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A Maze N-- Wood For It??

nwdave

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I may be wrong but doesn't this 'Pro-Q' look like a patent infringement on the A-Maze-N Smoker? The maze is a different shape but the concept is the same. Has anyone notified A-Maze-N owner about this yet?
I think it was discussed but I'm not going to swear to it.  You could PM Todd and voice your concerns (TJohnson)  I know he watches this stuff like a hawk, but you never know.
 

tjohnson

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I just found a thread on the Weber Cold Smoking board where a poster has stated that they had good results with the PS sawdust using it in the ProQ smoker, which seems to be similar to the AMNS.  Just thought I'd mention this as the PS dust seems to be about 5 times cheaper than the AMNS dust.  Actually, it better than 5X.  You can get a 40 lb bag of hickory for less than a 5 lb bag of the AMNS stuff.  There are actually recommendations for several dust sources in the thread.

http://tvwbb.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/1780069052/m/212100923/p/2
JoeSchmoker,

I actually get this question quite often.  You can get "Free Sawdust" from your local cabinet shop, or if you have a friend who does carpentry work, have them save some sawdust for you.  Some guys even use their table saw and make their own sawdust.

I buy chips and grind them thru a hammermill.  Then it's mixed with different grades of sawdust to get a good consistent burn.  Sawdust from companies like Butcher Packer or PS Seasonings may or may not work, but usually is too coarse to burn properly.  You really need a good mix of fines and coarse particles to get a good burn.

Let's say you buy a 5# package from me for $12.99 + $10.50 (Shipping) = $23.49

1# of sawdust burns for approx. 30 hours, with (1) side started.

This works out to:

$4.70/lb, Incl. Shipping

$0.15/hr With (1) Side Started

$1.25 for an 8 hour smoke

Not sure where you got your numbers from, but a 40# bag of hickory from PS Seasonings @ $21.99 + Shipping is not less than a 5# package of A-MAZE-N-DUST @ $12.99 + Shipping!

Todd
 

tjohnson

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I may be wrong but doesn't this 'Pro-Q' look like a patent infringement on the A-Maze-N Smoker? The maze is a different shape but the concept is the same. Has anyone notified A-Maze-N owner about this yet?

Thanks for the concern, but the legal stuff is covered.

The ProQ is "Patent Pending" in the U.K. only.

The A-MAZE-N-SMOKER is "Patent Pending" in the United States. 

Thanks!

Todd
 
Last edited:

joeschmoker

Fire Starter
32
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Joined May 26, 2011
I haven't checked shipping prices, but the PS is $21.99 for FORTY POUNDS.  The AMNS 5 pound is $12.99.  I could be wrong, but I'd be surprised if the shipping results in 8 times the quantity costing more when the product cost is only twice as much.  Yeah, I've thought of contacting cabinet shops as I was in in production management at a company that made cabinets and cabinet accessories for 13 years before the company was bought out and production sent to Vietnam.  I've actually got boxes of hard maple and cherry 3/8" dowel rods that were made for plate displays we made and were cut to the wrong size that I took home instead of throwing away that I plan on trying in the chip box tray.  I really would prefer to have specific dust types if I did decide to use the AMNS as I'm just starting out and want to see the difference in taste.  

But hey, to be honest, I haven't even bought an AMNS yet and am going to try my MES 40 tomorrow and next weekend (for the first times) without an AMNS and see how I feel about the results.  It seems there are mixed reviews on this site about whether an AMNS is actually needed or not.  But, I'm the kind of guy that does his homework before he makes a purchase and was just researching the cost of the dust online in case I decide to go in that direction and just thought I'd share what I had found.  

So, does anyone know what PS charges for shipping that 40 lb bag?  You had to register to see shipping costs and I just didn't feel like doing it right now.
 
JoeSchmoker,

I actually get this question quite often.  You can get "Free Sawdust" from your local cabinet shop, or if you have a friend who does carpentry work, have them save some sawdust for you.  Some guys even use their table saw and make their own sawdust.

I buy chips and grind them thru a hammermill.  Then it's mixed with different grades of sawdust to get a good consistent burn.  Sawdust from companies like Butcher Packer or PS Seasonings may or may not work, but usually is too coarse to burn properly.  You really need a good mix of fines and coarse particles to get a good burn.

Let's say you buy a 5# package from me for $12.99 + $10.50 (Shipping) = $23.49

1# of sawdust burns for approx. 30 hours, with (1) side started.

This works out to:

$4.70/lb, Incl. Shipping

$0.15/hr With (1) Side Started

$1.25 for an 8 hour smoke

Not sure where you got your numbers from, but a 40# bag of hickory from PS Seasonings @ $21.99 + Shipping is not less than a 5# package of A-MAZE-N-DUST @ $12.99 + Shipping!

Todd
 

tromaron

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Joined Feb 1, 2011
But hey, to be honest, I haven't even bought an AMNS yet and am going to try my MES 40 tomorrow and next weekend (for the first times) without an AMNS and see how I feel about the results.  It seems there are mixed reviews on this site about whether an AMNS is actually needed or not.  But, I'm the kind of guy that does his homework before he makes a purchase and was just researching the cost of the dust online in case I decide to go in that direction and just thought I'd share what I had found.  
Honestly, you don't NEED an AMNS.  I didn't get one for the first month or two.  But once you use one, you'll never want to smoke without it.  Just the right amount of smoke, and not having to constantly feed chips, has me sold on them.  Being able to put a pork butt in the smoker and then go to bed, is a luxury you won't get without one.
 
