new member new to smoking-nn a little help

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Original poster
Mar 27, 2007
Just bought a big frontload homemade electric smoker. Woman said her husband produced the best smoked salmon from it.

I'm having trouble learning how to get the temp up past 180. It has an adjustable hot plate at the bottom with an adjustable fan also attached.

adjustable drafts are at the top and bottom of the smoker.

Do I keep the fan off and the drafts closed to get the temp up or fan on high or ? ? ? Your thoughts and suggestions greatly appreciated.
Welcome. welcome to SMF! Glad you are here.

This is the place to ask questions and to learn how to smoke meats and other things. It would probably be helpful to know what the make and model of your smoker is. I have a gas fired smoker, so I probably will not be helpful in advising you on the operation of your unit. There are others here who use electric units who will probably chime in later.

Be sure to sign up for Jeff's 5-day course by email on smoking basics. There is a lot of good stuff there that will help you get started.

Hope this helps. Hang in there.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


Welcome to the SMF Joeyroo
I'm sure one of the electric smoker guys will be along soon to help you with your question. In the meantime, I would experiment a little myself. I would think that turning the fans off and closing the vents would help the heat to build up. I wouldn't burn any wood chips with the vents closed though or your liable to get a good case of creosote going. If its a homemade rig, you may just have to figure it out, or post some pics so one of the guys can get an idea of what you are working with.
Welcome to the SMF joeyroo, as you can already see great bunch of folks here so jump right in.

Glad you found us.
In cold weather I wouldn't even attemp to use my electric one. In the warmer months I have no trouble getting up to 200, in fact pegged her one time at close to 300 when it was like 95 outside
I have just a small hot plate with a dial temp for like low, med, high. I only have one vent (chimney) at the top though. How big is the thing? Maybe a bigger hot plate. I think mine is only 500 watts and the box is only 24 x 24 x 24, maybe a little bigger. It's I think technically what most people would call a sausage smoker. I can't imagine trying to use that size burner in a bigger unit.
Welcome Roo, hope you find all you need to know, someone will know how to solve that problem. Can't be of much help myself as I am a wood guy, you know like on that commercial for Propane -the old guy, always sleeping?
Hi Joeyroo, Are you sure it might not be a cold smoker? Whats the wattage of the hotplate (you can always pick up a higher wattage hotplate. I know that the Brinkmann Water Smokerâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]s burner is 1500 watts. Lots of people cold smoke their salmon. Hmmm? Let us know, one of us will get ya up and running!
welcome aboard

i believe you said your plate was only 500 watts... i went to a local second hand store when i used electric and bought a dual electric hotplate...that solved most of the heat problem

if it was too cold outside i brought out a portable propane stove and used that one... is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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