How do I dry out some moist pellets to use in my A-Maze-N-Smoker

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by herbmmm, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Just realized a whole bag of pellets have gotten some moisture in them.  What is the best way to dry them out?

  2. Pu them in the microwave, in small batches for two minutes or so.  Check them, it may need a second go round in the nuker.  Do that to all of them and and your good to go.
  3. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    I think you can either dry them out in the oven or nuke them in the microwave.  I'm sure Todd will be around to clarify how as I've never done this.
  4. spread them out on a baking pan and put them in the oven at 150 deg with the door cracked open.
  5. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Any of those will work, but I dry mine in the microwave with a Bounty paper towel underneath to wick away the moisture. For a large amount of pellets, I'd go the oven route.
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    CAUTION>>>Nuking the Pellets on Paper anything more than 90 Seconds can catch FIRE!...Been there, did that. The Mrs. and the Smoke Alarm were NOT Happy...[​IMG]     A 150°F Oven for 30-60 minutes will get it done and no fire... [​IMG]...JJ
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  7. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good to know, thanks! But I rarely go over 1 minute.
  8. Pellets in the Micro nuker catching fire, never heard of that before.  What kind of metal was in there with these pellets?
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Not the Pellets...The Paper Plate they were on. Even at 90 seconds in a 1000 Watt Microwave, the paper plate will scorch and a Ceramic plate gets hot enough that a towel or glove is a good idea...JJ
  10. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    Yes, definitely that can happen, just the wood, you don't even need paper, or metal.

    Microwave dries wood to carbon, carbon is a very good electrical conductor. If the fire melts part of the glass, molten glass is also a good electrical conductor. All hell breaks loose.

  11. tjohnson

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

    How did moisture get into your pellets?

    I nuked pellets, to figure out the process, but don't seem to have any issues with moisture in the pellets

    I've also dried pellets in the oven, to get a moisture content of a batch.  Turns out they were 8% moisture

    Spread out a couple pounds of pellets on a cookie sheet and bake them at 200° for about 30 min

    If you weigh before and after, the diff is your moisture content

    Most pellets are 6% - 8% moisture content.  My observation is that at 12%, pellets begin to swell or fall apart

    After about 30 min in your smoker, they're pretty darn dry
  12. Good info! 
  13. ibbones

    ibbones Meat Mopper

    Im going to have to try this.  Living in South Texas where our humidity can sometimes drop to a low 85% and we feel dried out.  Everything is damp here.
  14. That helps explain why I may have to light them a few time to get them started. But after they have been in the smoker for about an hour, I no longer have a problem. Must be that they dry out. In fact, after my smoke if I have not used up all the pellets they are pretty hard to put out. Perhaps I should load the AMNPS and let it sit in the smoker for the whole pre-heat sequence.
  15. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How damp are they?

    If they are just hard to light you have several options.
    1. Dry in the oven (spread out pellets on a try and "cook" them at a low temp for 1/2 hour or so)
    2. Dry in the microwave just prior to use (put them in a pyrex container or measuring cup and microwave for 60 to 90 seconds - usually until you see the moisture being driven off of the pellets and starting to collect on the side of the glass container).
    3. Dry in the smoker/grill just prior to use (ie, put them in the pellet tray or tube but don't light it yet.  Light the smoker or grill and as it comes up to smoking temp it will also dry out the pellets. Once it's up to temp, then you can light the pellets or even take the tray of pellets out of the smoker to light it if you want).
    4. Use a MAP burner to light them (ie, plumbers torch). 
    If they are damp to the point of swelling and being crumbly, they are likely no usable.   You might try the dry in the oven tray trick but once they swell they will burn quickly and not respond like regular compressed pellets.

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