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Help w/Propane Smoker

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I purchased a Perfect Flame propane smoker from Lowe's last year when they reduced the price down to $119. I like how it cooks and the price was right.

Question - Is there anything on the market that will help to keep the temperature controlled automatically? I have a had time keeping the temperature steady unless I stay right with the smoker constantly.

Thanks in advance for any help.
post #2 of 8
What you'[re looking for is a custom mod, maybe someone will be along to help you. If your smoker uses a water pan, try keeping it full, my experience shows that it will help stabilize temps. When my water level drops, so does the cabinet temp. Good luck my friend.
post #3 of 8
I have a Smokey Mountain smoker for my fist rig and I had the same issue in the summer I wasn't able to hold a steady temp. In the winter when it was cold out it seemed to hold pretty good because I had to turn the heat up a but but in the summer I couldn't let the thing go for very long without checking on it. Now I have a but Smoke Shack that runs on a turkey fryer burner and I barely have to touch it at all. The thing is insulated to the max and I think that is why it holds a temp so great. Maybe you can try insulating yours and see if that helps. You can go to the hardware store and pick up some hot water heater blankets as others have done and see what happens. Or hopefully someone will be along soon to throw out some other mod ideas. You could also look at replacing the propane with a hot plate maybe that will help you out on keeping more steady heat.
post #4 of 8
What where the temps outside when you have used it? Windy? How are you monitoring the temp of the smoker. I have the same smoker and find that if it is windy I get some variation in temp but usually stays within my set range. If there is no wind then I am good to go once the water heats up. Just make sure that water pan is full and hot. I have no problems not touching it for several hours once the water pan is hot.
post #5 of 8
here are some mods i did to mine.......

i use a hotel pan with holes drilled for lump and wood chunks along with gas. in the original chip pan i used 3 pavers to help with the heat. also instead of the water pan i use a disposable roasting pan that holds 2-3x's as much water.

i also made a tall stack to help with air flow for the lump/charcoal.

both of these mods are cheap, easy and non perminent.
post #6 of 8
I also use 4 fire bricks in the bottom of my big smoker and use the throw away pans and fill it with boiling water both of these help to regulate heat and get a nice quick recovery when you have to open the door.
post #7 of 8
Mine has two doors (one for smoke chamber & one for chips & water) so recovery really isn't an issue unless it comes time to check the temp. Which that can be eliminated with the use of leave-in temp probes. I don't really have issues regulating it either. It usually gets up to temp & stays there with little adjustment during cooking. Do you feel that the bricks give you a better or more efficient cooking? And do you have any issues with starting the chips?

.....all this talk is making me hungry!
post #8 of 8
I'm a bit surprised to hear this, I've got 2 PF's and they hold temp just fine every time and I've put a few 100's of pounds of meat through them.
How big are the temperature fluctuations you are getting?
Where is your thermometer placed?

As an example, with just the stock chip and water pans I'll adjust the flame to give me 275 and once it holds that and after the smoke gets rolling (10 min or so while I prep the meat) I'll load the meat. Once the meat goes in, your measured smoker temp will stay low for a while due to all the cold meat. I do nothing, even if the temp goes down to 250 because I don't see the point in fiddling since the temp will gradually rise back to near 275 in 1 hour or so once the meat gets more cooked.

I'm measuring smoker temp with a thermometer inserted through the top.

I get pretty much the same result with a dry water pan and one filled with water. I'll add charcoal with the wood chunks in the wood pan, but that doesn't really lead to any temp fluctuations if you replenish during the cook.

These temps are approximate and IMHO approximate is all you need with smoking since you should be cooking to a final internal temp of your meat and not just cooking by total time at a set temperature like in your oven.
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