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irregular smoke

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I bought a Smoke Hollow electric and have smoked with it 3 times with mixed results. My first cook produced good meat but very little smoke so I tried chips instead of chunks for the second cook. I had great smoke and I thought I had it figured out. The 3rd cook there was very little smoke and I finally, near the end  (around 5 hours in),  microwaved the chips and got good smoke. I'm not sure if nuking the chips solved the problem or if it was coincidence.

Is it likely that the chips were just damp and needed to be dried out?

post #2 of 6

 That could be the problem. Mostly electric smokers should use dry wood chips. Of course there is always the AMNPS. Check it out.



post #3 of 6

Hi Bill! Could you describe what you mean by "good smoke"? What you really want is what we call TBS (thin blue smoke) or even no smoke at all just the smell of smoke, What you don't want is thick white billowing smoke, which can give the meat a creosote taste. I don't know how long you have been smoking, a lot of people new to smoking think you need to see smoke just rolling out, which is not the case. I was under that impression before I found SMF and really started to learn what I was doing.

I see this is your first post so when you get a minute would you go over to "Roll Call" http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/f/133/roll-call and formally introduce yourself, Thanks!

I'm sure more will be along shortly and help you out with your smoke problem. 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm a newbe to electric smoking although I do have limited experience smoking with charcoal. I may have the most experience of anyone on this board when it comes to eating barbque lol. I know what I want the meat to be like when done and my last smoke was good but lacking somewhat in smoke flavor and bark. The cook that produced "good smoke" the chips were freshly opened from a plastic bag and the chips burned and I had to replace the chips several times. The last cook the chips got a little dark but didn't burn until I microwaved them and by then the meat was almost done. I'm going to try to smoke some pork steaks today and I'll nuke the chips and see how it goes.


I bought the electric because of the problem I had with regulating temperature in my Char Griller and on long cooks the ash buildup in the side box wouldn't allow me keep the temperatures up.

post #5 of 6

Almost everyone with a watt burner has had this same issue from time to time. The one cure we have found is this little invention from one of our fellow members Todd Johnson. Here is the link to his product http://www.amazenproducts.com/

post #6 of 6
my last smoke was good but lacking somewhat in smoke flavor and bark
The last cook the chips got a little dark but didn't burn


The amount of smoke flavor can be affected by several things, such as the type of wood used, the length of time meat is exposed to the smoke, the thickness of the smoke, and several other factors. You didn't say what type of wood you were using but a stronger wood (such as hickory or mesquite) would give more flaver than a lighter wood (such as apple or oak) . Regarding bark, I find that not using a water pan improves the development of bark. Perhaps not as much as using a wood or charcoal smoker, but still better than when using a water pan. I don't know  your model well enough to guess at why the chips do not burn, but evidently the chip tray does not get hot enough. It should if you are smoking at 225 degrees, so see if you can get the chip tray hotter by reducing the space between the heating element and the bottom of the chip tray or see if there is any obstuction (psuedo heat shield) between them that can be removed.


As previously suggested, the AMNPS is a good way to bypass some of these problems so you have less to fix/tweak to get the results you like.

Edited by hkeiner - 6/7/12 at 10:12am
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