Folks I have to say that Todd Johnson has once again created a product that is, in my opinion, beyond amazing.
Todd contacted me several weeks ago and let me know that he had created yet another version of his amazing smoker (AMNS) and that this time, he had crafted it to use pellets and that it created more smoke, was more consistent than the sawdust smoker and that it would smoke for up to 11 hours.
Of course I was biting at the bit by this time and I let him know in no uncertain terms that I wanted to give it a try. I received the package just a few days later with the new unit and several two pound bags of pellets.
The new smoker, like the previous one, is built very solid and looks and feels as though it could survive almost any amount of torture you wanted to subject it to if you were so inclined. I have yet to run over it with my truck but I actually think it would come out unscathed.
Now you have to understand that I am very happy with Todd's original smoker that uses saw dust.. to me it is very consistent, puts out great smoke and does a wonderful job of providing smoke for almost anything you want to cook whether it's cold smoking cheese or smoking a rack of ribs. I could not imagine it getting better than that but knowing Todd, he is all about making it better even when you think that's an impossible task.
It took me a few days to get the time to really give it the attention it deserved but when I did, man was I ever impressed!
I filled the shiny new smoker with pellets as instructed up to the top with about a 1-1/2 inch tapered lead in at the starting end. I patted down the pellets and made sure they weren't too close to the edge so as to prevent the fire from jumping rows. When it was ready to light, I fired up my butane torch and proceeded to light the leading edge of the pellets until they were flaming. The pellets burned for about 4-5 minutes before a good puff of Oklahoma breeze blew it out so I figured that might be good enough to keep it going.
I set the new pellet smoker on the grate of my empty Brinkmann horizontal smoker with side firebox and adjusted the intake vent and the chimney to about 1/4 open just as I would if I was actually cooking some meat in there.
I watched for several minutes as perfect, thin blue smoke wafted out of the chimney and disappeared into the air.. it was a beautiful sight if I do say so myself. Presently I noted the time and walked away to take care of other things, (honey-do type things if you must know) and did not come back for more than 9 hours.
It was 8:45 that evening when I suddenly remembered to go check on the smoke and low and behold if it wasn't still sitting there putting out the most awesome and perfect smoke that I have ever seen. I fully expected it to do what Todd said it would but seeing it in action was just something that is better experienced in person. I caught myself smiling as I thought about the wonderful things I could do with this thing..
The smoke kept coming out for another hour before it finally burned down to mere ashes.. this unit had created perfect wood smoke for 10 hours and 15 minutes and I couldn't have been happier with the performance.
Now I'm off to find something to throw into the smoker with this thing.. it's a crying shame to have that kind of good smoke and not get some good eatin' out of the deal!