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​Why I Love the A-Maze-N Smokers

Posted by Chef Perry P. Perkins on

With over a thousand 5-Star reviews on Amazon, it's not hard to understand why the smokers from A-Maze-N Products have become the go-to item for creating and adding great smoky flavor for home pit-masters everywhere. Light weight, durable and portable, they produce great quality smoke for cold and hot smoking.

These little pellet burners will produce 4-5 hours of smoke at temps tested up to 275°, and are versatile enough to be used in just about any smoker or a grill. When not in my Caja Asadora roasting box, I often use mine to add a little punch in my Traeger Pro.

Time to start smokin'!

These are hands down the best smoking option (in my not-so-humble opinion) for any Cuban roasting box.

Product Details

  • Cold smoke meat, fish, cheese, nuts and more!
  • Constructed of U.S. stainless steel - Durable and will not rust
  • Small light and portable - Can be used in a smoker or grill
  • Simple to use - Easy to clean
  • No holes to drill - No cords to plug in
  • Made in the U.S.A.

At less than fifty-bucks, and with no moving parts, no electricity required, and no “special needs”, the A-Maze-n products are built to perform flawlessly…and have done so for me in all sizes of La Caja China, pellet smokers, gas, and charcoal grills.

The Differences:

AMNS - A-Maze-n Wood Pellet Smoker

The A-Maze-N Smoker is a 5x8x2", durable and portable heavy metal mesh smoke generator, which requires no electricity and has no moving parts. They can be used in just about any smoker or a grill. It weighs about a pound, and produces very little ash. The A-Maze-N Smoker will produces smoke for up to 11 hours on less than a pound of pellets.

This is the one I started with, and still my first love. As a personal chef, I take mine on every gig, along with a quart baggie of pellets, just in case.

Price: $34.99

AMNTS - 12” Tube Smoker

The AMNTS uses the very same materials as the AMNS smoker, but it's in the shape of a tube.

It was designed to burn pellets and supplement smoke at higher temps, in Pellet Grills/Smokers.

This is where most pellet grills/smokers do not produce much smoke. The AMNTS adds additional smoke at cooking temps, regardless if your pellet grill/smoker is burning pellets or not.

Just like the other smoker, the AMNTS will produce great smoke for cold smoking as well. The 12" AMNTS will burn up to 4 hours, depending on the smoker temps, type of pellets and draft inside your smoker.

My old Basset Hound, Phlash the Worthless, was always nearby to supervise my work...

Mine, kindly sent to be by Todd, worked perfectly, right out of the box. The tube smoked consistently (you get about 1 hour smoke per 3 inches of pellets in the tube) for a little over 4 hours, as advertised, without having to blow on it or mess with it at all. It was literally “set it and forget it” till it burned out.

This thing smokes like an iron horse in an old western, and will make you the envy of every neighbor and dog on your block!

So the 12" tube I got will provide up to 4 hours of continuous smoke.

Price: $34.95

Tips & Techniques

But remember...the magic box isn't just for pigs! I've done many, many pork shoulders and briskets in my caja chinas (or "Cajun Microwaves" as some folks call them), and I like my BBQ really smoky.

After a little trial and error, I've found that the best technique is to "cold smoke" the meat inside the Caja China (using just the A-Maze-n smoker, and no coals on top) for a couple of hours, refill the smoker, add the coals, and roast for the specified amount of time.

This achieves a deep smoke flavor that it incomparable to any other smoking method I've tried (and I've tried most of them!)

BTW, I use a small butane kitchen torch, or my larger propane camp torch to light mine.

I mean, let's face it...you can never have too many torches!

Pig done. Smoky and ready to flip!

Here are my tips from hundreds of hours of using my La Caja China, with both of these models of A-Maze-n smokers...

