Im a novice at smoking. I got a propane vertical DynoGlo smoker (with 2 doors) and did my first smoke this weekend. It came out pretty good but I have some concerns. I think they are more like problems:
Please help me out if you can:
1 - Should the gas be leaking once the valve on the smoker is in the OFF position? (bottle valve is in the ON position). Basically I finished smoking and fogot to close the valve on the bottle. I know I should close the bottle valve but SHOULD there be any gas leaking out of the control unit on the smoker? I dont think that is normal. I dont do that on my grills at all. I called the customer service - they say its normal but that doesnt sound normal to me
2 - When I was seasoning the smoker, flame was pretty even. When I was smoking - every 3 holes on the burner had a different size flame. Im assuming that is not normal.
3 - My smoker temperate may be too hot. I have problems getting low temps out of it. Scenario: no wind, 85 degrees out, smoker is in the shade, burner to lowest setting with vents open or closed I get steady temperature of 250. I have a problem getting it down to 225 or lower. To get 225 I have to open up the lower door of the smoker which I know should not be the way to lower the temp. I have no problems getting temp to 350 but I do have a problem getting it down lower of 250 level.
Gauge is good because I put a secondary thermometer inside.
So either again - control unit maybe bad or something else. Im worried that when it comes to smoking at low temps around $170 (for bacon lets say) I will not be successful.
4 - How do I control smoke? Common sense says that you open up lower valve to raise temp. In my case it doesnt do anything since in a propane smoker. Opening and closing the vents on top of bottom doesnt seem to do much.
5 - How do I know that my wood chunks (not chips) are done (burned out)? Is it when they turn into ash (common sense) and there is nothing left of them or is it when they just crumble but still black. I want to gauge how much is too much and not enough since Im a novice at this.
It seems that the manufacturer doesnt want to change my control unit/actuator so Im ready to return depending on what I hear on misc forums
Please help the novice out.
Thank you in advance