Having a little trouble keeping my 6x8 Amazen lit and smoking...

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by ncsmoker95, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. ncsmoker95

    ncsmoker95 Newbie

    Hi all -

    I'm a happy user of one of Todd's 6x8 Amazen smokers --

    But I'm having more trouble keeping it smouldering along than I think I should have -

    I'm sure it's my technique or something, and I just need some advice..

    I use it primarily with my CharBroil Commercial series grill -

    The setup - seen in picture.

    Older cast burners, one removed, smoker is set down on burner frame, next to the three burners.

    Only one burner lit, on low, opposite side from smoker.

    So -

    My process is to light only one burner on the right side on low, and leave the other two off.

    I remove the lefthand burner and grill grate.

    I fill the Amazn with maple or oak pellets (from Todd), and light both ends.

    Leave it going with flame for 10x minutes or so, and then place it down inside the grill

    Slide the grate back across so that the grate is above the smoker.

    For meat that only needs one grate, this works great.

    The problem is that when I first blow out the flame, there's a really wonderful amount of smoke, but

    then over the next 25-30 minutes, the smoke slowly dies down and stops.

    I then go out, relight the Amazen with my torch, wait 5-10 minutes, blow it out again.

    Rinse, repeat all through my cooking cycle.

    My single burner running on low usually gets the grill up to about 250 or so, sometimes a bit higher on a hot day.

    Wintertime, I'd expect to have a hard time getting 200 out of it.

    So I don't know if the problem is insufficient airflow, or too much heat inside.

    There's plenty of ventilation from below - propane grills require a lot of air to be safe, so they're well ventilated from below.

    Or something else entirely..

    The pellets, btw, are about seven months old, but live in their ziplock bags indoors.

    So they're not damp or anything.

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Course I am no expert and I am sure you have looked at the how to light video. Maybe someone with your specific smoker will happen along soon and know a secret. I know it can be frustrating, and mine always goes FUBAR at the worst possible opportunity.

    I don't know your exact pit but, I always try to pre heat my pits before adding the meats. If I preheat to 220 or 275. Then I add the meat. Well I fill my generator and set it on the grill while its preheating, this normally takes 30 to 45 mins anyway. It helps remove moisture, and bring pellets up to temp.

    Then I light the pellets using the torch I get a flame, I let it but maybe 3 mins, I blow it out, the consentrate my breath on the burning in slow and focused causing the cherry red embers to glow brightly till it flames again. this time 2 mins and I blow out and repeat, I do this three times normally. I may do it as much as 5 times when its raining.

    Yes I have a small pan tent over it to control juices and condensate dropage. If you are going to use the generator, its worth the initial 10 mins to get it in the groove.

    If you are having air circulation problems try another position. I use mine with an MES30, and if I am not using the bottom grate for cooking, I may place it there instead of the bottom. The closer you get between the air intake and the air discharge the better the smoke will travel.

    I still sometimes have a problem, but usually it comes back to becoming lax on lighting it.
  3. ncsmoker95

    ncsmoker95 Newbie

    Good point on preheating the pellets...

    I also heat the grill up to about 250 beforehand, since I don't care to put meat into a cold smoker..

    I will try the blowing gently on the embers to keep them going..

    I was heading towards building a fishtank airpump driven injection smoker, and so I have a few different sizes of airpump.

    Might try hooking one up to some copper refrigerator line and then I can not only gently blow air on the freshly lit coals, but can add air if it seems like it's not drawing enough.
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All ideas are good ones but.... I hate to say it but usually you'll wake up a year late and find out the true problem was right there staring ya right in the face.

    I read someone here discussing his problems, he re-mod his cooker, tried everything for a full year, then a year later he ran out of the charcoal he was using (had got like 40 lbs on sale with the new smoker), and low and behold he solved his problem, it was bad charcoal!

    I am not saying its bad charcoal, its just usually something so obvious you take it for granted. Like I said someone will no doubt be passing along soon and will be much smarter than me.

    I hope its a quick and easy fix.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  5. casmurf

    casmurf Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    Not sure why you remove the grate and put it below I usually set mine right on top of the grate with one burner lit on opposite side and mine burns for an hour or two. Seems like Air is not getting to it from bottom.
  6. ncsmoker95

    ncsmoker95 Newbie

    I usually pull out the grate and burner just so that I can have the smoker below the meat.

    I want both to be away from the heat, and I was having a harder time arranging things on the lefthand side of the grill

    to fit the smoker _and_ the meat so that both were away from the heat from the burner on the right side.

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