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Members Mark Propane Smoker

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Is anyone familiar with this smoker? It's a great stainless, insulated, propane, box smoker with pretty good capacity. Works well with one exception, the smoke. It has 2 chip drawers that are located above a "U" shaped burner. Totally inadequate. The problem is that it does'nt hold enough wood chips to get the job done. I have to constantly refill the chip drawers (every 15 minutes and the smoke flavor is weak. If I could just figure a way to get more smoke in this thing it would be a wonderful unit. As everyone knows Members Mark is a product sold under the Sam's Club system. Any suggestions on modifications that could be made to this unit to make it more smoker friendly?
post #2 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

PG, can you post a picture of the buner/smoke box set up. If there is a way to get a larger chip box above the burner that should help some.
post #3 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

I've seen suggestions for using a tin can (such as a bush's bean can) or a cast iron skillet to put wood chunks in on GOSM smokers for increased capacity. But being unfamiliar with Member's Mark it would be a good idea to post a picture as requested.

Finding a way to use chunks will most likely improve your smoke flavor.
post #4 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

Brother Bob is right, chunks will usually go farther. My GOSM smoke box filled to nearly the top with wood chips will last about an hour. And 3 pieces of wood chunks (2X3) will last almost an hour and 15 minutes. Some folks soak the wood before smoking-others don't. The key here is to do a little experimenting to see what WORKS BEST FOR YOU.

I, ah-umm- have found found that experimenting with the wood and then trying SOME MINOR modifications will help reduce the embarrassment factor when you have to answer to your better half when they ask "What in blue blazes where you thinking?" :oops:

PG I moved this topic down to Porpane Smokers in hopes that more members will see it-not all members visit every forum-hope ya didn't mind-
post #5 of 31
Ok..... Where lack of smoke is concerned, I have a question..... When the wood is pretty much charred and I look in the smoke box and all I see is black and smoldering charcoal, am I still getting anything out of it?? Or is there no smoke from this?

I don't get as much longevity out of my GOSM as I thought I might. OR...... Is when your down to just lightly smoking charred wood in the box am I getting the desirable "Thin Blue Smoke"?

I have a friend that is into blacksmithing and we have discussed making a larger smoke box for mine, but I have held off on the idea until now. Maybe some feedback from some of you experts on this will sway me one way or the other.

I can get pretty good temp regulation out of my smoker and quite awhile out of my water supply but I hate having to open the smoke to add wood regularly if I can get around it. What do you guys/gals think?
post #6 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

About the GOSM, Earl-D is right on here. If you have the large fire box, it should last 2.5 hours if you use larger chunks. I cut mine and make them about 1 inch on a side average with a mix of the one inch, and smaller ones and larger ones. I line the bottom of the woodbox with chips about 1/2 inch deep and then fill the rest with the chunks.

About the Member's Mark unit, I saw it at Sam's last season. I was impressed with the solid construction but I did not like the tray that holds the wood chips. My only advice to PG is consistent with Earl's post and mine here, use the largest chips that you can. As I remember this unit, there is really nothing else that you can do short of making or purchasing an external smoke generator.

Aubrey Page

OTBS 007
post #7 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

Greg if it's charred and smoldering 'bout all you're getting out of it is minimal heat. On my GOSM I have the air intake dampers set to 50% open and the top damper all the way opened. Using a combination of wood chips and chunks I can go for a while before replentishing the wood supply. When I use sawdust, I really have to pack it in or it will burn down way too fast.
post #8 of 31
Thanks Dutch

I was kind of afraid that was the case..... Looks like a bigger smoke box is gonna be in the works one of these days....

I have done about the same thing as you mentioned about the small pieces/saw dust with chunks on top, and It lasts me a while but I'd like to get more time between adding wood.

