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not impressed with amns

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 

I can not keep the pellets burning. I hav them going good , then I put them in the MES 40 and they wont stay lit.

What an I doing wrong.

post #2 of 63

An MES user will be along to help you soon.


The pellets have to be sufficiently lit and you need air flow in the MES.


You will get lots of help with the details soon.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #3 of 63

Let them burn for 5 min before putting the amns in the mes. Open the chip chute half way and leave it open. leave the exhaust open fully. Been using mine almost 9 months in my MES 40 and no problems. Also remember to dry your saw dust in the microwave for 1.5 min before using.

post #4 of 63

I have the dust burner and had a learning curve using it at first. Like the above poster stated...sounds like an air flow problem. Keep at it....and drying in the micro did help my burn. I give the dust at least a minute.

post #5 of 63

Do you have the AMNS, or AMNPS?  You say the pellets won't stay lit, so I assume you have the AMNPS.  I had a few problems keeping it lit at first too.  Good suggestions above.  When I started microwaving them for 2 minutes, it worked great.  The humidity has been a factor I guess.  I "nuke 'em", then put them in the AMNPS while my MES heats up.  When it's getting close to temp I pull it out, light them with my torch  -- gotta let them burn good for about 5 minutes.  I blow them out, let it smoke a moment, get it flaming again just to be sure, then blow it out and place it inside.  Since I started this, no problems at all.


Let us know how you do -- once you get the hang of it, you will love it!

post #6 of 63

I haven't gotten mine yet, but from everything I've read, you need to pull the chip loader out a llittle bit, and also pull the chip tray out about an inch and a half to get sufficient airflow so it doesn't go out.

post #7 of 63

Are you hot or cold smoking? When I cold smoke I completely remove the chip tray. I pull the chip tube out about an inch. I also added a 3" elbow(per Todd's suggestion) as a chimney. I use it in an MES30. I microwave my pellets between 45 sec- 1 1/2 minutes depending on how much pellets I'm using. I haven't used it on many hot smokes yet but it goes like a champ on cold smokes.


Here's a shot of the elbow during a hot smoke without the AMNPS just so you can see the set up.



post #8 of 63

Yes, it is best to be clear in your post title and also in the information you provide. If you are putting pellets in a AMNS, then that is your problem. Pellets only work well in the AMNPS. Also, using a title stating that you are not "impressed" with the AMNS makes if first appear that you have the AMNS working as it should (with dust) but do not like the results, compared to other methods of creating smoke. Not quite fair to the product. Anyway, there are lots of users of both the AMNS and AMNPS in this forum and we are all glad to help out. From reading past threads, most of them (if not all) are impressed with the AMNS and AMNPS. I know I am.

post #9 of 63


It sounds like you might have an air flow problem to me.


post #10 of 63

I have the AMNZPS and an MES40. I pack the pellets real tight especially the first inch (where I light it) and all channel turns. I light the AMNZPS with a torch and let it burn (with a flame) for about 5 minutes. I then hit it with the torch again. I blow out the flame. At this point I have about ¾ to 1 inch of glowing hot charcoaled pellets. I am getting 7 to hours of thin blue smoke on a fully loaded tray.


I smoke with the MES top vent wide open and have never had to open the chip tray for air. I also have never had to microwave the pellets yet. I imagine that will change as the pellets get older. I keep my pellets stored in plastic zipper bags. I have thought about sealing the pellets (in various flavor mixtures) in vacuum sealed bags, in the exact amounts for a smoke.


I have attached the instructions that came with mine. Pay special attention to #8-10, any of these could be causing your problem too.


AMZNPS User Instructions.pdf 206k .pdf file






post #11 of 63

If these suggestions have not solved your problem, send Todd an email. He will answer right away. I do know that the chip loader was the issue for a lot of guys. As was mentioned before - you can not burn pellets with any success in the AMNS if you are going to use more than one row unless the pellets are separated by an empty row. 

post #12 of 63

I have not had these problems, but I keep my dust & my pellets in these jugs.


