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New to smoking, Not impressed with smoker quality of SV24

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

So the past two weeks I have been on the forums non stop and have been very excited to get into smoking.  So I pulled the trigger on a camp chef smoke vault 24.  Looked like most things where positive about it.  I have a camp chef 3 burner stove and use for grilling, frying and canning and really like it which made me stick with the camp chef brand.  


Well it arrived today, so I put it together.  The bottom grease pan was slightly bent on both ends, the door does not close correctly with out lifting up quite hard and the burner is not centered very well.  Eye balling it, it looks about 1 - 1 1/2" to the right and the flame just about hits the base on the right when on high.  So anyways, I fired it up and tried to get it to 225.  I used a maverick 733 or what ever it is and after 2 hours I gave up.  I gave it 15 mins to get to temp and then tried slowly adjusting every 15 mins.  It seems very finicky.  


So now I'm debating on if this is how they all are or if I just got a really bad/fluke of one.  Is this just the normal for smokers at this price range?  The smoker seems nice and sturdy but are any of them made of something a little more solid? 


Right now Im thinking Im just gonna take it back for a refund. 


Any input or suggests would be great.  


Id really like to get into smoking meat but Ive always like to pay for quality and something that doesn't have these issues.  Looks like I might of jumped the gun and might have to spend some more $$$





post #2 of 3

I have a Browning Smoke Vault 24 (identical to yours with stainless door, just a different brand name)...coming up on it's 4th year now. It's gotten to the point where I finally need to drop the burner assembly and clean it up, but other than than that, it has been virtually maintenance-free operation (I degrease the smoke chamber every couple of years). It's my go-to smoker for larger amounts of food, and especially for the all-night/all-day smokes. They can be a bit tedious for temp adjustment, just a slight bump of the knob can cause a 25* change...you have to get a feel for it. My only real complaint is the chrome-plated cooking grates...doesn't take much to wear-off the plating, but that's with pretty any chrome grates...stainless steel would be my first choice. Overall, most of my best smoked food in recent years was passed through the Vault.


Be sure your assembly is correct...sounds like something may not be aligned properly. Also, the cabinet needs to leveled when you set it up to be sure the door operates correctly...I had to re-level mine just this morning for a couple pork picnic shoulders I have chugging along right now.


If you truly feel you received a defective smoker, then by all means, return it, but I recommend that you consider an exchange for another SV-24, as well as a refund/credit. Most of these smokers are made in China now days, so maybe consider a US manufactured brand...when quality counts right out of the box, that's your best bet. The only US-made outdoor cookers I know of right now are Weber...they may be a few more that I don't know about. The only Weber I own is 18.5" One-Touch Gold kettle...versatile all-around cooker, and top-notch quality...but you gotta like cooking with charcoal if you want a Weber.




post #3 of 3

I too am a Camp Chef fan (great stoves) but was not impressed with the Smoke Vault I saw on display last year.


I'll give a second vote for returning it and either getting a replacement or switch to a Weber for the same money.  The Weber isn't perfect (door sucks), but it works beautifully for a charcoal smoker.

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