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Regret my propane smoker purchase...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I looked around to see what was available locally and my options were limited so I purchased a Smoke Hollow #6 for $200 at a store 30 miles away.  I was attracted to the quality of the construction, the roominess and the bronze burner.  I Got it home and put it together and the construction is solid... I did the heat up and seasoned for 2 hours. Up to that point I was feeling good!  After it had cooled off I popped my cured bacon in and put the smoker on low, was busy with other things and checked on it a half hour later to find the temp was 295 degrees!  It was 44 degrees outside and I am wondering how hot it will be in the summer!

 

My previous smoker a Big chief would not get up to temperature in cold weather and that was frustrating as all hell, having to finish everything in the oven.

 

I see the MES smoker is 160-ish at walmart if I order it. 

 

My question is should I deal with all the silly replacing of parts and installing a needle valve to control the gas smoker or get my money back and order the MES?

 

I just can't believe the Smoke Hollow is sold like that.

post #2 of 16

Don't have a smoke hollow but i do cook alot w/ gas outside .

 The only way you are going to get semi precise controll is w/ needle valve.

 wait for some of the other gassers to pop in and see what they say.

post #3 of 16

If you have your valve set as low as you go and you are still getting to high of temps you are probably going to need to install a needle valve to control the temps more. Or if you have a high pressure regulator you could try and swap it out with a low pressure regulator to reduce the gas flow and in turn should lower the heat. Also what do you have for air intakes and exhaust? Do you have them open or closed? If you are wanting to smoke at lower temps around 150 to do bacon or fish you could always just put an electric hot plate in the smoker for those instances and don't use the propane for those smokes. I'm sure there will be people on here soon that will give you some other suggestions as well.

post #4 of 16

First thing I would do is google the model for reviews below is an example of a 2 minute google on your model, just make an informed judgement of the reviews...a lot are bogus

 

"I purchased my Smoke Hollow 34 inch LP gas smoker from Gander Mountain. Prior to the purchase, I researched virtually every brand and type of smoker on the market and talked to everyone I could find that had some experience smoking. As a first time smoker I wanted something that was easy, well built and sized for occasional smoking for a family or small gathering. This smoker seemed to meet those requirements at a very attractive price. The first time I used it, I had difficulty keeping the temperature much below 300 degrees. Low, medium and high seemed to translate to very hot, very very hot, and scorched earth. I Emailed customer service at the manufacturer (Outdoor Leisure Products) asking for a suggestion and got the prompt reply that the parts to correct the problem had been sent to me. In a few days I received, at no charge, a new regulator valve, including everything from the attachment to the LP tank, the hose and the adjusting valve for the lower panel of the smoker. So far, I have smoked salmon, chicken, pulled pork and ribs. All were easy to do and all were delicious. The precision of the new regulator is incredible! You can dial in any temperature you want: a hair below medium is 225 degrees and it holds precisely. And my temp gauge on the front of the door is within 5 degrees of my remote probe (contrary to some other observations that this gauge is way off). If your smoking requirements are similar to mine, BUY THIS SMOKER! And kudos to the manufacturer for recognizing a possible problem, coming up with a solution, and their efficient customer service."


Second thing I would do is call the manufacturer and find out if it could be a burner / regulator issue, just make sure to do your research before calling.

 

Next thing would be to follow the directions exactly for example when you open the propane only turn 1/4 turn open, not sure if this helps but its in my GOSM manual to open 1/4 turn.

 

After that I would try choking off the fire with any adjustable air intakes and looking for excessive intake leaks, bent door or other things that may be drawing in too much air.

 

Return it if you can not get the temps close with the above suggestions.

If you plan on keeping it if the above steps do not help is to move on the the next suggestion.

 

When you have exhausted everything else, install a needle valve.

 

 

I installed one on my first GOSM, ran too hot, but did not need it on my second GOSM.

post #5 of 16

When I cold smoke in my Propane GOSM I get a electric hotplate and it will keep the temps really low. Also use my AMNS

post #6 of 16

I had a Brinkman gasser (before I bought my MES) and I also had problems keeping the temperatures low. The gas valve allowed me to turn down the gas far enough, but when I did that the flame would be very small and it would occassionally blow out. This was not good, of course. I modified the burner by plugging half of the holes so that the other holes could have a larger flame without increasing the net heat output. That worked OK as a fix. I mention this in case you do get a replacement valve to turn down the gas volume and then have a burner problem similar to mine at lower temps.

