Smoke Hollow 38" vs 44"

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by grandmastershek, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. I see Sam's has both of these for $200 & $250. Anyone with experience with either? It looks like from the pics that the 44 is a little cramp in the smoke box as far as access to the water pan and chip box goes. I've also seen some people on here say the 44" uses a lot of gas. Plus I am not even sure I need all the room the 44" provides. Just looking for pro's and con's on both. 

  2. slysmoke

    slysmoke Smoke Blower

    I have the 38" and have so far yet to fill it up, though admittedly I'm usually only cooking for 4.

    I've done 2 spatchcocked turkeys at one time, as well as 2 9lb pork butts, and both times sill had room on the lower 2 racks.

    So far every rack of ribs I've put in has fit side to side, though they are a little close to the side of the smoker.

    As for gas use, I've lost my perspective on how much the 38 uses since I converted it to natural gas about six months ago, but from what I recall the 44 has 2 burners, so it seems it would probably use more LP.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
    smoke hollow 38 likes this.
  3. Thanks. I've also seen complaints about using a needle valve to get low temps on the 44. Is that the case with the 38?
  4. slysmoke

    slysmoke Smoke Blower

    I did the needle valve mod, but not because of an inability to get lower temps, but rather to gain finer control, which works pretty well.
  5. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have 2 44's and can't say that they burn much more gas than the 34 in SH that I used to use.   Space in the firebox isn't an issue for me as water, if I use it, can be poured in from above and I don't use the chip boxes at all.  Instead, I use an AMNTS smoke tube from AmazenProducts.

    Space is the reason I jumped in and got my first SH44, then my 2nd.  I can do 10   12lb Boston butts at one time.  Or 16 Rolled Sirloin Tip roasts.  Or 20 or so racks of baby back ribs without a single rack touching another.
  6. Damn! Do you cater weddings?
  7. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've done a couple of weddings, graduation parties, etc.  Mostly for friends and family.   Lots of times I'll let others know in advance that I'll be smoking and they'll bring stuff over for me to throw on at the same time.
  8. cashxx

    cashxx Newbie

    Uggg I missed this thread last night!  Those are the two I am looking at as they finally have a window in them!  At my research that 44" is the better buy if you have the room and need the special racks!  Plus I think you get the cover!  For the gas use the two burners scared me at first, but I have read a lot of people just use one burner and when the wood chips burn up they just switch over to the other burner. 

    I wish the 38" model came with all the other racks and a cover as well and that would make my decision.  Master built has a window model coming out as well, but can't find it anywhere like this 38" model of the Smoke Hollow.  Sam's seems to be the only place that has it.
  9. Well, I bought the 38, which should be arriving in the next day or so. I really don't need the space the 44" has. I've seen posts elsewhere of people doing 6 racks of ribs. That's more than enough for me. Based on the pics I would bet I could easily do 4 nice sized butts, or 2 packers. I'll update once I get it seasoned and whipped up some que. 
  10. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congrats.  Even going with a 38 you should be able to smoke more than that.  My 44 has 5 racks and I can do a full packer on each, or two 12lb boston butts.  That's 5 packers or 10 butts.   Looks like the 38 has 4 racks, so you should max out at 4 packers or 8 butts.
  11. slysmoke

    slysmoke Smoke Blower

    Best of luck with the 38, mine has been getting quite the workout since I got it in September.

    A few things I did to mine:

    Added gasket to the doors, (It leaked quite a bit), I used this -

    Tossed the chip pan in favor of a cast iron skillet for using chunks - note the supports for the chip tray were not quite up to the weight of the skillet, luckily I had an elevated cast grate from my grill side burner that fit perfectly.

    Filled the water pan with sand and wrapped in foil.

    Did the needle valve mod. The factory knob has a bit of play, at least mine did. I can dial it in within 5 degrees or so by just tapping the factory knob, but if I want to be overly precise I fine tune it with the needle valve.

    Converted to natural gas, because I have a line right where the 38 sits on the deck.

    Looking forward to seeing some Q-View from the 38 when you get it going!
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
    smoke hollow 38 likes this.
  12. vtech

    vtech Newbie

    Well I have a 44 and I am not impressed..............only one burner works     the other comes on but will not stay lit.    Did what th factory suggested but still does work correctly.   The said it is the valve in the exchange tanks I use that is causing the problem not enough flow.   They said not to use "Blue Rino" or "Ameri".    What?   Now I have to go buy find new Tank?   Sounds Like BS. 
  13. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Does sound like BS.  I'd call and talk to someone else.  Yes, it's a PITA and you shouldn't have to go to the trouble, but that's what I'd do.   Just to be sure, try this.  Turn off all the burner valves and shut off the tank.  Unscrew the collar and separate everything.   Carefully screw the collar back on making sure that it's seated correctly.   Open up the valve on the propane tank.  Let it flow for 5 seconds or so.  Next, turn one of the burners on and light it.  Check to see if the flame level is high.  If so, repeat with the other burner.
  14. lonestarmedic

    lonestarmedic Smoke Blower

    Ok, had the exact same problem on my PS4400 from Sam's Club. Here is what I found. The burners do not need much gas flow to operate. So, from a cold start with the hose disconnected it IS possible to trip their regulator excess flow valve on lighting. Try the following:

    1. Disconnect and let sit for 5 minutes. It can take that long for the regulator to reset!! Must be a bleed off type thing.

