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A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker
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- 5" l x 8" w size makes it easy to use with almost any grill
- Produces smoke for up to 12 hours on 15 oz of a-maze-n-pellets
- Stainless steel construction is corrosion resistant for long life
- Transport easily from your grill at home to the campsite
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A-maze-n-smokers(amns) are light weight, durable and portable smoke generators, that produce great quality smoke for cold and hot smoking. They are versatile enough to be used in just about any smoker or a grill. The original a-maze-n-smokers were designed to burn sawdust for cold smoking, but customers quickly found them useful at higher temps. The "new" a-maze-n-pellet-smoker(amnps) is also a light weight, durable and portable smoke generator, but it's designed to burn pellets or sawdust. The new amnps will produce smoke during cold smoking and hot smoking, tested up to 275°! Designed to supplement smoke in an electric smoker, but can be used in just about any smoker or grill.
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I noticed several reviews before purchasing that stated it was difficult or impossible to keep the pellets lit, and several people were dissatisfied. There were a bigger majority that stated the pellets stayed lit just fine. I can tell you that on the first try I had no trouble keeping my pellets lit. In my opinion the people who are having their pellets die out are not following the directions correctly. You HAVE to use a torch to light the pellets, and hold the flame on them for a minute or so until they catch fire, then let it burn for a few minutes and get a cherry smolder before you blow out the flame. If you do this, as the directions clearly state, you will have no problem.
The A-Maze-n pellet smoker claims to provide 10-12 hours of smoke, but I did not get close to that. I got about five and a half hours out of mine. This could be because of the brand of pellets I am using, or it could be my pellets were too dry, or for whatever reason. All I can tell you is that I was surprised it burned through so quickly, especially since I only burned it from one end. Your experience may vary, and I see plenty of reviews saying others are getting more smoke time, but I am not sure how they are getting twice the smoke time I got the other day.
At the end of the day, this is still a pretty great thing to have for someone who wants to enjoy their life a little while still enjoying the art of smoking meats. The fun of smoking wears off pretty quickly when you have to keep looking at your watch and running outside every 30-45 minutes to see if you need to chuck some more chips into the smoker to keep it smoking good. Using this pretty much allowed me to get through my entire rib smoke with no additional worries about the smoke. I went out about every hour and it was still smoking just fine. In fact it seemed to get thicker as it went through the cycle. It started to choke out about thirty minutes before my ribs were ready, so I opened it up and tossed a handful of pellets back on top of the coals that were left in the tray, and that is all that was needed to stoke the smoke back up quickly.
Despite the shorter smoking time than I expected, and wanted, I am still relatively happy with this item. I can still throw a big pork but in the smoker at 0300 hrs and then go back to bed instead of having to sit up and keep throwing wood chips in and losing every bit of decent sleep just because I want some pulled pork. And maybe the best benefit is since you aren't out there every 30-45 minutes, you won't smell nearly as smokey when you get done. Sometimes the smoke is just too much after a long day around the smoker, at least for me. So I give this four stars, and would give it five if it really lasted 10-12 hours, or anything close to that. I may try a different type of pellet eventually to see if it makes a difference, but for now I have a giant bag of these others and the taste from them was just fine. I think if you are waffling back and forth between a tube pellet smoker and the maze tray, the maze tray is the way to go if you can fit it in your smoker, because if I can only get 5-6 hours from my maze tray, you may only get 2-3 from a tube smoker. I wouldn't take the chance. Again, it may depend on your pellets or smoker setup.
Good luck to you in your smoking, and don't hesitate to buy this product. I will use it on all my smokes from here on out.
Be careful when starting the pellets on fire. I was a little too careless this last weekend and caught the whole thing on fire. Man, the black smoke it produced and the temp jump up to 300f was not fun, but using silicone gloves, I took it out and sprayed it down with a hose to kill it. So be careful for how much smoke you really want :)
So after removing the wood chip delivery tube and keeping the vent wide open on my Masterbuilt electric smoker, I was getting tons of smoke from the Amazen Pellet Smoker. I had lit both sides of it, but didn't need too, but may do so next time cause I love the smoke! Completely full and burning from both sides, it took about 6 hours to burn itself empty. I loaded it again and only started one side the next time, which produced enough smoke to satisfy me, and it ran for about 12 hours. Pork shoulder came out great! This system is so much better than wood chips and I highly recommend it.
So my first attempt at using this didn't work that well. I followed the written instructions but even leaving my vent fully open, the pellets would die after about 20 minutes. Afterwards I googled and found that on Masterbuilt electric smokers you need to pull out the wood chip delivery tube in addition to opening the vent fully so that the pellets get enough air to smolder. I'll update my review after trying this tip.
It is not quite a perfect product, and the problem is not the fault of the A-Maze-N. People complain about their pellets not staying lit. That's not a problem with the pellet smoker, but with the pellets. Either the moisture content of the pellets is too high or there is insufficient oxygen present. Remember the fire triangle: Fuel, Air & Heat. Remove any one and the fire goes out. I use mine in my wood-fired BBQ smoker. I modified the smoker so that I could use it for cold smoking and cooking my homemade cured bacon and sausage. I discovered early in my modification project that I could not get sufficient airflow through my BBQ rig to keep the A-Maze-N lit, even with the firebox door open. Fitting a 3-speed fan into the door of my firebox solved the problem. Now the A-Maze-N will burn from one end to the other, even with my propane burner in operation.
With using pellets, I do not push them in tight, they are decently snug but semi loose. I do use a blow torch to start them off, give them a good minute burn then blow on the end like stoking a camp fire. After a few moments it works out well and burns quite good. Now I have not yet hit the 10-12 hour mark as claimed, but I do get on average about 6 hours from it. Now of course the pellets used will vary in times and temperature, find the right pellets for you and away you go.
I have not tried sawdust in them because in my area, it is easier to get pellets, and as stated above, they work just fine.
For anyone that is buying one, they work like a champ once you learn them, they are not all that hard and do a good job, just need a little encouragement to get them going, but once going, they work well.
My only complaint is that the company does not offer a larger version for when you want to do a cold smoke on a large fillet of salmon or the meat of your choice. If the company does look at these from time to time, I have this to say. I do love your product, but please make a larger version for those of us with a bigger smoker.
But final words, it is indeed worth the purchase and I am very pleased with the product.