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ailing elec smoker - Page 2

post #21 of 28

Re: ailing elec smoker

Hey Larry,
I have the same type smoker. My folks bought theirs first as a demo model (pre-assembled) at Home Depot. It would not get above 150 degrees. I wiggled the controller at the dial and saw the light flickering. It would only stay ON long enough if I pulled up at the end where the wire enters the controller. I wedged a screwdriver under it (in the rectangular socket spot) and it worked fine. This summer at their place, I used a screwdriver to put upward force on it, wedging it upright between the controller and the ground. I just don't want to fix theirs like I did mine.
On my own, the first solution was to wedge a brick chisel under the controller (going into the socket). Secondly I took apart the controller and tightened the rings on the connection prongs as best as I could. That helped a little.
Lastly and hopefully for good, a few weeks ago, I clamped on the rectangular socket where the controller fits in with a pair of Robo Grips, then rechecked the angle of the element to make sure I still had about 3/4 inch clearance at the bottom. I got LOTS of heat now.
You may also want to try using sterile playground sand (from Home Depot or wherever) in place of the water, because it increases the efficiency so well, I can get a steady 225 degrees with the controller on the lower side of medium. I also use a rub on my meats, to seal in moisture/ juices.

Will someone help this guy find some straight-line wind and tornado repellant to spray around his smoker? :shock:
post #22 of 28

Re: ailing elec smoker

Hi Piggyribs,

I have heard from other people that used sand in their water pans that reported problems with drippings turning rancid in the sand. Have you had any problems? If not, do you routinely clean or change your sand?
post #23 of 28

Re: ailing elec smoker

I cover my pan with heavy duty foil. My pan is 3/4 full, so there's a space to make the foil cup in and hold any drippings like a dish or saucer. Then, I just change the foil when I'm done cooking.
post #24 of 28
Good tip there with the foil, Piggy Ribs! Thanks for sharing that and the other tips you mentioned.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
yo y,all
i like my water pan.
it could be that i was told this is a good thing .

i do consider others experience.---really

tell me what you think about baby steps first---

fill big coffe can 3/4 full- of sand---
put in water pan----
fill pan with water----

then smoke and joke

i would like to hear opinions...
post #26 of 28

Re: water and sand

Well, it couldn't hurt. Just remember, the water will evaporate either way. Sand to replace water can seem like a big step. There is quite an adjustment to be made on the temp control, as far as squelching or clamping down on the temperature setting. It's a learning process. Your idea seems like a good 'baby step'. Try and see! :D
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
yo piggy ribs,
how long [time wise] does it take to get sand up to 200+ ???
post #28 of 28

Re: ailing elec smoker

I like to give mine 45min or so with before I put any meat on.
Otherwise, if you don't have the lead time or don't want to do it that way, you could maybe put the meat in with cold sand and let both warm up. BUT I wonder if the meat and sand would warm at different rates. Besides, any smoke that may be produced early might make a sooty condensation on colder meat. It's a learning process, how your smoker acts and reacts to the different thermal properties of sand. wink.gif
Here's the word from kingfishbbq.com, where I got the original idea:
It's easy for any of us to get into a comfortable routine and kinda struggle with switching things up a bit. I believe, though, that the easier maintenance and great results that sand produce are well worth the learning curve. Or, you could just call me a nut. :lol:
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