Keeping Your Pellets Dry (Pellets & Dust)

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by bearcarver, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Keeping Your Pellets Dry (Pellets & Dust)

    This is how I keep my Pellets & Dust Dry, and Handy for the next Smoke:
    I get my Pellets & Dust from Todd, at “Amazing Smoker”.
    I get what I need before I run out, but I don’t open the plastic bags he sends it in until I know I have enough Empty Jugs for all the Pellets or Dust in those Bags. That way none of the Dust or Pellets ends up picking up Humidity from setting around in unsealed plastic bags for months or years.
    This time I had 3 bags of Dust here for at least 4 years, and 3 bags of Pellets for about 2 years.
    So I got all my Jugs out, opened the Bags, and using a big Funnel, I emptied all the bags into the empty Jugs. My Jugs all have screw-top caps.
    Then I Re-marked the Jugs that changed from one Species to another, and fixed up a couple of markings that had gotten slightly rubbed off.

    Some may think you don’t have to do these things, but in 7 years, I haven’t had any problems keeping my Pellets or Dust smoking Great.
    I have never Nuked any Pellets or put them in an oven, and I never needed a Mailbox, except for my Mail.

    Note: Three of the main problems with keeping an AMNPS smoking continuously are Lack of air flow, Not properly lit to begin with, and Pellets aren’t Dry enough.
    The air flow is easy to take care of, unless you are at a High Altitude.
    A little patience can take care of getting the pellets lit properly.
    And the above method of taking care of your Pellets can keep them Dry for many years.


    Bear




    Ready to fill some empty Jugs, and Re-Label a few. Note the 3 Bags of Dust & 3 Bags of Pellets on the right end:





    Bags all Empty & Jugs all filled and Labeled:





    All back in my Smoking Cabinet in my Garage.
    9 Jugs of Hickory Pellets.
    7 Jugs of Other Species of Pellets.
    2 Jugs of Hickory Dust.
    9 Jugs of Other Species of Dust.


    Here's an old picture of when I first started using the AMNS. There was no AMNPS at that time.

    I started with only 8 Jugs:

     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
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  2. smokinal

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

    Thanks Bear!

    Down here in Florida the humidity is brutal.

    I keep the pellets & dust sealed in vac bags in the A/C. 

    Then before I use them I still nuke them.

    Al
     
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmmm----No idea why they would have to be Nuked after being vac sealed & in the AC, or in a plastic Jug with the cap screwed on tight.

    Bear
     
  4. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Good info Bear as Usual I am agreeing with Dave the AMNPS has to be raised up.

    Richie

    Simple fix

    Staple Spring Binder Clips

     
  5. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's a good idea.  I'm like Al and living in the hot and HUMID south.  Georgia seems to be the humidity capital of the USA in the summer so it's a loosing battle keeping pellets dry. 

    I've taken to loading the pellet tray with pellets and then putting it in the wife's convection oven set to 230* for about 20-30 minutes before I need to light them.  Our convection oven actually sets the temp 30* lower than the set point as a recipe that calls for 350* actually cooks considerably faster in a convection oven.  They make that 30* lower offset to compensate for this.  If you have a convection oven and try this method you may want to check and see if your oven does a similar offset (mine is a GE).  I found it was easier to just load the tray and heat it with the pellets.  I carry it outside with an oven mitt. No pellet spillage while trying to load and coral hot pellets into a cold tray that way.

    So I'm actually drying mine at 200* but with the added convection fan.  Works great and I no longer have to freak out about vacuum packing them in quart jars!
     
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---That raising never was a secret---We knew that on Day one----7 years ago, when Todd designed the AMNPS to fit on the support rods in the MES 30, so air could flow by it.

    Your clips work nice!!!---Those clips come in handy for a lot of things.

    My mailbox is out by the road---Mailman uses it every day.

    Thanks Richie!!

    Bear
     
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No freaking out here---Much easier to keep them in Jugs (not vacuum packed) than Nuking, Vacuum Packing, or putting them in an oven.

    All I do is dump them in the big Jugs---Done---Dry until needed.

    Humidity can't get through a sealed plastic Jug, with a screw-top cap.

    7 years of no Nuking or heating.

    Bear
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  8. smokinal

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

    Ha Ha that's because you don't realize how humid it is down here, like 100%.

    You basically walk around wet from April to November.

    By the time you get the pellets out of the original packaging and into the vac bags they have already picked up moisture.

    I guess after having the pellets go out numerous times during a smoke I may go overboard.

    But this is what works for me.

    Al
     
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not Really----Actually:
    I did a search & found the average annual Humidity near my house (Allentown, PA) is 68%.

    http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Pennsylvania/humidity-annual.php

    And the average annual Humidity in Miami is 73%.

    http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Florida/humidity-annual.php

    And the average annual Humidity in Atlanta, GA is 68%.

    Now if we're talking about Phoenix, AZ, that would be a lot different---Average annual Humidity in AZ  is 37%.

    http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Arizona/humidity-annual.php

    So AZ shouldn't need any special care, but if my method works in PA (68%), it should be fine in FL (73%), and fine in GA (68%).

