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What do you guys do when you are having troubles getting your AMazeNSmoker going?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rbranstner, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have been having issues getting my A Maze N Smoker going and staying lit. I am thinking I have some damp sawdust that is why it won't stay lit. If I remember right I think I read you can either put the dust in the microwave for a while or in the oven. Just wanted to see what you have found works the best. Tonight I was smoking some cheese and I had to light the dust 4-5 times. I need to make sure I dry out my cheery bag next time before I use it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  2. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    az
    damp wood..........doesn't happen 'round these parts.
     
  3. I read where some guys were putting it in the microwave for 1 minute. I will have to do the same on my next smoke also, last smoke I was having trouble getting my stash to burn.
     
  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I dont have that issue here either but the solutions I have seen and think would work are the oven or microwave. I am sure Todd will be along soon
     
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I see a pattern here, based on locations alone...it all has to do with relative humidity:
     
    I grew up in Dickinson, opposite end of the state from Fargo...I grew to hate the summer weather there...you could be soaked in sweat all day long and most of the night due to the humidity.


     
    Arid desert, even lower humidity than where I live now @ 4,900 ft elevation and 15-30% humidity.


     
    Humidity doesn't get much worse than where you are, does it?
     

    I'd do the nuke-box or oven...warm smoker spread thin on a cookie sheet for a few minutes if nothing else. Also, find an air tight plastic container to store it in once it's dried and cooled off. Should be fine after that, I would think.

    I gotta remember this stuff, 'cause cold smoking may be in some of my near future projects.

    Eric
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  6. tjohnson

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

    Quote:

    Hey Ross,

    Sorry for the issues, but 99% of the time, it's the moisture content of the sawdust.  When I get the sawdust, it's around 8% moisture content, but we had almost a month of high humidity and thunderstorms almost every day.  Sawdust can easily absorb moisture and just as easily release it.  It seems that the guys in drier climates have no issues, and we, in humid areas have to take a step to dry the sawdust.  NWDave lives out in Washington, and nukes his sawdust every time he uses his smoker, just to insure he has no issues.

    Oven Test:

    I placed 1# of sawdust in the oven @ 275* to dry, and checked the weight after 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, weighed 14.5 ounces, or in other words dissipated about 10% of it's total weight as moisture.  I kept it in the oven for another 2 hours, and checked it every 30 minutes, but no difference in weight.  All moisture was dissipated in the first 30 minutes.

    I left the 14.5 oz. of sawdust on the counter overnight, and the next morning, to my surprise, the sawdust gained almost 1 ounce overnight, just from sitting in the counter. Poured some in a AMNS, started with a mico torch and it burned completely.

    Microwave Test:

    I poured 3 cups of sawdust into a bowl, and nuked it for 60 seconds.  Took the bowl out and gave it a stir to release the moisture.  Placed it in the nuker for another 60 seconds, removed it and again, gave it a stir to release any moisture.  Filled up an AMNS, started it and it burned completely.

    If any of you guys have questions or concerns, my phone is always on!!!

    Hope this helps!

    Todd

    (952)412-0484
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  7. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    One thing that may also help is to get the dust out of plastic bags and into juice jugs. I took all my bags and emptied them into old OJ and Cranberry Jugs that seal better than the bags do. I dont have a humidity issue here but I think that might help if I did and it is way easier to load the AMS with the jugs vs the bags.
     
  8. tjohnson

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

    Hey Scar,

    How many jugs will I need to fill these bags?????

    [​IMG]

    Todd
     
  9. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I put mine in empty juice jugs (with a funnel). Once I get mine lit "right", it has never gone out on me.

    Southeast PA is not exactly a "Dry" place. The last time I used my smoker, it was very foggy out, and I could hear the power lines in the distance sizzling from the moisture in the air.

    I was thinking of making a movie---Calling it "Griller in the Mist".

    The biggest thing is make sure it is lit properly before you put it in the smoker. Give it a few minutes to be sure (blow on the "cigar cherry" if you have to).

    My two cents,

    Bear
     
  10. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I'll get that for you Scar:

    It depends on the size of the jugs.

    Small, Medium, or Dolly Parton???
     
    johnbphotos likes this.
  11. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Microwave for a minute works great for me, it's fast and easy. I had problems during the summer here in south Georgia, but now that the humidity isn't such a big issue it lights just fine. As far as the jugs go [​IMG]  I don't drink juice so that's not an option. I've got plenty of Grey Goose bottles though![​IMG]
     
  12. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Didnt Dolly go for a reduction?  Todd I can help. Ship half to me and half to Bear and you wont have to worry about it. We got it covered

     
     
  13. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member


    I knew there was something special about you!

    Breakfast = Screwdriver or Bloody Mary

    Lunch= Vodka Tonic - easy tonic

    Dinner= Dry Martini without the vermouth

    Just to name a few favorites

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  14. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks guys. I will try the microwave trick next time and that should fix me up. I have used my A Maze several times without any issues so I am fairly sure its a moisture issue and the microwave should fix that. I Just wanted to hear the different methods you can use to dry them out.
     
  15. U take that back!!!   Dolly would never get a reduction, took to many enlargements to get there!!!   [​IMG]
     
     
  16. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I actually saw an interview with her that she was considering it due to back problems [​IMG]
     
     
  17. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you preheat your smoker, put the dust on a thick sheet of alum foil and set it in the smoker during preheat.  Save energy be green, and eat lots of pork.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  18. tjohnson

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

    I'm thinking about selling empty bottles for storage.

    Gonna name my new product "A-MAZE-N-JUGS"

    LOL!!!!

    TJ
     
  19. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Too Late!

    Dolly already had that name copy-written!

    Grrrrr
     
  20. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think your movie title should be "Squirrels in the mist!" [​IMG]