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Buying a new propane smoker but have a few questions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am looking at a Smoke Vault at my local Home Depot, I am ready to pull the trigger and buy, but I have a few questions:

 

1. What are the pro's and con's of a 24 inch vs. an 18 inch? (There are only 3 in my family)? Is it worth the extra $100 for bigger one?

 

2. Approximately how many chips do I use when starting?

 

3. How often can I expect to replenish the wood chips throughout the smoke>

 

4, Can I use pellets?

 

5. How much propane will I use during an average smoke?

 

I realize a lot of the answers to questions are different under different conditions, but approximates are fine.

 

Thanks  in advance for your input!!!

post #2 of 8
1. If you plan on making sausage, the larger unit would be nice for that. If you can spare the extra dough I'd go for the larger unit.

2. I haven't used chips in my gas smoker for years. If you want to use wood use chunks, they sell them in big bags at HD. The chunks are 2"-3". I'd use 2-3 per smoke. You may need to use a torch or lit briquette to get them started to smolder.

3. Using chunks you won't need to.

4. Yes if you use a tube smoker from AmazeN Smokers you can as long as your pit temps are below 285.

5. All depends on pit temps, outdoor temp, wind, rain, what you're smoking. Could be very little or a whole tank or more. For ribs, chicken etc, you'll get quite a few smokes out of a 20 pound tank. Keeping a spare tank around is a good thing if your planing longer cooks.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 


Thanks for all the excellent advice!!!!

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

" You may need to use a torch or lit briquette to get them started to smolder."

 

So the chunks won't be ignited by the propane?

post #5 of 8
It depends. The chunks will be sitting in a pan of some sorts. The one that came with my smoker is thick cast iron and it takes too long to heat up. When I use wood I just put one lit briquette in with the wood to get it going.
post #6 of 8

I'm not sure how your smoker works, but in my master forge, the propane will start the wood smoking.  What you need to do, is play with the smoker. Wood in, low heat... what happens? Wood in, med heat...what happens? Chips in...? Where is it located? Heck, if I move mine 10 feet from beside my deck to on top of the deck, everything changes. Heck even wood makes a difference. Let's use white oak for an example. It grows as far south as Georgia, but as far north as Quebec, from NE texas to the atlantic coast. The oak I have here in the northern range is quite different from the south. Mine is more dense because of climate. Mine burns different because it grows slower.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetheteacher View Post
 

I am looking at a Smoke Vault at my local Home Depot, I am ready to pull the trigger and buy, but I have a few questions:

 

1. What are the pro's and con's of a 24 inch vs. an 18 inch? (There are only 3 in my family)? Is it worth the extra $100 for bigger one?

 

I have the 24inch. I previously had an 18inch electric smoker.  The extra width accommodates full racks of ribs and briskets.   

 

2. Approximately how many chips do I use when starting?

 

I use chunks, start with one big one. If the bag is down to smaller chunks, I'll put one in the middle and another on the edge.

 

3. How often can I expect to replenish the wood chips throughout the smoke>

 

A good chunk will last an hour, maybe more.

 

4, Can I use pellets?

 

I don't, but it sounds like you could use the amazen tube

 

5. How much propane will I use during an average smoke?

 

I don't keep records, but I have been impressed with efficiency.  I would conservatively guess that I get 24 hours off of a tank, probably more.  

 

I realize a lot of the answers to questions are different under different conditions, but approximates are fine.

 

Thanks  in advance for your input!!!

 

I have had mine for 2+ years and recommend it.  Amazon has it cheaper than Home Depot. 

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the advice, guys!!! I went with the 18 inch because 9 times out of 10 I'm just cooking for myself.

 

I plan to have a lot of questions once it arrives, so all help will be greatly appreciated!!!

 

Steve

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