A warning if you MIcrowave you AMNPS pellets to dry them

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by retread, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. retread

    retread Meat Mopper

    As a general rule, I do microwave my AMNPS pellets to dry them.  I had an "experience" the other day which I feel necessary to share.  My microwave is a 1200W and I use full power for the pellets.  This time I microwaved them for 3 minutes.  When I took the pellets out of the microwave some were actually charred and smoking.  Fortunately I was able to sort out the smoldering ones and put them at the hole end of the the AMNPS, but I wanted to share this as a caution for y'all.  Supervise your microwave!  The TBS that this "experience" produced has permeated the microwave (temporarily, I hope) and adds a bit of "seasoning" to whatever is heated there.

    On a serious note, I can envision some of the smoldering pellets actually flashing over to flame so I wanted to warn everyone that this could be possible.

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When I do microwave the pellets, which is normally only in the winter, I only set the microwave for a minute at a time. Stir them up and then repeat if I feel they need more. During the summer I never microwave them. I use the AMNTS and never have a problem even with cherry getting them going.
  3. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    I have the same experience the first time I tried to nuke them. I now only nuke them for one minute. Seems to work fine for me.

    BTW, my microwave still has a pleasant smokey smell after three months.
  4. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I nuke my pellets every time for 2 sets of 2 minutes each.  The first time, I was going for 2 1/2 minutes and had the same result---smoking like crazy in the microwave.  Like Steve said, you can still smell hickory smoke when you open the nuke door.

  5. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    there really is no reason to nuke them.... try this approach... put the unlit tray/tube of pellets in the smoker while the smoker is preheating... this in turn drys and preheats the pellets for easier lighting... then fire them off when you put the meat in the smoker ... works like a charm...
  6. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I either put mine in the Weber gasser (loaded with pellets) to dry as the grill heats, or if I'm smoking sausage, I put them in the convection oven in the house on about 180* while the sausage casings dry in the smoker at low temps.  Ready to go when it's time for smoke either way.

    And as a side note, living the the hot & humid south I've given up on even thinking they will not absorb moisture from the air.  Does not matter what I put them in for storage or how soon after they arrive via UPS, they seem to always need a short drying time before use.  I just accept it and treat it as part of the prep process now.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  7. jc1947

    jc1947 Smoking Fanatic

    Jeff, I doubt they could flame in the microwave. As long as the door was shut, there wouldn't be enough oxygen to support a flame. IMHO the danger would be if you opened the door creating a back draft.
  8. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

    If the door shuts tight enough to not support combustion, shouldn't it also be tight enough to not allow any moisture to escape?  In effect are you "steaming" your pellets in their own juices?
  9. bandcollector

    bandcollector Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    This is a great idea!  I will give it a try next time around. 

    Generally I only nuke my pellets one minute at a time...One minute, Stir, then another minute.  Never had a flareup and the pellets lit and burned perfectly in my smoker.

    Happy Thanksgiving

  10. rogerwilco

    rogerwilco Meat Mopper

     Do you guys dry the pellets that are poured into the hopper of the pellet grill, or only pellets used in the smoking trays/tubes which are placed inside the cooking chamber?
  11. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    I keep mine in a tote inside the house.  I have never had a problem with them starting.  Don't store them in the garage!
  12. I put my pellets in my gas grill. Most times I start with a cold smoke, so not warm up. After some time on the gas grill, the cherry lights easy, and is well established quickly. Never had a tray or tube  smolder out, doing it this way.
  13. I tried the warmup in my smoker method last night.  It seemed to help.  I still had a burn out around the 3 hour mark, but that could have been due to me opening the smoker a few times!  I am still intrigued around the "Mail Box" method for my MES that I might try!  

    Gonna give a buddy a call to see if he might be able to rig something up!

    Thanks for the idea on the preheat, so far, that has worked the best!

  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you use a water pan, the steam will snuff out the pellets....
  15. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I do 3.5min.  Any longer and it starts smoking.  I dont know what watts I have.
  16. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    This worked for me as well on my last smoke.
  17. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I did the same thing, must have got distracted & started smelling smoke in the house. Opened the microwave & smoke billowed out. No problem just take the plate outside & start over. The good thing is the house smelled like hickory for a few days. [​IMG]
  18. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    I purchased a ton of pellets last May/June timeframe and keep them on a pallet in the back of my tuck under garage.  No issues whatsoever.  I have never had to dry them in the microwave either.  I recently started using hand sanitizer gel as a starting agent and it works fantastic.  I stand my tube upright, squirt 3-4 squirts of gel on top of the pellets, touch with a lighter or match and walk away.  Come back in 5-10 minutes to a nice flame, blow them out and lay it in my smoker.
  19. Microwave fires do occur.  There is still enough oxygen for ignition.  The fire will not last unless the microwave is vented (which some are) or if the door is opened right after ignition.
  20. amlong88

    amlong88 Meat Mopper

    Been using cherry pellets in my tray and tube and haven't had problems with them staying lit. Might be because I live in dry Idaho.

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