First Smoke on Smoke Vault 24" Need Some Feedback

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by endo129, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. endo129

    endo129 Fire Starter

    I I just got my SV 24 this week and plopped a 5 lb butt on it yesterday. Previously, I had used my gas grill to smoke a couple and got some pretty good results, the last one the best pulled pork I've ever had (I live in Ohio). As expected, with a new unit the results would be varied until I learn it. Also, I come to find out that in general , I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING.

    After building my SV, I seasoned it as directed in the manual. I read about other ways of doing that one here, but also read a few people suggest to make sure to follow the manual, which I figured can't be wrong. that method was to load it up with wood and water, and run it at about 175* (I erred on the side of hotter) for about 45-60 minutes.

    I have learned after reading some here that I'm running entirely too much smoke. I loaded up the smoke tray with soaked apple wood chips and watch the clouds of smoke pour out for about an hour and a half max. Al little stoke got me some more for a but. I filled it back up and continued smoking for another hour, estimated half of my smoking time. I ran out of chips but since I'm more worried about figuring this out and eating dinner tonight, and I had read on here some people only smoke for the first half, or up to 140* I thought I'd be ok just to cook the meat the rest of the way. I had the dampers all as closed as they get on a SV which is still pretty open, but I'm learning that I should have the top one all the way open pretty much all the time, right?

    I'm going to move to chunks I think now that I have a proper smoker, but one question I have is, how much wood do you guys put in the tray of one of these? Jut a few handfuls of chips or a couple chunks? I LOADED it up. Clearly wrong.

    Should my SV 24 look like the pics below after only being seasoned and one 7.5 hour smoke? I did glaze my butt every 45 fwiw.

    Cleaning, what to do abut this? I cleaned the grates and that was rough. Soaking and subbing and brushing and more scrubbing until the towel no longer was brown. They still don't look like new, very bronze colored, but no hunks of meat/fat/grease. Do I need to clean the inside of the smoker, especially if this looks a little too rough after one smoke? Just a simple wipe down, steam clean, scrub until it looks new?

    What does everyone do with the grease/water from the water tray? There was too much for my normal grease disposal method when cooking inside.

    I read about creosote which has me concerned given the smoke i had and the look of my smoker after smoking. However, I never, and I confirmed with my wife, have tastes anything metallic or had out lips/tongues feel numb, so I guess I'm good/dodged a bullet there.

    I welcome any/all other tips.


    The back looks like that b/c last night, in the dark I gave it a gentle wipe to see what I was dealign with.

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Your seasoning is fine. For cleaning I just clean the big chunks off the grates and call it good. I do wash the grates once a year. I have a mortar tub for mixing cement that I fill with hot water dawn soap and vinegar. I let the grates soak for a hour then hose off. They come out nice and clean.

    I'm a dry smoker and do not use my water pan with water in it. Mine is wrapped in foil and left empty. After I smoke I remove the foil and throw it out. Replace with new. No greasy water to worry about.

    For smoke I would recommend getting a Smoke Tube (AMNTS) from Todd @ Amaze N Smokers. He has a new version out that is oval shaped and expands. The tube is designed to work in a propane smoker with temps up to 285. If you plan on smoking above 285 you would need to make a mod to pipe the smoke in. Search here for mailbox mod.

    Another thing the AMNTS will allow you to do is cold smoke. Cheese, butter, hard boiled eggs, bacon are all things people cold smoke

    If you are going to use chunks get the large chunks 2"-3". You may need to hit them with a torch to get them to start smoldering. Or place a few lit briquettes in your chip tray then place the wood on those. The larger chunks will Provide you with better smoke. Do not soak in water when smoking your wood should be dry.

    One more thing to search here is the needle valve mod. It makes controlling your propane smoker much easier. Especially if you plan on smoking at really low temps.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  3. endo129

    endo129 Fire Starter

    Great info. Thanks! I was really worried about creosote and wondering what I had just done. I had never smoked with water either until yesterday and had gotten great results. The only reason I did was b/c the manual said NEVER have an empty water pan. I have no idea why, so I went with it.

    I really appreciate the feedback and tips. I'll be liking into them.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This a what my propane smoker looks like after 12 years of use.

    In this photo you can see the 18" AMNTS tube smoker
    Smoking away

    Bayou Classic needle valve I mentioned. You set the smoker control to high and use the needle valve to control the flow of propane.


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