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Sudden issues with AMNPS

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I have been using an AMNPS 5x8 for a couple of years now in a Masterbuilt electric smoker. Through dozens of smokes it has always been perfect, burning as intended and lasting exactly as long as described according to the quantity of pellets I load. I know how to use it, have watched the videos, and use a MAP torch and hair dryer to light it. I simply have never had any problems.

I recently ordered 2 five pound bags of pellets from A-Maze-N, one each of oak and hickory. Today, I loaded it half full of hickory. About 1 hour in, I noticed way too much white smoke. I opened it up, and sure enough, both rows had ignited, with all pellets black.

I dumped that and tried again, thinking maybe the fire had jumped the divider, though I take care to keep the pellets well down in the channels. Same result, and I'm sure there was no jumping this time. All pellets were black and smoldering.

I tried a third time, using the new oak with some cherry I had left over on top, thinking maybe there was something wrong with the hickory. Same thing again, all pellets black and smoldering.

In the past, after a successful smoke, there has always been a minimal trail of white ash left in the AMNPS. This did not happen this time, just all pellets black and smoldering, making way too much white smoke. I am positive after the first time that there was no jumping of fire over the dividers.

I'm wondering if there has been a recent change in these pellets, or if there is some other issue. Any thoughts, help, or comments appreciated. This thing has performed flawlessly until now, and I sure want to keep using it.
post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 
Todd of A-Maze-N was kind enough to quickly answer my email outlining the above information.

He explained that he had this problem due to heat reflecting off foil too close to the AMNPS.
Today I did not have my customary grocery store foil tray which I use for a disposable drip pan, and instead spread a bunch of sheet foil down low. Some of it was very close to the AMNPS, and would certainly explain all the pellets lighting up at once from reflected heat.

Thanks Todd for the help. I believe this problem is solved.
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