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Southern Pride DH-65 Questions

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I recently bought a DH-65 smoker to start playing with at work. We have been using a large cinder block walk in smoker for a while. We smoke all of our sausage in it and whole pigs at times. When we smoke sausage in the large smoker it comes out with a nice dried look to it, but when using the 65 it wont get that dried look. Is it because of the water pan in the 65? Can you use it without the water pan?



post #2 of 18

I don''t see why not

Water is optional



No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #3 of 18

Beau, morning and welcome to the forum.....   Please stop in to "roll call" and introduce yourself so we can give you a proper welcome... knowing your location, smoking equipment and experience will greatly help our members answer your questions....  

About your question....   From what I can determine, steam/moisture is used to speed up the cooking process when smoking meats....  Moisture laden air has more thermal mass than dry air...  I do not use a water pan....  the old timers, I learned a bit of smoking techniques from, never had a water pan in their smoke houses.... I am sure it was developed for the "high output" commercial smokers....   There is a difference in taste, texture in meats smoked 50 yrs ago and today's production smoked meats in my humble opinion....  

Yes you can use it without the water pan and probably with great success....  I'm glad to hear there is an "old world" meat smoker still out there..... Take some pics of your operation for all to see....   your operation is a dying art...   Dave 

post #4 of 18

I have found a way to cut out the steam with a switch. It is pretty easy. Remove the top cover and find the 25 amp relay. There are two wires that go to the #4 terminal cut off the leads and twist them together connect them to one side of the switch. Off the other side of the switch go to the #4 terminal. Switch off no steam coil. Switch on you got steam. Use only step one programming. Step two cuts out the heat and leaves the steam and wood on. Step one will give you nice dry smoke. The diagrams are on the southern pride site. Any electrician would find this a no brainer. If you need help contact me.


Southern pride says you will burn out the coil if you leave the pan empty and it may be hard for it to regulate the temp ans the coil may burn things from the bottom.

post #5 of 18

hey hitek smoker. i want to attach switch to steamer but king of lost..  souldnt i just put switch betwwen power going to steamer? also, will DH still reach temps without steamer? 

post #6 of 18

The switch is installed cutting control power to the relay. This allows you to switch low power. If you try to cut the heating element power to the coil you would need to add switch that can take high power. There is already a high power relay there. The SC200 is the same unit without a steam coil. The control is a little different. Yes it controls the temp perfect as always. The only time I dont use the steam is when I dry smoke bacon or fish. Personally I like the way the meat comes out of this unit. I have friends that compete using wood only. I have tasted lots of authentic bbq. Many times briskit cooked in wood smoker has some waste. The bark on some of the briskit cant be consumed.You have to cook it to death to get it tender and once you do the outside gets charred.


Side by side I have never had a person choose competition (wood only) made ribs over ribs made in this unit. Maybe they dont have the perfect smoke ring, but you cant compete with electric smokers anyway. Competition cooking is a whole different taste. A competitor who has won some state championships has told me many times, the average person does not always prefer the amount of smoke and char on that wood smoking makes.


I do see the benefit of cutting it out on command. I will try to do some more cooking with it off. I will still fill the water pan for moisture.


I assume you know what the difference is between stage 1 and 2 cooking right? stage 1 has heat, steam, and wood smoke on. Stage 2 is steam and wood only. If you shut off the steam you have to cook with stage 1 only.


Do you have the schematic? You can get it on southern pride's site.


You need a single pole, single throw, 125 volt toggle switch. You should be able to get it at any hardware store or home center.You disconnect two wire and put the switch inline...that's it.


Above I described where to put it. If you cant figure it out let me know I will post a schematic.

post #7 of 18
Thanks so much . I am new to smoking, smoked a brisket in dh and it came out great. But when I smoked some chicken it came out very soft/ rubbery. Wanted to see if no steam would make it crispy? A schematic would be awesome !!
post #8 of 18

You have to be very careful with the amount of time you put things in for. I found on warm days (I cook outside with it vs restaurants) the time it takes for meat to get to temp is much less. Like 1/2 hr to 45 min less. If the unit is warmed up doing batches back to back the same is true. The times they say are highly dependent on how much meat and you have to watch the size of the meat compared to their recipe and adjust the cook time. I find if I stop right at the temp they say you can grill the chicken a little and crisp up the skin. People have said my chicken is the best they ever ate.


I do 1/2 chickens. I use 4 to 4 1/2 pound'ers and cut them in half. Put some rub on them. I surprised you had that result my chicken is to die for. If you overcook them the skin will get paper thin and slide off. Sounds like you overcooked them. Get a temp gage and put it in the thigh area (where it's bloody if you under cook them) When it gets to temp take them out.


I will see if I can get the schematic later.

post #9 of 18

Is there a way I can call you regarding your expertise on the DH 65 If you want you can send me your phone contact information to markmitra@aol.com

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post #12 of 18

MOEJOE, afternoon...... Lower case letters is easier for me to read....  and probably a few others also....

post #13 of 18


post #14 of 18

That's what I found....  Not sure if it is the same as your unit......   By the way, the thread we are on is 2 1/2 years old......     and I'm not making fun of you....  and not giving you a typing lesson.....    Typing in all caps is difficult to read.....   


As you can see, down in the bottom, is the heating element for the steamer...  and relay.......     Dave


 ...  click on picture to enlarge ....


post #15 of 18

I said i was going to post a schematic and never did. Sorry about that.


The problem you are having is the same problem I had when I tried also. I cant remember exactly what I did so I have to open the unit.


I will do that tonight.

post #16 of 18

DH-65 modification to turn off steam pan when you dont want it.


There are two wires represented by the dotted line that originally went to terminal 3 of the steam pan 25 amp relay. Tie both to the one side of a 125v switch and the other side of the switch to terminal 3. Switch on you get steam, switch off no steam. drill a hole in the cover and mount the switch. You are switching the low power side of the signal to the relay not the high amp side.....consult an electrician if you are not very smart . 

There is a pre 2009 schematic and a current model schematic (2009 and up). My 2006 is wired like the current model. The diagram above is from the current model. Something is funky about the pre 2009 schematic. my 2006 in not wired per the diagram in the pre 2009 book.

post #17 of 18

I know this thread is old and hope that you might get this...In your diagram and your first description of this 'adjustment' to the steam pan you mention to make the wire switch to terminal 4 of the 25amp relay...in this last one you say Terminal 3...is there a difference one is correct over the other? thanks

post #18 of 18
Phillip just checking to see if you got up and running ?
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