New smoker cant get it hot enough

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Original poster
Jan 6, 2006
Hey all! nice forum.
I just got a new cabelas 7-in-1 smoker (had a gift cert).
I tried to smoke tri tip and it came out really good. the problem is
that it would never get above 205 degrees. I started it with charcoal and used the propane burner to start it. I was able to get the heat to 250 that way but as soon as I added water to the water bowl it would go higer than 205 and that was with the propane burner going like a jet engine.

Anyone have any ideas?

While I am not familiar with that particular smoker, here are some things to try.
  • Only put about an inch of water in the water bowl(or less)
  • Use more charcoal
  • Make sure the air intake is at least 3/4 open
  • Make sure damper is open to allow full draft
  • Add "already hot" water to the pan
These are some things that could help you... Ultimately it comes down to producing enough BTU's to heat the water and the surrounding metal while maintaining at least 225 degrees.

I would guess that adding more charcoal is going to help you more than anything.. each lump puts off a certain amount of heat and you just have to keep adding until you get it to where you want it.

Investing in a charcoal chimney may be a good idea for this however with the propane starter that may not be needed.

Be sure and use lump charcoal since it burns hotter and cleaner than the traditional briquettes which tend to have lots of additives.
Hey, thanks for the fast reply.
I will have to see about the air intake and open up the top vent too.
Also have to hunt down lump charcoal.
you rock. I will try that and post my results.
The tri tip recipe worked great.

thanks again.
My first attempt at a propane powered smoker ended up with my smoker going up in temp really and I mean really fast and then nothing. I opened the door and it sounded like a dog (WOOOOOFFFF)

Basically the best I can figure is that it used up all the oxygen and when I opened the door it fueled it again and wow!.

If you have good circulation this should take care of the problem.
another thing you could do is buy a new therm and see how much that one is off on your cooker

i dont know why..... but it seems that no smoker or grill therms are ever right except for webers :roll:
I had a temp problem with my GOSMS, was inside a small building, moved it outside and the temp sailed right up. Guess it just needed more air. Hope this helps. BEAR is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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