AMNPS Wont stay lit.. what am i doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by travisty, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member


    I recently purchased an A-Maze-N pellet smoker, the maze not the tube (actually I did buy a tube too, but it hasn't arrived yet) Yesterday I was working on a smoked salt project for Christmas, and pulled out the AMNPs from the amazon box. First I put in some Mesquite Dust (bought at the store and opened up today), and tried that, I used a propane pluming torch and got it burning a bit, I held the torch at the hole for about 30 seconds, the directions say 45, but the metal looked all hot and blue like it was about to start melting so I backed off, I started both ends to double my chances of success. There was a decent flame on the dust for about 3-5 min and then it died out, I gave the dust several blows and it was really hot and reactive to my breath so I figured it was good. It was smoking a bit but not a lot. At this point I threw it into my MES 30 which I had set to only 100 and did have some slight smoke from the same dust in the pan of the MES going as well. within 10 min or so it was out.

    Later that day I decided to give her a try again, this time with hickory pellets (Treager brand from Scheels bought just minutes before trying this) This time I again lit both ends and on at least one did keep the flame on for 45 seconds and about 35 on the other. There was a good 3-4" flame for about 5-7 minutes, then I blew it out lightly and again gave it a few really good blows to get it red and smoking. At this point I had the smoker at 175 and there was a decent amount of smoke coming from the pan. I put the AMNPS in the same location which was in a tin pan just above the heating element. Again within just a few minutes both sides were out.

    Additional details:

    I live in SLC Utah

    I have an MES 30

    It was a cold day but not raining or snowing or windy

    I cant remember where the vent was at the time, but most likely it was mostly closed (could that be my main problem)

    Bear suggested that due to my elevation the Tube may be my best bet as opposed to the maze in a previous post unrelated. Should I let the thing smoke for a while longer or burn for a while longer before using it? should I try the alcohol gel that they sell for it instead of the propane torch? Please help me out if you can, I really want this thing to work for me, and I need some tips on how to get it really roar'in.
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I cant remember where the vent was at the time, but most likely it was mostly closed (could that be my main problem)

    If the pellets or dust could not get air they suffocated

    Nuke the pellets on a paper plate for 30 to 40 seconds.

    travisty likes this.
  3. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    okay Tropics, so nuke em' in the microwave for 30-40 seconds? does that just help pull any moisture out?
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    At your elevation air is already thin. You need air moving. Vent open 100%, feed tube out, chip tray out, will get max air flow in. Stainless Steel won't melt at torch temps. Get the dust or pellets flaming real well, heat at the hole and under the first inch of the maze. Let the flame burn 10 minutes. Blow out. If you wish blow on the Cherry again until a flame ignites. Blow it out again and place the AMNPS on the left side of the smoker. If this don't work, the Tube or Mail Box Mod is the only option...JJ
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    If you aren't pressed for time & need the smoke, you can play around awhile & see if you can get the AMNPS to stay smoking (Blow on it for a long time down & into the row to get a big Cherry going in the bottom).

    But when it comes right down to it, like I told you yesterday, at 4200' above sea level I believe you're probably going to be forced to use the Tube.

    I'm sure Todd will take it back---He won't want you to be stuck with it at 4200'.

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
    travisty likes this.
  6. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thank you bear!

    I owe you a lot for all of your advise, wish we were close by so I could meet ya, and hopefully some of your wisdom would rub off on me! Ill probably hold on to it anyway just in case I can find a good use for it, also im happy to support a great company by purchasing their products!

    I really didn't give it much time or enough of my attention, so I think what ill do is once the tube (I ordered the 18" cause it was only $5 more than the 12) comes, ill go out back and just spend some time playing with them both and figuring out how to work them best for my situation.
  7. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I nuke mine for 2-3min but I am way lower than you,,,,Bear gave you some great advice.

  8. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the info guys!

    You know just a random thought I had, I think it would be cool if A-Maze-N made a tube smoker in a "U" shape! That way you could get an 18" or 12" one into the left of heating element spot on the MES just like how the maze fits. Sure you'd have to roll it over a bit to get the pellets in there, but I think it would be a cool idea, even thought about an S shape but that might be too tricky to get the pellets all the way in. Anyway just a random thought in case Todd the AMNPS guy is viewing this id like royalties LOL!
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Exactly what I would do !! [​IMG][​IMG]

  10. I don't have a solution to your problem and don't mean to hijack your thread, but I just wanted to give a quick shout for Todd and his customer service!

    Two weeks ago I ordered a 12" tube from Amazon which was lost in shipping. After getting my refund, last night I started second guessing the tube decision and ordered a maze directly from Amazenproducts. This morning I received an email from Todd (he must have looked up my zip code and saw I live at 6200' elevation) and he recommended the tube smoker over the maze due to my elevation. After a few short emails back and forth he swapped out my maze for an 18" tube and got me dialed in for my new fridge build.
    I've done business with thousands of companies and have NEVER had one research my location and contact me to recommend an alternative product!!

    Kudos to Todd on his great customer service!! He'll be seeing a lot more of my business.
  11. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm at 5,000 feet & use the AMNPS for dust & AMNTS for pellets !
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    <Raises Hand>

    I want what he's having!
  13. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Alright, so as mentioned I also got an 18" tube. I have fired it up 2 times this week and both timed it worked BEAUTIFULLY! tried a few tricks and still haven't been able to get the maze to work for more than a few minutes, so ill put that into storage for if I move to a lower elevation. Both times I filled it all the way up, and it burned for over 9 hours even though the website says only 6.

    One note I will make is that the 18" tube does not quite fit into the MES 30. What I have done for now is just slightly propped up one end with a brick and that does the trick as it is just centimeters too big. O am planning to use the dremel to just shave all 4 "corners of it just a smidgeon, unless someone else can thing of a better way to cut it down but about an inch (no more). I don't have welding equipment so that isn't really an option, one other thought I had was to cut a notch into one side right in the center, and then bending it into a slight "v" shape, but im not sure that will work.

    I do want to keep the 18 because I like the burn time, the 12 is too short for what I want to be able to do.

    I am also planning a "mailbox mod" project for it, but im planning to just used 6" tube ducting, then just use an adapter to taper it down in the back to the laundry hose to attach to the MES. A mailbox wont be long enough, and I think it would be cool to have the cylinder like that since my AMNTS is a cylinder. Anyway once I get to that next summer ill post pics/ a thread.
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You could do like Justin does, and get some Sawdust to use in your AMNPS for cold smoking & Warm smoking up to 200° or so.

    Dust is easier to keep going & won't raise the temp in your smoker as much as pellets.

    I use Dust whenever I'm smoking below 200°, and sometimes for Hot short smokes, only needing one row of Dust.

  15. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Id like to, but I did try the dust before too in the AMNPS and it didn't fork for me either. Perhaps ill try the dust one more time and try nuking it in the microwave first.
  16. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Im only planning to do the mod for purposes of a better fit for the AMNTS 18". not necessarily for purposes of cold smoking (though there is that benefit to). Also because I have to put the tube in diagonally it takes up a lot of space and is open to getting a lot of drips on it in various places. but again, I want to keep the 18 for the burn time.

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