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wood chip issue

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Been using a masterbuilt electric smoker since beginning of the year.   The entry level model.  Have had good results until........This past weekend, none of the wood chips burned.  I noticed very minimal smoke from the vent and found the chips were black but not burned.  I always use dry chips.  Prior to this, the chips all burned to ash, every time.  I have cooked everything on 225 so far and had no issues.  Smoker thermostat shows correct and my meat thermometer is correct.  Did some troubleshooting and put a regular thermometer inside and that shows good numbers too.  Do chips have a shelf life or can they get old and not burn?  They were purchased at xmas along with the smoker itself.   Chip tray is clean, element is clean, just not burning my chips.  Any idea?

post #2 of 3
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Originally Posted by patt View Post
 

Been using a masterbuilt electric smoker since beginning of the year.   The entry level model.  Have had good results until........This past weekend, none of the wood chips burned.  I noticed very minimal smoke from the vent and found the chips were black but not burned.  I always use dry chips.  Prior to this, the chips all burned to ash, every time.  I have cooked everything on 225 so far and had no issues.  Smoker thermostat shows correct and my meat thermometer is correct.  Did some troubleshooting and put a regular thermometer inside and that shows good numbers too.  Do chips have a shelf life or can they get old and not burn?  They were purchased at xmas along with the smoker itself.   Chip tray is clean, element is clean, just not burning my chips.  Any idea?

I had that happen a time or so on my former 40" 2.0 MES, so I puled the chip loader out , dump side down, 2" or so to let in extra oxygen and it worked.

post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by patt View Post
 

Been using a masterbuilt electric smoker since beginning of the year.   The entry level model.  Have had good results until........This past weekend, none of the wood chips burned.  I noticed very minimal smoke from the vent and found the chips were black but not burned.  I always use dry chips.  Prior to this, the chips all burned to ash, every time.  I have cooked everything on 225 so far and had no issues.  Smoker thermostat shows correct and my meat thermometer is correct.  Did some troubleshooting and put a regular thermometer inside and that shows good numbers too.  Do chips have a shelf life or can they get old and not burn?  They were purchased at xmas along with the smoker itself.   Chip tray is clean, element is clean, just not burning my chips.  Any idea?

So, the heating element is warming the smoker up to 225 but the chips underneath the heating element aren't getting hot enough to smoke. Everything is clean. I rarely use wood chips anymore in my MES 30 Gen 1 since I switched over to wood pellets over 4 years ago. But in the past couple of months I did dump some wood chips I've kept in their bags in my garage for a few years and they smoked fine. Unless the wood chips absorb an inordinate amount of moisture they should be fine. And I would consider wood chips bought last Xmas as practically brand new. The puzzler is that the answer seems to point to a heating element that isn't really heating up but you've reported that therms confirm the smoker temp is 225° and that's more than hot enough to get the chips smoking.

 

Here's a basic computer problem diagnostic question: if you had no problem getting the wood chips to burn before, have you changed anything or started doing something different? If so, did you notice the problem occurring after that?

 

Do you fill the water pan with water? If so, did you always do that or did you just start? If you don't then excess interior humidity can't be the culprit. If you can't find your answer here I recommend calling MB customer service. They've got some really good, knowledgeable people answering the phones.

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