I received an electric Smoke Hollow vertical smoker [http://thd.co/176iHKi] this past August as a birthday gift. I've used it a few times and been relatively successful - wonderful whole and spatchcocked chickens, ribs and salmon....okay pork shoulder - and things really made a difference when I started using the A-MAZE-N tube pellet smoker.
However, I feel like I'm over-relying on the tube now and not using the actual smoker as intended. The smoke box in the bottom rarely ignites the small amt of wood chips I do try to use, so after every smoke there's just a bunch of half charred chips. I think this is a result of (a) keeping my temp around 200 for many hours and not letting it get above 225 for fear of cooking the meat too quickly; and (b) the electric element cycling on and off to maintain this temperature making it hard for the chips to stay lit. Maybe also there's not enough ventilation / air circulation?
I've never had to go above the "med / low" setting on the smoker. So, on everything I've done except the salmon, I've never been able to form a true bark or crispy skin.
Is there a better way to leverage the aspects of this smoker? I'm happy with the chicken and salmon, but I'm especially hoping to smoke better ribs / pork shoulder. Suggestions welcomed...