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help please

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I just got my smoker and went to season it today. I soaked my hickory wood chips for about an hour. I placed the wood chips in the smoker box and fired her up. I started getting alot of smoke I noticed that my temp got a little to high about 320 before I got it back to 230. I noticed that the wood chips were completely charred after an hour. Is this normal or did I do something wrong?
post #2 of 14
Depending on what type of chip box you have, AND how many chips you put into it for the first burn....they very well may have burned up in an hour's time. You don't need to soak the chips before you smoke either.

Smoking is about fire management....restricting air intake to control how fast/hot your smoker burns. Getting as hot as you did won't really hurt anything for your seasoning session....just keep practicing so you don't have those heat spikes when you have meat in your smoker....PDT_Armataz_01_18.gif

post #3 of 14
You did fine and smoked up the chips. Besides that you got your initial idea of how warm your smoker will get how you set it and how to set it to get it to normal smoking temps (for todays temps and wind). You and your new smoker are just getting to know each other; what is on the menu for your first smoke?
post #4 of 14
What type of smoker do you have gas elect char wood?
Diffcult question to answer without this info.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
As you can tell I am brand new at this. I have a kenmore vertical gas smoker. So what your saying is that it is normal for chips to burn that fast? Should I order some wood chunks or are wood chips ok? How often should I replace the wood? I know I ask alot of questions but I want to do my first rack of ribs with out completly destroying them.
post #6 of 14
Welcome to the forum. You'll find that the chips burn up too fast. I usually start mine by using a handful of chips along with a chunk or two. The chips help get the chunks smoldering. Keep after it and you'll get it down pat.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I appreciate all the input I have one problem with the wood chunks I cant find them around my house. I live in Philadelphia Pa and I consider my self lucky to find wood chips. Any good web sites for supplies?
post #8 of 14
I concur about the chunk. You need to find a supplier and use chunk only, It burns much longer. Also make sure your not just burning it away with fire inside the smoker. If you are, you might need to find a CI box or a larger pan...etc. Good luck and if you find the solution, keep us posted. Well...keep us posted anyway. Were worried sick. LOL

post #9 of 14
I have successfully ordered wood chunks ( cherrywood ) from Cabelas . They had a free shipping deal on last month. They are a great outfit to deal with.

As part of my learning curve I noticed that a certain area of the fire box in my gas smoker would be just the right temp for the wood chips to slowly char and give off a steady thin blue smoke. To find the right spot. I just put some chips in a line stretching from one side of the fire box to the other side. I noted where they burned too quickly and where they did not burn at all. The area in between the two extremes is where I now place the chips for a steady slow thin blue smoke. Remember if you can smell smoke, Its smoking. Even if you cannot see smoke. Doesn't take very long before you just do it by instinct. It takes very little wood to produce enough smoke to do a good job.

In my opinion the higher temp you got on your first attempt is what is needed for a good seasoning.

Now all you have to do is experiment with lower gas settings till you can maintain steady temps in the right cooking range, which is the real secret to successful smoking.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
I actually completely forgot about Cabelas I haven't been there since before I joined the Marines. As far as my smoke box the one that came with the smoker is rather small I would say 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 and I just kind of packed it in. Can you tell I am city boy yet?
post #11 of 14

gas buddy

Welcome to the forum.I think you made a good choice to start smoking with a gas unit. Last summer I began smoking using a gosm gas unit. I have always been very pleased with my results. I too recommend using chunk. I have chips that rarely get used-chunk however I go through. I use chunk along with lump charcoal.
One thing that I learned early was not to chase temperatures with my valve. In other words don't mess with the valve to get the temp down quick or up for that matter. The easiest way to get rid of extra heat in the smoker is by simply opening the door. When you get the temp you want you can tweak your valve a little to stay there. Have fun and enjoy the compliments that will come your way.

post #12 of 14
Welcome Paddy! Do you have a Home Depot or Lowes near you, they usually carry chunks.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Lowes only had the wood chips so I will probably just order of the internet. Any preference on flavor? I was wondering if anyone had a preference with the 3-2-1 method or just straight ribs in smoker?
post #14 of 14
Don't know anything about your smoker. All I can say is just keep on trying till you get it right.
Here is a good site for the 3-2-1 rib method and it also has a lot of great info. Hope it helps
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