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Masturbuilt CS kit vs A-Maze-n pellet tray???

dr k

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Eric6711 Eric6711 , the MES 30 Gen 1 was the first and only smoker I ever bought. When our budget can afford it, I'd like to step up to a 40", possibly one of the Gen 2.5 models or perhaps another brand. I'll make that decision if the money ever comes in. I have a friend whose wife bought him a propane Smoke Hollow and he loves it. As for MB owning those two brands, this is the first I've heard of it. But Google has always been my good chum so I could readily find that out.

Costco sells pork belly, and makin' bacon is on my to-do list. The AMNPS is a great smoker, hampered by the intrinsic challenged air circulation in the MES smokers. I've found mine works best in warm weather. I started out using wood chips, and my family told me the meat was harsh and too smoky. I learned about A-MAZE-N here in the forums, and switching to it and wood pellets changed everything. Also, for a short while I tried using the gel lighter stuff instead of a propane torch. The pellets kept going out after the gel was burned up so I switched back to the torch.

I've never smoked bacon. Why did you smoke it for 14 hrs? It probably got all the smoke it needed after 6-8 hours, although I've gone 10-11 hours with pork shoulder (15 hours with a whole packer beef brisket because it smoked overnight). I was given a whole bag of Traeger applewood pellets a couple of years ago (THAT'S when I did my research!). I was excited about using them until I read that Traeger pellets (at least when the article or post was written) used flavored oils when making the pellets; the pellets themselves were made from one wood type for the east coast, and other for the west. The woods might have been white oak and alder, I can't really remember without finding that article again. The writer said that info was given to him from a Traeger phone CSR. After reading that, I gave the bag of pellets away to a friend of mine who owns a Traeger. I've used other brands of wood pellets. But Todd and Rhonda Johnson, owners of A-MAZE-N, provide such outstanding customer service, I buy everything from them.

Rick
I haven't started the search for your post on the specifics of Traeger pellets from Eric6711 Eric6711 recent posts on Traeger pellets, and I want to reread it because many of us like it and some of the pellets are not oil influenced like the Traeger Pecan and Apple, just Alder or Oak 70% and 30% the flavor on the bag. I don't consider that a filler wood because they are smoking woods that people blend like Pitmasters Choice or let say Todd's Cherry pellets to keep lit mixed with another. Please repost your post if I don't find it first.
 

dr k

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daricksta daricksta I found your Nov. 2017 post on the 2012 post you quoted on Traeger pellets. I have Apple and Pecan Traeger with 70% Oak. I like the Oak with Pecan or Apple. This is the part that applies to the Traeger pellets I have. Who knows if they got rid of the oils since 2012 with the pellets I don't have.

I would have bet anyone 100 bucks that I never would hear back from her but today she called me and said she got a note from the mill with a breakdown of whats in the pellets.

The base wood if you are on the west coast is alder and the east coast is oak.

Mesquite or Hickory 100% base wood (alder or oak) with flavor oils no actual Mesquite or Hickory wood in the pellet


Apple, Pecan or Cherry 70% base wood 30% Apple, Pecan or Cherry wood

Maple 100% Maple wood

Alder on the west coast is 100% Alder on east coast 70% oak 30% Alder

Oak on the east coast is 100% Oak on the west coast 70% Alder 30% Oak

Kurt, here's where I got my info on Traeger pellets. This is a SMF post from 2012. For their pellet base they use alder on the west coast and oak on the east coast. I bought alder pellets from Todd for specialized purposes and I rarely used them. It's possible the Traeger CSR didn't tell you the whole story. Here's a link to the post:

http://smokingmeatforums.com/index.php?threads/new-info-on-whats-in-traeger-pellets.116254/
 

Eric6711

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daricksta daricksta I found your Nov. 2017 post on the 2012 post you quoted on Traeger pellets. I have Apple and Pecan Traeger with 70% Oak. I like the Oak with Pecan or Apple. This is the part that applies to the Traeger pellets I have. Who knows if they got rid of the oils since 2012 with the pellets I don't have.

I would have bet anyone 100 bucks that I never would hear back from her but today she called me and said she got a note from the mill with a breakdown of whats in the pellets.

The base wood if you are on the west coast is alder and the east coast is oak.

Mesquite or Hickory 100% base wood (alder or oak) with flavor oils no actual Mesquite or Hickory wood in the pellet


Apple, Pecan or Cherry 70% base wood 30% Apple, Pecan or Cherry wood

Maple 100% Maple wood

Alder on the west coast is 100% Alder on east coast 70% oak 30% Alder

Oak on the east coast is 100% Oak on the west coast 70% Alder 30% Oak
Guess I’ve got 70% Oak and 30% Hickory Oil. Wonder if it still the same
 

