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First use - Smoke Vault 24"..........had some issues, could use some input (w/ pics) - Page 2

post #21 of 29

How did you calibrate the thermometer?

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bell View Post
 

How did you calibrate the thermometer?

 

7/16" end-wrench, if I recall. You can turn the stub on the back of the gauge to dial it up or down to read identical to a probe or oven therm placed near the door therm on the grate. You can verify readings while the smoker is at stable temps, then open the door and dial it the amount it is off, the n close the door, allow it to stabilize again and verify your calibration. Use boil-check to verify your probe before checking your smoker therm, of course.

 

This page includes a chart to determine what your water should boil at based on your elevation:

Boiling Point / Atmospheric Pressure / Altitude

 

Hope this helps...hollar back if you need more info.

 

 

Eric

post #23 of 29

newbie here with the same smoker - Great post to help me get started.. Doing my first smoke this morning and it has been 'trying' to say the least. I have a few questions

 

Background - First smoker, before I used indirect heat on a weber gas grill.  I am using pea gravel in the water tray and smoking a smaller boston butt (3.5#). All vents are closed as far as possible. i do have a piece of reflectix around the smoker since we always have a decent wind and when i seasoned it temps would jump around horribly with every breeze. I am on the side of the house with the least wind as well.

 

Thermometers - I have a Thermoworks DOT clipped on the cooking rack im using as my bench mark.  A new Tru-Tel thermometer is in the door its barely showing 175, when im getting 225 inside.  For giggles I put the old door thermometer in the top vent and its reading closer to the DOT, but not exact.  

 

1) IF i wanted to use the DOT inside the meat, any reason to not use a thermometer in the top vent to keep an eye inside temps? (knowing its close but not perfect). The door thermometer appears to be useless

 

 

Temps finally stabilized at about 225 for about 1.5 hrs then jumped to 245.. flame is nice and blue and the knob is as lowest as it would go and it was still in the 240s..  I opened the top vent fully and the temps dropped to 235 and seem to be stabilized.. I also tried closing the valve on the propane tank and that had no effect on temps

 

2) Should i worry about getting any lower than 235 on a 54* day here in Virginia

 

3) The control knob is at its lowest setting - but the indicator is between MED and LOW - is it suppose to match up?

 

4) What is the 'warm' setting for on the knob?  

 

 

Thanks

 

Brian

post #24 of 29

I'm a little late for the party, but hope you worked things out for today. To answer your questions:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by thatguy2 View Post
 

newbie here with the same smoker - Great post to help me get started.. Doing my first smoke this morning and it has been 'trying' to say the least. I have a few questions

 

Background - First smoker, before I used indirect heat on a weber gas grill.  I am using pea gravel in the water tray and smoking a smaller boston butt (3.5#). All vents are closed as far as possible. i do have a piece of reflectix around the smoker since we always have a decent wind and when i seasoned it temps would jump around horribly with every breeze. I am on the side of the house with the least wind as well.

 

Your upper (exhaust) vent should be full open to create enough draft for the smoker to have reduced grate temp variances from bottom to top. Also, this keeps stagnant smoke from building up inside the cabinet. If you have a door thermometer reading a lot less than grate temps near the middle of the smoker, than either the thermometer is not accurate or you have too little draft in the cabinet. The door therm should be reading a bit higher than the grate temps are, most of the time...of course nasty weather can cause a lower cabinet temp, too...my WSM lid therm drops a lot in the wind, but grate temps don't drop nearly as much.

 

Thermometers - I have a Thermoworks DOT clipped on the cooking rack im using as my bench mark.  A new Tru-Tel thermometer is in the door its barely showing 175, when im getting 225 inside.  For giggles I put the old door thermometer in the top vent and its reading closer to the DOT, but not exact.  

 

1) IF i wanted to use the DOT inside the meat, any reason to not use a thermometer in the top vent to keep an eye inside temps? (knowing its close but not perfect). The door thermometer appears to be useless

 

The door therm can be calibrated to a verified digital thermometer as well...7/16" end-wrench, if I recall. I used to monitor with a long-stem fryer therm in the top before I had enough digital units to go around...what ever you have on hand can be put to use.

 

Temps finally stabilized at about 225 for about 1.5 hrs then jumped to 245.. flame is nice and blue and the knob is as lowest as it would go and it was still in the 240s..  I opened the top vent fully and the temps dropped to 235 and seem to be stabilized.. I also tried closing the valve on the propane tank and that had no effect on temps

 

Propane tank valve should always be fully opened or fully closed...not designed to seal the valve stem from leakage if partially opened...the valves can't throttle-back to that low of a flow, anyway. If you push the valve in and turn towards the "warm" setting, you will notice the flame begin to diminish. Use that to reduce your chamber temps, if needed...that's what it is designed for. It's just a safety net to keep you from turning it too low and the flame going out without you having to use a bit of caution before you dial it back that far. On mine, in cooler weather, it will run at about 175* or lower without selecting the low-flame settings on warm.

 

2) Should i worry about getting any lower than 235 on a 54* day here in Virginia

 

Shouldn't be an issue...stanmdard low & slow temp for larger cuts of beef and pork is 225*...I have run a bit lower, but you should start around 225* or higher, just for the sake of pasteurizing the surface of the meat.

 

3) The control knob is at its lowest setting - but the indicator is between MED and LOW - is it suppose to match up?

 

Probably just a minor manufacturing or assembly defect...nothing to worry about, though.

 

4) What is the 'warm' setting for on the knob?  

 

(explained above)

 

 

Thanks

 

Brian

 

Hope that gets you on track a little better for the next smoke. Once you get to know how they like to run they really are a pretty sweet smoker...and you can't help but love the spacious accommodations...LOL!!!