    Bear
     
  10. smokinal

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

    OK Bear, whatever you say, Buddy.

    Al
     
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I didn't make those figures up---The links are there.

    Bear
     
  12. Not sure about all this Humidity stuff ??   I live in East Texas  Here is our  Humidity Average.      I keep my pellets in the bag they come in, in my garage Never experienced a lighting problem.

    Humidity


    Annual Average Humidity, #1190
    Tyler, TX77.10%
    Texas76.95%
    U.S.77.52%

    Monthly Average HumidityTyler, TXTexasU.S. (Average of All Locations)JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec5060708090100Humidity (%)

     
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---It seems without being at a high altitude, as long as people keep their pellets relatively dry, the most important thing is Air Flow.

    And getting it lit properly to begin with is important too.

    Bear
     
  14. Bear, Al, Gary- you are all correct in your own way.

    The moisture in the air is not measured effectively by relative humidity. Relative humidity (which is the % humidity we are referring to above) is the ratio of moisture in the air to the amount if moisture the air can hold.

    Why does this matter?

    The amount of air the moisture can hold varies with temperature. So, if it's 95F and 80% humidity, there is a lot more moisture in the air than if it's 80F and 80% humidity (guessing on FL/GA vs PA summer weather here)

    In this example, at 80F and 80% humidity there are approximately 0.18 grains of moisture per pound of air. At 95F and 80% humidity, there are approximately 0.29 grains of moisture per pound of air. This is a 60% increase in the amount of moisture in the air, with the exact same relative humidity. I've attached the chart below so you guys can play around and see for yourselves.


    So, in essence, the Southern gentlemen are correct that moisture is a problem, and Bear is correct that the relative humidity is similar.

    J.D.

    Source- I'm a professional engineer
     
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  15. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    And I'm correct that I've never had a problem lighting my pellets after they have been stored in their original ziplok bags.  Fill up the AMNTS, run my map gas torch quickly up and down the length of the tube on all sides, then light the end.  And I'm correct......(wife says  'NOT!!) [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  16. Boy, Learned a lot this morning.  I guess the only question I have is ----   What does Todd say ?    I am thinking unless the pellets were wet, they still should light and burn.

    Maybe Todd will give some input, Like I said I don't have any problem with mine

    Gary
     
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Exactly!!  Thanks J.D. !

    That's why they call it "Relative" Humidity, and you can have the same average RH in PA as you do in FL.

    However there is more often more moisture in the air in FL than in Northern States, like PA.

    I made this thread to show what I've found to be the easiest way to insure that your Pellets can be kept dry, so that no Nuking or Heating will ever be needed, even in states like PA, FL, GA, etc.

    If people don't believe that, they can continue to Nuke or heat their pellets. That's really up to them.

    Thanks again, J.D.,

    Bear
     
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Although I have no problem either, I can say that it's much easier to keep an AMNPS going in a Smoker like yours, where there is plenty of air flow.

    Most of the people who have problems are those who use them in small boxes with little air flow, and why some end up making a Mailbox Mod.

    Although I'm sure many Mailbox Mods were made by people who just never got their AMNPS lit properly to begin with, or didn't put them in the right place in the smoker.

    This is why we always tell people who are having problems keeping their AMNPS going to light it & leave it outside the smoker for awhile, and if it stays burning outside the smoker, but then goes out inside the smoker, it is the "AIR FLOW" problem, not the Damp Pellets, and not the "Not Lit Properly" problem.

    Bear
     
  19. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I lived in Central PA and outside of Atlanta, in Conyers, GA...There is a HELL of a lot more water in the air on any given day in GA! Came in from cutting the grass and my wife asked if I fell in the Pool?...We didn't have a Pool! Jugs work great, got that idea from Bear years ago but we don't buy or drink that much juice. Most of my pellets the last 5 years have been kept in the original zip top bags and I have a pair of wide mouth Garlic jars that I work from because the jug is easier to handle and fill the tray from. The only time I had to Nuke was a batch of pellets that seemed to be inherently more moist than usual. I left the entire bag open in the air conditioned apartment for a week and they were fine after that. Region to region can be different and require different handling. Dry pellets can get wet just being out of the bag or jar in parts of the South, just like Dry Pellets can get corrupted using the Water Pan full of water in the MES. Bears Jars are effective and a good idea if you got them, the heavy bags the pellets come in work fine, in PA at least and I can see the advantage of Vac-packing as well. All good info here. Lots of ways to skin a Cat! Has anybody actually skinned a CAT!?! Rabbit Skin comes off easy...Whoa, that train of thought nearly jumped the Track.[​IMG]...JJ
     
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I used to skin the cat on the rings when I was young, but I'm too old & in too bad shape to do it now.

    And yes I agree about the original bags the pellets & Dust come from Todd in.

    Like I said in my original Post, "I had 3 bags of Dust here for at least 4 years, and 3 bags of Pellets for about 2 years." (You can see them in the first picture)

    Since they were never opened they were fine, but as soon as I opened them they all went into Jugs.

    Bear
     

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