Camp Chef 18" Smoke Vault.
New smoker here so not sure what to expect. My first smoke was apple wood and a rack of ribs. They turned out awesome with the 2-2-1 method. After the session I noticed that not all the chips / chunks were turned to ash. Many of them were black and basically "charcoal" in appearance. I started with a full tray of chunks. TBS only seemed to last about an hour or so.
My second smoke was chicken breasts. Set up same way, a few chips to get the chunks going at first. Kick the burner up to high to get the smoke rollin'. After 10 - 15 mins of smoke, turned down the heat to 230-250* then placed meat inside smoker. Again, TBS was good but only lasted about an hour. The chicken only took 1.5 hrs so wasn't worried about adding more wood.
Both times I played with the air intake vents along the bottom on each side. Didn't seem to make much difference in smoke. I even kicked the heat up a little to about 300* for about 15 mins and still, not any increase in visible smoke.
Seems to me that the chips / chunks should smolder long enough to reduce to white ash. During the smoldering process, thats when I should have good TBS. This is not happening for the majority of the wood and again, TBS only lasts for an hour or so.
I have tried more/less air, covering the wood tray with aluminum foil, more/less heat ... Are my expectations wrong? Do I need to remove the charcoal I made and add more new wood to keep the smoke? Maybe raise/lower the chip tray? Maybe only an hours worth of smoke is to be expected?
I am at a loss for thoughts. I bet the experts here will have my answer. Thanks in advance.