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Smoke Vault Issue/Question

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Just got the smoke vault 24" and I'm having a bit of problem getting it to actually make smoke. I've put in some soaked wood chips and then some non soaked wood chunks. If I crank it to high it'll billow smoke for a while but if I turn it down to low I get nothin. Any idea's? Is it possible it just wasn't enough chips? I didn't put much in because I was just seasoning it not actually cooking.

Any help would be great.
post #2 of 15
Rob while I've seen the outside of that unit (which is very nice) I haven't seen the chip pan set up can you take a pic or two of it and post them then we might be able to better help you
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm at work right now and can't take an actual pic, but here's a link to the website for a replacement. http://www.campchef.com/catalog/item...ke+Vaults.html

very shallow, I'd guess about 12x8 or 9" rectangular.
post #4 of 15
I own a Smoke Vault and have learned how to use it after considerable experimentation. 1. I like a heavy smoke flavor so I supplement the wood chip tray with an over-sized tuna or canned chicken can sitting directly on the burner element....find one that fits.....and filled with chip-sized pieces of wood. I use dry wood. 2. Put chunk-sized dry wood on the chip tray. A couple of charcoal briquets and a few chip-sized pieces will help to start them. 3. Start the smoke w cold water in the water pan and cook on High until the temp gets over 300 and the smoke ring is created, then turn down to Low and finish the cook. You'll find that most of the flavor comes from the early part of the smoke and most of the tender comes during the latter part. The wood in the tuna can will be consumed. Most of the wood on the chip tray will turn into lump charcoal. I save the lump and use it in my ECB for smaller smokes.

Have fun. I'm convinced that there is a great deal yet to be discovered.
post #5 of 15
Dang I want one even more after seeing that site. Have you checked out the accessories. When you had it seasoning could you smell the smoke? I use a GOSM and often can't see smoke but I can smell it
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
This thing is awesome, huge and awesome.

Anyway, yes, I do smell some smoke, but even when I open it up I get nothing. Slight hickory smell but that's it, no smoke of any color.
post #7 of 15
Well if you didn't have much in the pan but you did smell it I would try more and see what happens. I don't usually see smoke out of my GOSM other when first lit but I do smell it and get a blast in the face if I open the door to fast. Does the chip box sit on a rack that comes out kinda like a stand or does it slide into racks built into the sides?
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Slides into racks atached to the sides. That's kind of what I was thinking though, just use a pile of chips and a chunk or two.

What do you guys recommend? I've heard arguements for chips and chunks and soaked and dry.
post #9 of 15
Chips go faster but think thats what I'd try first and use them dry. After a couple smokes you should get a feel for it then decide if you can use chunks they do last longer. Oh and let me know what you figure out before I go buy one biggrin.gif
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Will do, thanks for the help. I have to say, prior to actually cooking on it I'm extremely happy with it. Very well built. Plus customer service is unreal. When I bought it the thermostat was broken, I called them and said just that, and within 2 minutes they were sending me a new thermometer.
post #11 of 15
Well I saw the 24" at Gander Mountain but the wife was with me and looked at me real funny (you know the look) when I was looking at it.
So I have decided that she won't be with me on my next trip there biggrin.gif
post #12 of 15

I also own a 24" Smoke Vault and after some experimentation have learned to get the desired results. I place 2 or 3 charcoal briquets in the cast iron chip pan and then pile chips and then chunks on top. You can get the fire started by running the burner on high until it is burning well or if in a hurry, I use my propane torch to start it.

You may also find that you can not get the temperature low enough of cold smoking when using the burner. In this case I turn off the propane and just use charcoal and chips in the chip pan.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Larry, great info thanks!! I'll try just that, I have a nice 3 pack of spare ribs for this weekend I'm going to try.

Piney, I know EXACTLY what you mean. It took quite a bit of convincing to get my wife to agree that I needed a smoker. She seemed to think it was another one of those silly toys I tend to collect. HEHE.
post #14 of 15
I recently got a 24" vault as well and have found that putting soaked chips in a foil pack before placing them on the tray works pretty well, although I haven't had a chance to try chunks yet. I just wrap a couple handfuls of chips up in some tin foil, make the whole thing flat and about 1"-2" thick, poke 6 or 7 holes in the top, and throw it on the tray.

You can get the chips going by turning the burner up a little, but i find that i don't like to go much past medium cause it heats up pretty fast, and once that iron tray heats up it will stay hot for a while even if you turn the burner down. Using this method I can get a good wood smell and smoke coming from the packet but usually not billowing out of the dampner for a couple hours.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Reset, thanks for the info. I did a couple racks of ribs this past weekend. They turned out great and I found that just filling the plate with chips about 1" thick did the trick. I threw one chunk on towards the end but really just cause it was there. I've actually found that the chucks I bought are too big for the smoker, they won't fit between the plate and the water pan.
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