I have enjoyed my Luhr Jensen Little Chief top-loading electric smoker since 1975 (which appears to be owned by someone other than Luhr Jensen now) . I have a question regarding smoke volume.
Last year I replaced the heating element and smoker fuel pan. The new pan is studier (thicker) than the original, which had burned through on the bottom over the years. The problem I have is the Luhr Jensen wood chips don't create the same volume of smoke it used to (I smoke in an ambient temperature environment averaging 68-70 degrees and used an insulation blanket over the Little Chief).
The interior of the smoker is warm like before, but the chips aren't aggressively smoking. Example, after filling one level pan full and leaving it to smoke for 12 hours, the wood chips were barley burned through in the middle of the pan to the size of a diameter of 3 inches, with the majority of the remaing wood untouched .I remember this thing really smokin' before and easily going through two panfuls in that time span - which is consistent with the original instructions.
Has anyone encountered this before? Is it a heating element or pan problem - or is it time to retire the Little Chief? Thank you.