First AMNS Smoke - man, that was easy !

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by excalibur, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. I received my AMNS from Todd this week and took it for a first drive last night.

    Let me just say that hands-down, this is FAR simpler than the soldering iron, soup can method which I had used previously.

    I filled two rows with the provided hickory dust ramping up the first 1 inch or so from the hole.

    Lighting it was relatively simple with a butane torch and a little light blowing to fan the flame.

    I was using the AMNS inside my Masterbuilt propane 2 door right in place of where the chip pan goes and having removed the water pan.

    I had my thermometer in the box to watch temps and the most it ever got to was 49.  Our ambient temp last night was around 34.

    I smoked colby jack, cheddar and pepper jack for just under 3 hours.  Removed and wrapped the cheese for the 2 week hibernation.

    Two follow up questions - maybe for Todd or the forum:

    - I noticed that when I pulled the cheese, it had a nice smokey aroma but didn't take on much color. Do you think the lack of color is a function of too short a smoking time (2.75 hours), not enough heat (up to 49) or not enough smoke ?  I'm sure I have smoke flavor in the cheese.  Just looking for what I might do differently next time to get it to take on that nice honey brown color I see in a number of pics folks post.

    -For the 2.75 hours that the AMNS ran, it consumed about only 1 row of dust.  I scraped the unused dust away from the smoldering dust and saved for next time.  Based on Todd's directions, I had expected it to run through more than that.  Do you think the slow burn is more a function of the ambient temp (around 34) or lack of air flow ?  If airflow, I can't do much to open up the bottom of my unit because the burner is sort of fixed in place but I could slightly crack open the lower door of the unit. I did have my top vent fully open.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Congrats on your first AMNS cheese smoke, I think it will be a success. The cheese will not take on as much color when the temp is that cold, but it will still have the same taste. 2.75 hours for one row of dust sounds about right to me when cold smoking.
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Like Al said, the temp keeps the cheese a little "tighter" so it does not take on much color. The amount of dust is consistent with the smokes I have done 
  4. jno51

    jno51 Smoking Fanatic


    Here is a pic I just took about an hour ago. 6 hour smoke buring from one end of an AMZNPS dun today. It was in the low 30's today here in North Texas and I use NO heat smoke only.  This is the way I smoke all my cheese. It is all I can do to keep my wife and son out of it for the two week period. 

  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We don't know much about your ambient temps or humidity?

    Mine might burn a little more dust than that?

    I don't worry that much about color?  It is the flavor that matters, and you will know about that in about two weeks.

    Also, I have had much better luck with a pencil tip propane torch than the little butane micro- torches.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  6. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So I am thinking in order to get that great golden color temps need to be around 70-80 am I correct. I have smoked a bunch of cheese and I have yet to get that color but the smoke flavor is there.

    I was thinking the AMNSP would give me that color but now I am questing this. I am still going to get me one just due the ease of use. Much easier then using a couple lit chunks of charcoal
  7. I have the 6x8 and it takes 1 and 1/4 rows to go three hours. To get good color I'll burn two rows at the same time. Cold temps do seem to make it harder to burn.
  8. tjohnson

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

    CONGRATS On Success!

    My answers are in RED above.

    I would try lighting both ends next time

  9. I put mine in with the amns full last night and just left it til morning and this is whatt I got.[​IMG]
  10. Lately, I've been cold smoking cheese around 75*-85* with the AMNPS and at least for me it definitely gives a darker color...but I also agree with Al, even if you don't get a real dark color the taste is still there...I've noticed that this time of year - in my next of the woods - if the ambient is around 50-60* and the sun hits my smoker... between the ambient, the solar heat bump and the AMNPS...I can run at that 75*-85* with no problems.... I'm sure this will not be the case in a few months when ambient is running around 75* plus....


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