ok so i have the smoker fired up and i had it just under 200 and then opend it up to put drip pans in seeing how this is my first time smoking anything in it i have had it up to 220 to 230 before just test run and i cant get it up there someone please help
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First of all what kind of smoker are you working with, propane, electric, charcoal, etc.? Did you put hot water in your pans or are they empty? If you put cold water in the pan it will take the smoker a while to bring it up to temp therefore your smoker will run at a lower temp. Give us a little more info and we can help you out.
You can add water in the pan to help stabilize temps in the smoker and add moisture to the smoker. Try removing the pans once and see if they are just blocking some of the direct heat from getting to your thermometer. Are the pans taking up a the majority of the bottom of the smoker? Do you have your burner turned up all the way? Another thing is you need to test your thermometers and make sure they are accurate.
i only have one drip pan in there right now so its taking up 1/3 of the air flow to my thermometer and i just had it up to 220 last week on a test run im trying to get up to temp so i can put my meat in it did take me like 3 to 4 hrs to get it up to temp last week its on a single hot plate maybe i need to go bigger
Your exhaust vent on the roof should normally be all the way open. Being its an electric smoker your intakes aren't going to control your heat like they would with a charcoal rig but you will want them open a bit to get air flow so you will produce smoke with your wood.
You absolutely need a larger heat source. You will need vents opened for air flow so you get the proper smoke and with the vents opened your current heat source will have a harder time making enough heat.
You must also consider the outside temperature, the colder it is the harder it will be to maintain your cooker temps.
ok so i went and got a oven heat element and have it hooked up and gaining heat back its up to 120 right now and has been on fro 20 min so i will see and its in a freezer build and its about 42 degrees right now i had 22 degrees when i fired it up this morning
Outside temp is probably your biggest problem, so you definately need more BTUs.
That is the reason we ask members to include in their profile where they are from.
It is much easier to recomend solutions with that info.
Let us know how it turns out.