Problems getting smoke on the Masterbuilt XL

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by hibobm, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. hibobm

    hibobm Smoke Blower

    I got a Masterbuilt XL for Christmas and got the 8inch cast iron pan that everyone says to get for wood chips.  I have used this several times now and have barely seen smoke.  I have smelled it and I have seen wisps off the wood but there has not been any leaving the smoker.  I have 3 good chunks of Mesquite in there now and still have had no real luck.  The cast iron is resting on the provided chip tray (the one with holes).

    Any help would be welcomed.
     
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    HiBobM, evening....I think the cast iron pan is too heavy to get the chunks to smoke....I had that trouble with a smoker I built for a guy... The element wasn't hot enough...  I went to the store and got one of those pans that are used in a little chief type smoker... SS and thin metal... That was all it took.... great smoke and the client was very happy... Just a note on the amount of wood... Use only ONE chunk.. you will get MORE than enough smoke from it... too much smoke is not good... TBS Thin Blue Smoke is perfect....  Dave
     
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I use a veggie wok in my Smoke Vault & fill it up with chunks.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. hibobm

    hibobm Smoke Blower

    Al, does your wood catch on fire like that?  I put in a 8X8 cake pan and it seems to be working.  Doing some ribs so I'll know by the end of the day.
     
  5. hibobm

    hibobm Smoke Blower

    Is that your water pan over the top with foil.  Does that diminish the humidity?  That is my biggest complaint with water pans.  Thinks like ribs don't need the humidity.
     
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yes the wood does catch fire sometimes, but I think that adds to the flavor of the meat. I also get a really thick smoke ring that way. Yes that is the water pan, but I have sand in it covered with foil. I use the Vault for mostly poultry because it runs at 325 very easily, and at that temp the water just boils out & the smoker is full of steam, so I found that sand is just as good a heat sink as water & the cleanup is much easier too.
     
  7. hibobm

    hibobm Smoke Blower

    I am definitely going to try the sand.  I have thought the water may be one of my biggest problems for not getting crispy skin.  Too much water vapor is keeping the skin rubbery.
     
  8. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Hey AL, can I use cat litter instead of sand?  I got lots of cat litter, but none of that pretty sand.
     
  9. hibobm

    hibobm Smoke Blower

    I had been contemplating a cast iron grill/griddle pan to disperse the heat, but kept thinking that would be a lot of money, the sand sounds much cheaper (even playground sand)
     
  10. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    No Frosty you can't use cat litter. Just go to Home Depot & get a bag of playground sand.
     

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