Another key step, is pull the chip tube out to allow more air to flow. Now, Todd shared some pics of his Gen2 a year ago, and his chip tube has a longer opening to add chips. I'm cold smoking today, and removing the chip tube completely. The pellets are rolling along just fine with all available air circulating through. But, if you leave the chip tube in partially, try turning it like Todd suggested, with the cutout to the bottom to allow air to get in. I'm wondering if the moisture that builds up during cooking is also the culprit to pellets going out. I don't use anything in the water pan, but still see moisture rolling down the window.
I've said it before, I've not thrown in the towel, but frustrated up to this point. I'm steering clear of any cutting, drilling, or explosives to make this work
Didn't say there isn't more to it.
However, the slanted drip plate with the water pan in it blocks air flow from going up. removing the water pan, like I said & putting the AMNPS over the hole, allows some air to flow through the water pan hole to the AMNPS.
That slanted drip plate is also a big cause of the right side of the smoker being hotter than the left, because that plate is tilted "up" on the right, causing the heat to stack up on the right side, before rising above that plate.
First off, I have a MES 30 and LOVE IT! Top vent with a simple chimney set on the vent solved my minor problems maintaining smoke.
Getting proper airflow / draft is paramount to your success with or without the AMAZN tray along with having it properly burning before placing inside the unit.
At low temps or cold smoking getting a good draft is difficult at best.
Some people, such as Bearcarver, have been able to use their AMAZN tray with no problem at all and don't have anything modded on their MES while others, like yourself, have had nothing but problems.
I believe part of the success or problems stem from location of the smoker in relationship to the prevalent winds helping to "push" air into the intake and "pull" smoke out the exhaust vent. Conversely wind from the opposite direction will "push" into the exhaust vent (backdraft) stifling the airflow and extinguishing the pellets due to lack of oxygen.
A good chimney is the simplest way to improve draft and help prevent backdrafting.
Since you seem unwilling to use explosives to improve you draft........ How about attaching a chimney using a few or several small rare earth magnets? No drilling or permanent alterations required.
Another possibility would be a computer fan mounted in the same fashion on the outside, blowing out, powered by a spare wall wart adapter.
Above all else, DON"T GIVE UP.
Once you are able to go an entire smoke with out having to peek, check, look, test, try, or do anything it will all be worth it!
UPDATE UPDATE !
I did 2 Tri Tips and i pulled the chip loader, chip pan, opened the vent ( tried to take it off, its riveted from the inside)...opened the bottom drip tray a bit, dried the pellets, engulfed the pellets with fire...blew...fire..blew....smoked for 5 minutes..then ...Nothing .
I re lit it, put it in the smoker with the flame still going, shut the door and watched the flame move about...so i must have a little air. Here's the next idea from one of you. I am going to mount a small fridge fan ( i call it ) to the exhaust side , sucking Out to cause a draft..this has to work! The air will flow and the pellets will burn.
Just a reminder why i am doing this....when you add chips to the loader , they instantly flare up and cause allot of white, thick stinky smoke...1 chip, 20 chips, or even a chunk...it doesn't matter,,,its to hot over the element. I want light, slow , good smelling smoke.
That fan has to work!!
Question: Where have you been putting your AMNPS ??
How did you dry the pellets..... Take pics of what you did inside the smoker and the exhaust.... where the AMNPS sits.....
Since I started drying my pellets in the oven at 275 for a couple hours, this is what they look like at the end of a smoke.... White ash is a sign of a good supply of oxygen.... black pellets and you have a lack of oxygen and are making charcoal.....
Todd told me to put it above, where the water pan was...oops , i forgot to mention i also pulled the water pan. Air should come through the chip loader.
boy thats pretty...mine looks like the last inch of your row