 

 

Eric

post #25 of 29

Eric - thanks for the advice...   Ill go back through that several times to get it into my brain and make the necessary adjustments..

 

I figured out one of my issues with the wild temp swings - my wood chunks caught on fire instead of only smoking..  After some research via google that came up as the cause and makes since since i had a LOT of white ash at the end..

 

 

The pulled pork ended up being on the smoker from 630 am to 2pm at about 225 * (or so) was only at 145* - i pulled it from the smoker and put it in the house oven and by 5pm it was 185*..  Not sure what that issue was, except to thin the temp swings really slowed down the cooking.

 

 

We did smoked chicken wings and they turned out well - also had an issue with the wood chunks burning but with a shorter cooking time it wasnt as bad..

 

 

Thanks for much for the help..  

 

Brian

post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 

May be a day late & dollar short.....but.....just saw an old thread of mine pop to the top -

 

I owned this unit for a few years (4?) & changed about a year ago but I did learn a bit about using this unit.

 

The first thing I would say is a needle valve is a requirement, the factory knob is nowhere near good enough for any kind of reasonable temperature control. Tiny inputs = big temp changes. You can get by with cheaper ones but this one makes life so much easier:

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003Q6CASK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Yep, it's pricey but it's worth every penny. Once you find the "number" on the turret for a given temp it will hold that temp as long as you need. In addition it's easy to make small adjustments to compensate for the weather (hot, cold, windy, rainy).  You run the factory valve on high & use the needle valve to adjust temp.

 

My box was never very air tight so I always ran it with the bottom vents closed (bend the tabs for a full close) & the top vent fully open.

 

I did modify the box with RTV silicone around the door for a better seal but it still wasn't all that tight & never had to change the vents. I also changed the door thermometer for a better quality unit. Aside from that I did nothing but enjoy the food :biggrin:

 

Produced a lot of good food in the time I had it, it's now been passed along to my oldest.

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey151 View Post
 

May be a day late & dollar short.....but.....just saw an old thread of mine pop to the top -

 

I owned this unit for a few years (4?) & changed about a year ago but I did learn a bit about using this unit.

 

The first thing I would say is a needle valve is a requirement, the factory knob is nowhere near good enough for any kind of reasonable temperature control. Tiny inputs = big temp changes. You can get by with cheaper ones but this one makes life so much easier:

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003Q6CASK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Yep, it's pricey but it's worth every penny. Once you find the "number" on the turret for a given temp it will hold that temp as long as you need. In addition it's easy to make small adjustments to compensate for the weather (hot, cold, windy, rainy).  You run the factory valve on high & use the needle valve to adjust temp.

 

My box was never very air tight so I always ran it with the bottom vents closed (bend the tabs for a full close) & the top vent fully open.

 

I did modify the box with RTV silicone around the door for a better seal but it still wasn't all that tight & never had to change the vents. I also changed the door thermometer for a better quality unit. Aside from that I did nothing but enjoy the food :biggrin:

 

Produced a lot of good food in the time I had it, it's now been passed along to my oldest.

Bailey151 - thanks for the help.. I always welcome any help, so you arent too late   

 

I started looking at needle valves last week but way too confused on the individual valves VS a regulator/hose/vavle combo..   

 

What other fittings do i need to install the needle valve you linked to?  I would rather pay once once for something good..

 

I assume it gets connect AFTER the regulator?  tank/regulator/needle valve/hose/smoker??

 

What door thermometer did you try?   I got a tru-temp that fit nicely in the door, BUT it was reading way WAY lower (like 50*) than the thermoworks i had on the grate - I had the grate at the same level as the door thermometer..  

 

thanks

 

Brian

post #28 of 29
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bailey151 View Post

 

...the factory knob is nowhere near good enough for any kind of reasonable temperature control. Tiny inputs = big temp changes.

 

Produced a lot of good food in the time I had it, it's now been passed along....

 

Good point about valve adjustments...I haven't used my SV-24 for quite a while now, but your mention of it brings back memories. A couple things I always did: adjust the valve with bare hands, and do it by feel, not sight. The slightest creek of the knob was time to stop if you were dialing for 15-20*...even then, you might over-shoot your target temp. I finally learned that if you were only off by 15*, it's best to just leave it alone.

 

Mine was passed on as well. I started smoking almost everything in my 26" OTG and 18" OTG Weber kettles about 8 months ago and one of my boys adopted the Vault during that time. He still has it and I grabbed him some goodies for Christmas to help him on his journey: digital temp probe and digital pocket thermometer, along with about 12lbs of various wood chips. He was overcooking his beef rib eyes and beef strip roasts, so he's a happy smoker, now. My SV-24 is still getting use after 5 years, but I won't use it unless I cook for a very large gathering, my WSM 18 is as big as I need for now, and after 2 months with it, I'm pretty comfortable...enough to toss in a picnic shoulder after work on Saturday with a forecast for 3*F with snow and light wind.

 

I'd still be smoking it up in the Vault had I not decided to go to the dark side...th_wsmsmile0ly.gif

 

 

Eric

post #29 of 29

Great info here! I got a Smoke Vault 24 for Christmas. I must have got lucky, mine holds Temps from 220 on up to around 350ish very well & for long periods of time. The temp dial is very very sensitive. I did seal the door with self adhesive felt. It still leaks a little mostly by the door hinges, but is 80% better. Also installed a lower temp gauge. The difference between upper & lower gauges is very minimal. I have used a full water tray every time I smoke & even refill it during longer smokes. I have used apple juice, beer, water, fruit, etc it does add flavor.

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