AmazeN Tube smoker vs. AmazeN tray smoker for higher altitudes.

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by addertooth, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. I purchased 2 of the tray smokers, and in spite of following all the tips, and building a mailbox mod, They would not stay lit.

    My elevation is above 5000 feet.  Even when sitting on the ground, or in a grill with massive air leaks, it would not stay lit (let alone in my MES 40 with a mailbox mod).

    I purchased a hot air gun, on someone's suggestion to get the coal bed massively stoked; it made no difference. 

    None of the classical suggestions worked.  (microwave, air-flow, heat-gun, pellet type, no-water tray, placement in MES and mailbox mod).

    I ran across postings from other users which were interesting.

    1.  Other users who were at higher altitudes were also having problems keeping their tray lit.

    2.  Other users were complaining the Tube smoker made too much smoke.

    3.  One other user, at high altitude was using the tube smoker with success.

    This led me to believe the Tube smoker might be just what was needed at my altitude.

    I bought 12 inch model, cured it, heated my pellets in the oven at 300 F.

    Started it up with just a torch, did not stoke it with my heat gun.

    Put it in my mailbox mod....

    And it burned perfectly!! 

    When it was down to 2 inches of unburned pellets, the ashes were shaken out of it (gently, so as not to disturb the coal bed).  "B" brand pellets were dumped in, on top of the existing burning pellets (these new pellets had not been toasted)....

    And it burned back towards the filling hole without a hitch!

    For those at higher altitudes, who cannot keep the tray burning, don't give up.  Get the Tube smoker; it worked for me.
    demosthenes9 likes this.
  2. I can't see how it is going to be any better. If the pellets won't burn outside the smoker in the AMNPS you don't have them going good enough or their is moisture[​IMG]. But I am glad to see you are now a happy smoker.

    Happy smoken.

  3. The answer is simple, greater surface area with the tube, to the bed of hot coals encourage better flow of the limited oxygen at higher altitudes. 

    In the past, I tried baking the pellets for an hour at 300 and microwaving the pellets to no avail.  I used torch for 2 minutes, hot air gun to stoke the pellets for another 2 minutes, let most of the first row burn down to make an AWESOME coal bed; all to no avail.  I tried 4 different brands of pellets as well, including the recommended Pitmaster pellets. I also did the mailbox mod, made sure the water tray was empty, tried different positions inside the MES (before mailbox mod), turned intake towards the breeze, etc... Everything which was suggested was tried.  Even more things were tried than I listed. I am not the only high altitude smoker who has commented on problems with the tray, but you have to dig to find their postings.   The tube worked, with untoasted pellets, which were one of the inexpensive "b" brands, right out of an already opened bag.  More surface area was the answer.  When you have to tweak something to the Nth degree, to get it to work, It is a design problem.  Or, it is a solid design, not designed to work for your conditions/application (altitude). 
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think I read where one of our members used an aquarium air pump to add more air.... Can't remember for sure.... High altitude is a problem because of the reduced oxygen supply... Sounds like a bigger tube overcomes that problem.... Good to know....
  5. I am glad you went to the 9th degree. It is no fun when things don't work. I guess I am glad I am at 800 FT.

    Happy smoken.


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