  • Leave the two end rails off your La Caja China for airflow (this creates a ¼ inch gap at either end).
  • Light the smoker with a propane torch on low, through the starter hole for 45 seconds. Do not use lighter fluid, if you need an accelerant, A-MAZE-N Products make a lighting gel that works great.
  • Allow pellets to burn for 10 minutes, and then blow the flame out (this is probably the most important step in keeping the smoker smoking, and one that many folks don't bother with...to their regret) and set the smoker directly on top of, and centered on, the pig rack (over the meat). Always position your smoker above meats, never below, to avoid being extinguished by drippings.
  • Keep in mind that airflow (wind) can shorten burn time, and increase box heat, so keep your roasting box out of direct drafts.
  • Don't use a water pan in conjunction with this smoker, as the steam can kill the fire and stop the smoking process.
  • Never use a smoker in an enclosed area or without proper ventilation.
  • If you plan on smoking for than 12 hours (a packer brisket, for example), have a second maze lit and ready to swap out, to avoid losing heat and effecting overall smoking time.
  • Keep your pellets dry, dry, dry! Smoker pellets will suck moisture out of the air, and I would guesstimate that at least 95% of people who have trouble getting these smokers to light, and to keep burning, have allow their pellets to get damp.
  • And finally, as I say in every post...NO PEEKING! I'll stop saying it when you stop doing it!) ;) Yes, it smells amazing, yes, you pig is becoming a glistening mahogany thing of beauty…you’ll have plenty of time to “ohh and ahh” when she’s finished roasting!

Oak & Pecan Pork Perfection!

Pellets

As far as what flavor of pellets to use, well...if you ask ten pit-masters what’s the best wood to smoke a pig with, you'll likely get twelve different answers.

Basic rule of thumb: heavy woods like hickory, oak, etc., for “heavy” meats (beef, pork bison), and light woods (alder, fruit tree, nut-tree) to smoke light meats like fish, fowl, or rabbit.

In the end, you want a light, steady smoke that is going to compliment the flavor of the food without overpowering it. My personal favorite for whole hogs, or shoulders is half oak, half pecan pellets. For brisket, I use an oak/mesquite blend.

But, don't just take MY word for it...here are some great tips from folks who have used and reviewed the A-Maze-n smokers...

“Fill the tube inside the bag of pellets (this cuts own on mess and waste), then pack them inside the tube like a pack of cigarettes. Just bump on the ground very lightly a few times to pack the pellets in there. Leave about 1 to 1 1/2" of room at the top so when you lay it down the pellets don't spill out. Then stand the tube straight up and light it like a candle without a wick with a propane torch.”

“Once the flame is out I lay it inside the smoker over the rack/grate, making sure the open end is slightly higher than the closed end (I use a small wad of aluminum foil.)”

“Make sure there's no meat placed directly above the tube, otherwise the fire will go out. If you spritz or mop your meat, be careful so it doesn't drip onto the tube.”

“This small investment here turned my propane grill into a great smoker.”

“I use it to supplement smoke flavor for meats I cook on my pellet grill. To smoke things like bacon, buckboard bacon, and some styles of smoked fish, you need to get the temp down to the 120 degree, or even lower. The Pellet Tube smoker allows you to do that easy.”

“Note that per the 'starting' instructions you really need to build up a substantial pellet ash to kick-start the smoke, but once you've done that it burns substantially and evenly all the way down the tube.”

“The Pellet Tube Smoker allows you to smoke at any temp that is even just slightly above the air temp around your smoker or grill!”

Both of these models are available at the Shop Latin Touch Store, under "Accessories" (link below.)

Keep Smokin!

~ Chef Perry

La Caja China Cooking

La Caja China World

La Caja China Party

La Caja China Smoke (Coming soon!)

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Take your roasting experience to the next level with our full line of La Caja China and Caja Asadora accessories.

From digital thermometers to smokers to top grills and rotisserie kits, Latin Touch has all of your Roasting Box accessory needs covered. Questions about how to use one of our accessories? Contact us via phone or email and our customer service team will answer any questions you may have.

Don't own a "magic box?" That's ok. Our accessories are just as effective as stand-alone products, and will enhance your roasting or grilling experience in whichever way they are used!

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