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Cleaning the A-Maze-N smoke generator

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by dale5351, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    How do the rest of you clean your AMNS after using it? 

    Mine seems to have a residue of ash and partially burnt sawdust on the bottom and sides when I'm done.  I've been cleaning it using an old toothbrush.  That seems to work reasonably well.

    Do you wash it?   I'm a little worried about doing that, either by hand or in the dishwasher.

    Do they eventually get rusty? 
  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I just use an old paintbrush and knock out the big stuff into the rosegarden next to the smoker so it also helps the flowers 
  3. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    stiff paintbrush
  4. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    You can put it in the dishwasher, but I usually either dust it off with a soft cheap brush (soldering brush?), or lately I just lay it on the ground and hit it from different directions with water from my garden hose. When the burnt dust cools in the AMNS, it seems to all but fall out by itself.

    Just make sure it is completely dry before you fill it & use it. The dust will suck up any wet that's left.

  5. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks.  My old toothbrush sounds like it serves the same purposes as some of the other things mentioned.  Guess the important thing is to get the holes cleaned for air circulation next time.

    Is there any problem with rust?
  6. I just spray mine with the water hose real good...I have no rust on mine. I assume from the looks of it that they are made out of Stainless Steel....
  7. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i just knock it off and hit it with the torch............
  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Take a cheapie paint brush and cut the bristles down to about 3/4", this will stiffen up the bristles.

  9. jsdspif

    jsdspif Meat Mopper

    Their website says made out of 304 stainless steel - will not rust . I just ordered one but the guy said he was out of town and would send it out later this week . I don't mind throwing chips in my MES every half hour or so , but at the lower temps (say 225 and under ) I have the problem of the chips not smoking much after the unit gets up to temp . I drilled (4) 1/2" holes along the bottom of my chip loader tray and enlarged one of it's 3 end holes to 1/2 " inch which did seem to help get a more complete burn at temps above 225 but it still didn't  help much at 225 and below . I'm thinking I could start off with loading chips and then just have the AMNS pick up "the slack " after the MES  reaches temp .
  10. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yup---That's the way to do it!

    If I'm gonna go up gradually (like I often do with cured stuff or Salmon), I start with the AMNS. Then if that runs out before I'm done smoking, if it's over 200˚ I'll either reload the AMNS, or I'll throw a couple chips in. Usually though, by the time my AMNS burns out, I don't need any more smoke.

  11. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bear has a great handle on the ue of the AMNS.  I use it just like he described.

    I opened up the 3 holes in the chip loader to 1/2" and even take out the chip loader to get more air when cold smoking.  Some guys crack the door to get more air into the smoker.

    I've read a number of posts where guys will stick a piece of charcoal in the chip pan to help heep the chips smokdering.  I tried it, but got frustrated.

  12. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    All y'all keep talking about this AMAZ-N-SMOKER and I gotta think it is worth a try. Bearcarver, I know you're crazy about yours... I assume they are worth it?  Is it best to buy wood from the mfr? (I saw a post somewhere about Bearcarver keeping his spare dust in juice bottles...)

    Someone ought to post a big ol' post with lots of pics talking about the smoker, why it is cool ,how to clean it, fill it, etc..  Also: How did *YOU* determine which size you need?

  13. I just use an air compressor. I got 2 homemade and it is usually hickory and we all know a little hickory ain't gonna hurt nothin.
  14. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    hi Princess

    I am by no means as experiences as Bear with the AMNS and smoking, but I'll tell you that after a few uses of the AMNS it is a good product that lets my MES do things it could not otherwise do.

    I saw that post about using juice bottles -- and now have a stash of washed Ocean Spray bottles that I am using, one for each type of wood sawdust.  There was also a suggestion from Todd about microwaving it for a minute to dry it out -- spread it out in a large flat microwavable dish (e.g. glass) to do that.  If you put it into a deep dish (e.g. a round measuring cup),  it will not heat as evenly and may develop hot spots.

    As to buying sawdust -- I'd say that Todd (the maker of the AMNS) would be your best, most reliable, and maybe even the only place to get sawdust that is pure of the sort of wood specified.   I have asked at several places around here that carry a decent line of BBQ stuff, grills, and even smokers.  The only response I have gotten has been equivalent to "never heard of that".  They sell chips in a variety of flavors, but not sawdust.
  15. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Let me just say this - Todd is the most supportive manufacturer I have ever woked with and I work with over 100 of them on the DOD security items I sell

    I would tell you  also - buy his sawdust over everyone elses as he has taken the time to have it processed to his standards and it works perfectly with the AMS

    I have stopped using my chunk box and have gone to my AMS units exclusively for my SmokinTex.

    As far as recipes or AMS use I dont think it would be fair to SMF to turn this into an advertising thread - as Todd is also a member here I dont think he would be comfortable with that either -

    If anyone really wants to know about this fantastic smoker you can do a search on the AMS and it will come up with over 100  posts for  review

    If any of you need to ask questions please feel free to contact any of us on the threads and we will be happy to give you the details of how we use it and how it has changed our smoking lives
  16. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    My bad... And a very good point. I had not looked at it that way.
  17. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    That's OK Princess,

    We maybe shouldn't start a Wiki on the A-MAZE-N-SMOKER, but talking about it, telling how great it is, telling how to use it, and where to get it and sawdust for it is doing the things we are supposed to do----Helping Others.

    As for where to get the dust:

    If you can make your own, or get it for free some place, and it works good enough, I would do that. But if you are going to pay for it, I would buy it from Todd. He has the perfect mix of fine dust & tiny little chips that work great in the AMNS. 

    TIP: Because of that mix of fine dust and little chips, make sure you always shake it up good every time you go near it (When you transfer it to another container, when you load it into your AMNS, etc), because sitting around allows the fine dust to fall through the chips to the bottom of whatever you have it in. If you don't shake it, you will be using too much chips & not enough dust. Then when you get to the bottom of the container, you will be using too much dust & not enough chips. I even stopped filling my jugs to the top! I now only fill them about 2/3 full, so I can shake them up good before loading up my AMNS!

    Smoke 'em if ya got 'em,

  18. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I am very careful and keep a very low profile about my little gadget on this forum for a reason.

    Princess,  If you need more info, you are welcome to call me or drop me a PM or email.  I'd be glad to take this offline and answer any questions you may have.  Do a search and you'll find some great tips and tricks.  Some of these guys and gals have really mastered the AMNS.

    Sawdust.....Well, Sawdust is Sawdust.  I gather different species of wood and grind to size, so it burns consistently.  If you're creative, you can find sawdust locally, but I should warn anyone who digs into a cabinetmakers dust collector bin!!!  Unless the system has been cleaned thoroughly, you may have a combination of glue, paint, poly, mdf, laminate, pine and other stuff that can make you sick.  Make sure you know what's in it, before you burn it!!!  Many of us either do woodwork or know someone who does.  Have them save some of their sawdust for you, but make sure it's clean!!

    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  19. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    There is a place that makes oak furniture not far from us.  We've bought their stuff and it is really nice.  BUT, after thinking about it, I decided that if I went and scooped from their bins, I would not get stuff that was pure -- and as Todd just said, perhaps not even food safe.