Help with A-Maze-N Smoker

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by boogey247, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. My buddy gave me his 5x6 to try and I can't get it to stay burning. I'm using pellets and have had a few problems. The first is I can't get it to stay lit. I have a MES30. I pulled out the wood chip loader a bit and opened the chimney completely, but it still went out. The one time I got it to start it got dripped on and went out. To solve this I put a piece of aluminum foil over it, but wasn't able to get it to stay lit. I really want to get this thing to work because I've read all kinds of cool things about it and I'd like to be able to sleep through the night. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    First of all---Which Amazing is it?

    I don't know about a 5 X 6.

    There are Dust smokers of 6 X 6 and 6 X 8.

    Then there is a 6 X 8 that is made for pellets, with double interior walls.

    If you're trying to burn pellets in the ones made for dust, it won't work.

    Tell us which one it really is, and we can help you.

  3. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Chip loader completly out, chip tray out 2 inches and microwave a cup of pellets for 30 sec. Stir the and do another 30 sec.  I usually have to lightly blow on mine for a couple of minutes to get a good cherry going.
  4. It's the 5x8 pellet smoker.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK, I'll give you everything I know:

    I use an MES 40, and I put it on the bars to the left of the chip drawer.

    I always put my pellets directly into an empty juice jug, as soon as I get them from Todd.

    I have never had to nuke or heat them.

    I never pull my chip drawer out or remove my chip dumper.

    The important thing is to get it lit properly before putting it in your smoker.

    I light it with a propane torch.

    Then let it burn until the flame goes out.

    Then blow on the hot coals, in the direction of the unburned pellets until it flames up again.

    Then leave it alone again until the flame goes out again. Then blow on it again until it flames up again.

    I keep doing this until I get a real big bright red cigar-like cherry at the bottom of the row.

    Only then do I put it in the smoker.

    Sounds like a PITA, but it's worth it to be able to get 11 hours of perfect smoke, without touching it the whole time.

  6. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I bought the AMNPS like I think you have. My smoker is homemade and didn't have enough venting on the bottom to keep it going. After talking with Todd I added a vent hole for oxygen as my heating element would eat the oxygen. I still couldn't get it to work with the vent and finally lit it good with a torch like bearcarver said. I set it on the concrete out in the open and it would still go out. Tried microwaving them and still wouldn't work. Bought some pellets from Todd and it worked good in and out of the smoker. The bad pellets stayed in my garage on the floor. I have in-floor heat in the garage and it finally must have dried them out. They now work great. The pellets especially really need to get going good before putting the AMNPS in the smoker.
  7. THIS!!...YES THIS!!!! .................[​IMG]
  8. kernbigo

    kernbigo Fire Starter

    The pellets are the big thing the moister content has to be down to about 5%, micowaving is the big secret to get them down to a low moister content, both smoker version will work. I made seveal and the design doesnt mater that much it is the pellets. I had some cherry that no mater what you did to them they woud not stay lite. Check these out absoulte hickory 50% hickory and 50% oak
  9. Thanks for the detailed explanation.  I have only had my MES40 since Christmas and my AMNPS is on order.  I will mainly be doing pork spare ribs, big beef ribs, beef briskets and possibly pork butts.  What about the top vent?  Fully open, fully closed or somewhere in between?  Thanks in advance for your help.

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Most Peeps keep their top vent open fully. Mine is almost always open fully, and never less than half.

    I also run my temp probes through that top vent.

  11. Thanks for the quick response.  My AMNPS has shipped and I am planning on doing a brisket for Mother's Day.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

  12. berwick12

    berwick12 Newbie

    It looks like that this is a good thread to ask a MES/A-MAZE-N question in since I'm having trouble keeping my A-MAZE-N lit in the MES.  A little background, I've never had a problem keeping the  A-MAZE-N lit before but there is a TON of moisture in the air since it has rained in 20 of the last 30 days.  No joking, I watched a huge tree compromise the structural integrity of its roots and topple into the neighbors parking lot. That was AWESOME, since it wasn't unto my house.  

    These are the factors and what I normally do

    1.) chip loader position - Pulled out half way.  

    2.) Chip tray holder position - Left in the rack all the way in

    3.) A-MAZE-N smoker position - Balanced on top of the chip tray holder box  

    4.) Top vent - All the way open

    I need to adjust the air intake or output to keep it burning, any suggestions?  
  13. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Since it has not gone out before it sounds like your pellets have taken on some humidity/ moisture. You can microwave your pellets for a minute then mix them around and nuke them another minute. Its worth a works!
  14. berwick12

    berwick12 Newbie

    Okay I microwaved it and it helped some but it's still dying out the second I put it in the smoker.  I need so input on air intake because I think that's probably my issue at this point.  
  15. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If it keeps going outside of the smoker and goes out when you put it in, it has to be air.
  16. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you have the gen 2 mes with the left side exhaust vent its air flow issue. If it is the top vent older model it MAY be an air flow issue.
  17. I am working on the same problem with my new MES. Am I looking for an actual flame or just a red burning pit? Thanks for the help
  18. I occasionally have this problem.  What I have done with good success is to place A-MAZE-N in the bottom of the MES, on the left, resting on the 2 rails.  I remove the round pellet loader completely and place a small fan on the ground next to the opening.  I run the fan on low speed and aim the fan so only a small portion of the draft actually goes into the MES.. Kinda screwy, I know, but it works for me.
  19. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic

    I use blow dryer to blow on mine! Lite it let burn for a minute or 2, then hit it with dryer. It will take off like a torch.

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