More Temp Problems with the Smoke Hollow

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Mar 26, 2006
Orchard Park, NY
Hello everyone:

I have used my Smoke Hollow about four times since getting it for Christmas. I have been reading the posts about temp problems with these units. Yesterday was my first warm weather smoke where we had temps in high 60's in Buffalo. I did a Chuck and two fattys.

My door thermometer is way off so I dont even use that one. My digital has been calibrated and is accurate. Doing this smoke I had to constantly monitor and adjust things because even on the lowest gas setting the unit will run above 300*. I tried turning down the valve on the tank but that adjustment is such a precise turn that I could not get it to a proper setting, so turning it down would then cause my temp to fall below 200*. Having to monitor things so diligently was rather frustrating and if I had my kids here it would have been impossible.

I read the posts on modifying by putting in thermostat, pilot generator, gas control valve and such, but I am a little concerned about how complicated this may be and am a little hesitant to take on this endeavor.

At this point the fattys came out fine. I foiled the chuck at 160* and finished in the oven to 195*. Cooled it and put it in the fridge cause it was late. In a bit I am going to see how it turned out.

What can some of you tell me about how difficult the control valve mod is? Would I be better off putting in a vent down low? I also read somewhere about using ice in the water pan, what do you think of this? As the weather improves here I am going to have more trouble with temps and really need to do something. Thanks in advance for the help.

Hi Matt, I don't have a Smoke Hollow, but I do have a GOSM gas smoker. I assume since you speak of the water pan that you are using water. Until you get the heat problem figured out I wouldn't use sand or other mod to the the water pan.

What position is your vent in.. wide open or partially closed. With the gas smokers you can control some temps with the vent. With the GOSM there is a stop to hold the vent partially open.. you must have some place for the smoke to get out, but it will help keep the temp down a bit.

I haven't done the valve control mod to mine, but it is said it works pretty well. If adjusting the vent doesn't work then you may consider putting a vent to the lower side to help.

If you still are having problems or you have tried these then let us know.. we'll come up with something that will work.

Keep Smokin
The vent is on the back of the unit, at the top. It also has a stop on it so that it cannot be closed all of the way. I tried with it open and closed to its fullest point. Neither option, along with manipulating the propane valve worked to get the temp consistent in the 250* area. I am using the water pan. What I ended up doing at the end of the smoke was letting it run up to 280* turned it off, let it fall to 220* then re lit it. I was my own thermostat.

Thanks Matt
Not being overly familiar with the Smoke Hollow.. how tight is the door seal? How much room is around the burner for air intake? It is quite possible you may need to consider adding a vent at the bottom to help regulate the temp.

Something you might play with is trying to slightly crack the door open, that should get you a drop in the temperature, but will be a pain to maintain.
Maybe your regulator is allowing too much pressure to be applied to the burner which will make your smoker's burner run hotter than the knob setting indicates. The company that makes your unit surely designed it to smoke as low as 225F since that is a such well known desired smoking temperature so I suspect you have a faulty or incorrect component somewhere. That is if you are following the operating instructions for your smoker. Perhaps you have an Natural gas orifice which should be larger than a propane orifice.
I also have a smoke hollow and I did my first smoke with it yesterday. I checked my gauge against boiling water and it was reading 200*. so I just tried to get my smoker gauge to 240* while doing the chix they seemed to get done alittle quick 1 3/4 hours but tasted great. My temp seems easy to control with the knob I could move the temp where I needed it with a little turn here or there. I will look at my direction as they say something about adjusting the ring around the burner to adjust how hot the flame burns.
Oar -

Can you regulate the themperature before you add the wood? I'm wondering if maybe you had to much wood and drove the themps up that way?
Thanks for the replies everyone. Regarding the door, the seal is not that good so I am sure there is some leakage and air getting in there.
There is venting on the burner housing at the bottom of the unit however it is not adjustable.
I was not able to regulate the temperature one its first use the breakin, the temp ran right up to three hundred at its lowest setting.
I have checked the flame with regards to the adjustable air intake and it looks good according to the manual. I think I will try to get a new regulator and if the problem persists then I will have to recconsider the thermostat modification. Thanks for all of your help.

By the way the chuck turned out great, I shred it and made the smoked beef enchilada thingy posted by Dutch. I highly recommend this recipe to everyone.

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