If I do have problems, I will nuke my pellets.


I never had to pull chip drawer or chip dumper either----So Far.







PS: I should mention, I keep mine out a lot longer than 5 minutes, before I put it in.

I light it until it flames. 

Then let the flame burn out.

Then light it again.

Then let it burn out.

Then blow on it, in the direction of the unburned pellets for a couple minutes.

I do this until I get a real nice big area of glowing red coals in the bottom of the row (could take up to 15 minutes from the start, but I'm not there that whole time).

Then the next time the flame goes out, I put it on the bars, to the left of the chip drawer, all the way to the left.


If you ever try to put one out to save the unburned pellets, you will know that once it is lit properly, it will not go out easily.

Edited by Bearcarver - 11/11/11 at 3:41pm
post #13 of 63
Originally Posted by JohnnyK View Post

I can not keep the pellets burning. I hav them going good , then I put them in the MES 40 and they wont stay lit.

What an I doing wrong.

Hey Johnny

If it's the A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER(AMNPS) you're having issues with, there are a few tricks to help it work better in a Masterbuilt Smoker.


Are you trying to "Cold Smoke" or "Hot Smoke"?

Are you using water in the water pan?


Masterbuilt electric smokers, and other electric smokers, have a tough time drafting.  The MES has a 3" hole for the chip loader, but most electric smokers only have a drain hole for fresh air.

Some guys make a few minor mods to their smokers and some do nothing, and the AMNPS works good for them.


Most of the time, it's a simple fix to get you up and running with the rest of us!


1. Follow the lighting instructions, and allow the flame on the pellets to burn for 10 minutes, and blow out the flame.

2.  Pull out the chip pan 1 1/2".

3.  Remove the Chip Loader for "Cold Smoking", but only pull it out about 2" during "Hot Smoking".

4.  Place the AMNPS on the rails, with the burning side away from the heating element.

5.  Some of us Add a 3" Chimney similar to to the one above.


When in doubt, you can always call me at (952)412-0484




No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #14 of 63

Johnnyk, if on the next trial, you are still dissatisfied with it, send it to me for analysis.I'll test it a few years then tell you how to use itbiggrin.gif

post #15 of 63

JohnnyK, evening..... Well by now you have probably figued sayin' "not impressed with AMNS" is akin to sayin' "not sure the pope is a true catholic"...

I can understand your frustration with the new fangled gadget but all things take time to understand... Even a good woman takes time to understand... although most of us here won't live long enough to be totally schooled in that particular subject.... but believe me, you will become adept at Todd's marvelous piece of work and be praisin' it to folks you don't even know, once all the pieces fall into place. That being said... be patient... place the pellets in your smoker to dry during warm up.... light 'em proper with a pencil torch, (I use one of them butane jobs) and voila !!! Thin Blue Smoke will appear....

Glad you found this forum... it is a great place to learn all about smoking meat... good folks here with the knowledge to make anyone the next "Myron Mixon"... and they don't mind sharin' their secrets neither.... enjoy the long smokey ride... Dave

post #16 of 63

Really sounds likes some good advice for you, and the coolest thing is you can call Todd anytime for help!

post #17 of 63

I got into the habit of nukeing mine before each use. They always stay lit.

post #18 of 63
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post

I got into the habit of nukeing mine before each use. They always stay lit.

What do you put them in.


Do they have to be in something wide, so they are spread out real thin, or will it work in a bowl???




post #19 of 63
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

What do you put them in.


Do they have to be in something wide, so they are spread out real thin, or will it work in a bowl???





I started nuking mine, and it seems to help.  I use a large rectangular plastic tupperware like container.  The spread our, but not completely flat (they pile up a bit).  I nuke for a minute, shake them up to redistribute, then nuke some more.  They smell good once nuked too!


post #20 of 63

Like anything new, there's a learning curve

Once you get it figured out, you'll like the results


If you just can't get along with it, give me a call, and I'll buy it back!




No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

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