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Just Got a New Smoker

shellbellc

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,757
18
Joined Jun 7, 2006
Congrats Deb! Width is definitely my only draw back. That extra 6 inches may be the trick. I haven't tried ribs yet, BB rack should be fine, but a full rack of spares probaby won't go in as a full rack. Where I lose points there, I definitely gain in my little side door for access to wood and water pan. That is something that should be added to every gas/electric from here on out. Heck even the old lil chief has a door just for the frying pan for the wood! Well I can't wait to hear about your first smoke!
 

deejaydebi

Legendary Pitmaster
8,005
23
Joined Nov 18, 2006
Smoked/Tys -

It does seem a bit heavier than the GOSM I saw at Wally World. Wish I'd had my calipers with me I'm curious if the metals actually thicker or why it seems heavier.

Nothing against the GOSM's guys I've just seen the cheaper ones!

Shell I do wish it had a door but I'm used to not having a door with my ECB I may cut in a chip chute later who knows. I'm just tired of feling like I'm building a puzzel everytime I smoke trying to fit everything in! I figure I can do 2 ribs a shelf if I need to and maybe even two briskets but that'd be tight (nothin I'm not used to
).

May be looking at it tomorrow though looks like we have another ice storm coming in. I'd rather have the snow than all this ice.
 

deejaydebi

Legendary Pitmaster
8,005
23
Joined Nov 18, 2006
Jazz -

Although they look very similar and are close in size the Smoke Vault just seems better built. It might sound silly but it takes more thumb pressure to flex the box, which I equate to slightly heavier metal. The wire racks that hold all the grates in place seem stronger and have double bars accross the front and back. The legs felt more rigid. The door handle is nice and heavy or flimsy. The side handles are realy nice like bath tub safety bars. Although I didn't measure I think the spacing between the grates is a bit wider - maybe 1/2" to 1".


Here's what I saw, did ...

+ It was packed so well it took half as long to unpack it as it did to build it. All parts were packed nicely in separte bags based on assembly area. Each rack was wraped in cardboard and slid tightly in place so not banging around. Everything was bagged and wrapped in that thin foam wrap.

+ I put it together in about 25 minutes without instructions In a very tight space. Finally found the instructions in the catalog they sent after I finished. I was not packaged in a bag just sliped in the water pan, which was bagged and wrapped.

+ The doors hinges are held together by 1/4 inch steel pins not those cheesey finishing nails I've seen on most smokers and can be swung open and lifted off to remove - nice!

+ The thermometer was dead on to within about 2.5 degrees of my 4 best dial thermometers and is the same size as a replacement I bought for the ECB (at WalMart) so replacment will be easy if I ever need it.

+ I ran it for 2 hours and ran out of gas
Tempertures held very steady at the high, medium and low settings. Fine tempertures adjustments were pretty easy to achieve using the three vents. It was pretty windy but I did lose flame after awhile at 70 degrees (also ran out of gas shortly after).

+ I did get it to maintain a full range of temperatures from 70 degrees to 350 degrees with no apparent changes to materials or paint. Thebiggest test was the handles which didn't get hot. I alo wanted to test the plastic? handle mounts for melting. No problems at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

? The wood pan is shallow maybe an inch deep but cast iron and 3/4 the size of the water pan. We'll see how it works during a long smoke.

? The water pan is a light weight tin or aluminum but almost the size of the grates. Not sure about this - I'm used to my heavy enamel ECB pan.

That's about all I can say until I actually cook in it. So far a am very pleased.

Here's the pictures I promised:
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tonto1117

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,632
11
Joined Jan 25, 2007
Great post Debi, sounds like you really found yourself a winner there. Can't wait to see all the goodies that will be coming out of the new smoker.
 

jazzspot

Fire Starter
44
10
Joined Apr 9, 2007
Debi, is the metal surrounding the cooker a good thickness? Or is it like the inexpensive GOSM models sold at Wallyworld? Does the spec sheet of the Smoke Vault provide the gauge thickness of the steel?
I know the GOSM is listed at 22 gauge. The Big Drum Smoker (BDS) is listed at 16 gauge, which is thicker.
It's really good to hear it arrived undamaged too and packed real well!! We've all heard the horror stories about products being damaged when delivered.
And that the assembly of it was a breeze. Do you anticipate having to do any mods?
I can't wait to hear your feedback after your first cook using it. I like to know how airtight it is. You'll find out after your first smoked cook.
 

deejaydebi

Legendary Pitmaster
8,005
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Joined Nov 18, 2006
Jazzspot -

It's definatelty heavier than the Wally World GOSMs nad Brinkman vertical style smokers but I can't be sure about the other stores GOSMs I've never seen them.

It does have a nifty little starter valve. To turn it on you push in the knob and turn, which activates the sparker. It started on the second attempt. The first try I didn't know what the noise was so I turned it back off.

The one thing it doesn't have that my ECB has that surprised me was a separate adjustment valve/shutoff for the gas line near the tank. Maybe because it has the oven style knob on the unit?

I was definateltly more impressed by the welds on this unit than the WallyWorld products. There's a sticker on the waterpan that says made in China which kind of bothers me. Maybe only the waterpan is made in China I thought it was made in Utah.

