Cabelas (Weston?) Stainless Vertical Smoker Help Needed

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by squished, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. squished

    squished Newbie

    Picked up this Cabelas (Weston rebrand?) Stainless Vertical Propane smoker for a song and a dance....ok maybe no singing or dancing, but paid $60 for it with a full tank of propane and cases upon cases of various wood.  I think Cabelas sold them for $400-$500.

    For the life of me, I cannot get this up to temperature and hold it there.  It simply will not go past 175 on the highest flame setting unless i get a raging fire going in the box.  I've tried every combination of vents opened/closed.  There are two intake vents, one on each side and an exhaust vent on the top.

    One thing I noticed, the difference in flame size between LOW and HIGH is very small.  Leads me to believe a problem with the burner and/or regulator.  I tried a second full propane I had...same thing.

    I added a few fire bricks to the bottom to retain heat, that helped a little but still not where I want it.  Should I consider upgrading the burner/regulator assembly or is there something else?  I notice the door leaks a bit and it has no fiberglass rope around it, so I'll be ordering some of that today.

    I did a brisket and kielbasa over the weekend....brisket got to 155 degrees and then hit a wall.  Finished it off on the grill.  Kielbasa finished and was outstanding.  It's a nice unit but it needs a little help, any recommendations?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  2. I Believe the burner/regulator is to blame for this but the burner may be clogged you could try cleaning it but i would just replace the whole assembly....
  3. squished

    squished Newbie

    Would you buy an OEM replacement or try and retrofit something like a bayou classic in there?
  4. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic

    What color is the flame? Should be blue and uniform all around the burner.

  5. i wouldnt think it would matter as long as the whole assembly is the same you may have to do some altering or modifications to make it work for a non OEM piece 
  6. squished

    squished Newbie

    It's blue and uniform, but VERY small.  Barely peaks up over the burner on high.
  7. Sounds like a regulator problem, not enough gas flow.  Could also be a propane tank problem, the OPD may be acting up.  Have you tried turning off the smoker, and the handwheel on the tank.  Open the handwheel slowly until fully open, then open the valve on the smoker and light it.  Then try opening the valve fully.  If you hear a click at the tank, your OPD is messed up.  Try a different tank, might work
  8. squished

    squished Newbie

    Tried two full tanks, same thing.  Tried opening them extremely slow, same thing.

    Looking at new burners and regulators now.  Would you go with a high pressure or low pressure propane setup?
  9. squished

    squished Newbie

    OEM burner is 9000 btu I believe...the bayou classics seem to be triple that or more...wonder if that's overkill?  Any other thoughts?  Maybe just change the regulator and hose first to something adjustable?
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When opening the valve on the tank, the valves on the smoker MUST be closed in order to set the "idiot" valve... make sure all connections are tight... also, make sure the POL fitting is screwed in tight to the tank valve... they need to be tightened to the point the "idiot" valve trigger is set...

    If the tank is new, they come full of CO2 or some other gas and it needs to be evacuated prior to filling or you will get a mixture of propane and inert gas out the hose....
  11. squished

    squished Newbie

    Thanks  Dave.  Tanks weren't new, but just recently filled.  Tell me more about the idiot valve.....I made sure everything was tight as can be.  Hand tightened everything, no tools.  You're saying to open the tank slowly THEN turn the smoker to high and ignite it?  That's what I did and still couldn't get much out of it.  I'm going to try again when I get home today and go through everything step by step.  For what it's worth, this smoker sat outside for quite a few years unused.  It was completely black and I cleaned the entire thing out.  There's chance the burner and/or hose could be clogged but I'm just not sure.  I feel like popping a low pressure burner in there with new regulator may do the trick but on the other hand would still just like to get it going as is.

  12. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    your problem is most likely in the control knob/valve  .   I had the same problem with my propane grill , but so far never had that problem with my propane smoker
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The fitting that goes into the tank valve, needs to be tightened with a wrench to depress the "idiot" valve pin... The burner may have spider webs in it.... The orifice that "directs" propane into the burner assembly, may have "stuff" partially plugging it.....

    The IDIOT VALVE explained.... the gummint had a few idiots open the old style propane tank and they expelled propane into the air unregulated... stupid and dangerous.... so they designed a valve that would self close if a certain flow was obtained... the valve has a pin that is exposed to the fitting you screw into the valve.. the fitting partially sets the idiot valve so propane can pass at a regulated rate... typically an orifice of about 0.10 inches will allow 70,000 BTU's of propane to pass... I don't know what their standards are for "stopping" all propane flow but I would guess somewhere around 200,000 BTU's and the valve shuts... That's so you can't deliberately blow up the neighborhood... or a school without disabling the valve...

    or something like that......
  14. squished

    squished Newbie

    Ok, interesting.  So I know it's not the valve on the tank since I tried two tanks.  I guess I may try and disassemble the control valve and and orifice and see if that helps.  I know this smoker will be great once I figure it out!
  15. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    my smoker is similar to yours

    and I love it , have cooked literally tons of meat on it

  16. I just inherited my fathers. Same unit.  Once I got it set up I had the same problem.  I found the orifice where it comes out of the control valve had pulled out of the burner.  This was due to the front legs getting tweaked and pulling the control panel out some.  Take a look and see if the little pipe has pulled out of the burner box underneath the unit.

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