 

By the way, you will probably get more helpful responses if you post your question on the Propane Smoker  section instead of the Electric Smoker section.icon_confused.gif

post #7 of 16

I have a Smoke Hollow 38".  They had a well-documented run of smokers which ran way too hot and needed a regulator replacement.  I had the same problem - I called Smoke Hollow up and they knew of the issue and shipped me out a new regulator.  I was skeptical when I received the new regulator - looked identical to the old one.  But, I went ahead and swapped it out (took maybe 10 minutes to do).  

 

WOW!  Huge difference!  The temperatures we much lower and rock solid.  Depending on the outside temperature the max temp I can get on the high setting is maybe 280 degrees.  At the low setting I can maintain a pretty good 200-225 setting - perfect for slow cooking a butt or shoulder.  

 

If you do cold smoking I don't think any propane smoker will do it without some special work-around (like the hot plate mentioned above).

 

Give Smoke Hollow a call - I'm sure they'll get you taken care of - here's their info from their website: Outdoor Leisure Products

 

 

Outdoor Leisure Products
5400 Doniphan Dr.
Neosho, MO 64850

P: 417.455.9663 

Email: info@olp-inc.com

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

I work 12 hour shifts and am at work during their buisness hours so I sent them an email and that was on Saturday, no reply as of yet.

post #9 of 16

I just bought a Smoke Hollow 34" and I'm not have any problems keeping the temp down in the 210-225 range with the burner turned down to its lowest setting. However to do that, I must have the water pan in it. If I take it out the temp creeps up quite a bit. On the other side, getting temps as high as 350 seem like it would be easy to accomplish.

 

One thing if you haven't already done would be to verify your thermometer and make sure it isn't reading high. Do that by boiling some water and putting the thermometer in it and make sure it reads 212.

post #10 of 16

icon_cool.gif

I'm with Brian (bmudd) on this one. I also have a gosm that I use just for bacon and sausages and I use a single hotplate also. Now I can get smoke at 70° and that's low enough for me. Now you could always just buy a hot plate and use it in your smoker and not use any gas right then. I bought my single hotplate at Walgreen's for like 9.99 or something like that.

post #11 of 16

Sounds like you have plenty of good advise, nothing to add here.

post #12 of 16

I have a similar problem with my Smoke Hollow #5 being too hot.  I emailed Smoke Hollow and asked for any tips here is what they wrote back:

 

 

 

Quote:
 Is there any food in the smoker? Adding food to the smoker will lower the temps by 50 degrees or more. Also, if you look at your control knob you will notice the quarter of the dial between the “Off” and “High” setting. After lighting your smoker on “high” turn the knob past high towards the “off” setting. After passing the high setting you will notice the flame become a strong, smaller blue color. This setting will lower your temps to a range of 180 and higher.

 

Of course there is food in the smoker, and the knob setting does help, but I feel it is pretty rinky-dink.  They did offer to send me a new part I am guessing it is similar to what the above poster said.  All in all they got back to me pretty fast and I will be happy when I get the new part.

 

Hope this helps someone.

post #13 of 16

I bought this same smoker as well... At first, i was having diffculty controlling the temperature - it would either get too hot or too cold, and i could never get it exactly how i wanted it... However, after i used it a few times, it seemed to definitely start adjusting better... I also started to add a little bit of water on the bottom of the tray.

 

Just keep using and adjusting... eventually you'll figure it out.

post #14 of 16

The water helps stablelize the temps.Mine you can turn knob between high and off for a smaller flame.It will also run at 225 set on low with a full water pan and loaded with food.

post #15 of 16

deleted


Edited by danelmore - 6/9/12 at 6:47am
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hkeiner View Post

I had a Brinkman gasser (before I bought my MES) and I also had problems keeping the temperatures low. The gas valve allowed me to turn down the gas far enough, but when I did that the flame would be very small and it would occassionally blow out. This was not good, of course. I modified the burner by plugging half of the holes so that the other holes could have a larger flame without increasing the net heat output. That worked OK as a fix. I mention this in case you do get a replacement valve to turn down the gas volume and then have a burner problem similar to mine at lower temps.

 


 

What did you plug the holes with?

I'm headed to the hardware store after work to try and find something to plug the holes with because my new Brinkmann is also way too hot.
 

 

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