There's a lot of stuff that I have smoked that I don't bother to mop with anything, and it just seems to me that If I can stretch the time in between opening the door to add wood to equal the time to how often I have to add water that I would be able to run it unattended for longer times thus keeping the wife happier thus keeping everyone else in the household happier.
post #9 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

Greg, I've seen a post where the smoke box was replaced with an empty "Bush Baked Bean" can. Can't remember if it was on this site or the one at Yahoo. Maybe someone will remember and list the particulars about the "BBB" mod.
post #10 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

Earl, I've seen pictures of the BBCM ( Bush Bean Can Mod ) that we've mentioned on a yahoo mailing list forum, however, they're not there any longer. They were posted by Darren who goes by the login name bbqlvr2000. He came up with the idea back in 2003:

My smoker came from the factory with a small iron "chip box" I just came up with the BBCM to facilitate using Chunks instead of chips. I get longer smoking times with chunks and it also helps keep temps consistent as I don't have to open the smoker door to add chips. Before using the BBCM I had a problem with my chips being burnt up to quickly. I tried soaking but it didn't help. I took a Bush's Baked Beans can approximately 4 inches across the bottom. I burned it out good (it had a plastic coating on the inside) and now I just put chunks in it and lay it horizontal on the little factory supplied chrome grate. It works fantastic and its cheap!!

That's all I know. wink.gif

EDIT: Here is the site that gave Darren the idea and it has some pictures:
post #11 of 31
Good site! I looked at the after burners and also at the wood they sell. I grew up in a farm environment and can't imagine buying those types of wood that we used to have by the acre. But believe it or not, I ordered some Pecan, Peach, Pear and Wild Cherry (can you believe PAYING for Wild Cherry?). But, it's kind of hard to find it here on the beach and I really do enjoy the smoke so what do you do? I'm sure it'l be great. Again, thanks for the site.
post #12 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

here is a pic of the can mod, i use a big 'ol coffee can

it gets hot really fast and the smoke starts in a couple of minutes

post #13 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

Thanks CrazyHorse-I'll have to remember to have the wife bring me home some #10 cans from work.
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Responding to my own questions about the Members Mark (Grand Hall) smoker. I contacted Grand hall about my problems. 1) temp readings wrong, 2) water evaporation too quick causing grease fires, and 3) lack of smoke and inconsistant burn of wood chips. They emailed me saying that the have upgrades available to correct these problems and that they would send me the parts to correct them. If they follow through on these corrections I would consider them and stand up company. I will keep you posted. I also own a stainless steel grill, model YO660 built by Grand Hall....I love it!
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
Grand Hall came through! They sent me a new chimney with temp gauge, water pan insulator that is suppose to extend the evaporation time to 6 hours, and a heat deflector to reduce the temp in the propane bottle area.
No questions asked, no cost.

I'm still working on mods to improve the smoke.
post #16 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

PG, I have been reading up on the mods that you made to your Makers Mark Smoker. I have been looking at purchasing this particular smoker myself but after reading the posts in this thread, it kinda made me hesitant to buy it. After reading about the low smoke problem I went back to Sam's Club to investigate a little more. I did notice that directly above the burner is a removable water tray & tray insert. Do you think that the water tray could be removed so that a bean can type smoke box could be inserted on top of the burner? A water pan could be placed on the botton rack instead. Just a few ideas on the low smoke problem for this smoker. If I don't buy this particular smoker I will invest in the Great Outdoors Big Block. Anybody else have any thoughts??

post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hey, Pirate. I love the smoker, great insulated double wall stainless construction. It does, however have it's shortcomings which I am determined to overcome.

As far as the lack of smoke, if you remove the water tray and the smoke chip drawers, you will see that the actual flame that hits the bottom of the chip drawers is very limited. The drawers are like 16" long, however the chip burning only happens in a 4" area of the drawer.

What I did was to remove the burners and drill holes in the top of the burners to match the length of the drawers, hoping that more of the chips would burn. I did a test to see if this improved the burn. It did, however I haven't had a chance to test under real smoking conditions. I'm sure that Grandhall would not endorse this, and I would only recommend doing it at your own risk.

Hope this helps
post #18 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

PG, That is a great idea, please let me know how everything turns out once you do a real test. I like this particular smoker but i want to make sure its going to work for me. Are you using chips or chunks
post #19 of 31

Re: Members Mark Propane Smoker

Hey PG,
When you get a chance, send me a picture of the modification you did on the burner. Have you done a real smoke with all the mods you have done so far??

post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 
The smoker actually worked pretty well out of the box, however I love lots of smoke flavor. Soooo, the Tim Allen in me made me do it.....add horsepower!! I own three muscle cars, so I can't help myself, when it comes to tweaking things to make them perform better.

I will send more pictures this weekend.
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