Won't stay lit, even outside

Discussion in 'A-Maze-N Smokers' started by nolatech, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. So I've tried everything I can think of. I've microwaved the pellets, used a hair dryer, used the plain old blow on it for 20 minutes to get a nice good cherry going, but no matter what I do, it keeps going out. Today I tried it without putting it in my 1st gen MES 40, and just left it sitting on the top grate of my Weber uncovered and it still went out after 20 minutes. I'm using cherry pellets from Todd, so I know it's good quality pellets. What else could be the issue? If it just the humidity of south Louisiana? The pellets are stored inside in the same zip lock bag the pellets came in. I'm so frustrated!
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cherry pellets will not burn by themselves.... they need hickory or oak.... Cherry is too dense a wood to smolder.... try some other pellets like oak, hickory, alder, maple or what ever you have.....

    Also, the humidity on NO is pretty high and the pellets absorb moisture.... Try drying a AMNPS load of pellets in your oven at 275 for a couple hours.... that time and temp may be necessary to drive the moisture out of the wood fibers....

    Believe me..... that is what I have to do to get a complete 10-12 hours of smoke from the AMNPS.... once you get stuff figured out, you will be happy and have great smoked food......

    nolatech likes this.
  3. The only other pellets I have are the Jack Daniels ones that apparently are mostly charcoal. Would that keep the cherry lit for a long smoke?
  4. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    Can't say for sure, but it seems like that would work and certainly worth a try. I'd start with 25/75 mix of JD/cherry
  5. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Have the Jack Daniel's pellets stayed lit by themselves?  If so, then try 1/2-2/3 JD on bottom and Cherry on top.  Test it with Hamburger/sausage/hot dogs or nothing.

  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You could try it.... use about 25% cherry and 75% JD pellets...

    I use about 3 oz. per smoke of Todd's pellets.... when I smoke 30#'s of bacon, that figures out to about 3 cents per pound ....

    I order pitmaster's choice and hickory.... Todd has sales pretty often and usually shipping is free...... I ordered 40#'s a few years ago and am still using that order.....

  7. I don't know if they worked by themselves, never opened them before today. Got a 60/40 JD/cherry in right now and testing on top of the Weber. If that stays lit for an hour, I'll transfer to the MES and see how it does with no power to unit. If it stays lit with no draft generated, it should work fine for hot smokes too. I'll update in an hour or so unless it goes out sooner.
  8. Drying anything in a gas oven requires the door be a-jar to let moisture escape, gas emits moisture when burning.
  9. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    I'm not sure if the AMNPS will stay lit in the MES without heat convection. That's why they have the separate cold smoker. I'd heat up the MES for a real test.
  10. I'm really hoping that isn't true. I'd really like to use the MES for smoking cheese the 3 days it gets cold enough!
  11. So update after an hour: still smoking on top of the Weber, but really only the JD pellets. I had everything mixed together, so I painstakingly separated then and put JD on the bottom and cherry on top. I'm going to let that go on top of the Weber for about 30 minutes and then move to the MES. Updated to follow.

    Thank you to all for the help! I was very close to buying the cold smoker attachment from MB, but I think I'm on the right track now and won't need it. True test will be in about 30 minutes...
  12. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Cold smoke in the Weber with the lid raised a half inch at four points with the top and bottom vents wide open. Like the saying goes, you can cold smoke in a card board box.
  13. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Let us know. I was wanting to get some of Todd's Cherry pellets and some others later. I have over 20 lbs. Of his pellets and the 2lbs. That came with the AMNPS.
  14. That's what I've been doing, but I obviously have a ton more room in the MES. I may do the mailbox mod if I can't get the draft right.
  15. Still smoking, just went in to the MES and turned on to 210 (the mav hovers around 225-230) on mine. Going to smoke some dogs since the smoke is flowing. Once they are done, I'll keep the AMNPS going to see if it will continue with no draft. Keep you posted!
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Usually, you have to heat the MES to above ambient to start a draft then turn it off.... The heat gets a chimney effect going... once going the heat from the AMNPS should keep it going.... Exhaust wide open.... chip chute pulled out from 1-2"... varies with units.... and the chip pan pulled out about 1/2 - 1" to have a path for air flow to the AMNPS.... if you have it sitting on the bars to the left of the heating element.....

    Sure hope you get it working..... It is the best tool for the MES, or any electric smoker as far as that goes...... or a cardboard box for cold smoking cheese etc.....

    Oh yeah, the chip chute may need to be turned 1/2 turn ..... don't remember if it is the "DUMP" position..... but I think it is.....
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  17. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Here's another way of trying it next time... I put my unlit tray full of pellets in the smoker while it's preheating... this preheats the pellets as well.. I light it when I put the food in the smoker ... I cold smoke in mine, but then again I have a bad air leak along the bottom of the door...
  18. I can't pull out the chip loader unless it's in the load position.
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    JD.... Good point........ I'm cold smoking my bacon tonight and the hickory pellets are in the MES now at 275.... to dry the pellets and sterilize the interior...... I'm planning on about hours of smoke with 1/2 a full AMNPS....

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  20. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You should be able to pull it out a bit, then rotate so the open slot is pointing down... You have to get past the "locking" position if I remember correctly....

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