Is it worth the extra $100 compared to the Wally World GOSM? I'd say yes. But after using my ECB for so long I'd still recommend a newbie on a tight budget go for the ECB and use it for awhile before bumping up to a more expensive unit. I suspect that a gasser will use more fuel that the ECB using charcoal. Never tried using the gas option other than starting my charcoal.

I was surprised how fast the wood got smoking. Might take a bit of playing to get the smoke just right. I feel like a newbie!

Hope this helps - gotta go find some gas!

 

jazzspot

Fire Starter
44
10
Joined Apr 9, 2007
Thanks Debi for the info. Hopefully by heavier than the GOSM, you're saying that the metal skin is a thicker gauge of metal. I wonder what the thickness of the skin is on the GOSM Big Block that is sold on Amazon?
In the meantime Debi, hurry and get your gas refilled and do some cookin'!!!
 

deejaydebi

Legendary Pitmaster
8,005
23
Joined Nov 18, 2006
Jazzspot -

The metal thickness is thicker than GOSMs at Wally World. Double checked them again today. Much more stable and solid feeling.


Okay I am still testing the Smoke Vault and with excelent results. Got two briskets about 8 lbs each, one Pork butt 10 lbs, one plate of porabellos, one tray of chicken livers wrapped in bacon and still plenty of room.

Temperature holds really nice. It's not cold today only around 40's so no big push for heat light wind but I have it behind the wind break anyway.

Here's a few more pics of todays trial smoke:
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billyq

Smoking Fanatic
305
10
Joined Apr 13, 2007
Debi,
Food looks great. How many racks of baby backs do you think you can fit on each rack? Thanks for the info.
 

bud's bbq

Meat Mopper
249
10
Joined Jan 22, 2007
Sounds like your choice of smokers is bang on.

All of the stuff you are smoking - chicken liver, and brisketts, butts sounds like a FEAST!

Congrats on the new smoker. Pics sure looks very good in the smoker. Hungry now!
 

teacup13

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,391
12
Joined Feb 22, 2007
Debi,

if the temps stay mild and there isnt too much wind you wont go through alot of propane BUT if it is blowing and cold of course you will go through alot...

welcome to the propane brethren newbie..lol
 

deejaydebi

Legendary Pitmaster
8,005
23
Joined Nov 18, 2006
BillyQ

The food was great! Just finished all the meat. Didn't get the pictures though I was in a hurry to wrap and pack in towels.


You can fit 3 babybacks laying down with room on each rack or 12 total. With my rib rack I can fit 7 on one rack and 3 on the rest for a total of 16.
With two rib racks and one rac removed 17.

Spare ribs 2 to a rack laying down or 8 total. With one rib rack 13. with two rib racks 16.



I did get a picture of the chicken livers which I never done in the smoker before - man they are awsome smoked! My Hot and Spicy Chrisp-x mix with nuts is still smoking almost done.
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teacup13

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,391
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Joined Feb 22, 2007
thanks, i have about 2000 avatars...some animated, some not... am going to find a host for them and make them available once i edit them a little bit... sounds like tomorrows job while i have a pot roast in the oven
 

domn8_ion

Smoking Fanatic
548
11
Joined Apr 5, 2007
Pot roast? Oven?????? What's wrong with this picture? J/K. Debi's right, as usual. You do have some cool avatars. Please let us know when you have them finished.
 

billyq

Smoking Fanatic
305
10
Joined Apr 13, 2007
Thanks for the great info Debi. I actually saw your smoker at my local Sportsman's Warehouse earlier today. It does seem a little thicker than the GOSMs at Wally World. Looks like a quality built smoker. What did you think of the wood chip tray? I thought it looked a little shallow personally. Did you have to refill it many times? How long did you get smoke from a single tray of chips? Thanks again for the info. I don't mean to be a pain in the [email protected]#.
 

denvran

Newbie
9
10
Joined Apr 20, 2007
This is great now i feel like I have to get a bigger and newer smoker.
Don't know which one yet it's between the Smoke Vault and the King Kooker.
had a question on the king kooker; where's the side door for adding wood and which is better the Low pressure smoker or the High Pressure one?
 

camocook

Meat Mopper
230
10
Joined Apr 21, 2007
Never Knew There Was Such A Thing As High And Low Pressure Smokers. I Think I Need A Bigger One Also.but My Woman Doesn't Think So. I'll Keep You Posted.
 

deejaydebi

Legendary Pitmaster
8,005
23
Joined Nov 18, 2006
BillyQ -

I start chunks about the size of my fist or barkends and cut left overs from my wood shop (ash, Oak, Cherry, maple) only added a few smaller chunks twice two or three will do at a time the smolder nice and slow. I was a little worried on the first smoke but no problems at all. It's thick enough to just get the wood slow smoldering and weird as it sounds I spray my wood with a bit of apple juice too. The temperture knob is right on as is the thermometer in the door!

PS your not I PITA that's why I'm here!




QUOTE=BillyQ;40707]Thanks for the great info Debi. I actually saw your smoker at my local Sportsman's Warehouse earlier today. It does seem a little thicker than the GOSMs at Wally World. Looks like a quality built smoker. What did you think of the wood chip tray? I thought it looked a little shallow personally. Did you have to refill it many times? How long did you get smoke from a single tray of chips? Thanks again for the info. I don't mean to be a pain in the [email protected]#.[/quote]
 

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