Hello Smoking Meat Forum community! I just got my first official smoker - the Smoke Hollow 30162E. Just a brief background, I grew up with my dad using a Little Chief to do smoked salmon. I've always had cooking as my favorite hobby and my good friend getting a Traeger a while back inspired me to start smoking. I looked around at a whole different kinds, but went with electric over pellet due to some concern about more moving parts with the Traeger. Smoke Hollow got good reviews, so I went with that.
So as a new member, I pose my first official question. I just attempted to season it, but to me it seemed weird. About 15-20 minutes after getting up to temp (300 degrees), I heard some cracking as if it were a camp fire. When I opened it up, I noticed that some of the wood chips (hickory) were turning orange as if it were in a fire pit. So is that normal? Should have I left it smoking?
Because I am new at this, I unplugged it and let everything cool. I don't really know what to look for with wood chips - when to know when it time to swap them out, any potential warning signs etc. I'm looking to do a pork butt and chicken on Sunday to prep for Labor Day, so the help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, and I look forward to learning from this community!