A-MAZE-IN-PELLET-SMOKERS

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by brickguy221, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    I received my 5 x 8 A-MAZE-IN-PELLET-SMOKER yesterday. Will try it Sunday on some Baby Back Ribs using Jack Daniels Pellets.

    After reading thru several posts about the light smoke, hardly visible smoke, can't see the smoke, and etc. I am now worrying about it producing enough smoke. I bought a small wire rack about the same size as the smoker at Ace Hardware tonight to raise if up off the bottom grease tray a few inches for better air circulation.

    Is it going to produce enough smoke or should I fill Smoker tray and light both ends or ????? This is my first time trying this Smoker so all help is greatly appreciated.

    In reading descriptions tonigh, I keep wondering if I should order a 12" Tube? A description of tube vs tray is

    6" tube .... 1/2# pellets .... lasts 2 hrs

    12" tube ... 3/4" pellets .... lasts 4 hrs

    18" tube ,,, 1# pellets ...... last 6 hrs

    5 x 8 tray .... 1# pellets .... lasts 10-11 hrs

    Summary, if 1# in the tray last 10-11 hrs and 3/4# in a 12" tube only lasts 4 hrs, is the tray too light on smoke, or the tube too heavy on smoke or etc. as both burn almost the same quanity of pellets, yet the tray lasts 2 1/2+ times as long as the tube.

    Or should I light both ends of the tray?

    On the tube, if I were to get one, should I get the ends to it also or does it come with the ends?

    HELP .... Please !!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use the 5x8 AMNPS and usually just burn 1 row of pellets.. Smoke the meat at 120-140 deg. the raise the temp to finish cooking....

    You didn't say what you are using for fuel.... Briquettes or Propane can consume all the available oxygen and the pellets won't burn too well.... I'm not familiar how well JD pellets burn in the AMNPS you might stick with what pellets Todd sent with the AMNPS ..... Also, altitude from around 5000' is low on oxygen and cause problems with the AMNPS.... the tubes burn better at that altitude and in charcoal and gas units.....
     
  3. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    I have a new MES 40" Bluetooth and will be using it for the first time hopefully, Sunday. 

    I live in OK, so altitude is no problem. 
     
  4. docktoo

    docktoo Smoke Blower

    I've had the best luck with using the Mailbox Mod, it also is better for cold smoking.

    One trick I've used is to put a few random wood chips along the 5x8 AMNPS dividers and cover them with the wood pellets.  I then start one (or both) ends with a propane torch, let it go for about 5 minutes before placing it in the mailbox.

    Works for me.

    Good luck smoking!  [​IMG]
     
  5. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brickguy, two smokes ago it was bright daylight and I thought I was having problems lighting my AMNPS with gelled alcohol because I couldn't see smoke coming from the tray. I've learned from personal experience that happens when there's bright sunshine because by design the AMNPS typically produces TBS. I kept lighting and relighting it and probably screwed it up. But here's the thing: when I had it lit and placed it inside my MES 30 Gen 1 and checked on it, it was producing textbook TBS! I could also see it rising out of the top vent. I've used the AMNPS for 3 years now but this was one of the few times I saw TBS. Maybe it was because I was using mesquite wood pellets. When I used oak for the next cook I got more smoke and I think the pellets burned up faster.

    Only light one end of the tray at a time. Smoking from both ends will oversmoke your food, in my opinion. I've only lit the tray from both ends once and found out from that experience I only need to light one end. I can't comment on the tube smoker because I don't own one.
     
  6. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Rick, it appears my problem was as Todd said, the Jack Daniels Pellets aren't made out of wood like the JD wood chips are. The JD pellets are made out of the charcoal that the whiskey was filtered thru and not the wood from the barrels.Todd said the charcoal doesn't smoke well at all. He said I might get enough smoke with the Tube, thus I have a Tube coming. 

    Had I known that the JD pellets weren't made from the wood barrels, I wouldn't have bought them and continued to use chips when I wanted a JD smoke. Meanwhile, I have 4# of JD pellets to use up .... [​IMG]
     
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow, Brick, I didn't know that about the JD Pellets. Funny thing is that if they are made from charcoal you could possibly rock a smoke ring with them added to wood pellets. Charcoal burns hot enough and releases the carbon monoxide and nitric oxide to color the myoglobin in the meat pink.

    Still, I won't be buying any JD pellets since I prefer different flavor profiles to what it would give me.
     
  8. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    A good thing I noticed about smoking with pellets for the first time Sunday, was how easy the Door Glass was to clean. With wood chips, I always had to use Simple Green or Weber Grill Cleaner on the glass and even use a gray scotchbrite pad in places to lossen the brown stain on the glass after smoking, then use water and paper towels 3 times or more to get it clean.

    With the pellets Sunday, all I had to do was use water and paper towels to clean the glass. It only took a fraction of time compared to when I use wood chips. 

    When I smoke with pellets that put out more smoke than the JD's, I don't know if results on the  glass will still be the same or if more stain will be on the glass. Anxious to see what happens when I use different pellets.
     
