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smoker wont smoke

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi gang, I need a little help, I built my first smoker out of an old fridge. I have used a side burner from on old barbeque mounted underneath. Using air controls and chimney size changes, I have controlled the temp really well, but I am having trouble making the chips smoke?? The pan is essentially right over the flame. Chips don't catch fire or smoke, in fact after an hour over the flame, I can pick up the unburned chips in my hand. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Don't know if it matters, but there are air controls on both sides of the fridge down low. Thanks in advance,    Mike.

post #2 of 13

Hello, seems to me like if you get 'em hot enough 

they gotta smoke.

So they aren't hot enough.

Maybe you need to move your tray down a 

little closer to the fire.

If you are soaking them, don't.

I don't know a huge amount about it.

I use an amazen amnps.

Some of the others will be stopping by shortly 

I'm sure.



Keep on smokin'                            Ed

post #3 of 13
Everything gearhammer said but responded to say my smoking life has changed side I picked up my amnps
post #4 of 13

Why not put chunks directly on the fire? 

post #5 of 13
Maybe if you post a picture? Besides what's already been say I can only add maybe your pan is too thick? The MES seems to have very thin metal for chip tray.
post #6 of 13

I see this is your first post.


Welcome to SMF!


Glad to have you with us!


Would you do us a favor & head over to Roll Call & introduce yourself so we can all give you a proper SMF welcome.



post #7 of 13

Hey Mike sorry I didn't realize that was your first post

or I would have said welcome.

So welcome to you.


Keep on smokin'                         Ed

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

thank you all so much! the chips cant go directly on the fire, but I have them very close, flame right on the pan. I have tried them close, far away, wet, dry,etc.  cant figure it out. oh, the pan is a quicky home made one out of sheet metal flashing, pretty thin. it is weird. I am going to take a closer look at some of the store bought models and see what I can see. thank you all for your posts! plan on spending lots of time here. I have been doing some smoking over the years on my weber kettle. works pretty good, but the Fam keeps gettn  bigger! am lookin forward to trying a real live smoker. always been a do it yerselfer, so I had to build my own. bit harder than I expected! any way, thanks for the replies. love to hear from you all.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi Al, I went to roll call and posted, thanks for your reply!

post #10 of 13

Just a thought as I am no expert, but maybe if you use a small cast iron pan over the fire it will heat better and get the wood smoking

post #11 of 13

Mike, morning.... Your thin sheet metal pan should be perfect...    Are the chips dry ??   I mean aged dry...  try some that Big Chief sells at various stores...    You also may have to cover the chips and the pan with foil...  that will keep heat in and maybe get you to where you need to be...  the foil will need a few pencil size holes in it....   There's the SS pan that's 25 years old in my smoker... on pic to enlarge.....

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey Dave, thanks. I managed to finally get some smoke. The base of the fridge underneath in the back was wide open and so was the front. It seems that so much air was traveling up through the burner that it was cooling  the area to much. Still not as much smoke as I Would like, so I think I will try your foil idea, thanks much!

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestion, I was telling Dave that I had some improvement by changing the air flow under my smoker. The heavier pan is a good idea, I will give it a try.

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