Last edited:

Bearcarver

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Mixed reviews?

Yes---98 to 2 is "mixed".

Bear
 

fpnmf

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I  also did a lot of reading before my smoker purchase..

 Not all of it was here.

The MES didn't have 100% good reviews,but it was easy to fix. And very inexpensive.

I got the 30 and the 6x8 amazen the same day.

I have never used the MES chip burner. Not once.

In fact I removed it and put a plate over the element with a couple 6x6 pieces of slate on it.

The AMAZEN has never failed. Ever.

When I posted a question about it Todd PMed me his phone number and we talked.

Todd has a great product and the best customer service a guy could ask for.

Am I gonna save a few bucks..trying a product that I am not sure about....not today.

Good luck and have a great day!!

  Craig
 

tjohnson

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JoeSchmoker,

The AMNS is just another tool to help guys produce good BBQ and Smoked Foods.  It's not necessary, but does make life a little easier!

The MES and other electric smokers have an inherent problem with with generating smoke.  Electric smokers use an electric element to heat the smoker, and when the element turns off, you lose the ability to burn/smolder chips or chunks.  I purchased my 1st MES 40 in December 2009 and was incredibly frustrated with generating consistent smoke.  Once the smoker got to temp, the 1200 watt element turned off, and I could not get any more smoke.  The smoker cycled on/off quickly with the 1200 watt element, and the chips have little chance to ignite.  If I did get the chips to ignite, I got plenty of billowing white smoke, but could not achieve the TBS we all strive for.  Also, I would have to feed the smoker every 30 minutes or so.

The AMNS was born out of my frustration and tested by 15 guys on SMF last March - April.  Their feedback was incorporated in the 1st version we produced in April 2010.  As more and more people began to use it, we made a few more changes to accommodate their needs.  Guys were adapting it for use during "Hot Smoking" and some units were warping.  Even though it was not designed for "Hot Smoking", we made a change to the base, to keep it from warping.  The added benefit is that this change improved air flow and the unit smoked even better.

I've been at this for over a year and a half now and I've tested just about every type of sawdust that's available.  I know what works and does not work, and so do my customers!!!.  The sawdust that comes from PS Seasonings is too coarse to burn properly in the AMNS.  They use small sawdust chips that come from a sawmill, and the size is approx. 1/8" x 1/8".  This sawdust is meant for guys with commercial smoke generators in a smoke house.  The smaller "Fines" are screened and used in floor sweep and other products.  If you read the entire thread you posted in your previous thread, you'll notice more failures than successes, when using sawdust from PS Seasonings.  If this stuff worked, more guys would be using it.

Again, you can get sawdust from a local cabinet shop or a buddy who does woodworking  Some guys make their own by using a miter saw and sawing up a tree limb.

Todd
 

joeschmoker

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Joined May 26, 2011
Thanks for the info, Todd.  As I said, my comments were of an investigative nature and was just trying to learn about the product and dust in case I decided to go in that direction.  However, I just used my MES 40 for the first time yesterday to smoke meat and I was more than happy with the smoke it is producing (since I installed the modified tray).  I understand that the AMNS does keep you from having to refill the chip tray, but that's something I don't really mind doing.  Besides, I have about a 4 foot tall by 15 foot long stack of red oak and maple logs and plenty of dowel rods to fill my chip tray.  I'll keep your product in mind, but for now I'll just keep feeding the tray with chips and chunks.  In fact, the smoker burned the chips and chunks so well yesterday that the next smoke I will probably be soaking them.  Thanks again.
 
JoeSchmoker,

The AMNS is just another tool to help guys produce good BBQ and Smoked Foods.  It's not necessary, but does make life a little easier!

The MES and other electric smokers have an inherent problem with with generating smoke.  Electric smokers use an electric element to heat the smoker, and when the element turns off, you lose the ability to burn/smolder chips or chunks.  I purchased my 1st MES 40 in December 2009 and was incredibly frustrated with generating consistent smoke.  Once the smoker got to temp, the 1200 watt element turned off, and I could not get any more smoke.  The smoker cycled on/off quickly with the 1200 watt element, and the chips have little chance to ignite.  If I did get the chips to ignite, I got plenty of billowing white smoke, but could not achieve the TBS we all strive for.  Also, I would have to feed the smoker every 30 minutes or so.

The AMNS was born out of my frustration and tested by 15 guys on SMF last March - April.  Their feedback was incorporated in the 1st version we produced in April 2010.  As more and more people began to use it, we made a few more changes to accommodate their needs.  Guys were adapting it for use during "Hot Smoking" and some units were warping.  Even though it was not designed for "Hot Smoking", we made a change to the base, to keep it from warping.  The added benefit is that this change improved air flow and the unit smoked even better.

I've been at this for over a year and a half now and I've tested just about every type of sawdust that's available.  I know what works and does not work, and so do my customers!!!.  The sawdust that comes from PS Seasonings is too coarse to burn properly in the AMNS.  They use small sawdust chips that come from a sawmill, and the size is approx. 1/8" x 1/8".  This sawdust is meant for guys with commercial smoke generators in a smoke house.  The smaller "Fines" are screened and used in floor sweep and other products.  If you read the entire thread you posted in your previous thread, you'll notice more failures than successes, when using sawdust from PS Seasonings.  If this stuff worked, more guys would be using it.

Again, you can get sawdust from a local cabinet shop or a buddy who does woodworking  Some guys make their own by using a miter saw and sawing up a tree limb.

Todd
 

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