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Old 06-30-2014, 10:13 AM   #1
Speedwagon
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Join Date: 06-22-14
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Default Electric smoker in warm weather

Using a 30" electric vertical smoker in central PA area. Ambient outdoor temp is usually in the low to mid 80's and smoker is in shaded area under my car port. My problem is the wood chips do not smoke for more than 10 minutes after I lower the temp from 300' (start-up) to 225'-250' (cooking temp). While the meat turns out fine, it doesn't have a ton of smoke flavor. Any suggestions on how to keep the wood chips smoking for a few hours rather than flaming out? I've even used a blowtorch to start the wood chips and get them going nicely before I put the meat in to cook. Problem is the go out way before I'm done smoking the food.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:18 AM   #2
Mikeinctown
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Are there still wood chips left over when you are done? Even at 250, an electric smoker will keep heating every 10-15 minutes when hot out. Do you have to use chips, or can you place a larger section of wood in there? if there are no chips left when done then you need to add more.

I have an electric smoker and it has a pretty big wood box. No chips here. i place a single lump of whatever wood in the box and I can get an hour+ worth of smoke from it. In fact it is easy to put too much in there. A couple ounces will do.
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:46 AM   #3
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Use chunks, not chips.

I have a Brinkman electric smoker. Instructions says to use chip in a foil pouch or chucks on top of a bed of lava rock next to the heating element. I just found a cake pan, put a couple fist sized chunks in it, and set it right on top the element. Works great and has easy cleanup

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Old 06-30-2014, 01:01 PM   #4
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http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=177313

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=172102
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:02 PM   #5
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Which smoker do you have ? Masterbuilt or what?
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:24 PM   #6
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I have a Smoke Hollow. There are plenty of chips left (chips are about 1" x 1/2" chunks of wood before burning) after the food is @ temp. I ditched the wood chip box that came with the smoker and am using a medium-sized loaf pan which sits about 1/2 (at most) above the heating element. Outdoor Leisure (Mfr) essentially told me there was nothing that could be done because of the warm weather causing the heating element to frequently cycle off thus causing the chips to stop burning. Without the wood chips smoking, I have an oven rather than a smoker.
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:48 PM   #7
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Lets see pics- if u have room u could put a cast iron pan or skillet in there and light the chips (or use pellets ) or one of those add on smoke tubes that u fill with pellets n light.
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:48 PM   #8
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In my Masterbuilt I put a little bit of busted up briquettes into my wood chips. It keeps the chips burning when the element cuts off. I can get pretty good results with it. I will usually bust up 3 briquettes and mix one to two small pieces when I add wood. Just go easy, im not sure how your chip tray is designed, but I think a whole briquette might burn through the chip tray on my MBE.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:34 PM   #9
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I have about a 16" x 12" "shelf" area to work with but part of that shelf holds the water tray. I thought about mixing some hard charcoal with the wood to help keep it burning. The wood chip box is made of a hard metal with a slotted cover.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:23 PM   #10
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Are you preheating the smoker? If you are, stop it!!! You will get good smoke if you just put everything in there and then turn it on. The instructions for my Smokin-It says do not preheat and I get a lot of smoke right away, and I think the long process of getting to temperature gets the wood going so it keeps smoking.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:33 PM   #11
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Per the instructions, I am preheating.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:37 PM   #12
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Wow, that just doesn't make sense to me. Stick some chips in there and turn it on. I bet you get more than 10 minutes of smoke.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:43 PM   #13
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On my FILs electric, there is very little air circulation through the unit. Like one 1/2" drain hole on the bottom and one 1/2" vent at the top. I found I got more smoke if I pulled the drip pan that essentially seals to the bottom of the smoker to expose the small drain hole and provide more air (oxygen) to the smoking chips.

If your unit is essentially air-tight, you might look at ways to get more air to the chips.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:35 PM   #14
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I don't think it gets enough air flow. I broke up some charcoal and lit it then mixed it with the wood chips and it still only smoked for about 15 minutes.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:44 AM   #15
Mikeinctown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peeps View Post
On my FILs electric, there is very little air circulation through the unit. Like one 1/2" drain hole on the bottom and one 1/2" vent at the top. I found I got more smoke if I pulled the drip pan that essentially seals to the bottom of the smoker to expose the small drain hole and provide more air (oxygen) to the smoking chips.

If your unit is essentially air-tight, you might look at ways to get more air to the chips.
My smoker has maybe a 1/4" hole in the bottom, and about a 1/2" hole up on top and I have no issues.

Have you verified the internal smoker temperature with a probe in addition to the built in thermostat? When you did the test did you start from cold or preheat like you have been doing?
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