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Hello from Northern California

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 



I am from Napa, California (hence the name) and am new to smoking.


I received a Master Forge Propane smoker for Christmas and smoked a turkey and mac n cheese for dinner.  I now have an abundance of questions!  I am having issues getting the temp above 240 in the smoker and can only get it there with the burners on high and adjusting the vents.  I am very stubborn and will keep at this until I master it!


In my spare time I spend a lot of time with my three horses.  I am a volunteer with the BLM and gentle Mustang horses so they can find their forever homes.  I own one Mustang and travel to many clinics with him.  I got a propane smoker so the smoker can travel with me!


I look forward to spending many hours on this site learning as much as I can.  Hopefully one day I can learn enough to actually provide some helpful advice as well! 

post #2 of 11

Welcome from a fellow Northern Californian. You got a nice smoker there. I am sure you will find plenty of idea and help here and you will be turning out all kinds of tasty smoked treats.


post #3 of 11

First off welcome1.gif to SMF. You have come to the right place for smoking info. This site is loaded with great info just use the search bar at top of page to find what you are looking for. If you can't locate the answer just ask folks here are willing to share there knowledge. I suggest you check out the 5 day e-course on smoking its chuck full of great info. Smoking Basics 5-Day eCourse


Second I have this exact same smoker, and have several thoughts and solutions on this. I have experienced these one time or another over the years using propane smokers. You may have already tried some of these.

1. The stock thermometer is JUNK. Mine was off by over 50 degrees, and was very erratic.

Solution, Replace it with a good thermometer Or add a digital probe placed threw a potato on a grate. I use a digital probe with remote display.

2. Wind and cold will effect the temps of this unit BIG TIME. 

Solution, Construct a wind break around unit. I use 4 sections of insulated duct work around mine. 

3. Valve on LPG tank not open fully. If not opened fully it will restrict the flow of gas.

Solution,  Open valve on LPG tank 100%

4. Bad flame. Check flame with door closed. You can see flame threw hole on left side of burner assembly. A good flame will be; blue, have little yellow tips, and be between 1- 2 inches high.

Solution, Clean burner assembly including burner holes I use a wire brush, and pipe cleaners. Clean venturi tube, I use a small bottle brush. Clean screens on venturi tube, I use old tooth brush

5. Smoke stack damper not open. You need the damper open to allow flow threw smoker.

Solution, Open smoke stack damper

6. Heavily loaded smoker. I have noticed that when I have the smoker heavily loaded my temps run lower.

Solution, smoke 1/2 as much and do 2 smokes, add some lit charcoal to the chip pan, use a dry water pan or 1 filled with sand.

7. Smoker not preheated. I get better temps when I run my smoker on  high for 15- 30 min with no water pan or smoke tray. I then add the water pan fill with boiling water and smoke tray and run till I get TBS, then add my meat.

Solution, Preheat smoker

8. Regulator safety activated. If you open the valve on smoker, then valve on the LPG tank, the safety on regulator can activate, and restrict your flow of propane. It can also happen if you open the LPG valve too fast. Quick way to tell if activated  is watch your flame as you turn the valve on smoker. If flame hardly moves or not at all its probably activated. Will also normally be a small flame.

Solution, Close valve on smoker and LPG tank. Remove the hose from LPG tank. Wait approximately 30 seconds, reattach hose.  Slowly open LPG tank valve to full open. Press the electronic ignition as you open valve on smoker.

9. Side vents on smoker open too much. I find I get better temps with the vents closed.

Solution, Close the vents

10. Bad propane/LPG tank. Believe it or not you can get bad propane, and or LPG tank. Your BTU's will suffer due to this. I have had this happen several times when I was using BlueRino bottle exchange. Since I have switched to a local suppler, that fills my bottles, I have had no problems.

Solution, switch tanks

11. LPG tank low on gas. When my LPG tank gets low on gas I see a drop in temp. I can't explain why this happens it just does.

Solution, Switch tanks


hope this helps you out. If you have any questions feel free to PM me

Edited by sprky - 12/26/11 at 3:53pm
post #4 of 11


First off welcome to SMF. You'll really like this place for there are a bunch of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking meat. Then if you have any questions you just post them here or yu can try in chat for a faster answer. If you are really new to all of this I would recommend that you look up and take the e-course. It is free and it will also give you the basics on smoking. So with all that said now go and get something to smoke.


Welcome To Your New Addiction

post #5 of 11

Welcome to SMF glad you can join us.  We are big on Pics and love to help everyone out.  Remember the only question that is dumb is one not asked.  You will not find a friendlier place to talk Que on the web.


You are going to fit in just fine.


post #6 of 11

Welcome aboard!


Good luck and good smoking.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the warm welcome and tips. 


Sprky, I have never heard of the sand in the water tray.  Does this help your temps?  I adjusted my valves to how you stated and instead of using straight applewood chips, I used a little mesquite and saw a rise in my temps as well.


Thank you for all the tips on the propane smoker! 

post #8 of 11

welcome1.gif  to SMF! Glad to have you aboard!


Would you please update your profile with your location. Thank-you!

post #9 of 11


This site has tons of info.

I suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

Ask questions and use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!

Take the awesome free E-Course!!!

Have a great day!!!



      Make bacon the easy way!!



post #10 of 11
Welcome to SMF from the Tahoe area.
post #11 of 11

Welcome from another NorCal smoker.  This is a great place to get your questions answered and just to see all the things you can make with your new smoker.



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