Need some help with my CampChef 24"

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Original poster
Nov 10, 2015
Charles Town, WV
Let me first say that this is my first post and I am new to smoking.  I purchased my CampChef 24" about 4 months ago and have used it several times, but I have a few questions based on my experience (or lack of) thus far.  They are as follows:
  1. I can only seem to get about 1 hour of smoke from chips/chunks at roughly 220 degrees.  Doesn't matter if I am soaking them or covering them in foil. I do know that the foil (with holes) seems to help me with flair ups.  I had one flair up that lasted for a few min and my smoker now smells burnt.  I asked CampChef and they said it was fine and not to worry about it.  Anyways, how long should I expect smoke from the wood.  I tried a brisket and I was literally opening the door every hour to add chips but my temp would drop.  Should I get a larger pan for the chips?  Is this normal?
  2. Can someone tell me how I should set the vents on the sides and top?  At least a starting point and some suggestions on use.  Right now I have the top and side completely open and one side one closed (as far as the tab will allow).
  3. On the vents, do you bend the tab in to allow for the vent to completely close?
  4. The temp adjustment knob seems EXTREMELY sensitive.  If I want to make a 20 degree change, I have to bump it with my finger lightly a few times to adjust.  I don't even feel the know move but I can see it changing on my iGrill thermometer.  Is this normal?  Should I be using the vents to adjust my temp?
  5. Is some smoke from the door sides and around the door thermometer ok?  I read online that some people say it's fine and then others are sealing them with gaskets or silicone.  Any thoughts on this?
I really appreciate input on these questions.  As I said, this is my first smoker and I am loving it.  After a LOT of research, I picked the CampChef and it seems to be a great smoker so far.  I have already learned a lot from the Smoking Meat Forums so thank you everyone for that.  Have a great day and happy smoking!!
I have the same smoker. I love mine. It does use a good amount of chips. Most times I add some hourly as well. I've tried soaking the chips but not enough for the hassle imo. I am looking at possibly trying the pellet tube for smoke, esp. Now that there is an adjustable one.
The temp control is more art than science. Some guys have added a needle valve to their hose and have had good success. I haven't gone to that extent.
All that said I love my vault. Every make , model, or style of smoker has its quirks. That in my mind is one of the fun parts of the hobby, finding how to use my equipment to get the best results. Welcome to the smoking community. You'll find lots of helpful people here.
Welcome from SC. It's good to have you on this site. I'm not familiar with your smoker, so the ideas that I have will be generic. I never soak my chunks. I don't like the smoke that comes from wet wood. I leave all of my vents wide open, always. My exhaust never closes and I control my heat with the fire. It's important to always have a good bed of coals. If I need a really low heat, 200-230*, I may bump my intake just a very small amount. I usually have to add a couple of splits every hour or so. I will place the splits on top of the FB to pre-heat them before putting them on the fire. They will ignite quicker and help to keep a cleaner fire.

This may not apply to your particular smoker, but I hope it has helped somewhat. Good luck, Joe
First off, don't soak your chips or cover with foil.  Start with a good double handful of chips and place a few good sized chunks on top of the chips.  Top vent wide open and side vents 1/2 to 3/4 open.  Don't worry about smoke leakage, you'll have plenty left in the smoker to do the job.  The more you use it, the less it will leak as the carbon begins to build up at the openings.  The nice thing about the SMV is the heat recovery time.  If you have to add a handful of chips to keep it going, the temp recovers within minutes.  Good luck and good smoking! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.