Bad Case of Gas

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Etherhuffer

Newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2022
7
7
Ouest Seattle
Hi, new to forums, looks like a lot of good knowledge here. I picked up a used Masterbuilt propane smoker. Not a purist on smoking, just having fun. Building a real smokehouse next year. Got out a new gas hose and trusty drill bit and converted to natural gas. Working well, fires right up.
Question: The pan for wood chips is of course thin steel thing, kind of rusty. I have an assortment of cast iron frying pans, skillets, pots, you name it. Anyone use or modify old cast iron for a wood/chip holder? How much heat do I need to get smoke going? Any advice welcome.
 

TulsaJeff

Smoke Whisperer
Staff member
Administrator
OTBS Member
Jun 28, 2005
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Tulsa, OK
I haven't modified anything but a gas smoker I had back in the day had a heavy duty cast iron chip box and it took a few minutes to get it going.

I would turn the heat all the way up to high just as soon as I added the chips. Once I saw smoke, I then turned it down to the correct heat to maintain the temperature.

Seems like this would require about the same sort of thing.

Of course back then, I saw mods for using a thin coffee can for wood chips so it would start smoking immediately LOL.
 

Etherhuffer

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 24, 2022
7
7
Ouest Seattle
I haven't modified anything but a gas smoker I had back in the day had a heavy duty cast iron chip box and it took a few minutes to get it going.

I would turn the heat all the way up to high just as soon as I added the chips. Once I saw smoke, I then turned it down to the correct heat to maintain the temperature.

Seems like this would require about the same sort of thing.

Of course back then, I saw mods for using a thin coffee can for wood chips so it would start smoking immediately LOL.
That was my thinking too. Need to make a small mod to elevate the container above the flame source. Kind of like a wok ring for a gas range.
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
Apr 25, 2015
1,542
655
I agree. CI pan works great for adding smoke but you have to heat it initially pretty hot to get them going, then reduce to your desired cook temperature. I think that 2-step dance can be done gracefully, but I usually don't get the heat down promptly enough and I soon end up with flames. But if I keep the pan covered with a tight fitting lid (I found a cheap dog dish that works) drilled with a dozen or so 3/16" holes, then once I get smoke it stays smoke and I avoid the flare ups I get when uncovered.
 

mike243

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Feb 25, 2018
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Definitely put a cast iron lid on with some holes drilled in it so the wood will smolder, if not poof heat spike and no smoke. start with a few holes, easy to make more , use self tapping sheet metal screws if too many
 
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bill1

Master of the Pit
Apr 25, 2015
1,542
655
Any lid/cover should suffice as long as it fits/seals fairly well at the edge. You want the thick iron on the bottom (that faces the heat source) to diffuse the heat across both your cook chamber and across whatever smoking wood you have inside the pan. As long as you keep the smoking wood inside from flaming up, you won't have a big thermal gradient across the lid/cover. Thermally, it's like the heat shields around a car's catalytic converter...they're not thick metal.
 

wimpy69

Smoking Fanatic
That was my thinking too. Need to make a small mod to elevate the container above the flame source. Kind of like a wok ring for a gas range.
I've used a trimmed down #10 can as a wok ring before, at least you can use it to mock something up. Dollar store pie pans are great little smoke box's,clam shell, top one -vent holes a use metal spring clips for keeping together.
 

Jeep2K

Newbie
Oct 22, 2022
6
6
You might try pellet tubes in this situation. My first smoker was a Masterbuilt electric. It had a small chip tray that I got tired of filling every 15 minutes. Bought a couple of pellet tubes, never used more than one for any smoke. I have upgraded to an upright pellet smoker and have no need to use the electric any longer.
 

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