Royal Oak observations

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by farmerchad, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. farmerchad

    farmerchad Smoke Blower

    Hey all, newbie here. Being that I couldn't find too many threads on the Royal Oak, thought I might start one. This (hopefully) will include my observations and modifications to turn a "ho-hum" electric smoker into a respectable piece of backyard equipment. I plan to update this as often as reasonalbly possible. I have seen a few posters struggle with this smoker, hopefully this will help in some way. Maybe if you find one of these smokers for a bargain, you will consider the options

    I just recently purchased this unit, have smoked a few items in it, and figured out a few noteworthy "adjustments". So far, my ideas have come from right here, I take no credit, just put them to use to increase the "potentcy" of this smoker.

    Firstly, the built in thermometer. We all know they aren't reliable. So I ponied up $14 and bought a cheap digital probe. I clipped it to the inside rail, in the middle with a clothespin. Voila, quick, and accurate. I was suprised to find that over the long term, the built in is fairly on the spot. Its just to slow to respond.

    Preheating. Painfully slow, or so it seemed. Ya know the drill, turn it on hi, throw in some chips, and an hour and a half later you got the first puffs of smoke! The wife and kids are giddy, dinner might be done before 1 am afterall! I really wasn't impressed too much at first. After scrounging around I went with "heat sink method". I found the biggest iron pan I had, that would fit in the bottom, under the element, filled it with sand and let her rip. The results? Holy crap, this baby will be upto temp and smoking in about half and hour. I tested this yesterday and today. The outdoor temp, very low 70's, and raining. My smoker sets in the shade under a covered porch. That pan is staying put no matter what!

    Recovery time. With the "pan-o-sand" in the bottom, recovery isnt much of an issue, load up your meat, and within maybe 5 minutes your back up to the temp. As a matter of fact, if you let'er get too hot, you might have to leave the door open, like a damper till it cools off a bit. Previously, the recovery time was pathetic. I lost track of how much time it took. All I know is that I had to crank the thermostat all the way up, and it still took forever.

    Smoke. The biggest complaint was smoke generation. I took out the rack that held the chip pan and put the pan directly on the coil. Oh yeah, switched to wood chunks. I load her up and dont have to worry. When need, I just throw a few more chunks in, within a few minutes I have more smoke. And no, I don't bother with soaking. Why stunt their destiny?

    Low temp smoking. Impossible out of the box. I simply get'er going, lower the thermostat, and leave the door open to cool'er down. Got plenty of smoke as low as 140. I tested it the other day, held steady for about and hour. The heatsink certainly helps with keeping the chunks going. Can't wait to load a batch of kielbasa up to try it for real!

    Thats all for now. Hope this benefits another faithful follower of the Royal Oak Smokers. LOL

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