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The history of the AMNPS and why you need one.

Discussion in 'AMNPS Tester forum' started by chef jimmyj, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Todd Johnson owner of A-MAZE-N is a long time member. Several years ago he had a gen 1 MES. Todd observed 2 problems with the design. You have to reload chips every 30-40 minutes, a PITA, over a 16-20 hour cook, and the unit made no smoke at temps lower than 180°F. No way to cold smoke meat or cheese. Enter the first maze design that burned wood dust. It gave 12+ hours of thin blue smoke, solving the MES flaws. A new issue arose. The dust was great with the MES off, for cold smoking, but didn't work at 225°+. Some time and testing resulted in the redesigned second Maze, the AMNPS ( A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker). This design burned dust for cold smoking, no heat generated, and could burn wood pellets that would generate, 12+ hours of smoke at any temp the MES will produce. Brilliant! As the word got out and sales grew, guys with the gen 2 and other brands of smokers wanted the convenience of the AMNPS. A new problem...The AMNPS needs a good supply of air to stay lit. It worked in the gen 1 MES but not in the brand new MES gen 2 or Gas smokers. The design of the gen 2 did not let enough air get to the pellets and propane burners consume most of the available oxygen leaving nothing for the pellets to burn. Todd went to work on the problem and in short order introduced the AMNTS (A-MAZE-N Tube Smoker). The tube made smoke in pretty much any smoker out there.
    The AMNPS Maze does not burn chips. They can't be packed tightly enough for a continuous burn.

    Todd is a super friendly guy and his customer service is second to none! Give him a call to discuss the MES you have. Find what product will work best in your smoker.
    Masterbuilt never corrected the flaws in successive MES designs. Their fix was to create their Cold Smoke Attachment. An Expensive add-on that has not been getting great reviews around here. As a long time MES owner, I can tell you...While feeding chips for a few hours smoking chicken or ribs is no big deal...You are not going to enjoy staying up 16 hours, overnight or in the rain, snow or heavy wind, feeding Chips to your MES every 30 minutes. Since I got my AMNPS, the MES is TRULY, set and forget and I get plenty of sleep smoking an overnight Brisket or Pork Butt...JJ
  2. ab canuck

    ab canuck Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Necessity is the mother of invention, And a big Thx to Todd. I use them often although I don't have an MES. They are a great tool for us. Thx for the post of the history JJ,
  3. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I agree with canuck, you can find greats uses for AMNPS other than MES! i use mine with a WSM and a weber kettle. its a great smoking tool and for the price everyone should have one in their lineup!

    Happy Smoking,
    phatbac (Aaron)
    Bamabww likes this.
  4. ravenclan

    ravenclan Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    i have been putting it off on getting one and have seen all the great reviews from all the members. i have done the cold smoking but i really need this to step up the smoke for cheese. Now i just have to talk to the boss, to talk her into me getting one!
    Bamabww likes this.
  5. Misplaced Nebraskan

    Misplaced Nebraskan Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Wanting to get into cold smoking and need to get on ordering one of theses... Since I already have a pellet pooper, I guess the tube would be the way to go? Thanks for the post @chef jimmyj [​IMG]
    Bamabww likes this.
  6. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    You gotta talk your wife into a $25 purchase? I got mine for a bday gift.

    Happy Smoking,
    phatbac (Aaron)
    chopsaw likes this.
  7. ravenclan

    ravenclan Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    With all of my smokers and grills and "tools" and buying wood,pellets,wood chips and other things for cooking and smoking, and i could/will buy other things, she kind of keeps me at bay but in a good way.
    Bamabww likes this.
  8. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Good post JJ. Since I got my AMNPS several years ago I don't think I've burned 2 trays of chips.
    Bamabww likes this.
  9. kelbro

    kelbro Smoking Fanatic

    I have a WSM. Which AM would I buy to use up the tiny chips and chunks and dust that's always left over in the bottom of my smoker wood bags?
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm not sure if any unit will work but the better breathing Telescoping Tube would be the best bet...JJ
  11. Hauser

    Hauser Newbie

    Great post! Can anyone recommend a good brand of 100% hickory pellets that work well in the AMNPS/TS? I've had good success with BBQers Delight but they're not always easy to find here in Toronto!
  12. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    How about Amaze-N's hickory pellets ? The only brand I use.
    Bamabww likes this.
  13. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There is a problem with that figure, 100%.
    How do you know?
    And more importantly, the filler woods are more for binding the mixture together without using other things.

    Nobody watches the pellet mills to assure they are doing what they claim.

    But since the AMNPS tray can also burn dust, or in my case, small chips/curls, I took a chunk of 4X4 oak and made my own Oak fuel to use in my AMNPS, with my Jointer. Collected in my cleaned shop vacuum.
    Looks like this.
    Which is buried in a thread I started about pellets.

    Anymore, I like to put down enough pellets to act as a "fuze" to keep the lane burning, (~1/2) and add over that the chips sold as 100% ______ wood. So making my chances more assured that whatever is mixed in gets diluted by wood I believe to be more genuine.
    But honestly, I still wonder if it is worth the effort.

    But making your own fuel is pretty much the only Pure solution I know of.
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is a sad truth that there is no regulation of the pellet manufactures. The Truth in Advertising laws, however, make sure that 100% Flavor Wood, is all the type of wood on the label, maple, cherry, hickory, etc. This is incontrast to 100% HARDWOOD, which can be a blend of flavor wood and other, usually Alder or Oak. Fortunately, there is no need for artificial binders in wood pellets. Plant and, especially, wood cell walls contain Lignin. This abundant polymer provides rigidity, along with Cellulose, in the cell walls. When the wood dust is heated, the Lignin partially liquifies. As the hot wood dust is forced, under extreme pressure, though the small diameter nozzle, the Lignin glues the wood dust together forming a cylinder that's broken into pellet lengths and cooled. When completely cool the Lignin hardens and sets firm. Additionally, different components of wood breakdown, vaporize and burn at different rates. This is the reason lower burning temps make smoke and hot high temp fires burn clean. Lignin is one of the last components to breakdown and burn. This results in the Cherry Red Glow of pellets and embers. A-MAZE-N is still my favorite source and Todd runs frequent Specials and Discounts. Another reputable source for 100% Hickory Pellets is Cookinpellets.com. Not the cheapest, but a favorite of pelletheads. They are available factory direct or on Amazon...JJ
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    Bamabww likes this.
  15. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I order mine from Todd and signed up for the emails. I get a monthly email with discount code and order enough to hit $50 for free shipping. No other way I'd go. Been meaning to talk to him abut a patent attorney since I see lots "clones" popping up...
    Bamabww likes this.
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do know Todd holds patents on all his stuff but I don't know if that is the entire concept of pellets in a maze or tube, or just the shape and design. Sucks that triangle tubes and hexagonal tubes, among others, are being made...JJ
  17. mike243

    mike243 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I think i just seen 1 of the oval tubes at Walmart with their name on it
  18. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would hope his patent attorney covered all the angles, especially like you said: concept. Hard to imagine that would be missed. Might be time for him to check in with his attorney and send some C&D letters or maybe they are just waiting for the right moment to engage.
  19. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Maybe Todd will own his own Walmart....

    That'd fix their Pork Butts...:rolleyes:
    crazymoon and zwiller like this.
  20. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would say when Walmart puts their name on something you have a patent on is something my Uncle who is a judge and other relatives that are attorneys would say is "significant". :)