- 13 Posts. Joined 10/2014
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few issues it could be or contributing at least. but need more info
looks like at least a 4" vent, might be drawing too much air and not allowing enough time to heat the air due to flow through., and/or your intake is too large. you really dont need much on these size of smokers.
how long is the power cord from the outlet and if its plugged into an extension cord than what guage is the cord and lenght? if ts a medium duty cord and longer then youll have a drop in power.
i use the brinkman 1500w in a fridge about the same size and only have an issue when its really full. And keep opening, (im really bad for that and its a huuge no-no)
what are you using to control the element? thermostat, PID or unregulated and temp balanced with venting
had the same problem when it gets real cold so i put another burner above, one out of a 110v hot plate. have it on its own switch. when i get up to temp the 1500w brinkman can take over, sometimes i just run both.
i also have the bottom of the smoker lined with fire bricks and this element set up sits on that
my fridge is not much different than yours and i smoked 3 briskets outside at 225 for several hours with no issue. and is -30C to -35C.
using the same element. It tames some time to get up to temp in that cold, but once its there it recovers pretty good and doesnt fluctuate at all once there.
where is your thermometer located to monitor house temp?
I have a 4.5 cu. ft. converted refrigerator. I am using a 300 watt halogen lamp as the heat source. It seems to me that the PID controlled lamp only needs to be on 1/2 the time to keep temperature to 190F, which is the maximum temperature I normally smoke food.
My smoker uses a cold smoke generator, and the exhaust pipe is only 1 1/2" diameter. I get very nice smoked food with my setup.
Test the element. It could be going bad.
If you take an ohm meter set to measure ohms, unplug the element and measure the resistance between the two blades of the element power plug (the two flat blades, not the round ground), the resistance for a 120v 1,500 watt element should be 9.6 ohms. Make sure you set the meter dial for the low end of the ohm range or it may look like the display is showing 0.00. If the reading is much higher than that, then it is failing and cannot provide the rated heat. You will not need to take it out of the cabinet to do this, just unplug the element and measure at the plug.
Agree with Dave, seems that there is likely an issue getting the hot air into the smoke house from the lower chamber.
Worth testing the element, but looks more like an issue with the separate compartments and flow through.
I agree the exhaust is way too big.
Also, check to see if you have a wrong 1500 watt element. May be it is 1500 watts for 240VAC, which will give you only about 450 watts of heat.
A heating element works exactly like a light bulb. If it is going bad, it goes bad very quickly, Very hot for a few minutes, then dead.
like this controller http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14_28&products_id=381 ?