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pellets and smoke quality

Discussion in 'A-Maze-N Smokers' started by saltysandman, Jan 10, 2019 at 1:23 PM.

  1. saltysandman

    saltysandman Fire Starter

    hi all, need some advice. i know that TBS (thin blue smoke) is the best. My current batch of pellets is giving me some challenges. They've been in my garage for over 6 months part of which is Florida summer. So, humid. Trying to get my TBS game perfect. I've converted to using the AMPNS tray with pellets. But i'm getting varied results. Here's my log of what i've tried.

    1. Pellets straight out of bag (opened and not sealed/airtight) - won't stay lit. I think it's from the humidity.

    2. Pellets made into dust. I put a cup of pellets into a bowl and put enough water to get them to crumble. Then i dried them in my oven. Wood smell in the house. Wasn't too bad. Dust works great and i can achieve a TBS. Although my smoke is perfect here, it's an arduous process to make dust and then dry it. So, Ive been experimenting with drying the pellets.....

    3. Pellets dried for 20 mins, 45 mins and 1 hour. All at 200 degrees in my MES. They all stay lit but I'm getting a thin blue and white smoke. Mainly white. Is this okay?

    maybe it's the pellets. only way i've been able to get TBS is by making dust out of them. do i need to dry them out more?

    Here's more pellets that i dried for 2 hours. I lit with my torch and after a couple mins of them burning in a small yellow flame, i blew it out. Here's what it looks like. A lot more billowing white smoke this time.

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019 at 1:44 PM
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I don't watch videos
    Is your AMNPS raised up so it gets enough air?
    I used spring binder clips an mine gets lit burns 3 min. then into the mail box.
  3. saltysandman

    saltysandman Fire Starter

    yes, i have it out in the open and it's got plenty of air flow.
  4. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You are fighting the damp humidity the most.
    I tried the Microwave method so many seem to subscribe too.
    I barely got the house aired out before She came home.
    So I adopted the smarter play of doing a pre-smoke drying run in my MES, which is outdoors anyway.

    Daveomak suggested to a member they dry out their smoker after a use, and to sterilize it before using it the next time.
    That's simple. Just run it at 275 after smoking to dry it out and sterilize it from mold build up (for folks where humidity and dampness persists).
    During the pre-run where the smoker gets pre-heated, I take my AMNPS, load it, then let it get dried out during the "pre-game" show.
    So maybe try that and see if Pre-Game drying helps your damp problem.

    When I make saw dust from my Pellets, I go to the extreme of drying out the dust in pans in my MES. Then pack it up in sealed drums for storage. (5 gallon, or smaller pails with tight fittin lids.)
    I almost exclusively use dust now, thanks to Daveomak's advice's. But even so, I bake it a bit before the main show.
    If it's dry, it just works a whole lot better.

    Try drying just a tray at a time, then see if it doesn't work better for you. You can't change the weather, but you can find methods that work for you. :emoji_wink:
    saltysandman likes this.
  5. saltysandman

    saltysandman Fire Starter

    my pellets were dried prior to me lighting them. tried drying for 20mins, 45 mins, 1 hour and 2 hours. The ones that were dried longer burned quicker but all had this thin white and blue smoke as you can see from my videos. ive got some new pellets being delivered tomorrow so i'll have something to compare it to.
  6. Winterrider

    Winterrider Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I may have missed it but what brand pellets are you having issues with ?
  7. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The tray you are using looks like the dust tray.

    Not an AMNPS.

    Also, my TBS is when exiting the smoker, not at my AMNPS.
    But trying a different supply of pellets might answer several questions

  8. lovethemeats

    lovethemeats Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If she doesn't like the smell of the wood. Just buy a cheap microwave and stick it in the garage. I've done my pellets in that with great success. You can get them pellets quite hot in a short period of time. Lowes/Home depot sell lids for 5 gallon buckets that screw on and have a rubber seal on them. You snap the lid down in place which fits pretty tight then the top unscrews. Store your pellets in that. It will help with keeping the moisture/humidity out of your pellets.
    saltysandman likes this.
  9. WaterRat

    WaterRat Meat Mopper

    In your situation, I'd recommend a food grade bucket with gasketed lid to store the pellets in. You can get one at home depot. I've read you can also get sealing pet food containers which would work.

    Edit: Oops, didn't completely read lovethemeats reply
    saltysandman likes this.
  10. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I dried some pellets in the microwave one time and darn near caught the place on fire.. but really yes, you can dry them in the MES for a while and that seems to work ok.

  11. Bigtank

    Bigtank Fire Starter

    lovethemeats and saltysandman like this.
  12. saltysandman

    saltysandman Fire Starter

    indeed you are observant. is the dust tray (6x6) that different from the pellet AMNPS (5x8). the wire mesh looks the same although the channels are wider on the 5x8.

    I see your point on the exit TBS but I have success with dust. Perhaps I'm splitting hairs here.

    I wonder if anyone can post a picture of their AMNPS in action. Would like to compare my smoke with someone who has TBS from their AMNPS.
  13. saltysandman

    saltysandman Fire Starter

    i think i read your post on this. paper plate right?
  14. saltysandman

    saltysandman Fire Starter

    i do actually have a spare microwave. this would be faster than the oven.
  15. campfire218

    campfire218 Fire Starter

    I open the vent all the way, completely remove the chip tray (inside) and the loader tube. I live in Minnesota, so humidity isn't really an issue, but as others stated; I've seen other forums saying to vac seal your stored pellets and microwave before using on a paper plate if they are still a little damp.
  16. saltysandman

    saltysandman Fire Starter

    thank you and yup, chip loader removed completely. air flow is good.
  17. saltysandman

    saltysandman Fire Starter

    brand is Grillers Gold competition. It's a blend. I'm almost certain it's the humidity that's got me. I've got new pellets coming in today so i can do a side by side comparison.
  18. Winterrider

    Winterrider Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    If drying pellets in microwave, "do not leave unattended" and do in cycles. Minute of drying, open and cool. Repeat as necessary. I did do on paper plate and it started smoldering while I was watching.
  19. lovethemeats

    lovethemeats Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yeah that's an eye opener. For sure. I do in a glass container when in the microwave. Do just enough for the run in the smoker. After every minute I reach in and give a stir with my hand. Watch it as if your hands are not used to hot stuff. You can get burned.
  20. Shootr

    Shootr Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    Not very good of the smoke, but figured I'd post it. This is with Camp Chef competition pellets, stored in a Homer bucket with the screw lid outside IMG_20190101_075829-01.jpeg IMG_20190101_102552-01.jpeg