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Original poster
Oct 25, 2010
I went to Lowe's and bought a stand up propane smoker.. I found an easy recipe for beer chicken.  The first attempt was on a windy day.  The manufacturer recommended that the 2 lower vents never be completely closed.  The unit also has a stack on top.  I could not get the bird hot enough.  The temp of the smoker stayed between 220 and 250(thermometer on door.  The next attempt was the same recipe on another windy day ( the unit is somewhat protected from the wind).  After 5 1/2 hours, I took the bird out and finished in the oven in my kitchen.  I think possibly that the cold air blowing through the smoker kept the bird cool or the beer kept the bird cool.  I also tried on the second attempt to cook some potatoes.  After 2 hours they were not cooked.  I know that on chrcoal models, the ventelation makes a hotter fire.  I wonder if the ventelation on the propane unit introduces more cold air and cools the food.  In between the 2 chicken attempts, I smoked some turkey legs.  This was on a calm day and they cooked faster than the recipe said that they would.
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Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Apr 19, 2010
Bay Area, CA
just did a pork loin and some beef on a windy, rainy day in my upright gasser and no probs with temp control.  Your cooker temp was right on the money for a poultry smoke; are you sure your thermo is OK?  Have you checked it in boiling water?  Also, check your meat thermo the same way for accuracy.  My bet is one or both of those is off calibration.  I have never taken longer than 4.5 hours for a large turkey smoke (unstuffed).

The temp inside is the temp -- cold air in the vents only provide good air flow for oxygen for the burn and smoke flow.  If your temp is between 225 - 250*, you're good to go.

Silly question: were your birds completely thawed?  Don't mean to be rude, but your situation just doesn't add up without one or more of these type of problems occurring.


Legendary Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
Jun 1, 2008
Welcome to SMF and congrats on the purchase. If its windy alot I would consider building a wind break. Also if you havent signed up for the 5 day ecourse I would do so because there is alot great information in it.


Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Mar 12, 2009

First off Welcome Doug to SMF. Congrats on the new smoker and now go out there and buy you a new (atleast2)  thermo meter the probe style.You never trust the fatcory installed thermos. You'll like it here for there are a lot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Now there are a lot of proven recipes for some amazing things here too. So if you need sign up for the E-Course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and some good methods to use also. So the next big thing for you to do is go out and get you something to smoke and if you happen to have any questions just post it here and we will be happy to answer them for you.

Welcome To Your New Addiction    
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Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
May 1, 2007

Welcome to SMF Doug, Glad to have you with us.

This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

For those of you new to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.

Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourseE


Smoke Blower
Aug 9, 2010
Spring, TX
Welcome to SMF Doug, I agree with bmudd14474 about the wind break. This a great site your going to love this place. Great people with great info. Don't forget the q-view. Enjoy and Happy Smokin'  



Legendary Pitmaster
SMF Premier Member
Oct 17, 2009
Hendertucky, Nv.
Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.

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