    2. Reconnect with tank and burners off.

    3. Open the tank valve slowly about 1/8-1/4 turn at the most.

    4. Light a burner on high. Watch it for a minute or so. Then light the other burner.

    5. Open the tank valve about a full turn. Both of my burners will run together on high on less than a full turn.

    6. Should be able to run one or both burners on low once lit on high.

    The air shutter on these PS4400s are difficult to adjust because of the configuration. The length of the wires on the piezo igniters will prevent yo from removing the burner mounting screws and sliding them forward inside the smoker. So you have to remove the inner shield just behind the knobs that covers the end of the tubes and slide it towards the rear of the smoker. Now you can see the shutter and its phillips screw. From experience the shutter will only have about an 1/8" opening for the burner to run. If there is too much air the flames will be pushed away from the burner tube and blown out. Especially on low. Mine run well with the tips of the flames yellow and the shutter open to just before the air flow pushes the flame away from the tube. And that is where the factory had them set. I messed with them thinking they were set wrong. Should have realized that after using the smoker last month, then both burners working strange this month that it was a supply problem.

    Now, I did purchase 2 spare burners to put in a drawer for down the road in case these rust out or have a problem. The burners with the air shutter and an igniter electrode already mounted were quoted to me at $10.00 each. Will see what I get in the mail next week. At $10.00 a burner it is a good deal. If they do have electrodes mounted, it is a great deal!!

    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  15. vtech

    vtech Newbie

    Thanks JB

    I did everything as you suggested the other day except disconnect the hose.   I will try that tonight and report back.   Bought mine at Sam's in Rockford IL.

    I was able get six racks of ribs done with one burner Last Saturday.  Everyone thought they were great.

    I just think things should work right out of the box and not have to screw with it.................."China"  

    Thanks Again
  16. lonestarmedic

    lonestarmedic Smoke Blower

    The key to resetting the regulator IS disconnecting the hose/regulator assembly from the tank. Might also turn the burner on for a moment to "burp" the hose from regulator to smoker. Should not need to purchase a different tank. I think these units are just touchy on the flow. I am going to try the regulator off of my other smoker and see what it does.

  17. vtech

    vtech Newbie

    Well I did as directed last night to reset everything and the burners stayed lit.   How ever with both burners on they will only turn up to about medium.  If I shut one burner off the other will only then go to high no matter where the the tank is opened to..    Seems to not enough flow from the tanks / lines.
  18. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    It's entirely possible that your regulator is faulty.  Give Smoke Hollow a call, talk them through all the steps you have taken and see what they say.   If you don't like the response you get from the CSR, either ask to speak to a supervisor or politely say thanks, hang up, then call back later and hope to get someone else.
  19. lonestarmedic

    lonestarmedic Smoke Blower

    If you switched which burner was on high and the other one then sat on low the problem is the regulator. Smoke Hollow is very good on customer satisfaction. Sent me a couple things ASAP when reported. Also tell the lady that the tank will run just fine on your grill. That way they do not blame the tank.

    I got my extra burner tubes last night. Each tube was complete with air shutter, and the igniter electrode. They were $10.00 each. An excellent price. And they did come as a right and left. This is due to the electrode. Different length wires and different terminals. A round connecter on a short wire for the right (Goes to center of igniter). And a flat spade connector with a long wire for the left ( goes to outside ring on igniter.

    J. B.
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  20. vtech

    vtech Newbie

    Thanks guys.  

    I still got the runaround with Smoke Hollow so I ordered a new regulator through Amazon for $22.00 yesterday got it this AM then Installed about and hour ago and both burners work very good on high now at the same time!  Not A TANK PROBLEM.  

      I bought this 44 last February and also recall telling SMoke Hollow that I could not get the burners to really run on low.   Their solution was to turn the dial between high and off to get the low...............ah product design problem.

    Any I have a workable unit for now.

    I think a I will look forward to getting a insulated charcoal smoker because I would really like to smoke in the WINTER here in Northern Illinois.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks again for the regulator help!

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