Video: Heat Gun Lighting AMNPS - No torch used

Discussion in 'A-Maze-N Smokers' started by johnmeyer, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    Here is a video showing my technique for lighting the A-Maze-N 5x8 pellet smoker (AMNPS) using only a heat gun. I find this technique takes less time (90 seconds total) to get the pellets lit than does using a torch, and that drying and heating all the pellets helps keep the pellets stay lit.

    I also briefly show a simple mod that I made which increases airflow into my Masterbuilt Electric (MES). The three little holes in the chip loader plus the drain hole at the bottom are the only sources of air, and that may not be enough to provide oxygen to the AMNPS. With my mod, I can get 3-4 times the amount of air into the smoker. Some people pull the chip loader out part way, but you don't have as much control over the amount of air, and it is not repeatable, because you never pull it out the same amount each time.

    Here is the video:

    chef jimmyj likes this.
  2. lamar

    lamar Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    You are right on. I have been using my Wagner heat gun for three years to light my smoke generator. Usually ready to put in smoker in 3-5 minutes.

  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    A lit more of a dance then using a torch, 30 sec light time, but a great Video and Demo for guys with Heat Guns. The elbow/can deal looks interesting...JJ [​IMG]  
  4. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    Two hours after posting this video, I used the AMNPS to smoke some beans, and it went out, even though I let it burn for 10+ minutes; it was full to the top; I have my "more air" mod in place; the chip tray is pulled out; there is nothing to drip on it because the beans are in a pan, near the top of the smoker; the vent is wide open; and I'm using Todd's "Pitmaster" pellets.

    So, feel free to ignore my great idea.

    I love this thing when it works, but I'm glad the rest of my cooking isn't this "hit or miss."

    Sigh ...
  5. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Since a lot of air comes in the grease drain hole of the Gen1 center back floor, I made sure the foiled pan hole was open and over the hole in the floor (I make sure to match them up every smoke.) It was even better removing the pan and foiling the bottom of the smoker with the hole open for venting. I put the foiled pan back in with the mailbox mod. I have the Gen1 40 with occasional issues keeping the AMNPS lit before the mailbox mod and even fewer without the bottom pan. I just don't want open the smoker for any reason but to foil/remove the food I'm smoking.
  6. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic


    Great call. Last night, after I posted, and while the smoke was still going on, I had exactly the same thought. As a result I removed the drip pan since it is not needed with a dripless pan of beans. Once I did that, the AMNPS stayed lit for the remaining 2-1/2 hours of the smoke. I'm not sure if that was really what made the difference, but I'm going to look really carefully at that today and see if perhaps I need to change what I'm doing. I've been pulling that tray forward to keep condensation from the door from dripping underneath the tray, but now that I think of it, that would make the hole in the tray not line up with the hole to the outside, effectively blocking that air. It seems like there should still be many times that amount of air coming in from chip loader (especially with my mod in place), but perhaps there is some other subtle dynamic going on.

    By the way, the beans were an amazing hit. In forty years of making beans I've never had the reaction I had to these.
  7. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    I saw in the video you pulling the tray towards the door before closing it up. I was thinking of an elbow sticking out of the floor pointing toward the bottom of the AMNPS before I did the mailbox mod. I have posted several times with my Gen140 that in the back at the grease drain I can't keep a lighter lit because the draft sucks the flame into the smoker.
  8. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    I added an annotation to my video, advising NOT to pull that drip tray forward and to make sure that the hole aligns.
  9. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    As long as the beans were a hit all's good.
  10. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    John, can you share your bean recipe/technique?
  11. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    No, because it is not my recipe ...

    ... but ...

    I can give you a link to the recipe I used, which is given in the first post in this thread started by "Gary S"

    Gary's Smoked Baked Beans

    It's a long thread, but almost all the posts are from people saying how incredible the beans are.

    I completely agree.

    Here is a link to my post near the end of the thread. I am providing this because I scaled do the recipe to handle just two 16-ounce cans of beans. Gary's original recipe is for almost 90 ounces of beans, which is a pretty big batch of beans, unless you are having a big picnic.

    Gary's Recipe Scaled to 32 ounces of beans
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  12. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    Ah, I've seen that before but have not made it yet. Maybe it's time. Thanks.

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