Eric6711

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I love a electric smoker for the ease of use. But you can’t beat a stick burner for flavor. I actually considered a Treager before I got my electric glad I didn’t get one. Guess I’m switching pellets
 

dr k

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Guess I’ve got 70% Oak and 30% Hickory Oil. Wonder if it still the same
It's worth another call to Traeger and ask them. I called Traeger in 2015 and the Chart I quoted from daricksta and what was told to me are the same with my Apple and Pecan. It's about Hickory and Mesquite if they dropped the oils and went with true wood. Then knowing that the milling lube oils aren't chain bar oil and vegetable oil for food safety. Todd at Amazen Products discloses 100% wood on the bags and food safe lube oil. I have primarily Todd's but I'd get Cherry Traeger if I can find it at $15.00/20lb. bag. Locally I get Jack Daniel's Sugar Maple charcoal 20lb. bags at $24.00. It's the mellowing charcoal they drip the whiskey through. It doesn't taste like anything but grilling over charcoal and mixing it with another 100% wood pellet keeps it easily burning and lightens the other wood flavor. Since Cherry is a more difficult pellet to keep lit by itself, I'd mix it with Todd's 100% Cherry.
 

daricksta

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You nailed the reason why I bought my electric smoker--the ease of use. If I ever get in a position where I can own one, yep, I want a really good stick burner. Get those smoke rings and crosshatched grill marks!
 

daricksta

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dr k dr k , Thanks Kurt for refreshing my memory. Yes, my info is 3 years old. But the bottom line is that I'm loyal to Todd and Rhonda, and they do sell great products. i'd rather older a 1 or 2 lb bag of pellets from them than buy a 20 lb bag of Traeger hickory or applewood pellets from a big box store. I've been using their Dust for cold smokes in my AMNS. That combo works SO much better than wood pellets ever did at low temps, and I'm talking under 100 degrees here.
 

daricksta

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Kurt, thanks again for confirming what I had written about Traeger pellets. I thought I'd remembered correctly abou the base wood being oak in the east, alder in the west. The main wood pellets I use are hickory, oak, apple, and Pitmaster's Choice which also has maple and cherry. I've also got pecan, alder, and mesquite. I've always been happy with A-MAZE-N products and so I've seen no reason to buy other brands. Their Dust is also excellent.
 

daricksta

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what is the best thing to buy to light the tray?
I use a propane torch I bought at Home Depot, one that appears to be discontinued. For a brief time I tried a fire lighter gel but the pellets kept going out when the gel burned off. I light the torch with a BIC BBQ butane lighter. The only issue for me is what to do with the empty propane cans, which I'm about to have. Those cans last years if you don't smoke all the time.
 

zwiller

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dr k dr k I've been using their Dust for cold smokes in my AMNS. That combo works SO much better than wood pellets ever did at low temps, and I'm talking under 100 degrees here.
Have any dust time comparisons vs pellets? IE not totally happy with pellet smoke with cheese and thinking of running dust but no idea how much to load or how long. I am about 2 hours with pellets with cheese.
 

daricksta

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Just so happens I do, zwiller! At low temps, I can get 6 hours or so out of a full AMNS tray. In fact I rarely use it all. But on a couple of occasions it has been like a wildfire decimated the Dust tray after the temp got too high. But I've had that seem thing happen with wood pellets, also about twice.

I've used both hickory and apple Dust with great results for cheeses and beef jerky. For salmon fillets, I just remembered I used alder, which is my least favorite wood. It just doesn't seem to burn as well as the harder woods. Typically, 1.5 to 2 rows of Dust does the job. Smoking should be more like 2-4 hours, depending on how much smoke flavor you want. I typically smoke them for about 6 hours--especially if there are issues with the Dust going out, which can happen in a MES 30 Gen 1 if air circulation is poor. My experience has been that once the Dust burns about 3/4 of the way up the first row, it's good to go for the rest of the smoke.

As I understand it, Dust burns better at low temps than pellets. So, I use the AMNS for Dust and the AMNPS for pellets.
You know Bearcarver, right? He's the one who suggested Dust to me about a year ago. The AMNS is similar in design to the AMNPS but it was designed for Dust, which is why I bought it. Just keep in mind that some Dust falls through the holes in the tray. but I usually sweep as much as I can back into the tray. But Dust is all I use for cold smokes now.
 
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daricksta

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I might be overthinking this, but I just want to make it clear I have no connection to A-MAZE-N other than being an extremely satisfied customer of about 6 years. Todd's products and his advice helped me develop my smoking skills so that I consider myself a pretty good and knowledgeable smoker. i also credit SMF for introducing me a raft of incredibly talented and knowledgeable mentors who advised me, and introduced me to Todd Johnson and A-MAZE-N.
 

dr k

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I like Todd's Pecan dust in the AMNPS. I'll get Apple dust when I get his Cherry pellets
 

daricksta

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i've rarely used the pecan wood pellets I bought from him. I just seem to always reach for the hickory, oak, or apple. I got myself involved in a whole packer brisket throwdown with nephew who insists that pecan is used in Texas BBQ. I didn't bother to argue. I like oak marries well with brisket. But now that you mention it, maybe I will use the pecan pellets instead.

Because of what I've heard about how hard it is to keep cherry pellets lit, I use Todd's Pitmaster's Choice, which combines cherry with hickory and maple. I just saw at my brother-in-law's house that Traeger sells that same blend (he owns a Traeger. He moved it inside a small shed because the wind played havoc with keeping the cooking temp constant).
I've been advised to always mix cherry with an easier burning hard wood like hickory or another fruit wood since it will keep the cherry pellets burning.
 

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