  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm smoking a pork shoulder today using Todd's apple and pecan wood pellets. I'm getting the same TBS I've gotten using his oak, hickory, mesquite and Pitmaster's Choice. The AMNPS produces smoke in a lesser volume than wood chips but you still wind up with plenty of smoke flavor. Less smoke means less grime and deposits to clean off glass and the inside of your smoker. Was it you who posted that the JD pellets are made from the charcoal that charred the inside of JD oak whiskey barrels and not the wood? Or maybe it was posted that only the char was scraped off the wood and used, which makes more sense. Oak wine barrels are routinely planed after wine is drawn off and bottled to expose new oak for the next vintage. I could be wrong but I'm thinking someone at JD figured out how to make some bucks off the char that used to be tossed out. Todd says the JD pellets therefore don't burn as well as the pellets made from 100% wood.
     
  10. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah Rick, I posted that the JD Pellets are made from the charcoal that the Burbon is filtered thru and not the wood from the oak barrels that the JD wood chips are made from and that the JD Pellets made from charcoal don't provide much smoke. I learned this from Todd.
     
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for correcting me because I misremembered what you wrote about the charcoal. My thought is though that if you wanted to experiment getting a smoke ring with your MES, you could try it with JD pellets mixed with wood pellets. With enough JD pellets it's possible they might burn hot enough to produce sufficient carbon monoxide and nitric oxide to give you a smoke ring. Might as well give it a try.
     
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I used to light my AMNPS on the rail of my apt balcony. My upstairs neighbor would go NUTS because the smoke was getting in his apartment. There is no issue with the AMNPS and not enough smoke!...JJ

    BTW...The USDA and staff of SMF recommend you ONLY smoke uncured meats at 225°F or higher. While there are a few exceptions, Smoker temps of 120° to 140°F can cause food borne illness, especially if smoking Poultry, Ground Meats, Uncured Sausage and any meats that have had their surface compromised, including large cuts that have been boned out and then rolled and tied...
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
  13. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Go with your gut.  When I started using my AMPS, and having never smoked ever before, I was convinced it wasnt enough smoke, and it wasnt.  The issue was my chip loader.  It needs to be put in the exact right position.  Once I got that right, I had no issue with the amount of smoke generated.  The ultimate test is to go out at night and use a flashlight.  Then you can see how thin the smoke appears during the day, and how prominent it actually is at night.

    Trial and error and you will eventually nail it.  

    Another tip which I learned the hard way.  If its raining outside and there is 90%+ RH, then microwave the pellets before hand.   
     
  14. Actually the JD Charcoal pellets are made from the same wood that the barrels are made from, just not the barrels themselves. They burn down unused barrel staves to charcoal, then filter the whiskey through it. Then make the pellets once the charcoal is spent
     
  15. I have a 12" Tube and it definitely does everything that I want.  I have used it cold smoking and also jerky, snack sticks and a chicken.  Every time I get TBS the entire time.  It has been an amazing product for me.  With that said I have noticed that the different line of products work best in different applications.  I would probably see what people with your smoker are using.  I have a ST 1400 and it works perfect.
     
  16. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've never used these. I know they're popular and the claim by the manufacturer is that they produce sweet smoke. Is that possible with charcoal?
     
  17. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    I already know that as I investigated it after the first time I used the JD Pellets with poor results. To sum it up, the pellet are made from charcoal and not wood. Other pellets such as Hickory, Mesquite, etc are supposedly made from wood. 

    While here and talking about Mesquite & Hickory, I question about both of them being genuine wood pellets. The reason I say this is that I have used the Mesquite pellets twice with good results. However the Hickory is another story ... I have used the Hickory pellets twice now and have had a problem keeping them lit both times, but didn't the Mesquite nor the Pecan pellets. Even the JD pellets stayed lit, just didn't produce as much smoke as the Mesquite & Pecan because they are made from charcoal.

    Twice now on the Hickory, I used my 5 x 8 Maze and wanting more smoke, I lit both ends and got the red hot rose bud before putting them in smoker. When I first put them in they smoked really great and heavy. Then the smoke started getting lighter and lighter and lighter. At the end of the 2 hrs of smoking the pork loins, I removed the pork loins and then removed the Maze and found that one end only burned less than 1/4 of the way before going out and the other end burned 1/3 of the way before going out. The Maze was placed in the same position/place as I place it when using other pellets. Something wrong with this bag of pellets. They are stored  in the house in my closet in a controlled temp of 75*  with the other 7 kinds of pellets I have, so it shouldn't be a case of moisture getting in them. I guess I will try nuking them the next time before I use them and see if that makes a difference.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
  18. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just goes to show how our experiences can differ. In my MES 30 Gen 1 the hickory pellets smoke like a house a-blazin'! They're among my favorite wood pellets to use. They're THE favorite of Bear's. As for the JD pellets, I've read posts here that complain that they don't impart any smoke flavor to meats. I asked Todd about this and that's when he clarified to me that the pellets were made from charcoal and not wood.

    Charcoal might once have been wood but it ain't no more. 
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  19. I got my 5x8 last week and have used it twice so far my first smoke with it I filled the whole tray and had ten hours of great non stop smoke I really love this tray true game changer
     
  20. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Come on Rick, give me a bit of credit  [​IMG] ... I was the one that asked Todd  quite sometime back about this and posted all of the details here a number of times since then ..  
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015

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